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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good morning all, first post here. I recently uncovered an antique from my wife's family and would love any help in making this thing run again! The roll marks say "635 1914 Model Automatic Pistol" and "Vincitor Patent", with a faint "MADE IN SPAIN" underneath. It also has "BV" under a crown marked at a few places, and "PV" on the barrel. First things first though; photos.

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The safety/takedown lever is intact, just falls out so it's not in the frame right now. There's a loaded chamber indicator in that little divot on the top, I've yet to see a similar feature in other Ruby .25s. The most similar pistol design I've found is a Stosel .25, identical features and roll marks from the photos I've seen, so I assume they would be the same internally as well. I included photos of the rod/spring perches/seats on the slide and frame in hope that someone can tell what style guide rod based on that. As you can see, it's in overall decent shape for a ~100 year old gun. The bore however looks like it was never cleaned...I have no doubt that this will shoot like crap. However, I'd like to be able to get it shooting again! It's missing the recoil spring and guide rod, and with such a wide variety of these pistols I have no clue what this one needs. I've seen some very similar models posted on here that show captive springs and some that are free. My hope is that someone with another Vincitor, or a Stosel, can share some photos of their recoil assembly so I know what to buy/make. I did contact the Bill de Shivs site and he very kindly offered some good guidance about fabricating a new rod and using standard Browning .25 springs, but if at all possible I'd rather buy some NOS parts or at least see some accurate photos of what I should try to make.

Thank you for any and all help! Reading through this forum has already been quite beneficial.
 

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.... My hope is that someone with another Vincitor said:
Without a positively-identified example for reference, you're going to wind up making/improvising the missing parts. Your biggest problem is not the recoil spring guide but the missing safety/takedown lever. Its shaft is keyed, and also probably flattened in the middle to buttress the recoil spring guide, both of which complicate matters. It can be done but will require some careful measurements and try-and-fitting. Whether this fairly cheap .25 is worth the expense and many hours of benchwork (notwithstanding its family history) is --in my own opinion--extremely doubtful. I would put it away as a keepsake and forget about trying to get it shooting again.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply! I definitely should have mentioned that the safety lever is alive and well, it just falls out of the frame. I believe the tension from the guide rod holds it in place. I will edit my original post to reflect that.
The safety lever has two flat sides at approx 90° angle, will the guide rod need to fit through the hole in the frame so it can rest on these flats? And then the spring is held between the frame and the slide, or by the head of the guide rod (on the safety lever) and the slide? I guess that makes more sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just so you know- your grips are made of cow horn.
I hope someone here has the information you need.
Thanks! And thanks for the info, I was wondering if that's what it was. I took them off for a scrubbing and that's when I realized the slight transparency and tortoiseshell look. You wouldn't happen to know where I could find a new right side grip, would you? The one on there is a replacement and doesn't fit quite right...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I figured a close up of the safety lever might be useful, so here's two!

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Orientation when set to "Safe"

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Orientation when set to "Fire"

I should note that "221" appears on pretty much every removable part; slide, barrel, safety, trigger, etc...I assume it's an assembly number?
 

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Thanks! And thanks for the info, I was wondering if that's what it was. I took them off for a scrubbing and that's when I realized the slight transparency and tortoiseshell look. You wouldn't happen to know where I could find a new right side grip, would you? The one on there is a replacement and doesn't fit quite right...
No ready source for an original replacement. There are vintage gun grip manufacturers that make reproductions of many brands-but yours is pretty obscure. You could try Ebay for original parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Track of the Wolf has .25 ACP bore liner available...
Hello! I'm not familiar with that, I assume it's to reline a pitted bore? I don't know if that's worth it but maybe if this thing gets working and I want some decent accuracy I'll look into that.
Thanks!
 

