Repro Alerts!

This page will have any information received regarding reproduction or fake grenades. Quite a few seem to be coming on the market, often being offered as real grenades. If you know of any or have further information about the ones listed, please send me an email or photo so it can be posted. We all need to be alert with these things and help each other out. Thanks to all those that have sent information already.

Reproduction XM Series Grenades

Just now showing up on ebay, being properly marketed as reproductions.

 I expect before long these will be showing up with some weathering, missing a bit of paint, perhaps a couple of small dents and being found in the basement of an ex special forces soldier that served three tours in Vietnam.  Absolutely authentic Vietnam artifact, very rare.  Be warned.........

Having said all that, these look pretty good actually, good fillers for that missing item from your collection.

Thanks for the warning Dave.

 

Mk 111A1

Brought forward by Ed, these are showing up on Ebay and Manions fairly regularly now and go for big bucks.  Interesting that the Lot number is the same on all of them, repro or not, its hard to tell, but the same lot numbers on all of them makes me suspicious.  Also note some small differences in the grenades themselves, certainly something that would not happen if they were all made together as the Lot numbers indicate.  Buyer beware!!!!

 

Possible Repro Kugelhandgranat 1913

Thanks to Rob for passing the information on.

I recently picked up a 1913 German Kugel grenade off EBay that was being advertised as "authentic". The web photos looked convincing so I ended up buying it for $116.00 USD. Unfortunately things just didn't add up once it arrived.

Please refer to the attached photos. I circled the areas of interest in red on the photos. Here are the most obvious problems with this grenade:

1.) The brass fuse plug is completely solid. The upper vent hole shown is merely a casting impression that was painted black to make it look like a hole. Similarly the bottom vent hole is only a casting mark that does not extend to the center of the fuse plug.

4.) The brass fuse fits too loosely into the grenade body (i.e. the threads do not match). This flaw indicates a casting mistake on either the body, the fuse, or possibly both.

2.) There is a small 1/4" diameter hole in the bottom center of the grenade body. It was plugged with epoxy filler and painted over. The epoxy filler is readily apparent if you look on the inside of the grenade, but much harder to spot by looking on the outside. I could see no indication that this hole was drilled (as might be the case if it were demilitarized). Holes like this are typically cast into the body of replicas to render them safe (and legal) for public consumption.

3.) The horizontal fragmentation/scoring grooves are slightly narrower on the top half of the grenade body than they are on the bottom half. This was likely caused by a mistake in the copy process of the original mold. It's a subtle flaw but one that simply shouldn't exist if it were the real thing.

5.) The inside of the grenade body has a fresh coat of red paint or red primer on it (huh??? yes, I was confused when I saw it too). My best guess is that it was a coating used on the mold to help separate it from the metal? I don't know much about modern metal making but that at least seems plausible. Very suspicious either way.

6.) I scraped off a small amount of metal from the inside of the grenade body. It is a soft steel alloy of some kind, definitely not of WW1 vintage.  There is also a broken section on the bottom center of the grenade (see photo) that was glued back on. This was probably caused by weak metal and a structural flaw that cracked the case during cooling.

7.) The metal on the main body is simply too good to be true. There is absolutely no pitting, rust, or discoloration anywhere to be found. Certainly not something you expect to see on a 90-100 year old piece of metal.

Repro Mills bombs

Check out Dave Sampsons site for a good bit on a repro/fake Mills bomb.

www.millsgrenades.co.uk

 

Reproduction M10 Fuzes

There seems to be a large number of reproduction M10 fuzes about right now, most are being sold as reproductions but how long before we start seeing descriptions like "authentic training fuze" "Original" etc etc.  Not that the people selling them really know that they are reproductions but it is bound to happen.  Not having seen one for myself I am depending on descriptions from other people.  These fuzes are made of aluminum, not the same material the original fuzes are made of.  The safety levers are unmarked and painted black or have a blackened finish, there are no internal parts and the internal primer pocket is empty.  Most of these things can be easily replaced, painted or whatever by someone determined to produce a fake that will fool the novice or even experienced collector.  Watch for them!

We just got some very interesting information from Rex.  Apparently these are partially legitimate.

