View Full Version : Universal M1 Carbine

November 3, 2001, 05:40 PM
I've the opportunity to trade for either a 1972 Winchester Model 94 30-30 or a Universal M1 Carbine (same price). I am curious if via the serial number I can find out when the Universal was manufactured. Is there a website somewhere that specializes in Universal M1's? Thanks...

Johnny Guest
November 3, 2001, 06:26 PM
A Google search may turn up some interesting things, but I don't know of any collector interest in the Universal carbines. Lots about the military versions, though.

Late Edit: After I had written and posted this whole reply, I realized your question was posted in RESEARCH forum. The rest of my reply, below, was more suitable for one in Art of the Rifle or The Hunt forums. But, having written it, I'm gonna leave it here.
MODERATOR: You won't hurt my feelings if you edit/clip/delete this stuff. Sorry 'bout that. JPG

You don't mention your intended use for either firearm. Suggest you look up the thread,


from a couple of months ago. I believe the consensus is that the .30 US Carbine round is unsuitable for deer and hog hunting. Not really accurate enough for classic varmint hunting. Pretty good for home defense, if you accept the parameters--One bullet per trigger pull, possible overpenetration.

As to the Winchester 94 .30-30--
By 1972, they had cured many of the problems with the post-1964 Winchester products, particularly the ‘94. It is certainly NOT the collector's piece the older guns were, but it is a good, serviceable hunting arm, particularly if rigged out with a good receiver peep sight. It has plenty of power and a decent enough trajectory for deer well beyond 100 yards--How much beyond is up to your ability and amount of practice. Unless you are in thick cover with no chance of 100 yard plus shots, suggest you stick with the 150 gr. Soft point loads.

If you want to use the arm for hunting, I believe you'd be much better off with the .30-30.

One man's opinion. Whatever you decide, good luck, and
Best regards.

November 3, 2001, 08:18 PM
Thanks for the reply. I don't intend to use either for hunting, I'm simply a shooter for sport. I do like to procure firearms that at least retain their value. I've read some of the threads about the M1 via Google and this site. None seem too encouraging. I pumped out about 35 rounds from it today and it did jam (misfeed) three times. At 50 feet once I got the sights adjusted I was able to consistantly keep them w/in a 5" circle... probably 16 out of 20. I have yet to shoot the Model 94, I will be able to do that this Friday. I've looked online, but haven't been able to find any real source of values for either weapon. Have any ideas? Thanks again...

November 3, 2001, 08:26 PM
The Universal is a post-war commercial clone of the M1 Carbine, and generally enjoys a lousy reputation for reliability. I know I wouldn't pay my good money for one of them, FWIW.

Walt Sherrill
November 4, 2001, 12:04 PM
I agree with Johnwill...

Only the earliest of the Universals have any value -- although there are a lot of unsuspecting buyers buying the later ones...

The earliest guns have their own collectors' niche, but they don't come close to having the interest or value of the US Government-made M1 Carbines.

The early Universals were made with many surplus parts, but as production progressed, those parts ran out and they started to make their own, from stamped metal. Those guns fail frequently, parts are hard to find, and are generally considered trash.

I've avoid a Universal like the plague...

November 4, 2001, 02:02 PM
Hey! I got one of these... It's a great little shooter, fancier finish and wood than the GI's. Accurate at 50yds with ball ammo and the issue sights. No problems with functionality, it chambers it shoots, it extracts/ejects ;)
The receiver is marked "Hialea, Fla." Don't know if it's an older model or not. This one is getting a scope or Red Dot mounted.
Should be a fun little shooter.:cool:

Navy joe
November 6, 2001, 01:58 AM
:barf: Universal! Get the '94 and at least you'll get a quality firearm. But if you must get the Universal I've got a parts kit I'll sell you. Actually its the whole gun minus the charging handle that tried to disassemble itself into my face at 400 rds. from new.

November 23, 2001, 04:57 AM
I bought a Universal carbine new when I was 18 (= quite a few years ago). A lot of its parts are GI, one of the exceptions being the trigger housing, which is a somewhat crude and ugly, although functional, alloy casting. It's been a reliable gun. Later I got a GI carbine through the NRA, so I passed the Universal along to my brother, who still enjoys plinking with it. One of his kids will probably get it someday.

While my experience with Universal has been good overall, I'd never buy another Universal carbine, as long as there are GI carbines to be had. So, of the carbine and the Winchester 94, I personally would pick the Winchester. :)