Although inert Mill’s bombs are pretty easy to find, the igniter sets that go inside them to actually fire the grenade are much harder to find. Live examples are of course illegal, but inert drill igniters are legal to own, however they can be rather scarce. My thanks therefore go to Andy Dixon for his help in adding this one to my collection:The igniter is used to explode the grenade and on a live version is consists of a .22inch cap in a chamber, a short length of safety fuse bent to shape and a detonator, as illustrated in this diagram from the 1951 army pamphlet of grenades:My example is clearly stamped drill on the cap chamber:The detonator also has large holes drilled through it to show it is for training purposes and not live:There are tiny date numbers on the back of the cap chamber, and I believe these are for 1943 or 1944 (they really are miniscule!):Live igniters are obviously very dangerous, and this safety warning comes from the pamphlet:
The set must be handled carefully, holding by the fuze and cap chamber; it must never be struck or crushed and it must be kept away from heat and not allowed to become damp. No attempt will be made to strip down any part of the igniter set.
The manual also instructs users on how to insert the igniter into the grenade:
…to prime the grenade the base plug is removed; the detonator sleeve must then be inspected to ensure that it is free from any obstruction and has no rough edges. Holding the igniter set by the cap and fuze between finger and thumb, squeeze them very gently together to ensure that they will go into the grenade easily. The detonator is then inserted carefully into its sleeve and the cap chamber pushed in as far as it will go. If for any reason the igniter set cannot be inserted easily into the grenade, both should be rejected. The base plug is replaced and screwed up with the base plug key.