S-Thunder Water Spaying Landmine
S-Thunder Water Spraying Landmine review by Booligan
Discuss this review HERE
Landmines add a unique gameplay element to airsoft scenarios, but unfortunately, most of the old options were either too fragile, too expensive, or just plain useless. S-Thunder has come onto the airsoft market in a big way, by creating an entire catalog of landmines, grenades, and even realistic training paintball markers. I will be reviewing many of their products in the coming weeks, starting with this, their CO2 powered, water spraying landmine. Stay tuned, as I will be reviewing their other landmine options, 40mm grenades, as well as some other accessories that they produce!
As I mentioned before, S-Thunder is a company that specializes in unique weaponry for airsoft, paintball, and other simulations. I first saw their products at SHOT Show 2010, and I continue to be impressed by the various products that they are coming out with. Their website describes their history as follows: "S-Thunder was formed by a group of industrial designers, engineers, manufacturers and marketers who are also war game hobbyists. During their years as players, they also became skilled in modifying and enhancing the performance and accuracy of war games equipment and accessories including paintball markers, airsoft and automatic electric guns."
Their items are currently available at several US based retailers, including Evike, and are priced quite reasonably. For example, the landmine being reviewed today is available HERE, priced at $32.
This landmine is a pressure activated unit, meaning that it is triggered by someone stepping onto the pressure pad. It is powered by a single 12g CO2 cartridge, but can be used with S-Thunder's optional "compressed gas" cylinder, allowing you to use Propane/GG/Top Gas instead of CO2. When your victim steps on the mine, the CO2 cartridge is punctured, expelling the gas into the body of the mine. Now, the body of this specific mine is filled with water, and when fired, it sprays up and out of the four ports on the top cover. It sprays up to 9-10 feet high, with adjustable nozzles for more range or coverage. This is not a landmine that you can just set on a path, you must dig a small hole and place this inside it, followed by some basic camouflaging.
Now, why water? Well, there are several distinct problems with using BBs in airsoft mine systems. First and foremost, most airsoft eye protection is not designed to take a BB hit from the very top or bottom. This potentially makes it extremely dangerous, as BBs could fly up and under goggles or shooting glasses, injuring the player. S-Thunder has units that use water, as well as ones that use powder, such as flour or their special blend of colored powders. This, combined with the noise of the mine firing will certainly let the player know that they are out. Yes, water has the potential to damage airsoft guns, but with the mechanism that this unit uses to deliver the payload, it's unlikely that any damage will occur. However, it is best to clarify with all players on the field that water or powder dispensing landmines will be in use.
The mine comes packaged in a professional appearing box, holding the mine itself, a carrying bag, and a brief manual. It is secured using plastic top and bottom pieces, keeping it from flopping around inside the box during shipping. Everything arrived safe and sound all the way from Hong Kong, so obviously the packaging works! The manual explains the proper use of the mine, as well as covering some basic safety information. The included carrying bag appears to be made of nylon, similar to the bags used to hold a tent. It has a drawstring closure, and a small metal carabiner to clip it to your gear.
From this point, click all pictures to enlarge
Included carrying bag
Weight: 2 lbs
The construction of this landmine is predominately high strength polymer, with some metal parts such as springs, pins, etc. This is not cheap, thin plastic. It is rock solid, with absolutely zero flex, and strong, thick threading on the cap. Itâ€™s plastic construction and yellowish color really makes it look like some of the minimum metal anti-personnel mines out there. If the color isnâ€™t your particular cup of tea, it is also available in black.
The top cover houses the pressure pad, spray nozzles, and safety pin, and is unscrewed from the lower half in order to insert the CO2 capsule and fill it with water. The threading is thick, so it shouldnâ€™t get damaged in normal use. You can adjust the individual nozzles to face the direction that you want the water to spray, in order to minimize â€œcollateral damageâ€ and maximize enemy kills.
Nozzle aimed a different direction
Safety pin, physically blocks the pressure pad
When you unscrew the top cap, you are met with the pretty simple inner mechanism, which more or less ensures consistent triggering. This thing operates on a very simple principle, whereas someone steps on the pressure pad, which pushes a CO2 capsule into a sharp object, puncturing it and venting the CO2. This CO2 looks for the easiest way out of the mine, which is through the four tubes and nozzles. It leaves these nozzles, by pushing out the water that is inside the mine. Like I said, itâ€™s really quite simple, which makes it pretty damn reliable.
