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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While I haven't been able to get my 1915-16 dated No. 1 MKIII rifle yet. I have been looking at accessories.


I have some questions about the grenade cup launchers.

When did they come into service, and when were they declared obsolete?

How many known manufacturers of them are there?

How to tell War time production (WWI or WWII) from post war made examples?

Many thanks in advance!
 

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As far as is known (reported) the last time, in the UK, that the GF (Grenade Firing) Lee Enfields were removed from Mobilisation / War Reserve Stores for checking and overhaul was in the late 60's.
They were removed and destroyed a year or so later.

As far as the UK is concerned you could say 'they were obsolete by 1970'

As far as the dates for 'introduction' do you mean ANY version of the grenade launcher or a specific model.

The 2 main types from the 'early days'
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Alan,


Thanks for the info.

I mean the CUP style discharger (B1 photo) , what year did they enter service?

How many known makers of them are there? Were these cups ever dated?

The picture below....when was this company in business from?
3781680
 

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While I haven't been able to get my 1915-16 dated No. 1 MKIII rifle yet. I have been looking at accessories.
Collecting SMLE accoutrements is a whole separate 'addiction'

Jut a few things to look for :
 

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Hi Alan,


Thanks for the info.

I mean the CUP style discharger (B1 photo) , what year did they enter service?
If you are looking for 'period correct' to match your 1915 SMLE then the 'open cup' would be correct.

The bracket was fitted to the end of a Short Magazine Lee Enfield rifle and held a No23 Grenade which was fitted with a rod screwed into the base plate.
The No 3 Grenade Launcher was adopted to enable the launching of a No 23, or a similar bomb from a Lee Enfield Rifle, it’s base had a threaded hole into which a rod could be screwed, this was fed down the barrel of the gun after the launching bracket had been mounted. The former was then fired using a blank cartridge.

No5 Grenades had no hole in the base plate, but a No 23 base would fit a No 5 Grenade.
So it follows that many No 5 units can be found with No 23 bases.
The launchers intention was to hold the safety lever in place, after the pin had been removed, until the unit was fired.



Here is (probably) all you need to know :

Lee-Enfield Rifles - Grenades, and Launchers or Dischargers (rifleman.org.uk)
 

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Hi Alan,


Thanks for the info.

I mean the CUP style discharger (B1 photo) , what year did they enter service?

How many known makers of them are there? Were these cups ever dated?

The picture below....when was this company in business from?
View attachment 3781680
Cue the Twilight Zone music! Just last night I was opening boxes of "stuff" that has been packed away since the late '80s. I found a cup launcher in a plastic bag, still swimming in the cosmolene, from Springfield Sporters.



This piece, the same manufacturer as yours, has not seen the light of day for more than 30 years and it pops up within hours of your post. Quite the coincidence.

That's why I had the link to the thread I posted handy.
 

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Hi Alan,


Thanks for the info.

I mean the CUP style discharger (B1 photo) , what year did they enter service?

How many known makers of them are there? Were these cups ever dated?

The picture below....when was this company in business from?
View attachment 3781680
I'll help get you started:

In regard to the rest, I'm not researching and writing a book for you. Sorry.
Accoutrements are another field unto themselves.

edit I can't take back what I already said, but I can rephrase it as not to come off so condescending.
I simply cannot make the time for doing all the research and documenting my findings.
In spite of being related it's still a field all unto itself though.

I was hasty but no offense was intended.
 

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Well, looks like a WW1 item as Components Ltd went into receivership in 1932. When these cups came on the market a long time ago, there were what appeared to be distinctly WW1 and WW2 types. The WW2 ones were usually parkerised, WW2 dated or had letter N, M or S number codes for the makers, but the ones that were blued and with more ornate manufacturers marks like Components and H W Ward were not, and we assumed they were WW1. Hving a look at Wards, they were making stuff from the 1880s until the 1970s, and still appear to be providing spares under the name of Ward for the lathes they made years ago. Some photos of the Ward example with other accessories. Literally a pallet load of the WW1 dated Pattern 1908 webbing grenade cup pouched came up for disposal about 20-30 years ago. The buyer got them for cents per item and sold them on ebay in the early 2000s for $200-$300 each. Good on him. There was constant demand until he ran out and they have all disappeared into collections now. All the webbing collectors had to have one of course.
3781923
3781924
3781925
3781928
 
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