Original French WWI IIIrd Army Stick Fragmentation Grenade - Pétard de la IIIe Armée

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice French WWI IIIrd Army Stick Grenade (grenade de la troisième armée), which was basically an improvised design developed by factories during the first months of the war. These famous pétards or 'hairbrush grenades' were composed of a wooden paddle, cheddite explosive charge, and an explosive housing, often filled with nails or gravel. The design was made necessary by the low capacity of the French military armories to develop and manufacture more modern models of grenades rapidly enough to meet front line demand.

More of a firework than a real grenade, it is composed of a long stick, with an attached steel tube designed for the insertion of a conventional mélinite 100g m1890 explosive charge with a detonator in its center.

The first examples were triggered by igniting a 5 second wick connected to the detonator tube. That system was soon improved upon by igniting the wick with two hunting ammunition primers placed in a small wooden block. The primers were triggered by a percussion on a nail introduced into a hole of the wooden block, pressing on a small metal piece connected to the starters base.

About 5 different types of cylinders of the same size were used, and various designs were used until 1917. Cheddite explosive would replace mélinite, each time that the demand exceeded the industrial capacity for modern grenades, which was unfortunately often.

Condition is quite good, though as with most battlefield recovered items, it does have rust and weathering wear. Measures 13"L x 2 1/2" x 1 3/4".

This example is offered totally inert with all explosives removed per BATF specifications.

  • This product is not available for international shipping.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


Cash For Collectibles