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Old 10-08-2004, 08:10 AM   #1
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M1 Tanker (?)

I've got a short question. I've seen a short movie of an sort of M1 Garand with an M1 Carbine clip on it.

Anyone knows what weapon this is? The movie said M1 Tanker but I have no clue.

Here's the link:
http://homepage.mac.com/bloodfield/imag ... tank_s.mov
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:14 AM   #2
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Are you sure that is a M1 Carbine clip? The magazine looks too wide and has an upward angle on the bottom (or so it seemed to me). I saw some pictures on ejclancy's website of an experimental Garand that took modified BAR magazines, maybe that is what it is?
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:53 AM   #3
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BM 59, maybe? Can't see it too well.

rifle guy
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:10 AM   #4
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Hi all,
AS for the tanker Garand there were only two bulit at SA from one that was sent in from the field in 1943. The two that SA built were given the T26 number. One was destroyed at SA during tests The other is on display at APG in Maryland. The one on display at SA is the field unit. Ordnance ordered 15,000 of these but we dropped the bomb and the war was over before any went into production. IN the 1950's gunsmiths built them out of cut receivers and receivers that were not cut. That's about it on the tanker.
have fun
Thanks again
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:25 AM   #5
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That's about it on the tanker.
Well, technically, you are right - that is about it on the USGI T-26 model.

But they weren't called "Tanker" until the '50s when Robert E. Penney, Jr. coined the term as a marketing gimmick. The USGI test models were never intended for use in tanks.

See the link at:


My Federal Ordnance "Tanker" was built in 1989, from a 1942 (IIRC) Springfield receiver. Dad paid $385 for it, new from Fed. Ord..

And no, it does not have a mag - but the one in the video clip that you posted looks straight to me - like an M14 mag. Clayton at West Texas Ordnance does make a rifle using Garand parts on a commercial M14-type receiver, allowing the use of M14 mags. Maybe that's what is in the video. Either that, or one of the Italian (Beretta?) jobs.

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Old 10-08-2004, 01:10 PM   #6
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More than likely it is a BM-59. My brother owns a garand bm-59 clone, its not original but it is built almost to the exact specifications. His gunsmith doesn't know who built it but he says they did a damn good job. I'll see if I can get some pictures for yall soon. It has a SA reciever in the 500,000 area with some internal bm-59 components.
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Old 10-08-2004, 11:10 PM   #7
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Here are those pictures as promised. Its a grab bag of parts slapped together. Mostly springfield with a few HRA and Beretta components. As stated earlier, I have no clue who put it together but they did a fantastic job. It funtions flawlessly and uses M14 mags.



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Old 10-09-2004, 03:48 PM   #8
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That is a crazy awesome rifle.
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Old 10-09-2004, 05:40 PM   #9
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http://groups.msn.com/WestTexasOrdnance ... rifle.msnw
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Old 10-09-2004, 05:44 PM   #10
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Is the clip detachable ?
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Old 10-09-2004, 10:46 PM   #11
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Yep, the clip is detachable. Chambered in 308 and accepts M14 mags.
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:38 AM   #12
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M1 Tanker

I bought a M1 Tanker in the late 1960's in Tucson, Ariz. It is stamped Golden State Arm, Pasadena, Calif.,m M-58 30-06. My question is this a reworked M1?

I have got into reloading and bought some surplus ammo and need to know if this will handle it safely? I have used it many 8 round clips for it that I have picket up over the years.

I was going to make it a hunting rifle, now I have a Remington 700 for that, and probably us for the range and fun.

Any help will be great.
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:49 AM   #13
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Are you sure it's not a BM59? Golden state arms converted some M1s to BM59s. The rumor was a lot of the receivers were re-welds.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:55 PM   #14
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If it's an M1, using M1 8 round clips, it's a converted M1 rifle.

As above, many of these have been built over the years using M1 rifles that are converted to a "Tanker" carbine/rifle.
Quality varies wildly from fine conversions by top gunsmiths to unsafe to fire trash built in basements.

Often the lower quality versions were made using condemned and cut up M1 Rifle receivers that were sold as scrap, then welded together.
These almost always have front sections that don't match the rear sections.
As example you might find one with a Winchester rear and a Springfield front section.

The problem with these welded receivers is that the job was often poorly done, and it's not unusual to see them with the firing pin safety interlock not functioning because the welded receiver is too short and the firing pin interlock that prevents the rifle from firing unless the bolt is locked is not working.

