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Original Rare WWI Italian S.I.P.E. Hand Fragmentation Grenade With Fuze - Inert

Regular price $450.00

Item Description

Original Items: Very Few Available. We have just received a very small number of Very Rare original WWI Italian S.I.P.E. Fragmentation Hand Grenades, complete with their original fuzes. They are totally inert and demilitarized according to BATF guidelines with hollow body and inert fuse. This grenade cannot be converted to an explosive device and is not available for export.

These grenades do not look to have been ground dug, and all come with original fuzes, which may be stuck in the grenade, or can also be somewhat loose. The fuzes all have their covers, but not all of them are able to be removed. The grenades look fairly modern in design, looking similar to the French F1 and US Mk II grenades, but larger at about 4 3/8"long x 2 1/4"wide.

This is a great chance to pick up an example of a very rare piece of Italian WWI ordnance, which we only have ever had two previously of. Ready for display!

The S.I.P.E. Grenade was an externally segmented, cast iron body filled with black powder and had a safety fuse that was lit with a match. It is interesting to note that the safety cap is threaded in the opposite direction so that the fuse housing would not be accidentally screwed out when the safety cap was removed. Because of this, the Italian troops often referred to these grenades as ‘bomba a manno a sfregamento’, or literally, ‘rubbing hand grenade’. S.I.P.E. stands for la Societa Italiana Prodotti Esplondenti, or the Italian Society of Explosive Products.

The fuse, once the safety cap was removed, operated exactly like a match striking the igniter strip on the side of a matchbox. The exposed end of the fuse, coated with a phosphorous paste, much like a match, needed to be rubbed* along an igniter strip, and by the looks of the small inset diagram, a matchbox really would suffice, although I suspect in reality these were small bespoke boxes that could be attached to finger or wrist – and, again much like a match, a naked flame would do the job equally well. Either way would ignite the fuse and begin the seven or eight second delay before the detonator at the other end of the fuse inside the grenade exploded, followed by the charge.

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