German contract model 17 Unique: Circa 1942: The Browning model 1906 25 caliber pistol was a practical and easily imitated design and the Spanish maker of Eibar took full advantage of this and the fact that foreign patents were generally not enforced in Spain to begin making copies.
They made many 25 caliber copies but perhaps even more scaled-up copies in 32 caliber. The Victoria Model 1911 was one such copy, and so were all the hundreds of thousands of Ruby type pistols made in Spain and sold to France during First World War.
The Spanish guns, especially the wartime production by lesser makers were of indifferent quality, but none the less the French military appreciated the basic design and after the first World War the French Firm, Manufacture d’Armes des Pyréenées began making their own Ruby type pistols under the somewhat ironic name of Unique, since they were at best a copy of a copy of a Browning. Nonetheless, they were probably better than the Spanish guns of the time and at least they were a French product.
The Model 17 Unique remained a standard French side arm right up until World War 2. After the German occupation MAP were compelled to accept a German contract and produce guns for the occupying forces.
This gun bears a German military acceptance mark, which identifies it as German contract gun.
Roger Papke (USA)
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