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Old November 20, 2005, 04:59 AM   #1
LoadIt
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Unique model D4 France

I have a .22lr pistol that my Dad gave me a few years back. If I remember correctly, he got in the mid 1960's. It a .22lr target pistol that has the barrel fixed to the frame. The barrel has a factory installed brake. The pistol is/was made in France. Company name is "Unique".

I am looking for a set of grips for it. The one's that were on it when I got it, are made of plastic that wrap around the rear of the pistol grip and has a thumbrest for a right handed shooter. The grips are "melted". It appears that some type of chemical may have gotten on the grips.

Need help...LoadIt
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Old November 20, 2005, 09:40 AM   #2
jacobtowne
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Can't help with the grips, but Unique is a model or brand name of the French arms maker Manufacture d'Armes de Pyrénées of Hendaye.
JT
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Old November 22, 2005, 08:06 PM   #3
James K
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That is a common problem with those guns; I am not sure what causes them to "melt" but they do. Gun Parts seems to have sold their grip supply to Sarco, so you might try them, but that is the only source I can think of, except to have some made, a pretty expensive proposition. AFAIK, Manufacture d'Armes de Pyrenees Francaise (MAPF) is out of business.

Jim
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Old November 28, 2005, 12:21 PM   #4
LoadIt
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Yeah, I asked a gunsmith what he would charge to make me a set of grips. He said at least $200.00. I don't even know if the pistol is worth that much.
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Old January 24, 2009, 04:16 PM   #5
sammars
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Any luck finding this grip? I'm in the same boat.

Did you ever find this grip. If so, please let me know.
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Old May 15, 2010, 08:25 AM   #6
jdukes
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Unique Grips

The original grips deteriate for some reason. I got my replacements from www.gun-parts.com, and spoke with Bob. The grips were in the $40-45 dollar range, I believe. I had to place them in boiling water to line up the screwholes. Also, the screws are too long with the replacement grips and have to be ground off or they will bind the clip.
My question, on the left side of the safety, I believe it is held on by the grips. This gets a little problematic with the new grips. Is there a small tension spring under te left side of the safety and how does it "lock" in to the safety selector on the right side?
Jim in SC
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Old May 15, 2010, 04:58 PM   #7
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That is the takedown catch and it doesn't lock into the safety; the end of the safety just acts as a pivot pin for it. When the gun is assembled, it is held in by the slide; when the slide is off, it is held by the right grip. The new grip just has to be wide enough to partially cover the catch.

Warning!! In checking this answer, I got out my own gun and found that the original grips had not only warped further (I knew they were bad) but apparently oil had partially dissolved one grip and left a muddy brown crud all over the gun. (That was REALLY BAD plastic!) I am glad you asked your question as I found the trouble and can fix the problem (by throwing away the original grips and either finding some replacements or having them made).

So if you obtained original grips (you indicate the ones you got were already warped), I urge you to consider trashing them or at least keeping an eye on them.

That gun is flat sided, so grips should be easy to make from plain wood as long as you don't want to follow the fancy shape of the originals or have them checkered. Grips for the Unique Kriegsmodel and the French equivalent will fit, but won't retain the takedown catch.

Jim
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Old May 17, 2010, 08:16 PM   #8
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I am going to contact NC Ordnance (www.gungrip.com) with a suggestion that they have those grips reproduced in better plastic. They already sell grips for the Kriegsmodell and a couple of earlier Unique pistols, and the D4 (Model 52) has the same hole spacing.

I'll let you know what they say, assuming they reply.

Jim
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Old May 24, 2010, 10:37 PM   #9
Bigboy
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IF you have the original grip or parts of it you can try sending it toTombstone Gun Grips, http://www.tombstonegrips.com

They can clone wraparopund grips.
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Old May 25, 2010, 10:43 AM   #10
DT Guy
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The grips sound like celluloid-it was common in guitar parts from the 50's, and deteriorates when held in a place that collects and concentrates its off-gasses.

If you have grips that are beginning to flake or deteriorate, flooding the surface with C/A (cyanoacrylate, or 'super glue') has been effective in stabilizing the decay. Used well, it can also build up damaged areas and fill cracks and other faults.

Look up 'Dan Erlewine' and check out his tips on dealing with similar situations. (BTW, Dan is the guitar world equivalent of Bill Wilson and PO Ackley combined.)


Larry
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Old May 25, 2010, 04:07 PM   #11
bob.a
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I just bought a Unique D4 target pistol. It has a 9" barrel with a built-in barrel weight/compensator, came in a factory box with extra mag, paperwork, test target, warranty card, and a few tools. It's a beautiful pistol that has been used but little. I didn't see any deterioration in the grips, but maybe I'm just lucky. Mine is nice enough that I'd happily pay for someone to make a nice set of walnut grips for the pistol if the factory grips started to fail.
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Old May 25, 2010, 06:46 PM   #12
James K
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I don't think they used that plastic very long. FWIW, my pistol is not the D4 but the plinker sold by Sears as the Model 52.

I did contact NC Ordnance, but no response. I guess like most companies they don't want suggestions from the unwashed peasantry.

Jim
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Old May 25, 2010, 09:08 PM   #13
Bigboy
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Try this link for grips that fit the Unique Corsair/Escort and D models.

http://vintagegungrips.net/ao-u7.html
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:05 PM   #14
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Thanks for the link, Bigboy! I just went and sniffed my grips - they're outgassing something fairly aromatic. I suspect they will eventually deteriorate, but I'll have replacements in place.
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Old May 26, 2010, 03:51 PM   #15
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Vintage Gun Grips also has grips for the Model 52; I just ordered a set.

Thanks for the link, Bigboy.

Jim
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Old May 27, 2010, 12:29 PM   #16
Bigboy
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Glad to be able to help. I hope this will enable all of us to continue to enjoy our Unique handguns.

The grips on my Corsair started out gassing a few years ago and eventually they just crumbled. A search for new grips back then yielded no results. Recently I decided to make a replacement set myself. I discovered Vintage Gun Grips while doing research for the project .
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Old May 29, 2010, 01:22 PM   #17
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I just received my new grips today. They fit perfectly right out of the box. I am looking forward to taking this pistol to the range again.
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Old May 31, 2010, 03:18 PM   #18
bob.a
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A question, BB: my grips are semi-wraparound, that is, the plastic is (or covers) the backstrap. The illustration on the website does not show whether this is the case with the replacement grips. Now that you have a set in hand, does it include the back of the grip?

Thanks.
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Old June 8, 2010, 10:03 PM   #19
Bigboy
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Hi Bob,

My grips are semi-wrap around style too. The top of the left side of the new grips just barely touched the bottom of the slide and the front of the left side would contact the safety selector when the selector was moved to the rear. This required about ten minutes of sanding and test fitting and sanding again to get the slide and the safety selector to operate freely. After that the grips fit fine. I took the pistol to the range and everything functioned as it should. I am very happy with the new grips.
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Old June 9, 2010, 06:45 AM   #20
rickyjames
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hey....i have a unique mod 52 also. i didn't know they were so popular. nice little gun.
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