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M-26 Lemon Frag Grenades


Wolfhounds
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Hey gang,

 

As the title states, I need a little help and information on Vietnam era M-26 lemon frag grenades. I'm in the market for a couple of these grenades to add to a display of the gear my father wore/used in Vietnam. Another forum member has offered these to me, but I'm not exactly sure what they are. I'm not an ordnance guy by any means, but I have been doing a heck of a lot of research on these lately. I have checked out all of the major ordnance websites, and while I know that the color blue is associated with a training grenade, I'm not really sure what to make of these ? They don't look like your standard/typical training grenade as the body of these grenades is OD green, but the spoon/fuse is blue ? I can clearly see they are inert as they have the hole in the bottom, but the lack of a yellow band and yellow lettering on them combined with the blue spoon really has me stumped ???

 

Can some of our fellow forum ordnance experts chime in here and clue me in on what exactly these are ??? I do need to respectfully ask if someone could also give me an approximate ballpark figure or range regarding price. I know a lot of guys hate it when someone asks the "whats it worth" question, but I have never collected ordnance before. I would just like to know what a reasonable price is or the current market rate for this type of grenade.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Sean

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post-5458-1332730167.jpg

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These grenades are a complete fabrication for the surplus industry. While the bodies are patterned after the U.S. M30 practice grenade of the Vietnam era, the originals are routinely demilled and not released from the Govt. So the demand from surplus stores have driven suppliers to have new bodies cast for resale.

 

They are the combined with fuze parts from M69 practice grenades that are actual military issue, and were sold as scrap metal and recovered. They have no relationship with an M26 or M26A1 grenade. The fuze body has the wrong thread and has a small projection/hook at the bottom rear for use of a safety clip, something the M26s didn't have. The spoon is too short, has an incorrect shape, and never used on the M26.

 

Unfortunately, real M26 types are quite scarce and expensive, starting at about $200 and going up from there. Junk grenades like these just bug me and always will. This hobby has no shortage of people who will critique a uniform with a ribbon bar out of place or, God forbid, a post-war patch added to a uniform, but then hang a couple of these dreadful things on a $1000 uniform to "enhance" the display.

 

I've seen nicely detailed copies done by re-enactors or sold on eBay that have been done in resin, or with cast iron bodies turned on a lathe to at least simulate the proper shape and finish. Original M215 fuze parts such as bodies and spoons often turn up on eBay too. I'd certainly suggest exploring these options if you don't want to do the leg work to find the real deal. I really think nothing at all would be better than these things added to an otherwise correct Vietnam display.

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Here's a thread on my M30 practice grenade, which was meant to replicate the M26 family of grenades. I noted that the M30 is different in dimensions from the M26 so that (apparently) they cannot fit in each others cardboard cannisters. The replica M26 grenades found in surplus stores used the M30 dimensions by and large.

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...&hl=grenade

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Gentlemen,

 

Thanks for your help, it is greatly appreciated !!! With that being said, does anyone know where I can find a couple of very good quality reproductions ??? Granted, I would much rather have the real thing, but if real M26's are that scare and expensive, then a couple of good quality repo's will work to help round my display. I have seen far too many of these cast grenades out there with the blue spoons and fuses, and while they seem to be a dime a dozen, that is not what I'm really looking for. I have spent quite a bit time online over the past month or so looking for a pair of good quality M26's, but all I seem to come up with are examples similar to the ones pictured above. I want a pair that look as close to the real thing as humanly possible. I definitely want to find a matched pair that has the yellow band around the top of the grenade and the yellow manufacturers information on them. Also, everything needs to be OD green, both the body of the grenade and the spoon/fuse.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts, tips, ideas, or suggestions on where exactly I can acquire a pair like this ??? Here is like I just stumbled across last night that looks fairly promising, but let me know what you guys think. Like I said before, I know very little about ordnance, so hopefully someone will have a few other links that I have not found yet.

 

http://corbinscreations.tripod.com/ordnance_replicas.html

 

In my extremely limited experience, the grenades in the link above are the best I have found out there regarding quality and detail. Most everything I find out there is a very crude cast/surplus store copy, and they do not have the yellow band or markings on them. The only thing I noticed about the grenades in the link, is the weight difference. If the real M26's do actually weigh 21 ounces, these only weigh 7 ounces.

 

Also, why are real lemon grenades so hard to find ??? I believe these were produced for a few decades, so one would think they would not be all that hard to find ??? It seems like the Mk II's can be found in much greater quantity verses the M26's ???

 

Thanks again for your help guys, and let me know your thoughts on the grenades in the link above, and if anyone knows where I might find a good quality pair of repo M26's.

 

Sean

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Sean,

 

Those M26 dummies you found look fairly good. I looked around the Net a bit myself this evening and you are right, anything decent is pretty hard to find in a reproduction M26. If you need any smoke or chemical types, I did notice this eBay seller in Taiwan that makes a great looking product.....search for "saigon-logistical-store". He's more spendy than others, almost as much as a real vintage M18 smoke, but very nice stuff.

 

The reason real M26s are so difficult to find is the way they were built. The explosive filler was completely sealed in the body after being cast via a hot pour in through the base. In WWII, MkII grenades were filled with EC blank powder or flaked TNT. Either could be poured or shaken out of the body once the fuze was unscrewed. That could not be done with the M26 series.

 

Even if you could cut or grind the crimped-on base plate off, the Comp B filler was a solid mass inside. Some variations also had Tetryl booster rings around the detonator well. All of these factors made the M26 less than desiriable to go after with a chisel or scraper for a souvenir. It was certainly easier to just get a VC grenade to bring back home. Occasionally you will encounter a deactivated M26 that some EOD guy has burned or dissolved the explosives from, almost always with destroyed paint and markings as a result.

