French Unique rifles - RimfireCentral.com Forums

Go Back   RimfireCentral.com Forums > >

Notices

Join Team RFC to remove these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-24-2013, 11:51 AM
[email protected]
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Jan 2009
Location: 
Texas Hill Country
Posts: 
53
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
French Unique rifles



Log in to see fewer ads
I am very interested in any information about the Unique V 49 and x 51 rifles.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-24-2013, 06:40 PM
22fun's Avatar
22fun
US Army NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Feb 2006
Location: 
midwest
Posts: 
623
TPC Rating: 
100% (2)
I see you won the V49 on GB. I had bid a couple times but decided the money would be better spent elsewhere so quit. I'm glad someone here got it. I think you probably got a good buy . I know nothing much about them. Read an article on the X51 years ago and always wanted one. Enjoy !!!!!!!! John
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-25-2013, 01:20 AM
TEDDY BEAR RAT's Avatar
TEDDY BEAR RAT
NRA Member - Click Here To Join! UotM

Join Date: 
Jun 2009
Posts: 
5,396
TPC Rating: 
100% (33)
The X-51 bis was my holy grail for over 20 years, and I nearly bid on that 49, but I already own 3 X-51s. I'll write a detailed post for you after Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all

TBR
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 01-13-2014, 12:47 PM
TEDDY BEAR RAT's Avatar
TEDDY BEAR RAT
NRA Member - Click Here To Join! UotM

Join Date: 
Jun 2009
Posts: 
5,396
TPC Rating: 
100% (33)
Okay, now that Christmas is past, I'll post a few observations on the Unique semi-auto .22s I own.

The Unique 49 is the predecessor of the more commonly known (but still not very common here in the US) X-51 bis. Unique actually made other semiautomatic 22s before the 49, with massive tubular receivers, but they are really rare over here. The only one I’ve ever seen was beautifully finished and somewhat reminiscent of the old Winchester 74. Anyway, Unique probably started production of the 49 in 1949 and improved it in 1951, changing the name to the X-51. I would guess that production stopped in the mid 80s. The two are very similar in design and appearance, with the biggest difference being the X-51's single-shot bolt hold-open devise. A small knurled knob visible on the right side of the lower receiver can be turned out to automatically hold the bolt open after each shot. Pushing the knob downward allows the captured bolt to move forward to strip and feed the next cartridge for the next shot. It is soundly designed, very well made, and novel, but I've found little use for it on my rifles.

These rifles were no doubt influenced heavily by the Winchester 03/63 design. The bolt and op rod designs are very similar, but, of course, the Unique uses a detachable box magazine, while the 03/63 design uses a tubular magazine in the butt stock. Incidentally, the magazines, both 5 and 10-round, for the 49 and 51 are interchangeable…and nearly unobtainable. I paid over $125 for one 10-round magazine from New Zealand about two years ago (The third rifle I bought, I did so solely for its original magazine). On the positive side, some of the other Unique magazines, primarily those for the company’s pistols, will interchange, though the angle of the floor plates will not look exactly right. The Unique op rod does not rotate to lock the bolt back for cleaning and/or transport, like the 63, something I always wondered about. The Unique has a more traditional looking hammer, in contrast to the triangular 63 hammer that straddles the magazine tube. The Unique rifle is also more petite, weighing about a pound lighter than the 63.

Like the 63, the Unique is precisely machined entirely from steel bar stock, the fit and finish of which may be even better than the Winchesters. Polishing and bluing on my examples is also very good, probably about 400, maybe even 600, grit. The 49 and 51 also feature a small cocking indicator that protrudes slightly into the front of the trigger guard. Triggers are the equal of the 63…meaning heavy and creepy.

The barrels are very good with smooth bores, and these rifles really do shoot well, if one can overcome the heavy and inconsistent triggers. Like most take-down rifles with two receiver halves, a tight take-down screw will usually produce the best accuracy. On the other hand, I have found reliability to be better, almost perfect, in fact, with the take-down screw not so tight on these rifles.

Looking at a reproduction catalog from the 70s, the rifle was available in a variety of iterations, including a military-like carbine and even a look-a-like of the famous MAS/ FAMAS bull pup.

Interestingly, I now own three X-51s, and very few of the parts will interchange, including stocks. This indicates to me they are essentially handmade and likely explains why they are no longer produced. Two of my rifles have about 22” barrels, one with a threaded muzzle, and the third, a fully engraved version, has a 20” barrel. There are some other quirky things about these rifles. For example, the flats on the top of the fore stocks are angled at about 60 degrees, something that drove me crazy when I restocked my engraved model. Also, the op rod has a peculiar little doglegged piece screwed to its end to prevent it from rotating. I think Unique could have taken a more elegant approach.

