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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the beginning of WW2 the French government was procuring handguns from some of their local factories to offset the shortages in the Military supply. The Company of Manufacture d’Armes des Pyrennes Francaises (MAPF) was supplying the Unique Model 17 (M17), which was a copy of the Ruby type pistol that the French had bought from Spain during the handgun shortages of WW1.
The original version of the Unique M17 carried a three-line legend that included the factory name and factory address. The later part of the French military contract consisted of only a one-line legend that stated “7.65 COURT 9 COUPS “UNIQUE”.
When the Germans took control of the MAPF factory in 1940 there was no doubt French contract pistol parts still in inventory. We are unsure when German production began at the factory. It may have started soon after the occupation or it could have started in response to pistol losses that occurred during the invasion of Russia.
It appears that the Germans started their Unique M17 serial number range at 21000 as no examples below that serial have been recorded. This may be a result of dropping the first digit (4) of the French pistols which were near 420000. The first examples to come out of the factory were made up of captured French contract parts. They still carry the French single line legend and are marked under the serial number with Waffenamt WaA251. These pistols will still have the French style safety lever and the early ones will carry the “bullseye” grips. For now, these must be considered a scarce variation as only three are reported.
In Jan’s Axis Pistols, on page 96 is his serial number 21121, which is the earliest Nazi M17 reported. The one below is serial number 21413. There is also one reported in the 247XX range. It may never be known exactly how many of this variation were assembled. If we look at those reported, we can see that there were very few. Since there are some of the standard Nazi two line legend examples before serial number 247XX there must exist some overlap of the variations. It is probably safe to say 3000 or less of these Nazi single line legend pistols were made. This would possibly make this variation as scarce as the Nazi occupation Unique 16 pistols.
For further information on the Unique pistols, please see Jan’s Axis Pistols and the new French Service Handguns 1858-2004 by Eugene Medlin and Jean Huon.

PS: We are still looking for any Unique pistol serial numbers! Any models! Please contact me with a short description of markings and the complete serial number...tell your friends.


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Dean,

Very nice write-up on this scarce Unique 17! I will print it off and put in my reference book for further study and review. I have a Kreigsmodell but I don't have a Unique 16 or 17. Of course the 16 is going to be a hard one to find. THANKS!
 

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Hi Dean, I have a Unique 17, S/N 23453. It is marked exactly like yours. The safety lever is the same as yours. The grips, however, are marked 7.65 m/m and 9 SCHUSS. Let me know if you would like any more info!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Frank,
Great info, thanks! Yours is the only one in the 23000 range recorded and one of only four Nazi one line legends! The grips are probably correct and show the Bullseye stlye ran out fast.
Thanks again for sharing a very important piece.
Dean
 

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This one, number 21247, was reported here earlier. It is now buried on page 4 of the wrong category - Axis Pistols (German Manufactured).
Here are the photos of mine again. I'm glad to hear that the bullseye grips are indeed original to the gun. Internal parts are matching #s.
Finish is a bit thin, but the metal polish work is quite acceptable.

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Hope it helps!

Rich M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
More great info! We now have 5 Nazi one line legends. The bullseye grips on yours appears to support that these were still on hand when the Nazi's took control. These were the last style of grips used on the French contract. Yours still has the French style safety lever too. Great photos.
Dean
 

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Sure thing. The title of the post is "Unique Model 17", it was originated by sauer, and the last reply was on 6/17. It is now on the verge of being bumped to page 5 of the German Manuf Axis section. I think it would benefit by being moved to the same section as this thread. Thanks for the assistance!

Rich
 

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This appears to be an old thread. But I thought it would be work a try! I recently discovered a Kriegsmodell Unique 17, with WaA 251 stamped on it. This gun was found in a safe that belonged to my grandfather who passed away in 1998. We never knew he had the gun. It's been interesting to research. I think it's safe to assume that my grandfather brought this pistol back from WW2. I would be interested to learn more about the gun's history. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!

 

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This appears to be an old thread. But I thought it would be work a try! I recently discovered a Kriegsmodell Unique 17, with WaA 251 stamped on it. This gun was found in a safe that belonged to my grandfather who passed away in 1998. We never knew he had the gun. It's been interesting to research. I think it's safe to assume that my grandfather brought this pistol back from WW2. I would be interested to learn more about the gun's history. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!
Just as a technical matter, your pistol in the 34K serial range would still be considered the French engineering design of the Model 17, and produced under occupation. The newer German design, or Kriegsmodell, adopted an exposed hammer and was introduced around the 57K serial range.

That fact does not detract from your Grandfather's service and acquisition. And the condition of the pistol looks quite good. Thanks for sharing!
 

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AZIrishman, welcome to the forum! You are very lucky to have acquired your grandfathers gun. Its in really nice shape! I am not sure what other information you are looking for. there is no real way to determine where a gun saw its service so the best that can be done is giving general information. The French Unique 17 was produced under German Occupation after the Germans took over the factory in June of 1940. the serial range for the Unique 17 is from around 21,000 to 58,000 with a total production of around 30,000 guns. The original post describes in great detail the early guns. As Martin points out the design was changed around the 58,000 range to the new design and these guns were known as the Unique Kriegsmodell. So a lot of people confuse the two or interchange the terms but when when you compare the two side by side they are easily distinguishable. Then they produced another 18,000 guns of the Kriegsmodell. so over all not many produced between the two when you compare to other German produced guns. Currently there is not a big following on the German French guns. One such as yours by itself without a correct holster would probably sell in the $500 range. I have always felt that the French guns have not come into their own yet especially for as few that are out there. naturally, one such as yours being brought home by your grandfather is priceless!
 

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Hello, my name is Jorge (Spain) and I would need help about my unique 17 pistol with serial number 77568, I would like to know if it was manufactured during the German occupation in WW2 or was it after this event. greetings and thanks
 

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Hello, my name is Jorge (Spain) and I would need help about my unique 17 pistol with serial number 77568, I would like to know if it was manufactured during the German occupation in WW2 or was it after this event. greetings and thanks
I have some factory records from around that time but not the invoice covering your pistol. Based on other invoices your pistol was delivered to the Free French sometime after August 1944 and before December, 1944, most likely in October, 1944. To be technically correct, your pistol would be a War Model (Kriegsmodell) and not a Model 17.
 
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