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  1. #1
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    U.S. or French V.B. rifle grenade

    Hi all. in photo 1 the far right grenade is a WW1 V.B. rifle grenade. It is stamped R.S. on the grenade body. Does anyone know if this would be a French V.B. or a United States V.B.??? I'm not sure of the differences (if any) between the U.S. and French versions. Also the photo on right is of a drawing of an m1917 practice German rifle grenade. I used to have but don't anymore. It has quite a bit more rounded bottom than its live counterpart. I am looking for one for my collection......Dano
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    Hi Dano. Here's 3 VBs (2 x French & 1 x US). The US one was found in the Guadalcanal area and has been sand blasted and repainted. There are obvious differences between these French and US examples, but I don't know if these variations are the norm. Best Regards
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    Last edited by Fragman; 2nd September 2010 at 07:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    Hi Colin, I'll say there are some differences. Thank you kindly for posting that up. Mine appears to fall somewhere in the middle between the different ones you pictured? Nice V.B.'s by the way....Dano

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    Well, nothing is easy in this business. I've attached a photo of two VB's from my collection. The one on the right is US (looks a lot like the French ones posted earlier), the one on the left I am not sure of. Is the .22 rimfire cartridge still in the grenade? If so, is there a headstamp on it? All of the US ones I have seen have had headstamps on the cartridges. Don't know if they all did though, but the headstamp, if present, would be a good clue. The other photo is a close-up of my US one with the "H" headstamp from Winchester repeating Arms Co. Since I don't know for sure if my other one is French (although I suspect it is), I can't be of much other help. Although the French used the 8mm Lebel to launch the grenade and the US used the cal. .30 cartridge (7.62mm) there is no doubt insufficient difference there to measure the diameter of the central hole. My two are almost identical in diameter. Others with known specimen might be able to find different diameters.
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  5. #5
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    In Sgt Lynn's excellent book " The Grenade Recognition Manual vol 1 on US grenades, it states the differences between the US and French Vb's as:-
    us ones are made from malable iron, french from cast iron. us ones are painted grey. bullet hole slightly smaller on us grens. the striker is a different shape and the centre tube is brass on french models and drawn steel on us models. the latter would be the easiest way of telling the difference.
    heres a repainted one im sure is a us model. it has the steel centre tube and is marked GM "maybe General Motors?"
    cheers paul.
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    Visit my grenade website at www.paul-spence1964.com

  6. #6
    John D. Bartleson Jr.
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    Internal view of U.s. VB1
    Regards,
    John
    Last edited by John D. Bartleson Jr.; 20th November 2010 at 03:29 PM.

  7. #7
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    I guess I need to read Darryll's book a little closer and I might learn something!!! I have attached the engineering drawing for the US VB. Not a good copy, but the original isn't much either.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul the grenade View Post
    In Sgt Lynn's excellent book " The Grenade Recognition Manual vol 1 on US grenades, it states the differences between the US and French Vb's as:-
    us ones are made from malable iron, french from cast iron. us ones are painted grey. bullet hole slightly smaller on us grens. the striker is a different shape and the centre tube is brass on french models and drawn steel on us models. the latter would be the easiest way of telling the difference.
    heres a repainted one im sure is a us model. it has the steel centre tube and is marked GM "maybe General Motors?"
    cheers paul.
    Yes, GM would most likely be General Motors....Dano

  9. #9
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    Here's my (U.S.) GM marked VB with a (French) brass center tube. A conundrum.
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  10. #10
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    Here is my VB, with the steel central tube, couldn't get a photo that would show that so you will just have to take my word on it. The most obvious difference is the striker which is much more robust than those on french grenades and the striker point pressed into the striker is also different, on the french ones its a point whereas on the US ones its more like a bar running the distance of the striker (hope you understand what I am trying to say). Apparently according to another collector, the US ones have the Hex nut style filling plug and not the screw type as the french ones do. I have learned a lot since writing that first book, but my observations still stand on the VB (course I am always open to corrections). EODGUY if I am correct on the strikers, then I think both of yours are US.
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