What's new
British Ordnance Collectors Network

This is a sample guest message. Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!



Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Here are a couple of early centre cast No 5 Mills grens from my collection.

Both have the early type channelled lever and the smaller ringpull.
One has an aluminium filler screw which a mate has tided up as someone had tried to remove it in the past and really 'screwed' it up. The other is brass. Both have 08/15 brass plugs.



  • Picture493.jpg
    70.8 KB · Views: 118
  • Picture494.jpg
    71.1 KB · Views: 107
  • Picture495.jpg
    67.9 KB · Views: 96
Damn Andy, Your Mills collection is certainly top shelf, and you keep amazing me with each post. Kinda reminds me of what Joe Buck said after Mark Mcgwire hit his 69th home run in 98, he said "how much more can you give us"? Dano
Cheers Paul,

its interesting to see how different makers produced the same gren. They are both No 5s but have completely different body shape and lug positions, both the levers sit differently on the body. Both were once live'uns' and are not dug examples. Wish they could talk.

Hi Dano,

thanks also, theres a lot more people out there with much better collections than me[Paul being one] but its nice to show a few good examples. My fave gren is the Gibbons Spring [a few pics on another thread]. I seem to be collecting too many of them these days.

Amazing... Excellent pieces there Andy!
Your Mills collection is certainly one of the best I've seen.

Thanks for posting the photos.

My pleasure Brad,

one of my most unusual plugs[ i know there are 2 in the picture, gave one away] is this one. Its a propper, pukka Mills base plug. Perfect threads, perfect shape but very poorly made and with no markings. Its not a repro as it has bits of gren stuck to the rim, something you just cant fake. Anyone with any ideas? I have a few?



  • th_Picture075-1.jpg
    3.1 KB · Views: 31
hi dan.
heres a link explaining the difference between a centre cast body and a more common vertical cast body
basically the centre cast body doesn't have any horizontal grooves when it comes out of the mould. these are machined on afterwards. the vertical cast body has all the grooves when it comes out of the mould saving a lot of time in manufacture. centre cast grens are perfecty circular when viewed from above while the vertical cast ones have a stepped appearance.
hope this makes sence?
Great grenades Andy. That left hand one has the same front plate as that odd under-size under-weight centrecast Mills I showed you. Note the differences to the shoulders. I suspect the left hand one is later.

Hi John,
thanks for that, i guess we will never know the manufacture dates of either gren. The l/h gren does have the capitol letter R on each shoulder. Who or what that signifies i have no idea. They are not my fave grens though.


Centrecasts were the original type specified in the drawings circulated to the manufacturers. They are basically a top and a bottom joined in the middle, whereas the normal Mills is a front and a back joined at the sides. Centrecasts were far more time consuming to make and basically all the makers even Mills had abandoned them by the end of 1915. The original drawings included the normal Mills as the 'Alternate casting', which because it was easier to make became the norm.

Centrecasts probably numbered something like 50,000 - 100,000 in total therefore were possibly less the half of one percent of all WW1 production. Consquently they are much rarer than the normal Mills. I have 3. One cutaway in near mint condition, One recovered from the Loos Battlefield (possibly the first full battle they were used in) and one really oddball centrecast that is smaller than a normal Mills. If you see one - buy it!


Thanks John that is useful information. I don't normally run across a lot of Mills over here but will keep eye on. Currently in negoiations for another #36..Dano