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    S-Thunder Step and Release Landmine


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    S-Thunder "Step and Release" Landmine review by Booligan
    Discuss this review HERE
    Table of Contents:
    Introduction
    Ordering/Company Info
    Basic Information
    First impressions/Packaging
    Landmine Specifications
    Externals/Internals
    Proper Use
    Performance
    Pros/Cons
    Overall
    Introduction
    Moving along in my review series of S-Thunder's current line-up of airsoft munitions, the next item up for review today is the "Step and Release" dual use landmine. It is similar in function to their other dual use landmine, with one major exception. Instead of firing as soon as you step on it, it requires you to step on the mine, and then step off of it, giving you some very interesting gameplay possibilities!
    Ordering/Company Info:
    I obtained this landmine directly from S-Thunder in order to review it here on Airsoft Retreat. S-Thunder continues to come out with unique and innovative airsoft munitions, so check their website often to see what else they have up their sleeves. The "Step and Release" Landmine is currently available at Evike, and On Target Airsoft, priced between $64 and $73, depending on where you buy it.
    Basic Information:
    The Step and Release Landmine is a compact, CO2 capable in-ground landmine, able to fire either water or powder, which fires once pressure is applied, and then released from the pressure pad. It gets its power from what basically amounts to a specialized MOSCART design shell, which was designed by S-Thunder specifically for this purpose. It comes with S-Thunder's pink anodized core, letting you know that it is able to use CO2 as a propellant, as well as standard condensed gasses such as Green gas, Propane, or HFC134A/duster gas, making this incredibly versatile.
    First impressions/Packaging:
    As I've mentioned in my previous reviews, S-Thunder's products all come professionally packaged in retail ready boxes, with plastic reinforcing panels to keep the mine safe during shipping. It does that job well, as all of the products that I was sent all the way from China arrived perfectly. The package for this mine included the landmine, two safety pins, a key used to open and set the mine, and an OD carrying bag.
    From this point, click all pictures to enlarge
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    Packaging
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    Included bag
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    Key
    Landmine Specifications:
    Weight: About 1.3 lbs
    Height: 4.25"
    Diameter: 3.5"
    Externals/Internals:
    Like S-Thunder's other "compact" landmines, this mine is constructed largely of high strength polymers, with an aluminum grenade shell based core. Where the standard dual use mine was extremely simple in its functioning, this one is a bit more complicated, due to the step and release mechanism.
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    External overview
    The top of the mine serves a few functions, first as the pressure pad, as well as the receptacle for your desired projectile. The pressure pad is pretty sensitive, only taking a few pounds of pressure to activate. You can put a fair amount of your desired projectile in the upper "funnel", giving you a pretty effective cloud of powder or spray of water to let your target know that they are out, however the 90+ dB bang will certainly help with that. The pressure pad unscrews to allow you to disassemble the mine, in order to perform maintenance on it, or to reset the inner grenade shell mechanism.
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    Top of the mine
    The bottom of the mine houses the gas fill valve, making it easy to charge up the mine with your desired propellant. This position makes it susceptible to getting fouled up with dirt while in use, so make sure you keep it clean for a long life.
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    Bottom of the mine
    Opening the mine is very simple, with the only tool required being the included key. You start by unscrewing the pressure pad, which allows you to use the key to unscrew the inner shell assembly.
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    Top cover removed
    With the top cover removed, you can use the included tool to unlock the inner shell assembly by turning it to the left. Once it pops out a bit, you can slide it out the top of the main assembly. When the inner assembly is removed, you can see the inner spring loaded "step and release" mechanism, which is pretty maintenance free, aside from keeping it clean.
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    Using the key to remove the inner assembly
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    Inner mechanism
    The inner shell assembly is based on a 40mm grenade shell, with a plastic collar allowing it to lock into the main body of the mine. The bottom of the shell assembly has an extended activation button, as well as an extended fill valve.
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    Inner shell assembly
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    Extended button and fill valve
    Proper Use:
    Using the mine is a fairly simple affair, however, it is slightly more complicated than some of S-Thunder's other landmines. First, you must set the "step and release" trigger, using the included key. This is easily accomplished by removing the rubber plug from the side of the mine body, lining up the key, and turning it 90 degrees to the right, so that the key is parallel to the bottom of the mine.
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    Remove the plug
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    Mine is not set
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    Insert the key
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    Rotate to the right, when parallel, it is set
    With the inner "step and release" mechanism set, you can fill the mine with your desired gas, ensuring that the safety pins are installed. You may need to remove the inner shell mechanism to reset the valve, if it is not set properly. Gas up the mine, and you are pretty much ready to deploy it! After digging a small hole, you can place the mine inside, and fill it with your desired projectile. Once filled, you can remove the safety pins, lightly camouflage the mine, and you are ready to spring your trap!
    Performance:
    This mine is LOUD, especially when you use CO2. S-Thunder has it rated at up to 90 dB using CO2, so it certainly will get people's attention. The inner projectile reservoir is slightly larger than on the other dual use mine, giving you a bigger cloud of powder or water when it goes off. After firing, the cloud goes up 8-9 feet, simulating an explosion fairly well, especially when considering the loud report. I recommend powder in these mines, as it gives a better simulation of an explosion, as well as possibly leaving easy to clean powder on your target, proving the hit.
    The "step and release" mechanism adds an interesting edge, as your target may actually know that they have set the mine before they step off of it. This can slow down an assault, as they try to figure out a way to disarm the mine without it going off. It is possible to replace the target's weight with a suitable weight of 5-7 lbs, however, once set, it only takes about .5" of travel to go off. Another option is to use it to booby trap an objective, by placing the object on top of the mine. As I mentioned before, you have a ton of interesting ways that you can use this mine, only really limited by your creativity.
    Here is a video showing the proper loading procedure, as well as a fire test using propane and CO2:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejKWnGh4TBM
    Pros:
    Extremely loud/powerful firing mechanism
    Versatile payload/propellant - able to use gas/CO2, and water/powder
    Step and release mechanism adds an interesting twist to the mine
    Easy resetting
    Relatively lightweight pressure activation
    Cons:
    Like all mines, requires you to dig a hole
    3.5" pressure pad is a little small, albeit larger than some other mines
    A fair bit pricier than S-Thunder's other mines
    Overall:
    I love seeing what the engineers over at S-Thunder are able to whip up, as each product that they come out with seems to be more interesting and unique than the last. This mine takes all of the crazy game types that you can run using landmines, and adds a twist, as the mine doesn't go off until you step off of it. I look forward to seeing what S-Thunder's mad scientists come out with next!
    Many thanks again to S-Thunder and of course, Airsoft Retreat!

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