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 hammer fired example features blade front and notch rear sights, serial number "18" 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 slide legend and caliber "9.L.", indicating it is chambered in 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, and failed to reach an American market in part due to the heel magazine release. There are three other examples of these rare Bernardelli UB prototype pistols in this auction, lots 1573, 1574 and 1575, allowing a rare opportunity to study a selection of the variations found in these pistols.
Excellent, retains 98% original blue finish with a patch of small scattered light handling marks on the front grip strap. Grips are very fine with some light crazing around the edges, a very minor chip at the lower rear corner of the left grip panel, some light handling marks and defined edges. Mechanically excellent.
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