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Grenade from antique mall in Shallotte, North Carolina explodes

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Grenade from antique mall in Shallotte, North Carolina explodes

Old 13th Jan 2021, 03:31
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Grenade from antique mall in Shallotte, North Carolina explodes

Probably a long shot but beware Grenades being sold at an antiques mall were live and a 12 year old died as a result.

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/12/u...rnd/index.html
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 03:56
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Horrific

What an awful story.

I have a twelve year old so it really brings it home.

I’ve noticed recently as I have walked around some traditional markets in my current (not UK) location lots of belts of antique bullets with the percussion caps untouched. I hope someone has at least removed the powder but I’m not so sure.

My boys are fascinated by them and keep asking to buy one. Not on my watch!

BV
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 08:12
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Even the fulminate of mercury detonator in the cap is hazardous let alone the powder in the bullet itself.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 11:48
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I have a friend who is ex-Belgian police whose family had a farm on the ridge overlooking Ypres - not there anymore as it was a scattering of broken bricks come 1918. When we visited him in the new farmhouse near Ypres he took us on a tour of the battlefields and he explained about the "iron harvest" where farmers would regularly plough up all sorts of ammunition/weapons. Out in the country, not near main roads, they used to leave it by the side of the road and the Belgian Army used to send a vehicle and pick the stuff up before taking away for disposal.

They had to stop this and pile it up back in the farmstead hidden form prying eyes as they were being taken from the roadside dumps by collectors or people who would sell them on E-Bay. I think at the time it was 30 Euro for a scruffy rusty grenade straight out of the ground, 50 for one painted back but a highly polished one could fetch up to 100 Euro. Most accidents occurred when the seller put the grenade on a polisher and while polishing it would explode doing the chap some serious damage. He took us to one farm and in a shed lifted a piece of sacking and showed is various items from rifle ammunition to high calibre shells and mortars awaiting collection by the Belgian Army. The ones they were most concerned about were the gas shells. These had to be transported to Porton Down for destruction. Loads of paperwork and very special handling for these items for both the Belgians and the UK due to Chemical and Bio warfare regulations.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 13:21
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As a retirement job I work in the local District Council. Last year whilst eating lunch one of the staff came and asked me as ''Ex Military Expert'' if I could identify from a photo on her phone, an item her son had dug up at the bottom of their garden. Yes it was a grenade complete with Pin and Handle in place. I suggested she called him back to tell him to leave well alone and walk away to a safe distance. She then on my suggestion again called Bomb Disposal and as it happened they swung by on the way back from Wales to their base. It turned out to be a training one and on talking to her own mother found out that her father an ex WW2 Para had brought it home and somehow it had been forgotten. All markings on it had long since worn off so calling the squad was definitely the right thing.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 14:05
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Russian trophy hunters are unmoved by the risks!

In this episode, they bang a mortar case until it opens... oh, and they're in a minefield, to boot:

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Old 13th Jan 2021, 14:58
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Tragic.

I was based at Odiham when builders discovered a large number of live mustard gas shells whilst preparing the ground to the east of Basingstoke for a new housing estate.

Thank goodness that big bomb standing at the main gate at RAF Scampton for all those years was only a dud......
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 15:57
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As one of bunch of young lads playing in a small wood at the end of our road (in a post war housing estate) at the north end of Brighton, we found a large box of 'pineapples' semi buried by a tree. Great fun was had hurling these at one another until one of us (who had seen a war film) pulled out a pin on a grenade and threw it over a wall of another house. The explosion was quite impressive before the wall fell over - obviously shoddy post-war building. The police arrived about five minutes later, followed by the bomb squad; we were duly told off for playing with these things, and then allowed to stay and watch whilst the rest of the grenades were blown up. Apparently it was quite common around there as it had been a big training area, and finds of ammunition, weapons and the odd box of grenades was quite common. There was also no big deal about it. Not that long ago a grenade was found about a mile from our house - we were told to evacuate the area until it could be made safe! How things change.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 17:58
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The grenades were thought to be chemically inactive
just like ValueJet oxygen generators.

The word inactive" is a misnomer. More like they are unreliable for intended purpose
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 18:07
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When I worked at Porton Down, dozens, perhaps hundreds, of rusty old mustard, phosgene and chorine shells/mortars used to arrive every year for disposal, along with a few nastier items from places like the ME. There was a disassembly and high temperature incineration process running all the time to safely destroy them, with much of the work being done robotically, because of the hazards. The international OPCW inspectors used to arrive unannounced to check the stockpiles, destruction process, records, etc, as there are literally tonnes of this stuff still safely stored there waiting for destruction. The destruction process has been going on for decades now, but there seems to be an almost never-ending supply of new finds that get handed in, very often in a very corroded state, having been dug up from a field somewhere.

