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THE INDEPENDENT Issue 534 AUGUST 2018
.the secret the powerDeskripsi lengkap
Es la historia de Winnie, la brujita mas linda, junto a su gato Wilbur.Full description
The Cube routineDescripción completa
Descripción: El libro de los muertos
THE WELROD SUPPRESSOR At an earlier stage, SOE had already experimented with reducing the blast from an ordinary pistol but even when successful in reducing the muzzle blast, the significant noise of the weapons working parts remained. In addition, a conventional weapon fitted with a suppressor became disproportionately big and consequently difficult to conceal on ones person. The
decision was therefore made to develop an uncomplicated single-shot pistol based on a rotating breech to be worked manually. The Welrod differentiates from others in that it is constructed around an integrated suppressor. The entire mechanism is built into an 11.8 in. metal tube with a diameter of 1.26 in. The roughly 3.74 in. barrel ends in a bearing approximately halfway down the tube. Along the five-tracked rifling, 20 holes has been drilled with a .063 in. diameter, permitting the gases to escape into the containing cylinder housing functioning as an expansion chamber. The bearing, best described as a sort of baffle, is provided with 12 holes equally .063 in. in diameter, enabling the gases to further circulate from the expansion chamber and into the deflector system consisting of a series of baffles and washers.
Here a sectioned Mk.IIA, the holes perforating the barrel along the rifling can be clearly seen. Also notice the linnen/leather washeres are almost worn out.
The primary purpose of ventilating the barrel is usually to prevent the projectile from attaining supersonic speed thus breaking the sound barrier, and furthermore to take the edge off the vehemently expanding gases by detouring them into the deflector system where they are being cooled and slowed down before escaping through the muzzle. The 7.65mm Browning cartridge (.32 ACP) is factory born subsonic, why the ventilation of the barrel in this case merely
serves to slow down the speed of the expanding gases.
Here the receiver and barrel completely stripped and with the suppressor tube removed, the holes perforating the barrel along the rifling can be clearly seen. Also note the holes in the bearing fitted onto the muzzle.
When fired, the projectile passes through 18 metal discs (baffles, see cross section and diagram below) separated by 12, 0.2 inch wide spacers and three rubber washers. The baffles are of course provided with a hole to allow the projectile to pass unobstructed, but it must be noted that four of the discs has a hole-diameter of 0.5 inch while the other 14 are but 0.37 inch across. It is extremely important when replacing the baffles that the three baffles with the wider diameter holes are placed on the outside of the washers in order to allow the washer material to expand as they are penetrated by the projectile.
Notice that the three (green) baffles with the wider diameter holes are placed on the outside of the washers in order to allow the washer material to expand as they are penetrated by the projectile. The three washers have no holes until penetrated by the very first shot. The purpose of these washers are to re-seal themselves, if not entirely then as much as possible after the exit of the projectile, thus restraining the gases and forcing them into the deflector system. The washers are however quickly worn resulting in a significant decrease in noise reduction. This has no greater tactical influence though as the Welrod was solely meant as a liquidation weapon and new washers could be reinserted after the mission was completed. It was however rather difficult and laborious to reassemble all the baffles, spacers and washers in the correct succession, not just because of the importance of maintaining maximum sound reduction, but also because damage to the internal parts and great bodily harm to the operator easily could occur if the baffles were stacked in reverse order. Due to lack of free space for the washer to expand, this could result in the projectile exiting through the side of the silencer tube, or it could simply get plugged up in the damaged internal parts. Whether this was the reason for the next development I cannot say, but it is a fact that a disposable silencer unit ready to insert if needed was developed. It consists of an enclosed brass tube 1.151" in diameter and 3.536" in length. It contains all the baffles, spacers and washers, the only difference being that the discs are made from brass and the washers from solid rubber.
The enclosed silencer unit with a loose steel baffle. Notice the rubber washer has been encapsulated with a roll crimp and is protruding from the brass tube. The reason for this is to make sure that the unit will fit tight in the tube and not rattle back and forth. (Photo courtesy of INTAREX - The Netherlands)
The enclosed silencer unit shown with the steel baffle on top of the encapsulated rubber washer. To the right is the unit without the steel baffle in place. (Photo courtesy of INTAREX - The Netherlands)
With this unit in hand, all the operator has to do is to unscrew the silencer tube end-cap, extract the used unit and drop in the new one, top off with a steel disk from the old system, and then screw the end-cap back on. It’s now ready for a new mission and many more suppressed shots. An identical disposable silencer unit measuring 1.151" in diameter but only 2.476" in length was developed for the Sleeve gun.
The speed of sound at a temperature of 15 centigrade travels 1.115 fps. or 340 m/s if you like. For every single centigrade rise in temperature, the speed of sound increase accordingly by 1.6 fps. (0.5 m/s.) It is therefore important to maintain a certain tolerance between the muzzle speed and the speed of sound if the optimal sound reduction is to be obtained. According to the manual, the Welrod delivers a 72 Grain Kynoch projectile at a muzzle speed of 920 fps.
DECIBEL Reportedly the suppressor functions optimally within the first 10 – 15 rounds fired. For those who prefer dry numbers I can inform that the American OSS (Office of Strategic Service), according to a document dated February 12, 1945, performed a measurement on noise from suppressed weapons to help evaluate their own just finished prototype, Hi-Standard Automatic Pistol calibre .380 ACP. All measurements are performed at a perpendicular angle 10 ft. from the muzzle.
From the document it can be seen that the average noise level of the Welrod pistol was at 73 dB, Hi Standard .380 ACP at 81 dB and Hi-Standard .22LR at 71 dB. In comparison, a non-suppressed calibre .32 ACP pistol, has a noise level of 105 dB. This equals, in the case of the Welrod, a noise reduction of approximately 32 dB. You need to keep in mind that the decibel-scale is logarithmic as opposed to linear. From 1 dB to 3 dB you double the value, 6 dB you quadruple, 10 dB is tenfold the value and 20 dB a hundredfold. I am personally of the opinion that the decibel factor is too intangible a notion to deal with, why I much prefer an audio/visual explanation and comparison. Hence the sound of a suppressed shot is best described as the sound of a .22LR percussion cap followed by the sound of a match being struck, the match-sound being the gases slowly seeping from the suppressor. Should the operator choose to reload the weapon immediately upon discharge, the hissing sound of the gases will then be replaced by a dull “plop” as the gases are now released at once under pressure through the chamber.
