A modern pistol will almost never fire if it is dropped. So what happened here?
RALEIGH — A Knightdale man ended up at the hospital with a gunshot wound after his three-legged dog knocked a handgun off the kitchen counter, according to court records made public Tuesday….
The deputies recovered a Vesta .32-caliber handgun, with a magazine and seven rounds of ammunition, a spent shell casing and a projectile, court records show.
The cops called this one an accident, and didn’t file any charges. So why did this gun “go off” when it hit the ground?
Vesta was a trade name used on 7.65mm semiauto pistols manufactured by Hijos de A. Echeveria in Eibar, Guipuzcoa, Spain, before World War I. Your pistol is one of the hundreds of copies patterned after an original John M. Browning design. To date, these copies have not enjoyed much–if any–collector interest. There are literally thousands of them. Typically, they will retail in the $50 to $75 range in the condition you describe. Don’t lose the magazine because the replacement might cost you 50 percent of the pistol’s value.
Oh, so not a modern pistol.
You’ve already got all the information on the slide; this is a “Vesta Model 1912” pocket pistol (it’s actually an enlarged copy of the Browning Model 1906 Vest Pocket), made by Hijos D. Angel Echevarria (“the children of Angel Echevarria”) of Eibar, Spain, sometime before 1936; the company went out of business during the Spanish civil war, but specialized in making what are known as “Ruby”-type pistols, for sale to the French army during WW1.
What’s a “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 the American John Browning’s M1903 made 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”).
So I’d say, if you have one of these pistols, be careful with it. It’s very old, and probably not drop safe. And keep your dog away from it.