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 Mods on a Universal -- waste of money?
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Satanta
Advanced Member


USA
177 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2017 :  7:37:00 PM  Show Profile Send Satanta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My first carbine was a Universal #165165
I would call it a early-mid Gen 2?
Always liked it, and had few problems with it.
I have since moved up and agree with all. USGI is the way to go.
My Inland dated 1-44 is sweet, been through the inspection process which drops value and makes it a shooter.
It had a type 2 trigger housing that was working fine, but I replaced it with a complete Inland type 6. ( no other sinful components have been installed )
I then replaced the aluminum trigger assembly in my Universal with the type 2 Inland with a few mods. Drilling of the pin of course, and had to clearance the block for the two rods and springs just a little for the mag to fit proper.
Put it back in the stock that of course did fit, but looks butt ugly due to the square cut.
Ran 100 rounds threw it with zero problems.
Then ordered a nicely refinished M1 pot belly stock that had no history. Paid $45 total with shipping.
Now I have a nice running Universal that has been goobered so to speak, and yes, it still has the undesired slide. ( can't fix that )
My subject line says waste of money? Maybe it should say time?
Shelf parts were there. $45 for the nice stock and hand-guard.
It is no longer original, but neither is my Inland.
$45 spent, and the question is???
Did I ruin it, waste my time? or is it the kudos love to tinker on the undesirable?
Last: I have a nice Universal square cut stock and complete trigger housing if interested.

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cali201
Senior Member



USA
714 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2017 :  05:31:03 AM  Show Profile Send cali201 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
pretty darn sure you cannot ruin the value of a Universal, especially a non gen 1. If you made it run better then great for you as a shooter but value would, IMO, be the same either way as they are not sought after.

Edited by - cali201 on 09/30/2017 05:32:37 AM
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Satanta
Advanced Member



USA
177 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2017 :  10:08:39 AM  Show Profile Send Satanta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well said cali201. Wasn't really sure where I was going with the post other than to let other Universal owners with a broken trigger housing know it can be converted.
Maybe I just landed a good one, but I really like mine. It's shoots every bit as well as my Inland, which is tearing the center out of the target at 65yds. But once a Uni - always a Uni.
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americanboy
Advanced Member



USA
363 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2017 :  3:06:03 PM  Show Profile Send americanboy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They are our toys and our wallets so we can tinker with them all we want. I have a 17xxx gen-1 and the only thing Universal is the receiver and barrel. I would never sell that gun.
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Satanta
Advanced Member



USA
177 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2017 :  6:22:07 PM  Show Profile Send Satanta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Right on americanboy, I love to tinker and try to improve. Which I feel that I have.
I would never ever go grinding, drilling and fitting on my Inland. No need.
I am two years new to this and waited way to long. I read, study, and listen too everything.
Built and fabricated street rod's and parts. I'm capable, but this is a whole new learning curve.
My Universal has been a great learning tool before moving up. I do wish I had - had the smarts before hand when my first purchase went down, but I still like it very much, and like you. I doubt I will ever sell it. Even if it is the Gen 2. It keeps on ticking like clock-work.

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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2017 :  12:43:34 AM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a late model Universal Carbine and love it. It's worked well for me for over 30 years. Recently, I had the slide replaced for purely precautionary reasons: You must be logged in to see this link.

An excellent source for info on all Universal Carbines can be found You must be logged in to see this link..

Edited by - jski on 10/25/2017 12:51:30 AM
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Satanta
Advanced Member



USA
177 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2017 :  9:30:22 PM  Show Profile Send Satanta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also replaced my slide with the one you are talking about. It has more meat on it around the known breakage areas, which I really liked. Kept the original for a spare. It ran fine for about 200 rounds. Then separated where the op rod meets the block or weight. Clean nice break, the weld had little penetration. Maybe a fluke? But it was an easy fix with the clean break. I just clamped it all back together. Put a nice V grind in it. Drilled two bevel holes for spot welds, and had a pro weld it. Such a nice job that very little clean up was even needed. Good hot clean burn.
I have since ran another 500 through it with no problems.
Like any rifle, especially the M1 Universal, just make sure your head space is good to go, and you keep it clean in the throat area. Clean and inspect all after each use is fun, and for safety.
After 30 years of shooting your carbine, I would say it has proven itself.
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2017 :  11:56:52 PM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Satana, I hope you informed BKHose (bkhose@dslextreme.com) of the breakage. He should know there was a problem with his weld. 4130 steel can be, from what I've read, difficult to weld but is very weldable with the right technique.

Thankfully, I haven't had any problems with my replacement slide.

