Make: Unique, Imported by Beeman
Model: D.E.S. 823-U
Serial Number: 763806
Year of Manufacture: 1974-1988
Caliber: .22 Short
Action Type: Single Action, Semi-Automatic Pistol with 5 Round Internal Magazine (2 Provided).
Markings: The left side of the barrel shroud is marked “manufacture d’armes / -64 Hendaye / “unique’ / MADE IN FRANCE” with a crown next to “ST ETIENNE” and “MODELE / DES / 823-U”. The right side of the barrel shroud is marked “Cal. 22 short / 763806 / vitesse olympique – U.I.T. / BEEMAN IN San Rafael Calif. 94903” with the five interwoven Olympic ring logo. The wood stock is marked “M” on the butt, “CM” on the left panel and there are three shooting competition stickers from the 1987 NRA 27th International Shooting Championships, 1988 Championat National Championship Competition and NRA 1988 Championship. The 1988 sticker has fallen off but is provided.
Barrel Length: 5-7/8”, with five ports on top of the barrel just after the free chamber. The barrel sits in an oversized barrel shroud with a screw cap on the front, which allows the removal or installation of barrel weights.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a Patridge style blade that is dovetailed into the barrel shroud. The rear sight is a square notch on a wide target sight base, with elevation and windage adjustment capabilities.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is a one piece cutlass-style wood grip stock that has a textured interior and smooth rests and sides. . The left side has two shooting competition stickers present as mentioned above in “Markings”, features a thumb rest, and is completely ergonomically formed to the human hand. Please see our photographs. There is a semi-circular chip missing on the left underside of the grip. The stock shows scuff and scratch marks throughout. The grips rate in about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Matte and semi-polished blue barrel shroud and slide, matte gray trigger guard and frame.
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is highly defined. There is fowling but no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 96% of its metal finish. There are scuffs and light scratches in sparse areas. There is wear on some of the interacting metal surfaces from use. There is a drag line on the left side of the barrel shroud between ‘safe’ and ‘fire’ dots, from where the safety used to be. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are crisp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The slide rides on two guide rods and springs. The magazine is inserted through the top of the action and is released with a left side button. The safety was removed to accommodate the aftermarket grips. This pistol has a unique layout in that the hammer is actually in front of the rear sight, increasing the sight radius to about 9-5/8”. The trigger breaks with a small amount of takeup at around 4.6oz. THERE IS NO MECHANICAL SAFETY PRESENT ON THIS PISTOL: WE RECOMMEND EXTREME CAUTION WHEN LOADING LIVE AMMUNITION. We did not fire this handgun. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Two five round magazines are provided along with some small stock parts, a Carlo Cup Championship of 1987 score card, owner’s manual, 2 keys, factory Unique hard case, wax paper, French certificate and Unique patch are included. The outer material on the box shows some tears. All accessories rate in about Fine condition as photographed.
Our Assessment: This is a very nice Olympic target pistol that has wrap-around Free Pistol grips and even competed in a few international shooting competitions. The stocks are beautiful and are as ‘Unique’ as the pistol itself. Whether you are a competitive shooter or recreational enthusiast, this is a very tempting lot that is range ready.