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Old 04-04-2016, 09:54 AM
.Steve. .Steve. is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 841
Default Commercial Carbine Copies: Good Idea or Not So??

This foreign URL thread was referred to in another thread in this forum. I read the other forum thread word for word through 12 pages of posts.


ANY one who thinks of buying a commercial copy of a USGI Carbine should read this thread end to end for enlightenment on the topic.

Make a list of each problem, its apparent or real resolution by thread's end, and the evaluation of long term significance.

Likewise, make a list of each manufacturer, assembler, maker, owner, address, reviewer, and common parts supplier for your edification. Note that some brands are mentioned in passing and others are the subject of the thread. There is a lot of information in there and keep notes so you don't mix it up.

Then match your list of problems to the list of various brands mentioned. Or identify brands thought to be relatively problem free.

After that, make you own conclusions and decide if you would invest your own money in the products mentioned as an alternative to a USGI carbine.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:10 AM
xm15e2s xm15e2s is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: AZ
Posts: 727

You would be a fool to buy other than USGI.


Because you can get a solid, nice USGI for under $900.

That being said, I have not heard of problems with JamesRiver or Fulton other than the price.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:42 AM
Pappy Pappy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 738

I didn't buy but won a JRA M1 carbine at Perry after the carbine match a couple of years ago, runs fine with no problems.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:01 AM
ww2farmer ww2farmer is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Western NY
Posts: 360

I own, and have owned several commercial copies. Some are junk, some are OK, some are excellent.

The junk one I had was a Universal. The OK one I had was a Plainfield, at least it was built with (mostly) USGI parts.

I am not impressed with the new Auto Ordnance or Inlands. The price on the AO is OK, but the corners cut to keep the price down don't really tickle me. The Inlands are just too much $$ also with suspect quality issues.

The excellent one I have......was built by me (with an assist from a departed friend on the bbl install), on a Fulton Armory receiver, with a new Criterion barrel, with as many new or like new USGI parts that I could get. BUT...........it was not cheap to build. I have more into it than I would by just buying a USGI mixmaster shooter, but the satisfaction of doing it myself (everything except installing/finish reaming the barrel), the knowledge gained by building it, and having basically a "NEW" carbine was worth the extra $$ to me. To some it might not be.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:05 AM
Pappy Pappy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 738

Yep, I'd agree on the Plainfield. My buddy has one, works and lots of usgi parts.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:09 AM
cali201 cali201 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Jasper, Georgia
Posts: 1,436

I have had several Plainfield's over the years and they were the best shooting carbines I have owned. Of course being from Plainfield (right near where they were made) I might be biased. But since getting into GI carbines I only go GI, it's more of a history thing for me.
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Old 04-04-2016, 02:02 PM
sunray sunray is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 1,513

I've had a Plainfield for 40 years or more. Haven't ever had an issue a bath didn't fix. No milsurp parts in it either.
Universal's come in early and late, um, flavours. The early types are ok. The late ones are almost entirely junk. The poorly stamped, OP handles tend to break and are not easy to find to replace. Gunparts bought all remaining parts when IJ went out of business and are sold out of Universal op handles. That ran $89.95 each anyway.
Current commercial carbines are an expensive hit or miss thing from what I've seen. (Carbines are evil up here unless it has a longer than 18.5" barrel.) Some are good quality. Some are not. All are priced according to the very high demand.
A list of each manufacturer is here. Not exactly up to date though.
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:38 PM
Patriot76 Patriot76 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Marion, VA
Posts: 169

Sunray Quote - "Carbines are evil up here unless it has a longer than 18.5" barrel"

Would 18.625" be ok?

Wonder if Criterion could add a couple extra turns on the lathe to help our Canadian friends?

Or, you could try and turn around the " gun control" thinking from the Prime Minister down through Parliment and ultimately the voting public. (..and I thought our US government was a handful, you guys really have a lot of moving parts)

As ridiculous as the extra 1/8" barrel idea sounds....it'd probably be the easier of the two.

Last edited by Patriot76; 04-04-2016 at 07:40 PM.
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