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Garand “Tanker”


The M14 rifle is a modern version of the iconic Garand military rifle of World War II fame.  The evolution of the M14 was driven from the desire to fix some of the limitations of its famous ancestor. A bottom fed magazine was added (gone is the classic 'ping' of ejecting empty clips) and it became capable of fully automatic fire. Since I have been enjoying World War II airsoft reenactments, it seemed a natural project to modify my M14 Socom rifle into a rifle which more closely fits the WWII theme.

Conversion required replacing the fibreglass handguard with a traditional walnut version. It is interesting to note that wooden handguards were replaced by fiberglass versions when M14 developers discovered that upper handguards would smoke and catch fire from the barrel heat generated from automatic fire. The traditional walnut stock has warmth and feel you don’t get from synthetic stocks. Fitting an aftermarket stock was pretty finicky work requiring much patience, long files and a good motorized Dremel tool.  The stock and hand-guard were stripped of their original finishes and then stained together to match. A few coats of Tung oil yielded the look I wanted.

The front gas block of a real Garand slid over the outer barrel completing the conversion.

The M14 was eventually replaced by lighter and more flexible weapon systems (M16) but due to its power and accuracy it still has its place on the battlefield today. Although the shorter “Tanker” version of the Garand is not strictly period correct for WWII, this rifle doesn't look at all out of place on the airsoft battlefield - particularly with the addition of a leather 1907 style sling.


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