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Gamma M-33 Claymore
FRONT TOWARD ENEMY! Further introduction shouldn't be necessary.
Back of the mine. The raised text is finished nicely, and the plastic has a nice smooth matte texture.
Front cover opened for switching the mine on, or loading or programming it.
A detonated mine. The spring loaded teeters jump up and catapult the payload with the canvas trampoline.
To load the mine, fold one teeter in before inserting the BBs. Be careful not to get the canvas caught in the metal parts.
Power switch and programming switch. Easier to use than a cell phone!
"The Clacker". Just flick the stainless steel safety out of the way, and you are ready to release mayhem!
The batteries necessary for operation are included, and keep the mine operating for a long time.
Another battery shot. The compartment is easy to open, and holds a decent amount of water (such as rain) out of the electronics.
go to Product Page >> GAMMA M33 Claymore Mine with 1 Remote Control and Pouch (OD / Cordura)
go to Product Page >> GAMMA Claymore Remote Control Unit

Introduction

One of the most recognized explosive devices after the pineapple grenade is arguably the M18A1 Claymore. Named after a Scottish large sword by the inventor Norman A. MacLeod, the Claymore mine was initially developed for the Korean war, but was more widely issued in the Vietnam war. With the abundance of movies about that war (Platoon for example) and the rising of action movies such as Commando, there are few young men today who haven't seen one in the big screen. The Claymore still remains widely used in real battlefields, despite of restrictions on mines, because it can be operated in various manners to change the classification. After seeing almost half a century of use, the Claymore is far from becoming obsolete. As with all small arm and light weapon technology, there is a connection to Airsoft games.

With the exception of the most hardcore MilSim players, Airsoft "fashion" draws heavily from movies and games, so there has been a demand among the majority of Airsofters for replicas of explosive devices for a long time. People from MilSim groups have also expressed the need for working simulation mines. It goes without saying that all kinds of props create a truly realistic atmosphere in scenario games. Re-Enactors and MilSim players have even been using non-working grenades and mines as part of their kit just to get into the feeling of actually "being there"! A working Claymore offers the same kind of additional realism and fun as Airsoft guns offer over blank firing Model Guns (cap guns). How well the Claymore works will of course determine what kind of a difference their deployment makes. Some Airsoft mines and grenades have been too complex, unreliable or lacking in power to offer any fun over non-working props. Let's see what the Gamma M-33 is made of!

 

Tactical advantage or just a fine prop?

The appearance of the Gamma M-33 Claymore is very believable. Players with actual military training might notice the lack of some minor details, but overall the Gamma looks so real that we have had requests to paint it entirely bright blue or orange for shipping, to indicate more clearly that it is a toy. Never, ever put these in your driveway or front yard even as a joke, as it will bring the local SWAT and EOD to your house with 100% certainty! The olive drab color has a nice matte finish and the front has the legendary "FRONT, TOWARD ENEMY" in bold capital letters. The text is raised so the user may read it by fingertips even in total darkness. When picked up, the Claymore is somewhat lighter than its real counterpart, but a solid hefty package anyways. The steel made scissor type legs are found to become somewhat loose over time, but a few drops of Loctite in the pivots will tighten it up nicely. The hinge was copied from the real one, which are single use only so they naturally were not designed for repeated use without some maintenance.

 

The remote firing device has a realistic look, but unlike the real one it is wireless. This is an excellent step towards practical use of the device, since Airsoft games are very fast paced so you would not have too much time on your hands to lay out a wire. Naturally if you are into realism, you can use a mock wire to connect the Claymore to the firing device. Reliability of the wireless device should not be of any concern: It is based on the same technology as car lock remotes, which are proven to be reliable in everyday use all over the world. They share a similar encoding system, which means the chance of someone else setting off your mines with their remote are extremely slim. When did you last accidentally unlock someone else's car with your remote? Further, all remotes from Gamma have a unique code so it is impossible to get similar codes by chance. Theoretically you can't harass the device without using radio jamming equipment, which are highly restricted/illegal in most countries.

