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Wonder if it is a self-contained pressure switch/trap device as opposed to being a grenade. The single trip lever probably wouldn't have been very reliable as a grenade unless it was really sensitive and if so, it could have become a hazard to the thrower. Being round does make for a strong case that it is an impact grenade. No help I know but maybe it will stir the brain trust.
Paul I am not in any educated position to be able to give any insight into this one, but it does have that kugel appearance about it. Here is another unusual kugel, which I am sure you are aware of - a clockwork Kugel. How effective these were is open to speculation, but it does go to prove that all methods were being tried. Could your example be an experiment on an all-ways fuze that just was too complicated to go into production?? I would be interested to know how this relates in size to the standard Kugel and the clockwork version that Gau8 has??
as a footnote, I personally love these intriguing pieces that we all seem to aquire at one stage or another and the mystery about what it is adds so much to the piece. I guess we can all summise what it may be, but one day evidence may come to light that proves it beyond doubt - I wish you well in your quest.
Paul, another question on this one.....
reading the replies it seems as though there is question as to wether this is an 'impact'/'allways' mechanism, or some form of 'booby trap' device, possibly made to decieve (left laying around in an abandoned trench or similar???)
my question is this...... have you set it in the armed position and tried moving it and similarily have you tried setting it and thrown it a little way (onto an old sofa or something similar, not suggesrting you lob it!!!!!) - this may give a clue as to its intended purpose. looking at the way the mechanism is armed it doesnt look particularily safe for the person throwing it, may be prone to go off as soon as it leaves the hand???
just done a pull test on the trigger lever and a pull of approx 10 ounces will set the mechanism off. also a drop of about 12 inches onto carpeted floor will set it of with the impact point being the opposite side of the lever. ITS VERY SENSITIVE.
I think this is a booby trap Paul. It looks to have been made so that if disturbed it falls or rolls in such a way as to trip the outer 'lever'. Had it been a clockwork type fuze I would have said it was a grenade.
If it's a booby trap then it would appear that a disproportionate amount of design and manufacturing effort has gone into a device that might take out one person, or perhaps two. Why not stick with the tried and trusted simple tripwire and a suitable igniter? No, this has all the hallmarks of a grenade. Maybe one that didn't progress through unreliabilty (and Messrs Chamier, and Daniels & Gardiner pushed that envelope in Britain), but a grenade nontheless. The patent just hasn't turned up yet.
just done a pull test on the trigger lever and a pull of approx 10 ounces will set the mechanism off. also a drop of about 12 inches onto carpeted foot will set it of with the impact point being the opposite side of the lever. ITS VERY SENSITIVE.
another thought, could it possibly be some elaborate type of practice grenade/device? The mechanism on this one has always puzzled me, as it appears to take up much of the room where ordinarily the explosive would be.........but then again, it seems an awful lot of trouble to go to for a practice item?
Paul, I think you have everyone intrigued with this one!!