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South African Illumininating grenade


Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I saw this grenade and storage tube for sale a while ago, but although I know it is from South Africa and an ILLUM grenade, I do not know anything else about it, can anyone help ? Tony.
Thanks for looking anyway Spotter. I suppose it must come under the Ronseal heading \"does exactly what it says on the tin\" ! Tony.
Good afternoon,

It is the illumination grenade as issued to South African Security forces, & manufactured by Swartklip.

This grenade is designed to be thrown by hand. It produces a luminous intensity of 20000 candles minimum, with a duration of 30-40 seconds.
The grenade consists of a cylindrical body with two closing discs, there are two candles, seperated by a millboard washer. The two candles are connected by igniter cord.
These grenades have been discontinued due to its size as well as its mixture composition. It was replaced with a solid grenade.
It would be advicable to remove the bottom plug & take out the two candles. These must be destroyed in open area that has no flammable substances in its area.

The container's markings are as follow:
Red filling ring - denoting pre 1983 & contains an active agent
PY05 - is the pyrotechnic filling code
165 - filled lot number
8/78 - monogram of filler & date (month/year) of filling
a /77 - monogram of assembler & year of assembly.

Hope that this helps you.

Barry Higgs
Thanks Barry for the detailed information on this grenade. I may have some other South African items you could help me with, regards, Tony.
Photos of an R2M3 Instant Light that I owned previously. (Empty, inert, FFE)
Note that the 3 in R2M3 appears to be an alteration.



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Photos of the R2M3 Instant Light in my collection. (Empty, inert, FFE)
Note that the marking PY 05 appears to be an alteration.



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Another question:
So the PY and SR are Pyrotechnic filling codes. Are those the factory filling codes? And if so what factories are they?

Does anyone know if the Instant Light Special replaced the Instant Light R2M3 ?



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British pyrotechnic compositions were/are prefixed by one of the three, two letter groups: PN, SR or RD. These letters originate from the bodies responsible for their design.

PN - Porton Number (invariably smoke compositions)
SR - Superintendent Research (invariably pyrotechnic compositions other than smokes but there are a small number of smokes)
RD - Research Department (the vast majority of RD compounds/compositions are sealants and kindred. However, there are RD fuze powders and propellants)

SR 547 - Appears to be of the 'flare' family, developed before WWII. An unofficial list of ingredients is - Magnessium powder, Lithographic varnish, Sodium Nitrate & Calcium Oxalate.

I would imagine 'PY' is a South African designation that has replaced the British compositions.

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