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View Full Version : What's the deal with Universal M1 Carbines?


Clif
09-07-2010, 10:49 AM
I hear a lot of people knocking the Universal M1 carbines specifically, and no other brands. Why is that? What's wrong with the Universal? Or is it just a personal preference thing like Ford, Chevy, and GM?

a308garand
09-07-2010, 10:54 AM
They are not a USGI firearm. Several types were made by Universal, some had problems. Some worked o.k., but there are lots of USGI carbines now available and folks prefer to get the real thing.

I can remember troubles with the Universal carbine op-rod cracking.

Mail Clerk
09-07-2010, 11:08 AM
Universal is not a pure GI carbine. Only certain parts will exchange with the GI counterparts and some won't. If you want a new carbine then get a Kahr version. I hear it's based purly on the GI carbine itself.

Mail Clerk

Grumpyoldretiredcop
09-07-2010, 11:19 AM
Every one I've ever seen was junk.

Clif
09-07-2010, 11:34 AM
What I just read is it has a 2 piece bolt or cocking lever, or some sort. Are these parts prone to brakage? Anything else wrong withuniv ersal other than not USGI?

racky
09-07-2010, 11:38 AM
not to thread jack but are auto-ordanance m1 carbines mil-spec?

frankm
09-07-2010, 11:55 AM
My Universals always stove-piped. Got rid of those years ago. YMMV.

bohoki
09-07-2010, 12:21 PM
every one ive seen worked adequately they are a decent rifle if that was the 30 carbine i would say it was swell but since there are plenty of ex-army ones that have better parts exchangability the uni is an odd duck

their plastic magazine is the worst magazine since the chauchat

shooting4life
09-07-2010, 12:24 PM
The lot ones were ok but everything from the 70 on up sucked. Some could fire before the bolt closed. Sold mine a few months after owning it. Would not mind getting a gi m1 though

Milsurp Collector
09-07-2010, 12:38 PM
I hear a lot of people knocking the Universal M1 carbines specifically, and no other brands. Why is that? What's wrong with the Universal? Or is it just a personal preference thing like Ford, Chevy, and GM?

A lot of good information at http://www.m1carbinesinc.com/carbine_universal.html

ironpete
09-07-2010, 12:40 PM
Why get an AO or Universal? Just get the real thing. They can still be had relatively cheaply even though the CMP ran out.

I love mine and they have that WWII/Korea/Vietnam history/flavor thing going for them.

-pete

Fate
09-07-2010, 12:53 PM
Early Universals aren't that bad. It's the later designs with the 2 recoil springs that really suck. Still, I'd add my voice to the chorus saying get a USGI one instead. Not only are they better made, they will increase in value (unlike the P.O.S. Universals).

ar15barrels
09-07-2010, 1:10 PM
Early Universals aren't that bad. It's the later designs with the 2 recoil springs that really suck. Still, I'd add my voice to the chorus saying get a USGI one instead. Not only are they better made, they will increase in value (unlike the P.O.S. Universals).

I have an early one made with mostly USGI parts.
It runs fine.
My uncle got a later one with a stamped op-rod and it was a POS.

drummerdude1188
09-07-2010, 2:50 PM
It's the later designs with the 2 recoil springs that really suck.

Ive got one of these with the 2 recoil springs. It used to run pretty good but as the years went on it jams almost every other round. Haven't shot it in years.

mstlaurent
09-07-2010, 3:01 PM
When I was a teenager we owned a Universal Carbine. While I was shooting it the receiver legs cracked. If I hadn't noticed and fired another shot, I probably would have ended up with the rear half of the receiver in my face. Complete junk, waste of money, buy a USGI.

wingnut948
09-07-2010, 6:28 PM
I agree with Fate and K-101. My first carbine was a later model Universal with the 2 recoil springs and I had a lot of misfeeds.

I got rid of that one and got one of the IAIs with the "Made in Spain" receivers and it worked perfectly. It still wasn't the "real thing", so I sold that one and now I have an IBM and a Saginaw. The only time I ever had a misfeed with either one was when I reassembled a magazine with the spring in backwards. Go USGI and you won't regret it :D

gun toting monkeyboy
09-07-2010, 7:14 PM
I have one. I got it because it was cheap, and I was a starving student. It runs just fine. My guess is that it is probably an older one. If you can get a GI or a new one, go ahead. Why risk getting a junky one?

smle-man
09-07-2010, 8:22 PM
I watched a guy at the range on Monday shooting one; his jammed about every other round and he was using a screw driver to pry the fired cases out of the chamber. Looked like a lot of work to me. Universal carbines were known as bad news back in the 70s when I bought a Plainfield instead which worked just fine.

kendog4570
09-08-2010, 6:03 AM
Some early Universals were close to USGI because they used a lot of scrap Govt. parts.
Good luck finding parts for one of the late production ones. They are total crap.

buffybuster
09-08-2010, 6:58 AM
As stated, the early Universals were made mostly of surplus USGI parts and were pretty decent. As the surplus part % went down, so did the reliability. When they went to the two recoil springs and the stamped op-rod, those are the ones that gave Universal the terrible reputation.......for good reason. By that time, their design had diverged so far from the USGI that it's really another firearm.

drummerdude1188
09-08-2010, 2:27 PM
By that time, their design had diverged so far from the USGI that it's really another firearm.


Mine has a metal top hg as well, not a wood one. looks like the heat shield on the mossberg 590's, with the holes. Just more deviation from the original. although i do kinda like the look of it (puts flame suit on)

deadcoyote
09-08-2010, 2:43 PM
I had a universal. It was a jamomatic. To be fair to universal, I bought it heavily used for about $200 so who knows how many prior bubba mods or what-not had been performed on their product.