What it is
To me, one of the interesting aspects of scenario gaming is the expanded use of alternative devices such as cannons, grenades, etc. Although grenades have been around for years, their use tends to be infrequent during walk-on recreational games, and they are pretty much non-existent in tournament paintball. However, the very nature of scenario games where structures have to be occupied, taken or destroyed, and instances where a large number of players lead to densely populated areas have made the use of such devices more prevalent. On fields where scenario games are often played, it�s not uncommon to find grenades remnants lying around. That's because until recently, they were a one-time use weapon. LCT Paintball�s kit aims to change that.
The starter kit comes packaged in a nice plastic box with not only everything you need to refill grenades like Tippmann Squadbusters or Bouncing Bettys, but in fact everything you need to build 5 of your own from scratch, and refill them 5 more times. It includes a Paint Pump, a nylon clamp, a hemostat, fifty chromed paint stoppers, and five grenade bladders, pins, rings, caps, and flexible covers. The starter kit also includes several detailed and illustrated pages of instructions. LCT Paintball also sells Venom Paint Grenade Mix, which comes in powder form and mixes up to make 30 to 40 ounces of washable paint.
How it works
The key component to the kit is the pneumatic pump. The cylindrical pump resembles the type used for basketballs, footballs, etc., except it includes a clear plastic hose which transfers the fill fluid from a reservoir you provide (I recommend a tall cup), to the grenade bladder. The creation of a grenade is basically a matter of clamping off the bladder and using the pump to fill both sides, then sealing off the ends as instructed. Filling the bladder is a matter of putting it under pressure and the safety precautions detailed in the instructions should be followed..
The instructions are very detailed and should be read prior to refilling your first grenade. There is a suggestion in the instructions to use water during your first attempt, which I strongly recommend. If something goes wrong, all you'll loose is water, and cleanup is much easier than it would have been with paint. On my first attempt, I failed to adequately tighten the clamp which holds the bladder to the pump, and upon pumping several times the bladder shot off spraying water everywhere. No big deal - I simply tightened the clamp more securely and went at it again. Despite that minor set-back, it still took me less than ten minutes to create my first grenade - and that included stopping to re-check the instructions as I went. Although the provided hemostat works well, someone who plans to build a lot of grenades could make things a little easier on themselves by obtaining a second pair with which to hold the other end of the bladder (which is also suggested in the instructions).
For $39.95 the LCT Paintball Grenade Refill Starter Kit is complete and easy to use. The included paint pump has a lifetime warranty. If you run out of grenade parts, LCT also sells a bladder kit with enough pieces to make 5 more grenades and refill them 5 times for less than half the cost of the starter kit.
LCT Paintball's kit is unique among paintball products, targeting a relatively small niche of players. However, the product itself could help that niche grow. Most of the time grenades are saved for special instances, partly due to the cost and one-time use factor. I wouldn't be surprised to see grenades used more often, especially in scenario games, as people find out about this kit and how easy it is to do their own re-fills.