Edited by - jski on 10/27/2017 12:27:42 AM
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2017 :  12:01:03 AM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Satana, I believe the late model Universals are a well thought out take on the original Winchester design ... even the slide. You must be logged in to see this link. The bolt, from what I've You must be logged in to see this link., is a better design.

I suspect most of the "issues" surrounding the You must be logged in to see this link., can be attributed to poor materials and not a poor design.

Edited by - jski on 10/27/2017 12:26:44 AM
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Tuna
Moderator



3285 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2017 :  10:32:50 AM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The design was poor. It was made to cut corners in production and save money. It did not work when tried by Inland and it has failed when used by Universal. If it had worked then would there be a need NOW to replace it with a new one when it breaks and we all know they break. The answer is simple. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Two spring recoil system. Another way to cut corners and save money in production. Also allowed the use of a cheaper gas system that does break. The bolt design is from Inland. Improvements in it was a spring for the firing pin nothing more. The Universal carbine became a firearm the company hoped the average owner would only shoot maybe once a year so maybe 500 rounds in 10 years. Long past the warrantee period. A cheap carbine that the company really didn't care how long it lasted. IJ played that card for the time they owned them. Buy a cheap Universal or buy a real carbine by IJ. One that will last. The choice is yours. Didn't matter to IJ. They owned both companies. When IJ moved they dropped Universal and with the popularity of the AR15 gaining ground and then the flood of USGI carbines coming in from over seas selling for $99 a pop, the end of the IJ carbine was inevitable. Universal didn't design anything on a carbine. They took a design and changed it to meet one thing. To save money and up their bottom line. Who cares if it breaks down the road we will charge them for the parts. The USGI carbine was made for war and country, not to improve the bottom line of a companies greed!!!!!
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americanboy
Advanced Member



USA
363 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2017 :  3:31:10 PM  Show Profile Send americanboy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As we continue to read and post...little factoids ooze from almost every conversation I read. I never knew that the spring-retarded firing pin was an original Inland introduction on the carbine. Maybe if the war had lasted longer, those would have become common? The only slam-fire I've ever had was on a commercial semi-auto 30-06 that employed that common spring-retarded pin design. Anything man-made can fail. I never determined why that gun slam-fired....it had a new owner the very next day.
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Jackp
Veteran Member



USA
1061 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2017 :  6:07:29 PM  Show Profile Send Jackp a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The carbine bolt design was an adaptation of the M1 Garand bolt in that it used a tanged firing pin to prevent out of battery misfires. This provided a more reliable albeit more costly means of ensuring this compared to the spring retarded firing pin. Commercial manufacturers have had difficulty with the receiver machining operation that's necessary to incorporate the tanged firing pin.

Inland tried the twin recoil spring design (Special Experimental No. 34) specifically to avoid the deep hole drilling operation, eliminate the slide support milling operation and simplify the slide design, all cost saving objectives. This experimental design was never adopted as the existing design was meeting all the functional testing requirements and the troublesome deep hole drilling operation was resolved with proper tooling.

I suspect if Winchester and Inland had to do it all over again, they would still use the design that we see today. Yes, cost was a factor, but there was a lot of testing done to validate these designs and I believe the better designs prevailed.

JackP
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2017 :  09:08:45 AM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tuna, the problem wasn't in the design. It lay in the implementation of the design. In this case, the steel wasn't up to the task. That's why BKHose chose 4130 steel for a replacement slide, a very high quality high-carbon steel.
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BEYU
Advanced Member



USA
307 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2017 :  11:16:24 AM  Show Profile Send BEYU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jski

Tuna, the problem wasn't in the design. It lay in the implementation of the design. In this case, the steel wasn't up to the task. That's why BKHose chose 4130 steel for a replacement slide, a very high quality high-carbon steel.



Pardon my two cents' worth.

You guys are more knowledgeable than I on the ins and outs of carbine design and functioning but I believe I read elsewhere in this forum that there have been problems with the welds breaking on these new slides? Something about the hardness of the steel and difficulty getting the welds right. If so, then going to 4130 steel just presented another complication, did it not?

And that is something the old designs did not.

BEYU

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

- Benj. Franklin
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Jackp
Veteran Member



USA
1061 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2017 :  2:59:14 PM  Show Profile Send Jackp a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Even with the 4130 steel, the Universal slide is more likely to fail due to the stress tensor at the sharp lower rear corner of the cam cutout. Winchester experienced a similar failure mode during stress testing in June of 1943. Thus the addition of a radius where the arm meets the body of the slide (Type 2 to Type 3). Perhaps the maker of the replacement Universal slide would have more success if they had a radius instead of the sharp corner in the stamped slide cam area rather than changing to a different grade of steel. Why do you think commercial airliners have radiused windows instead of square ones? (Google de Havilland Comet 1).