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No ready source for an original replacement. There are vintage gun grip manufacturers that make reproductions of many brands-but yours is pretty obscure. You could try Ebay for original parts.
Yeah that's what I figured, I'm kind of surprised that in my brief (but intensive) research I've found absolutely no other "Vicintor" models. I did find some grip panels on Numrich that look like they'd work, might just order those and see. They just won't say the right name... though I guess that's pretty much the way these pistols go anyway!
Thanks very much for your help
 

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Finding a barrel with a good bore might not be as difficult as other parts. Take some photos of the barrel next to a ruler, showing especially the lump at the front, the locking ribs at the rear, and the extractor slot.

You never know...

M
 

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A few things that have not been mentioned already...

1) You have a (in my experience) fairly uncommon model of a 6.35mm "Ruby" style pistol, with vastly more uncommon, even rare, British proofing (the Crown/BV and Crown/BP) indicating that it spent some time in the UK at some point in its life. British proofing is rarely seen on these little "Ruby" style pistols and, IMHO, would say brings it to collectible status. I would personally value it at $250-$300 due to the British proofing, compared to the $100-$150 value if it wasn't.

2) If you so desire, your grips, due to them being made of horn, could be restored. See this link: CONSERVATION | wet-dog-publications I have personally used this service and have been very satisfied with it. The price of restoration would be roughly the same, if not less expensive, then buying reproduction grips if you could even find them. If you absolutely want a new right grip, consider searching for generic Ruby style 6.35 pistol grips and find one that matches yours.

3) Give the barrel a really good cleaning. Start with a bore snake a few times, then a patch or two with cleaning oil, then a copper bristled brush of .25-.27 diameter and vigorously scrub the bore. Repeat until satisfied, then use a rust preventative oil on a patch (NOT grease) to coat the inside of the barrel so the newly exposed metal does not rust. You want to use oil and not grease because grease could potentially obstruct the bore. See how it shoots after that. You may be surprised. I've done this process a few times with bores that I thought were so pitted and full of debris that I would never be able to hit the broad side of a barn from a foot away, only to be surprisingly impressed with the accuracy out of it.

4) Lastly, regarding your guide rod and spring, measure the distance from the front of the safety when installed in the frame in the fire position to the end of the slide. This may take a few measurements combined, but this is the overall length that you are looking for. Call Numrich parts and give them that length and see if they can help you find a guide rod with roughly the same, if not slightly longer, length. Some potential options that come to mind may be a guide rod for the Unique Model 10, Colt 1908 Vest Pocket, and FN 1905. Any decent gunsmith should be able to fit it from there. I highly doubt that you will be able to find any NOS parts for your pistol as there were so many different makes and models of Ruby style 6.35mms made, and distinguishing the guide rod from any other blow back 6.35 would be very difficult. I would also suspect that a guide rod spring for any of the aforementioned models will likely work for your pistol.

Congrats on your find, welcome to the forums, and I hope you can get the old gal running!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A few things that have not been mentioned already...

1) You have a (in my experience) fairly uncommon model of a 6.35mm "Ruby" style pistol, with vastly more uncommon, even rare, British proofing (the Crown/BV and Crown/BP) indicating that it spent some time in the United Kingdom
Well dang, first off, thank you so much for the very detailed reply! Didn't quote all of it because of how in depth it is. I appreciate the time it takes to write something like that to an internet stranger.

After a quick search, it looks like BV under Crown was indeed a British stamp! Now, to explain what a Spanish French Ruby was doing in the British isles before finally ending up in the USA... Was the British export pretty common after WWI? I assumed, since the writing was in English, that the pistol had been made for US export, but UK makes just as much sense!

For the barrel, especially after learning the importance of the proof marks it has, I'll definitely work on it. As is it won't even chamber a .25 casing so I assume the bore is "swollen" a bit with rust. Gonna soak it in penetrating oil for a while and then go to town, can't even see any rifling at this time so might as well see what's under there. I do actually have .25 cleaning stuff due to my other randomly expensive gun, a .25-20 winchester... time to get more value out of that bore snake!

