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Kodiac
June 25, 1999, 02:00 PM
I am wanting to get one...

Are these little single poppers still around or are they serious collector items now demanding big bucks for the $1.25 gun?

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RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE

othermarc
June 25, 1999, 03:15 PM
Kodiac,
Ever read "The Boof of the .45"? I can't make any qoutes right now as Idon't have it with me, but I seem to recall the author saying he has never seen one in his life. From the design described and pictured there, I bet a gunsmith could make one.
Boy, they look unpleasant to shoot!

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I need more money to buy more guns and ammo.
http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/beefclub

Coinneach
June 25, 1999, 03:45 PM
Othermarc,

They probably *were* unpleasant to shoot, but they were intended to be used by several people once or twice each. I'm pretty sure the Maquis didn't mind the terrible ergonomics, compared to getting the chance to cap a member of the occupying army.

Yes, I'm trying to avoid the K and N words. :)

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"We are going to fight. We are going to be hurt.
But in the end, we will stand."
--Roland Deschain

4V50 Gary
June 25, 1999, 03:58 PM
Saw one at a gun show a few years ago. The asking price was $400.

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Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt

James K
June 25, 1999, 04:58 PM
The little FP-45 (Flare Pistol was the cover name) is interesting. The book is "The FP-45 Liberator Pistol" by R.W. Koch, but I think it is out of print.

The gun is a single shot, made from stampings, castings and welds. The barrel is rolled sheet metal. There is space in the butt for 10 rounds of .45 ACP; not a magazine, just some ammo.

I have fired mine and it is accurate enough to hit a can at 7 yards. Smooth bore, of course, but not considered a "smooth bore pistol" by BATF, so no extra legal complications.

There seem to be few records of disposition or any indication what happened to most of them. One veteran told me of kicking thousands of the boxes out of a C-47 over France, but other authorities say they never went to France and French ex-maquis say they never saw them. Not necessarily contradictory, but you would think someone would find one or two (or get hit on the head) if they were just dropped.

Other sources claim they went to the Philippines, but same story there - they never saw them.

So... Destroyed? Dumped in the ocean? Who really knows? But they are scarce in this country, especially if with the brown waxed box, the wooden stick (extractor) and the instruction sheet. All, unfortunately, have been repro'd.

Anyway, if they were used, neither our allies nor our former enemies seem to have known about it.

Yes, I think the pistol is worth $400, maybe $500 if the complete kit.

As to making one, it would not be easy to make it the way GM did, since heavy duty sheet metal rolling and stamping machines and spot welders are not lying about in the average gun shop. To make something like it would be easy.

Jim

Kodiac
June 26, 1999, 08:33 AM
I wouldn't want a fabricated one...
The point of owning one would be the ironic symbology there.
Not meaning to sound like a radical nut - but looking at the entended purpose of the pistol, and looking at the decline of the US internallly... Some times out own Police seem like an occupying force...
Ever have to drive through a Police roadblock? Oh yeah... Road blocks are in the Constitution... YEAH RIGHT!

Anyways - this isnt about that - this is about a slick little pistol with a ton of interesting history.

Any history on one actually having been used in war?

Oh, Harley... Thanks for that Liberator page - very cool...
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RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE



[This message has been edited by Kodiac (edited June 26, 1999).]

James K
June 26, 1999, 08:50 PM
Well, Kodiak, you may not be a "nut" but you sure are radical in calling the Liberator a "slick little pistol." Wait until you see one.

Jim

Harley Nolden
June 26, 1999, 09:05 PM
JIM:
I cleaned one about 20 years ago and really oiled it goood. Sure was a slick little gun.

HJN

James K
June 27, 1999, 01:38 PM
Harley,

Maybe we could hype this up. Imagine people throwing away their Glocks and buying Liberator pistols. They could argue about which bullets work best in that type of rifling.

Jim

Jim V
June 27, 1999, 06:46 PM
I have a Flare Projector, second version. Mine showed signs of use when I got it. If they did not have some use somewhere there would be more of the boxed ones left. Most of the ones I have seen have been shot and were missing the "floor plate" that held the spare ammo in the grip.

Fun to shoot, on a limited basis. Think of the age of the pistols and the way they were made.

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Ne Conjuge Nobiscum
"If there be treachery, let there be jehad!"

Paul B.
June 27, 1999, 09:00 PM
Author Bob Shimek did a report on the "Liberator" in either GUNS AND AMMO or HANDGUNS magazine. I think he said most of them were never delivered, and were destroyed at the end of the war. I'm not sure about that last part, but knowing our government, it could be true. He said it was very uncomfortable to shoot, and he only fired a few shots as he was afraid it would blow up in his hand. That's all I remember.
Paul B.

