The Universal M1 Carbine

This is the forum to discuss your classic US military rifles from the beginning of the age of smokeless powder through WWII.
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Niner
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The Universal M1 Carbine

Post by Niner » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:15 pm

I got one of these from the same shop at Point Clear, Alabama that is connected to the guy on the Antiques Roadshow who speculates on the values of old firearms. This was several years ago that I bought it, and I paid too much for it at the time, considering it was a civilian version made after the war and even though I paid about half of what a "real" M1 can be bought for now days. However, I found this site the other day that offers a lot of information. And this could be, in itself, a collectible firearm.

Seems the early ones...and mine is an early one, had many surplus actual military parts. If you have one check out this site. They were "improved" as well over the years as you can see by checking out the information at this site.

http://www.m1carbinesinc.com/carbine_universal.html
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Niner
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Re: The Universal M1 Carbine

Post by Niner » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:32 am

I filled out the carbine survey at the site and sent it in. I got this nice response.
Hi Robert

I have two research projects related to .30 Caliber Carbines. The GI carbines used by the police in the American Occupation Zone of Germany and Austria, at BavarianM1Carbines.com. The commercial carbine history you found at M1CarbinesInc.com.

Both websites are part of an active ongoing research project and get updated as I can find the time to do the updates. I don't do books, don't do ads or sales. I'm just into the history and not sharing it makes all the research and work near worthless.

Larry Ruth, author of War Baby and War Baby Comes Home, is working on a third volume to correct and ad to what's in the first two. I'm sharing with him anything and everything I have. He won't get into the detail I have, but the basics will be there. For the good of the cause.

OK, your Universal.

The 540 inside the stock should match a number inside the handguard. The original intent by the stock maker of that time was to keep the two together when they were sent to Universal, as they were cut from the same blank. Sometimes Universal got them mixed up, but if 540 is on the inside of your handguard, then it was cut from the same blank as the stock.

The meaning of the number on the left side of the Universal receiver, 19 on yours, has been a project of mine. Universal used the number there only through about 1967. What it equates to is when the receiver was made, with 01 being the first month of production. I haven't been able to isolate which month that was, but I've narrowed it to March, April, or possibly May of 1962. 19 months later would be Oct-Dec 1963. Which matches what I know about their serial numbers. Long story that one.

With your permission, I'll be adding your website as a link on both my websites. The Occupation carbine website is about to get a significant change and addition, so it will be a week or two before the link appears there. I'll list the link under the Discussion Forum listings.

Thanks much for sharing the info on your Universal. I started the commercial carbine project due to the number of owners always seeking answers to questions, often getting snubbed on some of the GI collector forums. I have a ways to go on this particular project. With some of the manufacturers, I have far more info than appears on the website, only due to the time involved with everything. Slowly it will make it there.

The addition to the Occupation carbine website will include a page devoted to the basic info on the U.S. GI carbines.
http://www.bavarianm1carbines.com/
American occupation M1 Carbines
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rice paddy daddy
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Re: The Universal M1 Carbine

Post by rice paddy daddy » Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:43 am

Thank you, niner. My first Carbine was a Universal, which I still have. It has since been joined by a USGI (Inland 1943) and an Auto Ordnance.
Gun snobs look down on the Universal, but mine has never let me down.
There is nothing so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
Winston Churchill
Member: VFW, Vietnam Veterans of America, American Legion, Society of the 5th Infantry Division
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Niner
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Re: The Universal M1 Carbine

Post by Niner » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:19 pm

Dug this old post up today because of reading a post on the Facebook Milsurp After Hours page and was provoked to see what I had posted about my carbines on the site over the years. Noticed there was no photos of the Universal M1 that was the subject of the original string so I've made the additional comment.

The Universal I have is made from a collection of parts that were new at the time along with some surplus parts from the original military contractors. In the photos you can see the Universal in the lighter stock and also photoed a war time surplus carbine that was returned to the the US in lue of payment when no longer needed. Supposedly it had been possessed by Israeli Army after WWII at some juncture.

The most apparent difference between the two is that the lend lease relic rifle has the bolt surface ground down flat on top short of the head by about three quarters of an inch. The Universal bolt is rounded throughout its length. The surplus one ( bought 2010) cost me about twice what the universal one did (bought 2005). I paid high market value at the time for each and now days they are probably each worth about what I paid when I bought them.
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