The Hornets Nest is a 40mm adapter that fits 10 rounds of .22LR. With one pull of the trigger, all 10 rounds are fired. This is intended for use with 40mm destructive devices like grenade launchers. I am not sure if the DD NFA status trumps Machine gun? It is multiple rounds fired with one trigger pull. But since they are shot at the same time, does this make it like a shotgun? I am not sure if the hornets nest can be fired without the grenade launcher.

Any of our readers have experience with this device?



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  • Tim

    Interesting concept, but a standard 12 gauge loaded with #000 buckshot fires 9 – 9mm buckshot at the same or higher velocity with far greater accuracy and range. A 3″ magnum #000 fires 15 9mm shot.

    • PK

      One of my favorite 40x46mm toys is a set of adapters for shotgun shells. I have adapters for 10ga, 12ga, 28ga, and .410.

      It raises a lot of eyebrows to shoot skeet with a grenade launcher, as well!

      • puhiawa

        How many .410 cartridges can the adapter take?

        • PK

          Just one, they’re not primer actuated beehive rounds. If I want to shoot more than the payload of a .410, I use a larger adapter.

      • Archie Montgomery

        Yes, I can imagine some very strange looks indeed. It does appeal to my alleged sense of humor.

    • iksnilol

      I dunno, .22 LR has better range than shotguns I’ve seen.

      Simply due to more aerodynamic projectile.

      • puhiawa

        That may be only advantage.

      • Aaron E

        I agree, but out of this contraption with little or no rifling for stabilization I bet these rounds lose accuracy quickly.

  • Southpaw89

    Bit of a grey area there, but since they all load into one shell, that then fits into the launcher, I think its more shotgun than machine gun.

  • Ryan

    Google searches suggest they are DD’s. Just search 40mm Hornets Nest or 40mm Beehive.

    • Cymond

      Yeah, the 40mm launchers are DDs, but I don’t think the beehive itself is.

  • Austin

    Aside from cost, how is this an improvement over 40mm shotshells with 4oz of buckshot

    • TheSmellofNapalm

      Because you get to fire them from an M79 or M203. And that is badass. I don’t consider this or a shotgun, regardless of loading, an improvement over a 5.56 AR anyway.

      • MemorableC

        Im pretty sure Austin means a 40mm shotshell like M576, that is designed to be shot out of an m79 or m203

        • Austin

          That is exactly what I was thinking of but after checking the performance either Wikipedia has its numbers wrong or the shotshell rounds are weaker than a 20ga.

          • MemorableC

            Nah, they have the same loading of no3 but 80% more velocity

          • Renegade

            Price.

          • PK

            “or the shotshell rounds are weaker than a 20ga.”

            Close enough. They’re essentially a subcaliber device, not full-bore. A 40mm shotgun, even at very low velocity, would be far too high in recoil to use in most ordinary 40x46mm arms.

    • Robert Harper

      It’s just something cool to play with. There’s not an abundance of 40mm loads available and flechettes aren’t as cheap as they used to be.

  • AMX

    Do they also make this in .22 Hornet?
    Because, well, it’s called “Hornets Nest” – seems more appropriate…

    • PK

      Not that I’ve seen, no.

      • Cattoo

        It could bee on some drawing board awaiting approval.

        • PK

          Commercially available, I doubt anything is planned, and I don’t believe any have been sold in the past. I haven’t seen nor heard of any beehive rounds in anything except rimfire rounds.

  • TheSmellofNapalm

    So are there 10 firing pins?

    • David

      I believe it requires a pistol primer every time. Reason I never bought one.

    • PK

      One assembly that hits all cartridges, actuated by a primer set off by the firing pin intended to fire a grenade. It takes a while to reload.

  • M Derleth

    A great solution to nobody’s problem. Why not fire 20 rounds at once? Looks like there is enough real estate for 20 barrels.

    • Jean Luc Picard

      you have the metal storm for that

  • livingonenergydrinks

    This doesn’t look like the most optimal design. looks like they could have done 10 bullets around the perimeter with room for more on the center

    • Tassiebush

      I thought same thing. It’s probably because it’s made of aluminium. A steel one could hold more but I suppose this would be cheaper.

    • Anomanom

      But then it wouldn’t shoot a pentagram of bullets. Perfect for removing all manners of supernatural pests.

  • Hudson

    Making sure that the launcher has enough firing pin pressure to cause 10 rim fire primers to fire is a interesting engineering problem, also why they didn’t do a 20 shot version.

    • Cymond

      From what I’ve read, the launcher’s firing pin ignites a shotgun primer, which then drives the 10 rimfire firing pins.

      • PK

        Large pistol primers, in almost every version I’ve seen. I’m sure there are other kinds, though!

  • Tassiebush
  • theo

    Any anti-personnel shell for the 40mm has been determined by the ATF to be a DD. Hell, there was even recent controversy over them labeling the practice rounds as DD because somebody “might” load them with something else, seriously, that stupid crap happened. There used to be a similar device that fired 18 .22LR rounds, so this is rather underwhelming, frankly.

  • aka_mythos

    Hornet Nest adapters are categorized as sub-caliber ammunition adapters and are regarded as non-NFA items; the are categorized as “ammunition” as they cannot be triggered without being loaded into a destructive device classed firearm.

    Explosive grenades are only categorized as destructive devices because of their explosive content exceeding 1/4oz, and not for any other aspect of design.

    • PK

      It’s also important to note that grenades with less than 1/4oz of explosive are not DDs. Just shy of seven grams of HE still makes quite a bang.

