Monday, 14 May 2018

American Projectiles and Explosives - Hand Grenades (Part 2)

American Projectiles and Explosives


Illuminating Mk I

Overall length: 4.4 inches
Diameter: 2.1 inches
Weight: 9.5 ounces
Delay: 7 seconds
Burning time: 25 seconds
Intensity: 50,000 candlepower

Description: This grenade is approximately the same size and shape as the fragmentation hand grenade.  It consists of two sheet-steel cups joined together by a force fit, and sealed with Petman cement.  The lower half contains the illuminating compound and a charge of black powder, which, when ignited by the fuze, blows the grenade apart and ignites the pyrotechnic.  The upper half contains the fuze assembly, which is similar in appearance and in operation to that of the fragmentation hand grenade.

Operation: For hand launching, the grenade is held in one hand with the safety lever against the palm.  The safety pin is removed with the other hand.  When the grenade is thrown, the safety lever is released, and the striker, driven by its spring, forces the lever off, swings around its pivot, and strikes the primer.  The flame from the primer ignites a delay train which burns through to the charge of black powder.  The black powder charge bursts the case and ignites the pyrotechnic.

For rifle launching, assemble the grenade int he Adapter M1, insert the safety lever into the arming clip, and force the grenade into place between the claws, so that the claws engage the raised portion of the grenade where the upper and lower halves are formed together.  When the grenade is fired, set-back will cause the arming clip to come off of the safety lever, and the striker will throw the lever off and hit the primer to activate the grenade.

Incendiary AN-M14

No picture available

Overall length: 5 inches
Diameter: 2.5 inches
Color: Blue grey

Filling: Thermate, thermite, and nitrates
Fuze: M200A1
Delay: 2 seconds

Description: This grenade has a cylindrical body made of tin plate.  A clamp of flat steel strapping and a nail are packed in the container with each grenade.  These are used to hold the grenade in position, as it has a tendency to move upon ignition.  The Fuze M200A1 threads into the top of this grenade.

Operation: The igniter ignites the thermite, which ignites the thermate.  The grenade burns with such intense heat that it will melt its way through steel.

Riot - CN Gas - M25

Diameter: 2.9 inches
Filling: Micropulverized chloracetophenome (CN)
Weight of filling: 3 and 1/3 ounces
Delay: 2 seconds

Description: The Riot Grenade M25 is made of phenolic plastic.  It is spherical in shape and is formed from halves cemented together.  Inside the sleeves, integral with the halves, form the casing for the firing components.  These sleeves telescope; the lower is cemented into the upper.  The channel thus formed through the center of the grenade receives the firing mechanism.  A plastic closure plug in the base of the lower sleeve has an integral firing pin on the inner side.  A filling closure plug is located 1/2 inch from the firing-pin closure plug.

The fuze assembly contains a primer, a two-second delay element, and a detonator.  A slider holds the fuze assembly cemented inside its lower end, and a hole in the upper end receives the safety pin.  Two safety balls fit under a projection on the slider and hold it in the unarmed position until released into the grooves when the arming sleeve is expelled.  The firing spring fits over the slider and is compressed between the projections on the slider and the upper end of the lower sleeve.  The arming spring is compressed inside the arming sleeve, which in turn rests int he channel of the upper sleeve, extending 5/16 inch beyond the grenade body.  Holes through the arming sleeve provide for the entry of the safety pin.

Operation: When the safety pin is withdrawn, the arming sleeve is expelled by the compressed arming spring; this permits the two safety balls to recede into the grooves, releasing the slider, which is driven against the firing pin, activating the primer.  The fuze provides a two-second delay before detonation.  With shattering of the plastic body, the micropulverized CN is dispersed in a cloud.

Improvised frangible types (Obsolete)

Igniters: M1, M2, or M3

-Gasoline and alcohol
-Thickened gasoline
-Hydrocyanic acid
-Gasoline and napalm

Description: These are improvised grenades made by simply filling a glass bottle with one of these chemical agents.  They may or may not have an igniter, depending upon the filling that is used.  If the filling is smoke or hydrocyanic acid, no igniter is required; but if the filling is one of the others mentioned above, an igniter is necessary.

Igniter M1: This is a plastic cylinder containing a chemical powder.  It is used with grenades containing a mixture of gasoline and alcohol.  When the glass container breaks against the target, the powder and liquid come in contact and ignite spontaneously.

Igniter M2: This is a paper cartridge, filled with powder, assembled to a pull-wire igniter.  This igniter is taped to a frangible grenade filled with thickened gasoline.  To operate the igniter, pull the wire, lighting the powder.

Ingiter M3: This is a simple fuze consisting of a spring-loaded firing pin and a blank cartridge contained in a cylinder, and a metal clamp to hold the cylinder against the frangible grenade.  The clamp has a conical projection which, when the clamp is tightened around the safety pin which passes through the cylinder, also restrains the firing pin.  When the grenade is used, the safety pin is removed and the grenade is thrown so as to smash against the target.  When the bottle breaks, the tension on the clamp is released and the firing pin, driven by its spring, pushes the cone aside and strikes the primer of the cartridge.  The flash from the cartridge ignites the grenade filler.  This igniter is used with the napalm grenade.

Remarks: These frangible grenades are considered obsolete.

Practice Mk II and Mk IA1 - Fuze M206

Length: 4.58 inches
Diameter: 2.25 inches
Weight: 1.28 pounds
Color: Light blue

Fuze: M206
Delay: 4 to 4.8 seconds

Mk II: This grenade consists of a fragmentation body with a filling hole in the base, an Igniting Fuze M206 or M10A3, a small charge of black powder, and a cork plug in the filling hole.  Extra fuzes, charges, and plugs are supplied separately, so that the grenade body can be re-used.

Operation: When set off by the delay element, the igniter fires the small black-powder charge, which goes off with a loud report and blows the cork plug out of the filling hole.

Mk IA1: This grenade consists of an iron body and simulated fuze, all cast in one piece to resemble a Fragmentation Grenade Mk IIA1.  The simulated fuze has a removable safety pin and ring.  There is a hole in the bottom of the grenade body.  There is no charge in either the grenade or the fuze.  It is painted black, with a white band at the top.

Next Time: Rifle Grenades (Part 1)

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