View Full Version : ReChamber or ReBarrel an M1 tanker
10-25-2002, 01:25 PM
I picked up an M1 tanker in .308 Win, many years ago at a gun show. At the time, it looked to be a parts gun, but that didn't bother me too much, because otherwise, it looked good and the price was right.
Got home and on the first shot, it delivered the back half of the cartridge, and confiscated the neck portion. I picked up a stuck case remover at the next show, and easily extracted the front half.
Starting with NEW, commercial ammo, I very carefully shot one round. Sure enough, there's a headspace and chamber dimension problem. It wasn't gross, but I would call it significant. I shot one or two more, and then propped it in the corner. That's been years ago.
I'm ready to do something with it. What do you guys suggest? I'd rather have a .30-06 anyway. Who could do the rebarrelling job? Could the chamber be recut rather than rebarrelled? I'm looking for the cheapest way out of this, and looking to find out who can handle the job.
Thanks in advance!
10-25-2002, 04:04 PM
Belchfire: All the tanker Garands are parts guns! Don't feel bad on that account! I rebarreled import Garands to "tanker" configuration to help pay my way through college. A local gunsmith/ex-armorer who was vague on barrel work hired me and it was interesting enough work, despite my dislike for the hurty-gurty operation of the M1. (Sorry guys: I just don't like 'em.) I didn't do any 308's but a did a heap of 30-06's and .270's. I your case I think I'd try a different bolt to start. You might get lucky, you never know. If you have access to someone who rebuilds Garands you could ask them to try out a few different bolts in an attempt to close off the headspace. That failing, I'd see about getting the barrel set back a turn. This is a major pain due to the operating rod, etc., and it may require surgery to shorten even further. If that gets out of line, price wise, I'd have it redone to original length with a new 30-06 barrel, Op rod, and wood. No matter what, it will be expensive.
On the other hand... If the brass gets banged up but otherwise fails to come apart on you, you might just consider leaving it as it is. You could fireform virgin brass to the chamber by seating the bullet out to kiss the rifling (firing single shot if needs be) and then reloading THAT brass for THAT rifle. Just a thought. Sorry you are having problems with that rifle. I hate it when things like that happen. How did it shoot before you dry docked it?? ~Andy
10-25-2002, 04:08 PM
Try this company at one time they had the parts kits for the 308 M1 and parts for them.
10-26-2002, 07:20 PM
I can't tell you how it shot, because with an obvious headspace problem, I was very reluctant to shoot it the few times that I did. Forgive me, but my eyes and face in general are important to me.
As for the full length, I think I'd rather just store it as a short gun. What would be my chances of finding someone who could just ream out this chamber for .30-06? That sure seems like a simpler option.
I agree with you about fireforming brass for this particular rifle, but that's a taboo in the classic means of thought. I'd hate to have .308 running around that can't be shot in a normal .308. The idea is sound, but it's just not the path I want to follow. Rebarrelling (short) or rechambering is all I'd like to do. Sounds like I should consider welding on an eyebolt for a rope?
Who could recut the chamber for -06, and what would be the likelyhood of success?
10-26-2002, 07:24 PM
Would you like the job? I don't suppose you're still in college, but..............? http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-biggrin-aqua.gif
10-27-2002, 07:35 AM
Belchfire: Yeah. I was kind of bleary eyed when I read your post. I skipped over the part about only firing a couple of rounds before drydocking it. Unfortunately, a 308 can't be rechambered to 30-06 without setting the barrel back... at least I've never been able to do it. It's not a factor of length but rather taper. If you simply rechamber with an 06 reamer you'll end up with a swell in your chamber you hadn't planned on due to a difference in body taper. I have no qualms about brass segregation... especially when it comes to semi-autos as I normally FL resize with a small base die and my bolt brass get's neck sized. It always seemed silly to mix the two.
A few of the tankers I assembled really shot well. Bob (the shop owner) would test fire each rifle with factory ammo he sold and show the target to the customer. My biggest contribution to the process was designing and building a jig for bending the Op-Rods into the tanker configuration. I guess "Springfield Armory" or one of those parts houses wanted to buy it. Imagine. Other than pure dollars, the most rewarding thing I got from the arrangement was an extremely nice, matching, Springfield Arsenal-built Garand with a near perfect bore that would shoot Winchester factory ammo into 2" at 100 yards. I kept that one. (Dont' shoot it, but it's there acrueing value) I got it for half a day's work at the lathe. Not bad...
Well. I hope you get your "tanker" cranked up. If you get tired of it, let me know. Sounds like a fun project. ~Andy
11-13-2002, 12:04 PM
What do you guys think about these prices (http://www.smithenterprise.com/m1_garand_service.html)? http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-rolleyes-green.gif
11-13-2002, 01:01 PM
Just curious. Why would you rather have a .30-06 when there is tons of cheap surplus .308 ammo available? I have a DCM M-1 in .30-06 and was wishing it were chambered in .308 so I could shoot it more.
11-13-2002, 01:38 PM
Belch: Yikes!I wasn't getting anywhere near that kind of money! I remember when diagnosing a problem was part of the repair process, not something you charged for. Seems like a way to tack on another $45 to the repair bill. We would replair some original guns as well and diagnostics was usually the cost of a charger full of ammo.
Musty: If a simple rechambering job would have cured the rifles problems them it would have been a simple solution to the problem. You ought to put your moiney into a reloading set-up. Then it wouldn't matter if you had a 30-06 or a 308, monetarily speaking. ~Andy
11-14-2002, 07:05 AM
Musty, I'm about to agree with Andy on his last comment. I just prefer the -06 to the .308. Reloading either isn't a problem, I just like the -06 better. And too, if I leave this one .308, I'd have non-standard ammo running around as we mentioned earlier. Not entirely bad as I've only got one other .308 (a bolt gun), but the ammo wouldn't work in it, or any other gun.
I thought these prices were mighty high too, but what other option do I have? Andy, if I go the route you suggested on changing the bolt, it would be a total stab in the dark whether it worked or not. If it didn't, I'd have a gun with a bad chamber AND $100 worth of bolts I don't need. Then I'd REALLY be behind the $eightball$.http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-hair-raisin-blue.gif
I'm thinking it would make a unique conversation piece on the end of a rope in my john-boat.
Andy, I sure wish you still had access to a lathe.....................
11-14-2002, 08:36 AM
I still have access to a lathe. That's not the problem. It's mucking with everything else (Op-Rod) that would be the bother. Let me make some phone calls and see if I can come up with someone with a few bolts. If I can find a source, I'll see if I can get a few for you to try. Just by the by...have you ever done a chamber cast?? A tight neck from an over ground reamer can mimic bad headspace in a most dangerous manner. A headspace gage would be a real help. If the headspace was even correct on a "Field" gage I'd suspect the neck. Just a thought...
As I said before. Gove me a shout before you decide to use it as an anchor. I have a Parker Hale 308 Norma Mag in MY "ain't shootin' it" corner. I haven't been able to locate brass for a reasonable price, and haven't devoted any time to finding out what can be formed to it. Someone told me .338 Winchester so I bought 100 cases. It comes up WAY too short! (shoulda looked for myself instead of being a trusting soul) Too bad! I really wanted to get it cranking too. Great cartridge.
I guess that if you shoot long enough you end up with at leat one that just sits... ~Andy
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