Military Review

Hand grenades RGN and RGO

In 1954, the RGD-5 manual fragmentation grenade was adopted by the Soviet Army. She was more comfortable and efficient than the previous WG-42, and therefore soon drove her out of the arsenal of the Soviet soldier. Together with the earlier F-1 grenade, the new RGD-5 formed a “pair” of defensive and offensive ammunition, which is still in use. However, just after 12-15, years after the adoption of the offensive RGD-5, the development of a new family of hand grenades began, with better characteristics and more comfortable handling.

The main claim to the existing grenades was a remote fuse. It performed its functions well, but a fixed time from throwing a grenade to detonating a charge markedly reduced the effectiveness of the application. So, the enemy could notice the throw and have time to hide from the splinters, and a grenade could, under certain conditions, roll back from the right place or even jump aside. In this connection, by the mid-seventies of the last century, the military had a desire to get a new grenade or grenades that could explode not only after a certain time, but also upon contact with the surface. In this case, the probability of unnecessary movements of the grenade decreased, and the enemy had no chance to hide.

Manual fragmentation grenade offensive RGN (left). Hand fragmental grenade defensive RGO (right).

Creation of new grenades started at the very end of the seventies. The war in Afghanistan had a great influence on the course of their development. Already in the first months of hostilities, Soviet fighters had to very often throw hand grenades in the mountains, where the remote fuse often posed a greater danger to the one who threw himself than to the enemy. Employees of the Bazalt enterprise under the leadership of S. Korshunov and V. Kuzmin, V. Yakunin and D. Denisov started designing two new grenades.

New fuse UDZ

The main complaint of the military to the existing grenades concerned the remote fuse. Thus, to implement the requirements, it was necessary to create a new design. The result of research, experimentation and analysis of technical proposals was the UDS fuse (“Shock-and-distance fuse”). As the name implies, it is capable of undermining a grenade both a few seconds after the shot, and when hitting a surface.

The device of the shock-remote ignition device UDZ

Work fuse UDZ

Structurally, the new UDS igniter can be divided into four main parts:
- safety-initiating, consisting of a drummer, a mainspring, checks with a ring and a safety lever;
- pyrotechnic from shock primer-igniter, two pyrotechnic long-range cocking retarders and self-detonator;
- mechanical with inertial load, spring loaded load cup with needle, intermediate capsule and safety slider. The latter is pressed by a spring to the moderator rod;
- detonation with a beam type igniter.

Work fuse UDZ looks like this. The fighter presses the safety lever to the body of the grenade, straightens the antennae checks and pulls it out, then throws the grenade in the direction of the target. After the soldier has released the grenade, the safety lever pressed by the drummer rises from its place and the drummer releases. The latter rotates around its axis and hits the primer-igniter, which, in turn, ignites three pyrotechnic devices: a self-liquidator and two retarders. They are three aluminum tubes with a thread on the outer surface intended for screwing into the body of the fuse. During manufacture, a suitable composition with stable combustion characteristics, low hygroscopicity and low gas evolution is pressed into the tubes. After burning powder composition in two tubes-moderators under the action of the springs inside the tubes go the corresponding pins. Then, under the action of its own spring, the safety engine shifts to the side, releases the cup of the inertia mechanism and brings the primer-igniter to the detonator. Grenade ready to undermine. The process of cocking the fuse takes from 0,8 to 1,1 seconds, depending on the air temperature.

For the detonation of ammunition meets the load inertial mechanism. Structurally, it is a plastic ball of small diameter with metal balls placed in it. The ball of the inertial mechanism is clamped in the cavity between the inner surface of the body of the igniter and a special cup of conical shape. The hull and cup contours are designed in such a way that when a grenade hits a hard surface, the inertia load shifts and shifts the cup down relative to the vertical axis of the fuse. At the bottom of the latter there is a needle that hits the fuse primer, after which the detonator ignites and the main charge of the grenade is detonated. If a grenade gets on a soft surface, in snow, sand, or even water, in this case, the explosion is carried out using a third tube with a powder mixture - self-destructing, which brings the fire directly to the primer-igniter. Self-destructive charge burns out in 3-4,3 seconds.

