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Hey all. Thanks for having this place. This thread is one of the best resources Google has found for me in hunting down information regarding my newly-acquired Unique D4. Mine's serial number 5274(xx) and in slightly rough shape in terms of finish, but mechanically nearly perfect. I've taken it down and cleaned and lubed everything, smoothed a few manufacturer-sharp corners and edges which were close to 'ouch' sharp (magazine edges top and bottom, a couple of switches on the pistol, compensator slot edges, etc) and the biggest problem with this one on initial inspection was that the bottom-rear of the compensator was slightly proud of the barrel crown. !!!

My initial thought was wow, that's some really bad manufacturing. But further inspection showed it to be lead and powder residues piled up, filling most of the muzzle brake including well up into the slots, though they were still about 60% open. So I chipped away from the slots, and while cleaning those realised that each one was cracked, the deepest cracks below the rear-most slot then progressively less so. Apparently the leading had been there for some considerably long time while the pistol was still being shot a lot, bullets were hitting the lead on the bottom face, tumbling, and striking the slots, cracking the steel. Hard to imagine gas pressure causing that kind of damage without help from some metal-on-metal contact. Since the compensator bore is about 0.27 and the hole inside a lot bigger, cleaning from the front wasn't going to work. So I set myself the chore of getting the thing off the barrel, without knowing how it was attached. Guessing threaded, I clamped the barrel into a custom walnut clamp with rosin packed into the hole and padded a long wrench and tested it with conventional right-handed thread (turning counter-clockwise) technique. It turned, very reluctantly. Gradually it eased up until after about 2 turns it was moving quite a bit more freely. Continually checking the barrel/brake join I saw that it wasn't changing. No threads. So this was a hot-fit, apparently with something like Loctite, and the heat generated by turning it (thing was getting uncomfortably hot just turning it with a wrench) loosened it still further until I was able to encourage it forward and off the barrel. Sure enough, some sort of brittle residue between the parts. Being 1950's manufacture I'd guess not Loctite, but something anyway. Cleaned of this gunk it's a fairly easy fit with the parts at room temperature, not sloppy at all.

Since the condition doesn't exactly cry out 'this is a collector's piece!' I decided to go ahead and bore from below the rear end of the brake for a small set screw to retain it instead of gluing it on after the cleaning. Works neatly, engaging with a shallow filed slot for alignment of the front sight, and doesn't show unless one looks underneath.

Cleaning out the lead was less simple. I poked at it, but no real progress made. So I started drilling, using larger and larger drills until barely scraping steel. Same bore as the stepped barrel nose all the way to about 5/8" from the brake muzzle. Now clean as a whistle, polished out with 400 grit paper on a dowel.

Next up was the barrel crown. Chopped off square but not very neatly, filthy, it did not look good at all for accuracy. So I re-crowned to a shallow spherical face, polishing with lapping compound until it looked reasonable. Lots of other little touch-ups here and there. And the grip this one came with was a custom walnut monstrosity drastically over-sized, in two parts which wobbled badly. But nice walnut. So I cleaned the meeting face, epoxied them together and proceeded with carving to make it fit my hand nicely. Finished with Lee Valley's classic linseed oil varnish, and will probably rub in a couple more thin coats over time.

I have tried one shot. Cycled perfectly with Remington Subsonic. Loud. Almost no recoil, about like shooting a higher power .22" PCP air pistol. Very nice. I'm going to enjoy this pistol very much. Wouldn't mind picking up an extra mag or two sometime, though it came with two and with some cleaning and smoothing they plug in very easily and work perfectly. Quite a few differences between them. I'm curious if anyone knows which might be original and which from an earlier/later model or after-market? Perhaps neither is original? Anyway, springs are in perfect shape, all important metal bits close to new with the worst wear having come from grip mounting screws being too far into the frame so they were scoring the sides badly. Got that all sorted so the magazines slip in and out with no screw contact, very slick. The slight rearward pressure on the catch needed for loading is easy enough once practised a few times.











Oh, and a couple of other notes on the D4. The barrel has been said in a few places (such as the original French documentation shown on various websites) to be 217mm long. Not this example anyway. This barrel is 186mm long, and adding the larger-bored compensator which doesn't count as barrel it's 230mm, so no 217mm to be found here. Guess they made different-length models?

And I forgot to post a picture of the barrel before and after re-crowning. Well, after on the left, before on the right. The rifling is 6 shallow grooves, fairly wide, and appears clean and sharp throughout the length of the bore.



And I neglected to mention specific diameter for the brake step cut onto the barrel, should that be of interest to anyone. It's 0.435" diameter or 11mm, and 0.70" or about 18mm long, stepping down from the 0.50" barrel.