Above is a visualised picture of the sound profile generated during the loading procedure and the firing of the Welrod Mk IIA. The first short peak (1.) is the breech being twisted into the open position. The second (2.) is the withdrawal of the breech. (3.) is the breech being slid forward and twisted back into the locked position. (4.) Is the shot and (5.) is the sound of the gases slowly and under pressure seeping from the suppressor. Observe that the shot itself hardly is louder than the loading procedure. Judge for yourself the sound of the Welrod Mk IIA:
After firing 15 rounds or so, the efficiency of the suppressor is considerably reduced as the holes in the washers are being worn to the size of the calibre itself. In many cases, an extraction tool together with a small canvas bag containing 3 spare washers, was issued permitting the operator to change these as the need arose. The extraction tool was a cylindrical metal rod approximately .16 in. across and 5,5 in. long. One end formed the shape of a an “L” and the other was bend in a loop. Having removed the muzzle endcap, the L-shaped end was inserted through the washers and baffles and these could then be removed by extracting the tool with a finger through the loop. The tool is stamped with the typical British arrow mark which is odd since they tried to cover their track in every other way, as when it comes to the stamps on the pistols. No stamps indicating a British production are to be found there. The washers came in different variants such as a .03 in. linen
patch glued onto a .23 in. rubber patch. I have also come across other combinations. If you have any additional information please feel free to send me an e-mail.
MISINFORMATION Welrod Mk II was from the beginning constructed around caliber 32. ACP. It was only later when some field operators due to bad experiences, questioned the efficiency of the caliber .32 ACP, that it was decided to further develop the Mk II. The result was the Welrod Mk I, 9mm Parabellum. I feel the need to mention the fact that in literature, the Welrod .32 ACP is consistently referred to as Mk I just as the Welrod 9mm Parabellum is referred to as Mk II. In the case where the referral is to British Welrods, this is an error. I imagine that the mix up occurred when the “American” .32 ACP’s were designated Mk I, just to further confuse the issue. Some claim that the American slang-expression "rod" referring to "gun", is the real reason behind the lettering ROD, but this seems very unlikely. I have also on a few accounts, among others in U.S. documents from OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC RESERCH & DEVELOPMENT come across the spelling “Well Rod”, but the fact that Welwyn is situated about 120 miles from the town of Wells pretty much exclude the possibility that Wells could be the cause for the prefix. To further add to the confusion you will find that the American weapons-literature in several places refer to the Welrod as "Hand Firing Device Mk I ". In order to uncover the reason behind this, I aimed a letter to The Naval Historical Centre who in turn replied with the following explanation:
[quote] It would appear that the Naval Gun Factory, Washington Navy Yard, did some of research and experimentation. From July through September 1943, they worked with the US Army and Marine Corps to investigate the properties of the Welrod and make final recommendations for its use. The Navy did accept the pistol for use. Eventually, it was assigned the official nomenclature "Hand Firing Device Mark 1". This provided a clandestine nomenclature, and denoted its use for special applications.[/quote] There is apparently also some confusion concerning the official American designation, which almost always is .32 Hand Firing Device Mk I. But on the Welrod that is kept in the Ministry of Defence/Pattern Room, the marking on the silencer tube says: .32 Hand Firing MECHANISM Mk I. Several places in litterature it can be found that the Welrod was developed by a British officer codenamed "Major Dolphin", and that his real name was never revealed to the public. It is a fact that the Commander of the Frythe was Major John Robert Vernon Dolphin (later Lt. Col.), but that he should have chosen a codename identical with his real name seems rather unlikely. Other sources claims that that the Welrod is named after the inventor whos name is Welwyn! None of these allegations are true. The book "SOE The Scientific Secrets", by Fredric Boyce and Douglas Everett, features a reprint of Newly released document from the Public Record Office (PRO) in England. The document that was produced towards the end of the war was to ensure that the right persons would be properly credited for their inventions. The document reveal that the inventor of both the Welrod and the Sleevegun was Major H.Q.A. Reeves. Major Hugh Quentin Alleyne Reeves was born in Seaford, Sussex late in 1909. Major Reeves was one of the most productive and creative engineers attached to Station IX. He was among other behind the STENgun silencer, fluorescent night sights, the Sleeping Beauty and the Welbum but to mention a few. After the war he became involved in a project concerning noise reduction in jet engines. Unfortunatly he was killed in an accident on October 25, 1955 at Bitteswell Airfield. Mr Reeves was investigating the problem of reducing noise from jet engines running on the ground. He was carrying out tests on a Hunter Mark V fitted with a Sapphire engine. While making an examination he was suddenly drawn into the intake of the silencer and received fatal injuries. I will briefly mention that persistent rumors circulate stating that the Welrod was also manufactured in calibers .380 ACP and .45 ACP. This cannot be confirmed, as I have been unable to find firm and trustworthy information on the subject. Twice during my research I have come across information, stating that the Welrod was part of the equipment carried by Flt. Lt. Gary Powers on board his American U2 spy plane when he was shot down over the USSR. This is not correct. Flt. Lt. Gary Powers was armed with a silenced HiStandard model USA-HD caliber .22LR, serial number 120046. The serial number is not listed in High Standards annals, as the gun was delivered to the CIA, but that is another story entirely.
STATUS Welrod Mk I and Mk IIA stayed in service for many years after the end of the war. Several, now retired, SAS (Special Air Service) operators report that the Welrod was in use during the Falklands, in Northern Ireland, and even as late as in the 1991 Gulf war. It is equally well documented that the
American SOG (Studies and Observations Group) were using the Welrod in Vietnam, just as the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) have had the Mk I in their armouries for use in “Clandestine Operations”. As late as 1965, the Welrod was still listed in their inventory.
If you have any additional information please feel free to send me an e-mail.
MODEL I Preceding any successful invention there are always one or several prototypes, as is the case with the Welrod pistol. The following is a brief description of the Welrod's predecessor, the Model-1.
(Photo - Anders Thygesen courtesy of the Royal Armouries)
(Photo - Anders Thygesen courtesy of the Royal Armouries)
One of the more notable differences is found in the bolt action, a conventional reloading mechanism similar to that of the Mauser K98. The bolt itself has been tilted in a further downward angle, placing it snugly to the side of the pistol in order to prevent it from snagging on the operator´s clothing. The difference in the trigger also distinctly stands out as it is positioned on the left side of the pistol and therefore must be activated with a forward movement of the thumb.
(Photo - Anders Thygesen courtesy of the Royal Armouries)
Unfortunately this results in the loss of an otherwise relatively good grip on the pistol at the moment of trigger activation. The last major difference has to do with the pistol grip. It is made from sheet metal and doubly functions as a cover for the pistols magazine. Though noticeably shorter than on the later Mk II and furthermore here, an integrated part of the pistol thus not detachable. This means that the pistol had to be loaded from the top and with the breech open, as with e.g. the Mauser C96. The double stack magazine holds 5 rounds of calibre .32 ACP.
