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The DeLisle: Britain’s Silenced .45 ACP Commando Carbine

Armament Research Services (ARES) is a specialist technical intelligence consultancy, offering expertise and analysis to a range of government and non-government entities in the arms and munitions field. For detailed photos of the guns in this video, don’t miss the ARES companion blog post:

The DeLisle carbine was a conversion of a standard SMLE rifle to the .45 ACP cartridge, feeding from modified 1911 pistol magazines. It was fitted with a 7″ (175mm) barrel and a very large integral suppressor. The combination of the subsonic cartridge, the large suppressor volume, and even a sound-dampening pad on the bolt handle made for an extremely quiet firearm. Although often compared to the Welrod silenced pistol, the DeLisle was intended specifically for special forces (Commando) use, and not for dropping into occupied territories.

The conversions were done by the Sterling company, and an order of 550 was placed, with 500 of those using a fixed wooden stock and 50 using a folding metal stock. The contract was cancelled in 1943, however, with only about 130 having been made (and only a single prototype of the folding stock model).

Today we will take a look at one of the prototypes, two of the standard production models, and the only existing folding stock example. While a number of companies have made reproduction DeLisles of varying quality, originals are very rare, and none of the reproduction have duplicated them entirely correctly.

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