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Old May 23, 2020, 20:26   #1
Putnamehere6
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Smile First M1 Carbine

Bought my first M1 Carbine, Its a Universal. She came with some pretty cool documents. She shot well despite being like 32 years old. I had some problems but I think it was the ammo(I was using soft point, now that I look back I realize that was a horrible choice) You old timers know any good ammo for this old girl? Thanks in advance!

Link: https://imgur.com/gallery/XpxACfB
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Old May 24, 2020, 04:02   #2
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Congrats on a new toy. 32 years must be your age, the carbine would be more than twice that.

Had to come and edit my post. My fault for sure. Read OP as Underwood. Read U and the old brain auto filled the rest.
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Old May 24, 2020, 06:40   #3
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The Universal M1 carbines are post war commercial products and are noted for being jam-o-matics so I don't think it is your ammo selection. I have a pistol version, the Enforcer that runs with about the same reliability as in your video but has a failure to eject issue with bolt closing on the fired case preventing the next round from chambering. I keep working on it hoping I can get it to run. The carbine in your video looks like the bolt stop is engaging from recoil but that's just a guess from here. Good luck with it.
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Old May 24, 2020, 09:22   #4
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Dont forget, Universal was around since 1950 and made just tons and tons of very good carbines that were of original design and used usgi parts for many years.
As those part supplies ran low, they were forced to produce more and more themselves and most of those parts still followed the usgi pattern and worked quite well.

Most universals with issue are from the later then 1969 redesign with the dual guide rod and spring, skeletonized op rod and aluminum trigger housing.
While you can swap out the trigger housing, you cant swap out the op rod or recoil springs and the usgi trigger housing is also narrower then they made the aluminum ones, so it leaves some unsightly stock gaps.

Ive messed with many over the years and best I can say is... if one has the skeletonized op rod,,,,, keep looking.....
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Old May 24, 2020, 09:24   #5
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Lucky Gunner has 30 carbine for $385 for 1080 rounds. In an ammo can, on stripper clips and in bandoleers. Korean made.
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Old May 24, 2020, 10:14   #6
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The Universal M1 carbines are post war commercial products and are noted for being jam-o-matics so I don't think it is your ammo selection. I have a pistol version, the Enforcer that runs with about the same reliability as in your video but has a failure to eject issue with bolt closing on the fired case preventing the next round from chambering. I keep working on it hoping I can get it to run. The carbine in your video looks like the bolt stop is engaging from recoil but that's just a guess from here. Good luck with it.
Yup, I noticed that at the range to! I would have no idea why. Any thoughts?
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Old May 24, 2020, 10:49   #7
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Commercial 30 round mags are notorious for causing issues. In order to run them you at least need to have the M2 mag catch which has a nub on the left side that supports the mag from wobbling left to right. I suspect you have an M1 mag catch. With that said 15 round mags are generally pretty reliable. The Korean mags are great but you have to accept that the mags are the weak link in the carbine even in the USGI versions. It's my understanding that the mags were kind of expendable and that's why there are so many that are still available today in the GI wrap.

Most issues with carbines (USGI) can be resolved with spring replacements. As Gazz said the Universals do have their issues and require a bit of tinkering.

First off get a good 15 round mag and try it. If that bolt hold open device is causing an issue then remove the BHO spring/plunger and try.

Here's a good video

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Old May 24, 2020, 16:22   #8
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Commercial 30 round mags are notorious for causing issues. In order to run them you at least need to have the M2 mag catch which has a nub on the left side that supports the mag from wobbling left to right. I suspect you have an M1 mag catch. With that said 15 round mags are generally pretty reliable. The Korean mags are great but you have to accept that the mags are the weak link in the carbine even in the USGI versions. It's my understanding that the mags were kind of expendable and that's why there are so many that are still available today in the GI wrap.

Most issues with carbines (USGI) can be resolved with spring replacements. As Gazz said the Universals do have their issues and require a bit of tinkering.

