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Old June 12, 2001, 06:40 PM   #1
bullfrog99
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Tanker vs. Standard Garand

Forgive the misnomer, but i like to call em tanker garands. What are the advantages/ disadvantages of a Tanker length barrel and gas system vs. a standard length version. How well do they handle when compared, how's the reliability, accuracy (in general) and so on.
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Old June 12, 2001, 06:47 PM   #2
johnwill
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First off, all the "tanker" Garands you'll encounter are just some gun dealer's idea of a neat idea, they're just cut down Garands. They'll have more muzzle blast, and less reliability than a standard Garand. IMO, there is no advantage to them, and lots of disadvantages.
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Old June 12, 2001, 07:56 PM   #3
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i totally agree with you, johnwill.

They have no advantage at all. just disadvantages.

and "tankers" are often presented by unscrupulous sellers as something authentic.
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Old June 12, 2001, 10:12 PM   #4
glockten
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Springfield manufactured a Tanker Garand until 1990, and Arlington Ordnance offered them 1994-96.

I had one of the AO rifles, and my experience was just as johnwill described: increased muzzle blast and inferior reliability. It would often eject a partially-fired clip.

I recently inherited a full-size M1, so I traded the Tanker away.
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Old June 13, 2001, 10:39 AM   #5
Art Eatman
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The Italians rebuilt some regular Garands, IIRC, with the short barrel. Check out "BM 59".

If you're dealing with elbow room in a vehicle, they're okay. Face it, they're handier. Remember, armored personnel carriers are pretty much a post-WW II concept, and the Garand was a pre-War design.

FWIW, Art
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Old June 13, 2001, 12:06 PM   #6
Oleg Volk
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Slightly less accuracy than a full length (shorter sight radius).
Greater muzzle flash *in theory* but not in my practice.

Advantages:
Lighter. Better balance by far.

I have a shortie and like it. It has been 100% reliable so far.
http://www.a-human-right.com/garand.html It hasn't shown the theoretical drawbacks in my use.

Do shop with care, it is easy to buy a poorly made "tanker" but I like mine enough to get a shortie M1A if I ever decide to add that to my list.
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Old May 31, 2002, 07:51 AM   #7
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Oleg: Have you tried firing your rifle with a regular gas plug lock on it? I'm curious about how much difference the T37 flash supressor makes.

Yes, I realize this thread is a year old. I'm still trying to exorcise the Tanker Garand demon from my head.
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Old May 31, 2002, 08:41 AM   #8
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I've fired the Garand recently. I could see no muzzle flash witht he flash hider but, based on what I've seen from other rifles of similar barrel length in that caliber, not much should be visible. Accuracy is slightly inferior to a full-length M14 but superior to a Yugoslav 8mm Mauser; probably because of the sights rather than any inherent barrel differences. Accuracy was much better with soft points (Remington, better yet with PMP) than with Talon ball. I am still peeved at missing a sale on Greek 30-06 surplus. Soft points are actually practical in clip-loaded rifles because their tips don't hit the front of the magazine on recoil as they do in an AK, for example.

The difference in balance is considerable and favors the shortie. I fired three full-length Garands and (just those three specific examples, two of which were an original US, one was recently built from Italian kit on an old receiver) only the recently built one worked reliably. The other two had problems whereas my chopped rifle did not. Accuracy was fractionally better from the recently built one and similar from the older full-length guns. The advantage of longer Garands may become more pronounced at ranges longer than 25m, though.
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Old May 31, 2002, 11:14 AM   #9
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Glockten:
Your M1 which ejected partially loaded clip could have been corrected by bending the follower arm (SLIGHTLY) Replacing it with a new one would also work.

The hole in the follower arm quite often wears and is noticeably egg shaped. This changes the "timing" and in effect, "tells" the rifle the clip is empty, time to eject. You can correct the problem by bending the arm just enough to offset the wear.

This is probably one of the most common failures in the Garand, next would probably be extractor/ejector failures. If I were to select common spare parts to keep a Garand running, the kit would contain the follower arm & pin, op-rod spring, ejector and extractor. Have seen individual Garands fired enough to wear out the barrels having no more maintenance than regular cleaning and replacement of the above parts.

Great rifle, but make mine the full size rather than the "tanker".
Op rod configuration is critical on the Garand and it takes a really good armorer to bend an op-rod so that the rifle functions reliably and is accurate (if op-rod rubs anywhere, accuracy suffers and can cause feeding problems if really off). The tanker model compounds the op-rod problem as the short rod is much more difficult to get the correct clearance.

