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Unique pistol?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 5ptdeerhunter, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. 5ptdeerhunter

    5ptdeerhunter Well-Known Member

    My grandpa has an old pistol that he told my dad about. So the last time I went there he showed it to me. I took down all the information I could hoping you guys could perhaps give me some for.

    It has the name UNIQUE on the handle and the left side of the slide reads:


    It is on three lines. I copied it down the best I could. There is also a lion on the handle. If you guys can give me any information it is much appreciated.
  2. Siggyboy

    Siggyboy Well-Known Member

    I don't know anything about the pistol but I speak french so I can at least help you there a bit. Probably "PYRENELS" is acutally "Pyrenees" (with accents over the e's) and there is probably a space between "DARNES" and "DES". No idea what "HENDAYE" is.

    What I can figure out is it's a 25ACP caliber pistol made by a company called Darnes in the Southwest of France near the Spanish border (Pyrenees). The rest says "the true unique French pistol, patented".

    You can guess what a true French pistol is...ha ha!
  3. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    6.35 mm is 25acp .This is one of many small autos made in europe. Last time I heard of the brand 'Unique" was about 25 years ago, don't knopw if they still exist.
  4. Walosi

    Walosi Well-Known Member

    Years ago, in my high school days, I found a Unique "Pistolet Automatique Ideal while out in the New Mexico mesquite brush plinking. It had been wrapped in rags, with two loaded mags, and stashed under a bush, miles from any drilling or pumping rigs, and about 500 yds. from the dirt road I drove in on. If the outer rag hadn't been a fairly bright blue, it might still be there. Very simple and sturdy but not well made little striker fired .32. Takedown was to draw the slide back until the barrel could be turned, remove the barrel through the front of the slide,and run the slide forward, and it was field stripped. It was only accurate up to about three feet, though :( turned it in to the HP, and they called me 60 days later, and had me come in with my dad to pick it up. No record, clean gun. The HP Sgt. said they were worth less than $40 new at that time,(1947) and advised me to trade it before it blew up.
  5. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    I found the the manual I had from the 70s for the Unique model 69, a target model which won many european matches . Manufacture D'Armes Des Pyrenees Francaises, Hendaye France. [Arms company of the french pyrenee mountains ,in the town of Hendaye, FRance.] This pistol,a 22, was imported by Connecticut Valley Arms.
  6. 5ptdeerhunter

    5ptdeerhunter Well-Known Member

    So Walosi is that all I have to do to field strip it. Just pull the slide back and turn the barrel and pull. Sounds to easy to be true.

    Thanks for all your help
  7. Walosi

    Walosi Well-Known Member

    That is as I remember it, from some 56 years ago. The locking lugs were "un-threaded" from their matching slots in the frame, and the slide was free to move off the rails.
  8. Siggyboy

    Siggyboy Well-Known Member

    A lot of those European pea-shooters from the 1920-1940's were based on a Colt design. They are often called "Ruby" guns, not because of Jack Ruby but because of a Spanish town where many of them were made. Take down is as described, usually you can lock the slide back with the safety and then turn the barrel clockwise until the lugs disengage. Then pull the barrel forward and out of the slide. After that, you push the slide off the frame exposing the hammer and internals for cleaning.
  9. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Unique pistols in .22 caliber were also imported by Sears and sold as their Model 52. They made a variety of pistols, including some excellent .22 and .32 target pistols.

    Hendaye is in the Pyrenees, near the Bay of Biscay. It is just north of the Spanish border, and is part of the Basque region that extends through parts of Spain and France and for centuries has been a major arms making area in both countries. Other arms making cities in the region are Vitoria, Eibar, and Guernica in Spain, and Bayonne in France.

    Siggyboy, there is no town of "Ruby". It was a trademark used by Gabilondo y Urresti and four other Spanish companies for the pistols made under contract for the French in WWI. Guns of the same type made later for the civilian market were marked "Ruby Arms Co.", but that was a fiction. The "Ruby" type WWI pistols are not too bad and were better than some Spanish pistols made later. Gabilondo & Co. later used the tradename "Llama" on guns ranging from poor quality to quite good.

