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Original German WWI Model 1913 Inert Ball Hand Fragmentation Grenade - Kugelhandgranate

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Kugelhandgranate ("ball hand grenade") is the name given to a model of a hand thrown fragmentation grenade manufactured in Germany, also known as Mod. 1913. Germany entered World War I with this single grenade design: a heavy 750-gram (26 oz) ball-shaped fragmentation grenade for use only by pioneers in attacking fortifications. It was too heavy for regular use on the battlefield by untrained troops and not suitable for mass production. This left Germany without a standard-issue grenade and improvised designs similar to those of the British were used until a proper grenade could be supplied.

As they were not made in any large quantities, German Ball Grenades are rare in any condition. This example is quite nice, with a lot of the original paint intact, and an original deactivate friction-ignited fuze, complete with the pull wire. The brass fuze assembly still screws out, with the detonator stalk and red paint on the end. Highly desirable, and sure to be the centerpiece of any grenade collection!

The body of the Kugelhandgranate was cast iron 8 mm thick, spherical shaped and externally segmented designed to produce between 70 and 80 fragments. A bronze-like stick (which was the igniter) was introduced to the spherical body. The filling was a mixture of black powder, barium nitrate, and potassium perchlorate, and did not require a detonator. The friction igniter consisted of a bronze body with a central chamber filled with black powder and supplied with a 5 or 7 second delay, the powder train was topped with a priming wire made of brass with a loop at one end and serrated on the other. The serrated portion was coated with a mixture of ground glass, manganese dioxide, and potassium chlorate.

To be used, the friction wire had to be pulled from the igniter, starting the delay train at the last possible moment. To do this, a piece of leather was attached to the igniter with a snap hook; pulling this removed the wire so the grenade could be thrown. A man with average strength could throw this grenade about 15 m, which made it completely ineffective for standard infantry uses. However, the large heavy grenade was very effective for its intended use.

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