Springfield Armory Announces ‘Tanker’ M1A

The “Tanker” by Springfield Armory. (Photo: SA)

Springfield Armory has just announced a compact carbine variant of their M1A-pattern rifle called the “Tanker.” The Tanker was inspired by an experimental modified Garand rifle concept that never really saw the light of day.

Toward the end of World War II it was apparent that the full-size Garand rifle was too long and heavy for paratroopers as well as soldiers in the Pacific theater fighting jungle warfare. Smaller firearms and carbines weren’t always powerful enough to fight at longer ranges or through cover and brush.

Springfield Armory engineers experimented with the Garand carbine idea starting in 1944. Independently, soldiers in the Philippines were modifying rifles in the field to achieve the same goals with hopes of seeing a production carbine.

Ultimately the M1 Garand wasn’t especially suited for the conversion. Gas system problems combined with the ammo in use at the time made the carbines unreliable and difficult to aim and fire. But they were shorter, lighter and easier to handle.

When the war ended, the carbine project was shelved and eventually almost all of the experimental guns were destroyed. It wasn’t until the 1960s when tinkerers started modifying surplus Garand rifles that the Tanker name and Garand carbine took off, and even then, it was pretty short-lived.

Do you love it or … let us know in the comments! (Photo: SA)

Not to let the idea blink out of history, Springfield Armory is happy to announce their take on the carbine built on the M1A chambered in 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester.

Springfield’s new Tanker is based on the SOCOM M1A with a 16.25-inch carbon steel barrel. The carbine has a parkerized finish and a “Vintage” walnut stock. Unlike some of the original Tankers, the Springfield M1A has a full-length stock and forend with a single forward sling setup.

It comes with a fully-adjustable ghost ring rear sight with click adjustment in minutes of angle. The front sight is an XS Sights post with a tritium night sight lamp. And it comes standard with a 10-round steel magazine.

See Also: Springfield Armory’s New M-Lok Saint Rifles

The suggested retail price is up there at $1,987, but of course real-world and online prices should be lower. It’s also a good deal less than other production Tankers built on Garand receivers.

For many shooters converting an original M1 Garand to a carbine pattern is downright sacrilege, and they may see this as a fun alternative. For other shooters the magazine-fed action and .308 Winchester chambering are going to be the main appeal.

No matter what the case is, this gun definitely screams “love it or leave it” and plenty of people will find some love with the Tanker.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Thomas January 10, 2020, 7:53 pm

    Love it – I’ll call it a carbine thank you very much. I’m a big fan of carbine variants and now that I’ve saved up for a 16 inch SOCOM I have a decision to make.

  • Stan December 31, 2019, 4:31 am

    Need to know how to order merchandise

  • John Bicknell October 30, 2019, 12:04 am

    Love the M 14 in any size. I carried one in Southeast Asia for three tours.

  • Thomas M. Spencer August 11, 2019, 8:14 am

    The Mini M-14 fulfills that function nicely. I could see a WWII Tank crew enjoying this far more. Should make it a commemorative WWII or Korean war issue. A beautiful weapon.

  • Ti August 10, 2019, 9:27 am

    Nice.

    This reminds me of the SA lineage. I remember the 80’s when they had the the “Bush” rifles and the BM-59/62 variants.

  • Bill Luvender August 9, 2019, 11:50 pm

    like it for us old guys, lighter, easier to carry! Used an accurized Arms Room M-14 for Sniper School in 67

  • MIKE GRESHAM August 9, 2019, 11:49 pm

    Great looking weapon. I have always wanted an M14 just never got the chance. I am not one of those shooters that need to shoot at targets I,000 yards, won’t do it at 72 yrs old. This is a great 2-300 yard weapon.

  • Keith August 9, 2019, 7:04 pm

    Absolutely Beautiful!!! If I could get one that I could afford I would love to ad one to my collection!!!

  • Jerald Koester August 9, 2019, 3:37 pm

    I once owned a M1 Grand Tanker carbine. I think it was made in Canada, ( put together), and I did not pay a lot to it. It had some feed problems, short recoil, but worst of all was the muzzle blast and muzzle flash. I too seen several original M1tankers in the Aberdeen museum.

    I often wonder about that muzzle blast when ever I see short rifle barrels on AK 47’s and M1A’s. You need good hearing protection when you shoot these short barreled puppies.

    I sold my tanker. Hear better now.

  • James August 9, 2019, 2:10 pm

    Yes I would buy one,when the price comes down.like it very much

  • RHT447 August 9, 2019, 2:00 pm

    No Thanks. I am old school. Graduated Small Arms Repair School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in 1974. The M-14 is a rifle. ATT long distance, reach out and touch someone. For me, the 16-inch barrel is what they refer to in baseball as “stretching a double into a single”.

    Don’t get me wrong. I was an FFL for near 20 years and sold plenty of SOCOM’s and what have you. As stated above some folks love ’em. Choice is good. Just not my choice.

  • DAVID August 9, 2019, 1:53 pm

    Will the Tanker be legal in NY, and in CAL?

    • Bill Luvender August 9, 2019, 11:42 pm

      Not in the Peoples Republik of NY, unfortunately our Kommissar Cuomo snuck the so called “Safe Act” in LATE at night and it BANS anything that has a removable magazine, or LOOKS even remotely military (looking military DEFINITELY makes a plain old semi-auto rifle more DANGEROUS in their twisted opinion)

  • Robert Glenn August 9, 2019, 12:56 pm

    I have owned M1A tanker since 1985 by Springfield in 308 brand new😊

  • Awesome Bill from Dawsonville August 9, 2019, 12:03 pm

    So a SOCOM with a wood stock and no top rail. Looks good but not exactly earth shattering….

    • Paul R Labrador August 9, 2019, 2:21 pm

      yup, pretty much….

  • Robert L Finney August 9, 2019, 10:36 am

    I received mine yesterday. Absolutely beautiful weapon. Found it for $500.00 + under MSRP. Comes with a first rate soft side rifle case. Make room for one of these beauties.

  • Dddddddddd August 9, 2019, 10:02 am

    Looks like a BM-59 Mezzafredamorta

  • Everet Tipton August 9, 2019, 10:01 am

    What is the difference been the “Tanker” and the “SOCOM”?

  • Neil J August 9, 2019, 9:47 am

    A good looking old school weapon. I already have the Scout, with the 18″ barrel, and forward optics. I won’t part with it. I hope the Tanker functions. They’ll sell a bunch of these.

  • Oliver Groce August 9, 2019, 9:24 am

    Beautiful !!! I want one

  • DrThunder88 August 9, 2019, 8:49 am

    One of my most prized guns is a .308 Tanker Garand from a kit made by Numrich and assembled by Global Military Gunsmithing. It’s such a sweet little gun and rather unique. Love it!

  • Cyrus August 9, 2019, 7:33 am

    Absolutely beautiful but I have enough guns. If I was in the market for more this would be on my list!

    • Boss August 10, 2019, 1:02 am

      You, have enough guns???

  • Roy S Denney August 9, 2019, 7:13 am

    They already have a 16 inch SOCOM. Why another 16 Inch gun with a different name?

  • David Reaume August 9, 2019, 5:55 am

    I love it I’m gonna buy three i love it so much

  • Orlando Valenciano August 9, 2019, 5:39 am

    Yes

  • 1LTLos August 9, 2019, 4:24 am

    Very beautiful — real wood and steel rifle based on Socom 16. I own socom 16 and its a fine rifle. Imagine this will work as well but with beauty of wood stock

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