During the war there was an experimental Mk.II grenade made of aluminum. Theses bouchons were made for that project. The grenade never made it beyond the prototype stage.  Since the aluminum fuze bodies couldn't be used for existing grenade production, (galvanic corrosive effects between the dissimilar metals iron/aluminum), existing inventory was scrapped.

Once a very rare item, a large (many thousands) parcel of these unloaded aluminum bouchons surfaced at a scrap metal auction a year or two ago, and were purchased by a single buyer.  Apparently repro levels were made and pins obtained and here we are. This accounts for the confusing observation of the overall poor repro quality of the levers as compared to the excellent condition of the body. (Why one and not the other?)

This fuze would not be correct for a Mk.II restoration, unless it were used on an original aluminum body.

No. 75 Mk. II Hawkins Grenade

"What Price Glory" has outstanding replicas, likely the same ones you see down the page a bit.  Sure look the same anyway!!  Great price and very fast shipping.

 http://www.whatpriceglory.com/ 

No. 75 Mk. II Hawkins Grenade

A fellow name Paul Reijnders has produced the best reproduction of this mine I have seen.  These are so good they could easily be taken for real grenades.  Paul has not made these to fool the collectors and in fact his reproductions are probably better made than the originals.  Here are a couple of photos of an original and the reproduction side by side.  For collectors, note the markings and lack of "punchouts" in the support brackets so you will not be fooled, for reenactors, dig out your money, this one is great.  More photos and a link to Paul's email can be found here  

Dave has sent in a couple of photo of reproduction Gammon Grenades made for the reenactor market.  No possibility of confusing these with the real thing, these are made of resin.  I have no information as to where to get these at the moment.  If I find out I will post the information.

David has sent in another photo of a different Repro No. 75 Mk. I.  Easy to tell this one is a fake, the tin is of the more modern square(ish) type.  The colour is wrong and I cannot tell if there are igniter pockets or not.  Obviously made for the reenactor market.

Thanks to D. Gordon we finally have a photo of the reproduction No. 75 Mk. I (Hawkins) grenade.

Note the missing detonator sockets under the pressure plate.   The crease in the pressure plate appears to be a bit too big and the pressure plate appears to be made of a lighter material than an original.  Painted markings are missing on this particular one.   Other than that it looks like a good likeness for the reinactor but will not fool the informed collector.

Hawkins2.jpg (16942 bytes)

Alan Kuhn sends us a repro alert about a company selling repro grenades.  The URL is http://www.mfiap.com/airsoft/main_grenade.htm   The company is selling repro German M43 both early and late models and Eierhandgrante 39,  British No. 5 (check the baseplug, looks like a No. 23 to me), Japanese Type 91 and Type 97 grenades.  Check the website to see photos.  The prices for these things is darn near what you can get real ones for.  Don't get fooled by any of these things.  Wonder if the company has permenantly marked these as reproductions, bet not!  The company is not trying to market them as real, so good on them.  I expect these are the same grenades Rex tells us about below.

Rex sends us this report of yet more fake grenades appearing on the market. A guy brought a couple of grenades to my table at the show in Atlanta. They were really good repo's of the German 43 stick grenade and the German 39 egg grenade 2nd model. The only way I could tell that they were repo's was that the fuze dome was more pointed than the real fuze (they even went to the trouble of putting in a fake pull section inside the fuze. The egg grenades also have the correct markings stamped into the bottom. The guy told me they sell for around $50.00 and come from somewhere in Asia.

I think I found a website that is selling these things, they are not represented as real on the website but who knows what some unscrupulous person will do. They look pretty good to me, too new, but that is something that should indicate a reproduction, Check the website out at. www.soldat.com/soldat_weapons.html (editor)

Rex reports that there is somebody in Belgium making repro M-16/M-18 / Thermite grenades/ they are dated 1943/44/45. The best way to tell is to look at the lettering, also check out the inside of the can, usually the fuze is the wrong type. They are surfacing in Europe and most recently in the U.S. The M-16 don't have the holes in the side. Apparently they are made of empty drink containers that are the same size as chemical grenades.

