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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone know of a very good gunsmith in the Salt Lake City or Tooele area?
I have a Universal M1 carbine that needs work.
A few years ago, I fired it with my reloads (recommended starting load from the books) and felt a gust of gas hit my forehead.
The bolt wouldn't retract. I had to put its butt on the ground and kick it open with my heel.
The bolt opened, but the forward part of the case was left in the chamber. The head of the case fell out.
I got the forward part of the case out of the chamber when I got home.
Some time later, I fired it again from a distance with a string on the trigger. Same result: forward part of case torn off in chamber.
Again, I was able to remove the forward part of the case.
I took it to a gunsmith in the Salt Lake City area. A few weeks later I picked it up. He charged me $25, shrugged and said that the Universal carbines were poorly made and the "chamber let go."
HUH?
I noticed a small chip on the ejector when I got it home.
I've looked at that chamber with a dental mirror and strong light and can't see a bulge or ring anywhere in it. Nor can I see any bulge on the exterior, over the chamber.
Any ideas?
I'd like to get a second opinion before I scrap out this M1 carbine. A gunsmith knowledgeable about such arms would be perfect; I don't have a lot of faith in the gunsmith I took it to.
 

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Gatofeo,

The usual culprit in case head separations is excessive headspace. The .30 Carbine headspaces off of the case mouth so it could be a problem with your reloads, but I can't say for sure. It might be worth a try to test some factory ammunition just to see one way or another. I wouldn't shoot a lot but at least one to get some more information.

I have posted some links in a PM for you regarding gunsmiths.

Best.
 

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Universal M1 problem

Gatofeo,

I used to have two Universal M1 Carbines, and they both shot fine sor several thousands of rounds.

HOWEVER, I have seen and examined several problems with M1 Carbines in the last 30 years that had excessive headspace, and gave case separations as you described.

That .30 US Carbine round is really a pretty hot pistol cartridge, and headspaces off the case mouth/chamber lip like the .45 ACP and 9mm Luger cartridges. Improperly trimmed cases will give excessive heapace, OR, worse, overly long cases can be forcefully chambered, and when fired, will push chamber pressures thru the rooof! I examined a few cases that actually left 1/4" - 3/8" brass flashing in the chamber throat after firing. All the signs of excessive pressure: flattened and cratered primers, buldged case heads, case separations.

You might want to do a chamber casting to see if the forward part of the chamber/throat area is damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the information, both of you.
I've got some empty cases so I'll carefully measure case length (I was using a Lee case trimmer in the past) and find a few cases that measure maximum length.
Then I'll use them to make a recommended starting load and try that. The thoughts on case length are very good.
Thanks!
 

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I would seriously consider some factory ammo for a baseline before commencing the reloading project. also you'll probably want to get the chipped extractor replaced..
 
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