Bullseye began business as a gun store in 1954 in Miami, Florida. At some point between 1954 and 1960 the store was acquired by Abe Seiderman.
There has been conflicting information as to when M1 Carbines with the Bullseye name were first manufactured.
War Baby Comes Home by Larry Ruth (p. 727) includes information from a prior associate of Universal Firearms, who wished to remain unnamed. The source indicated Bullseye began shipping M1 carbines wholesale to American retailers in 1956 or 1957 and reorganized as Universal Firearms Corporation in the late 1950's. He indicated total M1 Carbine production for Bullseye was 2000-2500.
Conflicting with this information are Bullseye advertisements 1960-1962, Florida corporate records that indicate Universal Firearms was incorporated in 1961, and a personal visit to Bullseye's facilities during the winter of 1960-1961 by Robert Penney of National Ordnance. Research into Universal Firearms has revealed their first production of carbines was in 1962.
This topic is the subject of ongoing research and this website will be updated as further information is developed.
Florida corporate records indicate Bullseye Gun Works was incorporated January 22, 1960 at 3434 NW 27th Ave, Miami, FL. The articles of incorporation indicate the business would include manufacturing, repair, and sales of weapons and their parts. The corporate directors are identified as Jerry (aka Jerome) Resnick, his wife Selma, Abe Seiderman, and his wife Sandra.
Advertisements by Bullseye Gun Works for M1 Carbine receivers began appearing in Shotgun News with the April 1, 1960 issue.
A Search for Investors
During the Winter of 1960-1961 Robert Penney and John Arnold of National Ordnance visited Seiderman at Bullseye Gun Works. Penney related the location was one small building that included a machine shop. Penney observed Bullseye's operation was limited to machining receivers. Seiderman indicated he was looking for investors to help expand the business into a full production line. This information was confirmed by Peter Resnick, son of Jerry Resnick, during an interview in 2011.
The advertisement above is the only advertisement under the name U.S. Carbines Co., Inc.
Florida corporate records indicate U.S. Carbines Company Inc. was incorporated July 8, 1960 at 3434 NW 27th, Miami, FL. The articles of incorporation indicate the business would include manufacturing, repair, and sales of weapons and their parts. The corporate directors are identified as Irving Raider (President), Abe Seiderman (Vice-President), and Jerome Resnick (Secretary-Treasurer).
Irving Raider was a business associate of the owners of Advance Metal Products, Inc. (AMPCO) located at 2445 NW 76th St. in Miami, 2.8 miles north of Bullseye Gun Works via NW 27th St. AMPCO received contracts from various companies for their machining. It appears AMPCO may have been contracted by Bullseye to machine their first receivers which Bullseye initially chose not to use, opening their own machine shop instead. AMPCO then advertised their M1 Carbine receivers in the November 1960 issue of Shotgun News (see web page on AMPCO for further). The receivers manufactured by AMPCO were significantly different in design and manufacture from those used by Bullseye.
Bullseye manufactures Complete M1 Carbines
The earliest information that Bullseye Gun Works was selling complete M1 Carbines in addition to receivers, barrels, barreled receivers, and parts has been an advertisement in the August 1, 1961 issue of Shotgun News.
Starting with the Shooting Times issue of August 1961, Bullseye Gun Works ran two concurrent ads. One for the sale of carbines and a second for gun refinishing and gun repair, eventually including engraving.
|Shooting Times Magazine August 1961|
Florida corporate records indicate Bullseye Inc incorporated on December 28, 1962 at 3420 NW 27th, Miami, FL. The articles of incorporation indicate the business would include repair, refinishing, and sales of weapons and their parts. Jerry Resnick is listed as President, his wife Catherine is listed as Secretary-Treasurer.
|January 22, 1960||Bullseye Gun Works||3434 NW 27th Ave., Miami, FL|
|December 28, 1962||Bullseye Inc.||3420 NW 27th Ave., Miami, FL|
During a February 2011 interview with Peter Resnick, son of Jerome (Jerry) Resnick, Peter indicated his father had restarted Bullseye Gun Shop adjacent Bullseye Gun Works and preferred gun refinishing and retail sales over M1 Carbine production. Jerry Resnick operated the refinishing business and gun store while at the same time helping Seiderman and others start Universal Firearms and move from the NW 27th Ave. location to a new location at 3746 E. 10th Ct. in Hialeah, FL.. Not long after Universal started production, Resnick left Universal to operate his gun store.
Universal Firearms incorporated in Florida in June 1961. The articles of incorporation identified the directors as the corporate attorneys of the law office that submitted the application. The first indication of the actual corporate directors appears on the corporate tax return for 1962, dated July 1962. The president was Seymour Sommerstein, vice-president Robert Sommerstein, executive vice-president Jerry Resnick, and secretary-treasurer Abe Seiderman. The business location is indicated as 3746 E 10th Ct, Hialeah, FL. Starting with the corporate tax records for 1964, dated July 1963, Jerry Resnick no longer appears affiliated with Universal. The Sommerstein brothers were the investors Seiderman had been seeking.
In August 1964 Bullseye Gun Works notified Florida the corporation had been dissolved. Bullseye Inc. remained at 3420 NW 27th Ave. as a retail gun shop. For further information on Universal Firearms, refer to the web page devoted to their company.
In December 1977 Bullseye Inc. changed it's name to Bullseye Inc. of Brooksville when it relocated to Brooksville, FL. In September 1996 the store incorporated as Bullseye Gun Shop at the same location in Brooksville, FL. As of April 2011 the shop was owned and operated by Peter Resnick.
Initial production at Bullseye Gun works was fairly limited in quantity. As the sales of receivers increased the company was able to expand and increase production. The earliest serial number found so far is s/n 1010, the highest so far has been 2308.
For the receivers sold as complete carbines, all parts but the barrels and receivers were surplus GI parts. Stocks started out as surplus GI and eventually were manufactured by Kelly Blanton of Blanton Woodworking Industries (BWI), who made stocks for Universal Firearms. These stocks have a highwood covering the slide.
The infancy of the company showed in the first receivers they manufactured, slightly changing throughout production. The August 1961 issue of Shooting Times Bullseye ad indicated receivers were "Drop Forged from A-4135 Gun Quality steel". The Shotgun News issue of October 15, 1960 for U.S. Carbines Inc. indicating receivers were "Drop Forge from 8620 Gun Quality Steel" likely referred to the receivers made by AMPCO, not those actually used by Bullseye.
Barrel blanks were obtained from Small Arms Manufacturing Co. in Bridgeville, PA, the predecessor of E. R. Shaw barrels. Gas piston housings were brazed onto the machined barrels.
Bullseye S/N 1126
Letters and the serial number were individually hand stamped. The name consisted simply of one word, "BULLSEYE". Of note, the recoil plate tang on the rear
of these first receivers was the standard width used by most of the GI contracted WWII receiver manufacturers.
Bullseye S/N 1285
Bullseye carbines through at least serial number 1900 were machined to the dimensions of the U.S. GI carbine receivers manufactured during WWII. The machining of these receivers was very professional and included distinct fine finish machining marks running lengthwise along the top of the receiver. The first carbines manufactured by Universal Firearms were a continuation of these Bullseye receivers and included the same distinct machine marks. According to Paco Flores, a tool and die man who worked at Universal from 1980-1984, these machine marks were caused by the method in which the receivers were finish machined and consistent throughout production. Examination of the Universal carbines seen to date verifies these marks are consistent on Universal carbines.
Bullseye s/n 1627
Universal Firearms s/n 2214