Notwithstanding all the quirkiness, though, I consider the X-51 to be the finest semiautomatic .22 ever made. To me, it combines the petite elegance of the Browning ATD with the timeless and rugged design of the Winchester 63, all while being the equal of either in fit and finish with the added convenience of a detachable box magazine.

I hope this helps.





TBR
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-13-2014, 11:00 PM
TEDDY BEAR RAT's Avatar
TEDDY BEAR RAT
NRA Member - Click Here To Join! UotM

Join Date: 
Jun 2009
Posts: 
5,396
TPC Rating: 
100% (33)
Good luck!!! You'll probably be bidding against me, even if one that fits were to come up You have to look for the mag release notch in the right location on the magazine body. I have no idea for which pistol they were made, but they will always be 10-rounders...long enough to fit the length of the entire pistol grip. I will bet you'll never find another 5-rounder; I've looked for 20 years, and that's why I nearly bought that 49 out from underneath you...just for its magazine! Just so you know, the original 10-rounders look completely different than the pistol mags. I'll try to post some pics for you.

TBR
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-14-2014, 09:19 AM
TEDDY BEAR RAT's Avatar
TEDDY BEAR RAT
NRA Member - Click Here To Join! UotM

Join Date: 
Jun 2009
Posts: 
5,396
TPC Rating: 
100% (33)
Thanks. That's NOT the original stock, BTW. I made that stock from the densest piece of English walnut I've ever seen, duplicating the original stock shape. Here's a pic of the "good" side...and some more self-serving show-off pics :




I'll try to get some magazine pics posted tonight.

TBR
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-21-2014, 05:06 PM
Ross B.

Join Date: 
May 2005
Location: 
NE of Toronto ON,CAN
Posts: 
350
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
This is a early model V 49 that I picked up yesterday, 4 digit(12xx) serial number, no grooves in the receiver and the charging handle turns sideways to hold the bolt open.



Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-14-2014, 06:40 PM
Sigdizzy

Join Date: 
Apr 2011
Posts: 
296
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
Here is what the Unique T_SM looks like
It is a youth model metallic silhouette target rifle



Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-14-2014, 06:44 PM
Sigdizzy

Join Date: 
Apr 2011
Posts: 
296
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
double post, please delete

Last edited by Sigdizzy; 04-14-2014 at 11:18 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-04-2016, 03:28 PM
X51

Join Date: 
Aug 2016
Posts: 
2
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
Hello all,

I know its been a while in this thread but the information in it has been very helpful so far. Maybe there is somebody with an x51bis still active here?

I just got gifted one, 48xxx serial number so a relatively early one in very good state.

I read that the magazines are in high demand, dont know what comes with this one since the magazine is coming on a later date.

So far ive put it together (it was stored in pieced) but cant get the hammer to move, no matter wich positon i put the safety. I feel the pressure move off the Trigger when moving the safety. Also i hear a dry click when pulling the trigger, but the hammer is not moving.

Do i need to place a magazine for the hammer to come up or is there something else?

Thanks in advance!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-04-2016, 04:02 PM
TEDDY BEAR RAT's Avatar
TEDDY BEAR RAT
NRA Member - Click Here To Join! UotM

Join Date: 
Jun 2009
Posts: 
5,396
TPC Rating: 
100% (33)
Hi,
Yes, the X-51s have a dreaded magazine safety (at least, all three of mine do). It will not allow the hammer to fall without a magazine in place, even cocked and with the safety off. Let us know when you get your magazine, and please post some pics.

TBR
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-04-2016, 05:46 PM
brenne93's Avatar
brenne93
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Dec 2013
Location: 
Bainbridge Island WA 98110
Posts: 
630
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
I have never had much luck with anything engineered in France.

Especially post WWII Walther pistols, automobiles, and other products. However, the French have been wonderful hosts when I have visited.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-04-2016, 07:36 PM
Lakeside Machine

Join Date: 
Apr 2010
Location: 
Arkansas
Posts: 
266
TPC Rating: 
100% (3)
Just some added info for you....

Your x51bis with a serial range of 48,xxx was made in 1966.

I have one much earlier than your serial and it too has the magazine safety feature on it.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-04-2016, 08:05 PM
Ledslnger

Join Date: 
Jan 2012
Location: 
Eastern Iowa
Posts: 
1,973
TPC Rating: 
100% (9)
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I am very interested in any information about the Unique V 49 and x 51 rifles.
I thought this was going to be about world war era French rifles that were actually fired and not dropped ......ba dum dah. Yes, I do standup lol.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-05-2016, 11:34 AM
X51

Join Date: 
Aug 2016
Posts: 
2
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
Thanks for the info all, i am pleasantly surprised by the amount and speed of the reactions. Im off for a week of holidays now but after im expecting the magazines and i can post some pics.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:57 AM.

Privacy Policy

DMCA Notice

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©2000-2018 RimfireCentral.com
x