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 models that use the .256 Winchester magnum cartridge now have their own web page. CLICK HERE.
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 10 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.
Stock Commemorative Medallion
Commemorative Belt Buckle
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||1964-1967|
|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).
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.
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||1968-1978||1979-1983|
|Caliber:||.30 carbine||.30 carbine|
|Barrel:||10 1/4 inches||11 1/4 inches|
|Weight:||4 1/2 lbs||4 lbs|
|Length:||17 3/4 inches overall||19 inches overall|
|Stock:||walnut, wood handguard||walnut, 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 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|
|Barrel:||11 1/4 inches|
|Length:||36 inches open, 27" folded|
|Sights:||fixed front, rear adjustable for windage & elevation|
|Features:||Satin Blue, ventilated metal handguard|
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)
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.
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".
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.
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