In addition to cocking a second after the throw, an additional mechanism for protecting the fighter is provided. If the grenade hits any object before the retarder charge burns out, the ball of the inertia mechanism will still move and press on its cup. The needle of the latter in this case will block the movement of the engine on which the primer-igniter is installed. As a result, the fire does not get to the detonator and the grenade does not explode.

In view of the comparative complexity of the design, it was proposed to fabricate the UDS fuse body from plastic. Almost all its other parts are metal. On the lower "leg" of the fuse there is a thread for screwing the grenade into the body. In accordance with Soviet norms, the primers were to be painted an olive color. However, there are a large number of photographic materials on which the plastic case of the UDZ is left white, and the colored marks are present only on the safety lever.

RGN offensive grenade

Two grenades, offensive and defensive, were created on the Basalt, especially for use with the UDZ igniter. The first was called the RGN ("Hand grenade offensive"). When creating a new grenade, the claims of the military to the existing RGD-5 were taken into account. The fact is that with all its advantages this grenade was not without flaws. Many of the complaints were caused by the fragments formed by the explosion. An offensive grenade, to ensure the safety of a moving soldier throwing it in motion, must not throw debris over a long distance. However, fragments of RGD-5 tend to scatter more than 20-25 meters, and some parts of the standard fuse of UZRGM are dangerous even at long distances.

The basis of the construction of RGN grenades - two metal hemispheres with a diameter of 60 millimeters. They are made of relatively thick aluminum alloy sheet. When stamping, numerous grooves are applied to the inner surface of the hemispheres, with the help of which the metal is crushed into the required number of fragments. In the center of one of the hemispheres there is a hole above which a small metal cup with a thread is fixed, into which the fuse is screwed in before using. The edges of the hemispheres are specially machined, which is necessary for proper assembly of the grenade. When assembling, a polyethylene ring is laid between the parts, after which the hemispheres are fixed by compression.

A mixture of RDX and TNT was chosen as an explosive for the new grenade. The first gave the grenade a greater explosion power compared to previous ammunition of a similar purpose, and the second allowed the liquid molten mixture to be made and poured into the finished body. With this method of equipment in a frozen charge, a cavity was drilled for the igniter. The design of the grenade also made it possible to place in it pressed pieces of the appropriate explosive, for example, A-IX-1 (a mixture of hexogen and plastic filler).

The finished RGN grenade with a screwed in fuse weighs 310 grams, of which 112 is charged with an explosive charge. When undermined, at least 220-250 fragments weighing 0,3-0,4 grams are formed. The initial velocity of fragmentation of fragments is at the level of 700 m / s. Because of this, a grenade can hit targets on an area up to 90-95 square. meters, within a radius of at least 8-10 meters. The fragmentation effect of the RGN grenade is significantly higher than that of previous domestic ammunition of this class. For example, in comparison with the RG-42 grenade, the new RGN is three times more effective.

Hand grenades RGN and RGO
RGN (left), RGO (right)

RGN device: 1 - lower hemisphere; 2 - explosive mixture; 3 - upper hemisphere; 4 - glass; 5 - cork; 6 - shock and ignition fuse; 7 - ring; 8 - lever.

RGO device: 1 - lower inner hemisphere; 2 - lower outer hemisphere; 3 - explosive mixture; 4 - upper outer hemisphere; 5 - glass; 6 - cork; 7 - cuff; 8 - upper inner hemisphere; 9 - shock and ignition fuse; 10 - ring; 11 - lever.

RGO Defensive Grenade

The famous defensive grenade F-1, also known under the unofficial name "Pineapple", also did not avoid complaints. The characteristic corrugated body of this grenade, divided into 32 characteristic "spikes", does not always break along the lines of division. Therefore, in some cases, particularly large fragments can fly away over a distance of several tens of meters. The new defensive grenade RGO (“Hand grenade defensive”) was initially developed in such a way as to get rid of the unstable division into fragments and, as a result, of the complex shape of the affected area.

