After the new line of Madbull airsoft products hit the market, I've wondered just exactly how they compared to other manufacturer's products, such as King Arms, Mosquito Molds, CAW, etc. Being in the market for an added dimension to my gun, I decided to give this new company a run through and see if the actual product lived up to it's hype. So I ordered the long type launcher as well as two of the 8mm version grenades from Airsoft Atlanta, and two days later the slip for my package was in my PO box, waiting on me. After getting home, and upon tearing into the shipping box, amidst the plethora of packaging peanuts I found the cardboard boxes that my new toys sat in. Needless to say, they were opened immediately. The actual packaging for the launcher and the grenades themselves was nothing too impressive. Basically Madbull had wrapped the individual items up in bubble wrap, stuck them in a relatively sturdy cardboard box, and affixed a pretty product sticker to the outside of that box.
The packaging cast aside, I rip off the bubble wrap on one of the grenades, and I'm awe-struck not only at the weight, but the colors! I knew before ordering that Madbull has almost a flamboyant taste when it comes to their choice in colors, even though they are made to resemble the actual real steel version. However, seeing the item online and seeing it in real life is akin to the two different faces of a coin. The grenade is a fascinating metallic blue and silver color, and weighs in at almost 1.5 pounds, which in my experience feels like the weight of a regular M.M. grenade that has been fully pressurized and loaded. The build materials are of excellent quality, aluminum and steel, and like I said before, the finish is outstanding.
Priming the grenade is almost too easy. Unlike other grenades, where you had to unscrew the base so many turns to get the priming pin to close the valve (and risk loosing eight impossibly small ball bearing in the process!), all you have to do for the Madbull grenade is simply push the button down, and release. No unscrewing needed. Also, unlike other grenades, there is next to no clearance for the primer pin to deviate off path, which makes life even more enjoyable when priming the device because you don't have to worry about it getting stuck when you remove the pen or whatever you used. It just goes straight down and then straight back up. Simple! The grenade also fills very quickly, but does it silently. Using a patented method of utilizing the smallest amount of gas possible to produce the highest pressure possible, filling the gas chamber takes less than a second. There is no audible hiss while you're doing this either, the only time sound is heard is when you remove the grenade from the filling station, and even that is a very quiet hiss. This would be ideal for the player who wants to reload on the field while maintaining as much stealth as possible and wasting as little time as possible. Firing the grenade is impressive. Just like most other grenades, it emits a very loud report, as well as a generous accompanying cloud of gas. It was so loud in fact that it triggered my screeching Halloween door mat to go off downstairs, which my King Arms grenade would not do! All in all, it is the best manufactured, easiest to use, and most impressive grenade I have ever come across for the price.
The XM203 grenade launcher is produced in two separate configurations, the short version and the long version. This review focuses on the long version. After examining the two grenades, I moved on to the launcher. It as well was packaged in the same manner as the grenades were. Removing the bubble wrap revealed a very impressive, very intimidating, rock solid chunk of metal measuring just under 9 inches long. Made of aluminum and finished in a black color in the same metallic style as the grenades, it weighs in at a hefty 3 pounds! The entire launcher is composed of two main pieces, the assembly that attaches to your R.I.S. system and the sliding tube that grenades are inserted into.
At first when trying to inspect the launcher, I thought that I had a defective product, because after trying numerous times to move the slide forward with no avail, I realized that there was a lock at the front of the launcher that served as a safety mechanism to prevent the slide from moving forward until the push lock was removed. This is an extremely useful feature. The only way I could think to improve this feature would be to spring load it, because if you forget to push the button back into the locked position, the slide will move forward again when you don't want it to. However, moving the slide to the forward position can't be accomplished with just a flick of the wrist. Even after lubricating the contact surface between the upper assembly and the slide, there is still a considerable resistance to motion. I see this as a plus; I'd rather have something that I have to put a little bit of effort into moving than something that flimsily moves on its own accord.
When attached to my lower rail, the firing pin and another safety mechanism are located towards the rear of the launcher, closest to the magazine well on my gun. The safety on this end of the launcher controls the firing pin movement, just like the safety on the trigger of a gun. It as well has to be moved to the correct position to achieve the desired result, which in this case is firing the grenade. The firing pin is a simple metal cylinder attached to a button that you push forward in order to fire the grenade. There is no traditional trigger, which some people might find as a negative to the launcher, but by not having a trigger there to tempt me keeps my hand on the bottom of the launcher instead of on the gun magazine, which promotes a more stable firing position for the rifle.
Overall, I am extremely pleased with these Madbull products. The grenades are the best in terms of quality, performance and cost that are on the market today. The launcher is very mean and intimidating, very sturdy, and also the cheapest that you can buy retail. I highly recommend any Madbull product if you are looking into any grenade-related accessory. Getting here in two days from Airsoft Atlanta for $7.99 is a plus too!