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Could of ended badly (mills bomb)

Article about: Just a quick little story.. I came across a seller of ww1 and ww2 items and one thing he had on display that i just had to have was this little grenade. I asked him how much and he said \\$150

  1. #11

    Default Re: Could of ended badly (mills bomb)

    It looks like it was, indeed, still "live", but, thankfully, without the striker detonator, it wasn't Immediately imminent. Certainly, the explosives inside were old and getting fairly unstable, and I wouldn't have wanted to be dropping it or putting any heat or shocks to it, for sure, but the Really spooky danger-the Striker-was missing, so it could have been worse. Either way, something I definitely would Not have wanted to be handling much!


    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  2. #12

    Default Re: Could of ended badly (mills bomb)

    Quote by davejb View Post
    the circular base plate was used for firing from a grenade launcher rifle , although yo dont have it anymore there may have been markings on the casing re maker
    Pretty sure i have some more images of baseplate. I will upload when i get home. Now that its been deactiveted i want to buy it back haha

  3. #13

    Default Re: Could of ended badly (mills bomb)

    live ordnance continues to be discovered every day in one form or other , a few yrs ago a coach party of school children were coming through customs at Folkstone after a visit to the WW1 battlefields, one of the kids had picked up 'a unexploded mills bomb from a ploughed field and took it back with him on the coach, i think his teachers gave him a 1000 lines ' i must not try to kill my friends ahnd teachers with live bombs from the Somme '

  4. #14

    Default Re: Could of ended badly (mills bomb)

    He should have added... "Now turn it in to the authorities and have it deactivated-then give it to your Teacher as a Gift for not canning you!"

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  5. #15

    Default Re: Could of ended badly (mills bomb)

    Quote by tailor marc View Post
    Anyone know details of the grenade? As far as i know its around ww1 mills bomb. Dont know what the markings are? Built jan 1918?
    Well the original No. 5 grenade was adopted as standard by the British army in 1915. The No. 23 is a variant of the No. 5 in that the No. 23 had a rodded base plug enabling easier firing from a rifle. In 1918 both the No. 5 and No. 23 were declared obsolete and replaced by the No. 36, which itself was declared obsolete and replaced with the No. 36M in 1932, (the No. 36M was exactly the same as a No. 36 except it had a shellac coating to weatherproof it in hot climates).

    Whilst the grenade was live, without a striker and fuze the chances of it going off were fairly remote. However, remote is not as good as no chance at all, as with a de-activated or inert one !!!! You are indeed a lucky man

    Hope that helps

  6. #16

    Default Re: Could of ended badly (mills bomb)

    I cannot remember where I heard it now, but I remember a story about a guy that used to dig Civil War artifacts in the States. The story goes he had collected a load of cannonballs over the years, and had them welded together to form a surround for his fireplace. Long story short, the shells turned out to be the explosive, powder filled version. After a period around his fireplace gradually drying out in the heat, they went pop and blew half his house to hell.

  7. #17

    Default Re: Could of ended badly (mills bomb)

    In all those years you had it you never stripped it apart? Thats the first thing I do with grenades, field strip themto see if it contains any live parts.
    Stripping a live relic Mills can be very dangerous though, the explosives can crystalive in the thread of the base plate. Unscrewing this can detonate the whole thing.
    When I was detecting and bringing home silly things I would soak them in a bath of oil so that the explosives would be wet, making it safer to disassemble, but more than often after a month in oil they would be dry on the inside. Now I dont play around with OXO's anymore after a German 3,7mm PAK grenade started sissing in my shed when I trie to unscrew the detonator. Very lucky escape as it did not explode. A friend of mine, and former digger was not as lucky, lossing an eye and three fingers while cleaning up a detonator he just toke out of a artillery shell.
    I still have I think 10 Mills, wwI and wwII that are demined up for sale.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Could of ended badly (mills bomb)

    The grenade appears to be a No 36 Mk1 with a Mk23 base plate fitted. As with all grenades it is impossible to tell if they are live or otherwise just by looking at them. The only way to tell is by removing the filler cap on the side. There is another way though, but you need another grenade of the same type which is known to be empty of explosives. Weigh the empty one, and then weigh the suspect one. If there is much difference in the weight you have a problem!
    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  9. #19

    Default Re: Could of ended badly (mills bomb)

    Thanks everyone for the info. I really didnt want to pull it apart and also trusted the guy i bought it from *mistake*

  10. #20
    CBH is offline

    Default Re: Could of ended badly (mills bomb)

    Some good advice . The biggest danger , I've had with my deactivated Mills Bomb was people pulling the pin and the spring launching the handle across the room at 100 mph . Could take you eye out or maybe kill you . So now I have the spring under the firing pin and not compress by it . Looks the same just not as dangerous , also I don't show it that much anymore !
    Cheers Chris

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