Hales rifle grenade

The Hales Rifle Grenade is the name for several rifle grenade used by British forces during World War I. All of these are based on the No 3 design.

Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1915
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1915 View

In 1907, Martin Hale developed the rod grenade. "A simple rod was attached to a specialized grenade, inserted into the barrel of a standard service rifle and launched using a blank cartridge." Unfortunately, the British did not immediately adopt the idea and entered World War I without any rifle grenades. However, as soon as the trench warfare started, there was a sudden need for rifle grenades. The British government purchased a rodded variant of the No 2 grenade as a temporary solution.

By 1915, Hales had developed the No 3, which is commonly known as the Hales Rifle Grenade. The Hales grenade was improved throughout World War I to make it more reliable and easier to manufacture. However, production of the grenade was slow. In order to speed rod grenades to the front, the British also made rodded versions of the Mills bomb.

Although a simple approach, launching a rod grenade "...placed an extreme amount of stress on the rifle barrel and the rifle itself, resulting in the need to dedicate specific rifles to the grenade launching role, as they quickly became useless as an accurate firearm. This led to the search for an alternative and resulted in the reappearance of the cup launcher during the latter years of World War I." After World War I, the rod-type rifle grenade was declared obsolete and the remaining Hales were replaced with Mills Bombs shot from a rifle via a cup launcher.

Type Percussion cap grenade
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1915-?
Used by United Kingdom
Wars World War I
Production history
Designed 1915–1918
Produced 1915-?
Specifications
Weight 1 lb 5 oz (No 3), 1 lb 8 oz (No 20 Mk I)
Filling Tonite and TNT for the No 3, Ammonal for No 20 and grenades based on it.
Detonation
mechanism
Percussion cap fuse

End notes