|The Carbines....the Original GI (top) and my Universal copy carbine (bottom). At first glance very similar|
but beneath the surface are major differences. And yes, I know my front barrel band is on wrong...
|The wood on the GI (left) is much more natural in appearance and feel than the|
laquered wood on the Universal (right)
|GI (to) and Universal (bottom), notice how much more material is in the operating rod on the original M-1 and how the locking lug on the bolt is fully enclosed as compared to the Universal.|
|Well...that's no good...|
Also between these 2 particular carbines, Pel's wife's USGI had the bolt hold open while mine lacks any sort of hold open, other than on the 30 round mag I got with it the bolt will hang on the rear of the magazine follower after the last shot, but the bolt slams forward as soon as the mag is removed. So, I just run this carbine like I would an AK...shoot until you are sure you are near the end of the mag and then swap.
short stroke" piston system to cycle the weapon. For some reason Universal decided that if one pistol was good enough, well 2 of them must be better, right? I think that maybe they went to this after getting customers complaining about the cracked slides mentioned above and this was a way to reduce impact on the slide.
|The dual recoil springs and pistol rods on the Universal M1|
|Again views of the action and sights GI (left) and Universal (right). Again, although they look similar the sights on the GI model are much sturdier while mine on my Universal move up and down just by looking at them wrong.|
Sure the GI is definitely more durable...it was designed for WWII for crying out loud...but while a sledge hammer will certainly kill a fly...so will a flyswatter as well. If cost and available supply were no option, of course I would choose a USGI carbine over this Universal. But being that the supply of these surplus beauties has become scarce and the premium price this has caused in the market, the Universal gives me the same basic bang for a lot less buck. I see this as a casual plinker as well as a SHTF type firearm to press into my wife's hands with a minimal of training.
Here are a couple of good links to the two best sites I found to find out more about these "one off" carbines. Both have some good info and links to find parts and pieces to these carbines.
Being that Universal made these copies of the USGI M-1 Carbine longer than anyone else, there is a good chance you may come across a few at gun shows or the like. Approach them cautiously with the information I present here and you might just get lucky to get a good shooter at a decent price.
I was going to post the video of Kev shooting the Universal I posted last month again..but then this came up...