Corrections noted in bold type

JackP

Edited by - Jackp on 10/31/2017 6:21:23 PM
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Satanta
Advanced Member



USA
177 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2017 :  6:27:37 PM  Show Profile Send Satanta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Feel like I stirred up a small hornets nest here haha, I love a healthy debate. I was the one that stated I purchased a 4130 slide and had the weld crack clean where the slide meets the block. The penetration was less than desirable. It was any easy fix for a good welder and I would guess I have run 400 rounds with it since. No signs of wear or stress in the cut out area. I will also say that this new slide has far more meat on it around the cut out compared to the original. Not thicker, just more to it. The original never gave problems either, but was sad to look at.
Good point comparing radius cut vs angle cut. My start on this post was just to inform other new members. That there are things to improve on with the Universal. Complete USGI trigger housing swap, and bolt. You replace one, you should change both. The Universal hammer and bolt are softer and you don't want to mix match. The aluminum trigger housing did suck big time in everything overall. Especially in the mag release cut. Very sloppy fit, and lets the mag sit lower than it should. Big feed problem. Most would state that it helps to rest the mag in hand or on a sand bag. Thus pushing the mag upwards. Once again, poor design by Universal.
The slide? Well it is what it is, it will never compete with the USGI. Going better quality is still a good move, and I think I just got a fluke one because I have yet to hear another person say theirs broke loose like mine did. Hence, the problem was not in the cut out area. I'm not an engineer but it seems like when they went to the trouble to come up with this new 4130 replacement, why not go one step further and box in the cut out area? Added weight balance? Or stupid is stupid missed. Bad phrase!
I happen to like my Universal and I doubt I would ever sell it. It goes to the range with me every-time I take my 44 Inland.
Since I bought it, I have probably ran 900 rounds threw it. Mostly feed problems. With the help of another post concerning tweaking the mags, and my late changes with trigger assembly and bolt. It feeds and shoots like a well oiled machine. My only resent complaint is that I used the early 3 angle cut ejector just to see how it differed. It spits the casings straight up, instead of to the right. I guess it's not a bad thing. Other than falling sometimes off the brim of my hat, but all my casings are easy pick up right off the table.
My last input. Seems like there was the discussion on the gen 3 bolt and receiver. I have never seen one except in pics. But heard you can't fit the USGI bolt without a slight mod to the receiver?
Plus in my opinion only, the gen 3 set up was another big mistake. Spring on the firing pin? Okay! I kinda get that. But from what I am seeing and reading. They took away several safety features on the ramps, etc, and made it wide open in the rear of the bolt. That part, I was not liking at all. Just adds to the pile for problems like the known long casings, dirty throat, etc... which all can lead to the out of battery problem known to even the USGI carbines.
My point is I guess. You never hear the good. Only the bad. Most could probably be redirected back to the personal user in the long run. Cleaning and inspection, then storage, after every day on the range, it is always a good start. The, it never did that before? Followed by the, well it's been sitting out in the shed since that last time. Maybe 3 winters ago tops, and yes! I can't argue the worth of USGI design and proof on the battlefield. Commercial carbines lack all that. But if you do have a good one, take care of it, improve on it all you can. It will indeed give you fun and pleasure as a shooter. Just my opinion is all.
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Tuna
Moderator



3285 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2017 :  8:04:10 PM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My point about the Inland bolt system was the fact that they designed the bolt. It was to increase the dwell times and to slow down the bolt. It also reduced bolt bounce. They did not use a spring on the firing pin. They machined the bolt just like the first two so it could not slam fire with the bolt out of battery in normal operation. If you find a round with a dimple on the primer, that from the round pushing back the firing pin as the round enters the chamber and not from being hit by the pin when the hammer falls. Surprising how many people just don't understand that. When Universal did away with the safety machining and replaced it with a spring, they just added another object that could break and cause problems. The Universal carbine did have a chance under fire. It was one of the main weapons in the Bay of Pigs debacle. No USGI weapons were given to the "Freedom Fighters".
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2017 :  10:51:03 AM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jackp

Even with the 4130 steel, the Universal slide is more likely to fail due to the stress tensor at the sharp lower rear corner of the cam cutout. Winchester experienced a similar failure mode during stress testing in June of 1943. Thus the addition of a radius where the arm meets the body of the slide (Type 1 to Type 2). Perhaps (edit) the maker of the replacement Universal slide would have more success if they had a radius instead of the sharp corner in the stamped slide cam area rather than changing to a different grade of steel. Why do you think commercial airliners have radiused windows instead of square ones? (Google de Havilland Comet 1).



