Universal M1 Carbine questions.


June 13, 2005, 09:19 AM
My father has a M1 carbine, when I was looking at it it said "Universal Cal. 30 M1". Does anyone have any info on these? Can they use USGI parts? What years did universal produce these? My father and I have shot well over 1000 rounds through this gun, if and when something breaks how hard is it to find replacement parts? Any other info is welcome.

Here is a picture.

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June 13, 2005, 09:49 AM
I think Universal was based in Hialeah, FL. Many shooters disdain this gun and I hear from some who have had problems with theirs. I have one that works just fine. It takes milsurp mags but I don't know about other parts fitting.

June 13, 2005, 03:00 PM
From what I understand they take some USGI parts but not others. Also, I have heard that some are closer to USGI than others (variations through the years of production).

I had one that loved to stovepipe and I sold it back to the guy that I bought it from. OTOH, I have a friend who had one and loved it.

BTW, I was able to use the 30 rnd mag only when I replaced the follower with one from a 15 rnd mag - it still stovepiped (with 15s and 30s)but not as much.

Good luck.

June 13, 2005, 03:11 PM
I have one that my dad bought in about 65 to 68. It hasn't been shot a lot but has never given any problems with ball ammo. I did some handloading for it back when (don't ask why-I don't know why) and some bullet shapes could give feeding problems. Some of the parts seem to be surplus on a new reciever but I haven't tried to check them against actual GI spec.

I know a few other folks who have had these and they are usually decent shooters with the occasional lemon. The lemons seem to be VERY lemony. If you have a good one enjoy it.

I've heard that the springs all interchange with GI but this is mostly an unconfirmed rumor. YMMV.

Carl N. Brown
June 13, 2005, 03:24 PM
The Universal M1 was made to cash in on the popularity of
the M1 carbine in 1950s and 60s. The operating slide is a heavy
stamping with an open cut for the bolt lug; the gun has two recoil
springs instead of one for the GI version. Most ones I saw had screw
holes for a scope side mount on the left of the receiver. Sears
carried them for a while. They were different.

Most stock makers make different stocks for the US GI M1 and
the Universal M1. Volunteer Arms Knoxville made tommy-gun
look-alike stocks for the M1 carbine and their literature says
the stock will fit the US GI M1 and the Plainfield M1 but NOT the
Universal M1. (Volunteer Commando I had a fixed Thompson wood
butt; Commando II had no butt; Commando IV had a detachable butt;
Commando I II and IV were actually just stocks for M1 carbines.
Commando III and V were sheetmetal .45 tommy-gun replicas)

Universal M1s seem to be a fair value for the price, but are not
standard GI M1 and parts could get iffy, as Universal is out of

Ala Dan
June 13, 2005, 03:38 PM
I had a Universal M-1 Carbine back in the early 70's. Shooting military
surplus (ball type) ammo this weapon NEVER gave me a problem of any
kind. I can't address the issue as to whether or not G.I. parts will inter-
change? Best I can remember, I gave only $110 U.S. dollars for mine NIB.

June 14, 2005, 08:56 AM
From what I've read.

The early made Universal carbine were closer to USGI, it has the 1 recoil spring and were less problematic. They usually have the wooden handguard as well.

The later made ones from universal were more problematic. These comes with 2 recoil springs, had the metal handguard. I had one of the later ones and I personally vouch that it didn't jam much, however, after around 400 rounds. The hammer started showing indentation from hitting the firing pin. This is fairly common.

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