Copyright International Ammunition Association, 2010. All rights reserved.
Cartridge of the Month July 2010

40mm Double Flash-Bang Grenade by Nico-Pyrotechik- Hamburg, Germany
Specimens and photos courtesy of Kevin Gross

First created by British for special air service as an incapacitant. The stun hand grenade, or "flash bang" is a non lethal weapon that is a diversionary or distraction device used during a building or room clearing.

This is a 40mm Low Velocity Sound and Flash Grenade, 40 x 80mm, 2 Bang, with a 1.5 second delay between detonations.

It was made by Nico-Pyrotechik- Hamburg, Germany. Nico has been manufacturing pyrotechnics since 1949, at Trittau, Hamburg.  They started as a family business that has now become a global suppler, and are recognized as leaders in the field. 

A patented threaded mating system joins the projectile to the shell casing.  This separates at a predetermined force level, giving a greater consistency of velocity and enhanced accuracy. 

The round provides a brilliant flash and a loud report on detonation.  It uses a metal oxidant mix of magnesium and aluminum plus an oxidizer of ammonium perchlorate or potassium perchlorate, with a shelf life of 10 years. (This mixture is not shown in the photos but would be in the two large chambers in the grenade body.


When detonated the fuse/grenade stays intact with light and sound that comes from the holes along the sides, caused by a subsonic deflagration.  It avoids shrapnel but can still burn.  The concussive blast can injure and the heat can ignite flammable materials.  The flash of light momentarily activates all light sensitive cells in the eyes, causing temporary blindness for about 5 seconds.  Plus the load blast disturbs the fluid in the ears, adding to incapacitation.  170-180 dB within 5 feet of initiation and more than 6 million candela.



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  Revised 1 September 2010