Silent Guns of the US Office of Strategic Services

Silent Guns of the US Office of Strategic Services

I’m thrilled to be the bearer of some very cool information: starting within the subsequent couple of weeks, the great people over at Spycraft101 shall be writing up the occasional firearm-centric article for TTAG. We’ve discovered Spycraft101 to be a unbelievable comply with on Instagram (discover them HERE), serving up fascinating historic tidbits on clandestine operations and tools, together with some completely insane firearms.

We’re speaking full-on Q Branch 007 stuff. But actual. Russian, American, and from all different points on the globe.

Ahead of Spycraft101’s first write-up, I assumed I’d pull from considered one of their weblog posts, titled “Ten Unique Weapons from the World of Spycraft.” I’ve chosen simply three of them: the three silent weapons designed for the United States Office of Strategic Services.

The photographs and textual content to comply with are straight from Spycraft101’s weblog put up:

9. Dart-Firing 1911 – United States Office of Strategic Services

Courtesy Spycraft101

The OSS Bigot, a prototype dart-firing 1911 pistol. During WWII the Office of Strategic Services developed an astounding array of silent killing gadgets, with various ranges of effectiveness. One promising design was a 1911 service pistol which was modified to fireplace a heavy 6″ metal dart as an alternative of a regular 230-grain bullet. OSS named it the ‘Bigot’, derived from ‘spigot mortar’, the idea of which had been miniaturized into handgun dimension.

The modification to an present 1911 was very simple. A breech plug and information rod have been inserted into the barrel of the 1911. The dart was then inserted from the breech onto the information rod. The information rod contained a protracted firing pin which might provoke a .25 caliber clean spherical pre-loaded within the head of every dart. A sliding fin meeting on the dart allowed the tube to suit into the breech of the Bigot. Upon firing the fin meeting slid again and locked on the base of the dart, and the pre-loaded clean cartridge sealed the bottom of the dart, stopping any gases from escaping. The dart was now (in concept) a silent, guided missile.

Twenty-five pistols have been transformed into Bigot methods, and 300 darts produced. While ingenious, the venture supplied no important benefit over the ever-present Hi-Standard .22lr suppressed pistol, and lots of disadvantages. Like many different inventive prototypes that got here out of OSS improvement, it was relegated to the scrap heap of historical past. i’ve discovered one reference to a Liberator variant of the Bigot, however contemplating how inaccurate the Liberator already was, it’s exhausting to think about this idea progressing very far.

6. SAC-46 Flying Dragon – United States Office of Strategic Services

The OSS Flying Dragon dart gun. Officially designated the SAC-46, the Flying Dragon was envisioned in 1943 however not developed till early 1945 for a selected mission. OSS necessities dictated accuracy out to 100 yards, and the power to reload in lower than 30 seconds. After prototyping, testing, and modification, fifteen weapons and at the least 1,000 darts have been delivered to the OSS by June 1945 at a value of $3,800 for your entire venture.

The dart gun got here with two barrel lengths, rifle and pistol, and the flip-up sights have been marked accordingly with an R or P for various distances. A regular CO2 cartridge was inserted beneath the barrel, and the grip was hole to carry the loading instrument. OSS engineers experimented with plastic darts in addition to poison-filled syringes for fast takedown of sentries or assassination targets. Because every dart had a rubber gasket to supply a gas-tight seal, the barrel have to be eliminated after every shot for breech-loading. This weapon was not meant for conditions requiring a number of photographs, which is why strong poisons have been researched to be used along side the SAC-46.

The OSS experimented with many uncommon silent weapons throughout WWII however in the end decided that nothing carried out higher than the traditional Hi-Standard .22lr suppressed pistol.

3. The “Little Joe” Silent Crossbow – United States Office of Strategic Services

The OSS developed many silent and near-silent deadly weapons throughout WWII, together with quite a lot of crossbows, dart weapons, and even catapults for launching mortar shells. The Little Joe might be the very best recognized of all of those uncommon weapons. During improvement, it was aptly named the ‘Penetrometer’.

Several Little Joe prototypes have been developed earlier than the weapon was despatched to the sphere for analysis. After testing within the Pacific Theater whereas serving with the renowned Alamo Scouts, CPT Homer Williams reported that whereas the Little Joe was certainly silent and strong as marketed, he feared that use of this weapon would “…allow the victim to flop around like a chicken with its head cut off, and might have made a commotion.” Although examined in multiple theaters through the battle, most of those silent weapons have been ultimately discarded in favor of suppressed Hi-Standard pistols and M3 Grease Guns.

The Alamo Scouts have been one of the efficient unconventional models fielded throughout WWII. Candidates have been rigorously evaluated earlier than even starting the grueling coaching course. Of 700 trainees, solely 127 have been chosen for the unit. At no time did the unit have greater than ten officers and 60 enlisted males. During the ultimate 20 months of WWII, the Scouts ran 106 missions in enemy territory and by no means misplaced a single man; just a few have been ever wounded. The Scouts’ most well-known mission was participation with the Army Rangers within the Cabanatuan jail raid, what place they freed greater than 500 prisoners of battle from a Japanese camp.

— Click HERE to learn the remainder of Spycraft101’s weblog put up (you understand you want to see the opposite seven weapons!)

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