In general, the design of the RGO grenade is similar to the RGN, however there are several serious differences. Since the defensive grenade does not have such severe restrictions on the radius of fragmentation as an offensive, it was decided to slightly modify the design. For this reason, the hemispheres of the body of the RGO grenade are stamped from sheet steel. As on the RGN, the details of the body of a defensive grenade have internal grooves. In addition, so that the fighter could determine by touch the type of grenade and not suffer from his own oversight, the lower hemisphere of the RGO has shallow grooves on the outer surface. The upper part of the case is smooth. The original way was solved the problem of increasing the number of fragments. Inside the main hemispheres during assembly two more are inserted with internal grooves. Thus, the number of fragments increased by more than two times.

The defensive grenade RGO is much heavier than its offensive counterpart. A grenade ready for use weighs 530 grams, and the explosive charge is only 92. Despite the smaller amount of the mixture based on RDX, the RGO grenade at the explosion crumbles into 650-700 fragments weighing no more than 0,4-0,45 grams, flying at a speed of the order of 1200 m / s. The energy of the fragments is almost three times the corresponding parameter of the RGN grenade and is enough for hitting targets on an area up to 270-280 square. meters It is noteworthy that the declared radius of destruction of the RGO grenade is only 16 meters. However, the original design provides a much more effective action against targets at this distance. It is also worth noting that a large number of small fragments of the RGO grenade act much better than a relatively small number of large fragments from F-1. At the same time, the fragments quickly lose their energy, so that the new grenade is less dangerous for the throwing and his comrades.

Grenades RGN and RGO in a cut

Ambiguous result

Both grenades, RGN and RGO, like other Soviet ammunition of a similar purpose, were produced in several versions. Combat grenades were painted in green and olive color, training - in black. In the army, grenades were delivered in wooden boxes of 20 pieces. Thanks to the spherical shape, it was possible to lay the grenades in a relatively small volume. In the box were placed two layers of ten grenades, laid soft material. In addition, a side compartment for fuses was provided in the box. The latter were packed in 20 pieces in a sealed metal box. A box with grenades and fuses weighed 13,5 kilogram.

The first batches of new grenades immediately came to Afghanistan, where they were actively used in battles with dushmans. The Soviet fighters immediately appreciated the advantages of the RGO and the RGN. Subsequently, such grenades were regularly used by federal forces during the wars in Chechnya. However, even thirty years after its creation, the RGN and RGO grenades could not replace their predecessors. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, RGD-5 and F-1 are easier to manufacture and, as a result, cheaper. Secondly, by the beginning of the eighties, the troops already had a huge stock of old grenades, which would take a lot of time to spend. Thirdly, during the eighties, it was not possible to deploy a full-fledged mass production of new grenades.

As a result, the F-1 and RGD-5 grenades remained the main manual fragmentation ammunition in the Russian armed forces. New and more efficient RGN and RGO are still being produced, but production volumes leave much to be desired. At present, such grenades are widely used by various special forces, who need a reliable means for hitting targets in a certain zone, equipped with a shock igniter. It is in the conditions of special operations, in particular during the storming of buildings, that in recent years all the advantages of new grenades are fully manifested. Grenade RGN or RGO is able to literally sow a room with splinters and at the same time does not give the enemy time to attempt to escape, because the flight to the first obstacle and the subsequent explosion takes a split second. Probably, over time, new grenades, devoid of the shortcomings of the old ones, will take their deserved place in the nomenclature weapons our armed forces, but for now it remains for not too perfect, but time-tested and mass-scale samples.