Shot inside the capsule holder
Inner shot of the top cover
So, how do you deploy this thing? Itâ€™s incredibly simple, but does require some pre-planning. As you can tell, this is not a flat, easily concealable mine, and you have to dig a hole. Carrying an E-tool or large knife will make this task simple. You need to dig a hole about 6â€ wide, and 4â€ deep, and once you do that, you can place the lower section of the mine inside. You then need to place a CO2 capsule upside down inside the housing, as pictured below. You can now fill the mine body up with water, not to exceed the amount indicated, which is about half a liter. Once your mine is filled with water and has a CO2 capsule inserted, itâ€™s time to screw the top cover back on, aim your nozzles, and camouflage it so that itâ€™s not obvious where itâ€™s located. You need to ensure that the nozzles arenâ€™t covered with your camouflaging efforts, so that they wonâ€™t get blocked when the mine is triggered. Keep in mind that this relies on someone stepping directly onto the 2.5â€ wide pressure pad, so try to put it onto a main footpath, or near an objective. Once you have the mine set up as you want it, pull the pin, and you are good to go.
CO2 capsule inserted
Pour in the water
Once the mine has gone off, or the game is over, you can go retrieve it. If it has not gone off, you will want to carefully insert the safety pin, unscrew the top cover, empty the water, and remove the CO2 capsule to render it safe, unless you want to keep it armed in the same place until the next scenario. The nice part about this mine system is that it can remain, more or less indefinitely in the field, as there are no parts of it that are really being exposed to any pressure or anything like that. There are no O-rings to wear out, or seals to blow. The only part under pressure when its not being triggered is the CO2 capsule, which is designed to remain that way more or less forever. The thought of mining the field that I run with a whole case of these things and just leaving them out there brings a big smile to my face!
Stepping on the pressure pad with a fair bit of weight causes the CO2 capsule to puncture, instantly shooting a deluge of water up and out from the mine body. It does take a good bit of pressure to set off the pressure pad, as you can imagine, but your average airsoft player stepping on it will easily set it off. The spray is relatively fine, not like getting hit by a hose, more like a mister on steroids. This is what keeps you and your gear from getting TOO wet, but it is enough to readily identify that you have been hit. It's not like having someone throw a bucket of water on you, which is honestly what I was expecting after I dumped two bottles of water in it. My gear dried off within a few minutes, and there wasn't much more than a misting of water on my AEG, which was easy to dry off and move along with the rest of my day.
Long story short, warn the other players beforehand, to make sure everyone will be okay with the potential contact with water, as you don't want to be approached after a game by a player with a dripping wet Systema...
Here is a brief video showing the mine going off, including the ungodly sound it makes when firing:
Here is another video from S-Thunder:
Extremely durable construction
Safe projectile makes injuries extremely unlikely
Relatively inexpensive cost make â€œminefieldsâ€ a very real possibility
Looks pretty damn realistic
Includes carrying bag
Itâ€™s a landmine! Need I say more?
Many players want a BB shooting mine, unfortunately, safety concerns make this unlikely
Water can potentially damage AEGs, but due to the way this works, its unlikely
Players may not want to spend the rest of the day with wet pants
Requires you to dig a hole before it can be deployed
Small pressure pad makes triggering tricky
Uses a single CO2 capsule per use, which can get pricey if you use this a lot
Landmines and IEDs are an unfortunate, but ever present part of war, and the airsoft market has been severely lacking in realistic, reliable, and durable replicas, until now. This thing works just like a real landmine, without the obvious negative effects of death and dismemberment, and I can absolutely find a place for it in airsoft scenarios. The relatively low cost means that you can buy several of these things, and set up a small minefield around an objective. The enemy will most likely know that you are doing this, and will potentially be psychologically affected by the fact that every step they take could be leading them deeper into a minefield. The effects of things like this on the airsoft battlefield have never really been explored, but now that inexpensive and reliable landmines are on the market, I think weâ€™ll all be watching our step a little bit more carefully on the field!
Many thanks again to S-Thunder and of course, Airsoft Retreat!