 

For the record, the late Vietnam M67 Frag, which is still the current issue grenade for U.S. troops, is almost as tough to find for some of the same reasons. Add to that vastly increased security for soldiers returning from combat zones and the number of American souvenir grenades to be found approaches "0". Most of the examples encountered have come out as manufacturing samples from the factories producing them, not from any military source.

 

Keep up the search and good luck. There ARE some out there. Just not easy to find.

 

Rick

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bhmilitarycollector84
These grenades are a complete fabrication for the surplus industry. While the bodies are patterned after the U.S. M30 practice grenade of the Vietnam era, the originals are routinely demilled and not released from the Govt. So the demand from surplus stores have driven suppliers to have new bodies cast for resale.

 

They are the combined with fuze parts from M69 practice grenades that are actual military issue, and were sold as scrap metal and recovered. They have no relationship with an M26 or M26A1 grenade. The fuze body has the wrong thread and has a small projection/hook at the bottom rear for use of a safety clip, something the M26s didn't have. The spoon is too short, has an incorrect shape, and never used on the M26.

 

Unfortunately, real M26 types are quite scarce and expensive, starting at about $200 and going up from there. Junk grenades like these just bug me and always will. This hobby has no shortage of people who will critique a uniform with a ribbon bar out of place or, God forbid, a post-war patch added to a uniform, but then hang a couple of these dreadful things on a $1000 uniform to "enhance" the display.

 

I've seen nicely detailed copies done by re-enactors or sold on eBay that have been done in resin, or with cast iron bodies turned on a lathe to at least simulate the proper shape and finish. Original M215 fuze parts such as bodies and spoons often turn up on eBay too. I'd certainly suggest exploring these options if you don't want to do the leg work to find the real deal. I really think nothing at all would be better than these things added to an otherwise correct Vietnam display.

 

you know i was just trying to help a guy out with his display , and my stuff is junk ????, thats really nice , just cause its not in your collection its junk ?????

i didnt know what they were , i bought them when i was 12 , so i thought they were cool to have , but i guess there junk ,

must be nice to be a millionare so you dont have to hang these dreadful things on your display , but us common poor folks have to make do with what we can aford

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I don't think ordnance was trying to slight anyone, but I know where he's coming from. There are specific things that collectors will eat other collectors ALIVE about, such as the 'wrong' sight on a carbine, the 'khakiness' of uniform items, and brass or steel construction of numerous items. But the same collectors will selectively ignore other areas, such as the laughably inaccurate/incorrect surplus store grenades or those reproduction 1918 knuckle knives.

 

There are many ways that the practice grenades can be improved, none of which break the bank; I think he was implying that sometimes in displays, less is more.

 

you know i was just trying to help a guy out with his display , and my stuff is junk ????, thats really nice , just cause its not in your collection its junk ?????

i didnt know what they were , i bought them when i was 12 , so i thought they were cool to have , but i guess there junk ,

must be nice to be a millionare so you dont have to hang these dreadful things on your display , but us common poor folks have to make do with what we can aford

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bhmilitarycollector84,

 

My apologies if you took offense to my comments. It certainly wasn't intentional and nothing was directed at any individual. Squirrely has read my intentions pretty well in this. My goal is simply to "raise the bar" a little when it comes to displaying ordnance items with other militaria.

 

These grenades do have a place in collecting and I have several myself. I like to use them as fillers in pouches to occupy space or where just a little sliver of the item might be visible in a display. I just don't feel they are the preferred option for a uniform display where they are hung on the suspenders like a couple of light bulbs, distracting from the overall goal. They are what they are. More importantly, they aren't what they are generally marketed to be......a military dummy grenade that's just like an M26. Not saying you made this claim, but the surplus stores and eBayers generally do.

 

Obviously, I'm a bit of a purist about genuine munitions items as that's the focus of my collecting. My handle on the forums kind of reflects that. Not everyone will have that level of interest or commitment. I collect other militaria and have a few medals and pieces of insignia. But I'll never own a DSC or Medal of Honor as I don't have that level of commitment either. Have to save that money for cool new grenades. Certainly we all make compromises regarding the items on the edges of our collecting interests. Whether to buy something at all, or settle for a lesser example, or wait for a better one, or occasionally blow the whole paycheck on that thing you've never seen before and might never see again.

 

It just seemed that a little pep talk was in order to encourage other collectors here to step up the quality of ordnance accessory items in their displays. Whether that is by spending more on original items or just a higher quality reproduction is an individual choice. Again, I apologize if my rant offended anyone.

 

Rick

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Well related, Rick [ordnance].

Thank you for your conveyance of sincere intent.

 

*****

 

I am certain that we all have our own specific area(s) of collection/knowledge; that is what this Forum is all about: ...enjoyment/learning/brotherhood of collecting U.S. Militaria.

 

 

While sometimes, in the course of our "learning", we may discover that a 'particular piece' may not have been what it had been previously conceived/considered/regarded as; it is most helpful to the hobby, at large, when "correct information" is obtained.

 

*****

 

In similar notion, something that I found out through a recent thread posting, was initially "a l'il bit 'a matter of upset' "; ...not just for me, but for the friend whose "family-piece" weapon it was, that I had posted...

 

After "the initial-directness" of specialist-knowledge wore off, and a cooler mind prevailed ...I managed to not only learn more, but to be grateful for the consideration/respect/knowledge/courtesy shown by OUR FORUM MEMBERS.

 

This same courtesy and respect, is what separates this Forum, from the multitudes of 'flaming-troll-nonsensical-B/S' forums, that are "out-there".

 

 

Kind Regards,

Don.

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