Reloadable M18 style smoke grenades
Review by GROG ©2018 3LC PRoductions
This review is on a brand new product from Scot Pace at ReloadableShells.com. Scot has produced a very good quality, reloadable M18 style smoke grenade. The grenade makes use of a modified M228 fuze that is also reloadable. The whole thing comes apart for easy cleaning and is designed to be used with most smoke mixes on the market today. I have reloaded the provided test samples twice so far, and observe no ill effects from the burning smoke mixtures on the aluminum used in the construction of the grenade. It is made of T6061 aluminum with high temp O rings on top and bottom of the smoke chamber. It has plenty of vents to allow the smoke mix to burn at a good rate. Here are the parts of the grenade:
The base of the grenade holds a diffuser tube that has two chambers. The lower chamber has holes to allow the burning smoke mix to exit a larger hole in the bottom of the base. It threads into the base. The upper portion of the tube is sealed off from the lower, and is the ignition chamber. This also has holes to allow the first fire to ignite the smoke mix. All the holes in the tube are taped before filling the smoke mix or first fire compound. The body of the grenade is thicker aluminum and built to last, threaded on top and bottom to allow the base and top to be screwed in securely. The top of the grenade has a threaded center fuze hole, and three large vent holes to allow the smoke to escape. The fuze is a reused M228 fuze, with a new brass center portion that holds the time fuse, striker, spring, pin, pivot pin, grenade ring and handle. This also has a high temp O ring to keep the first fire mixture in the ignition chamber. The center portion is drilled to accept common visco time fuse. I use coated fuse, and gorilla glue it in place. Scot provides two set screws to secure the fuse in that manner if you wish. The top of the center portion is machined to accept a small pistol primer. Scot recommends using Federal 1 ½ Small pistol primers.
Parts of the grenade:
To load the grenade, you first disassemble the fuze portion, and put a new primer in the center portion of the brass tube. Then cut a piece of coated visco fuse to a length that will allow the fuse to butt against the base of the primer, and stick out the bottom of the tube about ¼”. I then put the fuse mostly in the tube, and put a bit of gorilla glue around a small portion of it, and seat the fuse the rest of the way in the tube. Allow this to harden completely before loading. Once dry, I “cock” the fuze striker, put a temp pin in to hold the striker back, place the handle on, remove the temp pin and replace the pull pin and bend one part slightly. Only then can the brass portion be threaded into the fuze body. Once replaced, the fuze is loaded and ready to fire. Handle it carefully.
To load the body portion, I use scotch tape to seal the vent holes in the top of the diffuser chamber, then wrap a sheet of paper cut to fit around the tube, to cover the ventholes in the diffuser, and tape that in place. The bottom venthole in the base I cover with scotch tape, and same with the ventholes in the top portion. You could also use painters tape, or aluminum tape if you wished. Place the base in the grenade body and screw in place. I use a small piece of scotch tape to temporarily cover the top hole in the diffuser just to keep that chamber empty. I then use a spoon to fill the smoke chamber with smoke mix. I fill this, then tap the sides with a block of wood to compact the mix a bit. I fill the body to just below the threads on the inside of the body. I use a small nylon brush to remove extra smoke mix from the threads. I then remove the temp tape from the top of the diffuser chamber and put some smokeless powder in that chamber and a very small amount of smoke mix, and mix that up. I then screw the fuze into the top of the grenade, then screw the top of the grenade onto the body. Once done, the grenade is ready for use.
To activate the grenade, simply pull the pin, throw, and smoke. Exercise care when using these, as they can start brush fires, and get hot when functioning. Don’t try to pick it up right after use. You will burn your hands.
To clean the grenade, I use an old bucker of hot soapy water, disassemble the whole thing, and put all the parts in the water and let them soak for a few hours. I then use rubber gloves, and scrub the parts with brass brushes and those copper brillo pads you use for pots and pans. They work very well for removing the debris. Once cleaned, place out to dry for a day. Dump the water outside or in the crapper. Don’t dump it in your wife’s white sink… That stuff can still dye things colors… Flush it fast. Once dry, you can reload at your leisure.
These fit in Molle grenade pouches, and burn long and well. They would be fantastic for re-enactors, air-soft, and for signaling in survival situations. If using for survival, I recommend sealing the ventholes well, and fuze threads with blue loctite or silicone sealant. Also coat the top of the primer with a bit of nitro lacquer. Keep the grenade in a sealed plastic bag, vacuum seal if possible to keep water out of it. Also, test to make sure your smoke mix works well.
Link to T&E video: