The M26 is a hand grenade of US origin. It was developed right after World War 2 to replace the older Mk 2. The M26 is more reliable and has a more evenly spread fragmentation character. It was eventually replaced by the lighter and safer M67 series.
The M26 is a fragmentation grenade of similar size and shape as the earlier Mk 2 grenade used in World War 2. Unlike the Mk 2's pineapple look the M26 has a thin sheet steel wall that results in a smooth surface. The M26 also features an improved fuze and serrated steel coil liner to produce fragments of even size. Most versions use a time delay fuze, but an impact version is also available. The fuze is activated as soon as the safety lever is released.
The M26 is filled with 156 g Comp B and 8 g Tetryl explosive. The notched coil liner produces more even fragments than the Mk 2 grenade. The casualty radius is 15 m and lethal radius larger than the 5 m of the later M67 grenade. The maximum thrown range is about 30 m.
The main user of the M26 series has been the US military. It entered service just before the Korean war, but was hardly used due to large stocks of Mk 2's. The M61 was probably the most used hand grenade during the Vietnam war. During the war the M67 started to replace the M26 series. The M26 was exported to various US allies and the United Kingdom produced its own derivative.