US Rifle Grenades WW. 1


#1

I run in some amerikan WW. 1 manuals and so I have some questions.

Anybody has some more informations about US WW. 1 propelling cartridges

for the rod type BABBITT rifle grenade ?

The french Viven Bessier rifle grenade was used by US troops, too. There are dischargers for the M 1903 nad M 1917 rifles. I wonder if there is a special US grenade used with these dischargers. Normal ball ammo was used and shot through the grenade. Possible because of a central tube.
A small striker ignite a powder train of 8 seconds.
The french used 8mm caliber and the US 7,62. Because of the powerful US cartridge two holes where drilled into the dischargers as gas ports. The question is - is there a US VB grenade ???

VB grenade

Rifle and discharger

.


#2

Although the US VB launchers and grenades are very similar to the French versions, I believe that they are not interchangable
Something like 3 million (IIRC- maybe only 1 million?) of the US rifle grenades had been made by Westinghouse by the end of WW1 but very few had been loaded and shipped as of that time. There are (at least) 4 variations of the US made launchers- two for the M1903 and 2 for the M1917. Each rifle had one type made with a straight slot for attaching, and used a shim to keep the launcher aligned with the axis of the bore. The other used a spiral attaching slot. If anyone has either type launcher for the M1903 rifles- I am looking for one.
I have heard from WW2 USMC vets that training on use of the VB launchers with the M1903 rifles was conducted by the USMC as late as 1940-1941.


#3

John,

thanks for the additional informations. Very interesting.

I think all armys still used older stuff in stock for training purpose. There is

no problem to fire french made grenades - the impact range becomes

shorter.

May be it was a danger for french troops if they fire the US version. The

french grenades where painted black with a red top.

Somebody out there has some more informations about the US rod type

BABBITT rifle grenades ?


#4

Here is the Babbitt dummy .

.


#5

Lucky me - I run into a wonderful article.
An Introduction to Collecting .30-06 by Chris Punnett here on the IAA site.
Answered most of the questions.

“One of the other uses for blanks was propelling grenades. The earliest ones are sought after by collectors and though some are not rare they are difficult to find unless one gets to acartridge show. Because these early grenade blanks used a small charge of blackpowder with the smokeless propellant, the cases deteriorated and finding ones in good condition is hard. Early ones were also headstamped with their purpose CWG - “Chemical Warfare Grenade”, CRG - “Chemical Rifle Grenade”, or just plain RG - “Rifle grenade”. These normally have a standard case with a 5-point crimp. Eventually these became standardized as the M1 grenade blank. This has a crimped case with a cannelure on the case neck. The M2 and M3 grenade blanks were identical but for changes in powder charge and were made for many years.”





Headstamps from Blank Cartridges

"One rather unusual but not uncommon grenade blank made in the U.S. has a wood bullet. This was for the Viven-Bessi


#6

I just get these pictures from a friend. Its the rifle grenade launcher with the spiral attachment slot.

french VB