British detonator?


I have in my collection a detonator for a trench mortar (at least that’s what I think it is) made from a british .303" case. The base is painted red and the headstamp is G 16 E II (left one on the picture)

what is the official nomenclature for this detonator?
What (how) precisely was it used for, for the 6" mortar?
Has anybody a drawing from the internal mechanism?

Thanks in advance…



These are notoriously difficult to identify precisely, but I do not think your s is for a trench mortar. Those tended to be normal cases with a shoulder.

Your example looks more like the “Detonator, No.22 Rifle Grenade, Mark I.L” which was a straight case inside which was a “Detonator No.8, Mark VII” , enclosed in a paper tube. The base was painted red and a normal ball headstamp was left on the case. A similar detonator with a straight case and base painted red was the “Detonator, No.39 Grenade Matk I.L”

Another round that used a similar straight case was the "Detonator, No.110 Fuze, Mark I.L and the following Marks II and III. However, the base of these was not painted red and the Marks II and III had black stained cases. They also held a detonator in a paper tube.

I am intrigued by the headstamp you listed. Is there any chance of a picture of it?



It might be a “Vent Tube” for artillery?


The artillery vent tubes used .303 cases that were shorter than Sir Joost’s example, and did not have the red painted base.



Here is an image of the base, it is hard to read because of the red paint, but I think the original headstamp is G 16 E II see image…

So this could be a detonator for a rifle grenade… I guess it is a part of the grenade and shouldn’t be loaded in the rifle? (because of the shape, without a shoulder)

thanks for your help.