Post by insterburger on Apr 8, 2015 17:48:12 GMT -5
Finally got around to realizing my scheme for a new design for German stick grenades-- no one wants to use $30 repros in the field, and the full size/weight replicas I made were no fun to get hit with (ask shifty about this). The airsoft ones are cool, but at $8 (or so) a pop for something "one and done" that isn't even to scale, I was hoping to do better.
I've just completed phase 1, which is to make a batch of the grenades. Phase 2 will be to give them some bang (more on that below).
There are some drawbacks to this design-- Upon close inspection there are obvious infidelities with the real thing and I don't know how well they will hold up in the field or to extended use, but there are many positives: They are to scale and generally look the part at a glance or in the field, their relative lightness makes them less dangerous for injury from being hit by one, it will be possible to add a bang, and most importantly they are CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP and super-easy to make-- the per-unit cost will work out around $3 a pop once I make enough or sell off surplus materials (more on that later). The time to make a dozen was about an hour or so spaced out over two days.
Anyway, on to the tutorial!
First things first: materials: 1-1/4" pine dowels from the hardware store. Each of these will yield three grenades, with a little nub left over. The good news is that the little extra bit facilitates staining-- you get a hand hold at one end that will be scrap anyway. I used a variety of stains I had lying around, I think the color that worked the best is "Red Oak" by Minwax.
Here are the sticks from the current first batch, stained and ready to start the work:
Post by insterburger on Apr 8, 2015 17:58:06 GMT -5
--Duct tape. You'll need a lot. I used olive drab colored tape, but regular silver stuff would probably be fine too.
--Standard kid's floaty noodles. The higher quality ones that are slightly larger around with a smaller center hole are not as good as the really cheap ones you get at Toys'r'Us or Walmart. Any color is fine because they'll be painted and covered up by tape.
-- 1-1/4" metal screw caps. These are not easy to get. They used to be ubiquitous on paint thinner and solvent cans, but have largely been supplanted by plastic ones. I found an online distributor where I could buy them cheap, but their minimum order requirement meant I had to order in bulk-- over 200 of them. If anyone is interested in buying these grenades, I can make some for you. If you want to make your own, I can sell you some of these caps, I have more than I'll ever need.
-- You will also need the Deep Forest Green Camouflage paint found at Home Depot, and some Amazing Goop or similar adhesive.
Post by insterburger on Apr 8, 2015 18:09:23 GMT -5
So here are the steps, followed by some images:
1. Stain the 1-1/4" dowels (Red Oak or Dark Walnut are the two best looking) and allow to dry.
2. Cut the dowels to 14" lengths.
3. Cut the floaty noodle into 3" lengths, a utility knife is your best bet here.
4. Slide the noodle over the tip of the dowel. It might need to be reamed out a bit, you can put some adhesive on but I didn't as it is a very tight fit and holds itself in place. Adjust to make sure it's more or less straight and even.
5. Coat the floaty with duct tape, starting with the top. Don't go too far over the edge or it will make the grenade uneven. Should be a strip and a partial strip on the top (see image). Two strips should do the trick for the sides of the grenade, 8" length +/- will be about right for the circumference. Don't bother with the lower part, that will be painted. MAKE SURE TO PULL THE TAPE VERY TAUGHT AND PROCEED CAREFULLY AS YOU GO AROUND TO AVOID UNNECESSARY CREASING!
6. For the "fairing" I tore a piece of duct tape in half and wrapped around the wood stick a few times, enough to give it at least a little bit of relief.
7. Glue the screw cap to the other end of the stick. The caps have a foil liner that needs to be removed before gluing, easy to pry out with a screwdriver or similar tool. (See picture above to see the screw cap with and without the liner).
8. Mask the wood stick and spray paint the head and fairing of the grenade with the OD spray paint. Make sure to get under the lip so that the floaty is all painted in.
Allow to dry, and voila, you have a stick grenade!
Post by insterburger on Apr 8, 2015 18:20:29 GMT -5
The finished product, with the "real deal" (at least a "real repro") for comparison:
Again, these are CHEAP and EASY to make... armies were not stingy with their grenades, we shouldn't be either. (That's not to say I don't want these collected at the field, but if any go missing, as they always do, I don't want it to be difficult or expensive to make more):
Post by insterburger on Apr 8, 2015 18:31:49 GMT -5
I'm curious as to how well they'll hold up... the paint may flake off the duct tape, but if it does it will reveal an almost identical color underneath (silver duct tape may look like bare metal).
The only other drawback with these is that the heads are kind of squishy, but I think when tucked in a belt that won't be a factor and will make them less hurtful if they hit you. And this is airSOFT, isn't it?
Another nice thing is that they fly about 80% as far as a full weight grenade. Not quite scaled to airsoft rifles, but still an improvement.
