Posted: 10/16/2008 6:20:17 AM EDT
Hi I was wondering if you can give me a value on this rifle? Its in excellent shape.
You pictures are blocked from me, but if it was the newer version with the slide lock lever, you'd probably be lucky to get $150. If you want to buy it, offer $110.
That is the only rifle I have ever sold - and it was to trade up for the real deal.
Odd you posted this. I was about to buy one from a friend last night and decided not to (it was just a Universal .30 not the deluxe) until I did more research. From what I read online (CMP) the can blow up on you. Dunno though...
Complete "battery" consists of the bolt being fully forward, the bolt being fully rotated clockwise, and the slide run all the way forward to secure the bolt in its fully rotated position.
The proper Carbine operating cycle can be interrupted at various points. The bolt can be fully forward, but not rotated. The bolt can be partially rotated with the locking surfaces partially engaged. The bolt can be fully rotated with the locking surfaces fully engaged, but the slide does not overrun the bolt lug. Battery is simply the end product of the proper operating cycle.
Out of Battery Problems
Many late model or poorly made Universal Firearms brand commercially made Carbines, the third generation especially, can fire with the bolt fully forward, but not rotated. This occurs most frequently with the Universals having a stamped slide, two operating springs, few USGI parts, and a simple window cut into the slide serving as a cam track.
The writer has never examined a USGI Carbine that would fire with the bolt fully forward, but not rotated at all.
Firing with the bolt completely unlocked is obviously bad. Firing with the operating system in battery is obviously good. Firing with the bolt partially locked is problematic and should be avoided.
The writer has checked any number of USGI Carbines in new, near new, new from rebuild, slightly used, and moderately used condition. There were no junkers or worn out ones in this group. The writer has found that seemingly new or new from rebuild USGI Carbines start to set off the primers in the tests below in the vicinity of 1/2 to 2/3 rotation towards fully rotated with only partial engagement of the locking surfaces. At this time the slide is still a half inch to the rear and the bolt lug that rides in the slide cam is NOT locked down by the slide.
This is normal for the USGI design, but still undesirable. Firing at this point with a real cartridge is problematic because while the right lug half engaged will "probably" hold, there is nothing much but metal friction under pressure keeping the lugs from rotating to unlock. Preventing rotation is the job of the slide fully forward. The slide trying to go forward over a partially locked bolt lug does help prevent the bolt from unlocking.
Doing proper maintenance and loading proper ammunition goes a long way to insuring the mechanism will not stop out of battery. Once a USGI Carbine bolt is fully forward chambering a case, only a dirt or an ammunition problem prevents it from going into battery in most cases. Both are under the control of the shooter.
Problems with Universal Carbines occur often enough to be considered serious.
Problems with USGI Carbines occur infrequently, but avoiding any problems is a better idea.
If you have ever had a Carbine fire with normal power and recoil and your bullet hit the target, BUT the fired case is still in the chamber fully locked, this is exactly what happened. The Carbine fired with the bolt forward and partly locked. The slide on the other hand was held a half inch to the rear and the gas piston could not reach the slide to kick the slide back. During recoil, the slide went the rest of the way forward. The hammer is not cocked, the case is not ejected, and the bolt never moves. That is your first notice that something is wrong. Consider it a RED FLAG.
If you have ever had a Carbine go click as the hammer falls and then you notice that the bolt is fully forward, but not rotated, again, take this as a warning to remedy the problem before Murphy's Law takes over. Mr. Murphy is a proponent of the belief that if a bad thing can happen, it will, and at the most disadvantageous time.
If you pull the trigger and get a click-clack sound with a lightly dented, but unfired primer, this is the same situation. The energy of the hammer (click) has turned the bolt and let the slide go forward (clack).
Universal Firearms Carbines
The most serious issue here is that some Universals allow a hammer strike to ignite a primer any time after the bolt is fully forward, but not one bit rotated towards locked. There is no bolt/hammer cam to help the bolt close on some Universals. If a Universal fires unlocked, the bolt lug comes right back through the slide window breaking it. Delayed blow back is not advisable at 40,000psi.
The writer had that personal experience in 1970 with a brand new Universal Carbine. It is very scary when 40,000 psi comes unglued in your face. I have always been thankful for being very near sighted. I HAD to wear some sort of glasses my whole life. Living on a farm and being active, I had a hardened form of safety glass lenses. The face of the lenses were ruined, there were surface craters caused by impact of powder grains burning and pieces of molten brass. My eyes were unhurt. The joy of getting the brass picked out of my forehead will go unmentioned.
Universal rebuilt the Carbine for free and told the writer what had happened. The writer tested it with primed cases and realized it would still fire anytime the bolt was all the way forward. Once was enough. The carbine was taken to the shop, placed on an anvil minus the stock, and a 12# sledgehammer was applied until it was forever scrap.
The problem with Universal Carbines is not that they won't usually work and not that they won't usually fire. They usually do work and usually do fire. The actual problem is that a number of them FIRE UNLOCKED. You then have 40,000 PSI unleashed in your face. Not good.
The later you go into Universal production and including probably all the latest ones with two operating springs and a stamped slide with a cam window cut into it, the machining got sloppier and sloppier and the design and manufacturing fell apart safety wise. Universal did away with the USGI design receiver bridge firing pin retraction cam surfaces, the USGI design firing pin retraction tang, and eventually the USGI design hammer camming surfaces on the rear of the bolt that also protect the firing pin from the hammer. They went to a firing pin with no retraction tang.
The mechanism for this out of battery firing is two fold.
(1) In a Universal, the firing pin retraction surface cam cut into the bottom of the receiver under the bolt is either non-existent in some cases or mis-machined in other cases. In either event, it does not properly engage the tang on the firing pin even on the bolts with a tang on the firing pin. The tang is the part that sticks down below the bolt. Without the firing pin retraction surface cam cut being properly machined, the firing pin is free to go forward and strike a primer BEFORE the bolt is rotated to full locked position. It may allow the primer to be struck when the bolt is fully forward, but completely unlocked. It may allow the primer to be struck with the bolt fully forward and only partly locked. Or some variation of less than full rotational locking.
(2) The second Universal problem is the bolt surfaces cut into the rear of the bolt as they match the hammer surfaces. In a USGI Carbine, the bolt and hammer notches and cuts and bumps only align to allow the hammer to strike the firing pin when the bolt is between partly and mostly locked.
In Universals, the bolt may be totally lacking in the machine cuts, they may be mis-cut, or the hammer may not match. The combination allows the hammer to strike the firing pin before partly to mostly rotated lockup occurs.
The combination of these defects in a Universal has allowed any number of them to fire out of battery. The bolt lug comes straight back through the rear of the metal window in slide cam and all H breaks loose in your face. Without shooting glasses on, you will not see again.
Additionally, in many cases it was not only the safety design that fell apart, but the carbine itself, quite literally. A lot of the two part slides broke where the slide body and the handle were welded together. Not a sign of high quality. The trigger housings were made of some kind of zinc based metal, and they quite often broke, in one way or another.
Unsafe. Hang it on the wall.
Before we had Glocks, we had to rely on LN Springfield '03s and Universal Carbines to "enjoy" getting parts of the receiver embedded in our faces.