Universal Firearms Models

Post WWII Commercially Manufactured M1 Carbines (U.S.A.)


Part IV: Details on Specific Models

Identifying which carbine is which model number can be difficult. For now, the carbines are listed alphabetically here, by what they are most commonly known as. If you don't know what it's called, no worries ... this is a picture gallery. Just scroll down the page. Over time more models will be added, and I'll indicate which model number(s) were used by Universal for each of these and their variations.

The 256 Ferret

The models that use the .256 Winchester magnum cartridge have their own web page. CLICK HERE.

Commemorative Model

In 1981 Universal introduced a Commemorative Model. This was a Model 1003 M1 carbine in a GI configuration with a parkerized finish with and "select" black walnut stock. The carbine was sold in a form fitted case and included one 5 round magazine, one 15 round magazine, one 30 round magazine, a bayonet with scabbard, a Weaver scope and mount, and a brass belt buckle with the Universal name depicting the carbine. The right side of the stock between the handgrip and sling opening had a round commemorative medallion. The carbine commemorated the forty year history of the .30 caliber M1 carbine. According to Ruth approximately 500 of these were made. These are the one exception to the serial numbering sequence that appears to have been used chronologically on all of the other Universal carbines. The serial numbers observed on the Commemorative Model carbines have been 00079, 00204, 00391, etc.

Universal Commemorative Model M1 Carbine of 1981

Stock Commemorative Medallion

Commemorative Belt Buckle

The Enforcer

The first Enforcer model used a GI type adjustable rear sight, blade front sight attached to the barrel, and a GI type barrel band.

Universal Enforcer Models B, BN, and BG
Caliber: .30 carbine
Barrel: 10 1/4 inches, 12 groove rifling
Weight: 3 3/4 lbs
Length: 19 1/2 inches overall
Stock: walnut, wood handguard
Sights: blade front, rear adjustable for windage & elevation
Features:     Model B Satin Blue
    Model BN nickel plated
    Model BG gold plated

About 1967 the rear sight was changed to an L type fixed sight, which Universal advertised as adjustable for windage (using a hammer). About the same time the GI style barrel band was replaced with the patented round barrel band. When these changes occurred, so did the dimensions of the Enforcer model (see chart below).

Enforcer Model B with GI type gas assembly, GI slide, and fixed rear sights s/n 1274xx (new dimensions)

When the Universal Firearms marking was moved to the receiver ring, the name "Enforcer" was stamped in the top of the receiver between the front of the rear sight and rear of the bolt.

Model 3010 with Universal gas system, Universal slide, Enforcer marking between rear sight and bolt, gold plated finish s/n 1469xx

Model 3005 with Universal gas assembly, Universal slide, Universal lever/pin for holding bolt open, and nickel finish s/n 3924xx

The Universal catalog for 1979/80 depicts Enforcers that appear similar to the previous ones (above), but the dimensions changed.

Universal Enforcer Models 3000, 3005, 3010
Caliber: .30 carbine.30 carbine
Barrel: 10 1/4 inches11 1/4 inches
Weight: 4 1/2 lbs4 lbs
Length: 17 3/4 inches overall19 inches overall
Stock: walnut, wood handguardwalnut, ventilated metal handguard
Sights: fixed front & rear
Features: Model 3000 Satin Blue
Model 3005 Nickel Plated
Model 3010 Gold Plated

The Paratrooper

The Universal Paratrooper model was introduced about 1980. The only difference between the Paratrooper model and the standard
Universal M1 carbine was the stock. The Paratrooper model was available in satin blue with an 18" barrel, satin blue with a 16"
barrel, and stainless steel with an 18" barrel.

The stock was first sold by a stock maker in the 1960's as a replacement stock for the M1 carbine. A number of carbine manufacturers
offered this stock, or slight variations, as an option on their carbines (Iver Johnson, Plainfield, National Ordnance).

Universal Paratrooper Model 5000PT
Caliber: .30 carbine
Barrel: 11 1/4 inches
Weight: 6 lbs
Length: 36 inches open, 27" folded
Stock: American walnut
Sights: fixed front, rear adjustable for windage & elevation
Features: Satin Blue, ventilated metal handguard

Presentation Carbines

About 12 months after the start of production Universal Firearms produced several hundred carbines as gifts to be "presented" to key individuals. The serial numbers on these carbines begin with the letter X followed by a three digit number. The lowest s/n observed to date is X056, the highest so far has been X623.

The features, parts and markings of these carbines are consistent with regular production carbines in the serial number range of 6,500-10,000. The only thing unique to these carbines is their serial number.

No records have been found to indicate who the carbines were presented too.

Stainless Steel

In 1982 Universal introduced the Model 1006, which was the Model 1003 GI carbine in stainless steel. The bolt assembly and front sight on the carbine in the first photograph were not made of stainless steel. All of the parts on the carbine depicted in the photographs below this first one, are stainless steel.

