S&T AG36 40mm Grenade Launcher review by Booligan
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Basic Gun Information
Adding a grenade launcher to a G36 replica has always been an expensive proposition, as previously, one of the only proper AG36 launchers available was made by Star, and cost about $300. S&T has manufactured an affordable AG36, complete with the proper handguard and flip up leaf sight for about half that price, and today, I'll be reviewing it! For my testing purposes, I'll have it installed on a WE G36C, with extended inner and outer barrels. Keep reading for more info on this gorgeous 40mm launcher!
I obtained this launcher through Evike, who has it available HERE, priced at $160.00. This means it is eligible for Evike's free shipping through UPS Ground, which got the gun to me in two days. This launcher includes everything that you need to mount it up on your G36 model, however some models may require slight modification to fit properly.
Basic Gun Information:
The AG36 is a 40mm grenade launcher, and this specific model is designed specifically for G36 replicas. The launcher is hard mounted to a modified handguard that serves as the mounting system to secure it to your gun. S&T also includes a side mounted flip up leaf sight assembly which is a fairly faithful replica of the real steel sight assembly. It uses a unique side opening breach assembly which allows for easy loading of your choice of 40mm shell.
S&T packed the AG36 in a pretty secure cardboard box complete with high density foam liner to keep everything safe and secure. The box even comes complete with a carry handle, making the box useful even after you receive it. I was really impressed with the overall look and feel of the launcher once I pulled it out of the package, as it seemed very well built and felt great in your hand.
From this point on, click on the thumbnails to view full size photos
Along with the launcher assembly, S&T includes a basic manual which includes an exploded parts diagram. It has mounting instructions as well, but really, this thing is a no brainer to mount up.
Weight: About 3 lbs
Sight Radius: 6.5"
The AG36 is comprised of both nylon polymer as well as metal for stability and strength. It has the same metal content as the real launcher, with the launcher receiver itself and barrel being made of metal and the upper handguard and pistol grip being made of nylon polymer. It mounts to your G36 replica using your existing handguard pin system, which works quite well for keeping it securely mounted up.
Overview, right side
Overview, left side
Unlike most other launchers, the AG36 has an integrated pistol grip, which helps you maintain good control of your replica. It is positioned lower and farther back than you would normally mount a foregrip, so it's not in the optimum position, but it works quite well regardless.
In front of the grip, you'll find the trigger unit, which houses the barrel release button as well. The trigger pull largely depends on the shell that you use, as some shells require a lot of force to fire, but the angle of the trigger lever helps make the pull as easy as possible.
In front of the trigger unit, you'll find the barrel release button. Upon pushing the button, the barrel will pop open and rotate a few degrees to the left, allowing you to load the launcher. This side opening breach is what makes this thing so easy to use.
Barrel release button
Breach opened up
At the rear of the launcher, you'll find the ambidextrous safety switch, which blocks the trigger unit from being pulled back. It's a basic H&K style switch, which keeps the look consistent throughout the gun.
Above the controls, you'll find the most important part of the launcher, the frame and barrel, which are both made of metal. The frame serves as the mounting point between the controls and the handguard, and it houses the barrel assembly. The barrel is a fairly complex design, featuring a few stepped down portions eliminating in the large 40mm muzzle. It is held at the front by a large pin with a spring to flip the barrel out when you push the release button. In the rear, it locks in place using a large diameter pin that locks into a semi circle shaped cut-out at the bottom of the barrel.
View of the barrel
The launcher attaches to your gun using the attached handguard, which is basically a modified version of the full length G36 handguard. There is still some room inside to mount a battery if you are using this on an AEG. This is where you may need to modify it, depending on the gun used, as some lower locking posts and pin holes are positioned slightly differently in different guns. It fit perfectly on my WE G36C, but the pin hole was misaligned on my SRC.
Shot inside the handguard
One of the nice features of this launcher is the side mounted leaf sight assembly. It can be removed if you don't want to use it by simply taking out the two screws holding it in. The front and rear portions flip up when in use, and the rear sight has multiple aiming positions for different ranges. With some practice, you can certainly use these markings for airsoft use.
Sights flipped up
Overall, the externals of this thing are really quite impressive, certainly when considering the price point. There is a minimum amount of overmolding and seam lines, and it feels great in your hand when mounted up on the gun. When fitted, there is absolutely zero wobble, creaking, or other detrimental issues.
S&T actually had some markings laser engraved on the barrel and receiver of the launcher, including caliber and various proof marks. The markings add to the realistic look of the launcher, and frankly, they look just plain good.
Being that this is a single shot 40mm launcher, it doesn't use magazines, instead relying on a single 40mm shell for it to fire. I tested it with Madbull, CA, ICS, S-Thunder, and King Arms shells without issue. Due to the side loading breach, you can use longer shells than normal M203 launchers, as you have a straight shot into the breach. The shells were a little bit tricky to remove at first, as there was some manufacturing residue inside the breach causing them to stick, but a quick wipe with some hot water removed it, and the shells popped in and out with ease.
There's no performance to measure with this thing, as again, all of your firing force depends on the shell that you use. It does have a fairly long barrel, so launching other projectiles like nerf rounds or 40mm rounds from Milsim Labs works quite well.
Being that the function of this thing is to simply push the button on the rear of the shell, the internals are quite simple. The trigger is connected to a basic firing pin bar using a lever system. Everything inside is made of metal, so it should be quite durable.
As far as modifications go, you can certainly mount up a rail to the vent holes on the side of the handguard if you want to run a light or laser. For my use, I've left it stock, as I love the futuristic look it gives my G36. I extended the inner and outer barrels on my WE G36C so that the flashhider just peeks out of the handguard. My goal was to build something similar to the G36 used by Norwegian special forces, and I think I got pretty close.
Proper AG36 launcher for your G36!
Launcher can be removed from the handguard and used as a standalone unit
Includes side mounted leaf sight unit
Side pivoting barrel assembly makes reloading a breeze
Changes the overall look of your gun with one easily installed part
Makes the front heavy G36 even more so
Some G36 replicas may require some modification
I love the look of mid-length G36 replicas with underbarrel grenade launchers installed, and with the S&T AG36, you can easily and relatively inexpensively make one yourself! Before, if you wanted to get an AG36, you would be paying about $300, but this is available at about half the price. Overall, yes, this thing makes my gun bulky and heavy, but it looks amazing, and the additional 40mm firepower is certainly formidable!
Many thanks again to Evike, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!