The F-1 grenade is a copy of the French F-1 grenade of WWI. Due to its shape and its yellow-green color, it is nicknamed the limonka (fem. "lemon") by the Russian troops, who also nicknamed it Efka (Эфка) for the letter F. It is similar to the American Mk 2 "pineapple grenade", also modeled on the French F-1.
The F-1 grenade was created and mass-produced by France in 1915, during the First World War (1914-1918), and used en masse in the majority of European countries throughout the First and Second World Wars. In May 1915 the first of the F1 grenades (fusante nº 1) appeared in the French military, in limited quantities.
This new weapon was designed taking lessons from the experience of the first months of the war: its shape was made to be more modern, with an external grooves pattern for better grip and easier fragmentation. The format and fragmentation sections created the modern concept of what a handgrenade looks like. The design proved to be very functional, especially due to its stability compared to other grenades of the same period. Later, the Fusante nº 1 was used en masse by many foreign armies in the period 1915–1940. The F-1 grenade has been used as a basis for the development of many other grenades by different nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union.
The F-1 was very widespread during the first half of the 20th century, used by armies of France, United States, Imperial Russia, the Soviet Union, Finland, and others. Overall more than sixty million of these grenades were produced over 25 years, from 1915 to 1940.
During the Russian Civil War, the F-1 was both given to the White Movement forces by France and seized en masse by the Bolshevik regime, resulting in a very widespread use of the grenade. After the civil war, the Soviet artillery command decided to modify the French F-1 into the Russian F-1 grenade design. In Soviet folklore and colloquial speech, the grenade became a national icon of social upheaval and revolution, although not referred to as the F-1 but rather as "limonka" ([lı'mɒnkə]), 'little lemon', due to its very wide usage during the civil war and the chaotic period of the early 1920s.
It has a steel exterior that is notched to facilitate fragmentation upon detonation and to prevent hands from slipping. The distance the grenade can be thrown is estimated at 30–45 meters. The radius of the shrapnel dispersion is up to 200 m (660 ft) (effective radius is about 30 m (98 ft),). Hence, the grenade has to be deployed from a defensive position to avoid self harm. About 60 percent of the grenade body pulverizes during the explosion, only 30 percent of the body splints into 290 high velocity sharp cut splinters each weighing around 1 gram with initial speed of about 700 m/s (2,300 ft/s).
Sniper Elite V2
This Russian fragmentation grenade creates a deadly explosion but, due to its design, cannot thrown as far as the M24 Stielhandgranate.