The arms of Robert Hillberg. Part two
Cold War Echo: Colt Defender (Defender)
Colt Defender was the logical development of the multi-shotgun concept proposed by Robert Hillberg and the successor to the Winchester Liberator shotgun. The war in Southeast Asia was gradually subsiding, but the “partisan shotgun” never found use in it. And the role of the “trench broom” in the hands of the US Army soldiers Winchester Liberator still did not fit, despite all the upgrades.
But the designer did not despair and continued to look after another large state customer for his ideas. He made a decision: using the accumulated experience, create a new weapon, give it additional properties and offer this universal weapon complex first of all to law enforcement agencies. And there, you see, with a favorable set of circumstances, there will be other customers.
Design documentation development was completed in 1967. When designing the new rifle, Hillberg returned to using the 20-caliber Magnum cartridges in his weapon. He believed that this cartridge allowed the shooter to better control the withdrawal of weapons when firing, that is, to make the weapon more manageable. At the same time, the effectiveness of the fire and the damaging ability remained at a level close to the 12 caliber.
The new weapon looked, to put it mildly, unusual. What can I say: with its appearance it impressed and amazed the imagination! In short, the real defender (Defender).
8 (EIGHT !!!) trunks were merged around the central axis. The weapon was equipped borrowed from the Winchester Liberator USM with an open arrangement of a revolver-type trigger and a pistol grip. As in the Winchester Liberator, the block of barrels was fixed motionless to the receiver. As in the Winchester Liberator, the sequence of firing was ensured by the cam mechanism, which changed the position of the drummer and ensured firing from each barrel in turn.
As in the Winchester Liberator, loading weapons occurred by perelamyvaniya block of barrels.
In addition, the Defender was equipped with an additional pistol grip: it was brought forward and placed under the barrel assembly, where the tactical grip is usually mounted. The second pistol grip was supposed to help with instinctive firing or “activate additional functions”.
The length of each barrel was 12 "(30.48 cm), the total weapon length was 17,75 inches (45,08 cm), and it weighed 8,6 pounds (3,9 kg).
The receiver was made of aluminum alloy with steel inserts and was coated with epoxy paint.
In the final version of the weapon was available in four versions.
First performance envisaged a space between the trunks to accommodate the tank with tear gas. It was assumed that the irritant, who was part of the complex, could be used in the liquidation of riots as non-lethal weapons. To use the “non-lethal” properties of this version of the weapon, it was necessary to press the trigger located on the additional pistol grip. In other words, it was like using a grenade launcher.
Second performance It was equipped with a trunk selector. This allowed the shooter to charge barrels with different types of ammunition and choose any of the eight barrels for the next shot. In this I see the similarity with the ability to spin the drum in a revolver: you can use different ammunition in the same drum, and there is an opportunity to choose them according to the situation.
Third performance It was the most "fancy" and absorbed both the properties of non-lethal weapons from the first version, and the ability to select the barrel from the second version. That is, it had a place for a tank with tear gas, and a barrel selector.
Fourth performance It was the simplest: in it the drummer simply turned around a group of trunks and stopped opposite the next one. Opportunities to choose the barrel was not.
Like its progenitor Winchester Liberator, Defender had a semi-automatic rifle rate of fire, but it was incomparably simpler technically. Shotgun was extremely easy to operate and very reliable (affected the presence of trigger revolver type).
Robert Hillberg believed that double-action USM was an ideal solution for use in law enforcement, as it minimized the learning process. Before contacting one of the manufacturers, Hillberg thoroughly tested his “Defender”. The design turned out to be so well thought out that it took only a few minor changes to launch into pre-production.
When Robert Hillberg offered his development to Colt Industries, they showed a very keen interest in Defender. However, before the start of production at Colt insisted on conducting a study to identify potential customers and markets.
Representatives of Colt began to demonstrate the capabilities of a new weapon to a number of departments of various departments, and all those who saw him in the case remained impressed by the simplicity of the Defender’s design, its compactness and firepower. In addition, many found that its appearance has an impressive deterrent effect.
Unfortunately, Defender was born at a time when the United States was in a political and economic crisis. Therefore, the police department sighed, looking with regret at the Defender, but decided to abandon the purchase of new weapons and use what is already in their arsenals.
Despite the interest shown in Defender, marketers from Colt found that given the adverse economic and political situation in the country and in the world, the market for the new weapons would be minimal. And in order to recoup the costs of launching Defender in mass production and make a profit, they recommended to postpone its production “until better times.” But they did not come for the Colt Defender.
By the 1971, the Winchester Liberator and Colt Defender were no longer even remembered.
The “Liberator” and “Defender” shotguns, designed by Robert Hillberg, were undoubtedly among the most innovative shotguns created before that time. Such a combination of compactness, reliability, firepower and simplicity that these samples had, for a long time could not boast of other, later developments. They certainly deserved a better fate.
There were also attempts to create something multi-stunning specifically for the cinema. For example, a non-existent weapon (dummy), specially created for the film Few Seconds / Split Second 1992. Images from the film Few Seconds:
To be continued
- Mikhail Zadunaysky
- http://strangernn.livejournal.com http://www.ar15.com http://www.guntech.com
- The arms of Robert Hillberg. Part one
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