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TheFull9

TAG 40mm Shells & Projectiles

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Given that news threads generally get more and more buried as time goes by, I felt this system could really do with its' own discussion thread in a more permanent place for folks to chip in to.  I can't personally provide a properly extensive review at this time but so far everything is performing just fine and as advertised.

 

The closest thing I've seen to these in the past was a jury rigged (though neatly jury rigged) LAW style construction of PVC pipe components that @uscmCorps made up to propel small nerf projectile looking things using just the gas from a 40mm shower shell.  I can't remember exactly what range we got out of that but it was at least as far as these TAG projectiles with no discernible accuracy issues, all without using rifling.

 

However, as a simple commercial product that can be dropped right in to most airsoft 40mm devices, I'm personally very impressed with what TAG have come up with.  I've not fired any rounds when there's wind about and that would no doubt be a factor, but then there seems to be a magical forcefield around most outdoor airsoft sites that blocks wind from my experience.  There's certainly no deviation from the intended flight path that I've noticed and you'll have no problem reaching past 100m.  For a long serving military 40mm grenadier it'd probably be a piece of cake to pick up and start hitting targets, but as an average airsofter I'd say it could actually be quite tricky to land a *suitcase* within 'killing' radius at its' maximum range, especially if trying to post through a small window.  This is not so much down to windage issues but the elevation and the flight profile of the projectile.  From what I can make out so far they don't fly in a smooth curve when fired up at near 45 degrees.  They'll reach their maximum height then seem to lose all forward momentum (presumably due to the incredibly light construction material putting up no fight to the air resistance) and then just drop almost vertically downwards.  Which would be great for dropping right down in to trenches and fire pits if you were a genius at aiming the things and had a ton of money to buy rounds for practice, but then we'd be talking serious mega bucks.

 

The rifled cartridges have been gas tight without issue so far, they're not pretty in terms of their manufacturing but they fit smoothly in my launcher and function without issue.  Considering how little gas they appear to hold, they certainly do a fine job in terms of lobbing the projectiles.  They're extremely rear heavy seeing as 80% of the length is a hollow, thin plastic tube with the other 20% being a *fruitcage* solid hunk of metal; just something to be aware of to make sure you handle them carefully so as not to break said plastic tube which contains the rifling.  The trigger pull is a pretty standard weight and though you'll need a small stick of some description to achieve the reset it is very quick and easy overall.  I did notice that the gas container will get very cold from even one firing, how this might affect the range should you quickly reload the shell and fire again I'm unsure.  You could easily carry around more projectiles in 40mm pouches/a GP with elastic loops accompanied by something like an AI gas can for field reloads, but personally I wouldn't use it that way.  It's not too difficult to execute a re-bomb in the field, but it wouldn't be super quick and the projectiles look and feel really fragile; considering they're around £4-7 a go I wouldn't want to lean/lie/fall on the pouch and crush them, especially the pyrotechnic ones (although if the chalk in the Paladins is the same as RS 40 mil prac rounds that stuff will also be a nightmare to get out).

 

The projectiles themselves are built to a standard appropriate for something that is disposable, but also within good tolerances so as to fit the rifled portion of the shells very snugly indeed; you won't be getting much at all in the way of propellant gas escaping around them when firing.  They really are feather weight in the hand and the material is a very brittle feeling sort of expanded plastic with a lot of visible air pockets denting the surface.  So far I've test fired 4 of the Reapers outside of game scenarios and they produce a very small flash but a pretty loud bang, not been able to find any BBs left over in the detonation area but you were never going to be scoring direct BB hits anyway.  The way to employ these things would be in line with the rules used for BFGs and cardboard thunderflashes i.e. with a kill radius/taking out rooms enforced by the marshalls.  You'll certainly want to be careful and selective in firing these during a game (should your site allow), firstly to avoid direct hits of course and secondly to ensure that the very expensive thing you just fired actually does have a significant strategic effect.

 

I wasn't able to film the first two I fired due to reasons, but out in the woods of Norfolk post-skirmish I got one of my colleagues to hold the camera for a couple more firings:

 



You can easily see the trail behind the first shot as it falls but I think the second one did airburst more to the right of shot where the trees are more sparse.  Unfortunately that low sun made it hard to see.

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I think short launchers like that will probably give optimal results with these.  I don't think having a 40mm barrel that's longer than the TAG is detrimental, but then I've never felt it was a good idea to run an inner barrel that was shorter than your outer on a standard airsoft gun, always that small risk.  The Archangels perhaps have a slightly higher fun factor than the Reapers though and I think between the two pyro rounds they've got the most potential for effectiveness.

 

The issue with the airburst projectiles is they've got a fuse timing that's setup for the maximum range of the shells and as above I don't think most people are going to have the ability to drop shots in to the places they need them at that range, myself very much included.  You're much more likely to get through a window at the sort of ranges an AEG can reach, which means the Reaper will impact another wall/the floor before bursting and given the fragility of the materials I think that'd just result in a broken projectile quite often.  It'd also take a lot of practice to be able to time it just right for the burst to happen right over the enemys' heads (and I've not been able to test whether the fuze timing is consistent), not to mention judging the angle right would be a nightmare, plus the closer the target the higher you'd have to aim and really lob it in there mortar style; though I doubt the fuze time would accommodate that.  On the other hand the target would need to have a hard object somewhere just behind them in order for the Archangel to work, because just hitting the front of their cover obviously isn't any good and it's not like you can blow away a wall with these things.

