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"German Grenade Pistol Ammunition" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A WWII U.S. intelligence report on German grenade pistol ammunition, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 40, December 16, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Recent reports show that four types of ammunition are furnished to German troops for use with the 27-mm (1-inch) Kampfpistole (grenade pistol). The four types of projectile are, respectively, HE, smoke, a so-called "indicator" grenade, and a grenade which, in flight, ejects an illuminating star attached to a parachute. For previously published reference to the German 1-inch grenade pistol, see Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 27, p. 31.

Detailed information concerning Kampfpistole ammunition follows:

a. HE (Sprengpatrone für Kampfpistole)

This is a small, nose-fuzed high-explosive round, relying on blast for its effect. However, since the effect is comparatively small it is believed that this round is essentially offensive ammunition, preferably for use in street fighting.

The small prismatic sight on the pistol is graduated to 100 meters (approximately 110 yards) and although tests have shown that longer ranges may be obtained, such shooting is inaccurate.

A general description of the grenade is shown in fig 1 (see accompanying sketches). Other details are:

Weight of complete round    Approx 5 oz
Weight of projectile Approx 3 1/2 oz
Type of filling PETN/Wax (pental erythritoltetranitrate)
Weight of filling (2 increments) 339 grains
Type of propellant Graphited black powder
Weight of propellant 12 grains*
Markings Base of cartridge case usually stencilled: "Spr. Z".

[WWII German Kampfpistole Ammunition]

b. Smoke (Nebelpatrone für Kampfpistole)

Externally this is similar to the HE projectile; internally it contains a smoke generator. It is fitted with a nose fuze which is similar to that in the HE projectile, except that there is a charge of gun powder in place of the detonator below the flash cap. The projectile functions on impact. The gunpowder is ignited by the flash cap and blows off the smoke generator, at the same time igniting it. It has been ascertained that the smoke generator may be projected a considerable distance from the point of impact. The projectile may be recognized by the following stencilled marking on the base of the cartridge case: "NEBEL Z".

c. Indicator (Deutpatrone für Kampfpistole)

This grenade (see fig 2) emits a puff of reddish-brown smoke after it has been in flight for about two seconds. It is similar, externally, to the two grenades described above except for the head which is parabolic. There is no fuze, the smoke train being fired by the flash from the propellant.

Weight of complete round    Approx 4 1/2 oz
Weight of projectile    Approx 3 oz
Marking    Base of cartridge case stencilled "Deut. Z".

d. Illuminating Star on Parachute (Fallschirm Leuchtpatrone für Kampfpistole)

This grenade has the general external appearance of the other types. It has a black bakelite head which has a white spot in the center. "F. Leucht. Z" is stencilled on the base of the cartridge case. The base of the projectile has a screwed-on plug which is perforated to hold a gunpowder pellet. Above this is a star to which a parachute is attached. The parachute is towards the forward end of the projectile. The action is as follows: On firing, the flash from the propellant ignites the gunpowder pellet which, after a brief delay, ignites the star. The bakelite head is blown off and the star ejected. The star is of the illuminating type.

*This propelling charge appears to be extremely small but the weight stated is correct according to the best available source information.


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