Original Japanese WWII Type 97 Inert Fragmentation Hand Grenade dated 1940
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an very nice inert demilitarized genuine Japanese Type 97 Hand Grenade. This example is offered in very good condition, with much of the original paint. It still has the original fuse housing, the pin, and even the string! This is still attached to the screw off top, which can be removed to inspect the interior, and the fuse housing unscrews as well. The fuse internals, fuze cover, and internals are not included with this example.
The grenade body still retains most of the original black paint, and the top screws off easily to inspect the interior. There is still some of the correct red paint on the top. The fuse housing on this example is actually marked with a Japanese date: 11 十 五 昭. This marking is written right to left, and would be read: SHOWA (current reigning emperor) Juu-Go Nen (15th year of reign - 1940) 11th month (November). There are also some faded paint markings on the bottom of the grenade, which we cannot quite make out.
The Type 97 Hand Grenade was the standard fragmentation hand grenade of the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy SNLF during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II.
A very nice example of a sought after WWII Japanese grenade! Ready to display!!
History and development
The Type 97 was developed from the earlier Type 91 Grenade which could also be used as a fragmentation hand grenade, but was predominately used as munitions for the Type 10, and Type 89 grenade launchers. For this reason, it had less explosive power and a relatively longer delay time than a dedicated manual hand grenade. To address these issues, the Army Technical Bureau developed a new design in 1937.
The Type 97 had the same principles as most of fragmentation grenades of the period: a grooved 'pineapple-shaped' segmented body which dispersed sharp pieces of shrapnel when it exploded. Operation was accomplished by first screwing down the firing pin, so that it protruded from the base of the striker. Then the safety pin was removed by pulling the cord to which it was attached; the protective cap which covered the striker was removed. A sharp blow against a hard surface, such as a rock or combat helmet would overcome a creep spring and crush a thin brass cap, allowing the pin to hit the primer and initiate the delay sequence before throwing at the target. However, in comparison with Allied hand grenades of the period, the explosive force of the Type 97 was weaker and, due to lack of an automatic ignition mechanism, the grenade in practice was found to be unreliable and even dangerous to use because of its inaccurate fuse.
Physically, the Type 97 was almost indistinguishable from the Type 91, except that it had no attachment on the base for a propellant canister. Paper labels with ink-stamped fill dates warned of the shorter 4-5 second delay.
The Type 97 hand grenade was issued as standard equipment to Japanese infantrymen in the Second Sino-Japanese War and throughout the various campaigns of World War II.
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