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A better Liberator?

Double Tap Defense has built a pocket pistol in .45 acp that eerily resembles the Liberator of WW2 French resistance fame.  The pistol does have many advantages over the original, and 60 years of firearm development since then didn't hurt.

Double Tap pistol

Dubbed the "Titanium Tactical Pocket Pistol", this gun has 2 barrels in .45 acp, fired sequentially, and in the event of a misfire has a double strike capability.  Like the original Liberator extra rounds are stored in the butt of the weapon, but are attached to a loading device that is stripped away when the cartridges are inserted into the chambers, quickly reloading the weapon.

Cutaway of Tactical Pistol

There are also several models to choose from.  The frame material can be aluminum or titanium, and the barrels can  be ported or unported, with the prices ranging from $500 to $800 bucks.  Extra barrels can be bought, and even available in 9mm.

Original Liberator

As something that could have been made in 1942 instead of the original Liberator, this pistol would have been a disappointment because it cost way too much.  The original cost about $1.50 to make in 1942 dollars, which would have made this pistol about fifty bucks back then, even if it was possible to build.  For that money you could have just dropped Thompsons and Grease Guns to the French (which we probably should have done anyway).  In the end, however, we lost the will to arm French civilians and dumped most of the Liberators in the ocean. 

Grease Gun

Webley MkI 455

The proprietor of the excellent Wilkinson Fighting Knives Collection shared a  review on a commercial variant of the Webley MkI .455 automatic pistol.  These are pretty rare guns, and he includes a shooting review also.  You can find the review on this page.

The Webley MkI Autoloading Pistol


The Schlund Revolver

Harry Schlund was the works manager of the Knoch Gun Works, a firm that rose from William Tranter's factory after he retired.  Harry kind of inherited the business from George Kynoch and it became the Aston Arms Company.  Schlund invented this revolver and it went through a few iterations, had some Tranter features, but others were his own, and was a solid, if odd, revolver.  

Schlund Revolver

The Schlund Revolver, image from Adams Guns

The pistol was free of obstructions and could be carried in a pocket, and produced without snagging on clothing.  It had a sturdy break open action and would discharge empty casings like a Webley.  The trigger was the difference, and it had a double action trigger of sorts.  The lower part cocked the hammer, which could then be de-cocked, and the upper released the sear, firing the revolver.  To be double action, both triggers have to be pulled at once.  Only about 600 were made before Schlund went out of business, and these revolvers bring around three grand today.  They can be found in many calibers, but this one is in .476.  This revolver is available at Adam's Guns.

Schlund Revolver

Knoxx shotgun stocks

My shoulder has really taken a beating over the last 40 or so years.  An old Enfield 2A in .308 is partly responsible, also the Winchester 12 gauge.  I haven't messed with that tactical 1200 Winchester shotgun in a long time, but after hearing about Knoxx stocks, I think it's time to dust it off.

Knoxx recoil reducing stocks

The stocks are spring loaded in 2 places, without affecting the ballistics in any way.  I have a friend who swears by them (disclaimer: I haven't used one yet) on his Remington 870.  He says birdshot, double ought and slugs all feel the same, and not to bad in the recoil department.  

These stocks are also available for certain rifles,  may be worth a look if you have problems with recoil (and who doesn't?).  Now to be sure, not everyone likes them.  This video complains about the stock smacking them in the cheek so a personal review is necessary.

Tough guys - Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart was a tough guy.  He wasn't the kind of guy who would tell you he was tough, but he walked the walk.  Son of a Belgian aristocrat and an Irish mother, he ended up in an English boarding school, and after that began to attend Oxford.  The Boer War started and Wiart realized what he was going to do.  He lied his way into the British Army and never looked back.  He had suffered many wounds from 2 different wars and rose to the rank of Second Lieutenant before he even became a British citizen.

Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Carton de Wiart

He was wounded grieviously in the chest and groin in his first trip to the Boer War.  As it wasn't finished, neither was he, and he finished the war in the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards.  After shipping off to India, war beckoned again with the Dervish revolt in British Somaliland.  Joining the Camel Corps, Wiart sustained more wounds in a battle at Shimber Berris, storming a Dervish stronghold.  The wizzing of bullets sounded like a storm of bees, and De Wiart's clothes and eye were punctured.  His blood was up, and as he surged towards the fort Wiart was hit again in the same eye from close range, with the surgeon sewing him up as the battle raged around them.

While convalescing in England, he realized a bigger war was going on in Europe, one he was not to be left out of.   It took some talking, with Britain not really interested in sending one eyed officers to war,  and in 1915 headed to the Western Front.  He commanded 3 infantry battalians and a brigade during WW1, but was not one to fight behind a desk.  He participated in the battles of the Somme, Passchendaele, Cambrai and Arras, among others.  He was wounded continuously,  in every part of his body from his skull to his foot.  In later years, after falling down a flight of stairs, the doctor found numerous splinters from the first world war.  Legend has it that when a doctor wouldn't amputate his hand that he bit his own fingers off.  Tough guy.  

Carton De Wiart

He had been assigned to a mission in Poland when WW2 broke out.  He had helped organize resistance, but was soon on the run as the Nazi's gained the upper hand.  Finally getting airlifted out, he was next sent to Norway to build up a force there, and his plane was shot up while landing by German fighters.  He organized the defense as best he could, but the Germans forced him out, and his men were rescued by Lord Mountbatten (another tough guy).

In 1941, Wiart was sent to Yugoslavia to the British Mission, but his plane's engines quit over enemy territory and he ditched in the waters off Libya and he was captured by the Italians.  He wasn't one to sit in a POW camp and escaped five times, the last time gaining his freedom.  This escapee had one eye, one hand and was 61 years old in 1943.  What a guy!

Carton De Wiart

He had lots more adventures than I can address here.  Carton De Wiart didn't have to do any of this.  He was a Belgian citizen of aristocratic heritage.  He knew everyone who was anybody.  His decorations include the Victoria Cross,  The Order of the British Empire and lots more.  After living a quite full life, he finally succumbed to our eternal foe in 1963.