Having seen the process, and the X-rays of mortars showing the liquid content of chemical shells and mortars still intact after nearly 100 years (often there's a sealed glass container inside these things), I can easily understand how lethal they can still be. It's not helped by many chemical weapons being very stable and long-lived, so although the steel casings and explosive parts may well degrade over time, the lethal content remains just as dangerous as it was when manufactured, perhaps more so because the protection offered by the steel casing has been badly degraded through corrosion.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 20:13
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One of my neighbours has a pineapple-type grenade on her kitchen window sill,looks rather incongruous amongst all the china nick-nacks that surround it.Next time I'm invited for a cup of tea,I must ask if it has been de-activated,as I think she said she had brought it back from France,having found it in a field.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 20:31
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Originally Posted by ex82watcher View Post
One of my neighbours has a pineapple-type grenade on her kitchen window sill,looks rather incongruous amongst all the china nick-nacks that surround it.Next time I'm invited for a cup of tea,I must ask if it has been de-activated,as I think she said she had brought it back from France,having found it in a field.
I would be phoning her and asking her to call the police. Any explosive in it is unstable if it is still live.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 20:38
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Just made the call,and have been assured that it's been rendered safe.Still think it's an odd thing for a woman to have in her kitchen !
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 20:38
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They are still clearing up the Mustard Gas Shell/Bomb filling Station on Bowes Moor, North Yorkshire the area is still off limits with notices up warning of the Danger.
In these troubled times does anybody remember the notices going up with “Do you want to help cure the common cold” extra pay less Bull an injection with a bit of exercise afterwards, volunteers were drafted to Porton Down!!
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 21:13
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Originally Posted by tramontana View Post
T
In these troubled times does anybody remember the notices going up with “Do you want to help cure the common cold” extra pay less Bull an injection with a bit of exercise afterwards, volunteers were drafted to Porton Down!!
That wasn't Porton Down, it was Harnam Down, although it's a very common error, as the untrue association between Porton Down and Harnham Down seems to have passed into folklore. I was a volunteer at the Common Cold Unit at Harnham Down (opposite side of Salisbury from Porton Down) in the 1970's. I answered an advert in DCIs, calling for volunteers. We stayed in huts, in a place a bit like Butlins, without the entertainment. We had things dripped into our noses, and regularly medicals, but were free to walk around outside, as long as we stayed apart from those in other groups. The CCU was owned and managed by the Medical Research Council, and nothing to do with MoD.

Part of the confusion may have been that, next door to the massive MoD research labs at Porton, there is a small lab run by Public Health England. The two are completely separate, even have duplicate biosecurity level 4 labs, but there is some exchange of information on topics like tropical diseases, that are worked on by both organisations.

There were human trials at Porton Down in the 1950's, but not with volunteers, they used military personnel as guinea pigs, without informing them of the risk. They were not well run trials, IMHO, and were intended to examine the effectiveness of NBC kit against a range of chemical agents, including nerve agents like Sarin. These trials came to an end with the tragic death of LAC Ronald Maddison in 1953.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 21:23
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When I was a boy I swapped a Dinky car for a 20mm cannon shell, complete, when my father saw it he put it in a hole at the bottom of the garden and a policeman came and took it away. I didn't get the car back.

Living in Germany near the Dutch border my son found a box of 7.92 ammo in the woods and a colleague found a 40mm shell while walking her dog, all in a days work for the Kampfmittelräumdienst (E.O.D.).
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 21:44
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Whilst I was flying in the Solomon Islands in 2006 a cache of mustard gas was found on a small island. It had almost certainly been left behind by the Japanese in 1942/3. A disposal team was flown in courtesy of the USAF in a C5; all seven of them. The aircraft got stuck, nose first, on the apron of Honiara International and whilst it was there it was the largest man made structure in Guadacanal. There was nothing on the island big enough to push it and the Pentagon would not authorise them to use reverse thrust.

They had to fly in a C17 with a towing unit.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 22:02
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VP, You had me worried there I thought I was losing it, I was referring to the 1950’s trials, indeed it was the Military involvement that volunteered for the project after the notice went up on the notice board. It was an attractive proposition to the poorly paid National Servicemen with the extra pay and who possibly wanted a more “relaxed” regime whilst finishing their Service time. Indeed they were innocents but the notice “Do you want to help cure the common cold” later than 1953 did not explain the full implications of what they were going to be involved in and they thought they were doing their duty in volunteering.

Last edited by tramontana; 13th Jan 2021 at 22:13.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 22:08
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When I was at boarding school not far from Guildford some of my peers used to go over to Hankley Common and come back with spent cartridges and the like. Don't think they ever found anything dangerous but it's a long time ago. I do recall a barrage balloon being used for parachuting, and often a Herc would go round and round and round and... at only a few hundred feet - assume that was to do with Hankley as well.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 23:52
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Originally Posted by lomapaseo View Post
just like ValueJet oxygen generators.

The word inactive" is a misnomer. More like they are unreliable for intended purpose
It's interesting that you mentioned the Valujet Flt 592 oxygen generators. The actuating device of that type of generator is very similar to that of the old WWII U.S. hand grenades. Those grenades used a spring-loaded hammer/firing pin located at the top of the grenade with the hammer/firing pin secured by the "spoon" which, in turn was secured by a cotter pin. Once the pin is pulled and the spoon released, the hammer/firing pin is allowed to to rotate about 240 degrees, striking the primer that would be centered atop the grenade body. The oxygen generators of the Valujet crash were initiated in a very similar manner. I tried to attach a photo of the firing mechanism, but alas, I was defeated due my relative ignorance of computer stuff.

As far as "inert" hand grenades are concerned, the first thing to look for would be a hole of approximately 1/2 inch in diameter drilled in the base of the grenade. There are, of course, other ways of identifying an "inert" hand grenade; however, if that hole in the base is not present, one would be well-advised to call in the Bomb Squad. A tragedy such as that which claimed the life of a 12 year old boy in North Carolina, can be relatively easily avoided.


All firearms should be considered loaded and all ordnance "live", until proven otherwise.

Regards,
Grog


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