I have known people who owned them, and they weren't impressed with them at all. Every person who I know who had them sold them as soon as they found out that replacement parts are hard/impossible to find. They don't accept GI parts, and their reliability was pretty bad. I would say to save a little more money, and buy an original.....
I bought a brand new Universal for $200 years ago. Didn't want to spend $200 on a "used" GI model at the time. Boy was I wrong! Today that Universal sits in the closet with a crack in the stock and another crack in the side rail of the receiver, and the bore came from the factory rougher than a cob. Haven't wanted to shoot it for years. So, IMHO, a Universal just isn't worth buying unless you can get one REAL cheap. Better off saving your money and buying real GI.
Well GI are far better no doubt, I find it very unusual as just for shooting, nothing big like time invested that I would want for use in a competition they are great for a lazy day and wanting to let everyone shoot it.
Being new to the M1 world, I too am wondering about a Universal. How does one know which is the newer one and which is the early one? Is there a serial number break? Suppose a guy just wanted an M1 look-alike, and didn't want to use a war relic as a shooter. Would a Universal then be a good subsitute? Are the newer ones so bad that a guy couldn't use them as an occasional shooter, as in maybe 100-200 rounds a year? I have seen them sell for anywhere from $250 to $350. One other question. Does the Universal use its own reciever, or will one from a GI interchange?
The newer Universals used a different receiver. GI parts will not interchange with them at all. The older (good) ones are mostly gone, as those who have them are keeping them. I would say to invest a little more money into a carbine that isn't living on borrowed time. The Universals can fail at any time, and if you paid $200 for one, and it only lasted 200 rounds before breaking, would you consider that a good deal? Keep looking, and you will find a carbine that will give you years of service. There are new Springfield barreled actions for sale for $200-250. Buy you a new parts set for another $220, and you will have a new, reliable carbine, and still have an extra barrel (new) to boot!! I just finished my carbine project tonight, from the same method, and I'm impressed. I own 4 carbines now, and if this latest one shoots half as good as it looks, I will be one happy camper! Total investment was $500 exactly, and that included the headspacing and a new Parkerizing job.
Just MHO, but if you want a shooter, buy a mixmaster GI carbine, shoot it, clean it and don't worry about it. It would take many thousands of rounds to wear it enough to affect its value. If you're concerned about wearing it out, buy a parts kit for some spares. It may cost you a little more money, but it will increase in value, something that a Universal probably won't. Again, just MHO.
The early Universals were pretty much like the GI versions, but as production continued, they started changing things. The later models use receivers and slides that are completely different than the originals. Easiest way to tell them apart is that the early versions use one recoil spring like the "real" thing, and the later, junkier versions use a welded up slide and two recoil springs. Also the slide hold-open device is totally different, and the trigger and sear are cast, not forged.
My dad bought a universal M1 paratrooper years ago and he had problems right away. He was having problems feeding rounds, it would catch the next round and flip it sideways before entering the breech and the bolt would jam it sideways between the barrel and itself after 3 to 4 rounds. So I borrow the thing and after 3 rounds the POS starts falling apart... literally a tiny spring that I noticed on the tip of the slug of the following round in the magazine and I lost it. After that, part of the bolt, the piece that sits in the slide to lock the bolt in, falls off. Should I buy a new bolt or just give up on it. And please pardon my lack of knowledge on the exact makeup of the firearm, I'm still learning.
And just as an extra caution, Universals are constructed differently in the receiver. This can allow for the carbine to fire out of battery, potentially exploding in your face. That is one of the reasons that they went out of business. A young boy was killed when one fired out of battery. Quite a few of them have been damaged or destroyed by this problem.
Hello Im new to this list and i have a question: I have a universal carbin, i belive it to be it to be one of the newer ones mentioned in other posts. I have enjoyed it for years and i have never had any problems with it untill now, i know that military surplus parts wont fit, but the problum i have is the extractor on the blot broke, and was wondering if that might be one part that might take a surplus part, i have been comparing it with the extractor from my friends inland carbine and it looks like the same. does anyone know if it could be ??
If I remember correctly, the extractor is about the only part the is interchangable with the GI counterpart. I'd go ahead and buy one. They aren't expensive, and If it doesn't work, you can sell it to one of us and get your money back.
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