Monday, 13 March 2017

Enola Gaye EG18X Smoke Grenades

Last summer, I was fortunate to validated a POD Survival Course practicum for RoboMurray while on a gig in Ontario. We, also, manage to work some live fire vehicle tactics training together. This is where I first encountered Enola Gaye products. These smoke grenades and other products are used quite extensively in airsoft. Something I did not know as I do not airsoft. We used them to intensify the live fire scenarios by obscuring targets and increasing the need for positive identification and verbal communication.

For the sake of transparency, Enola Gaye, through their Canadian distributor Rocket Fireworks, sent me a bunch of EG18X Smoke Grenades in various colours for review. There was no remuneration other than gratis product for testing.

"The EG18X Military Smoke Grenade has been designed to put out a massive smoke cloud in the shortest time possible giving the cover when needed most. The EG18X uses our Wire Pull™ ignition system." From the Enola Gaye website

The EG18X uses a Wire Pull™ ignition system. Simply, remove the protective plastic cap from top of the pyrotechnics.  Pull the wire sideways away from the body of the smoke grenade. And throw or place in the position you want the smoke. There is approximately a 2 second delay with brief amount of sparks emitted before full ignition. 

The EG18X is a “cool burn” or “cold burning” pyrotechnic.  There is no outward flame emitted from ignition. The chemical reaction that produces the smoke does not need atmospheric oxygen. The temperatures produced from ignition and burning is significantly less when compared to military/maritime distress smokes. The EG18X grenade body does get warm. The smoke near the discharge aperture is hot. I highly recommend the use of gloves and eye protection when using Enola Gaye Smoke Grenades or any other pyrotechnic for that matter.

"During the production of smoke, our products do produce heat but we have tried to keep this to a minimum and so our devices although they do get warm, can be held in the hand during the functioning of the device, however the heat does increase post functioning as there is a lag in the heat transfer through the device due to the insulating effect of the cardboard.  

However there is a possibility of fire with ANY smoke grenade and no smoke grenade should be used on or near easily flammable materials without an understanding the hazards and a thought out system to manage the risks." From the Enola Gaye website

The extra cardboard insulation for heat resistance, also imparts a limited amount of weather resistance as well. 

The size of the EG18X allows it to be carried easily in traditional military smoke/CS grenade pouches.

The EG18X comes in eight different colours; Blue, Green, Purple, Red, Yellow, White, Orange and very recently Black. The orange is an excellent choice for a distress marker. However, all the colours of smoke are dense and striking when contrasted correctly. The black and white smoke are best for training simulations. The other colours are best for signalling, screening and distress markers. 

As I understand the Black Smoke is unique to Enola Gaye. In my opinion, the Black smoke is well suited to military simulation and movie/TV production to replicate actual smoke in a safe manner while reproducing the adverse effects on sight and situational awareness.

The EG18X produces a non-toxic smoke that is created using non-sulphur based chemical reaction. There is little to none of the lingering noxious smell or effects I have suffered from military grade smoke grenades. Additionally, my clothing did not reek of sulphur like I had assaulted Gates of Hell itself after using these pyrotechnics.

The EG18X have an approximate 50 second smoke burn time. A smoke screen is primarily used to screen movement of assaulting troop or obscure the enemy’s ability to lay down effective fire, usually through open areas. This is ample time for tactical applications within small unit, fire team to section, applications. 

There is such a thing as too much smoke during an assault or tactical operations.  Once a danger area has been crossed and contact is reestablished within the tactical element, screening smoke can be a hindrance to command and control. The ability to produce short duration thick clouds of smoke is an asset to small unit operations. As you can see in the video below, the smoke produced is thick and does obscure/screen very effectively. 

Final thoughts

The EG18X from Enola Gaye, available in Canada from Rocket Fireworks, can be used as:

  1. a smoke simulator in military simulation, scenario training and movie/television production;
  2. a brightly coloured smoke (Orange, Yellow or Red) distress marker in any survival kit; 
  3. a  non-lethal and legal force option in a bug-out bag or get home bag;
  4. a signaling tool and screening smoke for law enforcement operations;
  5. and a safe, effective and affordable option for smoke grenades for the everyday person. 
I have added these devices to a few of my standard kits and will continue to use them for training scenarios.

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