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Universal carbine "out of battery" check help

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by asarjip, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. asarjip

    asarjip G&G Newbie

    Hi everyone!

    I am very pleased to have found this forum.....I've done some reading here and there is some great knowledge to be found.'s the story...

    I have been wanting an M1 Carbine for some time and from my research online over a few weeks really only knew that the Auto Ordinance was one to steer clear of due to lack of windage adjustments and other issues.

    I was at a gunshow this last weekend and found a dealer with several carbines for sale. I picked up the nicest one and was very happy with the price....based on gunbroker averages...and brought it home.

    Having felt I had done a good job I get back online and typed in the name of the manufacturer only to be extremely depressed/mad/frustrated and most importantly SCARED to death when I read all the Universal horror stories about out of battery firing and terrible quality issues.

    The good news is that this rifle is the early version with a serial number of 68XXX. It also has the single recoil spring. I have stripped it down and cleaned the heck out of it and now want to know if it is safe to shoot.

    Can someone please explain the out of battery check in plain language?

    Here is what I've done....
    1) Placed a primer only casing in the breech, closed the bolt then pulled slightly back on the charging handle just enough to get the bolt to rotate a small amount.
    2) Pulled the does not fire.
    -If I let the bolt rotate just a hair it will put a small dent in the primer.
    -If I rotate the bolt any noticable amount it won't fire the primer or dimple it.

    Have I done this procedure correctly?

    Last question.....

    With the gun totally assembled, if i grab the barrel I can giggle the whole barrel/trigger group assembly about a 1/16th of an inch back and forth (not side to side). This wobble doesn't exist in the barrel/trigger bolt assembly itself but in the slot in the wood stock against the metal recoil section. Is that "normal"?

    Thank you in advance for any info.
  2. jimb2

    jimb2 G&G Enthusiast

    No....No carbine will work that way unless the extractor spring is completely fubared. The slide/bolt needs to slam forward from the fully retracted position. Once it stops then push forward on the handle and see if the bolt suddenly moves forward over the case rim. Or you can pull back and see if the case is extracted. Don't worry about movement of the trigger group. That is normal. Also the bolt fit is sloppy if there is no cartridge in the chamber. That is also normal. They problem with the "out of battery" test is that it doesn't happen every time nor with every cartridge. But since you have an early model, you should have a GI bolt in it. If you do have a GI bolt, the chances of an OOB accident are extremely small. The bolt is designed to prevent it from happening. BTW the tiny dent in the primer is from the firing pin striking the primer. It is not dangerous. The mark isn't deep enough to set off the primer because the light weight of the pin doesn't carry enough kinetic energy to crush the primer.
  3. rice paddy dadd

    rice paddy dadd G&G Addict

    I've got a Universal, an Auto Ordnance and a USGI (Inland 1943). The only one that will digest any brand ammo fed to it? Universal. The only one never to have had any firing related issues? Universal.
    Years ago I had another Universal, no problems there, either.
  4. oldjarhead

    oldjarhead G&G Evangelist

    I've also had Universal second iteration with the dual springs and had no problems with it.
    Every gun maker experiences problems once in a while and the old saying "one bad apple will spoil the barrel" pertains here. Universal experienced its worst problems after the company had been sold and the 'new' owner tried to make a more cost effective run by using cheaper materials. This brought about a bad reputation that is not deserved by all Universal carbines.
    Shoot it and enjoy it.
  5. Huey Rider

    Huey Rider Rotorhead Savage Forum Contributor

    my Universal has a serial number 38xxxx.I'm not sure of it's manufacture date and if it falls into the good or poor quality era.i've never had any problems with it.i recently tore it down and did a fluff and buff on the trigger and hammer,slide areas.I also ivstalled heavier duty Wolfe recoil and trigger springs.

    My one concern is that the recoil spring guide rod block is welded on and I don't know if this is good or not.

    Finding parts for a Universal is difficult.Most places i look state thier parts are for USGI only and not for Universals.

    I'd like to put a tactical or synthetic stock on mine but no one seems to make one.I may just take mine and paint it black!
  6. asarjip

    asarjip G&G Newbie

    from what I understand yours and mine, being 1st run early models, are made of almost all USGI parts and will interchange with them no problem. It is the middle and late models that are non-interchangable.
  7. M14man

    M14man I don't take prisoners... Forum Contributor

    Yours is 5 digits, his 6 digits. You misread....
    His model is the third generation and the least popular due to the shortcuts.
  8. Huey Rider

    Huey Rider Rotorhead Savage Forum Contributor

    any input on the recoil spring guide block being welded onto the slide and not being one solid piece?
  9. asarjip

    asarjip G&G Newbie

    yep..sure did....good catch, thanks.
  10. oldjarhead

    oldjarhead G&G Evangelist

    Did you check out Numrich? The usually have a few parts available.
  11. Huey Rider

    Huey Rider Rotorhead Savage Forum Contributor

    yes.Very limited on Universal parts.Chances are the slide would be identical to the welded stock one.A USGI one isn't interchangable due to 1 recoil spring vs. 2.Still not sure if having a welded one is that big a deal.

    As far as a synthetic stock for it,I've tried everywhere I can think of with 0 results.
  12. oldjarhead

    oldjarhead G&G Evangelist

    I doubt that accessories for the 2d - 3d iteration Universals will be easily acquired. If you are good with your hands and have alot of patience you may be able to trick your carbine out with a few things.
    I'd like to see the inside of the Universal stock to compare it with a USGI; do you have pictures?
    Don't loose confidence...where there's a will there's a way.
  13. Huey Rider

    Huey Rider Rotorhead Savage Forum Contributor

    I'll need to take some...may take a few days.
  14. Huey Rider

    Huey Rider Rotorhead Savage Forum Contributor

    Here's some pix i took of the stock.I hope they are what you were looking for.
    The reciever/trigger housing slot measures 1" wide x 5 3/8" long.

    The widths of the cavity from butt end to bbl. are 1 1/4",1 7/8",1 5/16", 1 7/32",and 23/32" for bbl groove.

    Attached Files:

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