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  1. Mikhado
    Mikhado April 12 2013 08: 50 New
    Yes, I read about them in some reference about 20 years ago, I was very surprised. It’s good that they produce it for special purposes, they need it, although in the 21st century it’s time to use such pieces in linear parts.
    1. bazilio
      bazilio April 12 2013 09: 09 New
      You are right, it’s time to deliver them to the army. The application algorithm for these grenades is the same as for RGD5 and F1, there should be no problems with retraining. Let the army use both old and new grenades in parallel
      1. Hleb
        Hleb April 12 2013 10: 38 New
        The application algorithm for these grenades
        I have not heard this before)
      2. Hleb
        Hleb April 12 2013 10: 38 New
        The application algorithm for these grenades
        I have not heard this before)
    2. mvsoldat
      mvsoldat April 12 2013 11: 47 New
      I used them back in 1987-1988. Of course, there were fewer of them than the RGD and F-1, but enough. The thing is convenient, especially when you throw it down, downhill, or at a distance of 10-15 m, you do not need to calculate the slowdown.
    3. poligraf
      poligraf April 13 2013 23: 14 New
      F-1 is a great powerful grenade.
  2. Antoxa_EKB
    Antoxa_EKB April 12 2013 09: 10 New
    The most amazing thing is that we have everything like this! There are unique designs! And their projects gather dust on the shelves of archives! Until they are noticed again! It's a shame!
  3. svp67
    svp67 April 12 2013 09: 26 New
    I think that the fate of these grenades would be more “happy” if the fuse seats were “unified” with the RDGNUMX \ Ф5
    1. antiaircrafter
      antiaircrafter April 12 2013 10: 38 New
      Then the advantage of the shock-remote fuse is lost.
  4. leonardo_1971
    leonardo_1971 April 12 2013 09: 41 New
    We have used them in Chechnya since 2004.
    1. Hleb
      Hleb April 12 2013 11: 04 New
      we also had no problems with them. By the way, the case from 2004 was neighbors, one lad (sapper), an infantry contractor,
      l, took a taxi in Khankala and drove to the place of deployment. in place, at the request of the Chechen driver to pay money, the lad got out and paid through the window with an RGO.
      not only take a taxi and go through the whole of Chechnya at night, it’s already interesting ... but he himself remained alive (and after all the Russian Geographical Society). The driver in the cabin naturally died right away. The lad was stunned by what was happening, he navigated the river Argun, and this in the spring, and even under the shelling of night posts and secrets (where he wanted to tear no less questions later) he was soon caught alive and handed over to the cops. Most likely he did not live to see the trial
  5. Fibrizio
    Fibrizio April 12 2013 09: 54 New
    Quote: svp67
    I think that the fate of these grenades would be more “happy” if the fuse seats were “unified” with the RDGNUMX \ Ф5

    So there are different fuses. Meaning?

    Here I think the question is rather in price and desire. This is from the category of the fact that in some places they use helmets of the old standard, just as our grandfathers fought. In 2008 we understood very well that we have a lot of junk.
    I remember the headlines about how we from MANPADS could not shoot down Georgian planes. Several missiles were fired at them, but to no avail. Then a friend told me later, he has a military department at the institute, they are training for anti-aircraft gunners (they taught to use a “needle”). So he said that in general if everything was in order with the rocket and the shot was fired correctly and at the right distance, then the airplane would almost certainly be a dime. But what happened in 2008 is the result of firing from expired MANPADS. There the rocket flies anywhere, but not into the plane.
    This is a good example for you.
  6. svp67
    svp67 April 12 2013 10: 03 New
    Quote: Fibrizio
    So there are different fuses. Meaning?

    Then they could be used in different ways, according to the situation ...
    1. Fibrizio
      Fibrizio April 12 2013 10: 06 New
      Quote: svp67
      Quote: Fibrizio
      So there are different fuses. Meaning?

      Then they could be used in different ways, according to the situation ...

      Everything, I understand, is reasonable.
  7. avt
    avt April 12 2013 10: 32 New
    To the author plus for enlightening work regarding general military training. good Pictures in general need to be hung on the walls of schools. smile
    1. Black
      Black April 12 2013 13: 27 New
      Quote: avt
      Pictures in general need to be hung on the walls of schools.

