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  1. #1
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    Mills Bomb Appraisal

    Hi All
    Recently picked this mills bomb up from a re-enactor friend and would appreciate any thoughts on how how original the parts are (Noting it is a repaint). The filler plug and lever don't look right to me in my non-expert opinion, along with the lack of clarity of the maker mark on the body.
    thanks
    Paul
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    I recognise that grenade. I used to own it, in fact it was me that repainted it when I was involved in re-enactment years ago.

    I had something like 10 or so grenades, picked up cheaply from fairs such as Tilbury and Beltring, some had bits missing and all had little finish remaining. They were all stripped, the bodies wirebrushed and painted with shellac. The green lines were hand painted and the red X's were stamped with the X from a childs printing set found in a £1 shop using Humbrol model enamels.
    The other parts were cleaned up and missing parts picked up from wherever I could find them. There was no attempt to find 'correct' makers markings. A quantity of pins and rings came off eBay from Australia if I recall correctly. As such the various parts were mixed up, but the grenades served their purpose on reenactment displays for many years. Most of them were eventually sold on specialist auctions after I gave up reenactment.

    The filler plug with the wonky W D marking was in one of the grenades when purchased, but I always thought it was not real.

    The body marking is J H W which I believe is John Harper, Willenhall.

  3. #3
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    The base plug has the large threaded hole for the baseplate. This allowed for multiple firings from a cup discharger without risk of the baseplate becoming detached. It was used with a practice grenade.
    cheers gary

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys, what a small world!
    It's not a field I know much about, but on browsing around the internet, I thought the makers' mark seemed quite poor compared to the example here, which made we wonder if the body had been re-cast:
    http://www.millsgrenades.co.uk/image...s/No36mJHW.jpg
    I guess its okay as a representative or re-enactors' example or , but perhaps not 'collector grade'

  5. #5
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    The grenade is typical of many on the market. Mismatched body/ baseplug and lever being common. The filler looks odd being steel with WD. There were steel plugs in WW1 but they were plain. In WW2 filler plugs were mainly zinc / mazac or in very few cases (Canadian) brass. The Mk II baseplug is nice to have but not original to this grenade I suspect.

    If you want something to sit on a display shelf and look the part I'd say it was fine for that.

    John
    William Mills - Thank you!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsman View Post
    The filler looks odd being steel with WD. There were steel plugs in WW1 but they were plain. In WW2 filler plugs were mainly zinc / mazac or in very few cases (Canadian) brass.
    John
    From what I remember the filler plug on this grenade was aluminium, not steel or mazac. Which is why I though it was not real.
    Belly, can you check the filler plug with a magnet please. (In case my memory is going)

  7. #7
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    Hallo,
    i just read your comments and I'm intrigued by your use of "Shellac" as a paint for metal-grenades. Why did you use Shellac ? Traditionally Shellac has been used by "Artificers" for paper, cardboard, wood or other natural materials. What was your reasoning to use it on metal ?
    Greetings,
    Bellifortis.
    Quote Originally Posted by reccetrooper View Post
    I recognise that grenade. I used to own it, in fact it was me that repainted it when I was involved in re-enactment years ago.

    I had something like 10 or so grenades, picked up cheaply from fairs such as Tilbury and Beltring, some had bits missing and all had little finish remaining. They were all stripped, the bodies wirebrushed and painted with shellac. The green lines were hand painted and the red X's were stamped with the X from a childs printing set found in a £1 shop using Humbrol model enamels.
    The other parts were cleaned up and missing parts picked up from wherever I could find them. There was no attempt to find 'correct' makers markings. A quantity of pins and rings came off eBay from Australia if I recall correctly. As such the various parts were mixed up, but the grenades served their purpose on reenactment displays for many years. Most of them were eventually sold on specialist auctions after I gave up reenactment.

    The filler plug with the wonky W D marking was in one of the grenades when purchased, but I always thought it was not real.

    The body marking is J H W which I believe is John Harper, Willenhall.

  8. #8
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    It was my understanding that Mills grenades were dipped in shellac during manufacture, as it is fast drying and waterproof. That is why I used shellac.

 

 

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