Look for signs the receiver is one of the welded jobs by checking the manufacturers stamp on the receiver heel and comparing it to the manufacturers "drawing number" or blueprint stamp on the right-front of the receiver.
That code will usually end with two letters indicating the maker. As example "SA" for Springfield Arsenal.
Someone who's "into" the M1 can also tell you if the actual blueprint version on the receiver matches the makers stamp on the rear.
These are called "Drawing numbers" which are basically blueprint numbers.
Each time a design change was made, a new drawing number was stamped on the receivers.
So, if the drawing number shows a rifle made before or after the serial number was used you know you have a mismatched, welded receiver.

Also look for signs of the welding. That will be about the middle of the receiver and can be identified by looking for signs of the joint inside the receiver and for surfaces that don't match up on the outside rails on the right side.

Last, have it inspected by a qualified gunsmith to see if he'll pass it as safe to fire.

Also remember, the M1 was designed to use a very specific type of ammunition.
Many commercial cartridges are loaded with powders that are NOT SAFE to use in the M1.
Some commercial ammo can seriously damage the M1 rifle if the powder is one with a different burn rate then the powder the M1 was designed to use.
Also remember that the M1 was designed to use bullets no heavier then 173 grains.
Heavier bullets can seriously damage the operating rod.
Note also that the op rod has bends put in by the factory and the rod needed further bending when it was converted to a Tanker.

When buying or loading hunting or practice ammo for the M1 make sure the powder is compatible.
Usually, military or bulk pack American ammo is compatible. As example Federal "white box" ammo is M1-safe.

Make sure you use GREASE to lubricate the M1. In the M1 oil is used to prevent rust, grease is the lubricant.
The "official" grease was Lubriplate 120, which is a Lithium grease.
You can buy a suitable Lithium grease in any hardware, auto, farm, or Walmart store.

For more info on welded receivers, why they're bad, and how to identify them check this from Fulton Armory:

Fulton Armory FAQ: How can I tell if an M1 or M14 receiver is a "reweld"?

Last edited by dfariswheel; 08-24-2017 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 08-27-2017, 07:18 PM   #15
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According to 1LT Joseph Berry, late of the famed Merrill's Marauders, told me (shortly before he passed away some 10 years ago) that about 20 Garand "tankers" were rebuilt at a depot in the CBI shortly before or after WWII ended, as an experiment for "jungle use". - He said that he didn't know what happened to them later, as he rotated to CONUS shortly after that.

yours, sw
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:49 PM   #16
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Story is that about 20 converted M1's were shipped to Springfield Arsenal from the Pacific for appraisal.

After being inspected they were all re-converted back to standard M1 Rifles and put back in the system.

Supposedly the idea for a carbine type M1 Rifle came from the European Theater paratrooper generals.
They disliked the M1 Carbine and thought a short M1 Rifle would be easier to jump fully assembled.

It was in the 50's that the "Tanker" story that General MacArthur requested a short M1 Rifle for use by tankers started.
This story was cooked up by a West coast surplus dealer with a large number of surplus M1 Riles that weren't selling due to the higher cost over the usual Mauser and Lee Enfield rifles that were glutting the market.

On a trip back East he visited Springfield Arsenal and saw the prototype T26 short M1.
He thought that offering something similar would allow him to unload the surplus M1's he had on hand.
To "assist" the sales he came up with the Tanker story.
Had he known about the paratrooper link he'd have probably sold even more as "paratrooper" models.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:38 PM   #17
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Well, I would guess that we now know what happened to the rifles that were modified in the CBI theater depot for close/jungle combat??

About 50 years ago, I heard a similar story about a surplus dealer but was told that he called the shortened rifles "tankers" because of the Jungle carbines made from SMLE rifles in .303 & which reportedly were used/liked by British/ANZAC tank crews in the Pacific.
(Which story IF EITHER is correct?? = I just don't know.)

yours, sw
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:22 PM   #18
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I never heard the story about the #5 Lee Enfield Jungle Carbine, only about the M1 Rifle.
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:26 AM   #19
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Back in the '80's I worked for a company that imported about 300 1941 Johnson rifles that no one would buy at $249.00 ea (including me...what an idiot!!!). If it ever occurred to us that we could have cut down the barrels and called them "Jungle" or "Tanker" Johnson's, we probably would have sold out in 2 months. And with the Johnson design, all it would have taken was cutting the barrel, and re-mounting the front sight. Took us almost 4 years to sell 300 Johnson's at that price...can you imagine?
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:49 AM   #20
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well by that time the Johnson had such a terrible reputation you couldn't give them away- also there was NO replacement for spare parts- if it's the same rifles that came from the dutch at the
end of the war, marketed by elwood epps up here and numrich in the states, the majority of them were turned
into the smelter
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