A couple of (really) hard to find hand grenades

In military ordnance one of the toughest countries to find items from (and most expensive) is Japan.
While I don’t focus specifically on Japanese ordnance, over the years I have had the good fortune to locate some very rare items. Here are a couple that are seldom seen by the typical collector.

On the left is the Frangible Glass Smoke Grenade. All of the US references list it as Type unknown, I am sure that there is a Japanese designation but I have never been able to confirm it with actual documentation. References identify it as being filled with a mixture of titanium tetrachloride and silicon tetrachloride.
On the right is the grenade identified in US manuals as the 172 B-K Gas Grenade. Filled with Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) it was a bona-fide chemical weapon, though of limited effectiveness.

I’ve had the smoke grenade for some years, but got a tip last weekend from an IAA member and just received the HCN grenade today. I’ve only seen one other.

Now I just need to seal the two of them in concrete…


Jeff, well done!
Can you maybe tell teh exact diameter of teh two and the OAL over the filling lugs + largest diameters of the lugs at their “rims”?

From the Facebook group Japanese WW2 Ordnance Collectors



Jeff, I wonder if people seal things in Lucite any more, or Acrylic for that matter. A little more visual than concrete, though :grin:

Now I just need a Japanese bottle cap and some copper sulfate…

Alex remind me this weekend and I’ll take some measurements.

Now you need to talk to collectors of Japanese beer bottles! :baby_bottle:

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Uhm… huh? So nobody knows you have such rare gems?!

They are extremely fragile. One bad bump and you’ve lost a piece of history that is likely one of only a few left existing. How do you keep that from happening? Especially when you have a constant flow of people coming through, some that bring their kids - Concrete and electric fence!

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RE extremely fragile, reminds me of the wax drums used by the early music machines.

Maybe you can have it encased in epoxy block. They are getting really really good at making those very clear.

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I would not want to be jumping / diving into a foxhole or cave with one of those in my pocket.

amazing stuff Jeff

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My greatest concern (behind children) is, ridiculously enough, earthquakes. Fairly rare in our area, we had a 4.2 earthquake 75 miles from here several years back, I have a number of deep divots in the hardwood floors from WWI grenades that fell off the shelves. Also had a few projectiles that “settled” into more stable locations, but they are more robust and the concrete floors don’t care. In addition to the grenades I have some concerns over the 3500+ .22 boxes lining the walls and ceiling - what a mess that would make

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Plexiglass covers?

Or have the local trade school bend some steel wire into long shelf guards.


A similar, but German, glass grenade up for auction on Gunbroker. German one has more complex design.


Compared to the Japanese the German one is common.

Considered that (plexiglass) at one time, too much reflection. The glass cabinets are pretty bad also. For now all of the delicate glass items and cutaways go on different shelving in another room.

The Philips box contains a replacement inner tube for the German smoke.

For the .22 ammunition I’m considering simply gluing small diameter dowels at the front of the shelving. That, however, is a lot of dowels.


Two questions:
What is the big lightbulb looking thing on the far left?
What is the large dark bottle on the right that looks like i has a Tiki torch on the top?