A selection of safety lever types, from an early pierced type to the flat stamped No.36.
The first design required custom drilling to match the corresponding holes in the grenade body it was intended for. Often levers are not interchangeable between different manufacturers. This was soon changed in favor of placing the safety pin over the lever, eliminating the lever holes.
With the advent of the No.23 Mk.III grenade the lever was simplified to a curved flat stamping.
The striker was originally a solid part but was soon found to hinder adequate air flow for the burning fuze, so a vent slot was added to allow combustion gases to escape. This was an early No.5 change.
Centrepieces were made of different materials as well as using different manufacturing techniques.
An early aluminum cast piece is shown at left.
At center is a fabricated brass assembly consisting of a threaded base with separate detonator and center tubes, joint to make a single unit.
On the right is another cast part, made from zinc alloy, with a stamped "Z" and date. This is typical of WWII production.
|No.1 Mk.I Cup Discharger
|The No.36 was designed to be used with a discharger cup, replacing the No.23 Rod Grenade system.
The cup clamped to the muzzle of the Lee Enfield rifle. The rifle was held at a 45° angle and a sliding gas vent on the cup was used for range adjustment - 200yds fully closed, 80 yards fully open. There are no calibrated markings, so it was a rough estimate for anything in between.
A special gascheck disk was screwed to the base of the grenade. To use, the grenade was inserted into the cup and the pin pulled. The stock of the rifle was planted on the ground and using a special blank cartridge the grenade was fired. As the grenade left the cup the safety lever would be freed.
This discharged was also used to fire other grenade types as well.
www.millsgrenades for extensive base plug identification and dozens of great Mills Bomb photos.