The M67 Fragmentation Grenade: An Overview

In today’s post, we are going to research and provide you an overview of the M67 Fragmentation Grenade. We will look at the history of hand grenades and the M67 in general. We will study the operation and safety features, along with any pros and cons with the M67. We will also see how long the M67 has been in service, and the predecessors of this weapon.

As most who read this blog are members of the military, you are probably familiar with what a hand grenade is, but for any who are not, a hand grenade is simply a small hand-held bomb. There are many different types of grenades. The M67 is a fragmentation grenade. What that essentially means is that when it explodes, fragments of metal scatter killing and maiming anything or anyone within its vicinity. Other forms of grenades include:

  • Nonlethal-These are normally used as a diversion.

  • Illumination-These are used to light up dark places.

  • Training-These are essentially “duds.” They are used to train Soldiers in the proper use of grenades.

  • Chemical-These type of grenades can be used for different effects. Some will start a fire, where others may be used similar to a smoke bomb to signal, and others may be used to control riots by using tear gas.

  • Blasters-These are used just for the noise effect and can also create a diversion.

History Of Grenades

Grenades have been in existence since very early in civilization. When humans discovered fire, not long after they learned to put it in jars and bottles to use as weapons. The Chinese were wise about gunpowder and learned to use it to fashion a crude type of grenade. Now do keep in mind that they were not called grenades in those days. The term grenade came from the French word pomegranate since early grenades did look similar to the fruit.

As history inched forward, so did the grenade technology. The devices became more and more sophisticated with trigger mechanisms that would set off a fuse to ignite the blast. In the early 1900s, the British had developed such a lethal grenade that in many cases, it would kill or injure the Soldier who threw it. A Soldier could throw it about 30 yards, but they would have to take immediate cover because the blast zone was approximately 100 yards in circumference.

Many different armies experimented with many types of grenades, and now the United States Army primarily uses the M67 as their choice in grenades.

History Of The M67

The M67 fragmentation grenade has been used by the United States armed forces since 1968. It has done its job well and the odds of their being any changes with it in the immediate future are highly unlikely.

In the World Wars and even up until Vietnam, the primary grenade that was used was the Mk2. It was nicknamed the iron pineapple because of the shape and design. Many thought the grooves were to help the fragmentation, but actually they were meant for a better grip by the Soldier. Following the Mk2, the military started using the M26 as the primary grenade during Vietnam. There were many designs still being examined, and during Vietnam, the M33 became used more. It weighed slightly less and the M67 is just a slight improvement of the M33. The only difference is a safety clip that is attached to the lever for an added safety feature.

How The M67 Is Used

Over the years, safety has been a huge factor with hand grenades. Many Soldiers hang the grenades by the safety lever on their belts and this actually was a safety issue before safety clips were put on them.

To properly use a M67 grenade, the Soldier first pulls the safety clip off, holding their thumb on the safety lever at all times with their throwing hand. Now with the safety clip off, the Soldier puts their forefinger through the safety pin, and holding in front of their chest, he/she tugs the safety pin out keeping their thumb holding the safety lever down. The throw must be with good aim; the Soldier does not want to hit an object that would send the grenade bouncing back toward them. Once the grenade is thrown, the safety lever releases and a striker ignites the time delayed fuse. The fuse provides a delay of 4 to 5 seconds before the grenade will explode.

A Soldier can feasibly throw the M67 grenade approximately 100 feet. It weighs only 14 ounces and is a round shape much like a baseball. A soldier will want to take immediate cover after throwing the grenade. The blast will have steel shards disperse over a somewhat large area. It has been shown that the “kill” radius from a M67 grenade is about 16 feet, and the injury radius is about 50 feet. Some of these steel shards have been known to travel up to 800+ feet.

Right and left handed soldiers can use the M67, the throwing styles are reversed. Right hand throwers have the fuse assembly upward, while left handed Soldiers keep the fuse assembly pointed down.

Pros And Cons Of The M67 Fragmentation Grenade

As I see it, there are very few cons to the M67. There is the fact that a timed delay is present, but if a Soldier needs a grenade that will explode on contact, the M68 is also available. It is essentially a replica of the M67, but it has an electrical impact ability. When the trigger is released, an electrical charge is dispersed and when the grenade hits something hard, it goes off. If that malfunctions, it still has a time delay that will blast it after 4-7 seconds.

The pros of the M67 are that it is lightweight and easy to carry a good supply. It has multiple safety features that protect our Soldiers. It has an ample kill and injury zone. It can be thrown easily unlike the older, heavier hand grenades. Overall, the M67 is a weapon that is a benefit to our Soldiers in almost any fighting conditions.

Final Thoughts

We would like to hear your opinions on the M67 grenade. Do you think that the armed forces should be trying to make a better grenade, or do you find that it is sufficient? Please tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.

Here is a video I discovered that tells more about the M67.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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