 

I suppose overall the safest and cheapest way to do things would be to fire the inert Peckers and say that anyone within ~5m of impact points is gone, but I think that'd take some marshal over-watch a lot of the time.  Though that'll vary by site, a lot of folks seem to have issues taking hits from BFGs and Mk5s if they don't often play at sites that commonly feature them, forgetting that they're not just stun devices and they're representing a frag grenade the same way a BB represents a bullet.  I'll be interested to compare the flight characteristics of the Paladins vs Archangel because I don't see much use for the chalk markers apart from practicing.  You're just not going to actually get the chalk powder on to people, in which case you might as well just same your money and use the inert rounds/go all in with the pyro if the site allows.

One thing I forgot to mention in the OP was regards the plastic portion of the TAG shells themselves.  It's been mentioned before but they really do feel flimsy and deform very easily under a bit of finger pressure.  The thing is they screw right on and off the metallic base and can easily be replaced in a matter of moments if dropped/stood on, but last time I checked the manufacturers were not selling these parts separately to enable the end user to enact repairs, something I do hope changes.  They shouldn't cost more than a couple of quid for a few of them to keep as spares and it'd be infinitely preferable to the current situation of having to spend ~£70 right now for a whole new shell if one went U/S.  I may e-mail TAG directly at some point to see what they say about the matter, apart from anything I'd be interested in trying to cut one down for easier function in more M203 style sliding-barrel launchers; I'm sure TAG set the size of the shell for a good reason but it'd still be good to test the results when modified.

Edited by CKinnerley

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Great review! I'm interested in your claim that the TAG projectiles don't fly in a smooth curve when launched near 45-degree angle - I hope there's a cheap way to capture their flight characteristics. Even if they don't fly smoothy, their maximum range is very impressive - more than 90 m! In terms of accuracy, my tests showed that it is easy to hit a 100 cm x 100 cm window size target at a distance of 15 m repetitively.

 

I also think their use in open field is somewhat limited. They are better than Nerf rockets in terms of capturing players' attention, but the shrapnel coming out from the projectiles (Reaper or Archangel) don't fly far enough to simulate the effect of a real 40mm grenade. But I doubt if further shrapnel spread can be achieved within safety limits. I think they are best suited to use in MOUT sites, where the confine of a room would amplify the sound of the pyrotechnic rounds. In addition, it is easier to determine the kill radius - most people would agree that if a grenade goes off in a room, all of the players within should be dead.

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Cheers for this. I'm so tempted but I admit that the lack of concrete info surrounding the legality is what is putting me off. As for the strength of the grenades - I've been using a replica of this http://www.first-spear.com/product.php?productid=17636 for my 40mms which has served me well - I reckon it could be reinforced with card from an old ring binder folder. 

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I still need to sort out my launcher but I'll reiterate here.

 

The Dboys 3in1 203 short (and presumably long) does not have a firing pin long enough to discharge a TAG shell, at least without the two clips at the rear of the barrel to hold the shell in (they were interfering with me loading shells).

 

I'm going to try and extend the pin, ideally I'd replace it entirely but don't have access to the correct tools at the moment.

 

If anyone's tried to use a G&P 203 to launch TAG shells could you chip in here? Interested in getting one but would like to know if it'll work without modifications.

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Cheers for this. I'm so tempted but I admit that the lack of concrete info surrounding the legality is what is putting me off. As for the strength of the grenades - I've been using a replica of this http://www.first-spear.com/product.php?productid=17636 for my 40mms which has served me well - I reckon it could be reinforced with card from an old ring binder folder. 

 

I used to run the 6-pack 40mm grenade pouch by TMC (http://www.ebairsoft.com/sixpack-40mm-grenade-p-6083.html), but not any more due to its bulkiness. In addition, the pouch is designed for short 40 mm grenades, and doesn't hold the TAG shells very well. I now carry my TAG and G&P shells with Tactical Tailor 40mm belt (http://www.skdtac.com/Tactical-Tailor-40mm-M203-Belt-p/1tt.177.htm) and Condor AK magazine pouches (http://www.condoroutdoor.com/Condor-MA6.aspx). I run my 40mm loadout like this soldier below. I mostly use the belt for quick access to 40mm grenades, and since the grenades are positioned at the chest level, the chances of crushing them if I take a tumble are quite low. As for the AK pouches positioned at waist level, I put two 1.5-inch PVC pipes cut to 10 cm inside them for protection of the TAG shell and projectiles.

 

Grenadier%2BLoadout%2B1.jpg

Edited by PMO Gordo

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mmm I have a tt belt but I'm not 100% on it. I run webbing not a plate carrier - tempted to cut it in two and run it down the straps at the front.