The double stack magazine holds 5 rounds of calibre .32 ACP. (Photo - Courtesy of the Royal Armouries)
(Photo - Anders Thygesen courtesy of the Royal Armouries)
On the aesthetical side, the main difference is probably that the suppressor is not carried through the length of the pistol, which makes for a somewhat clumsy and disharmonic design. Generally the design was met with satisfaction, but the fact that the pistol had to be loaded from the top, the clumsy bolt-action system, the reduced grip upon trigger activation and the disproportionate size of the pistol grip all combined to lead to redesign of the construction around March 1943, ending with the model we know today as the Welrod Mk II.
Close-up of trigger mechanism. (Photo - Courtesy of the Royal Armouries)
In November 1942 on behalf of the Chief of Combined Operations (CCO) and Capt. Sykes a number of examples were made and tested the following month. After the trials it was decided to manufacture 500 for stock at Station XII. If this order was actually executed before the Mk.II went into production, I have been unable to determine.
If you have any additional information please feel free to send me an e-mail.
VARIANTS Mk II was dropped into Denmark in several variants. The primary difference
between the two basic models, the Mk II and Mk IIA, is the shape of the trigger and the trigger-guide. The Mk.II does not have the triggerplate side plates (rails) to guide the trigger-plate but instead the trigger-plate is mounted with four screws through four milled slots in the trigger-plate to the bottom of the receiver. These slots serves the purpose of guiding the trigger-plate. Furthermore the Mk II bear resemblance of having been made "by hand" whereas on the pistols beginning around the #3000 series (Mk IIA) can be clearly seen the signs of an industrialisation in the production technique. On the Mk II the ejector port scallop was ground along the length of the weapon (oval shape) whereas on the post #3300 series the ejector port has been ground perpendicularly to the length of weapon (angular shape). The suppressor tube that is screwed onto the receiver is on the early model (Mk II) fixated with a pin on the side of the receiver, whereas on the later model (Mk IIA) it is fixated with a mandrel stamp on the top of the tube in front of the ejector port. Furthermore lesser variations can occur on both basic models as the changes were made currently. Typically these are things like the shape of the sights, or the way the suppressor was "packed", the number of spacers and bafflers etc. It should be noted that other variants than the above-mentioned can occur as these descriptions only adhere to the Welrods I have had the opportunity to study. The alterations were solely made for reasons of production and had no influence on the functionality or use of the pistol. According to a document from The Public Record Office, the Welrod was, in both 9mm and .32ACP, tested along with 76 other devices during the period October 1. 1943 - October 10. 1944. Both versions received a "B" grading meaning "substantial modifications needed". It is tempting to assume that these modifications resulted in the change of designation from Mk.II to Mk.IIA, especially since the drawing of the Mk.IIA recently discovered, is dated September 6. 1943 and marked with the trademark: B.S.A. GUNS LTD, England. In other words the Mk.IIA was still under development during the trial. Sadly the character of the modifications was never specified in detail why the question remains unanswered. According to the drawing the last revision was made August 8. 1944. Welrod Mk I (9mm Parabellum) was equally produced in at least two variants "Type A" and "Type B". I have not been able however, to define with certainty the difference between the two.
DESCRIPTION OF Mk. II AND Mk. IIA On the exterior the pistol consists only of the tube which, including the breech, measures 12.2 inches. On to the tube is fitted an approximately 1 inch magazine housing. The housing fits a modified
magazine from a Colt Pocket Model 1903 .32 ACP pistol. The modification consists of a little locking mechanism soldered onto the back of the magazine. When inserted into the magazine housing, the mechanism locks into a little square hole on the back of the housing. The magazine, sheathed in rubber (Ebonite), doubly functions as the pistols grip. Unfortunately this system turned out to be inexpedient, as the operator in extreme cases risked accidentally activating the locking mechanism thus ejecting the magazine. The safety of the pistol is a so-called grip safety. When a firm grip is maintained around the pistol grip the grip safety will be activated and lift the safety bar that blocks the trigger plate and the weapon can be fired. The safety works by mechanically blocking the action of the trigger but not that of the firing pin. The trigger, best described as a bent nail, is contrary to the Mk I not protected by a trigger-guard, meaning that it cannot simply be tucked into the belt without risking involuntarily to release a shot. The sights are basic front and rear with ability to horizontally adjust the rear sight. The pistol weights 2.4 lb. Even though the magazine holds 8 rounds the manual recommends the loading of 5 rounds maximum in order to ensure a reliable feed of the chamber upon reloading. The Mk II's are bi-coloured in that the receiver is brownish. The Mk.IIA pistols appears well made, sturdy of construction and without lavish detail. It is parkerized and the finish appears steely grey. The rubber magazine is black. With the magazine off, the pistol can pass for almost anything. It was quickly dubbed "The bicycle pump" due to its anonymous appearance. Several of the Mk IIA's and Mk I's inspected bear semblance of having been painted black. Several areas still have paint residue around the trigger, trigger-guide and magazine housing. If they actually at some point in time were black or the reason is another, I have not yet been able to determine.
Here can be seen an original washer set consisting of three linnen/rubber washers in a canvas bag. Note the special extractor tool under the bag. The pistols is a Mk.II on the left and a Mk.IIA to the right.
The pistol is a single-shot weapon but since it is operated and basically functions as a bolt-action rifle it is possible to repeat relatively fast. This is accomplished by twisting the knurly end of the breech 90 degrees counter clockwise and pull it back approximately 1.5 inch till it reaches the stopping-screw. Hereby the empty cartridge is extracted and ejected vertically as with the Luger P. 08. The breech is then pushed forward, peeling a round of the magazine and feeding it into the chamber, and at the same time cocking the firing pin. The pin is of the "floating" kind, as we know it, among others, from the Luger P.08 and basically functions in the same manner. To lock the breech, this is now twisted 90 degrees clockwise and the pistol is ready to fire. The breech has its two locking lugs placed to the rear,
as opposed to modern rifles where the lugs are placed in front of the breech head. As there is no protruding grip on the breech, you can visually verify the correct locking by checking that the purpose made V-shaped notch on the knurly part is aligned with the V-shaped notch in the receiver just behind the rear sight. For cleaning or maintenance the stop-screw is unscrewed with a coin or similar, allowing the breech to be extracted from the receiver.
