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Anyone know anything about the M1 Tanker Experimental in .308?

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    Anyone know anything about the M1 Tanker Experimental in .308?

    So I stopped into a gun shop that time forgot. I never knew this place was there I just happened on it from a FFL search and was like "oh look at that I might have to see whats in there" Well this place has nothing new, its all old rifles and hand guns in the back cramped space. Even came complete with a WWII vet rear ball gunner sitting back there telling me war stories which I did not mind at all and spent most of the hour I was there talking to him and the owner. I happened to see this odd looking rifle and I saw that it was a tanker M1, but with a 20 round mag. The guy tells me its a M1 Garand Tanker experimental and takes .308 rounds. This thing has been sitting there for sometime, the grease is even dried up on it. I took some pics for you guys to see. The receiver and bolt are all Springfield and I could not quite make out the barrel markings other than VA. I have seen tanker M1's but never something like this. If anyone has any info on one of these I would greatly appreciate it, I might pick it up if it worth it.

    Thanks

    #2
    I think the guy is telling some tall tales

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    • Baked Ziti
      Baked Ziti commented
      Editing a comment
      lol, yeah your probably right after doing some searching on it last night.

    #3
    Maybe an older Warbird conversion.
    m14brian

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      #4
      1st lets get the record straight. There was never a "tanker" M1 Garand made for the military. There were, however shortened M1s made during WW2. The term used was "jungle rifle."I did some research many years ago on the subject of so called "tankers"... My written documentation includes a letter from the curator at the SA museum. I'm going by memory here till I dig out the info.
      The shortened rifles were hand built (somewhat crude but effective) at a unit level depot by orders of a hi ranking officer in the Pacific theater. There were supposedly 151 built. One was sent to the original Springfield Armory for evaluation. (and is still there, I got to handle it many years ago). Springfield responded saying they had already tried shortening M1 Garands and found there were too many problems with the short version. Too huge a flash, toooo violent to the op rods and other issues.. SA deemed them unsafe. Soo, back to the Pacific theater, most if not all of the modified rifles were built back to full size rifles. (yes it's entirely possible a couple, maybe even a few came home with troops,,,MAYBE) .. Fast forward to the early 60s when demilled M1s were sold for pennies on the pound, Mr. Robert Penny and associates (their firm was Alpine and National Ordnance) Mr. Penny was fascinated by tanks and wanted to build an M1 that would fit into a tank turret.They acquired surplus M1 parts and manufactured and marketed the "Tanker Garand". They started putting short rifles together and labeled them "tanker" Garands. Over the years, other individuals and eventually companies started offering them for sale and the tag "tanker" stuck.

      Found my paperwork, will take pics of the 3 pages and post when I have some time.
      Last edited by m1sniper; 01-13-2017, 11:11 PM.

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      • Baked Ziti
        Baked Ziti commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the info. I did some more searching last night about this rifle and I read about the two ever made by SA. Seems this is just a conversion someone did and I am going to pass on it.

      #5
      The rifle looks like a conversion a gunsmith in Va did about 25yrs ago. I believe his name was Bland. He shortened M1 Garands and converted them to take a M-14 magazine. He passed away a number of years ago. He did excellent work by all accounts. How much was the shop asking for the rifle?

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      • Baked Ziti
        Baked Ziti commented
        Editing a comment
        The shop was asking 1295 for the rifle. Everything seemed tight on the rifle when I was checking it out. The mag fit nice a tight came out and went back in with no problems and the action seemed smooth on it too. The serial number dates the receiver right around 1943 and the bolt dates about 1944. I just never seen a mag fed "tanker" rifle so it intrigued me to find out more about it.

      #6
      The Gunsmith I am referring to was Ed Bland of Richmond Va. He passed away in 2000. Double check the barrel and see if its marked Bland Gunsmithing Richmond Va,
      Last edited by RDS; 01-14-2017, 06:29 PM.

      Comment


        #7
        Glad you figured out that the guy was more full of it than my septic tank is. If you want such a beast I believe Tim Shufflin at Shuff's Parkerizing would build you one probably much more reliable than the one you are looking at and possibly at a lower price in the end. Some of the first....and even the last.....Tanker conversions were a real POC with iffy function and badly modified parts. If you were to ever consider buying it (I hope not,) if I were you, I'd require a live fire function test of the rifle. Bring a good rifle vise to clamp it in and a long lanyard to pull the trigger.

        I also suspect the "VA" on the barrel is a remnant of an import mark (there is an importer that marked them with their mark and "VA" as the state. VAR did not make a 308 barrel so it's not a VAR barrel. It might be an Italian 308 barrel. Or, maybe even what RDS said.

        BTW, no tanker is really worth $1250. It really doesn't have much value to anyone except someone who wants it bad enough to pay too much. People always put high value on weird or unusual stuff but it usually doesn't mean it's really worth it as a decent investment. If CMP ever has 308 Specials again your money would be far better off spent on one of those. At least you'd know you're getting a virtually new and fully functional rifle for the money.
        Last edited by lapriester; 02-07-2017, 03:33 AM.

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