James K
June 28, 1999, 01:21 PM
Smart fellow, Bob Shimek. They sure weren't made to stand up to a lot of shooting; that ten rounds was probably the pistol's life expectancy. I said I fired mine, not that I make a habit of it. Nasty, noisy with the short barrel, and of course not at all up to any serious standard of accuracy. Not exactly what one would want for the service pistol matches.

Jim

Jim V
June 29, 1999, 12:07 AM
Jim, I did not mind shooting mine, I agree that rapid fire stages would bemost difficult in any match.

BTW, I got mine out of the safe and looked at the barrel. My pistol has a barrel made from seamless tubing. The chamber was lathe turned. Most likely on a screw machine or turret lathe. Face off end, bore chamber and cut to length.

If several people had access to a mid sized machine shop with at least one punch press those little hummers could be in production right quick.

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Ne Conjuge Nobiscum
"If there be treachery, let there be jehad!"

BigG
June 29, 1999, 10:26 AM
I seem to remember (from Small Arms of the World, or somewhere) the pistol was meant to cap some enemy troop, obtain a better weapon thereby, and either discard or, give the Liberator to another guerilla to replicate the process. So basically a disposable .45. Also, it was issued with a little single sheet cartoon of operating instructions.

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Yankee Doodle




[This message has been edited by BigG (edited June 29, 1999).]

James K
June 29, 1999, 01:32 PM
Good afternoon, BigG,

That was the idea. It's just that no one seems to be able to show that it ever happened that way.

Jim

Harley Nolden
June 29, 1999, 02:49 PM
I don't guess the Germans would care to discuss it. Those that had and dealing with it are gone.

Danke

HJN

[This message has been edited by Harley Nolden (edited June 29, 1999).]

BigG
June 29, 1999, 03:11 PM
Hey Jim K! Good to see you in this neighborhood. I'm beginning to like TFL. Kudos to the folks who put it together.

Kodiac
June 30, 1999, 12:52 PM
:)

I know it is a crappy gun...

But I still want one for my collection...

Any one know where one MIGHT be located?

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Every man Dies.
Not Every Man Truely Lives...

FREEDOM!

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE

James K
June 30, 1999, 04:17 PM
Finding a Liberator is just like finding any scarce collector's item. Check ads in trade papers, go to gun shows, ask around at gun shops. Put out the word that you are interested, and maybe even place an ad in SGN or Gun List.

My experience has been that stuff I want comes in batches. I will look around for something for years, then find a bunch of them all at once. Keep some money handy; if you want it bad enough...

Jim

shadow45
July 1, 1999, 09:56 AM
Just bid on one at a local auction. The winning bid was 450 I think,(not mine). It was an interesting piece but I had already spent too much on a Sharps pepperbox. Anyway, I know of a man who at one time had one I will see if he still does and if he'll sell.

James K
July 1, 1999, 12:10 PM
Kodiac,

Please don't take me wrong. I was kidding about the Liberator as a shooter. It is a great collector's item. Even though there were many made, it is is scarce; that is part of the mystery.

Many collector guns were "crappy" as guns. Witness: Colt Paterson, Volcanic, Henry, Gyro-Jet, Dardick, Collier, etc.

They all were "bad" guns, unreliable, fragile, underpowered, inaccurate, and so on, and are scarce because they didn't sell worth a darn. But who wouldn't like to have any of them in the collection today.

I see someone may know of one for sale. What'd I tell you?

Jim

Kodiac
July 1, 1999, 03:56 PM
:)
The Gyro-Jet...

Oh Heck Yeah! I would LOVE to get one of those!

------------------
Every man Dies.
Not Every Man Truely Lives...

FREEDOM!

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE

Jim V
July 1, 1999, 06:44 PM
For what is worth, I have a friend that has two that were NIB when he bought them. One he opened and the other he had x-rayed or something to make sure it contained what he was buying. I am sure that he does not want to sell either. LOL

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Ne Conjuge Nobiscum
"If there be treachery, let there be jehad!"

kratondave
January 11, 2007, 04:11 PM
Hello, I have one in the box with the instructions and all ten rounds of original ammo with the wooden dowel for case extaction, i would consider all serious offers! REGARDS, kratondave@wirefire.com

Jbar4Ranch
February 3, 2007, 12:31 PM
For what is worth, I have a friend that has two that were NIB when he bought them. One he opened and the other he had x-rayed or something to make sure it contained what he was buying. I am sure that he does not want to sell either. LOL
According to Koch and Haugen, there is only one single example of an unopened Liberator in existence. If this is a second one (rather than the one mentioned in the books), its value is CONSIDERABLE. (Easily well into the five figure range)

They sure weren't made to stand up to a lot of shooting; that ten rounds was probably the pistol's life expectancy.
According to the books by Haugen and Koch, samples were regularly taken off the assembly line, and test fired 50 times with standard .45acp ball. These samples were essentially unusable at the end of the tests. For its intended use, a few of the ten rounds may have been fired to find the point of impact at ten feet or so, then a final single round when it counted.