Here is shown the two V-shaped notches in the breech and the receiver respectively. The notches must be aligned to ensure correct locking of the breech. Note Mk II (above) has more of an oval shaped ejector port scallop as opposed to the Mk IIA (below) that is angular.
Here can be clearly seen the differences in the trigger-guide and the trigger shape along with its spring mechanism. Mk II (above). It is also clearly visible how the grip safety bar blocks the trigger platform to prevent unintended activation (click for larger photo).
Keeping in mind the purpose for which it was built, it is obvious why the Welrod had no place on the open battlefields. This statement is supported in the English manual from December 1943 where the reason for the shape of the nose cap is given as follows: The nose cap of the weapon is hollowed to enable an operator to place it tightly against the body of a person and fire. The noise is then still further reduced. This will allow the shooting of a man in a crowd with the minimum chance of detection. For this purposes, there is no question of any special training.
Here can be seen the particular shape of the nose cap that is being referred to in the manual.
Mk II (above) was fitted with a disproportionately long foresight compared to the later Mk IIA (below).
Here can be seen the stopping-screw that ensures that the breech is not extracted
from the receiver during the loading procedure. Note the rails guiding the trigger.
Only on the first few models the two end-digits "37" of the serial number was stamped into the trigger platform.
Welrod Mk IIA dismantled. Note the barrel bearing with the 12 vents as well as the insides of the silencer here shown exactly as it was packed. The magazine well has been forced into a milling in the receiver and then silver soldered for permanent fixation. The barrel has been fixed to the receiver with a pin. In the same manual the effective range in daylight is given to be 25 yards, and in darkness - hence the fluorescent coating on the sights - 7 to 10 yards. The manual does however recommend that the operational distance be kept to within 8 yards. A
prerequisite for shooting at 25 yards is explained as follows: For these deliberate shot, extreme accuracy is required. It can only be obtained by correct trigger squeeze, that is by gradual squeeze of the whole hand. With training and practice it will be found quite possible to get very accurate groups at the distances mentioned. The gun should be held with the thumb and forefinger as close up to the muzzle as possible, the pistol grip being held by the right hand no harder than is necessary to compress the safety catch. For standing shots, the left elbow should be held as close in to the body as possible.
If you have any additional information please feel free to send me an e-mail.
Welrod MkI. Caliber 9mm parabellum (Photo - Anders Thygesen courtesy of the Royal Armouries). Click for closeup photo of trigger group.
Alas I’ve been less successful in obtaining adequate information about the Mk I version. Still, I have enough for a reasonable description. I have the manuals for both the “Type A” and “Type B”, but to the best of my efforts there are no visible differences between the two. The difference is most likely in the internal suppressor tube construction. Differences in the end cap has been noticed however as some caps has a slot cut in the face allowing a tool to be insert to assist loosen or tightening the cap.
9mm Welrod Mk.I. suppressor end caps. Notice the one to the left with the slot cut in the face. This particular silencer has never been fired and there is still traces of glue and paper from the factory seal. (Photo courtesy of INTAREX - The Netherlands)
In the manuals under FUNCTION, GENERAL DESCRIPTION and under NOTES ON USE texts are identical and read as follows:
FUNCTION: The 9mm. Welrod is a silent single shot pistol, intended for use by specially trained operators for specific tasks.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The weapon is a specially constructed single shot pistol with a detachable silencer. It is silent, reliable in action and easy to conceal. It is accurate up to 30 yards in daylight or 20 yards on a fairly light night, but is most effective when fired in contact with the target.
NOTES ON USE: The gun has three distinct and separate uses: a) For aimed and deliberate shots in daylight or darkness. The effective range of the gun with normal handling is 15/30 yards. For deliberate shots, extreme accuracy is required and can only be obtained by correct trigger squeeze, i.e. a gradual squeeze by the whole hand. With training and practice it is possible to obtain very accurate groups at the distances mentioned. The gun should be held with the thumb and forefinger of the left hand as close up to the muzzle as possible, the pistol grip being held by the right hand. For standing shots, the left elbow should be as close to the body as possible and the rear of the gun approximately 6”/7”from the operator´s eye. b) Without its silencer and used as a single-shot weapon. c) By use of the weapon at the closest quarters, i.e. with the muzzle against the target. For this purpose no special training is required.
The construction itself is practically identical to that of the Mk IIA with the exception of a few details. The grip safety is slightly different in appearance but functions in the exact same manner. Placed underneath the tube right behind the grip safety, a secondary manually operated safety catch has been added. The trigger and trigger-function remains the same, but is now protected by a trigger guard. The magazine release has, due to the previously mentioned problems on the Mk II and Mk IIA, been moved in front of the grip and inside the trigger guard. The magazine is most likely from a .38 Colt Automatic, and the manual directs that although the total capacity allows for 6 bullets, that only 5 be loaded. The true difference lies with the suppressor tube that is two-piece. The rear piece, as with Mk II and Mk IIA, contains the breech, barrel and expansion chamber, whereas the front piece contains the baffles and washers section. The front piece, detachable just in front of the front sight, has a length of 125 mm bringing the pistol to a total length of 360 mm. The tube diameter is 35 mm, and the weight of the pistol is 1500 grams which equals 53 ounce.
9mm Welrod Mk.I. with the suppressor unscrewed. Notice the vax paper seal showing us that this is a new silencer ready for use. (Photo - Anders Thygesen courtesy of the Royal Armouries).
The advantage to a detachable suppressor part is obvious as this makes the weapon considerably easier to conceal. The pistol will function despite the front piece being removed; however the noise reduction will be non exsisting. The few examples I have had the opportunity to examine have all been marked with a 5 digit serial number as well as the familiar “star and square” stamp under the receiver.
A brief description of the silencer assembly is as follows: The barrel is perforated with 12 .068 inch diameter holes, allowing the powder gases to escape into the expansion chamber surrounding the barrel. In this case the holes serve the purpose of preventing the bullets from going supersonic as is the standard of 9 mm Parabellum ammunition. The suppressor piece differentiates markedly from Mk II and Mk IIA. It consists of 2 washers made from Linatex and reinforced with a layer of canvas on one side. The discs must be placed with the canvas facing the breech end. Later versions had the washers without canvas attached and they look and feel like modern rubber chemical plugs. A metal baffle is placed on the canvas side and a compressed felt disc with a 13/32 inch hole and a metal baffle are placed on the upper side of the washer facing the muzzle end. In between is a metal spacer best described as a spool from a sewing machine perforated on the axis by 24 holes .104 inch in diameter. The spacer creates yet another expansion chamber for the gases to cool of in before passing through the last washer.