The grip isn't a huge issue but the replacement right grip doesn't fit properly and has some other trademark on it anyway. I'll either try to make it fit (as that's how the gun was found) or find some suitable replacement for that side.

Finally, thanks for the info about the guide rod. I'm always one to try to find my own answers and all that, but this might be easily solved by calling Numrich and asking for help! I am still unsure though; is it a captive spring, or not, or doesn't it matter much? The more I try to really think about it, the more confusing it gets...

Again, thanks for this reply! I learned a lot and it's appreciated.
 

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Well dang, first off, thank you so much for the very detailed reply! Didn't quote all of it because of how in depth it is. I appreciate the time it takes to write something like that to an internet stranger.......
Not a problem at all! I'm glad I could help out! There is no way to prove this, but I would think the most likely theory is that it was originally sold in the UK, then unofficially made its way to the US somehow. Perhaps ask your wife's family if they know anything about family being in the UK? I note "unofficially" brought to the US, as it does not have any of the UK export proof marks. I have personally observed Spanish 6.35mm "Ruby" style pistols not only with British proof marks, but also with retailer markings of the store that sold it in the UK, so we know for a fact they were sold there, just not a lot, or they were destroyed before they could make it to the land of the free.

In regards to the barrel, yes it is important. One option is to keep the current barrel, but buy another to shoot it with, if you so desire. It is concerning that a round won't even chamber, have you looked to see where the round is hanging up at? It could be an issue with the magazine, extractor, firing pin, and a few other less likely culprits, besides the barrel. I should also recommend that if the .27 brush still goes through the bore easily after some scrubbing, try a .30 brush to really get into the grooves if it doesn't seem too tight of a fit.

If you would like, post a good picture of the replacement grip and I will try to ID it for you, it likely has some value in of itself. I would most definitely not modified it, as original grips for any vintage firearm are hard to come by.

Regarding the guide rod, I have never personally seen a 6.35mm "Ruby" style, or frankly any other 6.35mm traditional rod-under-barrel blowback operated pistol to have a captive guide rod spring. These pistols were designed to be inexpensive, and they would not go through the effort, cost, or over-complication, of using a captive spring when a loose spring would suffice just as well. I should note that especially when it comes to these obscure pistols, never say never. I would say there is a solid 98% chance that your guide rod is a simple metal rod with a spring around it, similar to the FN 1905.

I wish you the best of luck and am happy to help further.
 

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The Vincitor was a trade name of M. Zulaica y Cia. He was active from 1912 to just after WWI. The name translates to Vanquisher in English.

Most of his pistols use a Model 1914 designation. The loaded chamber indicator is not uncommon on these old Eibar pistols, maybe one out of five or six will have them. Many of his pistols have British proofs, or unofficial proofs that look British. Most Spanish pistols have either English or French language slide legends.

Even though Zulaica went out of business after the war, somebody was making them well afterwards, I have seen some with the AD makers marks from the 1920s. I haven't figured out the story behind them though.

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I have seen several variations but I believe yours is an early one, ca 1914.
This illustration is from some company letterhead I have. You can see that they were proud of the loaded chamber indicator.

I agree with Deutchland, I wouldn't mess with the other grip. Wait and find one on EBay, it may take 2-3 years, but you will find one. Set up a search and let it find you. Be aware though, even if you see another Vincitor, the pistol may be slightly different and the grip may not fit well. Trust me, I know from personal experience. You can soak your grips in neatsfoot oil for a few days. Its a natural oil made from cow shins and feet, (but not hoofs) and it will revitalize your grips naturally. It will also darken them back up.

Those numbers are assembly numbers on the different parts..