  • thedonn007

    Do they make these for flare launchers?

    • PK

      Having one modified for a 37mm launcher or made for a 26.5mm launcher is certainly doable, but do not do it unless you’ve already registered the launcher as a DD.

  • David Cagulada

    Iʻd call it a shotgun 🙂

  • Broz

    My first impression was along the lines of the NFA firearm/DD…it would seem that you would need to first pay the $200 tax for the M79 receiver before you could use the insert…my thought is that this is an answer in search of a question…

    • Amanofdragons

      Correct. You need the stamp first. If it was a 37mm, you’d need the stamp before you bought it. Constructive intent.

  • PK

    “Any of our readers have experience with this device?”

    Yes, they work well. I prefer the versions with less rounds fired at once, with a magnum large pistol primer to ensure all rounds fire.

  • Darhar M.

    I could see loading this with 10 rds of snake shot and making the launcher into a mini-volley gun similar to a blunderbuss.

    • Anon. E Maus

      I figure it would work like a sandblaster.

  • Laserbait

    I’d like to see this with 3 or 4 9mm rounds.

  • Wanderlust

    A miniature volley gun. Neat concept. Has been around since 1300’s just not at this size. See Ribauldequin

  • puhiawa

    Not sure why this is better than 3.5″ buckshot. And I notice they could easily have at least 3 more rounds in there.

  • Zebra Dun

    I’ve used a normal Thump gun before.
    Make mine in 9 mm, .45 acp or better yet .357 magnum and it’s sold.

  • Rocketman

    They must be not showing a piece because I can’t see how one firing pin is going to be able to impact 10 .22lr shells at once. It’s neat but as far as I’m concerned it’s practically is just about zero.

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      The rear portion unscrews and there is a floating firing pin “plate” that is actuated by a large pistol primer.

      So, the grenade launcher firing pin strikes the main primer, which hammers the plate with the “real” firing pins into each one of the .22lr cartridges.

  • Archie Montgomery

    I am reasonably familiar with both sporting, law enforcement and military use small arms. What does this device enable one to accomplish, other than set off a number of .22 rounds at once?

    Were I in a position to do so, I would NOT make such a device illegal – why bother? At the same time, I can’t see any reason to have or use such a device. Perhaps this device and corporate maker will fade from sight due to lack of interest. (Of course, from a marketing standpoint, the anti-gun crowd could condemn it, thereby assuring some tens of thousands of sales.)

    • Phil Hsueh

      That sounds like a great marketing ploy for this device, you troll anti-gun websites telling them about this and let the outrage commence. Doing that would save them tons in marketing costs since the outrage of the antis and the calls for banning would do more for sales than anything they could do themselves.

      • Archie Montgomery

        Yes, I believe this is the concept of ‘Agent Provocateur’.

        As I said – implied, anyway – I don’t see any great ‘danger’ or harm in this device, but I see no use for it, either. Sort of like purple hair dye.

  • smartacus

    Shouldn’t machine gun refer to one trigger pull capable of cycling more than one round in succession THROUGH THE SAME BARREL?

    • Nicholas C

      I don’t think so. The double barrel 1911 had issues when it originally had a single trigger. ATF made them redesign it to have two triggers.

      • smartacus

        So it’s possible for the double barrel 1911 to have one trigger pulled instead of both at the same time?

  • Bradley

    It is my understanding that the inserts for flare guns that fire different cartridges are not firearms. When you install them in the flare gun you are, legally speaking, manufacturing a firearm. I do not know if this would be considered a machine gun, but if it is I would say they could claim you would need an SOT for manufacturing a machine gun.

  • Mazryonh

    This reminds me of how the old Pancor Jackhammer’s magazines could be used as impromptu Claymore mines, because with a little rigging they could trigger all 10 of their shotgun shells at once (when removed from the gun, of course).

  • Trey

    Pepper box were NOT supposed to fire more than one chamber/barrel at a time though due to being percussion cap weapons for the most part they could chain fire. The older “Duck Foot” did fire all barrels at once

  • Nils

    It’s like a pepperbox on steroids…

  • town22

    The M-79
    besides launching the 40mm grenade, also launch smoke grenade, gas and flare
    canister. It also had for close up fight the pellets shell too. I was never
    issue the pellet shell. The supply room had none. So when I went to dig my cat
    hole I barrowed a 16 for insurance. I’m emphasizing the word launch not
    shooting; it was not a precise or accurate weapon. P.S. That grenade has to travel 25meters before it detonates. If trees block your view; you launch straight up and hope for the best.

  • Dragonheart

    Another solution looking for a problem. And how long doe it take to load & reload, because my FN SLP can have 7 loads of buckshot headed down range in a little over a second.

  • Trey

    If it was designed to fire all at once it would be a Volly weapon like the Nock Volly Gun. If the cylinder / barrels rotate it was meant to operate as a pepper box style revolver, firing 1 round at at time, that they some times chain fired is why Metallic Cartridges came in to being in part.

    • vwVwwVwv

      now i am curious.
      thanks for shareing information, i have something to recherche now. 🙂

      • Trey

        your most welcome have fun!

  • Solace Greer

    If the 40mm housing of the cartridges is self-contained with rifled barrels, all you actually need to fire this non-spreading shotgun is a 40mm tube and ten strikers rigged to a trigger.

  • Mike_88

    Why not 20 rounds?

  • Trey

    Welcome to the world of gun nomenclature its a bizarre place a good deal of the time, with LOTS of contradictions just to give it flavor.