The stainless model depicted in these last three photographs has a serial number of SS2071.
(photos courtesy of Jake Simmons)

All of the stainless steel carbines were made by Universal in Hialeah, FL. All went to Iver Johnson in Jacksonville, AR when the Hialeah facility was closed in 1984. All were sold retail by Iver Johnson with their Universal Firearms, Hialeah, FL, markings.

Serial numbers appear to have started at S01000. The highest s/n with the S prefix seen so far has been S01525. It appears the prefix was changed to SS and started over at SS2000 at some point. The highest s/n with the SS prefix seen so far has been SS3467.

For reasons unknown the finish on some of the stainless carbines was unacceptable. These were blued.

Teflon Coated

In the March 1969 issue of The American Rifleman, p.74, an advertisement from Universal Firearms announced Universal's first "Du Pont Teflon-S coated carbines". Within a few years the available colors expanded.

  • Camouflage Olive (Model 1020)
  • Leaf Green (Model 1021)
  • Azure Blue (Model 1022)
  • Desert Tan (Model 1023)
  • Raven Black (Model 1024)

Universal advertised the Teflon-S carbines as waterproof, scuff resistant, and abrasion resistant, going as far as saying they were submersible. "Just wipe off water and don't worry about rust." I suspect the marketing people embellished what they heard from the employees in operations.

Shooting Times Magazine of March 1969 bpp. 14-17 describes testing done to the Universal teflon coated carbines to determine if the manufacturer claims were true. The conclusion was, with the exception of the bolt and several other parts that were blued, the teflon held up to all their tests, without rusting. The author clarified that his tests were not done over a long term as the carbines had not been available long enough for endurance testing.

The carbine depicted below appears to be Navy gray, originally it may have been "Camouflage Olive".

Vulcan 440, .44 Magnum Carbine

photograph provided courtesy of Erik Jaspersohn

The Vulcan 440 .44 Magnum carbines now have their own web page. CLICK HERE.

Universal Firearms Redux: Government Contracts

From about 1974 to 1980 Universal Firearms accepted special orders from various government agencies, both here and abroad. Law enforcement, prisons, and others occasionally wished to purchase .30 caliber carbines with features different than Universals current production hybrid carbines. The features ordered varied with some of these contracts. The most common and visible feature was a slide absent the hole for the right bolt lug and having a slide stop pin to hold the slide back and bolt open. The receivers were machined with a deep hole for a single recoil spring and recoil spring guide. The outward appearance was a redux of the carbines Universal manufactured prior to their change to their hybrid design at s/n 100,000.

The redux carbines appear sporadically throughout the 300,000 serial number series. The lowest seen so far is s/n 308241. The highest has been s/n 398102.

The parts used depended on the particular contract. All observed so far have had the Universal Firearms aluminum rectangular trigger housing and trigger group. The slide is interchangeable with a GI slide. Some have the Universal bolt with the internal firing pin, some have a GI style bolt with a floating firing pin.

The floating firing pin in the GI style bolt required a cut in the receiver bridge below the rear of the closed bolt (see the 5th photo below). The cut restrained the forward movement of the firing pin until the bolt lugs rotated into the locked position. Redux carbines having a GI style bolt with a floating firing pin should have the receiver cut. Redux receivers having the Universal bolt with internal firing may or may not have this cut. A redux receiver that has the cut should be compatible with a surplus GI bolt group. However, before firing a redux carbine with a replacement bolt the carbine, barrel, and bolt should be inspected by a competent gunsmith to make sure the three will work together safely.

Universal Redux

The slide used on the redux carbines by Universal was cast.
The slide on the above example was replaced with a GI slide manufactured by Inland.

Top: Redux gas piston cylinder and barrel with single recoil spring
Bottom: Universal Firearms hybrid with gas piston block, reversible gas piston, rounded barrel with twin recoil springs
Top: Redux with single recoil spring and Universal Firearms bolt with internal firing pin.
Bottom: Universal Firearms hybrid with twin recoil springs and bolt with firing pin tang that engages the receiver
Both:Note both receivers have the half heart shape cut in the receiver bridge for restraining a floating firing pin

The half moon cut in the receiver bridge was no longer necessary when Universal switched to using their bolt with the internal firing pin. The change in the receiver bridge cut was transitional as they used up the remaining receivers in inventory that had the cut.

Redux carbines that have the Universal Firearms bolt with the internal firing pin may or may not have the cut that was no longer necessary. If the Redux carbine has a GI style bolt with the floating firing pin that extends out the rear of the bolt it should have the half moon cut.

Machining of the rear of the receiver bridge varied slightly after the half moon cut was eliminated. This was simply variations in the way each receiver was machined.

A number of these carbines were sold retail by Universal after several of the orders were canceled. In 1980 a customer in Afghanistan oredered several thousand carbines for use against the Russians. While the carbines were being produced the customer changed the order to include select fire capability. Universal Firearms did not have the necessary license to manufacture select fire carbines. The order was canceled with Universal selling the carbines retail in the USA.

When U.S. police agencies eventually replaced their carbines with other weapons their carbines were sometimes sold to civilian businesses and citizens.

Part I: The Early Years

Part II: Universal Changes

Part III: Universal Sale and Universal Redux