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Andy A

SMLE Cup Discharger 2.5''

11 posts in this topic

=Arial]

Hi there,

I have recently aquired a 2.5'' cup discharger, however i dont know anything about its history. It is in very good condition, with no surface rust whatsoever and has the following marks, etc.

It looks like it is dated 2/17

3

Has a jm and an SA

14T all on the sloped part of the barrel.

The base is marked S & B and JM on one side with a 26 and SA

1T on the other

The knurled knob which opens and closes the gas setting is not a wing nut, does this mean it is a later model? I dont think this is a WW2 model.

Any info would be gratefully received

Andy

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Andy - I am out of town at the moment so I cannot post a picture but I have one that sounds very much like what you describe. I have always believed mine to be of WWII or post WWII Indian manufacture. I do not recall what markings it bears but I got it attached to a "wire wrapped" Ishapore SMLE No1 Mk III*. I have in the back of my mind that SA may be an Indian mark - I am sure Tony E will rescue me on this.

I will post some pics when I get back home.

I believe it operated using special blanks (ie non projectile rounds) and a grenade was placed in it and the pin pulled (the cup keeping the handle from springing up) then the butt placed on the ground with the rifle at about 45degrees the vent knob adjusted for range and the trigger pulled. The wire wrapping on my SMLE is apparently to strenghten/stiffen the wood furniture.

Chris

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"...I believe it operated using special blanks (ie non projectile rounds) and a grenade was placed in it and the pin pulled (the cup keeping the handle from springing up) then the butt placed on the ground with the rifle at about 45degrees the vent knob adjusted for range and the trigger pulled. The wire wrapping on my SMLE is apparently to strenghten/stiffen the wood furniture..."

Just acouple of additions (from a faulty memory)

The grenade was fitted with a metal plate (supplied in the grenade case IIRC) screwed to the base plug to act as a 'sabot'.

The ballistite cartridge appears like a standard blank but ( believe) with the 'projectile' end painted black and is loaded with a more efficient projecting charge than the black powder used in standard blanks.

The aim of the wire wrapping was to prevent the fore-end stock from splitting in use, this having been brought in in the earller period when the dischargers were generally 'shot-out' rifles and the grenades were of the 'rodded' variety, with the greater possibility of barrel damage/bursts.

Tom the Walrus

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It was used as above. Range was 80 to 200 yds according to gas setting. I posted a manual pic on the 'Bombers' topic but here is a pic alongside the cup discharger for the No.23 rodded Mills.

post-569-1172344954.jpg

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Here is a No.36 (MkI) in it's component parts.

post-569-1172345861.jpg

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So to complete the set:

Here is mine and the rifle to which it is attached.

No date that I can find on mine but also marked JM (with letters joined) - I had always assumed WWII Indian.

Chris

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I think yours is a WWI model but I do not know who S & B were. The cartridge used to discharge the grenade was "Cartridge SA Rifle Grenade 30 Grains Ballistite Mark I" which had the title changed in 1927 to Cartridge SA Rifle Grenade .303 inch H Mark I" and this remained in service throughout WW2 and into the sixties,

It was an open necked blank sealed with a cardboard wad covered with shellac and the top half of the case was stained black. I will post a picture later.

The rifles were bound with wire to minimise damage to the firer from wood splinter wounds in the event of a burst barrel, as firing grenades generated high pressures.

This cartridge was also used in the Smoke Generator No.8 Mark I in armoured vehicles and post WW2 as an initiator in shrapnel mines.

A whispered aside: are not cup dischargers Section 5 under UK law?

Regards

TonyE

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I have a picture of one from the IWM identical in style (machining etc) to Chris's above - it is also marked S & B as with the first. I am not sure on S & B - SB & Co was a Great War grenade manufacturer (Siemens Bros) though!

The section 5 thing is interesting - I am always arguing the law on inert stuff here - links here but I agree the launcher is interesting. Having said that I have never heard of any probs with dealers in this respect. They have been openly traded for as long as I can remember. A 'normal' collector having one displayed on a deact' SMLE should present no problems. If you happen to be a Great War enthusiast and a FAC holder with a live firing SMLE then to posses one would not be a good idea...

By the way Tony can you clear up the EY marking on wire bound rifles - is it EmergencY use or after Edward Yule - the 'inventor'?

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Hi Max

I think the less said about it the better on an open forum just in case some jobsworth decides to look into the question!

The EY on rifles means "Emergency". There are a number of official references to this in Great War records.

Regards

Tony

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=Arial]

Hi there again,

many thanks to you all for your responses, you have all been very helpful.

My discharger is almost identical to that shown by Max Poilu, but does not have the stamped arrow.

Andy A

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Here is the photo of the grenade launching cartridge as promised.

Most of the WWI examples were unmarked, but the staining was introduced at the end of the war as an identifier and this continued in use to the end of the life of the .303 line throwing rifles in the Royal Navy.

The picture shows the early and late types.

The cartridge for the cup discharger was stained half black and for rodded grenades was stained all black.

Regards

tonyE

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