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Old May 31, 2002, 01:27 PM   #10
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Funny thing about these old threads...

Funny in that there is always a question that needs to be answered, but sometimes it takes a while for that question to formulate.

Anyway, please correct me if I am wrong, but weren't some of the first 'Tanker' Garands to be offered made up of parts and pieces cobbed together from demilled and/or worn out parts?

I seem to remember that for this reason, it was prudent to avoid these rifles at all costs, as they could fail at any time. All the other comments made here are also legit - as far as tolerances and so forth. I personally don't think that one could really 'improve' the Garand by shortening it.

If you have access to Julian Hatchers Handbook, you can read a fascinating history of the development of this battle rifle. You'll begin to see that the Garand that we know today represented the culmination of years of effort and material development. I quite honestly believe that any 'changes' made to this final design can only be to the worse.

This isn't to say that the development of the M-14 is a step down from the Garand. But when we consider the 'Tanker', we see just modifications of the design, and not entirely new developments as we saw in the M-14, and these can only be a step down from what John Garand intended in the first place.

Oleg, have you ever fired your shorty at dusk? I would be interested to see what your reaction would be with Ball ammo at dusk even with the T37 flash suppressor...

C'ya!

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Old May 31, 2002, 01:30 PM   #11
Oleg Volk
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I've fired it at dusk and saw pretty much no muzzle flash, far less than from a 20" AR15 with good ammo.
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Old May 31, 2002, 03:06 PM   #12
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Gentlemen, (and ladies),
I don't know what a tanker" M1 is. As one of five tank crewman I was instructed to "bail out" carrying my pistol and one of the following: M2 carbine, M3 "Greasegun" or 30 cal Browning Machinegun with ground mount tripod. These were all part of a basic load for a tank. I do confess that I cheated and stored a full size M1 Garand behind the radio rack with a bandoleer or 10 eight round clips with it. I think there are times when you need to reach out and touch someone. But tanker M1's, no way jay!
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Old May 31, 2002, 03:10 PM   #13
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Tanker Garands

Unkel Gilbey: You are correct that the early tankers available to the public were usually cobbled together and not too reliable. Those were the only ones I had any dealings with and most of those had op-rod problems (scraping on front end of stock or barrel flange.

As you said, Hatcher's Notebook is good reference on the Garand during early development. Julian Hatcher also wrote "The Book of the Garand" which goes even further and is a great reference book.

Oleg, sounds like you got a keeper, that's great. They sure are a lot of fun to shoot, aren't they?

Regards,
hps
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Old May 31, 2002, 03:14 PM   #14
Oleg Volk
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Had I known the reputation of Federal Ordnance Tankers, I would have avoived the rifle I have. Buy I was ignorant and lucked out a lot. Mine has worked well. I just wish I could find some cheap surplus 30-06.
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Old May 31, 2002, 03:22 PM   #15
hps1
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"Tanker M1"

Senior Rifleman:
The so called "Tanker" M1 was a regular M1 shortened approximately six to seven inches (based on memory, the upper hand guard is only about an inch or so long).

I can't remember where I read it but I THINK they were experimental only and were supposedly something the paratroopers were interested in, rather than armor. Perhaps someone can provide more accurate information on this??

Regards,
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Old May 31, 2002, 05:43 PM   #16
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hps1 is correct. The short M1 was a request by the WWII European command paratrooper generals, especially General Gavin. They considered the M1 Carbine as unreliable and underpowered. They wanted an M1 that could be jumped assembled, ready to go.
Two prototypes were built, one destroyed, and one on display at Springfield Arsenal. The rifles had excessive muzzle blast and recoil, and before a fix could be developed, the war ended and the project was canceled.

In the late 1950's the owner of a California surplus gun company had a stock of M1 rifles that weren't selling. After seeing the T26/M1 at Springfield, he decided a carbine M1 would help sell his overstock, and he converted a number of rifles. He coined the name "Tanker Garand" as a sales gimmick. The rumor started that the Tanker was requested by the Pacific command for issue to tank crews.

As a historical note: Klein's Hardware in Chicago had ads in Field & Stream in the 1960's, selling M1's in excellent condition for $99.99. P-38 Walthers were $39.95. Lugers were about $5.00 higher.
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Old May 31, 2002, 06:45 PM   #17
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"Tanker M1's"

Dfariswheel:

Thanks for the information on the T26. It's been a long time since I read up on this and could not recall the details but THOUGHT it was designed as a paratrooper weapon.

