fires like the real thing!
Open barrel / Single Shot : Vents from end of the barrel for
In very good condition, appears unfired.
Includes original box, original instructions, HWS .45ACP firing cartridge
(to fire requires 7mm PFC primer
Origins of the FP-45 single-shot pistol place it
as an initiative by the US Army, intending to arm clandestine and resistance
forces within enemy-occupied territories across Europe and spawn liberation of
nations from within, using their own motivated civilian populations. The pistol
was a direct product of the Army's US Army Joint Psychological Committee
findings and the general designation of "FP-45" was derived from the formal
designation of "Flare Projector Caliber 45" (also the "Flare Pistol M1942").
This deliberate mislabeling was intended to mislead prying eyes and ears into
thinking the weapon was nothing more than a signal flare gun. The project was
developed and completed in just a short span of six months from June to August
of 1942 - this also encompassing the eleven weeks of required production - and
the US Army eventually turned over the reins to the Office of Strategic Services
(OSS), the forerunner to today's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The OSS was
formed during World War 2 to conduct operations against the enemy from behind
enemy lines and operated from June 1942 to September of 1945. At its peak, the
branch employed some 13,000 personnel. Needless to say, the OSS was sold on the
Army's resistance pistol concept.
The FP-45 was designed from the outset as a cheap-to-produce, easy-to-use pistol
meant for mass production. It was an implement suitable for close-in work and
was intended to promote insurgencies where possible, adding a new internal
threat to Axis occupiers. The idea behind the program was to develop a weapon
suitable for air-dropping into enemy-held regions in quantity. Those inclined to
resist Axis forces on the ground could then recover the weapon package and make
use of the smallish pistol by incapacitating a lone enemy individual. This then
freed the said enemy's weapons for the taking. Over time, it was seen that a
resistance movement would grow in number by an emboldened civilian congregation,
stocking themselves with proper, frontline Axis weapons thanks to the FP-45.
The pistol was made available from 1942 to 1945 with production handled by the
Guide Lamp Corporation Division of GMC out of Anderson, Indiana. It is thought
that some 1,000,000 pistols were ultimately produced and the system went on to
be known under the names of "Liberator", "OSS Pistol" and "M1942 Pistol". Each
gun was delivered with a 12-step, visual instructional pamphlet to help the
operator along. This was an interesting facet in itself for the use of pictures
in the instruction set ensured no language or literacy barriers to those in
reception of a ready-to-use FP-45 and very litle training in its use was
actually required. The pistol - packaged in a clear plastic bag - was also
delivered with ten additional rounds of .45 ACP (five could be stored in the
pistol grip) and the required wooden dowel to extract spent shell casings.
Design of the FP-45 was highly utilitarian - downright crude some would say -
and was characterized by its large, blocky pistol grip. The spring-loaded
trigger sat along its front facing and was lightly protected by a curved wire
trigger guard. The receiver was slab-sided with the short, smooth bore barrel
protruding a short distance ahead, capped by a rudimentary sight post.
Construction was largely of stamped metal. In all, the system weighed just 1lb,
featured a length of 5.55 inches and a barrel measuring in at 4 inches. The
weapon was chambered to fire a single-cartridge of .45 ACP at a muzzle velocity
of 820 feet per second with ranges limited out to 8 meters.
The FP-45 operated from a simplistic twist-and-pull breechblock system. The
breechblock was manually opened by the user to which a .45 ACP cartridge (the
same cartridge utilized in the famous Colt M1911 semi-automatic pistol) was
inserted and the breech manually closed. The weapon could now be fired as
needed. Once the cartridge was spent, the operator opened the breech once again
and forced the spent cartridge out of the chamber using any rod-like device (a
wooden dowel rod was provided however) down the barrel. As a single-shot weapon,
each cartridge for the FP-45 had to be manually inserted and extracted in
The FP-45 was by no means a frontline assault weapon. As it was meant for use by
clandestine units, it was generally utilized (and intended) as an assassination
tool. Its accuracy at short range was noted as good for the .45 ACP caliber
cartridge - coupled with the generated muzzle velocity - played well in such
operations. The barrel, being smooth bore in nature and thusly featuring no
internal "rifling", meant that close range work was imperative and directly
related to overall accuracy. The lack of rifling itself ensured that the weapon
could be easily and quickly produced and assembled without much precision.
However, the operator would need to ensure a "first-shot, first-kill" action for
reloading of the FP-45 was nothing short of time consuming and awkward.
It is of note that the FP-45 Liberator concept
was renewed by the CIA to an extent with the advent of the "Deer Gun" of 1964,
intended for use by similar resistance forces during the early phases of the
Vietnam War. The Deer Gun bore no similarities in design to the previous
Liberator offering and was chambered for the 9x19 Parabellum cartridge.
Similarly, the Deer Gun was developed and produced but never issued.
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