First off get a good 15 round mag and try it. If that bolt hold open device is causing an issue then remove the BHO spring/plunger and try.

Here's a good video

Thanks, all my mags are Korean. 2 15rds and 1 30rd. Ones broken in and the other two are straight outta the paper.
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Old May 26, 2020, 00:28   #9
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I have had poor luck with soft points or soft point hollow points in my carbines, all military ones. When I went back to fmj ammo, my problems vanished.
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Old May 26, 2020, 09:07   #10
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I to will go with the ammo, I have a an Old Winchester that was having issues with soft point ammo, never had a hiccup with ball. Check your bolt and charging handle grease them so it is well lubricated. these are not an AR or AK, they need to be greased, and oiled.
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Old May 27, 2020, 08:03   #11
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I to will go with the ammo, I have a an Old Winchester that was having issues with soft point ammo, never had a hiccup with ball. Check your bolt and charging handle grease them so it is well lubricated. these are not an AR or AK, they need to be greased, and oiled.
Yup. I bought ball ammo and cleaned the feeding ramp. Cycled a lot better. With lube I think we might have a winner
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Old May 27, 2020, 08:04   #12
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I have had poor luck with soft points or soft point hollow points in my carbines, all military ones. When I went back to fmj ammo, my problems vanished.
Same. Even with my brand new Zastava M70 ZPAP I had trouble with soft point. I went out and bought ball ammo. Seemed to cycle better.
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Old May 27, 2020, 20:08   #13
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Great Article on the Universal M1 carbine....very indepth. I didn't know they had different caliber offerings as well.:

http://www.m1carbinesinc.com/carbine_universal.html



From Part 2:

http://www.m1carbinesinc.com/carbine_universal2.html


Changes & Dark Days
1969-1972
Universal Container Corporation and Mondex Inc.

Early in 1969 Universal Firearms was purchased by Universal Container Corporation, a division of Mondex Inc., an investment corporation with publicly traded stock. Abe Seiderman was retained under contract to operate the manufacturing plant. Mondex Inc. of Madison Ave. in New York City invested in a variety of businesses in Florida during the same time period with most having to do with real estate.

In May 1969 Universal Firearms Corporation notified Florida they had changed the company name to Universal Sporting Goods 3740-3746 E. 10th Ct, Hialeah, FL. Yearly corporate tax forms beginning September 1970 identify the company as Universal Sporting Goods Inc. at the same address. The corporate tax form submitted in November 1970 identifies Seymour Sommerstein as President, Robert Sommerstein Vice-President, Paul Bines Vice-President of Sales, with Abe Seiderman as Vice-President of Manufacturing and Secretary. Four Mondex employees were added to management. Warren Trilling of New York City as Treasurer, Lee Ledford of New York City as Asst. Secretary along with two new Directors.

The name "Universal Firearms Corp." remained on the catalogs, boxes, and user manuals.

Changes

Management at Universal Container Corp. implemented a number of changes in the manufacture of the Universal Firearms carbines that were likely intended to reduce overhead costs and increase their profits. The changes included the use of cast parts with improper hardening of both cast parts and parts milled from forged steel. Seiderman wrote letters to the decision makers explaining why the changes should not be made. Their final decisions prompted Seiderman to refuse to work in the same building with them.

In December of 1970 Paul Bines filed for incorporation of Dynamic Merchandise at 13004 SW 87th Ave in Miami with Bines as President, Abe Seiderman as Vice-President and their wives as corporate officers. The articles of incorporation for Dynamic Merchandise state the business would be what the name describes, a dynamic merchandiser. The records say nothing about firearms.

Seiderman was still under contract to Universal Container Corp. but operated from the 87th Ave. building of Dynamic Merchandise as Universal's VP of Mfg and Secretary from a distance. Seiderman and Bines started retail sales from this location selling Universal carbines concurrent to the carbines being sold and shipped by Universal Container Corp. from the Universal Firearms facility. Seiderman modified the Universal Firearms carbines he sold to correct what he viewed as deficiencies in the changes made by Universal Container Corp.

