conflicting species weapons. There are several points of view on this pistol: this is a good PR move by the American government and an attempt to make money on the war, this is an element of psychological warfare, this is a small weapon intended for the partisan movement. In my opinion, each of these versions is somewhat fair. Specialists in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the Joint Psychological Warfare Committee understood the need to provide weapons to the insurgency and resistance forces in the Philippines and China during the war with Japan (during World War II). It was the officers of these services who made the decision to develop a weapon that is easy to use, compact and as cheap as possible. The main step was to throw these weapons in the enemy’s rear in such quantities that his opponent could not fully withdraw. The adversary's awareness of the fact that somewhere in the territory there are armed groups in abundance supplied with firearms had a tremendous psychological effect.
The Liberator FP-45 was developed by a team of designers led by George Hyde, codenamed Flare Projector Caliber .45 (caliber pistol 45). The design was a 22 besides the trunk parts, most of which were made by stamping. The order to manufacture one million Liberator FP-45 pistols was assigned to Guide Lamp of General Motors, for the reason that although the company had no experience in producing small arms, it had the equipment and technology stamped sheet metal products. Order amount exceeded 1.7 million US dollars. Due to the high technology of the gun for 6 months 1942, in Anderson, Indiana, an enterprise with a staff of about 300 people, 1 made a million copies of the Liberator pistol. Gun went into historyas the fastest manufactured. It took 7.5 seconds to make one pistol (by the way, it took much longer to reload a weapon). The cost price of the gun was 1.72 dollars (in 1942 prices of the year).
The gun was packed in a box of cardboard, impregnated with paraffin, with 10 cartridges, instruction in the form of drawings and a wooden extractor rod. Such a kit already cost 2.1 US dollar. The gun was given the name Liberator (liberator), although for low quality weapons were also called the Woolworth gun.
Pistols were scattered over the territory occupied by the invaders in containers of 20 kits, using both a parachute discharge and a simple ejection from a small height. Most of the weapons were dropped over the Philippines, Indonesia and China, but because of the large number of pistols released, weapons were also dropped over Europe: over France, the Yugoslav partisans, the countries of the Balkan Peninsula.
Gun Liberator (Liberator) FP-45 has a smooth barrel length of only 102 mm, the chamber of which is designed to accommodate cartridges caliber 0.45 ACP.
The barrel is attached at the top of the frame.
The trigger guard covers the barrel and is secured with a second end in the handle. The upper part of the trigger guard serves as a fly. The pistol grip consists of two symmetrical stamped halves.
The shutter is made in the form of a simple plate that moves vertically and locks the barrel bore in the lower position. The plate has a slot in the upper part which serves as a whole. In the central part of the plate there is a hole for the striker.
The trigger mechanism consists of a stamped trigger, trigger thrust, associated with a spring-loaded massive rotary drummer with a striker in the central part.
The pistol grip in the lower part has a sliding cover under which 10 spare cartridges are placed in the cavity (8 horizontally and 2 vertically).
Most sources indicate that there were no markings on the surface of the gun. However, at an auction I saw a pistol with markings on the left side of the barrel surface.
The Liberator (Liberator) FP-45 has a length of 141 mm, weight without 445 gr. Ammunition, bullet speed 245-250 m / s, target range near 22.8 m. The actual effective range did not exceed 4-8 meters, since the barrel did not had rifling and was short, the powder simply did not have time to completely burn in the barrel.
You can learn more about the design of the pistol by downloading the Drawings of the Liberator (Liberator) FP-45 at Shop.HistoryPistols.ru for free.
To fit the pistol, it was necessary to remove the cartridge from the handle, having previously moved the cover in the lower part of the handle. The drummer was pulled back and turned to the left by 90 degrees. Plate-bolt on the grooves of the breech moved up and inserted into the chamber of the barrel cartridge. Then the barrel was locked, lowering the plate-bolt to the lower position, and the drummer was turned 90 degrees to the initial position. As a result, the drummer stood on the combat platoon, and the striker was located exactly opposite the hole in the center of the plate-bolt and opposite the cartridge primer. After pressing the trigger there is a shot.
To remove the liner and reload it is necessary to pull back the drummer and remove the drummer to the left, lift the plate and bolt up, and remove the sleeve using a wooden extractor rod or other objects, then reload the weapon.
Gun Liberator (Liberator) FP-45 was produced in the form of three series.
The pistols of the first series due to design flaws often caused distortions of the striker, the striker of which did not always fall into the opening of the gate plate.
In the second series, this deficiency was tried to be eliminated by providing in the design the presence of a guide centering rod, which was placed above the striker. In the plate of the bolt a hole was made for this rod. The rod allowed centering the position of the striker and its striker relative to the plate-gate opening.
The third series allowed to eliminate the drawbacks of the fixing strength of the centering rod - it was strengthened.
In addition to the three series, the gun was also produced in several experimental versions. One was a pistol, which had a longer barrel and allowed to increase the distance of the aimed shot.
Another modification of the gun was intended as a weapon that was to be dropped over the territory of Europe. These pistols were made by the 9 × 19 Luger cartridge (Parabellum) common in Europe.
The pistol Liberator (Liberator) FP-45 was produced with a silencer for silent shooting.
They offered for use a dual-shot pistol, in which there was a movable horizontal block of chambers, placed behind the barrel for an 0.45 ACP cartridge. After the first shot, the chamber moved, the drummer cocked and the pistol was ready for the second shot.
However, all experimental samples were not released in large quantities, since all of them were deprived of the basic advantages of an ordinary Liberator FP-45 pistol: low cost, compactness and ease of handling.
Gun Liberator (Liberator) FP-45 is in demand among collectors and fans of weapons. Modern replicas of this weapon are produced by Vintage Ordnance Co. worth about 600 dollars.
The original pistols remaining after the war are sold at auction, depending on the state at a price of 800 dollars. The price of a pistol in its own carton with the original instructions for use may exceed 2500 US dollars.