Considering the British Army dropped the No36 Mills Bomb from its inventory in the 1970s, I always find it fascinating that the Indian Army still makes and uses this venerable grenade design- if its not broken, don’t fix it! The No 36 grenade uses a seperate detonator, that is left out for safer shipping and only fitted when needed. We covered a drill detonator here, and the British detonator tin here. Where the British tin was round, the Indian Army uses a rectangular tin, but still painted in bright red:
This is extensively stencilled in black, with details of its contents. Across the front the lettering tells us that it holds five detonators for the No36M Grenade and they each have a four second delay:
The rear warns that the contents of the tin are explosive:
The lot number and a date of filling, March 2009, are stencilled on one side:
The lid repeats this information, however the lot number is different which makes me suspect its lid has got muddled up with that from another tin at some point:
The date of manufacture for the tin itself (rather than its contents) is stamped into the metal of the tin on the base and indicate that this too was made in 2009:
I will be honest and say that the quality of the tin is not great and if it wasn’t for the dates marked on it, I would have said the tin was of World War II vintage! According to the seller, this tin was part of a batch he purchased from an arsenal in Rajasthan, but I have no way of verifying this; the fact that he had a large quantity of other Indian objects makes me believe his story is true however.
Although this is a very humble object, I am very fond of it as modern Indian kit is hard to come by and having a few Mills bombs myself, this fits in very nicely to a couple of my collecting areas.