X-ray of 9mm Welrod Mk.I. suppressor.
(X-ray courtesy of INTAREX - The Netherlands)
9mm Welrod Mk.I. suppressor field stripped.
(Photo courtesy of INTAREX - The Netherlands)
9mm Welrod Mk.I. suppressor field stripped.
(Photo courtesy of INTAREX - The Netherlands)
The muzzle velocity is approx. 1000 fps. Apart from the manually operated safety and the magazine release, the Mk I is operated and functions as the Mk II and Mk IIA. The iron sights are coated with a fluorescent material that, according the manual, renders the weapon efficient at 20 yards on a bright summer eve. The effective range in daylight is reported to be 30 yards. The recommended maximal shooting range is 24 yards.
Diagram of Welrod Mk.l.
(Drawing Joe M. Ramos - Canada)
If you have any additional information please feel free to send me an e-mail.
PRODUCTION Having completed the final design, the Birmingham Small Arms Company (B.S.A.), Small Heat, Birmingham - in all probability and under great secrecy - was commissioned to mass produce the Welrod pistol. The only distinguishing markings on the pistols were that of a little five-pointed star and square along with a serial number. All markings were stamped underneath on the tube right behind the pistol grip. The serial numbers, numeric only, are either 4 or 5 digits and, in addition to the above mentioned position are also stamped into the breech and etched into the magazine with an electrical pen. Not all magazines bear serial numbers however. The very first bore no markings at all. The molded ebonite grip was slightly differently shaped than on most of those we find today. Also the magazine was of a different model which can best be distinguished on the magazine jaws. This was an earlier Colt magazine that was used until 1926 and apparently happened to be available yet. The production Welrods were made with current production Colt magazines. When the magazines began to bear markings it was only the two last digits of the serial number. Probably not until around #3000 was the full serial number marked on the magazine and it is also around this time the grip got its final design by making the “neck” sturdier. The cut-outs for the magazine locking mechanism can vary somewhat in shape and size. On some of the first grips a cross-filed pattern can in rare cases be seen on the locking mechanism.
The one to the left is one of the first models with a slim “neck” this particular one has no number stamped. The one to the right is the "standard” grip with the "fat" neck. Also notice that the locking mechanism on the early one is cross-filed.
On the Mk IIA series the entire serial number has been etched into magazine whereas this Mk II model (above) only has the two last digits "37" on the back.
Less noticeable are the markings one may find on the butt of the receiver. On some of the Welrods I have had the opportunity to inspect these markings have varied between – and on occasion appeared in combinations of-: "F","T","L","Z","D", In addition I have seen “L” inside a figure of double diamonds and “P” inside a circle. Apparently there is no pattern or system to these markings. Far from all of the pistols carry these markings. The square and the five-pointed star appear without exception on all of the inspected weapons. Yet it has not been possible to establish their true significance. A qualified guess is that the markings represent a form of testing and/or inspection or maybe some sort of coding like the German “byf”, “cyq”, “ac” and others that indicated place of production of German weapons.
Above is shown examples of 4 different stamped markings. On the pistol to the left is stamped with an “F” and “k” whereas the pistol on the right bears an “L” inside a figure of double diamonds and a “P” inside a circle. The steel ball protruding top left on the receiver is spring loaded and assures that the closed breech is held in place by locking into a corresponding hole on the breech.
Here is clearly shown the small square marking along with the five-pointed star. On this Mk II the serial number is stamped along the length of the tube whereas the Mk IIA is stamped abeam of the length. B.S.A. has been unable to confirm this. They claim none of the pistols bore serial numbers or other markings that could reveal the manufacturer. They do however confirm having produced parts for the Welrod as well as entire pistols but that several other British companies were involved in the production. Here is an excerpt from the correspondence: [quote] Regarding the information that you are requesting on the Welrod pistol, although we have in the past manufactured specific parts for these particular pistols, we have no information regarding production development or variations of these pistols. All we know is that they were produced by a number of companies in Britain including B.S.A. and these were developed specifically for covert operations in occupied Europe. They, therefore, bore no serial numbers or indication as to where they were manufactured. [/quote] But if B.S.A. did not mark the weapons then who did? The National Firearms Centre (NFC) in Leeds, England has a rare prototype of the Welrod Mk.IIA pistol. The text “PROTOTYPE WELROD Mk.IIA” is engraved on the left side of the receiver just below the rear sight. The interesting part however is that the only mark to be found is the five pointed star exactly as we know it from all the other models. This does in my humble opinion mean that the star most likely belong to the Birmingham Small Arms factory and was put there during the production.
The text is stamped on the receiver below the rear sight. (Photo Richard D. Jones, Custodian MOD Pattern Room)
Only the five pointed star is to be found on the prototype which indicates that it was in fact a British marking. (Photo Richard D. Jones, Custodian MOD Pattern Room) I regret not being able to account for the significance of the markings in a more precise manner than the above written so I will leave it up to each individual to draw his own conclusions. The production of the Mk II was not officially up and running until late 1943, but several documents reveals that it was indeed available already at the beginning of 1943. According to the serial numbers at least 14.000, were supposedly produced. Not until the middle of 1944 did the production of Mk I get under way. The amount produced is unknown. The beginning of the production of the Mk I so late in the war is undoubtedly the reason it was never dropped into Denmark. A recently discovered drawing of the Mk.I bears the date May 17, 1944 with the last revision made on what looks like May 15. 1956! (printing is faded and difficult to read). The drawing is marked with the trademark: B.S.A. GUNS LTD., England.
Part of the engineering drawing showing the bolt and receiver. (Drawing from the MOD Pattern Room) If you have any additional information please feel free to send me an e-mail.
DISTRIBUTION From the serial numbers I have collected I have tried to gain a general view of the number of Welrods Mk IIA produced. The pistols are, with the exception of a few series (0,1 & 9), represented throughout the entire spectrum. This leads me to believe that the serial numbers corresponds with the number of pistols actually produced. The highest serial number I have come across is #14.359 and the lowest is #2.008 (Mk II). I have yet to find a pistol in the #100, #1000 and #9000 series. Perhaps the production started at #2000 and maybe the #9000 series was completely skipped from production. It’s more likely however that I just haven’t had the luck to find any Welrods from the missing series yet. Another possibility is that the #9000 series was earmarked for another country like Norway or France, both of which received a good deal of Welrods just like the US is a possibility as we know that they received a considerable amount.
My qualified guess is that the first pistols in the range #2000 through #5000 arrived here with some of the in all 53 SOE agents who were parachuted into Denmark, while the #6000 through 14.000 primarily got here via some of the numerous weapon drops to the resistance movement during the last third of the war.