SHOOTING THE LIBERATOR (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192440)

James K
February 10, 2007, 07:25 PM
I know I am adding to a very old thread, but I erred in saying the barrel was rolled sheet steel; Jim V is correct - it is seamless tubing.

Jim

Jbar4Ranch
February 12, 2007, 03:00 PM
I know this thread has some age on it, and prices of $400-$500 have been mentioned, but I haven't seen a Liberator for less than $1500 in quite some time. A decent original box, ammo, and instructions can easily add 50-100% to that, and I've seen some top notch examples w/accessories priced at over $4000. HERE'S ONE (http://www.gunsamerica.com/classifieds/none/_976815559.aspx) listed on Guns America for $2950 with what appears to be a reprint instruction sheet and nothing else.

9mmHP
February 15, 2007, 10:31 PM
I could have had one for $100 in the mid-80's...*sigh*

4V50 Gary
February 16, 2007, 12:37 AM
Liberators in the $100s in the mid-80s? I don't doubt you, but they certainly weren't offered in my neck of the woods. :( I would have bought a couple.:rolleyes:

BillCA
February 16, 2007, 02:45 AM
Another bit of trivia about the Liberator pistol.

General Motors set up an assembly line to produce these guns and they managed to complete assembly of a gun every 7 seconds. That means it took longer to reload the gun than it did to manufacture it! :eek:

The Liberator gets my vote as the ugliest gun ever produced.

schwantz
February 21, 2007, 07:30 PM
There are still a few liberators floating around out there. This one was retrieved by my uncle during WWII.

http://home.comcast.net/~schwantz/onlinestorage/liberator.jpg

Jbar4Ranch
February 21, 2007, 11:35 PM
And you have the correct ammo too, neat! It took me a full year of scrounging to find ten original FA42 rounds for my first one, and now I'm looking for more for the second one.

My first one showed signs of having been fired before, so I made up some light loads with Trail Boss and put a few more through it. Read about it HERE (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192440). I made up one more to let a good friend of mine shoot it in August of '06, making him, to the best of my knowledge, the last person to ever fire a Liberator pistol. This one came with an original instruction sheet in very good condition, which is worth a few hundred by itself.

My second one is a cut-away that was used at the factory to show workers and military liaisons how it went together and functioned, and was owned after the war by George Hyde, the designer of the gun. Mr. Hyde sold the pistol in the mid-80's when he was getting on in years to a man in Salt Lake City, who eventually sold it to me.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v93/jbar4ranch/Liberator2.jpg

schwantz
February 22, 2007, 06:31 AM
What was even neater was that the ammo came back with the gun so I didn't have to look for it.

finrot
February 23, 2007, 09:41 PM
There was an article in American Rifleman (NRA publication) about them this month.

Kaylee
February 24, 2007, 12:32 AM
schwantz - wow! nice picture!
Nicer story. :D

Hrmm.. rather odd it hasn't been commercially reproduced, now that I think about it. It seems the unique history combined with a comparatively paltry production cost would make it worthwhile.

Has anyone ever given it a go?

-K

Bill DeShivs
February 24, 2007, 01:45 AM
A reproduction would have to have a rifled barrel and the machinery to produce these would be very expensive. They were designed by applying General Motors technology to a war-effort design.
Bill

Jbar4Ranch
February 24, 2007, 09:50 AM
Yep, the originals had a smooth bore, but have been exempted by ATF and placed on the C&R list. Also consider that the originals were in essentially unusable condition after only 50 rounds. These guns were meant to be shot only ten times, max. Perhaps a few practice rounds to learn the sighting and point of impact characteristics, then once when it counted.

James K
February 25, 2007, 04:51 PM
They were another example of a wartime "wonder weapon" that sounded good when someone said it fast, just like the Pedersen device.

Cost a lot of money when a second thought would have shown the idea to be impractical. (The inspiration actually came from a work of fiction, and should have stayed there.)

Jim