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 Late model Universal vs Winchester designs
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jski
Junior Member


56 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2017 :  11:15:32 PM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had the 2 recoil springs replaced in my Universal Carbine. The gunsmith told me they were Wolff springs but they seem weak. I would have expected Wolff springs to be stronger, stiffer. Not sure these are the genuine articles.

Anyone else have experiences along these lines?

BTW, this has always seemed a design improvement over the original GI Carbine.

Edited by - jski on 05/07/2017 12:54:27 AM

Tuna
Moderator



3323 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2017 :  10:01:25 AM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not a design improvement. Just something else that can and does go wrong with the late Universals. Oh and if you suddenly seem to be having problems look at the springs to be sure one of them hasn't broken and is causing jams and such. This has happened as the springs are not the best quality.
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2017 :  10:26:26 AM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
BUT, as I said, I had the springs replaced with brand-spanking-new Wolff springs. Or at least, I was told they were Wolff springs.

Wolff has a spring set for replacing all the springs in the Universal + its magazine.
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2017 :  10:44:21 AM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tuna, in this particular application, 2 seems better than one.
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americanboy
Advanced Member



USA
368 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2017 :  12:16:28 PM  Show Profile Send americanboy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't want to step on Tuna's possible answer, but I've never really found an explanation as to why they went to the dual-spring operation in the first place....just asking. It must have had something to do with the revised geometry of the slide and/or revised gas system. It would apply the force to the center of the operating slide mass and maybe it was to relieve any binding as a result of the redeux. No other manufacture attempted this. I don't know what they were thinking, but it certainly did not turn out to be an improvement.
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2017 :  12:55:42 PM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not sure what the problem(s) associated with 2 springs v. 1 spring are. Could you elaborate?
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americanboy
Advanced Member



USA
368 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2017 :  3:38:05 PM  Show Profile Send americanboy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Let me turn that around and ask...what was the problem with the time and battle tested single-spring system that motivated the redesign to dual springs? There has to be a reason and it can't be economics.

I don't really know if there is a functional difference between the action of the two systems. I'm not drifting off into the general problems with the generation 2's and 3's. The springs both retard and assist slide action in the cycle no matter if one or two are employed. I don't know why/if dual springs are any better or worse. It does seem to me that good ideas are quickly duplicated by the competition and nobody that I know of ever duplicated that dual spring idea. The fewer movin' parts you have in any mechanism the better and adding parts does not necessarily improve anything....just complicates it.

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Tuna
Moderator



3323 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2017 :  7:02:40 PM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All it was done for was to save MONEY during production. Cheaper to make these slides then to drill the hole for the recoil spring in the receiver like they used to. Less time consuming. Cheaper yes but not better.
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2017 :  8:00:59 PM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm looking at the slide. 2 precisely drilled holes.

Looking at the whole assembly, doesn't look cheap to me:


Edited by - jski on 05/04/2017 8:05:29 PM
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jimb16
Moderator



USA
3156 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2017 :  8:08:10 PM  Show Profile Send jimb16 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
True enough, but not the deep hole drilling that was done on the original receivers. That was much harder to do as well as more costly.

OGCA Lifer,NRA Life member, son of a 325th GIR Glider Rider
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americanboy
Advanced Member



USA
368 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2017 :  06:18:01 AM  Show Profile Send americanboy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I realize that early-on, machining the hole for the operating spring was somewhat difficult and led to the detachable plunger-tube modification. The beauty of the basic carbine design was parts compatibility, which was destroyed with the dual-spring design either on purpose or by economic necessity. I suppose the reason had to be economics or a perceived improvement. Obviously....it didn't work.

Edited by - americanboy on 05/05/2017 06:19:37 AM
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2017 :  11:50:52 AM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not sure about these "it didn't work" statements. Mine is quite reliable. It eats up cartridges as well as my other carbines. And it's taken a lot more abuse. My brother for years used it as a "truck gun" on his ranch.