  10. gbran

    gbran Well-Known Member

    Unique still around

    Unique D.E.S. pistols are currently imported from France by Nygord Precision Products. The pistols I've seen are .22-.32 cal target models that cost $1,200 to $1,500.
  11. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Well-Known Member

    Wow! Cool story. And good for the NM HP that they let you keep it. Wouldn't it be fun to know what posessed someone to leave a 'clean' pistol under a bush in the NM badlands?

    p.s. I wish the "I found it under a bush" line would work with my wife:scrutiny:
  12. Walosi

    Walosi Well-Known Member

    Stand -
    That was a great year in my life. I turned 13, and was eligible for a drivers license (NM, in 1947, remember that). I got my own first firearm, a Winchester .22 target rifle on that birthday. Dad allowed me to go into the leases with the car and the rifle, alone, and expected everything to come back intact. Our Chief of Police (he deserves his title in caps) had been chief of state police before he retired, and came home. My drivers' test was "Howard, can this hame-head keep a car on the road?" Dad, "He damn well can, and he'd damn well better". That, $3, and the ability to see over a 3' counter without standing on your tiptoes, fulfilled all the requirements. Remember, 1947. I checked with him about the gun, first, and he sent me to the HP. I KNOW he smoothed things over, because it wouldn't have happened any other way. We would go driving with him, and he'd tell whoever was behind the wheel to put the clutch in, and let her coast - next were blasts from his .38/44 HD, and a wildly jumping coyote, with dust blossoms all around him, heading for the border. I knew the misses were deliberate - I'd seen him kill rattlers from the holster.

    Them days are gone forever, as they say, and our quality of life has improved greatly, with all the advances since then, hasn't it. Hasn't it? Hello.....don't everybody speak up at once :rolleyes:
  13. phantom309

    phantom309 Active Member

    My dad had one. Tiny, tiny .22 auto. Neat in it's way, but so inaccurate I dropped it once and it fell up.
  14. Walosi

    Walosi Well-Known Member

  15. Mr. Mysterious

    Mr. Mysterious Well-Known Member

    I agree about the story behind that little pistol...it HAS to have some history behind it.

    No one leaves a loaded pistol out in the middle of nowhere unless they used it in a crime, or were planning on picking it up after a crime. I just can't imagine what the story would be with it.

    I wonder if you found the same thing today what they would do? I'm sure it would be more than just running its serial numbers, it would probably involve some ballistic tests...and then your gun being melted. I doubt that they would let you have it back.
  16. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Quite a while back a fellow in New York City spotted a gun in the gutter, and called a cop over to look at it. The guy, trying to be courteous, reached down, picked up the gun and handed it to the cop. The cop arrested him for possessing a gun without a license, carrying a gun without a carry license, and assaulting a police office with a deadly weapon by moving toward him while armed.

    Ever wonder why people who aren't crooks hate the police?

  17. Freedom in theSkies

    Freedom in theSkies Well-Known Member

    ... Just had the occasion to come accross a Unique Model "C" 7.65mm pistol.
    It has a bit of history to it as well. It was given to my father in law (Military Police) many years ago in Lahr, Germany by the local Chief of Police when they got new sidearms. It included the German black leather holster with a pouch on the front for an extra magazine. The grips are somewhat lackluster as they are plastic, but the blueing on the gun is deep black and seems to have endured very well, considering it's use as a duty carry sidearm. I'd guess it is at least 90% or better.
    THe field strip procedure is exactly as described above. (I sat on the couch tonight messin' with it before reading this thread). The only thing I would add is to be careful that the extractor (located on the rear left side of the frame) stays fully forward, as they can rotate upwards when the slide is installed, which causes the action to bind.
    I have not fired the little Auto, but it appears to be well made and tight. Accuracy is most likely to be less than stellar, but with a barrel about as long as my little finger, it would be suprising if I could put 5 of the 9 shots on paper at 25 yards.
  18. browningguy

    browningguy Well-Known Member

    Just to reiterate what others have said. The Unique pistols are in no way related to the cheap "Ruby" pistols made in Spain. Uniques are almost always well built, at least the ones I have examined although I have no experience with their accuracy. Some French military and police used various Unique models up until at least the 70's. The Unique small bore and centerfire bullseye pistols are very accurate.

    Unique is a well respected manufacturer, while their designs may be a little odd looking, the French thought they had flair.
  19. Lonestar

    Lonestar Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2006

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