It all started with this photo from eMule claiming to be a German rifle grenade.
Then I went to Lonesentry.com lonesentry.com/ for more info and found this passage: In the case of the small AP grenade and the antipersonnel grenade, the propelling charge is a standard 7.92-mm steel cartridge case closed at the mouth by crimping. For the large AP grenade the cartridge is provided with a wooden bullet. The grenades are packed singly in cartons with their appropriate cartridges.
2 questions. 1st: How rare are these cartridges? Somehow I don’t see them around (or don’t pay attention). 2nd: Why use a wooden bullet to propell a grenade?
It all started with this photo from eMule claiming to be a German rifle grenade.
They are scare because one
Dutch posted a nice response while I was typing out mine and making a scan. Later, when Joe can, there will be another scan, somewhat repetative of Dutch’s work, for which I apologize. As I said, it was not posted when I first looked at this thread. My scan will picture some types Dutch didn’t show, however, so hopefully, it will not be too boring for everyone.
Fascinating, even though I am still clueless about the need for a wooden bullet, especially with the existence of rose crimp.
I am sorry, but I cannot answer your question about the wood bullets. I have never seen an explanation of why some used wood bullets and others did not, at least in English where I could recognize the subject matter and understand it. The only English-language book on the subject, by Daniel Kent, does not provide any explanation for the different constructions of the various German 7.9 x 57 Grenade Blanks.
Perhaps Dtuch can answer this. I am not sure if it is covered in Micke’s book or not, as that would be beyond my poor ability to read German.
I don’t claim to know the answer to the wood-bulleted grenade cartridges but I know there are some grenades that use the bullet as the mechanism for initiating the process. Since jacketed bullets could not be used at grenade practice ranges, the wood bullets were used as a safety feature.
And Nitpicking Ray is back again. They are not Grenade Blanks but instead, Grenade Cartridges.
May be the wooden bullet is nessesary for an constant powder burn - and I think for a simpler loading. You can clip it into the magazine and load it like a ball round. I remember fingering arround with a crimped case to bring it into the chamber. Clip it into the magazine and try to close the bolt was immpossible - the case jammed and dented.
Ray - common parlance among English-speaking collectors has legitimatized the use of “grenade blanks” even though you are absolutely correct that a better term is grenade launching cartridges. It is similar to the use of all different model dates with Luger pistols among collectors - Model 1908 First Issue, Second Issue, Third Issue, Model 1914, Artillery Model, etc. - none of which were official German designations.
For those not really up on German 7.9 variations, I apologize in that I did not mention that the first three cartridges on the right in my picture are from the WWI era. The others are all from the WWII era.
Genkideskan - you cannot feed a cartridge directly into the chamber of a K98k or other Mauser 98 rifle variants unless the extractor has been modified, as in some sporting verions. The extractor, unlike some other bolt action rifles, of the controlled-feed Mauser will not snap over the rim of the cartridge. They must be feed with the rim already under the extractor, as occurs when fed from the magazine. I just verified that with my Sauer-made 1942 K98k and my Brno vz 27 converted to 7.62 x 51 NATO in Israel. Surprisingly, I found that my 1916 DWM Gewehr 98 has been so altered, which I hadn’t realized in all the years I’ve owned it, and the simple modification to the face of the extractor is quite evident on it. I can’t speak for those around Germany, but it was a commonly-done modification in the U.S on surplus rifles.
My comment about the use of the term “Grenade Blank” wasn’t aimed at you or anyone else in particular. I mentioned it primarily because of the safety factor. There are “Blank Cartridges” and there are “Grenade Cartridges”. Lest there are any out there who do not already know, using a Blank Cartridge as a Grenade Cartridge could have disastrous results.
