M1 Garand Tanker


November 14, 2005, 08:17 AM
I was looking at Gun Parts Corp. and saw the Garand Tanker .308 conversion unit. I have a fullsize Garand I want to convert to .308. Would it be just as easy to covert it to a .308 Garand Tanker. Does anyone have a Tanker and how do they like it.

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November 14, 2005, 09:25 AM
Very tricky conversion. I suspect that more Garands have been ruined attempting this change than have actually been successful. You can throw the timing off and get incorrect gas pressures, etc.. if not done correctly. Besides, there never was an issued "Tanker" Garand.

November 14, 2005, 10:20 AM
Please tell me that's not a WW2 Garand you are talking about converting? It's a free country but that's just obscene. ;)

Not sure what the fascination is with the Tanker Garand, except as a historical might have been. For it's expressed purpose, a smaller arm more effective than a pistol for armored units, there was already the M1 carbine.

Now no one is going to claim that the Carbine was a viable replacement for the Garand, but it was a useful replacement for the 1911 and, in folding stock versions, much easier to stow in a tank. Throw in the M3 variation with full auto, and it wouldn't be a bad option.

If you want a Garand in .308 why not get a M1A?

November 14, 2005, 11:06 AM
Yeah, be aware that the "tanker" stuff is advertising hype. The cut-down Garand was experimented with by the government (it was one of about a dozen Garand variants tinkered with) but was never issued. A bunch were ordered, but the war ended shortly afterwards, and the order was cancelled.

That said, I love my .308 tanker M1. It is significantly shorter, lighter, and handier than a stock M1. I added a Smith Enterprise muzzle brake, and I find the recoil more controllable than my 7.62x39 AK (it is pretty loud, though).

A lot of people suggest getting a Scout M1A in place of a tanker, but there are a couple good reason to choose the tanker. A tanker is going to be significantly cheaper than an M1A, both for the gun and for magazines/clips. My M1 cost me $675, and I've never paid more than $0.50 for a clip. An M1A will cost much more. Secondly, I prefer the handling of an M1 to an M1A. I like to pull my support hand back under the magazine well of a rifle - I can do that with a Garand, but an M1A magazine prevents me from do so. An M1 also allows one to use a lower prone position, FWIW.

For a person looking for a handy .308 autoloader, I think the tanker M1 is an excellent choice.

A lot of people complain about them being unreliable, but I don't have experience with enough examples to make a judgement myself. I passed up four or five tankers while looking for mine because they looked like junky crap. The one I finally did purchase is an Arlinton Ord conversion, and has been nearly malfunction-free over several thousand rounds of surplus ammo (including 4 days at Front Sight and a number of IPSC rifle matches). If you send your rifle and conversion kit to a reputable Garand gunsmith, I have no doubt they can make you a perfectly reliable tanker.

November 14, 2005, 02:59 PM
I've heard of more Tanker Garands that don't run right than those that do. The .308 conversion in a full size Garand is pretty straight forward. The gas port size has to be changed (enlarged?) and new springs are needed, but any good Garand smith should know the tricks. The Tanker conversions are more problematic. They require a whole new barrel, op-rod, handguard and spring. The gas port also has to be changed. Spare parts are hard to find afterwards if anything breaks.

My advice is that converting a Garand to .308 is OK, but think very carefully before you change one to a Tanker configuration. If you do do it, find a good smith to do the work and ask about their experience with the conversion and what problems you might expect.

Personally, I think Tanker Garands make Baby Jesus cry.

Atlas Shrug
November 15, 2005, 12:47 PM

I'm also in NC and really like the "Tanker" concept. I'm actively researching it now. There are many good solutions, but even more internet ragging on how none work, etc. Ignore the raggers and proceed with care and caution.

That said, I've heard mixed things about the Gun Parts kits so I'd say do some more research and follow the general buyer beware guidelines.


I would be thrilled if you would add some info on your Arlington Ord. gun to my "survey" here:


The way the lower band is done seems to be a major difference in different T26/Tanker incarnations. I would love to know more about yours.

November 15, 2005, 01:37 PM
One way to avoid any oprod bending problems is to use the gas cylinder and oprod from a BM-59. The Italians reworked the two so that the oprod is straight, rather than requiring any fancy bends. Talk to a gunsmith about it, but I believe the two will fit right onto an M1.

Atlas - Will do, tomorrow morning after I go home and take a look at it.

Company 212
May 23, 2009, 01:04 PM
I stumbled on this thread by accident, and I guess I am bringing it back from the dead, LOL.

But some years ago, I built a T-26 Tanker .308 from a gun parts kit. I used a receiver that I bought from CMP and other parts I had or bought.

The kit wasn't something you can just slap together. I think I had to chamber the barrel, make a new front handguard cause the one they gave me was trash, I had to bend the op rod which took forever to get right, and then had to mess with the spring a couple times. I used a Schuster gas cylinder plug so I could adjust the pressure and recoil and I also put a compensator on it. In the end, it shoots very well and cycles the rounds well too. It has a lot of muzzle blast. I have it timed correctly, but the only thing I have left that is a problem is that it is a little tight when putting a full clip in, so i still need to troubleshoot that. Anyway here is a picture of it with the other two I built at the same time with parts I bought and receivers from CMP.


May 23, 2009, 04:44 PM
Company 212,

That picture is worth the thread necrophilia. Looks great!

-- John

Uncle Mike
May 23, 2009, 05:23 PM
The Tanker Garand is an awesome piece of machinery!
I bought a oem new form Springfield Armory .308 Garand, I wish SA would spool up and start production again, I would love to get a new Garand in

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