You don't need a plate carrier to run the TT belt on your chest - here's another picture of the said Soldier. I think he was wearing a chest rig, but I couldn't tell what make it was. You just need to shorten the TT belt's adjustable strap.

 

Another interesting fact is that the Soldier seemed to be running his M320 grenade launcher as his primary weapon, and carrying his M4 on his back. I prefer to have my grenade launcher attached to my rifle because the effective range of Airsoft rifles and grenade launchers are both short. I need both by my finger tips to engage targets quickly in Airsoft battles.

 

Grenadier%2BLoadout%2B2.jpg

Edited by PMO Gordo

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Yeah I'm aware of the adjustable strap haha - whatever that guy is wearing its alot more high profile then my chest (literally just my skin and a shirt)  - I'm not a skinny guy but I'm not a lardass either - its just a bit unwieldy. so far slung over the shoulder is the best bet. I fine myself prone a fair amount and I'd be wary of crushing the TAG shells. To bring this slighly more on topic I am eeking out who it was that airsoft world spoke to before selling TAG items. 

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So, Skarclaw previously raised an interesting proposal of clarifying the legality of the TAG pyro rounds, which was consulting the British Pyrotechnists Association (BPA). I stated back then that I considered it a bad idea because BPA would assess the matter solely from their standpoint without considering Airsofters' views, and they may even make decisions based on beliefs rather than sound science. And if there is business competition involved, it could even get uglier.

 

Recently, I was looking into the safety of adult snaps for pyro effect on my P.M.O.G. projectiles. I found out that American Pyrotechnic Association (APA) - a private lobbying group - was making a fuss about selling them in 2011: http://www.americanpyro.com/assets/docs/Safety_Advisories/adultsnappersadvisory.pdf. But the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) - a government agency -  reported that the adult snaps exhibited 8 times smaller explosive pressure than fire crackers of similar sizes (0.85 psi vs. 6.5 psi), and they were so weak that they found it unnecessary to assess the shrapnel injury potential. In addition, they can take rough handling in their original package, so people shouldn't worry about shipping them as long as there are adequate soft fillings around them. I showed that even detonation of adult snaps against human skins did not result in any injuries: http://youtu.be/7eJhs5I0U0c?t=7m52s

 

So why was APA against adult snaps? Some said it's more about business than concern of consumer safety: http://www.pyrouniverse.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-35516.html. The APA saw that non-members were making money on selling adult snaps, and they got jealous. Now I may be making generalization here, but it seems that BPA is similar to APA in the way that they are mostly established by major pyrotechnic companies, and they may be hostile to pyro products that are not produced by one of them. I think it's probably best to consult UKARA, or even an independent Airsofter lobbying group on this matter.

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This is a public service announcement for customers in USA, and is not intended to harm TAGinn and Airsoft Pyrotechnics' businesses:

 

"A warning on pyro TAG grenades and rounds for USA players..

 

We dug around a bit on this while having a conversation on another site...... Heres what turned up

 

Short answer is time in the Federal pen for importing or possessing them!

 

Ordering them from overseas is a crime!
They have not gotten a DOT EX# or classification/approval This makes it illegal to import, caused to be shipped or otherwise transport them in the US. This is why they are "Out of stock" at the US distributors such as Airsoft Outlet NW

The ATF is involved!
Without a DOT classification of UN0336, UN0337, UN0431, or
UN0432 they fall under the jurisdiction of the BATFE and would require a federal explosives license and approved storage

Please share, as no one should end up in jail for playing a game with some bad info."

 

- Quoting a USA firework store owner who also plays Airsoft.

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Ck - You got anything further to add on these wonderful toys?

 

I've not purchased or fired any more I'm afraid, I don't know of any sites anywhere near my house or camp that allow them for use in game unfortunately.  Pretty much only play CQB so rather limited use for me.  I know a guy over on AF-UK bought 6 shells and an ICS MGL but he picked up the older version pre the 'TAG compatible' one; funnily enough as with a revolver action pistol it had cylinder timing issues which obviously would make it rather unsafe for TAG firing.  If I get posted perhaps and have access to a site that allows them I might purchase some more and try them out/other launcher options, but it's a lot of money I could put in to getting AEGs worked on, new gear etc for the games I actually play.

 

Did you have anything specific in mind that I didn't mention in the earlier posts per chance?

Edited by CKinnerley

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Nothing specific just wondered how you where getting on with them and if you where being allowed to use em many places.  Haven't asked if there ok where I skirmish. I daren't as I know how much I could get into these and as you say they ain't cheap.

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Heh, true that.  No further experience to add I'm afraid, but I was impressed with the range and accuracy of the ones I fired.

 

Ck bring them to the night before ;)

 

I'll bring a couple of rounds along for sure, long as someone holds my phone to film them!  Rarely get to go anywhere that I'd be allowed to fire them off (without masking the noise with some other small explosives...), though tbh I'm not gonna use them in game, don't wanna risk it at a site that's not insured for them.  Someone else can have a free shot as well as long as they're fine having their face on YouTube.

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