I have fired many of these little pistols. I can appreciate your desire to have it in working order, I like mine to work as well. But let me caution you, the accuracy was horrible the day the pistol left the workshop and it hasn't improved since. There is a reason the pistol has sight grooves and not real sights. Anything more than 5 yards and you will be happy to hit paper. The short barrel on these just doesn't lend itself to much accuracy. So I wouldn't recommend spending alot of money and time trying to get the pistol to be a shooter. In fact, I wouldn't bother shooting it at all. If it is a goal of yours, I would suggest getting the current barrel in working order, take it out to the range, and after shooting it 3-4 rounds, you will understand exactly where I am coming from. Its best kept as a show and tell item, it is not a useful tool anymore.

I'm not sure why you were told the recoil spring was not captured. I pulled out the first six little Eibar pistols randomly from where I keep them and took a picture for you. I'll let you decide if most are captured or not. I will also say that they are nearly all identical in length, maybe +/- 2 mm. One had a much larger diameter than the others, so it wouldn't fit in the guide hole on the frame of the other 5. I don't think it would be too hard to find one that works. BTW, out of these six randoms, one had the loaded chamber indicator, The Astra at the top, middle.

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Fortunately you can easily determine the OD of the spring by measuring the diameter of the hole in the frame, and subtract a few thousandths. Check it against the lower hole in the front of the slide; they should be the same. The ID of the spring you select will determine the OD of the spring guide rod (again minus a few thous for clearance). The guide rod needs to have a flange on its rear end the diameter of which will fit inside the forward flat on the safety, but it's not really necessary to make its replacement captive. A simpler loose design will work just as well. The OAL of the rod is determined by the distance from the safety flat in the firing position to the front of the slide hole.

That part above is all logical and straightforward. The biggest problem in obtaining satisfactory function is to select a spring of the right length (it needs to have a bit of pre-load when assembled), but of an appropriate amount of strength and travel when compressed. This is a function of wire diameter and spacing of the coils. That is the experimental part.

Two other comments: simplest (and in the end, most likely) solution is a PAIR of reproduction grips. Forget trying to find ONE. Also, don't try to chamber a fired casing. It will be swollen from firing, so that seldom works. Remove the barrel and try a live, unfired cartridge.

M
 

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For giggles I took out the spring assembly from a Protector and tried it in a Regina, Jubala, and Omega, it worked fine in all of them. I didn't try the Mondial in the picture because it is one of the smallest Eibar style pistols I have seen, and I didn't try the Astra because it has the noticeably thicker guide rod. So the point is, these recoil spring assemblies in the small 6.35 Eibar style pistols will often work in other pistols, with exceptions. This isn't too much of a surprise since most of the small parts, like these recoil assemblies, safety levers, magazines, hammers, barrels, and grips were not actually made at many of these small workshops, but rather specialized workshops that sold large lots of small parts to different makers who assembled them into frames and slides that they machined.

I wouldn't get too concerned with the outer /inner diameter of the spring itself. The front of the assembly needs to fit into the little well made for it under the muzzle, and the spring guide must fit through the hole drilled out. The large compartment on the other end where the captured spring assembly fits into against the safety lever is usually generous in diameter, so its not the spring itself but the front and back ends, that are the controlling details if it will fit or not, along with the total length. Based on my experiment, these are pretty forgiving for a few millimeters.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The Vincitor was a trade name of M. Zulaica y Cia. He was active from 1912 to just after WWI. The name translates to Vanquisher in English.


I'm not sure why you were told the recoil spring was not captured. I pulled out the first six little Eibar pistols randomly from where I keep them and took a picture for you. I'll let you decide if most are captured or not. I will also say that they are nearly all identical in length, maybe +/- 2 mm. One had a much larger diameter than the others, so it wouldn't fit in the guide hole on the frame of the other 5. I don't think it would be too hard to find one that works. BTW, out of these six randoms, one had the loaded chamber indicator, The Astra at the top, middle.

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I'm very busy this weekend but didn't want anyone to think I'm ignoring anything! This information is incredible, thanks so much for sharing. I'm pretty hopeful now for finding a suitable guide rod!!
 
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