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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There were tons of these in France after WW1 which leads me to this question. Does anyone have any written info, photos or oral history of their use during WW2? I would "assume" the French Underground would have employed some...French army? Occupying Germans???
Any information would be helpful, thanks, Dean
 

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Good question. It takes some time and thought to realize that they are other pistols out there that the Nazi used other than the big 4. They did indeed use the Ruby in WW2 but appears that perhaps it was in-country , sort to speak , as to where they used them. A considerable amount of non descripted holsters were actually used by many organizations and many individuals and Ruby was one of them. Unfortunately it appears that they were unmarked as well. One thing for certain, the Ruby's just didn't disappear into the woodwork as the French Police were using Ruby's up till the end of 1980's. IMHO.
 

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Although Ruby pistols were considered as "emergency pistols" in french army in WWI, they were so numerous (near 1000000 buyed in spain!) that it was the more numerous handgun of french army at the beginning of WWII. At the end of the desastrous compaign of may-june 1940, german soldiers captured thousands of Ruby pistols. They considered it as what it was, a rather poor to middle quality gun but their handgun shortage forced them to supply second line troops with it. In the german nomenclature, it was the "Pistole 624(f)" Calibre 7,65mm. Neither a hangun was useless in WWII german army, so a .32 ACP pistol, even a poor quality one, was welcome!
I remember an old resistant telling that he captured in august 1944 near Limoges in France, a SS soldier wearing a Sten machinegun and a french Modèle 1892 revolver Cal. 8 mm Lebel... What a strange armoury combination!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info on the Rubys. I did find an interesting photo while looking through a book of mine. In "The Luger Pistol" in the Propaganda Photo Series, which has some great period pictures, I found a Ruby photo. On page 133, it shows French civilians making holsters for the Germans. The caption states that the pistol is a Unique Model 17. It appears to have wood grips, and the stud added to the slide to protect the safety. I am thinking a Ruby.
Never mind the German guard standing behind you while you work....
Dean
 

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I've got this photo showing a french craftsman making holsters for german army during WW II. The pistol is useful to test the dimensions of the internal parts. Obviously it's a Ruby pistol: wooden grips and curved serrations are details never found on Unique Model 17 or Union pistols. I think that it is an other proof of the use of Ruby pistols in WW II german army.
Concerning Ruby's service in France... it is still in use (but replaced little to little) in various small administrations like O.N.F. (Organisme National des Eaux et Forêts)!
Not bad for a pistol who had to be replaced in 1919!...

Download Attachment: Ruby holster manufacturer.JPG
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I recently acquired a Ruby Modelo 1916 Pistol because I find it's history interesting.

It was one of the 700,000+ built in Spain under contract for the French in WWI. According to my research, and the markings on it, mine was made by Azanza y Arrizabalaga at Eibar, España (Spain) in 1916. It was then captured by the Germans after their conquest of France in 1940. From there it somehow made its way to Norway with the German occupation troops there. When Germany surrendered in 1945 a large quantity of war material was obtained by the new Norwegian military. Around 1950, it was decided that most of the 7.65 mm pistols on hand were to be issued to the Norwegian police. The captured German arms in this caliber were spread across a wide assortment of makes and models and numbered in the several thousands. These arms were sent to the government arms factory at Kongsberg where it was inspected, marked, and sent to the National Police by April 21, 1954.
A section on the left side of the slide was milled flat where a standardized series of stamps were placed; “POLITI” which is Norwegian for police, was followed by the shield symbol of the Norwegian Government. To the right of the shield was the actual Politi serial number, in the following format: “Nr. xxxx” with up to four digits being used. In addition, the serial number alone appeared on the left side of the frame. This serial number was completely independent of and not placed in any order in relation to the original serial number of the pistol.
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There are a few ways to determine if a particular Ruby pistol was made for the French WWI contract (and thus likely saw military use). Pistols made for the French Army typically had a one or two letter mark in an oval on the rear left of the frame. These letters identified the manufacturer, irrespective of trademark name. My example is marked with an oval AA for Azanza y Arrizabalaga, Eibar “Modelo 1916” on the slide. In addition, pistols were supposed to be marked with a star or pair of stars on the bottom of the frame alongside the magazine well when they were formally accepted for French service. Not all of them received this marking depending on how urgent the need for guns was when a shipment arrived, but it is a useful marking to seek. My example has two stars in the expected place, indicating French acceptance.
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