Examples from Changes Implemented by Universal Container Corp. 1969-1972

To keep things in perspective, the photographs that follow are 3 of approximately 70,000-80,000 carbines manufactured between 1969 and 1972. Not all of the carbines made during this time had these issues.

We do not know the first serial number after Universal Container Corp. took control of Universal Firearms, the serial numbers of the carbines when changes were made the changes made. As you will read below we do know these issues stopped when Seiderman bought the company in 1975 with Seiderman starting his serial numbers at 300,000 to separate the carbines he made from those made under the management of Universal Container Corp.

Serial numbers between approx. 130,000 and 299,999
If you own a Universal Firearms .30 caliber Carbine within this serial number block it is strongly recommended you examine and continue to examine the barrel in the area of the gas piston for any damage to the barrel. If you find even a small amount of damage do not fire the weapon. Any doubts whatsoever should be addressed by examination of the carbine by a competent gunsmith. Keep in mind these particular carbines are also now over 40 years old and well used firearms.

Understanding a Few Basic Concepts
The position, angle and diameter of the hole in the barrel known as the gas port is critical to the operation of the carbine. Likewise the dimensions of the interior of the gas piston housing/cylinder, the dimensions and weight of the gas piston, the distance the gas piston travels and a number of other factors are also critical not only to the function of the carbine but also to the safety when firing the carbine. Altering any of these can create a snowball affect on everything that depends on the proper operation of these parts. The photographs that follow are a good example of this.

Universal Firearms .30 caliber Carbine s/n 165165

The indentation in the barrel below made by the gas piston could have been caused by one or more of a number of things.
Examples include improper hardening of the barrel or gas piston. An oversized or undersized gas port creating higher
pressure within the gas chamber. Whatever the cause if you see damage to the barrel from the gas piston the weapon
should not be fired and examined by a gunsmith,


Universal Firearms .30 caliber Carbine s/n 173297

The owner of this carbine saw the damage as seen above.
Then decided to give the gas piston more room to operate.


On his next trip to the range he exercised caution with distance. On firing the gas piston housing separated from the barrel.
Fortunately the slide absorbed most of the impact preventing the gas piston housing from penetrating the stock. There were
no injuries but the damage made this carbine scrap for parts. Note the size of the gas port hole. It appears too large
but the dimensions of the gas chamber it fed into and the gas piston it operated also figure into the equation.

Universal Firearms .30 caliber Carbine s/n 179907

This carbine is a good example of not having enough information to draw any conclusions as to the cause.
Most would assume the weld securing the gas housing to the barrel failed. The question may be why
did the weld fail? After seeing the two carbines above what do you think?

Important Lessons to Pay Attention Too...

(1) Maintain, inspect and respect your firearms. Leave repairs to those qualified to do them. Hospital bills are rarely less expensive than a gunsmith.

(2) ALL commercial firearms sold for civilian use have been and still are built by companies we rely on to exercise due diligence in manufacturing a safe firearm. Every single one of these companies needs to make a profit to survive. Most all go through financial good times and bad times. Most maintain due diligence in making a safe firearm. A few don't. As in this case, a few get bought by investors who make decisions that can cause injuries and/or destroy a brand name.

(3) The timing of the investors and their decisions in relation to Universal's change to a hybrid carbine design has been a strong contributing factor to a never ending bad reputation not only to the brand name but also to the hybrid design. The hybrid design garnered criticism for a number of reasons especially with collectors and owners of the U.S. .30 caliber Carbines manufactured under contract to Ordnance during WWII. While it used the same ammunition and retained a resemblance the hybrid was no longer an M1 Carbine. Different doesn't necessarily mean better or worse. It means different.

Keep in mind Universal existed from 1962-1984 manufacturing over 480,000 carbines. Over 350,000 of their carbines were their hybrid design. Manufactured for many years after the carbines shown above.

