A Blank Firing Grenade (or BFG) has been something on my ‘to get’ list for sometime but various other things kept breaking or needing replacing, however I finally got around to picking up a BFG – my weapon of choice, the TRMR Multshot from JD Airsoft.
The benefit of a BFG over pyro is cost. Whilst a BFG can set you back anything from £60 to £100 depending on the model, you can pick up 100 .209 blanks for £8, compared to disposable pyro that’s typically around £2/£2.50 a bang. So you’ve already saved £100 at least when you buy one. The other up side is you don’t have to deal with dodgy lighting caps and strikers which can get wet, lost or fall apart.
The downside is you can’t just throw and forget a BFG, unless £100 is like toilet paper to you, you do have to go pick it up again and depending on the model, they do need some TLC to run reliably. Depending on the model however, you’ll need to do more or less. At the moment BFG options are:
- SWAT VTG – timed
- Ohshiboom Impact
- Incentive Designs ‘ID5’ Multishot impact
- TRMR Impact
- TRMR Multishot impact
- Dynatec Timed
The difference is in the names, either it goes off on impact or goes off after 3-5 seconds, and is either single or multi shot (in terms of having to reload). Due to our site being outdoors, with a lot of soft ground under foot, the timed options have been the most popular, however thanks to the sand invading everything, the reliability with which they go off seems to be getting worse over time, even with regular maintenance and given I was after something to use for room clearance at events like AI500, I wanted something that I could trust to go off before I entered the room/go off at all. Timed options can also give your opponent a chance to grab cover/get out the room.
Having made the choice of impact, due to the reasons above and also because you don’t need a tool to rearm them (having witnessed a few too many scrabbles in kit bags to find it), it was simply an option of Ohshiboom, TRMR or Incentive Designs, and whether I wanted single or multi shot.
As I wanted as least fuss as possible, I went with TRMR, as both the Ohsiboom and ID5 have safety pins that looked ideal for getting lost, whereas the TRMR is simple twist and throw mechanism. Now I have read some reports about TRMRs going off when they shouldn’t however they have been few and far between so I didn’t let it change my mind.
Then it was single or multishot. The TRMR multi holds 3 blanks (whereas the ID5 holds 5 so even less reloading required) compared against the one of the single. On the basis that no building at any AI venue has been one single room, I opted for the multishot for extra speed between room to room rather than rather to stop to reload (or the more expensive option of buying multiple singles). The multishot version is £15 more than the single, however you can buy the bases separately if you have a single and would like a multi for £30.
The TRMR Multishot only takes .209 primers, which whilst quieter than 9mm are more than up to the task within buildings, and are a little more friendly to those not sporting ear protection, and as mentioned before are more than affordable at £8 per pack of 100.
The TRMR comes shipped in secure, well designed tube rather than being chucked in a Jiffy bag with some bubbie wrap, and the first thing you’ll notice is the weight, 480grams, which is thanks to the stainless steel/aluminium construction. It should be needless to say but over arming this device could easily result in a bad head trauma so stick to a gentle underarm on deployment. The TRMR also comes with a unique ID engraved into the top portion of the device, so take a note of this in case you do lose it.
On a related note, the TRMR is available in a few colours: black, brown, pink, purple and grey. As seen in the pictures, I’ve stumped for purple because unless AI chooses its next venue as a children’s ballpen, it should stand out nicely to be collected without too much hunting around.
The outside finish of the TRMR is excellent and has a nice chequered patten cut into it for grip when wet/use with gloves, and the twist to arm mech has a smooth motion with enough resistance that it shouldn’t twist by accident in a pouch.
The TRMR comes is made up of two parts, the firing mechanism (which has the ID number) and the base that holds the blanks. Simply unscrew the base and you’ll find three holes to drop your blanks into. The threads on both halves look well made and I would be impressed to see someone cross thread/strip them easily. Once you’ve inserted your blanks, reassemble and set the dial to I (unless starting from another number is the new cool thing to do) and you’re ready to go.
The dial has Roman numerals deeply engraved into it, so it should be possible to feel what number you are on in low light settings. The dial has the same smooth motion as the twist to arm, and you can feel it click into place nicely.
This BFG will be getting used in anger for the first time at AI500 on 19/20 September where it should get plenty of use and a good run for its money, but from first impressions I’m very impressed by this piece and definitely should have invested in one before the last AI.