Approximately 85 Bernardelli UB prototype pistols were manufactured in total between 1956-1957, in hammer fired and striker fired variations with various subvariations including different styles of slide releases. This striker fired example features blade front and notch rear sights, serial number "55" is marked on the rear grip strap and the frame is fitted with late style hardwood thumbrest grips and European style heel magazine release. The slide is marked with the standard late slide legend and caliber markings indicating it is chambered in both 9mm Parabellum and 9mm Lungo, also referred to as 9mm M1938, a higher velocity round with the same dimensions as the 9mm Parabellum that was originally designed for the Italian Beretta Model 38 submachine gun. Ultimately, the UB would fail to get any military contracts due to the heavy recoil of a straight blow back 9mm, and failed to reach an American market in part due to the heel magazine release. This pistol is consecutively serial numbered to the following lot. There are three other examples of these rare Bernardelli UB prototype pistols in this auction, lots 1574, 1575 and 1584, allowing a rare opportunity to study a selection of the variations found in these pistols.
Excellent, retains 99% original blue finish with some light handling marks. Grips are also excellent with crisp checkering and some scattered minor nicks concentrated on the left grip panel. Mechanically excellent.
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