Good point. Not sure how small of a radius you could use to significantly reduce this flaw?

But if you were to examine one of BKHose's replacement slides, I think you'd be confident these slides will survive the test of time.

Edited by - jski on 10/31/2017 10:52:10 AM
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Satanta
Advanced Member



USA
177 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2017 :  8:34:56 PM  Show Profile Send Satanta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting point Tuna on the Bay of Pigs. I did not know that. If Universal was used, I'm sure it was the Gen 1?
I agree with you on the bolt design completely, and yes I was aware of, and the reason for the small dimple.
I get it all the time on both my Gen 2 and Inland when I am checking feed and ejection with a new - used magazine. It's just the nature of the beast I guess and I have never had a problem with a slam fire.
Which since it's never happened, I only assume that is what a slam fire is?
The firing of a round as soon as the bolt slams shut or slightly before?
If my understanding of a slam fire is correct? Then I also assume many things can cause this?
My first thought would be going back to what I said about owner operator error, a dirty gummed up rifle.
I've seen some bolts that require finger pressure to move the firing pin back and forth. That's not good.
My advice to all new owners. Get the tool to break down the bolt. You can not service it correctly without the tool. Best money spent in the long run.
Some Q-tips and a good cleaning with inspection goes a very long way.
Also, correct if I'm wrong. Universal by Gen 2 made a bad cut in their receiver's. It lacked that extra little hump in the ramp that delayed firing pin strike before full battery. Probably just another money saver, or just missed. Regardless, it's missing.
Now you have all these receiver's that you don't want to toss. So you change the bolt instead with some unsafe cuts, add a spring, and keep your fingers crossed. Which was the born Gen 3?
Am I close?

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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2017 :  02:13:46 AM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
M1 Carbines Incorporated
quote:
At the same time the bolt hold open mechanism was added Universal changed the design of their bolts. Bolts used prior to this change were based on the GI design of a floating firing pin. The firing pin of the GI design has a tang at the rear that engaged a slot milled in the receiver bridge to hold the firing pin in the rear of the bolt until the bolt had fully rotated and locked. As with most firing pin designs the floating firing pins have strengths and weaknesses. The design has been commonly used in military weapons given the use and environment for which they are intended.

The change implemented by Universal eliminated the tang on the back of the firing pin and the need for proper machining of the receiver bridge that engaged the tang. The proper machining of this bridge has been a challenge for most all commercial manufacturers since their beginning. One of the common negative comments about the Universal carbines is this change eliminated one of two safety designs that prevent the firing pin from striking the primer before the bolt has fully rotated and locked. The change didn't eliminate this safety feature, it simply changed the design to a different design commonly used in semi-automatic firearms to hold the firing pin in the rear of the bolt until struck by the hammer. As with the floating firing pin design this design also has it's strengths and weaknesses but has long been accepted as a safe means of accomplishing the same goal.

Edited by - jski on 11/01/2017 07:49:11 AM
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americanboy
Advanced Member



USA
363 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2017 :  05:36:48 AM  Show Profile Send americanboy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I only assume that is what a slam fire is?
The firing of a round as soon as the bolt slams shut or slightly before?

I've seen some bolts that require finger pressure to move the firing pin back and forth. That's not good.

[/quote]

A slam-fire is a condition in which the firing-pin is allowed to strike the primer B4 intentions to actually fire the gun. Guns designed to fire from the open-bolt position basically slam-fire by design. A Sten is a good example. The bolt must be held in the open position at rest to make them safe. If the firing-pin gets stuck in the bolt of a gun that is designed to fire from the closed bolt position, or is allowed to strike the primer under it's own inertia, that's a slam fire. Most weapons nowadays employ a strong spring and a light firing-pin, or a firing-pin block to pass a drop-test.

The firing-pin in a USGI style carbine can be moved by the fingers. If it dosen't, it's stuck or damaged. The cut in the receiver bridge holds the pin off the primer until the bolt rotates allowing the pin to move forward past the cut under a hammer blow to strike the primer. The Universal design employed the spring to hold the pin back under bolt inertia.

I might add that ammo can cause a slam-fire. When one cycles ammo thru some weapons, they might see a little "dimple" on the primers. A very soft or sensitive primer can ignite under certain conditions.

Edited by - americanboy on 11/01/2017 06:48:03 AM
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