Diagram of the pattern of dropped Welrods in Denmark according to serial numbers. On the horizontal axis, “0” are pistols with serial numbers 0 through 999. “1” represents serial numbers 1.000 through 1.999 and so forth. The vertical axis represents the number of registered pistols (updated June 25, 2008).
Diagram of the pattern of all known Welrods according to serial numbers. On the horizontal axis, “0” are pistols with serial numbers 0 through 999. “1” represents serial numbers 1.000 through 1.999 and so forth. The vertical axis represents the number of registered pistols (updated June 25, 2008). It has proven impossible to pinpoint exactly when the first pistol was dropped over the kingdom, but in paragraph 15 in an extensive correspondence from the Danish S.O.E. Chief Flemming B. Muus aka “Jam” to Commander R. C. Hollingworth aka “CHOP”, dated July 31, 1943, “Jam” writes: [quote]"Rubber Pistol. Have heard of such an instrument. In case of delivery the package must be marked “To be opened by JAM only”. The advantage is supposedly the complete sound suppression."[/quote] So at this point in time it must have been relatively unknown to the resistance movement. It is equally difficult to ascertain how many in total were dropped, but according to David B. Lampe author of The Savage Canary from 1957, we received about 150. He writes: [quote]"Although mass-produced in Britain during World War II, none of these silent weapons has been displayed in armament museums, for they were created specifically for the unmentionable assassination of traitors. Altogether about 150 reached Denmark during
the occupation."[/quote] A drop in Grib forest at Smorstenen April 12, 1945, contained 18 Welrod pistols, and another in Gronholt hedge February 26, 1945 and in March 23, 1945 in Hobro in Jutland also contained Welrod pistols. Unfortunately it is not known how many. Additionally a number of drops earlier during the occupation contained Welrods, and some of the in total 53 deployed SOE agents, four of whom made the trip twice, were most likely equipped with the Welrod. In the fall of 1943, the parachute agents Ole Geisler aka ”Aksel” and Jens Lillelund aka ”Finn” planned to assassinate Norway’s Reichskommisar Josef Terboven during a visit to Denmark. Josef Terboven who was a top Nazi and Norway’s answer to Czechoslovakia’s Reinhard Heydrich, was to be shot in his suite at the Palace Hotel in Copenhagen. For the job “Axel” presented the first Welrod seen in Denmark. Two “Holger Danske” (a group within the resistance movement) members carrying each their Welrod, was to disguise themselves as waiters and shoot Josef Terboven in his room. The plan was aborted however, as it was estimated that the gain by the liquidation seen from a military perspective, would not measure up to the inevitable retaliations that would be carried out on already captured members of the resistance movement as well as on innocent civilians. The pistol was in 1966 donated to the Museum of Danish Resistance by Jens Lillelund. The latest officially known instances of the Welrod’s use in Denmark are as follows: December 14, 1943: Jens Lillelund aka “Finn” and Bent Faurschou-Hviid aka ”The Torch” attempts to liquidate the informant Mrs. Hedvig Delbo in her apartment in Osterbro, Copenhagen. A second attempt is carried out successfully on March 19, 1944 by Gunner Dyrberg with a STENgun. Again in December 1943: Jorgen Rojel borrows a Welrod from parachute agent Jens Jacob Jensen aka “Jens” aka “Pudding” to carry out a liquidation. October 11, 1944: Henning Roge aka ”Max” tried with a Welrod to kill the infamous informant Henry Meister on Vesterbrogade in Norrsundby. Henry Meister is wounded in the stomach and immediately return fire thereby killing “Max”. November 17, 1944: Mrs. Frederikke Rungager, age 37, is liquidated at Aarhus County Hospital with a Welrod by a member of the Staal group.
The article advertising Mrs. Rungagers decease. (Click for English translation). It should be noted that back in those days too, the press utterly uncritically used the term “revolver” or “pistol”, whenever the referral was to a handgun regardless of type or make. The, in these instances erroneous designations, should therefore not be attributed any specific significance. In the archives of The Museum of Danish Resistance is a report from the Technical Department of the Federal Police, regarding an investigation of a Welrod pistol. According to the report, the Welrod was used in an assassination attempt on Mrs. Hedvig Delbo December 14, 1943, as well as the liquidation of Mr. Nordahl in Aarhus in January 3, 1944 and an unnamed person in Copenhagen, April 19, 1944 respectively.
The liquidation in Aarhus January 3, 1944. It was not unknown to the police that suppressed pistols
were used for assassinations.(Click for resume in English.)
Article from January 6, 1944. (Click for English translation).
Article describing the liquidation in Copenhagen, April 19, 1944. (Resume in English is not available for the moment). In the beginning of December 1944, Svend Otto Nielsen aka ”John” on request from England carried out a spectacular operation against the German fighter planes at Kastrup Airport. He was supposed to steal a newly developed locating unit from a parked night fighter. The operation was carried out with the help from an airport employee named Knud Helge Hejl. Unfortunately they were discovered by a German patrol and Knud Helge Hejl got captured. John however got away by crawling several kilometers on his hands and knees. During his escape he shot and killed a German sentry with his Welrod. To the less dramatic accounts of the Welrod in action belongs the story of “The Torch” who around Christmas 1943 shoots a swan in Frederiksberg gardens and serves it for his friends at a later festive occation. In June 1944 Kaj Jensen a member of the illegal resistance group BOPA used a Welrod during the one hour long raid on Hærens Våbenarsenal (the army’s production facility). No details on how it was used other than to safeguard the employees and guards. Kaj Jensen was killed in action on Martz 16, 1945.
