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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted a M1 carbine and one showed up on the local Facebook gun trader for $125, missing the wood. Seemed cheap enough so I hit on it and am now seeing tons of mixed thoughts on them. I'm not looking for a war relic, but I don't want a jam-o-matic.
This is a later dual-spring model. Should I just sail this puppy down the pipe, or is it worth tinkering with for the price?
Looks like I can get the furniture for $100 or less...so I potentially have a M1 Carbine for around $200 which seems like a deal....if it works.
 

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I had a dual spring model when they first came out. I shot the crap out of it and it worked good with almost every magazine I had. Sold it off to buy an AK since the ammo was much cheaper and easier to find then 30 carbine.
 

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I owned one and it was junk, the trigger group's are prone too cracking! It was fun with a thick block pencil eraser trimmed and glued in the receiver heal for some full auto fun...............
 

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bang, jam, bang, jam.

The only rifle I reluctantly took in trade once, that I regretted doing so. The "universal" carbine pop metal trigger group also held the magazine, and there was so much wiggle on the magazine, that it could only "jam" on every round or every other one at best. The only USGI part on it was the sling.

I ended up drilling and tapping the front of the magazine well and putting in 4 flat point set screws to hold the magazine from wiggling, and it functioned. So it went down the road at the next gun show.

I kept the sling.
 

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Universal Carbine

The Universals were known for poor quality. Hardly anything on them is GI surplus. The bulk of it is cast, poorly. Often the bolt would jump out of the receiver during operation. They tried to cast the receiver so as to require little or no machining. Too loose and sloppy. Dump it as any money you invest will be hard to get back. They were worse than the Plainfields!
 

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From my research, there are several generations of Universal Carbines. My dad's is first generation and has a lot of USGI parts and is a very good shooter. From second generation on is when I hear they are getting into issues.

But because of Carbines overall taking a price hike, I don't think you did too badly at all, even if it needs work.
 

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Second on MAC702's comments about the Universal carbine. There at least several versions of them, and build quality varies widely. While many mistakenly lump all Universal carbines into the same later group, they fail to realize that these guns were produced over many years. The early models produced in the 1960's were made with predominantly GI components and were very strong, reliable shooters, while most of the problematic ones were produced in the mid to late 70's and onward. Two entirely different animals altogether....
 

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I've had one since the late '70's and run hundreds of rounds through it without so much as a hiccup. Before I knew better, I bought a cheap USA brand 30 rd. mag that wouldn't work at all but after picking up several $5.00 GI 15 round magazines (way back then) it hasn't failed me since.
 

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The only rifle I reluctantly took in trade once, that I regretted doing so. The "universal" carbine pop metal trigger group also held the magazine, and there was so much wiggle on the magazine, that it could only "jam" on every round or every other one at best. The only USGI part on it was the sling.

I ended up drilling and tapping the front of the magazine well and putting in 4 flat point set screws to hold the magazine from wiggling, and it functioned. So it went down the road at the next gun show.

I kept the sling.

I actualy made a pile of money off mine...............
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Unfortunately I dont fall into the awesome early USGI based models.
If my understanding is correct, mine is a 3rd generation (SN 3636XX), although I would be glad to be wrong.

I still think I got it cheap, but I'm looking for a shooter to put with my 1897/M1A/1911 and am unsure if I should hope for the best and get a stock/magazine for it, or just cut my losses.

It seems most of the jamming issues, according to the source I found, were related to a loose magazine in the mag well. I wonder if this could be solved by "shimming" the magazines for a more snug fit, or if I'd be inviting more problems. Seems some thin shims attached to the magazine to take up the slack could prevent the movement and prevent the jamming.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
There's a post on THR that seems to give me hope saying that with a good magazine and some Wolf springs, they seem to shoot reliably.
 

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I have a Universal Carbine serial number 107xxx. Is it any good? I have put a few hundred rounds thru it without a hiccup. It is one of the dual spring models.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well Im gonna give it a whirl. I ordered the Wolff springs and am looking for a stock. I hope for the best!
 

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I think mine is a 3rd gen. Never jams, inside 50yds it is faster and just as accurate as a quality AR. Stupid fun to play with. And mine was prestine for all of $125 bucks when I bought it years ago. I consider it a good gun. At 100 yards it does better than many nice GI models I have shot. Can't complain, but if it ever failed it might be over because of parts issues. But for as much fun and as little as I paid, money well spent imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
We took the action down today to clean it...pretty dirty and the recoil springs were mangled. I don't know how they got so twisted together but they were. She's nice and lubed up ready for the Wolff springs.
 
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