 

Due to the restricted availability and dangerous nature of many effective pyrotechnics, they are simply not available to most Airsoft enthusiasts around the world. Gas powered mines are certainly not an option for people who still enjoy real winters in their countries. You can always warm up the magazine of a GBB pistol, but warming up a mine you placed on the icy ground half an hour earlier is a bit harder... So the options of getting BBs from a mine to the target are somewhat limited. In the case of Gamma, simplicity is bliss. The actual mechanism consists of only a few parts, which operate in a simple but precise manner at the same time, much like a Glock pistol. Inside the mine there are two pre-loaded springs are connected to steel teeters, which are held back by two trigger arms. A canvas trampoline is rigged between the teeter ends with the payload. When the spring assisted front cover is opened by either the remote controlled solenoid or trip wire, it actuates the trigger arms to release the teeters, throwing a good amount of frag-goodness forwards of the mine. The mechanism is entirely made of steel and the canvas trampoline is user-replaceable, so the mine is a very long life item.

 

The Gamma Claymore was found in our tests to have a spread of roughly 40 degrees, and the wall of BBs is dense enough to take out a player with certainty up to 10-15 meters (33-45 feet). The BBs travel further up to 20 meters, and they have a very good chance of hitting someone in the target area even at that distance. This means that even a single Claymore can cover an impressive area of a small site, and deploying several ones allow you to force the opponents to use routes and positions where you have the upper hand! The performance was more than we expected and the Claymore really has a high "Wow!"-factor attached to it. Unlike sidearms which are not used that often, the Gamma Claymore is more than just a good looking piece on your vest! Speaking of gear, the Gamma Claymore is supplied with a high quality MOLLE pouch constructed of Cordura® with high quality zippers. Bandoliers are coming soon.

 

Whether you can gain advantage by deploying one or several Claymores depends heavily on the field type, and what kind of role you're playing. Bushes offer a good concealment for the device, but dense leaves might cause penetration problems just like with AEGs. Constructed CQB arenas offer less flexibility in the placement of the mine, but in a fast paced game the surprise effect is better as you can't see through walls. The use of a Claymore is most effective when you are familiar with the field you're playing in, and have a good communication level with possible spotters. As the Claymore actually wields BBs, the playing rules don't necessarily need any appendices. Another option is to agree to a certain elimination radius and sector for a Claymore loaded with flour, and go with the spirit of the honor system, which should be familiar to all Airsofters. The white cloud is easily noticed even from a distance, and provides an awesome effect when mixed in with BBs!

 

Using a single Gamma M-33

Preparing the Claymore for use has a bit more steps than using a regular airsoft gun, but it's simple enough to be learnt in a few minutes and with practice the use becomes natural. When you become familiar with the system, it can be reloaded in less than 30 seconds! After making sure that the back safety bar is in place and safety pin removed, carefully pull the trip-wire loop and ease the front cover open. At this point you may switch the power on, unless you're using the mine in the uncontrolled mode, which is 100% mechanical. If the scenario is really long (two figure numbers in hours), you can also choose to switch the power on when you actually deploy the device, to save battery life. The Gamma Claymore should already synchronized with the remote firing device out of the box, but it is a good idea to check the function anyways. Normally you will only need to program it, if you are executing a cunning plan with several mines. Batteries (3x CR123 and 1x A23 type) are included with the Claymore, and last a good while before needing a replacement. Even after setting off the Claymore dozens of times and having it turned on for hours, we are yet to run out of juice on the first batteries!

Only one of the two teeters is opened to insert the payload (BBs, flour or similar) to the canvas trampoline. The teeter and front cover are then closed and the safety pin inserted. While the trampoline holds an impressive amount of BBs, we found that it's not a good idea to overload it. You get a better range and good enough spread with a little bit less BBs. To get better stability, it is advisable to support the back of the device against a tree or wall, if inserting the legs partially in the ground is not possible.

After finding a suitable location for the Claymore, open the scissor type legs and adjust them. Check that the legs don't prevent the front cover from opening past 90 degrees. At this point it is advisable to check that the electronics are switched on, even if you did it earlier. Despite the green color, you might want to use light grass or similar to prevent the opponents from spotting the device. Again, make sure that you don't prevent the front cover from opening. After this it's only a matter of setting up the trip wire, or moving away from the Claymore if you use the remote firing device instead. The remote firing device has a range up to 100 meters, which covers enough area that you can detonate it whenever you have a visual to the area that the Claymore covers.