The next step will be making them go bang. I have been dreaming up all sorts of potential pull-string ignition systems, but may just fall back on a simple match or lighter based system. I plan to drill out the top of the grenade, and then insert a bottle rocket with the stick broken off, held in probably by a light adhesive or modelling clay. Then you light it and throw it. The unrealistic part is fumbling with a lighter, but truth be told these were two-handed weapons, so having to light it is more realistic than pulling it out and tossing it without putting down your rifle. What else is good is that they should provide a whistle-- which will let the enemy know there is a grenade and where it is-- followed quickly by a bang, which lets them know they're dead. The noisy "fuse" will, I hope, help player be aware of the grenades and be better at honoring kills. I think these will hold up well to a bottle rocket pop, which means they can then be collected and reset for later use for mere pennies.
Anyway, that's my new Stielhandgranate project. As always, input is appreciated.
Here's a brainstorm I had. You could wrap a small ball of steel wool around the end of the fuse. To ignite you touch it with a nine volt battery. I think it would replicate the two handed effort and experience (but not the same actual action) of the real deal, without fussing with the lighter.
I have never tried this though, I don't know if the steel wool would be enough to light the fuse. Anyway, its an idea.
This video has a neat ignition using several pull string snap things. It looks quite simple, and the real deal had a pull string too I believe? Probably better, but requiring a slight investment of time. Wire Pull Smoke Grenade Video
Last Edit: Apr 8, 2015 20:34:06 GMT -5 by hardslack
Post by insterburger on Apr 8, 2015 19:43:34 GMT -5
Hardslack, you affirm my faith in the membership here. That kind of input is what this site is all about.
Will it work? Easy enough to experiment with and find out. I'll let you know when I do.
If it does, it still requires some caution when using in the field. Once when I lived in NYC, I had a loose 9v battery in my coat pocket and it somehow caught on fire. My friend was like, "Hey, your pocket is smoking." It burned a hole in my pocket and scarred the leather. We laughed about it a lot at the time, but it could have easily gotten ugly.
I've thought of molding plastic heads with a vacuum and plastic sheets and inserting a CO2 canister to use a system similar to Thunder Bs. I have some rough sketches for the system puncturing the CO2 canister, but it's a complicated schematic.
"There are only two types of men who are going to stay on this beach those who are already dead and those who are going to die"
Post by insterburger on Apr 8, 2015 20:51:09 GMT -5
That sounds interesting, Joe-- and "complicated schematic" sounds very... German. I myself fall into the trap of having overly complicated solutions, I am working against my nature to try to keep this project simple, which translates as "reliable in the field."
I will be experimenting with a variety of ignition systems and report back. My biggest challenge is making a fuse that is both reliable and doesn't go off right away. The originals had a five second fuse, I'd love something approximate to that.
Thank you for sharing and for your efforts with this project. It looks like a great solution to me. they look enough like what they are supposed to be so as NOT to be a distraction and they are affordable enough to field and (if need be) forget.
Stalin should have known communism wouldn't work. There were red flags everywhere!"
Post by insterburger on Apr 18, 2015 7:02:46 GMT -5
Thanks 2nd Bat, I am actually thinking about an expansion of this basic design into one with a larger charge and a chamber full of BBs that (hopefully) would fly.
The idea would be this: Imagine making the same type of grenade, but the floaty (and stick inside it) only constitutes the lower half of the head. Then wrap that with a full height piece of cardstock, place a charge inside that, then BBs, then cap it with another piece of cradstock. With a very long drill bit I could actually put a channel through the stick and do one of the match-based pull ignition systems seen on you tube. Before I can do this version, though, I really need to get some bigger firecrackers, which aren't easy to come by in the People's Republic of Connecticut. Next road trip to or through PA, I'm all set.
The upside is that it would act more like a real grenade and make a bigger bang. Also, they could still be collected and cheaply reset. The downside is that even if it's well-designed and built, it's inevitable that dependability will suffer, and of course the reset process will be MUCH more involved and difficult-- each grenade would get you one use per event (unless .
They are cheap and easy enough to make that I'll leave the current batch as is for now and start toying around with a prototype of the other version.
I would like to buy a dozen of your end caps so I can build my own batch. I currently issue out the cheezy "tick tick tick" grenades from dollar stores for the US forces but need something for my aggressors. Grenades when used judiciously really change the character of airsoft as "campers" can be neutralizes by hurling grenades into likely locations.
Stalin should have known communism wouldn't work. There were red flags everywhere!"
I'd like to buy a batch of these if you're still making/selling them? Have my first battle in mid Sept & would really like to turn up & dish some of these out to my team mates...most of whom I haven't met yet.i'll PM you also
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