The T26 "Tanker" M1 Garand

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

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.

Tanker (top) fitted with Smith Enterprises muzzle brake.

Note barrel length and the upper handguard difference

Note the odd bend in the T26 short op-rod and the major
difference in length of the follower arm/spring guide.

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.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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2 of 8 comments
  • Jesus Jesus on Aug 07, 2011

    A good rifle to kill pigeons, pigs, rabbits and butterflies...maybe even people, but goblins, ghosts and aliens for sure...Sala-vee!!!

  • M1tanker M1tanker on Oct 11, 2012

    I have sucessfully converted about 20 m1 garands to the tanker configuration and love doing them. The most important is to get the operating rod right. They are a blast to shoot. I have shot several antelope and 2 elk with a converted garand tanker . Most prefer a 308 to a 30-06. With a 308 there is less muzzle flash than the 30-06 and I suspect that is to the lesser amount of powder. Anyone wanting to contact me can email me at