Ah, found yet another thing to make it worth editing this first post of mine here. A discovery! I was wondering about elevation adjustment, since the rear sight blade is windage-only and the front sight looked very simple and rather low. But then looking more closely at the front sight blade just now I thought hey, that slot looks like it might be deeper than it needs to be for such a small blade... I wondered if it was reversible, a two-height blade? So I loosened the screw, which turned out to be a short grub screw with the blade held by a pin in front. And the blade rotated freely! It's adjustable for elevation, swinging down to a level surface about 0.8mm above the brake and up as high as 5.5mm above. There's a deeply scribed line on the left hand side, seemingly the default elevation mark, at 3.5mm tall. Cool. I've never seen a vertically adjustable front sight before, at least not on a pistol.
 

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By the way El Mariachi; something about your lovely pictures was tickling in the back of my mind for a while since I posted my comments here about the Unique. Something that didn't quite jibe with your comment about the slide popping off a couple of times. Tonight while at my niece's birthday party I realised what it was; your slide release lever is set so as to release the slide when there's any upward force applied at the proper point in the slide's travel. Note the groove pointing approximately perpendicular to the slide's travel. That groove needs to be rotated into the slide at the right point to lock the slide down. You probably shouldn't be shooting it with this lever set in the unlocked condition. I don't suppose it's dangerous exactly, but the slide could jump off while you're pulling it back (and slightly upward) resulting in the pistol more or less coming apart in your hands while loaded, which probably isn't good. A bit fussy getting it locked but I found that by playing with trying to push the lever forward constantly while gradually moving the slide around that it eventually dropped into place without difficulty.
 

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Hey all. Thanks for having this place. This thread is one of the best resources Google has found for me in hunting down information regarding my newly-acquired Unique D4. Mine's serial number 5274(xx) and in slightly rough shape in terms of finish, but mechanically nearly perfect. I've taken it down and cleaned and lubed everything, smoothed a few manufacturer-sharp corners and edges which were close to 'ouch' sharp (magazine edges top and bottom, a couple of switches on the pistol, compensator slot edges, etc) and the biggest problem with this one on initial inspection was that the bottom-rear of the compensator was slightly proud of the barrel crown. !!!

My initial thought was wow, that's some really bad manufacturing. But further inspection showed it to be lead and powder residues piled up, filling most of the muzzle brake including well up into the slots, though they were still about 60% open. So I chipped away from the slots, and while cleaning those realised that each one was cracked, the deepest cracks below the rear-most slot then progressively less so. Apparently the leading had been there for some considerably long time while the pistol was still being shot a lot, bullets were hitting the lead on the bottom face, tumbling, and striking the slots, cracking the steel. Hard to imagine gas pressure causing that kind of damage without help from some metal-on-metal contact. Since the compensator bore is about 0.27 and the hole inside a lot bigger, cleaning from the front wasn't going to work. So I set myself the chore of getting the thing off the barrel, without knowing how it was attached. Guessing threaded, I clamped the barrel into a custom walnut clamp with rosin packed into the hole and padded a long wrench and tested it with conventional right-handed thread (turning counter-clockwise) technique. It turned, very reluctantly. Gradually it eased up until after about 2 turns it was moving quite a bit more freely. Continually checking the barrel/brake join I saw that it wasn't changing. No threads. So this was a hot-fit, apparently with something like Loctite, and the heat generated by turning it (thing was getting uncomfortably hot just turning it with a wrench) loosened it still further until I was able to encourage it forward and off the barrel. Sure enough, some sort of brittle residue between the parts. Being 1950's manufacture I'd guess not Loctite, but something anyway. Cleaned of this gunk it's a fairly easy fit with the parts at room temperature, not sloppy at all.

Since the condition doesn't exactly cry out 'this is a collector's piece!' I decided to go ahead and bore from below the rear end of the brake for a small set screw to retain it instead of gluing it on after the cleaning. Works neatly, engaging with a shallow filed slot for alignment of the front sight, and doesn't show unless one looks underneath.

Cleaning out the lead was less simple. I poked at it, but no real progress made. So I started drilling, using larger and larger drills until barely scraping steel. Same bore as the stepped barrel nose all the way to about 5/8" from the brake muzzle. Now clean as a whistle, polished out with 400 grit paper on a dowel.

Next up was the barrel crown. Chopped off square but not very neatly, filthy, it did not look good at all for accuracy. So I re-crowned to a shallow spherical face, polishing with lapping compound until it looked reasonable. Lots of other little touch-ups here and there. And the grip this one came with was a custom walnut monstrosity drastically over-sized, in two parts which wobbled badly. But nice walnut. So I cleaned the meeting face, epoxied them together and proceeded with carving to make it fit my hand nicely. Finished with Lee Valley's classic linseed oil varnish, and will probably rub in a couple more thin coats over time.