      And set up production in technology lessons! laughing
      1. cth; fyn
        cth; fyn April 14 2013 13: 22 New
        And what? my grandfather told me how they made hammers to tankers, why not?
  8. neznayka
    neznayka April 12 2013 10: 42 New
    It is likely that over time, new grenades, devoid of the shortcomings of the old ones, will take their rightful place in the nomenclature of weapons of our armed forces, but for now ...
    But so far they have simply been banned for use (in the Moscow Region), although there are a sufficient number of them in warehouses. And not because they say they are so expensive, but simply too dangerous. A fighter dropped a grenade or didn’t drop it or hit a tiny branch in front of him with a grenade ... self-explosion without a chance. They are allowed to use from time to time, but before the first explosion, and it happens VERY quickly.
    1. rodz
      rodz April 12 2013 13: 12 New
      You are not quite right, if a fighter drops a grenade while throwing, it will not explode immediately, because there is a long-range cocking mechanism in it (as in any fuse), that is, from 1,1 to 1,8 it takes to fire , 3,4 sec after pricking the primary igniter capsule. If the grenade falls to his feet, then this time period has not expired, so the grenade will explode only after the main moderator is burned (as in UZRG-M), i.e. after 4,4 - XNUMX seconds.
      1. neznayka
        neznayka April 12 2013 17: 05 New
        I agree. Only when a grenade fell out (RGD-5, F-1) did we train our guys to pick it up and throw it away, because running away from it (especially from shelter, especially under bullets) is a much worse option. With RGO and RGN such a focus does not work. When you try to pick up and, moreover, re-throw a grenade, the target sensor is triggered. But a skill that has already grown into instinct is hard to break, so you know the result.
        1. Grishka100watt
          Grishka100watt April 12 2013 18: 24 New
          Terrible thing ..
          1. Grishka100watt
            Grishka100watt April 13 2013 08: 24 New
            Here, explain what the minus is? I won’t even argue, just explain why you can put a minus in such a comment?
    2. antiaircrafter
      antiaircrafter April 12 2013 18: 23 New
      Quote: neznayka
      A fighter dropped a grenade or didn’t toss it or hit a tiny twig with a grenade

