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Commando’s Choice: The De Lisle Carbine

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TFB TV presents the De Lisle Commando Carbine – an old gun that has fascinated small arms enthusiasts since it became publicly known after World War II. It has an almost mythical reputation, as it is supposedly the quietest and most accurate firearm ever issued and used by the Allies in the European and Pacific theaters of war.

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The gun was the brainchild of William Godfrey De Lisle. His first was a 22-caliber rifle, followed by a 9mm then he settled on the .45 ACP. It was capable of firing subsonic rounds, so it lent itself to being suppressed quite well. In fact, British soldiers would reportedly fire from rooftops into the Thames to see if any citizens would notice that shots had been fired. There are other stories regarding this weapon’s accuracy, too.

Of all the De Lisle Commando Carbines, only 129 are known to have been made on a production line – as far as records show. These guns were mostly issued to Special Operations Executive (SOE), Royal Marine Commandos, and some unique American special operations during the war.

The weapon was built using a converted Lee Enfield Mark III (No. 1), attached to a huge baffle tube, chambered in .45 ACP. It used modified 1911 magazines, and had an 8-inch barrel to send subsonic rounds off, mostly for quiet assassination purposes. It was designed to function for long-range targets, which it did admirably.

Miles demonstrates how the De Lisle worked, and discusses its parts. He also goes a bit into the gun’s history, and its production background.

According to TFB TV, the carbine was most likely very effective in combat, but since there were only 129 produced, it probably saw very little service during the war. Some original units were rumored to have survived, and were supposedly used by British special forces and other military units as far as the Korean War.


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