Its a Universal M1 Carbine. I know, I know...dream gun and all of that finally acquired. Not so fast, this will NOT be a permanent part of the collection. After the war many companies made copies of the M1 Carbine, some using USGI parts and others just making a carbine that looks like a GI issue model but differ in the internals....this is one of these. To the best of what I can find on the internet this is a "3rd Generation" Universal carbine made in the late 60's or early 70's. It incorporates a lot of cost savings features that gave rise to a not-so-stellar reputations. You can find these often on gun auctions and sales sights going for hundreds less than USGI models. I found this for $350 and had to do it, for no other reason as a "filler" in the collection or maybe a knock around gun down the road.
There are several features on it I already do not care for but most of them are minor gripes:
- The stock is too "new" looking and has a lacquered finish..a good USGI one should have a worn stock like my M1 Garand does.
- The short stroke single piston design was changed to a dual piston system..why, I don't know, but the originals were not known for failure so why change?
- The bolt seems to be more or less GI in nature, but the operating rod is hollowed out where it engages the bolt to cam it in and out of the receiver and the charging handle is a bent piece of metal attached to it instead of a single piece unit like on a genuine article.
- There is no bolt lock back on it other than on an empty mag it appears the bolt will hang on the magazine follower, this makes removing the magazine more difficult since it is being held under pressure from the gas system springs.
- The rear sight is a ramp type affair but is very loose and sloppy..the peep site moves to each range marking but is not very tight and moves easily. The windage screw does not move the sight with "clicks" and is mushy and uneven to boot.
So with all that, why the hell did I get it? I don't know, I just love the look of the M1 Carbine and I figure if the Korean USGI ones do make CMP I should be able to sell this one for what I paid for it and trade up I guess, in the meantime I at least get a "feel" for what I am after.
I did get it torn down and cleaned (looks like some crud was in there from the Reagan administration era) and lubed back up with some Slipstream grease and the action seems to work smoothly. Overall, it looks like a duck, it acts like a duck but until I can get to someplace to shoot it I won't know if it sounds like a duck.
More thorough review and evaluation once I get to shoot it.
Oh yeah, and I still need that pocket pistol.