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MKI Grenade Question


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Can anyone tell me the difference between these two MKI bodies. I can see the obvious differences, but I am not sure why the difference. As you can see they are both made by the same company. They are both basic MKI bodies with only four fragmentation rows. The one is actually an unfinished casting. But what I do not understand is the one has a much smaller base hole, where the other looks to have a shorter base and bigger base hole, as the screw is larger that usual? Any ideas why? Thanks and Semper Fi - Jeff

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It seems to me that there are two possibilities here. One is that the unfinished brown body would have the same threaded base plug, if it were finished, as the final machining & tapping of the threads would remove more material from the body. The second is that the one with the plug may have been threaded & plugged by someone else, perhaps a collector, and they used whatever size plug they had available. Shine a light in the top & see what the other end of the plug looks like. Should be consistent in color & aging with the rest of the interior.

 

I've always liked the unfinished ones. I have one that came from a man who was a kid during the war. His mother worked at a local plant in Elkton, MD and she brought it home for him to play war! Imagine the look of horror nowadays, if someons gave their kid a hunk of steel to go throw at their buddies! Back then, they just rubbed a little sand in the wound, gave him a cookie & sent him back out to keep on playing! My how times have changed!

 

Nice examples, by the way! Keepers for sure!

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I've always liked the unfinished ones. I have one that came from a man who was a kid during the war. His mother worked at a local plant in Elkton, MD and she brought it home for him to play war! Imagine the look of horror nowadays, if someons gave their kid a hunk of steel to go throw at their buddies! Back then, they just rubbed a little sand in the wound, gave him a cookie & sent him back out to keep on playing! My how times have changed!

when i was in elementary school a kid got suspended for "shooting" an other kid with an imaginary gun (a stick) and he was only 7... things have definitely changed.

 

cool MKIs though i see a few other very subtle differences in them

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I have had that question on my mind for some time now. I get most of my information regarding U.S. grenades from other collectors and the rest from the internet, in lieu of any definitive work on the subject.

 

I am aware of at least one collector in Europe who classifies these MKI's with the larger lead plug and bigger flat bottom as Practice throwing grenades. I find that difficult to agree with. It is obvious that the lead plug in the bottom is larger in one specimen than the other. The Army went to the larger fill screw permanently at some point and I believe that these are examples of that change. Also the finish and quality of the casting and the fact that there is a threaded hole for a lead plug all go to my thinking that they are legitimate HE grenade bodies.

 

The maker, I believe, is Littlestown Foundry?

 

Here are two of the larger bottom version with MKII cutback fuses and one MKI with swivel spoon. The larger plug version have the same markings as your two, though mine are much fainter. They came to me with MKII cutback fuses in place.

 

I stand to be corrected on any of this but for now this is my take on the subject.

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Thank you Sir, that makes sense to me, very nice grenades you have there. I have seen MKI bodies marked both with a B and also with an N as well as this diamond. I have also seen one totally unmarked. Thanks - Jeff

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I have had that question on my mind for some time now. I get most of my information regarding U.S. grenades from other collectors and the rest from the internet, in lieu of any definitive work on the subject.

 

I am aware of at least one collector in Europe who classifies these MKI's with the larger lead plug and bigger flat bottom as Practice throwing grenades. I find that difficult to agree with. It is obvious that the lead plug in the bottom is larger in one specimen than the other. The Army went to the larger fill screw permanently at some point and I believe that these are examples of that change. Also the finish and quality of the casting and the fact that there is a threaded hole for a lead plug all go to my thinking that they are legitimate HE grenade bodies.

 

The maker, I believe, is Littlestown Foundry?

 

Here are two of the larger bottom version with MKII cutback fuses and one MKI with swivel spoon. The larger plug version have the same markings as your two, though mine are much fainter. They came to me with MKII cutback fuses in place.

 

I stand to be corrected on any of this but for now this is my take on the subject.

Very good information with period examples to back it up! It looks as though I am the one who stands corrected! I have never seen the plugs in the bottom in that size before. Very strange indeed.

 

As for Littlestown Foundry, wasn't their stamp a diamond L?

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Very good information with period examples to back it up! It looks as though I am the one who stands corrected! I have never seen the plugs in the bottom in that size before. Very strange indeed.

 

As for Littlestown Foundry, wasn't their stamp a diamond L?

You are correct for the later examples from Littlestown. They used a diamond with an L inside the diamond. I discussed this with other collectors and the consensus was that the diamond was the determining feature. There was no 'absolute' identification for the grenades pictured in this thread, only a general agreement that Littlestown was probably the foundry.

 

I welcome any other thoughts on the matter.

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I have heard the same from many sources as well. The only 2 variations I have seen are the L & the F in the diamond. I have an unfinished example with the L. It's a shame that no company records ever popped up with a mention of earlier marks. But, I do believe that your information is quite accurate. Looks like I have learned another tidbit of info from the forum!

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  • 3 months later...

I have this one- A MKI body with a MK10A2 Fuze. I assume this to be an old body fitted out as a practice grenade for WWII, and I gather from what rldarmstr stated it is probably a Littlestown body. The hole in the base appears to be unthreaded. This one has a 'C' in the diamond, with the number 2 on the segment below.

 

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That's exactly what it is, a WWI grenade body repainted, screw removed and used as a WWII era training grenade. These are fairly common, but a good example of how grenades were re-used. I have also seen these WWI bodies painted red and used as training grenades in the 20s and 30s. - Jeff

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  • 4 years later...

I have this one- A MKI body with a MK10A2 Fuze. I assume this to be an old body fitted out as a practice grenade for WWII, and I gather from what rldarmstr stated it is probably a Littlestown body. The hole in the base appears to be unthreaded. This one has a 'C' in the diamond, with the number 2 on the segment below.

 

To correct the record on this blue grenade, a more careful in-hand inspection shows the base hole to be threaded. The old plug must have rotted out with the remnants mostly obscuring the threads. It is definitely threaded though.

ACTIVELY SEEKING INFORMATION, INTERVIEWS, STORIES, NARRATIVES, COPIES OF PHOTOS, RELATED TO:

V AMPHIBIOUS CORPS ARTILLERY, WWII

* 14TH MARINES, 4TH MARINE DIVISION

* 4TH 105mm HOWITZER BATTALION

* 4TH 155mm HOWITZER BATTALION

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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