The B&D ExD-37
By GROG Copyright 2010 3LC Productions
The newest 37mm launcher from Bates and Dittus, the ExD-37
George Bates and Ed Dittus were kind enough to provide us with a test sample of their newest 37mm launcher, the ExD-37, for testing and evaluation purposes. The ExD-37 brings the level of 37mm launchers up a few notches. This new addition to the B&D line incorporates several advances in launcher technology. First off, is the new firing mechanism. It is completely enclosed, with no exposed hammer. It is also a double action, so if for some reason the launcher misfires, you can pull the trigger again, for another strike at the primer, without having to re-cock a hammer, or re-open the launcher. The trigger pull is strong and breaks crisply. The launcher bears a serial number for easy Form 1 registration should the owner or Agency desire to register it as a Destructive Device. There is no active safety on this launcher, however, with the enclosed firing mechanism, the need for one decreases greatly.
Upon opening the box, I could tell this was going to be another B&D pleasure. J The shipping box doubles as a carry case and storage box. It is heavy foam, cut out to accept the launcher with accessories. The launcher looks heavy-duty and feels it when you hold it in your hands. The launcher came equipped with a complete top rail system, with rail mounted to the receiver, as well as the full length of the barrel. This launcher can accept any standard RAS sighting system, as well as scopes, red dot, and holo sights, or detachable AR sights.
The barrel release mechanism has been moved from in front of the trigger (on the TBL-37 and Fireball) to the right side of the receiver in the ExD-37. There is now a latch lever (can be seen in the above photo, just above and behind the trigger) that you push forward to release the barrel lock, opening the launcher. The barrel of the launcher swings downward, as in the TBL-37 and Fireball, completely clearing the rear of the receiver, so you can load extra long munitions like the large barricade penetrators or the multiple baton rounds. Also in the above photo, the location on the barrel where the locking latch engages is now a machined angle, as opposed to a square in other launchers. This allows positive engagement, and holds the barrel in a perfectly aligned position when closed. I like this new locking latch, both the position, and function is perfect for the launcher.
Another very good change is, the rear portion of the launcher has been completely redesigned. It will now accept any of the AR line of stocks! Everything from a full length solid rifle stock, to the newest collapsible types on the market, they will all fit the ExD-37. This sample of the ExD-37 was provided with a standard AR 6 position folding stock. After some quick adjustments, the stock was fitted perfectly to me. If one desired a full length heavy stock instead, you would only need replace the carbine buffer tube with a rifle one, and use a full stock. Anything that will fit on an AR, will fit on this launcher.
As we move forward on the ExD-37, we see a newly designed front portion. This includes a small front handguard with sling swivel, and a newly designed pistol grip, which is also fully adjustable. The small front handguard covers the pivot pin for the barrel group, and has a sling swivel stud for attaching a sling of your choice. This handguard secures directly to the barrel via a machine screw that goes through the lower rail section, and locks into the bottom of the barrel. The pistol grip fits very nicely into my hand, and is completely aluminum. The top is milled to slide onto the rail section, and the bottom screws out so you can move it to any rail position on the launcher, then lock it tight. It is a very positive addition to the launcher and allows nice two handed operation. The side of the pistol grip bears the B&D logo, engraved into the metal. The finish is black phosphate, and extremely durable.
The receiver section of the launcher is now a two section receiver, in halves vertically. These halves are screwed together using machine screws, from the left to the right side. The receiver is still thick, and highly durable. All the parts fit perfectly into position. In the above photo, the craftsmanship is apparent by the fit of the receiver pins and screws, and in how everything goes together to make the launcher the heavy duty performer that it is.
THE RANGE TEST
I couldn’t wait to get to the range with the ExD-37, and put her through her paces. It was hard to restrict myself to the non-AP type of munitions, but I managed to do so. I do plan on doing a Form 1 on this launcher to allow for additional range tests down the road, and as funds permit. With the new additions to the 37mm market from ASA, including the new MOAB projectile, another range test is on the books. For the first range test, I used what I had on hand, including three chalk/OC marking barricade rounds, one CS Ferret barricade round, and one muzzle blast OC round. The launcher functioned perfectly firing all of these rounds. The casings used were from different manufacturers, and had different rim sizes. It is important to place the rear rim of the munition you load, onto the ejector at the bottom of the barrel before you close the launcher. This will allow you to properly close the launcher. It will also pull the casing of the fired round up and out of the barrel after you shoot it.
Here is a link to the video shot during the first range test of the ExD-37, 37mm launcher:
Additional range tests are scheduled for early 2011, using different sights and munitions.
LAUNCHER STATS: (from the B&D website)
Price for ExD-37 with any barrel (12"/16") length: $775
Aluminum parts anodized to meet or exceed Mil-A-8625F Type III, Class 2
6061 Aluminum barrel and parts
Bearing parts are 4140 Chrome-moly steel
Weight: 5lb. 10 oz. (12" barrel)
Length: Min. 23" to Max. 27" (12" barrel)
AR compatible telescoping butt stock
Custom vertical fore-grip
Hi-power firing pin spring for positive ignition
Forward Rotating Swivel
Barrel length options – 12” or 16” available
Double Action Only (DAO)
Completely Shrouded Hammer
Full Mil-Spec Picatinny Rails (top and bottom)
Optional Midwest Industries, Inc. BUIS package
I cannot say that I was surprised at the quality of the newest B&D launcher. I have tested three B&D launchers, and all of them have been of a high quality, and reasonable price. With every B&D launcher you get more than what you pay for. You get B&D quality, and a lifetime replacement guarantee. (See below)
BATES & DITTUS LLC LIFETIME WARRANTY
FULLY GUARANTEED. REPAIRED OR REPLACED AT OUR DISCRETION.
We warrant all launchers for the Lifetime of the original
purchaser. Any such firearms or part thereof returned, postage paid,
to the factory in Connecticut, USA will be repaired or replaced at our discretion, and returned to the consumer free of charge.
This warranty does not cover any damage caused by alteration of the Launcher or by use of non-commercially loaded rounds.
We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to refuse to repair or replace launchers or their parts if they were damaged by mistreatment.
This launcher is more than capable for use in any role, from civilian to law enforcement, and from maritime protection, to military. It is a dependable launcher, at a good price. If you want a good quality launcher that you don’t have to worry about breaking, and letting you down, make this your choice. I do not recommend this launcher as a “toy”. There are several cheap “toys” out there already. If you want something you can bet your life on, this launcher won’t let you down.