(4) Every part on every gun has a lifespan. Universal hasn't made a carbine since 1984. Their carbines are no longer Universal carbines as much as they are a used firearm. A "jam", "misfeed", catastrophic failure and much more may have nothing to do with who made it and everything to do with who used it, and possibly abused it, over the years. See (1) above.

So the history continued ....
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Old May 27, 2020, 21:24   #14
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(4) Every part on every gun has a lifespan. Universal hasn't made a carbine since 1984. Their carbines are no longer Universal carbines as much as they are a used firearm. A "jam", "misfeed", catastrophic failure and much more may have nothing to do with who made it and everything to do with who used it, and possibly abused it, over the years. See (1) above.

Talk about a deflection of liability concerns and a lack of confidence in one's product!

There were over 6 million G.I. carbines produced. Sure, there were complaints of lack of lethality, or jamming of M2 variants, but the U.S.G.I. M1 Carbine generally functioned as intended, well into its post-military role as a surplus rifle for U.S. citizens to enjoy. That Universal had to post caveats as to the safety of their product should in no way impugn the original iteration and fielding of the design as a military substitute for a full-sized battle rifle, where that substitute was appropriate.

(no reflection on you, Bubacus. I appreciate your post)
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Old May 28, 2020, 16:37   #15
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The only cycling issues I've ever experienced with any of the M1 Carbines I've shot over the years were caused by the 30 round mags. I thought they were USGI mags, but not 100% certain now as that was 20 years ago. The USGI 15 rounders that I use today are extremely reliable. I've never owned a Universal M1 Carbine, though, so can't comment on those.

I have fired several hundred rounds of soft point (round nose) ammo in one of my M1 Carbines without any issues and used to shoot a lot of Magtech and PMC ammo before I scored a bunch of surplus Lake City ammo. The M1 Carbines seemed pretty robust and worked well with any ammo I tried. Now I reload for M1 Carbine and the rifles are very tolerant of a wide range of loads. The only difference is where the brass ends up!

I'd try a 15 round USGI magazine and some good FMJ ammo if I were you. It's an easy, cheap place to start trouble shooting.

Congrats on your purchase, by the way! They really fun rifles to shoot when they are working properly.
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Old May 28, 2020, 20:47   #16
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Here's a pic of my Dad with his M1 carbine in Europe, 1945. I dunno where his steel pot is.


pic 8
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Old May 29, 2020, 18:15   #17
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Tex,

You may remember this one. I've posted it before. My father in Normandy, with his carbine in the lower left hand corner.

[IMG]http://[/IMG]

He didn't like the carbine as he felt it was underpowered. His favorite was the '03, which he had trained with in basic. I talked him into getting a DCM carbine in the sixties ($20). Once we got it, he enjoyed it as much as I did. We'd occasionally joked about which one of us really owned it.

Putnamehere6 - I hope you get yours working flawlessly. They sure are fun to shoot, and great for introducing new shooters to military firearms. Enjoy!
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Old May 29, 2020, 18:46   #18
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Tex,

You may remember this one. I've posted it before. My father in Normandy, with his carbine in the lower left hand corner.

[IMG]http://[/IMG]

He didn't like the carbine as he felt it was underpowered. His favorite was the '03, which he had trained with in basic. I talked him into getting a DCM carbine in the sixties ($20). Once we got it, he enjoyed it as much as I did. We'd occasionally joked about which one of us really owned it.
Yes sir, I sure do remember that photo. Long may their memory live!
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Old May 29, 2020, 19:14   #19
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Talk about a deflection of liability concerns and a lack of confidence in one's product!

(no reflection on you, Bubacus. I appreciate your post)
No worries Arby....I had an uncle with a Universal that never ran well. I'm glad someone wrote a story about the company. It wasn't all bad actually. They made some decent products at one time.

Patty Hearst endorsed the pistol version...dont know if it was a Universal though

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