Edited by - jski on 05/05/2017 2:00:02 PM
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americanboy
Advanced Member



USA
368 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2017 :  6:12:12 PM  Show Profile Send americanboy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A difference of opinion exist as to this being a design improvement. It was a design change that brought with it other changes within the mechanics of the gun. All opinions should be respected and you have yours...which is fine. Obviously the example you have works, which is great. I say the design did not work, because no other carbine manufacturer ever duplicated it. I did not mean that the example you have did not work. I'm sure there are thousands of them out there that do.
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2017 :  7:51:47 PM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not suggesting the late model Universal design is superior to the original Winchester design. Only that because it's different doesn't make it inferior.

I'd like to see some objective consideration of one design vs the other. I've read a lot of dismissive statements about the Universal, not only here, but very little consideration of the rationale for the design decisions ... besides, it's done because it's cheaper.

BTW, I'm more than willing to concede that some of the materials used were less than top quality. Hence the need for a slide You must be logged in to see this link.:


Edited by - jski on 05/08/2017 12:25:53 AM
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Jackp
Veteran Member



USA
1064 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2017 :  10:25:57 PM  Show Profile Send Jackp a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Iíll take a crack at an Ēobjective considerationĒ for the differences in the design.

The twin rods in the Universal design serve as guides for the operating slide whereas the Winchester design uses tabs on the slide riding in slots along the length of the barrel. With the Universal design, it is necessary to use twin springs as well to prevent uneven loading and the resulting binding forces that would cause excessive friction and increased wear during operation. Universalís design eliminates the need for the deep hole drilling operation in the receiver and eliminates the machining operations needed to create the tracks along the sides of the barrel as well as the tabs on the inside of the operating slide. Drilling the holes for Universals twin guide rods is easier and cheaper than the machining operations on the Winchester design. The only problem is that it requires two extra parts, a second recoil spring and guide rod. Overall, it is a simpler design and probably a cost reduction. Even with the extra parts.

Other changes in the operating slide design allow part of it to be made from a sheet metal stamping attached to a simple bar stock machining, clearly a cost reduction change. Elimination of the slide hold open feature in the Universal design is a cost reduction as well.

I have to conclude that Universalís design is primarily the result of an effort to find cost reduced alternatives to Winchesterís forged machined operating slide as well as avoid the additional machining operations to the barrel for the guide tracks and deep hole drilling in the receiver. From a cost perspective it could be considered a "superior" design.

However, I believe that the Universal design is not as reliable as the Winchester design due to the weakness of the stamped portion of the operating slide (cracks or breaks at the cam cut). The Universal design is also more difficult to assemble/disassemble. Additionally, the later Universal design is not at all compatible with USGI carbines and may not even be forward or backward compatible with other variations (there were several) of Universal twin spring carbines. From an overall reliability and part interchangeability/serviceability perspective I consider it an "inferior" design.



JackP

Edited by - Jackp on 05/05/2017 10:43:13 PM
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2017 :  01:22:50 AM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
JackP, thanks. That maybe the single best objective consideration of design differences I've yet read. Unemotional and well presented.

What you've stated reminds me of an incredible article I read about the Savage 110 design process. And maybe strangely, the Russian design and manufacturing process that went into their rocket engines.

Evidently, when designing the 110, Savage put a great deal of attention into the manufacturing side of their rifle. In particular, the issue of attaching the barrel to the receiver. Prior to the 110, the marriage of barrel to receiver was a timely and imprecise process that lead to imprecision in headspacing .

The Savage solution was the barrel nut. And, if you'll forgive the obvious pun, they were at first savaged for it. It was "ugly". It was "cheap". Etc.

But now it's generally credited with being the reason the 110 is the most accurate rifle out of the box ... bar none. That "ugly", "cheap" barrel nut, suggested by a manufacturing engineer, turns out to be a simpler and better way. It allows Savage to dial in the headspacing to whatever precision they wish.

