Original British WWI Rifle Grenades- No.20 Mk I, No.24 Mk I
Original Items: One Set Only. This is a very interesting set of the two principal rifle grenades both introduced into western front service in June of 1917. Offered in totally inert, non-functional condition.
As seen above on this page, the new rifle grenade N°3 inspired from the commercial percussion grenade Marten Hale appears in 1915. This design solved most of the safety issues associated to the rifle grenade N°2. However, if the ingenious mechanism based on the release of the safety chain by the in-flight air flow on a wind vane was efficient, it also induced too much manufacturing complexity and costs.
The rifle grenade n°20 Mk I, dated June 1917, is a simplification of the rifle grenade n°3, making it more economic and simple to manufacture, without scarifying anything on the safety side. Both the externally pre-fragmented steel body and the internal percussion detonator mechanism remain unchanged, but the safety wind vane is replaced by a simple sliding releasing socket pulled back by the departure momentum, blocked at rest by a safety pin.
A further simplification of the steel body machining was introduced later with the rifle grenade n°20 Mk II, whose pre-fragmented body was only having parallel circular machined grooves instead of the classical square pattern.
As all these kinds of projectiles, this rifle grenade was used inserting the tail rod inside a usual infantry rifle gun, but armed with a blank cartridge bullet-free. The accidental use of a conventional bullet was the main cause of incidents.
The rifle grenade N°24 Mk I is another June 1917 simplification of the rifle grenades series N°3 and N°20. Changes are only applied to the parts shapes and dimensions, but the way it worked was strictly similar to the preceding models, so that no specific training was needed for its use. The pre-fragmented body was machined with external circular parallel grooves only.
Both originally fitted with small brass screw plug to top of grenade head for loading the explosive, the No.24 Mk1 Screw plug is present, the No.24 Mk1 Screw Plug, although identical, is missing. Easily replicated.
This is an ideal opportunity to obtain both variations at one time!
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