Boy, do I remember the Klein ads! I purchased one of the $99.00 M1's from them and must say their concept of "excellent condition" differs somewhat from mine. The rifle itself was excellent outside appearance but the stock was terrible.....there was a 1/8"gap between the rear of the receiver and the stock. I suspect that the rifle had been fired w/corrosive ammo and not properly cleaned as the bore had very light pitting full length. After bedding the stock, however, it shot quite well. I was on the Ft. Polk AMU at the time and my rifle shot almost as well as the NM grade rifle I was issued in spite of the pitted barrel. It did require a lot of scrubbing, though, to get the bbl. clean after shooting.

The best thing about that rifle was the British proof marks on the barrel. It had been one lend leased to GB during WWII.

Regards,
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Old June 1, 2002, 06:12 AM   #18
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More original Tankers built

When I was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1964, there were at least three variations of the "Tanker" Garand on display in the Ordnance Museum. The Museum has since moved into a new but much smaller facility, and I'm not sure if they still have all of them on display.

I had a friend who in the 1960's who built complete Garands (both issue and "Tanker" variations) using demilled receivers. He fabricated a jig that let him align two receiver parts, and then he had a skilled welder weld them back together! They were Parkerized, and a new rifle assembled from parts. I fired dozens of the finished guns, and they performed well, but the Tankers were less reliable overall.
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Old June 1, 2002, 12:30 PM   #19
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Director of Civilian Marksmanship

While this has nothing to do with tanker M1's, thought there might be an interest in this web site:

www.odcmp.com/

Enjoy,
hps
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Old June 1, 2002, 06:34 PM   #20
Chief Jones
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M1 vs "Tanker M1"

M1 = the rifle that won WW2
Tanker = a gimmick

Just my opinion.....
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Old October 15, 2011, 10:33 AM   #21
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Awake this mith on T26's

100% reliable Arlington Ord. T26 7.62mm. This shot with iron sights prior to Match conditioning using SF71 M80 ball
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1 MOA group.jpg (231.9 KB, 55 views)
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Old October 16, 2011, 08:07 AM   #22
madcratebuilder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froglegs
Tanker vs. Standard Garand
Forgive the misnomer, but i like to call em tanker garands. What are the advantages/ disadvantages of a Tanker length barrel and gas system vs. a standard length version. How well do they handle when compared, how's the reliability, accuracy (in general) and so on.
The so called "Garand Tanker" can be made reliable. There are at least two good shops building them in both '06 and .308. I shot a friends, it had a bit more muzzle flash and recoil. It did feel good, I liked to balance. No way I would cut a good Garand to make one, but if I had a rifle with a bad muzzle I would consider it.

I've built a couple of "Tanker Enfields", easy with a bolt gun. These started as a sporter that had the barrel cut already. I just made a new cut and made short wood.

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Old October 16, 2011, 08:21 AM   #23
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Happy 10th birthday to this thread!

But be careful it doesn't eat your brain....
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Old October 16, 2011, 09:27 AM   #24
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I know this is an old thread, but I'd like to address the "paratrooper" aspect of rifles.

I was on jump status for most (all but two years) of my 24 years in the military between the Reg. Army and National Guard. I jumped with a lot of rifles including the Garand, M-14, M16 and even a M700 Rem sniper rifle.

If you cover (tap over) the muzzle of these guns, they are all "ready" when you hit the ground. I never used a weapons carrier with a rifle (have with a M-60), they are not needed. If you jump with snow shoes, or skis you'll discover the rifle isnt in the way at all.

I'm infantry, not armor, but our mech units were carrying Grease guns until we went to the M16s so I never really saw the need for the "tanker" model, I don't know of any USGI models.

I played with one and wasn't impress, nothing it would do that a standard M1 wouldnt, but the standard was more reliable, and more accurate. (Longer sight radius has a lot to do with that).
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Old October 16, 2011, 11:14 AM   #25
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I thought I would “up date” this thread with a warning about Tanker Garands. There are some real turkeys on the market.

I don’t know who was the maker of this tanker but they sure understood their market. Winchester parts look like they were chewed out of barstock by angry beavers, but people will pay out the yin yang for anything with the Winchester label. I remember tankers were being sold for more than standard Garands, and there was probably a premium for this tanker because it is a “Winchester”. But the receiver is not all Winchester. The front half is Springfield. It is a reweld job.

The pictures below will show you color changes and hopefully will give you a clue if you every run across a reweld for sale. If you do, walk away.

This one is such a poor assembly job that the barrel unscrewed itself. This was brought to a rifle match by the owner who was giving it to a gunsmith/competitor to make the thing work. I don’t know the end result.












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