Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3330: Yugoslavia 1931 Pistol 380 ACP

Auction Date: May 1, 2016

Incredibly Rare Serial Number 7 Yovanovitch Model 1931 Semi-Automatic Prototype Pistol

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $2,500 - $3,500

Incredibly Rare Serial Number 7 Yovanovitch Model 1931 Semi-Automatic Prototype Pistol

Manufacturer: Yugoslavia
Model: 1931
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 380 ACP
Barrel: 4 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 6663
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 156
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

This pistol was originally described by Dr. Joseph H. Matthews in his first of three volume, semi-automatic pistol guides, in 1962. Initially this pistol was listed as being sold to the Yugoslavian Military and Police, and also to Ethiopia. However, recently this model of pistol was written up in a technical article in the Small Arms review in Dec. 2015, where it is listed as the "only known pistol" in the United States or even in the world today. As the latest story goes, it was originally designed by Lazar Yovanovitch a Yugoslavian officer and engineer, circa 1934-35. He originally presented this design to the Yugoslavian Government and Military as a potential semi-automatic pistol. His application for a patent on the pistol was rejected and the design was then disapproved by the military. In 1941 he was a Petty Officer assigned to the 1st Hydroplane Squadron in Yugoslavian in the Bay of Kotor. Unfortunately in April of that year Germany and Italy invaded Yugoslavia and that early model was left at home, where it was lost during the invasion. He was eventually captured and interned until after the war, where he eventually settled in Switzerland. Later he relocated to Canada and once again, remanufactured his original 1931 designed pistol. As the basis or starting point he used an original Yugoslavian Model 1922 barrel as manufactured by FN Herstal, to recreate his original 1931 pistol design. This model is actually a simple basic blow back operated pistol with minimal parts, that uses a striker designed firing pin. It is chambered in Cal. 9m/m kurz cartridge (380 ACP). It has a unique one-piece tubular slide/upper receiver with an internal recoil spring around the barrel just like the Browning Model 1922. This slide/upper receiver is mated to a simple one-piece frame forging with a bottom magazine release and a single safety lever on the left side. The upper receiver is marked: "Patent Yovanovitch/Model 1931". The original barrel is marked on the right side of the chamber: "Kal 9 m/m/FN". The safety area of the frame is marked "OD" and "ZA" for fire and safe. The pistol is serial numbered "7" on the rear of the frame and the side of the magazine release. It is fitted with walnut grips that are penciled marked on the upper side of each grip with serial number "3344" which is also mentioned in the Small Arms technical review article. It has a very comfortable ergonomic designed grips that is easy to hold and aim. It has a nicely polished and all blued metal finish.

Rating Definition:

Excellent with 95% plus of the original blue finish overall with only minor edge and high spot wear. The markings are clear and sharp. The walnut grips are in very fine condition with minor handling marks.

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