There also appears to be some fake M14, M6A1, and M18 grenades floating around. These are real smoke grenade bodies that some company bought off an overrun and painted up to look like other chemical grenades. One way to tell is the number and placement of emission holes. Typically markings on the fuze are "Fuse M201A1 OPI-1-244" for all of them. The M6A1 grenades are marked on the body, "GAS CN-DM PB-2-68". The AN-M14 grenade has the same markings on the fuze and the body marked "INCEN TH EA-6842-046". Body is painted grey with very dark violet markings. The M18 grenades have the same markings on the fuze, these will be harder to tell due to the body being correct for a smoke grenade but if the fuze is marked as above, be suspicious.

This is an example of the repro grenades. There is one small emission hole in the bottom. I have permenantly marked this particular one as a reproduction so it will never again fool anyone (not that I was fooled, I bought it as an example of the repro grenades, just so I could bring you a photo).

Some new informatin has come to light about these particular repro grenades. Bert Mullins sends us this. These are not recent items.  They were made by a fellow here in Texas probably about ten years ago and were widely sold.  They were initially never represented as being real grenades, or even grenades made inert.   They were sold as replicas for collectors or as items to be displayed with a militaria collection.  I don't believe any misrepresentation was ever perpetrated or intended.  I'm not sure the cans are even original cans from an overun.  I stripped the paint off one of them a couple years ago and found it had a label under the paint for some other commercial product.  I don't recall what it was.

 

Rex has just reported someone reproducing the M8 launchers for the Carbine. Apparently some company got ahold of a bunch of M7 launchers and the flash hiders made for the carbine. They are cutting off the flash hiders and attaching the clamps onto the barrel of the M7 launchers and are selling them as M8 Launchers. Real M8 launchers should be clearly marked on the clamp "M8 LAUNCHER CARBINE CAL-30".

This comes to us from David Mather in England, a warning about reproduced grenades. So far it involves British No. 75, Hawkins, German Steilhandgranate 39, and Nebelhandgranate 39.

Here are some notes David provided on how to identify the fakes.

The repro grenades are extremely good. RE: the stick grenades, the handles are excellent, but the base caps, whilst appearing identical are brass or brass plated under the paint and have a slightly different thread to them so they are not interchangeable with an original. The most obvious difference is that the head of the grenade is of a thicker gauge steel making it slightly heavier than norm. The heads are also not deep drawn but fabricated resulting in a slightly sharp radius to the head. Otherwise all markings/stampings are very authentic. On the smoke version the holes are drilled out with the resulting burring of the holes, not stamped. Most that I have seen have a paper label on the head. Best to avoid anything with a label!

I have yet to see the Hawkins, but I believe they are extremely good, with all correct stampings etc., so check your source if they appear.

There are many egg grens around too- beautifully made, but no one here is passing these off as original.

We have had some additional notes on the fake grenades sent to us from Rob Grieve. Take note of the differences on the No. 75 Hawkins grenade. Thanks to Rob for taking the time to send this to us.

It is made from a tin can similar to the original and the differences are:

1) The striker plate is thicker than the original. 2)There is no detonator well soldered on top of the can under the striker plate. 3) The "C" broad arrow is very clearly marked. (These were not made in Canada to the best of my knowledge) 4) They are painted a reddish colour similar to red primer rather than the brown Olive Drab.) The best indicator is that the can is not stamped with the model number and manufacturer.
 

While we are talking about fake grenades, we all know about the fake M21, M30/M62, and M69 grenades right? Easy to tell, for most of them,

M21 (Mk. 2 style)-if they fit an M228 fuze mechanism they are fakes.

M30/M62 (Egg Shape)- again, if they fit an M228 fuze mechanism be very suspicious, there is a note in the latest FM 23-30 that the M228 fuze mechanism was used on the M62 but it would involve changing the treading in the body. Certainly possible but they are more than likely fakes.

M69 (Baseball)- If it has a cast iron body, its fake.

M228 fuze mechanisms use the short angled safety lever and are marked on the top of the safety lever.

Lots of these grenades are listed on the EBAY auctions as real grenades, mind you, most of the people listing them probably don't know any better.