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French/German MAB Model C Pistol

Article about: French/German MAB Model D pistol produced under the German occupation of France Waffenamt WaA251 Cal. 7.65mm .32Automatic...BILL

  1. #11

    Default Re: French/German MAB Model C Pistol

    Wow, "used or likely to have been used in WWII" casts a pretty wide net! It probably includes about every European pistol made after 1900, and a lot of others.

    The Unique model 19 was not one of the pistols produced for the French military. Production ended in 1939 when the French government diverted Unique's entire production to the model 17 in preparation for WW II. The Germans kept the model 17 in production during the German occupation of France, evenually redesigning it into the Kriegsmodel, but produced no other Unique pistols. On the other hand, just about any commercial or police pistol, as well as those already in military stocks (including reserve WW I pistols) could end up used by the French military (Free French or Vichy), German military, French resistance, etc, during WWII. Unfortuantely, other than most of those made under German control during the occupation, and a small number of French Navy pistols, these will not normally have any special markings indicating their use during the war. For example, MAB model Ds (like Unique, in 1939 all MAB production was diverted to producing the MAB model D for the French military) used by the French army can only be identified by whether their serial numbers fall in a certain range.

    For a book that will "ID all the parts, date of manufacture, etc." for the Unique 19 -- well, I wish I could recommend such a book, but AFAIK none exists.

    There is good news and bad news about Unique pistols.

    The bad news is that, AFAIK, as of yet no one has produced a history of it or its pistols. In addition, in its 60 or years of existence, Unique produced a vast array of models, primarily pistols but also rifles, and I don't know of any complete list of its firearms. Even worse, many of their models are variants of a design, and since Unique rarely marked model names or numbers on pistols until after WWII, there is often a lot of confusion about which model is which.

    The good news with Unique pistols is that all their pistols from 1925 through the post-WWII years are either the usual Ruby-type designs or, less frequently, the Browning 1910 design, with the model 18, 19, and 20 being the latter. If you are familiar with the Ruby-types, and with the Browning 1910 and 1922, or the MAB C and D, you should have no problem with the Unique 19.

    For French pistols in general, the best books I can suggest are :

    Jean Huon: "Les Pistolets Automatiques Francais: 1890-1990" (2002)
    (This is a combined reissue of two earlier volumes dating to the early 1990s, so does not include the latest information (the ability to easily share firearm information and photos over the internet has generated a huge expansion of knowledge). It is also not entirely complete. However, it may be the best single overview of French-made pistols and French and foreign pistols used by the French military (the two subjects of the two original volumes). Unfortunately, while it includes a large number of excellent B&W photos and basic information on most of the pistols, as well as brief histories of major French arms manufactuers, it does not have a lot of technical information on the pistols beyond dimensions, caliber, etc. It has a section just on Unique pistols, but little information on the model 19 (and its variants, the models 18 and 20). There is no English edition, but this book can be easily bought in the US -- but look around, since prices are extremely variable.)

    Jean Huon & Eugene Medlin: "Les armes de poing de l'armée française : 1858-2004" (2005) (French 2nd edition of the following English book.)

    Eugene Medlin & Jean Huon: "French Service Handguns 1858-2004" (2004)
    (A survey of military sidearms (revolvers and pistols) used by the French military for the period covered. Includes much more detail and background than "Les Pistolets Automatiques Francais" and includes (by necessity) the French firearms used by the Germans during the occupation of France. Also includes holsters, etc. This is currently easily available in the US, but, again, prices are variable, and it is a limited production. While Unique pistols are discussed, there is no mention of the Unique model 19 since it was never adopted by the French military.)

    Eugene Medlin & Jean Huon: "Military Handguns of France, 1858-1958" (1993)
    (An earlier version of the above books, now difficult to obtain and expensive. There are also some earlier French editions.)

    Jean Huon: "Les armes de la Résistance" (2010)
    (I recently ran across this on a French website, so have not read it yet, so can only go by the title and book dealer's description. No English edition.)

    You might also want to look through back issues of "Revue de la Gazette des Armes," if you can find them. Otherwise, they are available from the publisher at: Le site de la Revue de la Gazette des Armes (the website has a complete index of articles), and often on some of the international eBay sites.

    I recognise your handle from other firearm websites, so expect you are familiar with some of the international forums with French members, or Francophone sites, which can be very helpful, even invaluable. However, with a lot of these older lesser known firearms, even members in France often suffer from the same dearth of reliable information as do we.


    Quote by teiko41 View Post
    Gun Shy

    I have my eye on a Unique Model 19. Looks the same as the picture you posted. I like to collect pistosl that were used or likely to have been used in WWII. Trying to get info on this pistol is next to impossible. What book do you recommend that would ID all the parts, date of manufacture, etc.

  2. #12

    Default Re: French/German MAB Model C Pistol


    Thanks for the information. I have 2 of those books which I use. Only wish Les Pistolets Automatiques Francais by Huon was in English. The Model 19 is gone, but I least I've learned a little bit more. You are right about that pretty big net. I have over 65 now & still looking. Only 1 model of each, don't need two.


  3. #13

    Default Re: French/German MAB Model C Pistol

    Do you know the difference between the Unique Model 18 and Model 19? Zhuk has a picture of a Model 18, it has the two line slide and a lanyard ring on a post. It also sports a grip that I have never seen in photos, the Unique is drooping vice straight, and the lion is in an oval. ALso, is there any real difference between the Models 18-20 and the other Ruby style pistols other than a slide stylized after the Browning Model 1910? I have never held one but the pistures sure nothing more than a Ruby with a different shaped slide. The mag looks like it will also fit the corresponding Model 16-17. Attachment 355272

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