Infantry weapons / Grenades / M26

M26

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Hand grenade

  • ORIGIN
    United States

  • NICKNAMES
    L2 (UK production model)

  • DESIGNED
    Late 1940's

  • DESIGNER
    US Army Matérial Readiness Command

  • PRODUCTION
    1950 - late 1960's

  • PRODUCERS
    Israel
    United Kingdom - Royal Ordnance
    United States - US Army Matérial Readiness Command

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Good casualty radius
    Better reliability than Mk 2 grenade
    Average throwing range

Introduction

The M26 is an early Cold War era 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.

Design

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.

Firepower

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.

Users

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.

Variants

M26

The M26 is a defensive fragmentation grenade. It can be distinguished from the earlier Mk 2 in having a smooth surface. The elongated shape distinguishes it from the later M67 grenade, which is round. The M26A1 has Tetryl pellets around the fuze well liner. When fitted with an additional clip safety the M26A1 is known as the M61. The M26A2 is similar to the M26A1, but has an impact fuze. When fitted with an additional clip safety the M26A2 is known as the M57.

TypeDefensive hand grenade
Diameter57 mm
Length99 mm
Weight0.454 kg
FuseM204A1 or A2, 4 - 5 second time delay
Filling165 g Comp B, notched coil liner
Effect15 m casualty radius
VelocityHand thrown
RangeHand thrown
Remarks-
TypeDefensive hand grenade
Diameter57 mm
Length99 mm
Weight0.454 kg
FuseM204A1 or A2, 4 - 5 second time delay
Filling156 g Comp B, 8 g Tetryl, notched coil liner
Effect15 m casualty radius
VelocityHand thrown
RangeHand thrown
Remarks-
TypeDefensive hand grenade
Diameter57 mm
Length99 mm
Weight0.454 kg
FuseM217, impact
Filling156 g Comp B, 8 g Tetryl, notched coil liner
Effect15 m casualty radius
VelocityHand thrown
RangeHand thrown
Remarks-

L2

The L2 grenade is a British derivative of the M26 delayed fragmentation grenade. The L2A1 is the original model and the L2A2 has some small production changes. The main difference between the L2 and the M61 is that the L2 has a separate fuze assembly. The practice versions are designated L3A1, L3A2 and L3A3. The drill versions are L4A1 and L4A2.

  • Specifications:
  • L2A2
TypeDefensive hand grenade
Diameter60 mm
Length84 mm
Weight0.395 kg
FuseL25A6, 4 - 5 second sime delay
Filling170 g RDX/TNT (55/45%), notched coil liner
Effect10 m lethal radius
VelocityHand thrown
RangeHand thrown
Remarks-

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