Original German WWII M24 Stick Grenade Dated 1942 by Richard Rinker GmbH
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an extremely rare M1924, M24, or "Stielhandgranate 24" German Stick Grenade, often called a "potato masher". This example has been demilitarized according to specifications by the BATF. The warhead still unscrews. It still retains its original paint, and the original markings can be seen on the head and shaft of the grenade.
The grenade head is in excellent condition with all original paint with traces of classic red German wartime primer paint showing through underneath. It unscrews with ease.
The wood shaft of the grenade is marked 42 dbk. This code corresponds to Richard Rinker GmbH, Neubrandenburg in Mecklenburg. The shaft is in excellent condition. The lower screw cap is present and unscrews perfectly. The shaft is correctly hollow to allow the internal components.
In WW2 the stick of the German M24 (Model 24) grenade provided a lever, significantly improving the throwing distance. The Model 24 could be thrown approximately 30 to 40 yards, whereas the British Mills bomb could only be thrown about 15 yards. The design also minimized the risk of the grenade rolling downhill back towards the thrower when used in hilly terrain or in urban areas. These grenades were extremely useful for clearing out entrenched infantry positions.
As grenades were disposable, encountering them on the market is very rare, especially with the original pull string and weight, making this an excellent opportunity to acquire one to complete a WW2 ordnance collection.
According to the Treaty of Versailles of 28 June 1919 the German army was restricted both in size, as well as in number of men and weapons. Article 168 restricted the number of manufacturers that were allowed as suppliers of ordnance to the German army, and specified a list of the approved manufacturers. Each weapon type or accessory could only be made by one approved company, and some companies even made multiple weapon types. The company of Richard Rinker G.m.b.H. in Menden/Iserlohn was selected as the sole manufacturer of "Artikel 17, 18, 19 und 20. Stielhandgranaten, Eierhandgranaten, Gewehrgranaten und dazuhörige Zünder".
Westfälische-Anhaltische Sprengstoff AG, Werk Reinsdorf (WASAG) was also on the list, and was the sole supplier of explosives.
The company of Richard Rinker was founded in 1910 and was specialized in forged parts of brass for the building industry. One of their first products was doorknobs. Towards the 1930's most of their output was based on stampings and sheet-metal products. Their domestic items production was stopped in the prewar era, as all their capacity was needed for military production. Their company logo was a stylized double "R" with the first letter inverted, the letters joined at the middle, and with the letters in a font reminiscent of the Art Deco style of the 1920's.
Since the Stielhandgranate 24 literally was a "use and throw away" item, it is difficult to find a complete series of early versions to study. The initial marking on their products to represent "Richard Rinker G.m.b.H. in Menden/Iserlohn" was the company logo. The code used by the Waffen Amt inspector at this factory was WaA65, although reading the numbers in ink can be hard sometimes.
In 1925 a coding system consisting of three numbers was introduced to hide the fact that the Germans no longer respected the conditions laid down in the Versailles treaty. Richard Rinker G.m.b.H. in Menden/Iserlohn was the only approved manufacturer so they had no need for the assigned code "336", and did not use it until 1940. In 1940 their products could be marked ЯR 1940, 1940 336 and even ЯR 1940 336 (so much for the code!).
From April 1940 a new system was introduced that was meant to replace all previously used codes, company logos or full text names of manufacturers. The system was meant to prevent allied sabotage or bombing, by hiding which companies made which items and as a result were important strategic targets. Richard Rinker G.m.b.H. in Menden/Iserlohn was issued the manufacturers code brb, but it was only used on their training grenades in 1940. This "brb 40" version stands out, as the letters are in cursive. For unknown reasons the brb code was not placed on their Stielhandgranate 24 until 1941. The "336" code was used throughout 1940 before the brb code was fully incorporated in 1941. It stayed on their handgrenades until late 1944 at the least. No 1945 dated brb marked product has been found so far, so it is possible that the code was changed in late 1944. Handles observed with the code "prd-45" appears to have been made by Richard Rinker G.m.b.H. in Menden/Iserlohn, so it is possible, but not confirmed that this was the second generation code assigned.
Sometimes during the mid-30's the increased need for grenades could not be covered by the output from the factory in Menden (brb), and a second Richard Rinker factory started manufacturing the Stielhandgranate 24. This was the Richard Rinker GmbH, Neubrandenburg in Mecklenburg, which from April 1940 was issued the manufacturers code dbk. The code used by the Waffen Amt inspector at this factory was WaA560
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