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 now have their own web page. CLICK HERE.

Commemorative Model

In 1981 Universal introduced it's 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

Research is continuing to determine the changes made by Iver Johnson in the short time they manufactured the Universal carbines.

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. This is not a serial number used by Universal
of Hialeah, FL. It is a serial number used by Iver Johnson's of Jacksonville, AR. It is believed this carbine was assembled during the transition
of Universal Firearms Hialeah, FL to the Universal Firearms Jacksonville, AR. (photos courtesy of Jake Simmons)

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: Rebirth of the Model 1000 GI Style M1 Carbine

These carbines were left over from special orders by police agencies or later sold by police agencies. They were custom built based on the requirements of the agency that ordered them.

Some police agencies required a carbine completely compatible with the parts of the U.S. GI carbine (see s/n 308241 below). Others ordered carbines without the hole in the slide handle for the right bolt lug and the ability to hold the slide back and bolt open in the manner used by the GI carbines. Universal accommodated these agencies by attaching a handle that operated like the GI slide to the body of the Universal slide and machining the receiver without the slot for the Universal slide. This gave the appearance of a GI carbine with the ability to hold the slide back and bolt open by means of a slide stop like the GI design. However, on the inside the carbine remained a Universal carbine without the ability to interchange parts with surplus GI parts.

This slide created yet another slide variation and is one of the most difficult to find a replacement for. On the other hand, elimination of the hole in the slide handle strengthened these slides and they rarely crack or break.

The carbine below is s/n 308241, the lowest serial number found to date on one of these variations. It has the Universal name and patent number on the receiver in front of the bolt. These carbines appear sporadically throughout the 300,000 serial number series. The highest recorded to date is s/n 398102. This dates these carbines from approximately 1975-1979.

Since each order was tailored to the needs of the agency that ordered them, some are completely compatible with all surplus GI parts while others are not. Those compatible with GI parts have the letters US on the right side of the receiver to the rear of the slide channel. To determine which configuration was used, simply field strip the carbine and the variations will become obvious when compared with what's shown on this website.

Universal Redux

GI slide manufactured by Inland, Universal Firearms bolt with spring retained firing pin

The letters US stamped in the right side of the receiver at the rear indicate compatible with surplus GI parts

Part I: The Early Years

Part II: Universal Changes

Part III: Universal Sale and Universal Redux