Several of the airdropped weapons and explosive were captured and used by the Germans against the resistance, but also against the ordinary noncombatant Danish citizen. Somehow they found a profound irony in fighting the resistance with weapons delivered by the Allied. The Peter-group, a terror organization devised by SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, made it their signature only to use captured weapons and explosives. In an effort to fight and suppress the resistance activity, SS Standartenfürer Otto Anton Rolf Skorzeny on behalf of Heinrich Himmler created a “Sonderkommando Dänemark” which sole purpose was to kill famous or otherwise well-known or productive Danish citizen, and perform terror by blowing up amusement parks, cinemas, trains, trams and other public friendly places. It was also decided that for every German killed in Denmark, 5 Danish citizens were to be killed in retaliation. In charge he put Hauptsturmführer Otto Alexander Schwerdt but he also ordered the SS men Louis Nebel and Anton Gföller to assist him. Together they recruited several men, both Germans and native Danes sympathizing with the German ideology, among them the Danish speaking SS Oberscharfürer Kurt Carstensen. The group was named the Peter-group (“Unternehmung Peter” in German); the name was created from Schwedt’s cover name “Peter Schäffer”. On December 30, 1943 around 06:30pm Otto Schwerdt, Anton Gföller, Louis Nebel, Ludvig Huf and Kurt Carstensen all members of the Peter-Group nocked on the door to the apartment of Editor Christian Dam in Copenhagen. Dam’s wife let them in. Schwerdt and Nebel each had a Welrod that they had test fired the same day. Gföller stayed guard outside while Schwerdt, Huf, Carstensen and Nebel went with Dam to his study room. Inside the room Nebel pulled his Welrod but Dam immediately jumped him and got hold on the suppressor tube and they both fell to the floor. Schwerdt intervened and in all three shot were fired. Dam was hit in the back and left thigh but also took a bullet to the head fracturing a part of his skull and left eye. All though critical injured Dam survived the assassination attempt. The Peter-Group escaped without injuries. On February 3, 1944 around 06:00pm High Court lawyer Holger Christensen is on his way home after a long day at work. He didn´t notice that he was followed by SS Unterscharfürer Fritz Himmel from Sonderkommando Dänemark, and little did he know that Oberfähnrich Droos also from Sonderkommando Dänemark was positioned in the shadows only 30 meters from his entrance door. When Christensen had passed Droos by about 10 meters he raised his Welrod pistol, and fired one shot into the back of his head. The full jacketed projectile pierced his Italian Borsalino hat, the back of his skull, went through the brain and exited through his forehead right above his right eye. Christensen was dead before he hit the ground. On August 30, 1944 around 08:00 am cand.scient.techn. I.E. Snog-Christensen was kidnapped in front of his home by Henning Bothildsen Nielsen, Hauptsturmführer Henning Brøndum, Schwerdt, Ludvig Huf, Otto Wagner and the SS Unterscharfürer Fritz Himmel. They drove him to a safe house at the beach in Snekkersten owned by the German Sicherheitsdienst. Inside the house they waited until the sun had set, and when it was dark they took him to the beach telling him that they expected a boat to arrive anytime soon, and that there was a person on board that they need him to identify. When they reached the beach and Snog-Christensen faced the ocean, Otto Wagner sneaked up behind him and shot him with his Welrod in the back of the head. He collapsed without a sound and was dead before hitting the sand. On January 24, 1945 around 12:00 pm William Prieme, a well know member of the parliament was shot and killed by a shot in the head on the street in broad daylight. The killing was executed by Kurt Heel and Bothildsen Nielsen from the notorious Peter-group. They sneaked up behind Prieme
and then Heel fired his Welrod into the back of his head. Prieme's hat was blown off from the impact and for a second or two Prieme just stood still, then he slowly fell forward like a piece of lumber. The killing was done in retaliation for the resistances assassination of the Nazi Chief of the Schalburg Corps, Lieutenant T. I. P. O. Madsen on January 22, 1945. There is no doubt that the Welrod has seen far more action than above mentioned accounts, but as I know only of second hand reports with no official documentation to support the claims I have chosen not to list them here. Below are 2 rare photos of a resistance fighter and his Welrod.
The photo is from Nykøbing Falster, Denmark date 05.05.1945
Target practice at Frodeslund, Denmark after the liberation. Newly(2002) released documents (HS 8/199) from the archives of S.O.E in the National Archives UK, reveals the planning of "Operation Execution Month" in June 22, 1943. The operation called for the occupied countries to simultaneously assassinate as many Gestapo and SS officials as
possible within a given month. For this purpose alone, a message went out to increase the production of Welrods in order to meet the demands of the pending campaign. Below I have copied the text of a document containing a draft of the plan. Unfortunately this exact document is not dated, but must necessarily be from June, 1943.
Drawing illustrating a Danish resistance fighter liquidating a GESTAPO official. "EXECUTION" Campaign. Preliminary discussion shows that there are considerable possibilities in organising a widespread "execution" campaign in occupied territories against Gestapo and S.S. officials. It is considered that to achieve the maximum effect it should be carried out simultaneously in all countries. It is suggested that as a start a certain month be declared an "execution" month. Sufficient time must be allowed for thorough preparation, for the necessary distribution of suitable weapons, and for the posting of death warrants.
The Welrod appears to be the most suitable weapon, as it is silent and easily concealed. On present information the production situation is most unsatisfactory. 500 have been ordered, but there is no indication when they will be delivered. It might be best to declare September or October as the "execution" month. This would give time for preparation and would be a warning to the Germans as to what to expect during the long dark winter nights. But a decision will depend on the Welrod situation and, until this is settled, the date cannot be communicated to the field.
Production of Welrods. This will have to be accelerated if we are to carry out a campaign of "execution" in the near future. Below is an excerpt from the account of the meeting at S.O.E, June 22, 1943. I found the account in The National Archives UK, but as the entire account is far too voluminous to print here, I have kept it to the text relevant to the subject. S.O.E. COUNSIL MINUTES of MEETING held on TUESDAY, 22.6.43. PRESENT: CD, V/CD, A/CD, AD/E, D/FIN, AD/S, AD/Z, D/Plans, AD/4, AD/N. ABSENT: A.D.3. In attendance: PSO.1. and PSO.2. [quote] 62. OPERATIONS DIRECTORATE - "Execution" Campaign. Counsil considered a paper by AD/E recommending a concerted execution campaign against Gestapo and S.S. officials, mainly by means of the Welrod. AD/Z said that the total order for Welrods was 600, of which 100 were due for delivery in July and he could with reasonable certainty promise that these 100 would be available in August. DECISIONS: (a) AD/E's proposal was approved but should be for the most part confined to civilian officials rather than soldiers; We should concentrate on Germans rather than on Quislings. (b) AD/Z's total order for 600 was confirmed but AD/4 and D/Plans should ascertain the requirements of Far Eastland Middle East respectively. (c) AD/Z should pres forward production so as to ensure delivery of 100 Welrods by the end of August and at least 100 for every succeeding month. (d) The target date for the campaign should be 1st. October.
