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A Soviet made stun grenade.

The stun grenade, also known as a flashbang, is a handheld grenade designed to emit a bright light rated at 8 million candela and a 150 decibel noise.


The British SAS were the first to develop the modern version of this weapon, though the Japanese Ninja reputedly had a primitive version, known as the "nage teppo" in their time. The stun or concussion grenade is a canister-shaped device whose primary use is to stun or temporarily disable an terrorist without actually harming them; a very important point if the terrorist is holding a hostage or if it is desired to take the terrorist alive.

The flashbang lives up to its name; upon exploding, it produces both a blinding flash and a deafening explosive sound. The air pressure from the blast can disrupt a person's eardrums, and likewise their balancing organs, while the blinding flash impairs vision. At close enough range and cramped quarters, the concussive blast of the grenade can knock out a person.

There is another kind of stun grenade called a "Stinger" grenade. It is a grenade based on the M67 Defensive design packed with solid rubber pellets that spray outward at high speed and can seriously injure, but not kill, an enemy. These kinds of grenades are used by certain maximum-security prisons in the US, but are not as effective as flashbangs (since the high-speed rubber pellets can injure hostages as well as terrorists).


Operation Snake Eater

See also: Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater

By 1964, the Soviets had developed their own version of the stun grenade, some of which Naked Snake procured both during the Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater. FOX member Sigint was the first to use the term "stun grenade" when describing them during the latter mission, prompting Snake to sarcastically reply that he'd rather be stunned by a woman. The Ocelot Unit also used stun grenades when attempting to capture Snake at Rassvet. The End also utilized stun grenades with a short fuse time to escape from an enemy if the enemy managed to sneak up behind him and move to another sniping position.

San Hieronymo Incident

Main article: San Hieronymo Incident
Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

Several of the FOX Unit members (mostly in attack squads) also used stun grenades during the San Hieronymo Incident, to which Naked Snake and his resistance procured some of their own.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Peace Walker Incident

Main article: Peace Walker Incident

The Militaires Sans Frontières later designed and procured their own M116/A1 stun grenades during the Peace Walker Incident after procuring design specs from the Rio del Jade boathouse. Reinforcement squads to the Peace Sentinel's escort units also tended to use stun grenades when arriving at the vehicle's location if they are not part of an APC unit or a Hind unit. The Ghillie-Suit Soldiers would also drop a short-fused stun grenade as a means of escaping their enemy.

Shadow Moses Incident

Main article: Shadow Moses Incident

During the Shadow Moses Incident, Solid Snake procured and made use of stun grenades.

The Manhattan Incident

See also: Tanker Incident and the Big Shell Incident

Stun grenades were also used during both the Tanker Incident and the Big Shell Incident.

Unconfirmed usage

The following information has been detailed in official Konami-licensed media, written by various external authors. Its status in the Metal Gear canon is unconfirmed.[?]

Three Space SEALs of the Genome Army delivered a container, holding smoke grenades and other explosives, to their commander, Liquid Snake, for use during their revolt on Shadow Moses Island.[1]

Behind the scenes

Real-life counter-terrorists find flashbangs far more useful than normal grenades, especially when in delicate hostage-rescue situations. Despite their "stun grenade" moniker, direct contact with a flashbang can still maim or kill a target. The Soviet-era stun grenades weigh 0.5kg.


In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, care should be taken while using a stun grenade as facing the blast can cause the player to go blind temporarily. To avoid this, the player should turn their back to the grenade or throw from the maximum distance possible. Having the thermal goggles or night vision goggles equipped while using these is not recommended, as it will significantly increase the effects of it on Snake or Raiden.

Like the chaff grenade, stun grenades are a rare item in Metal Gear Solid 4. They are not stocked in Drebin's Shop and can only be found on Shadow Moses Island, during Act 4. The stun grenades in Metal Gear Solid 4 are based on the EAIMING M116A1 Distraction Device Airsoft gas charger grenade.

In-game weapons description

"Stun Grenade
Flash grenade.
B to throw.
Stuns enemy.
―Stun grenade weapon description in Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
"A flash-bang type grenade developed by the Soviet Union.
Upon detonation, poduces an intense flash of light and a lud bang, disorienting and even knocking out human targets in the area of effect.
―Stun grenade weapon description in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
"A non-lethal grenade that temporarily paralyzes and confuses sight and smell with an intense flash of light and loud sound upon detonation.
It uses a magnesium-based charge to produce a 1 million-candela flash and a 175 plus-decibel band.
―Stun grenade weapon description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
"A non-lethal weapon filled with a magnesium-based explosive. When it detonates, it emits a blinding flash of light, an ear-splitting bang, and an intense shockwave that combine to knock targets unconscious.
Keep in mind, however, that those same effects work on the user. Make sure you're safely behind cover or facing the other way when the grenade goes off.
―Stun grenade weapon description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker


Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Del Rey Books, Raymond Benson (2008).