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 I installed a GI bolt into a Universal M1 Carbine
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robertmcw
Starting Member


8 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2017 :  8:41:31 PM  Show Profile Send robertmcw a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am not a gunsmith and if you decide to work on your gun, be warned that you can mess it up if you do it wrong and you can get be hurt, maimed or killed. If you like the ideas in the post, have a good gunsmith do it for you.

I got this Universal M1 carbine it in the late 1990s on a trade. I had not ever heard about Universal M1 carbines before. GI ones, yes but not Universal. It was later I found the series I have had changed bolts so an out of battery explore can happen when the hammer hits on the face of the bolt. My research shows I have a Third Generation gun. It was a jam o matic model.

The pre owner did not keep good care of it. It had surface rust on the barrel and the bore looked it was a lost cause. It cleaned up well. The bore was not pitted. The finish of the stock took about a week but now it looks almost new.

It has the two rods and springs so the bolt carrier (op rod) can be charged and it has the funky switch on the side to keep the bolt open. Features include a slide lock lever by the rear sight, the trigger housing was made of aluminum, and several safety features were deleted to reduce costs. This resulted in the ability of the rifle to fire out of battery.

It would jam within three of four rounds. I cleaned it, put all springs, rebuild the bolt and even got a second bolt all to no avail.

I have a GI M1 carbine and I had been looking at for years. I have tried to install a GI bolt in the Universal M1 carbine to fix the out of battery issue but it will not fit. But thinking out of the box, I thought I can mimic the GI safety features with the GI bolt with the Universal M1 carbine so it would not hit the firing pin unless it was in battery. So, with a small chainsaw file (about 1/8) and a small flat file, I fixed the Universal M1 carbine receiver so a flat GI bolt will fit in a Universal M1 carbine and now the gun works 100%.


Then I drilled gas port cover with a threaded it and installed 1/8 plug. Now you can look straight at the gas port and access the gas port and keep it clean. After you have cleaned the gas port, just put the plug back.

It took about two hours. No other GI parts were installed to the Universal M1 carbine lower or changed. I used a flat, semi GI bolt. The gun still shoots semi ONLY.

I have attached a link of a GI receiver where the cutouts need to be filed to the Universal M1 Carbine. You just need to file the receiver to fit so the bolt will engage with the tail on the fire pin so the primer will go off and then trim it so it will pass over the hold open switch.

You must be logged in to see this link.

I was worried that the hammer would not work with a GI bolt but the Universal M1 Carbine hammer worked just fine.

These mods SHOULD solve the firing out of battery issue so the two safety features with a GI bolt has will work on the Universal M1 carbine and the second mod will keep the gas port clean.

With the first 50 shots, with no jams, I was pleased for the first time. The plug did get lose, so when I get the 0.070 drill bit next week I will make sure the gas port is within specs and then use some blue lock lite so the plug will be secure.

BTY, I had rebuilt the Universal M1 bolt and even got a second one but it still jammed. With the GI bolt, it works just fine. I was just about to drill the gas port to 5/64 but now I don't need to do that is as it cycles just fine. The GI fire pin must be shaved just a tad so it will fit and the hold back level will work. Then off to the range to see if the bullet tumbles and see its accuracy (or not) if it OK, and then Duracoat it. The go gauge is OK, the no-go gauge is tight but closes and the field gauge will not close. The bullet test passes, barely.

This can be a really fun and handy plinker gun.

PM me with contact information and I will send photos.
I do not check the board often.


Edited by - robertmcw on 04/16/2017 10:00:50 AM

Tuna
Moderator



3335 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2017 :  10:05:56 AM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nice work but your problems have for the most part are most likely just began. The slide for the later Universals is terrible and if it breaks many times it can be welded to fix it but then break somewhere else or not be repairable. There are no more available though there was someone who was reported as making some new ones. The other thing it the aluminum trigger housing. Over time and use the pins start coming out and the housing pin holes start to become egg shaped or the housing cracks. Again there are no new ones available. I do hope you have good luck with your Universal as you have put quite a bit of time and expense into it.
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robertmcw
Starting Member



8 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2017 :  10:19:38 AM  Show Profile Send robertmcw a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Agree I just bought a steel slide and am looking for a spare lower.
You must be logged in to see this link.
When it gets here I will review it.
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robertmcw
Starting Member



8 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2017 :  10:51:57 AM  Show Profile Send robertmcw a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Now this is out of my pay grade, but it would easy for someone to make a bushing and hammer pin (heat treated) to drill out the housing and replace the bushings with parts that will not egg.
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Tuna
Moderator



3335 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2017 :  8:02:47 PM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sure you can do that but sometime down the road the housing is going to crack. So then you try and find a housing and as they are now getting harder to find the prices still keep going up and up. How much are you willing to sink into a commercial carbine worth $350 to make it seem better then new? If it were me I would sell the Universal and then wait till the new wave of USGI imports come back home.
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robertmcw
Starting Member



8 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2017 :  4:41:27 PM  Show Profile Send robertmcw a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The setup I now works fine. But in case the setup I have fails, I have a spare stripped GI housing and a spare beater GI stock, so I will try to fit the parts to see if I can whittle the stock down so it will make it work before the one I have fails. Then if it works and looks good, I will upgrade it to a better GI stock with the GI housing those mods. And then I can sell the Universal stuff as that stuff is getting very pricey. After all, it took about 25 years so it would work at all. A extra few years will be a piece of cake!!!!!
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Tuna
Moderator



3335 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2017 :  9:34:18 PM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You may have a hard time fitting the USGI trigger housing to the Universal. They changed a lot of the dimensions when they went with the aluminum housing. While I know why your doing it I just don't know if it's really worth it, but good luck with your endeavor.
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robertmcw
Starting Member



8 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2017 :  10:05:33 PM  Show Profile Send robertmcw a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am retired and bored. I have a good GI already and this just looks like a fun project.
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robertmcw
Starting Member



8 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2017 :  8:45:29 PM  Show Profile Send robertmcw a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OK the steel OP rod (steel slide) got here today and it is a perfect fit.
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2017 :  11:05:28 PM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Out of battery firing

This issue is not specific to the carbines made by Universal. The causes of out of battery firing are inherent in the design of many semi-automatic rifles. The causes of this malfunction are covered on the web page devoted to Safety Issues as it applies to all M1 carbines, including the original WWII GI carbines.

Edited by - jski on 05/03/2017 11:06:34 PM
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Tuna
Moderator



3335 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2017 :  10:08:29 AM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Your right about out of battery discharges BUT did you know that Universal changed the firing pin design and bolt that it has lead to out of battery discharges with factory ammo? USGI carbines don't do this unless the case is a little bit too long holding the bolt open just enough to cause the round the discharge. This happens with reloads by people who don't trim their brass when they should.
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