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  1. #1
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    Experimental Mills Rifle Percussion Grenade.

    DSCN2183.jpgDSCN2180.jpgDSCN2181.jpgDSCN2182.jpgJust got hold of this experimental Mills Munitions Ltd produced Rifle Percussion Grenade with integral gas check made in 1916 to try and replace the No 22 Newton Pippin rifle grenade using the 2.5 inch grenade launcher that was never taken up. Incredibly rare and a fantastic piece to find. Not taken up and very unusual to have survived.

    Andy.
    Ime the twat in the middle.

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    A fine and rare piece Andy. One I'm sure Mills himself would have handled.

    Here's the patent Mills filed to redesign the No 22. Without a gas check at that time. Note all the external metalwork.

    109066Patentdraw.jpg
    Author of 'British Rifle Grenades of the Great War'

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    Many thanks for the information John, you will get the chance to handle it yourself when I see you soon.


    Andy
    Ime the twat in the middle.

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    I've been thinking about this grenade and I wonder if it was a gas check. The original grenade was designed for a rod. Take the rod away and a) It won't be stable in flight and b) there is no guarantee it would land on the percussion cap. c) Would it be stable in a cup discharger with just a single ring placed towards the back? It might get jammed in the cup.

    I wonder if the 'gas check' is actually a way of getting more range from a rodded rifle grenade using more of the muzzle blast?
    Author of 'British Rifle Grenades of the Great War'

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  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsman View Post
    I've been thinking about this grenade and I wonder if it was a gas check. The original grenade was designed for a rod. Take the rod away and a) It won't be stable in flight and b) there is no guarantee it would land on the percussion cap. c) Would it be stable in a cup discharger with just a single ring placed towards the back? It might get jammed in the cup.

    I wonder if the 'gas check' is actually a way of getting more range from a rodded rifle grenade using more of the muzzle blast?



    Ime sure thats possible John however I guess we will never know. I suspect it was intended to be a rodded grenade but this one hasnt been threaded so I guess we will never know unless someone has any more information on it which I doubt.Anyway, ime not fussed and you will see it soon.I wonder if such a ring would make its flight though the air more stable but surely not as easily as a rod. However the diameter of the ring implies it was designed for use in a cup. Could it have been used in a cup with a rod attached with the ring helping its launch from the muzzle blast as you suggested? From the look of it and your patent details this was certainly designed to take some form of metal cap.


    Andy
    Last edited by gothica7; 19th February 2020 at 08:51 AM.
    Ime the twat in the middle.

  9. #6
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    Smile

    Mills6.JPG

    Here it is in a previous life. The label says gas-check so that is what it is :-) The label also says Rifle Percussion Grenade 1916 which I am less sure about now, or, at least, not sure that it is covered by Mills RPG Patent. If you compare the grenade with its three neighbours you can readily see that the mechanism requires space for lugs and clips. Reading Mills' instruction card for the RPG makes it clear that the striker cap remains in position until striking the target (as does the No 22), the mechanism providing protection against premature functioning. It is not out of the question that an RPG like mechanism could be used with the 'gas-checked' grenade but I think it extremely unlikely. More likely, IMHO, a simple cap of the Newton type light enough to prevent set-back on an instantaneous fuze or a heavy cap to fire a time fuze. I would go for the latter which takes the 'P' out of RPG.

    I would also date it about 1917 because Mills took out a registered design (No 662147) on 20th October 1917 showing a Mills grenade with an integral gas-check of about the same thickness as the one in the picture and just below the fly-off lever, so placed in a similar position to that shown (ie near the 'bottom').

    Just my two pennyworth.
    N.


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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnex View Post


    I would also date it about 1917 because Mills took out a registered design (No 662147) on 20th October 1917 showing a Mills grenade with an integral gas-check of about the same thickness as the one in the picture and just below the fly-off lever, so placed in a similar position to that shown (ie near the 'bottom').

    Just my two pennyworth.
    I think 1917 as well Norman. Burn filed his cup patent in February 1917, although he had been working with the RE experimental section before that. I think Mills was looking to where the wind was blowing and added the gas check to a version of his No 22 re-design. Though my comments in post #4 about this having a rod apply. It wouldn't be stable without a rod.

    John
    Author of 'British Rifle Grenades of the Great War'

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    John,

    I am not totally convinced about 1917 but his patent carries a 'Complete Accepted' date of 27th Aug 1917.

    I attach a copy of the registed design drawing. I am not sure what sort of protection the Copyright in Design offered but Mills chose to extend it to 1927 for £2 when it came up for renewal.

    Mills-Rdesign-004.jpg
    N.


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  15. #9
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    " I am not totally convinced about 1917 but his patent carries a 'Complete Accepted' date of 27th Aug 1917."

    It fits with the Burn timeline and would probably he put in an interim specification a few months earlier.
    Author of 'British Rifle Grenades of the Great War'

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    I didn't make it clear in the entry that the Registered Designs are unlikely to be about invention rather, I suspect, more to do with employing the design in printed work sor as a novel article/souvenir. The grenade money-box might be an example, not Mills' necessarily, of the latter use of an RD. This application of the RD would probably have more traction after the war, hence his extravagance renewing the copyright. It wouldalso explain the No 5 since the No 23 and No 36, depending on your point of view, had nothing to do with him (slight tease).


    I am not sure of the purpose of the RD but it is unlikely to offer any protection for an inventor of the integral gas-check. I apologise for using it rather frivolously to support the gas-check on an old friend.

    Last edited by Bonnex; 20th February 2020 at 09:09 PM.
    N.


 

 

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