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Old 07-16-2011, 21:53   #1
Scamp
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M1 Carbine

What can I expect to pay for a very nice Universal M1 Carbine?
Any reliability, quality issues with the Universal made carbines?
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Old 07-16-2011, 21:57   #2
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You don't want to buy Universal.
The best commercial one available was made by Plainfield.
Plainfield was one of the earliest M1 Carbine "replica" makers.
They assembled USGI parts to a newly made cast steel receiver.
Universal carbines were out of specification and many problems were reported.
I did some research couple of months ago.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:12   #3
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Friends don't let friends buy Universal M1 carbines. Lots of threads on the subject, but they're just not worth the potential hasle because you have about a 50/50 chance of getting a lemon.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:26   #4
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Don't buy a Universal. I think they are selling for about $350 now.

Decent GI Carbines are $700 and more now.

The new Kahr Carbines look good but I haven't owned one. I think they are over $500 now.

You have looked at the price of M1 Carbine ammo haven't you?
I reload so my cost is very low but factory is about $30 plus a box.

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Old 07-17-2011, 08:11   #5
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If M2 Carbine says not to buy a Universal Carbine you would be wise not to.

End of post?
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:16   #6
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If M2 Carbine says not to buy a Universal Carbine you would be wise not to.

End of post?

Yep, that's the end of this thread!
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:18   #7
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Originally Posted by M2 Carbine View Post
You have looked at the price of M1 Carbine ammo haven't you?
I reload so my cost is very low but factory is about $30 plus a box.
$24 a box of 50 here, but that doesn't matter to me. I will avoid the Universal for now.
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:21   #8
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Look at ImpactArms site and see what they are going for. PS I got a Universal that was being DX'd by the Police Dept, some 15 years ago and it works well.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:29   #9
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They are crap...do not buy.

The "slide" assy is stamped steel. Mine split in half at the point where it wraps around the bolt lug.

The extractor broke a couple of times.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:38   #10
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I have a Universal M1 Carbine and it works well. Mine doe NOT have any stamped parts, BUT the larger MilSurp parts (trigger housing, op slide, barrel and gas system) will not fit. I think that MilSurp parts WILL fit earlier Universal carbines. My carbine is very reliable with factory ammo. I found that I have to use "small base" reloading dies to get fairly reliable reloads. Some of the accessories that used to be made only fit Universal and some do not fit some Universal and some fit all carbines. If it wasn't for Fed laws, the carbine has a lot of potential for "personalization", especially as a pistol, AOW, or SBR. The value of a Universal is only about $350-400, even though some people or dealers ask for more.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:46   #11
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Maybe they beefed them up, but if the bolt lug pokes through the slide, as opposed to being completely covered like USGI, then I will say they are weak in this spot. It was around 1/8 to 3/16 flat stock that was stamped to make a half round shape that partially wraped around the bolt body/lug. I eventually made a "bridge" and tig'd it together...promptly got rid of it for $150 a long time ago.

You might be able to retrofit a USGI slide assy on, but the Universal uses dual recoil springs, unlike USGI, so that may not work.

I used to try every type of ammo to get decent groups...iirc it would get 4" ? groups at 100 it's been a while.

Last edited by beatcop; 07-17-2011 at 09:51..
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:00   #12
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Maybe they beefed them up, but if the bolt lug pokes through the slide, as opposed to being completely covered like USGI, then I will say they are weak in this spot.
Your description of the bolt only applies th later Universals. Early guns were carbon copies of the GI design, and are generally OK. As time went on, and GI parts sources dried up, they redesigned things to save cost, and thats when the troubles started.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:06   #13
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I don't know what the heck happened, but a guy rented an M1 at the range a couple weeks ago and the round's case head broke off, splattering his face and neck with shrapnel and unburned powder. He was a bloody mess, but it was superficial. Thankfully he was wearing his safety glasses.

The range guys figured it fired slightly out of battery.
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Old 07-17-2011, 18:20   #14
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The range guys figured it fired slightly out of battery.
The gun is not supposed to fire until the bolt is completely closed but due to wear it's possible that the gun will fire with the bolt lugs not fully engaged with the receiver. I had bolts with cracked lugs from firing too early.

When I did a lot of M2 Carbine full auto shooting I had a quart Zip Lock bag of broken parts, bolts, slides, extractors, even a cracked receiver.

But they are still fun to shoot.
(click on picture to view)
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Old 07-23-2011, 16:14   #15
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What about an Iver Johnson stainless M1 Carbine, any opinions on them?
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Old 07-23-2011, 16:20   #16
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Old 07-23-2011, 16:34   #17
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impactguns.com
Thanks, but I don't understand what the link is for?



I was asking about an Iver Johnson...

Last edited by Scamp; 07-23-2011 at 16:35..
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Old 07-23-2011, 17:36   #18
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I picked up a late production Universal about 10 years ago for a blaster. Paid an outrageous $190 for it back then. Average price right now is about $350, but I've seen them fetch more than $500 at auction.

Never had any problems with it or broken parts. Runs just fine. They come drilled and tapped for scope mounts which are still available from Numrich. Put a red dot on it and have some fun. When the stamped slide breaks, I'll weld it back together or make it into a good lamp. I'd rather put mileage on it than my Winchester and Rockola's.
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Old 07-23-2011, 20:37   #19
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What about an Iver Johnson stainless M1 Carbine, any opinions on them?
Iver Johnson carbines are typically okay. Though they will interchange with USGI parts and some even came with a few USGI parts, they are not up to USGI standards. Until the Kahr M1 carbine came along, Iver Johnson was probably one of the best commercially made carbines available.
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Old 07-24-2011, 00:04   #20
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I picked up a very nice Iver Johnson in stainless, tore it down, cleaned it up, and am headed to the range in the morning!

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