Tonight we are looking at a number of British Army smoke grenades. These used examples were gifts from a fellow collector a few years ago and date from around ten years ago.
PLEASE NOTE these were not removed from a range by myself and to other collectors who are serving members of the Armed Forces- do NOT take used munitions from training exercises no matter how tempting. Used grenades are available for sale online at reasonable prices and this is a far better way to add them to your collection!
I have three smoke grenades in my collection, the two in light green are standard grenades, the dark green example is one for use in training:The grenades themselves are metal cylinders with a plastic firing handle and wire pull ring attached to a pin on the top (only one of my grenades still has this):The base of each grenade has a small aperture for the smoke to escape from.The manufacturer’s website offers a description of the L83A1 Training Grenade:
Hand White Smoke Grenade L83A1 The L83A1 smoke grenade is an operational store used to provide a fast build-up of screening smoke in the visual wavelengths for troops in the field. The HC Smoke Grenade emits a dense cloud of grey-white screening smoke for a period of 60 seconds, after a safety delay of delay 3.5 seconds. It can be thrown by hand or projected from a rifle. Robust and waterproof, they can function reliably over a wide temperature range from arctic to tropical conditions (-40° C to 50° C).
The training grenade here is an L83A2, identical to the A1 version but with a larger hole at the bottom allowing the smoke to be emitted faster. It is painted in dark green and has pale green lettering:This example was produced in May 2009. The other two grenades are standard examples for use in combat, including a L70A1 red smoke grenade:And a more unusual L100A1 yellow smoke grenade:These grenades were first developed by Halley and Weller, which was the absorbed by a company called Pains Wessex and then Chemring. The company developed a commercial series of grenades called the N130 series, which were then adopted by the British Army with the following designations:
Red: N130 L70A1
Green: N132 L68A1
Blue: N133 L71A1
Yellow: N135 L100A1
Orange: N136 L69A1
Purple: N137 L101A1
Full these grenades weigh 325g and burn for 30-45 seconds, so marginally less than the practice examples. When the pin is pulled and the grenade is thrown:
(1) The striker, under pressure of its spring, forces the lever to fly off, then continues its movement until it strikes and fires the percussion cap. The fly off lever is retained by a plastic cord. This is particularly designed to remove the hazard of a loose fly-off lever when throwing from a helicopter.
(2) The flash from the cap initiates the igniter which transmits a flash down through a central flash tube and ignites the lower and upper smoke pellets.