Ruby pistol

The self-loading Ruby pistol is best known as a French World War I sidearm, the Pistolet Automatique de 7 millim.65 genre "Ruby". A very international piece of weaponry, it was closely modeled after John Browning's M1903 design produced by the Belgian Fabrique Nationale de Herstal, and was produced by over 50 Spanish companies, but primarily by the Spanish Gabilondo y Urresti firm (the official "Gabilondo Ruby"). It was decommissioned in 1958, more than a decade after World War II was brought to an end, and was subsequently replaced by the Winchester 32.

Ruby pistol
Class Manportable
Type Handguns
Manufacturer Llama firearms
Origin Spain
Country Name Origin Year
Spain 1914
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Belgium View
Finland View
France View
Germany View
Greece View
Italy View
Lithuania View
Poland View
Romania View
Spain View
Yugoslavia (Serbia) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Llama firearms 750000 View

The Ruby-type pistol is very intuitive to operate, even for novices. The slide stop doubles as a safety and field stripping is remarkably simple. The small size and large magazine capacity was an advantage, making it a popular "backup" weapon for troops involved in trench warfare, as well as the standard issue weapons for telephonists, stretcher bearers, machine-gun, machine-rifle, tank, and mortar crews, and rear-echelon personnel of all descriptions. The comparatively weak cartridges these pistols were chambered in gave little recoil, making them easier for novices to use effectively. 

The primary disadvantage of these pistols (apart from quality control issues) is the relatively weak cartridges they were chambered in, reducing the pistol's stopping power.

The reliance on only one type of safety, and the lack of a visible hammer make these pistols very dangerous to carry "cocked and locked". Early models could come off safety when holstered in a tight-fitting holster and a large protruding stud was added to the slide in order to prevent this.

In later years, Ruby-types became notorious for the lack of standardization of parts between different manufacturers, resulting in a widespread incompatibility of spare parts that made the Ruby-types difficult to maintain. Some of this is due to the persistent confusion over exactly who made which Ruby-type pistol.

Type Semi-automatic handgun
Place of origin Spain
Service history
Wars World War I, Polish–Soviet War,Polish–Lithuanian War, Spanish Civil War, Winter War, World War II
Production history
Designer John Moses Browning, Esperanza y Unceta Cia, Pedro Careaga and others
Designed 1914
Manufacturer Gabilondo y Urresti and over 50 other firms
Number built at least 750,000
Variants Over 50 variants
Weight 850 g
Length 170 -210 mm
Barrel length 80 - 120 mm
Cartridge mainly 7.65 x 17 mm (.32 ACP)
Action Blowback
Feed system Detachable box magazine, 9 rounds
Sights Fixed, or dovetail rear

End notes