Ray - Point well taken. I would worry more, though, about someone using a grenade blank of any type with a wood or other projectile as a noise-making blank than I would the reverse, since few people will have occasion to fire rifle grenades. In fact, the danger of some blanks is a subject unto itself. Unlike when most blank ammunition was for manually operated weapons, most today are designed to, one way or anohter, function in semi-atuomatic or full automatic weapons. Some blanks designed for SMGs, such as the Swedish 9mm blanks with solid red plastic bullets, are incredibly dangerous if fired in weapons without the muzzle-constricting device that pulverizes the plastic projectile. A 9mm Swedish blank, for example, will penetrate 1/4 inch of plywood without much problem. Many wood-bulleted blanks are also designed to be used with constructors that render them harmless, as well.
Best advice what it has always been - don’t use any cartridge for a purpose it was not intended for, nor in a weapon (or a should say a weapon system, bearing in mind the various adaptors used with blanks) it was not specifically intended for.
My guess is that the wooden bullet was simply to facilitate feeding from the magazine. Even when firing by loading single rounds in rifles with the K98k Mauser type extractors, it is preferable to press the cartridge into the magazine so that as the bolt feeds it into the chanber the rim slips up under the extractor claw. If the cartridge is dropped into the chamber it can be diffuclt to get the extractor claw to snap over it (unlike the exttractors used on the M1 Garand or M1 carbine which are designed to snap over the rim).
John, we are a real team. :)
First, think we must make a difference between a 7.9 cartridge, put in a rifle, to shoot away a rifle grenade, and a 7.9 cartridge build in a grenade to launch it.
The scare System Ehrhard cartridge was pressed in a grenade. The problem is, to get one of these rounds, you must pull it out of the life grenade. Think it is not my business to do that kind of things.
The first model WW2
I’m sorry my friend, but I do not believe that my round with the Rosebud crimp is a platzpatrone made from empty cases after the war. Firstly, the cartridge has an overall length of approximately 60 m/m, too long to have been made from the empty case of a ball cartridge. Secondly, it is a dummy, with no powder, and a tiny hole, too small to have bled powder out of the round thru it, approximately 12 mm below the case-shoulder. The primer is a normal, unsnapped German steel-cupped primer, WITHOUT CRIMPS. There is no primer seal, nor does it look like there ever was one.
The headstamp is “dnf St+ 59 42.” The exact cartridge to mine, including the lot and date on the headstamp, is also in the Woodin collection.
The round is in almost brand new condition, the case showing no signs of having ever been fired, nor of any remanufacturing. It is within the time period when “dnf” was making grendade launching cartridges.
If this is a platzpatrone, then it was made as one and is experimental. We believe it is an experimental (inert in this case, probably for display) triebkartusche.
I welcome your comments, as of course, I can be wrong.
451kr - Thanks for posting that label! Great. Have never seen that label. I do have that type recorded from Micke’s excellent study of these grenade launching cartridges.
Good photos. Thanks for adding it to this thread!
Very interesting label!! Must have been a pretty heavy crate. I don’t have the book John mentions, do you have a picture of the rifle launched parachute flare and/or the launching cartridge?
Dutch & John
Nice pictures of the
Phil - 451kr posted a picture of the rifle grenade launching blank for the parachute flare grenade right below the picture of the box label along with its headstamp.
I already put back the Grenade blanks I used in the picture, and they were taken from each type that look the same (ignoring colored primer seals) so I am not sure which they are. I have over forty German WWII Grenade blanks. If you want, I can try to send you an email with the headstamps typed out. I don’t want to try to scan them. I have mixed results with headstamps on the scanner anyway, and to try to do well over 100 grenade blanks including the WWI types, would take me half the day. In just the practice grenade launching cartridges from WWI, with the red neck and red base, I have over 80 headstamps, the biggest single lot though.
Let me know if you want me to type them out, but give me a few weeks for it. I have a really busy schedule coming up, and not sure when I would get to it - maybe even not unitl after the SHOT Show. I hope to go to Prescott also, but the finances aren’t shaping up well for that.
I wasn’t sure if the picture that 451kr posted went with the lable or not.
Don’t worry about the headstamps.
I also have between 50-60 different headstamps of the WWI Patr. Ub. Werf. Gra. f