M1 and M26 Tracer 45 ACP


This may be a simple question, but I am confused.

I have HWS and they discuss the M1 Tracer in 45 caliber for the 1911 pistol. However, I could not find any reference to the M26 Tracer in 45 caliber.

I am guessing the M26 appeared after 1945 which isn’t covered by HWS since Volume II ends in 1945?

When did the M26 Tracer first make its appearance?

What is different about the M26 compared to the M1?

Do both the M1 and M26 have an identical color code and the only way to differentiate between the two is by date?

Is the M26 still being manufactured? The most recent reference I could find to the M26 was in a military manual of small arms ammunition circa 1996.

Any information would be welcome.

Thank you.


The M1 was declared obsolete in mid-1945 and was replaced by the T30 which later became the M26. I’m not sure when the M26 was adopted. HWS drawings show the difference between the M1 bullet (p 28) and the M26 bullet which is the FAT5 (p 32).

Both have the same red tip and the M26 is still the standard, as far as I know. It still was in the mid 1990s. I don’t keep up with the later US Military cartridges.



I’m surprised there still a standard in the US military for .45 ACP rounds. I thought the last of the .45 ACP M3 Grease guns still in service were retired after the 1st Gulf War. Are there still any .45 ACP weapons in use beside for Spec Ops? I thought that any units that do use .45 ACP weapons in small numbers used commercial ammunition.



I would like to know the same thing.



TM 43-0001-27, April 1994, classified the M26 Tracer as “Contingency”. Unfortunately, I don’t know what that means except that it is somewhere between Standard and Obsolete.