This German M-1917 Stielhandgranate Hand Grenade is in VERY GOOD condition. The grenade is inert and completely safe, with no explosive charge present. The original, used detonator remains in the handle, but it is spent and is no longer functional. The sheet metal explosive charge cover shows bumps, dings and dents from service and use. The “can” retains about 50% of its original filed gray-green paint. The balance of the explosives container has a lightly oxidized brown patina, with patches of light to moderate roughness and some surface rust. The cylinder has the typical instructions painted on it in white letters: Vor Gebrauch / Sprengkapsel / Einsetzen / E L’B. The first three lines roughly translate to say “Before Use, Insert Detonator”, which was definitely good advice if you wanted the grenade to function! The last line may be a maker code or other pertinent information. The explosive head still unscrews from the wooden handle and retains its original sheet metal belt hook. The original sheet metal screw collar is attached to the original wooden handle by two screws, with two additional screw holes left unused. The bottom of the handle has the original sheet metal collar, which is attached by three pins, with the fourth one missing. The original flanged sheet metal cap is present, and a couple of the eight flanges are slightly bent. Inside the recess is an original ceramic disc, with a piece of twine that may be original and may be an old replacement. In either cases, the cord and disc add substantially to the display of the grenade. The wooden handle is clearly marked in two lines, one reading 5 “ Sek. “ HNB, and the second reading: aka 17.10.16. The first marking indicates that the fuse has 5 “ second burn time, and the “HNB” refers to Hexanitrobenzene, which is a high density explosive with the chemical formula C6-N6-O12. The second line is the date of manufacture, which was October 16, 1917. This puts the production of the grenade well before the massive Allied offensives of 1918 helped bring the Great War to a close. The wood handle is in nice condition and shows no breaks, cracks or repairs. There is a very old collection tag attached to the handle with twine, which reads: “Hand Grenade (Bomb)”. The tag is hand written in ink, in an old style hand.
Overall this is a great example of the most readily recognizable hand grenade of the World War One era. Even those with little or no interest in militaria quickly recognize the classic German “Potato Masher”. No collection of Great War military relics and weapons is complete without a Stielhandgranate, and this one will be a great addition to your collection.SOLD