The T26, otherwise known as the “Tanker” Garand, was an experiential 18″ barreled carbine version of the M1 Garand. It was designed late in WWII for use in the Pacific jungles. Tom emailed me photos of his new T26-style M1.
Tom had this to say about his new Garand:
I did get the chance to shoot the shorty a week or so ago before the rain started up. It functions flawlessly, despite the somewhat seedy reputation of gunsmith custom T26 Garands like this one. Many of the first shorty rifles to hit the market many years ago were rewelded receivers, which are much weaker and downright dangerous in many cases. On many of these reweld guns (this is true of full sized Garands and T26 style ones both) the op-rod may dismount while firing, which as you can imagine causes quite a few problems.
That muzzle break is a real shoulder-saver, and surprisingly the shorty Garand has considerably less recoil than the FAL I recently built. I don’t have a huge range, but from about a hundred yards I was on the paper on the first shot (after a full strip and thorough cleaning) and managed to tune my way to a fairly respectable group around three inches with Lake City ammo. It may not be a match gun, but it’s definitely more accurate than I was expecting. Really a blast to shoot and more than acceptable accuracy in my opinion!
The T26 is a very interesting rifle. In a sense it is much more modern than the full size M1. As I mentioned yesterday in the post about the new Italian service rifle which even in the designated marksmen version has a 16″ barrel, the modern trend is to compromise maximum ballistic performance with maneuverability.
A big thanks to Tom for emailing me the photos and information. More can be read about the T26 at the Wikipedia M1 Garand page.