I have tried one shot. Cycled perfectly with Remington Subsonic. Loud. Almost no recoil, about like shooting a higher power .22" PCP air pistol. Very nice. I'm going to enjoy this pistol very much. Wouldn't mind picking up an extra mag or two sometime, though it came with two and with some cleaning and smoothing they plug in very easily and work perfectly. Quite a few differences between them. I'm curious if anyone knows which might be original and which from an earlier/later model or after-market? Perhaps neither is original? Anyway, springs are in perfect shape, all important metal bits close to new with the worst wear having come from grip mounting screws being too far into the frame so they were scoring the sides badly. Got that all sorted so the magazines slip in and out with no screw contact, very slick. The slight rearward pressure on the catch needed for loading is easy enough once practised a few times.

View attachment 726082

View attachment 726083

View attachment 726084

View attachment 726085 View attachment 726086

View attachment 726081

Oh, and a couple of other notes on the D4. The barrel has been said in a few places (such as the original French documentation shown on various websites) to be 217mm long. Not this example anyway. This barrel is 186mm long, and adding the larger-bored compensator which doesn't count as barrel it's 230mm, so no 217mm to be found here. Guess they made different-length models?

And I forgot to post a picture of the barrel before and after re-crowning. Well, after on the left, before on the right. The rifling is 6 shallow grooves, fairly wide, and appears clean and sharp throughout the length of the bore.

View attachment 726152

And I neglected to mention specific diameter for the brake step cut onto the barrel, should that be of interest to anyone. It's 0.435" diameter or 11mm, and 0.70" or about 18mm long, stepping down from the 0.50" barrel.

Ah, found yet another thing to make it worth editing this first post of mine here. A discovery! I was wondering about elevation adjustment, since the rear sight blade is windage-only and the front sight looked very simple and rather low. But then looking more closely at the front sight blade just now I thought hey, that slot looks like it might be deeper than it needs to be for such a small blade... I wondered if it was reversible, a two-height blade? So I loosened the screw, which turned out to be a short grub screw with the blade held by a pin in front. And the blade rotated freely! It's adjustable for elevation, swinging down to a level surface about 0.8mm above the brake and up as high as 5.5mm above. There's a deeply scribed line on the left hand side, seemingly the default elevation mark, at 3.5mm tall. Cool. I've never seen a vertically adjustable front sight before, at least not on a pistol.
The Colt Woodsman and pre-Woodsman (early 1900s to about 1940) had a similar front sight, adjustable for height as you describe.
 

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ummmm, boy m i glad i found you guys, nice picz guyz m ashamed to post picz of mine but need help for resources, owe it to my grand father to restore this baby . tried all links for mags and grip and no response...any more suggestions... appreciate it.


te
 

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Hello

Will have to look in my "orphan mags" box.
I had some, sold two to a canadian member. He seemed to be very happy with them

Grips ? I don't have. Maybe on French auction sites, will ahve a look
Contact me via PM

Moblotaire (from France)
 

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The extractor hook broke off on my Unique D4 today. And silly me, I neglected to photograph or measure it before this. The tiny steel tooth is of course nowhere to be found. Could someone take a clear close-up picture of their intact extractor, or perhaps draw a picture? I don't remember the exact shape nor the length of the hook. I will carve a new one from some good steel.
 

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Well, never mind I guess. I played around with some steel and after some hours managed to make a working prototype extractor, then carved a new one without all the brazed on bits and silver soldered to one side (went too far, had to add metal) and it almost worked, then brazed another 1mm of steel inside the front hook and it didn't work, grabbed the rounds and held them against the rear of the upper (this is just racking the slide, not live fire), so I trimmed that down by about half and it finally worked, both racking manually and live fire. Here are pictures in case this comes up for anyone else down the road. I'll get around to making a prettier version sometime when there's an afternoon free, with a longer nose maybe to engage the slot in the barrel surround a bit better.
 

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DK PHILLIPS said:
owned one?.....shot very good sold it....short barrel.
They shoot very good owned one....no problems.....
That's two in a row of a very similar nature. Glad you like your experience with a Unique... but perhaps saying it once in the thread is enough? Yours worked. Mine mostly works, but I've had to repair a couple of things. So it goes.
 

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Well there you go. I often wonder about guys selling guns, at least the nice ones. I've sold a competition air pistol I really liked... but only after buying the newer model and being sure I liked it even better. Sold a Diana Model 6, but only because I hated the way it felt in my hand, terrible grip frame and geometry though a nicely made gun. Otherwise I've held onto guns as I acquire them, and shake my head a little when I read how others have sold off such nice guns. Oh well, so it goes. Maybe you'll run across another sometime.
 
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