BTW, the Russians use this same approach to design: first the design engineer and then the manufacturing engineer. One of the reasons they make some of the best rocket engines available. Our military satellites are all launched on Atlas 5 rockets powered by RD-180 Russian engines.

So perhaps Universal's (Abe Seiderman's) manufacturing considerations that went into their (his) design were not unreasonable ... or cheap.

I'm an engineer and I love good engineering stories.

One other smaller point, the only sheet metal on my Universal is the upper barrel guard.

Edited by - jski on 05/06/2017 02:46:31 AM
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jimb16
Moderator



USA
3156 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2017 :  3:49:26 PM  Show Profile Send jimb16 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another objective comment is that to save milling costs they removed several built in safety features such as the bridge under the receiver and the wall on the back of the bolt that prevented slam fires. I do NOT consider these to be improvements.

OGCA Lifer,NRA Life member, son of a 325th GIR Glider Rider
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2017 :  9:46:49 PM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Post WWII Commercially Manufactured M1 Carbines (U.S.A.):
quote:
At the same time the bolt hold open mechanism added by 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 05/06/2017 10:10:02 PM
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Tuna
Moderator



3323 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2017 :  10:20:15 AM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you think the Universal design changes were soooo good then why didn't Iver Johnson use them in their production in their carbines too? And then why did IJ decide that Universal was too much of a problem child to continue with their production and sold them. It was not because of too much competition between makers. It was because Universal production had become problematic at best. Quality was non existent. Poor steel and parts fitting were gone. No one from Florida ever went to Arkansas to work and it took them two years to get production set up. Do you really think their bolt system was a safety improvement? Quality speaks for itself and late production Universals are considered to be dangerous. Why you ask? You have said it yourself. The poor quality steel used not like the quality of your steel slides. Don't you think that companies like Inland, Winchester, or any of the other makers of USGI carbines had engineers? Inland alone had hundreds and hundreds working on improving the carbine BUT the one difference was it had to be safe, cut waste, increase production and strengthen the carbine. These people talked with and to engineers from all the companies on a daily basis. There were thousands of ideas that were tried and rejected for one reason or another. There wasn't much that had not been tried before and incorporated into the design or rejected. Firing pins with springs? Tried and found to be another part that could break when heated from hard firing and hard to get to clean and dry causing more problems then it solved. No, reinventing the carbine has been tried but it has not worked out very well.
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2017 :  12:02:46 PM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The point of my argument is NOT that the Universal design is better than the Winchester design. It's simply that Abe Seiderman had reasons beyond making it "cheap" for what he did. And his rethinking of the Winchester design shouldn't be summarily dismissed as it almost always is.

I realize when you ask people who are passionately committed to one belief, often an unquestioned belief, to reconsider that belief, there's a danger of being called a heretic. I'm a BIG fan of the Winchester design. I'm also respectful of the the design decisions that went into the Universal.

Edited by - jski on 05/07/2017 12:10:22 PM
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jski
Junior Member



56 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2017 :  4:53:51 PM  Show Profile Send jski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mine was made in Florida.

I replaced the slide with the high quality steel slide shown above. The factory slide was not cracked but I was getting all the springs replaced with Wolff springs and thought ... why not, just in case.

Edited by - jski on 05/07/2017 11:09:00 PM
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Tuna
Moderator



3323 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2017 :  9:03:25 PM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Better to be safe then sorry.
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americanboy
Advanced Member



USA
368 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2017 :  08:41:28 AM  Show Profile Send americanboy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's obviously a good thing that someone has finally started to manufacture replacement slides for the gen 2's and 3's. I don't have one, but I'm sure there are plenty of broken slides out there sidelining carbines. If I had one and planned to keep it...I'd purchase two slides!

Edited by - americanboy on 05/08/2017 08:42:57 AM
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