 

The more the merrier?

Each Gamma M-33 is supplied with a remote firing device. This means you can deploy several Claymores to different locations at the same time, and launch them independently as the situation demands. Having more than two different firing devices in your possession might become confusing quickly as the situations get tense, so it's a good idea to have a rough sketch of the field with the positions of the Claymores marked with letters or numbers, and the corresponding figure written on the firing devices. Each and every remote firing device has its own individual synchronization code, which means you don't have to change frequency crystals to avoid the risk of interfering with other mines.

Another option is to program all the Claymores to obey any single remote firing device at once, and hand the extras to your team mates. This way any member of the team can launch all Claymores at once, so you can keep a certain area blocked from the opponents as long as you have any mates left. Pairing the Claymore with the synchronization code of a remote firing device is easy to do. One Claymore mine can be paired with up to 16 remote firing devices at a time, and an unlimited amount of Claymores can be paired with one remote! To reset the receiver inside the Claymore, you need to push just one button (RC Reset) for five seconds. After that, pairing the Claymore with firing devices is a matter of pressing the same button for one second at the time, and pressing the firing button briefly during the following 10 seconds. An indicator light signals the succession of each step.

Almost nothing restricts you from making complex combinations of mines that are launched together, single ones which are actuated by individual controls, or other tactical traps. You can leave out uncontrolled Claymores as sentinels for a certain area. In a fast paced game a trip wire is really hard to notice, so you can force the opponents to avoid certain areas - or move through them with care. And as even the most brilliant plans always need a backdoor, you can program one "SHTF"-control, which is paired with all the Claymores in the field! 

 

From the viewpoint of the target

In real life mines are one of the most feared weapons among soldiers, and cause possibly the most controversy after nuclear and biological weapons. The main effect of mines is not actually having an enemy soldier walk in a minefield and hit one, but to have the enemy troops avoid certain areas. Common Airsoft tactics would be reckless in real warfare, and the same applies to mines as well. Fear of death is not easy to simulate, so the Claymore has to be deployed with the thought that it will be detonated, and the advantage in game play is gained that way. After a few rounds of effective use, an effectively deployed Claymore teaches your opponents to be cautious when moving in the field. The Claymore is hard to spot because of its size compared to a player, and if you are within distance and sector, it will not miss you. The BBs feel like someone threw a handful of BBs on you so they don't sting as with AEGs, but the surprise factor in a tense gaming situation has made a lot of players literally jump and yell "OUT!" in a whole new pitch!

Disabling the Gamma Claymore is fairly easy to do if you know how it works, but getting to the mine can be a task. Preventing the front cover from opening is the simplest method to disable the mine, but for this you have to be next to it. Inserting the back safety bar or the safety pin will also prevent the device from throwing BBs, but this also requires going next to the device. Getting close to the Claymore may prove to be hard for the opponent, as they have to look out for a trip wire, and even if it is avoided, the Claymore could go off at any time when the remote firing device is pressed. At the same time they need to constantly scan the environment for you and your squad.

 

As a safety matter, we also tested the Gamma M-33 at close range. To get all the BBs hit one spot we used one of those freebie bags which TM give out with their Airsoft guns. Shot in the chest by this bean bag, our test subject hardly flinched. The anticipation was far worse than the actual hit. Separate BBs do sting a bit at a close range, but it is also not a risk to a player wearing at least proper goggles. While it is basically impossible to measure the speed of the BBs, judging from the pinch factor and overall range of the device, the inertia of a single BB is about equal to a spring operated pistol from the more affordable price range.

 

To sum it up...

The Gamma M-33 Paintball / Pellet Mine is a faithful replica of the M18A1. Despite the lack of a couple of minor details and a weight of only 1000 grams (as opposed to the 1600 grams of the real one), the Gamma Claymore certainly doesn't feel or look like a kid's toy. Having a couple of these in your kit increases the weight of your vest enough to give you the feel like you're really carrying something, while a load bearing harness with nothing but magazines often feels overkill for such a light load. It is practical and easy to use in the field, and it is reliable both in the wireless and mechanical mode. Overall a very fresh flavor in the stream of AEGs and gas pistols, with no real weak sides.


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