      You need to train fighters on cats ... or on the good old RGD-5.
  9. JonnyT
    JonnyT April 12 2013 10: 52 New
    When we served in the Army, we studied them, but we never saw them live. An expensive fuse for them, but they save as usual (or steal)
    1. Prohor
      Prohor April 12 2013 11: 44 New
      There is enough money, but they steal, bastards, and as a result, they save.
      "White came - rob. Red came - rob too. Where should the peasant go?!" ... crying
    2. malkor
      malkor April 16 2013 21: 01 New
      he personally did the notarization at the Rav warehouse, at least everything was in our possession in the division (counted all grenades, boxes with cartridges, plates for dynamic protection, etc.), a lot of RGOs accumulated - they were afraid to give them out much more powerful, and RGN constantly threw.
  10. Hort
    Hort April 12 2013 11: 08 New
    I heard such that one of the disadvantages of RGO and RGN is the high sensitivity of the fuse - even when falling into soft and loose snow it instantly detonates.
    It is interesting to hear on this subject the opinion of the people who used them, in practice, so to speak
    1. ViPChe
      ViPChe April 12 2013 13: 23 New
      I leveled the minus :-) Someone somehow misunderstood something! it happens
      1. ABV
        ABV April 14 2013 15: 01 New
        I leveled it laughing and who set?
    2. Hleb
      Hleb April 12 2013 14: 02 New
      even when falling into soft and loose snow, it instantly detonates.
      just the opposite, it didn’t explode immediately when it fell into the snow
    3. Ghenxnumx
      Ghenxnumx April 12 2013 23: 41 New
      Used them at the school, at the shooting. When falling on the sand, they worked, in the winter I do not know - other grenades were thrown.
      By the way, the RGN did more than 15 meters wide - they threw them for 30 meters, and in pursuit of them the letter was bent by hit. Although I will not vouch for the prescription of years, maybe the Russian Geographical Society was.
      Feels like - it’s more convenient to throw, in your hand it’s like cast and you can throw further = because of this.
  11. Hort
    Hort April 12 2013 12: 28 New
    it is instead of explaining the minus set? Original approach
  12. Strey
    Strey April 12 2013 13: 36 New
    In 94 I had to use RGN a bit. A normal thing. But for some reason we preferred to make stretch marks from RGD-5 and F-1.
    1. rodz
      rodz April 12 2013 15: 32 New
      Just the white plastic of the fuse is much more noticeable, therefore, it requires more effort to disguise than the RGD or F-ki.
      1. cth; fyn
        cth; fyn April 14 2013 15: 07 New
        And dirt is not fate to anoint? everyone’s flask is always with him.
  13. kpd
    kpd April 12 2013 13: 54 New
    It’s interesting how plastic behaves at sub-zero temperatures, if there is any cracking upon impact.
  14. LAO
    LAO April 12 2013 18: 26 New
    Finally read an excellent, fairly detailed military-technical article!
    For more such articles with a detailed description of the technical side.
  15. urich
    urich April 12 2013 19: 22 New
    But as in the bottom photo I never wore grenades and forbade the fighters. For the photo, of course, cool (demobilization photo laughing machine-gun belt-SVD-grenades, a hand in your pocket scratching eggs).
    But no need to look for adventures ...
  16. bublic82009
    bublic82009 April 12 2013 20: 23 New
    generally need a universal grenade. and for grenade launcher and throwing by hand.
    1. anomalocaris
      anomalocaris April 13 2013 09: 22 New
      There were such, but, like everything universal, they do everything, but everything is equally bad.
  17. Aboriginal53
    Aboriginal53 April 12 2013 21: 46 New
    Informative article! It is pleasant to read when the author is in the subject and can easily expound. More such articles.
  18. Cossack
    Cossack April 12 2013 22: 23 New
    I used them several times 20 years ago in Transcaucasia. They work well, but still dumbly drop them (did not drop them) and use them even more dumbly in the forest ...
    But the Italians back in World War II had a lot of shock action rockets - Breda40, Breda35, SRCM35, OTO35
    1. anomalocaris
      anomalocaris April 13 2013 09: 20 New
      Grenades with a shock fuse appeared in the Russo-Japanese War. They were widely used in the First World War, in the Second, not only Italians had such grenades, but I can’t recall the grenades with a combined fuse, except for the rgo / rgn ...
  19. woland05
    woland05 April 13 2013 20: 46 New
    For garlic, comrades, I trust Efk more. A contact fuse is an unreliable thing, it seems to me. And with UZRGM never had a problem, I, at least ...
    1. rodz
      rodz April 14 2013 13: 17 New
      Yes, not at all, it can only be unreliable in terms of not triggering from an impact and explode only after the main moderator is burned, and I already wrote about premature operation above. The RGO has an advantage over F in the number of fragments and their more uniform distribution during expansion.
  20. kudwar68
    kudwar68 April 13 2013 22: 52 New
    When he served in the Caucasus, we had f-ks, and the soldiers trained the RG-42 to throw. But I didn’t even hear about these grenades ...
    1. cth; fyn
      cth; fyn April 14 2013 13: 24 New
      Gee-gee, we were also taught in school RG-42 to throw, then they were still hanging on the lightning. When we were already in the 11th grade, we were sent balls with lead crumbs, but it's better late than never.
      1. Sol_jah
        Sol_jah April 25 2013 11: 03 New
        even passed the standards with duralumin blanks, embraced the throwing technique
  21. lilit.193
    lilit.193 1 May 2013 19: 12 New
    We grenade RGO destroy anyone! bully
  22. a.hamster55
    a.hamster55 5 May 2013 09: 11 New
    RGD clapper for closed volumes. Efka is good. I did not use the new ones, but the thought is good. And I want to try the Swedish jumping.
  23. Tramp 33
    Tramp 33 20 May 2013 15: 09 New
    We in 1995, in 129 SMEs of the LenVO, in Chechnya, had a sufficient number of them, it all depends on the armed forces.
  24. izGOI
    izGOI 14 December 2014 23: 55 New
    And the article is very, very necessary, especially for people like me. Those who in the 70's at the military department were told about the F-1 and RGD and that's it. If something happened, I would look at the RGN and the Russian Geographical Society as a "sheep on ....." So, to the author plus and thanks from the reserve officers.
  25. senima56
    senima56 23 March 2017 02: 08 New
    So I didn’t understand, why doesn’t explode BEFORE the moderators burn out ?! After all, the self-liquidator charge of SVS will burn out in 3-4 seconds ?!
  26. Bratkov Oleg
    Bratkov Oleg April 30 2020 23: 18 New
    The notches on the case of the F-1 grenade are not for dividing into fragments, but for tying it with a rope, or wire, to sticks, trees ... Have you heard about stretch marks? Mine from a grenade, try to make a banner out of these RGO-RGN ... That's what the ribbed body is made for. And it is crushed into fragments, as it wants.