[/quote] 68. RESEARCH - Welman. AD/Z reported that one Lancaster III had been allotted for experimental transport purposes. [/quote] The operation was never carried out, probably due to fear of retaliation from the occupational forces. The Allied must have begun to realize the incalculable consequences of the previously carried out “Operation Anthropoid” at this point. The terrible massacre at the Czech town Lidice close to Prague, where the entire male population was executed, all the women were deported, and the town itself was literally razed to the ground with bulldozers in retaliation for the assassination of SS Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich on May 27, 1942 by two Czech S.O.E agents. In the aftermath, thousands of randomly picked people were executed, and there was no reason to believe that the Germans would be lenient on Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium or France if similar assassinations on SS officials were to take place here. The Nazis had sent a clear message that the killing of German officials would not be tolerated. It is a reasonable assumption that the, after the circumstances, many Welrods that came to Denmark were dropped here with "Operation Execution Month". in mind. Sadly we can conclude that the ruthless terror and killing of civilians by the Nazis had a, for them, beneficial effect in their battle against the continuous dissemination and work of the resistance movement after all. If you have any additional information please feel free to send me an e-mail.
The U.S. Welrod
The U.S. build Welrod. Note the modified bolt handle which besides facilitate operation of the weapon when wearing gloves also doubts as a safety. (Photo - Anders Thygesen courtesy of the Royal Armouries). A document proving that the U.S. also produced a number of Welrods has finally been found. There is however no information as to when and how many. I remain convinced though that the wast majority of Welrods used by the U.S. during WWII were manufactured and delivered by the British. This assumption is further supported by a written report from a meeting between some British liaison officers and American OSS agents at the Maryland Research Laboratory, August 16, 1943 concerning silenced weapons. The Welrod was highly praised by all the participants and the report concludes: [quote] "It was felt that for that special type of mission, it was the best available design and the U.S. should proceed with purchase of production model Welrods rather than trying for a home-built version". [/quote] Concluding a later test likewise held at the Maryland Research Laboratory in September the same year, Stanley Lovell of the OSS wrote: [quote] "There seems little sense in wasting time or effort as the British obviously have a superior design here. Suggest we provide funds for additional experimentation on .22 silenced pistols and on the submachine gun models" [/quote] In yet another note dated October 9, 1943, Dr. Harris M. Chadwell writes to Dr. Vannevar Bush: [quote] "If my information is correct, the Welrods were developed by the British group similar to the OSS" [/quote] Still the U.S. at some point began manufacturing their own. At the MOD Pattern Room in England they have a specimen with a full inscription on the silencer tube reading: U.S. NAVY ----- BU. OF ORD. .32 HAND FIRING MECHANISM MK 1. MOD. SERIAL NO.323 (U.S. anchor) SOUTHWEST PUMP COMPANY.
The U.S. build Welrod with it's inscription and part markings/blue print drawing numbers.
(Photo - Anders Thygesen courtesy of the Royal Armouries). Some assert that the star and square found on the British Welrods are American markings, but I believe this theory can be excluded on the basis of a correspondence I had with The Naval Historical Center which states: [quote] The Navy purchased an unknown number of Welrods for use. It is my understanding that they were given US Navy markings, with a final acceptance marking that was either "USN" or a stamped anchor.... The US Naval Gun Factory and other manufactures have small proof markings for some items, but none use the star. Part markings for NGF - made items may include blueprint drawing numbers, such as "NGF - 12345". [/quote] Right after the serial number is stamped the anchor of the U.S navy with a "U" on its left side and an "S" on its right. In addition is engraved #422072--1 on top of the silencer tube, #422074--2 on the muzzle and #422072--6 on the back of the breech. These engravings can very well be drawing numbers for the individual parts as described in the letter from The Naval Historical Center. As there are no stampings of the star nor of the square on this model, the engravings agree well with the statement from The Naval Historical Center. Even if at first glance it appears to be a British Welrod, there are discernable differences. The difference are clearly seen on the individual parts which bears indication of a different manufacturing process just as the gun itself differs markedly by having something best described as a sleeve welded onto the side of the bolt handle which serves as a safety but also facilitate operation of the weapon when wearing gloves.
The U.S. build Welrod. Note that the grip safety has been modyfied by extending the bar that blocks the trigger platform so it protrudes all the way underneath the sleeve thus preventing firing before the bolt has been fully closed. In this photo the bolt has been fully closed enabling the safety bar to move freely. I have only seen one U.S. Welrod so if this modification was a standard feature or a prototype I haven't been able to disclose. (Photo - Anders Thygesen courtesy of the Royal Armouries). However, recently a folder labeled: HAND FIRING MECHANISM, Mark 1, Cal. .32” (CLASSIFICATION “SECRET” BUT REDUCED TO “RESTRICTED” ON 3/7/50), has been discovered in the archives of the Royal Armouries, UK. The documents inside revealed a thorough description including photos of the British Welrod Mk.IIA marked with the usual five-pointed star, square and serial number 6197. The enclosed text explained that the Welrod in question had been surrendered to a war veteran, a former Ordnance officer, whose unit was in the Philippines.
Among the documents was also found a letter from the Navy Department Bureau of Ordnance, answering a request from the HP White Company in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. regarding the origin of the Welrod. The questions and answers read: [quote] Q: How many were made and when? A: No one knows for certain. Q: By whom were they made? A: No one company made them. Components were farmed out and assembled by the Navy for security reasons. Q: Were the barrels rifled by the broaching process? A: Yes. Q: Is the magazine the standard type for the .32 auto? A: Yes. Q: To whom were the guns issued or were they dropped to resistance groups? A: To resistance groups. Q: Would like to obtain any instructions or manuals that went with these guns. A: None were issued. The device was too hush-hush. Q: Was ammunition issued with these guns? A: The gun was designed for German and Jap 7,65 pistol ammunition and will naturally take our own caliber .32 automatic. We have been given permission to show you blueprints but can’t give you a copy. The day we got your letter we got the Navy to declassify the damn thing, so we could answer your letter. It was still listed as Top Secret. [/quote] From the content it would be safe to conclude that the U.S . HAND FIRING MECHANISM, Mark I, was classified as Secret until March 1950 and here after declassified to Restricted. But apart from that we have conflicting or at least confusing assertions. We know for a fact that B.S.A was the main contractor for the British Welrod and we also know that manuals and instructions were in fact written as early as 1943. The Welrod pictured and described in the document is without doubt British produced and has nothing to do with the above pictured U.S. version. Due to the great secrecy surrounding the project it would be reasonable to assume that a mix up between the two models has occurred. The Southwest Pump Company was founded in 1916 and located in Bonham Texas, a very small community northeast of Dallas near the border between Texas and Oklahoma. The company was later taken over by Tokheim Corporation and finally closed down in 1999. Thanks to John Finnell new and valuable information regarding this production facility has emerged. Mr. Finnell wrote me and told that his late Grandfather worked at the Southwest Pump Company as a machinist for over 40 years, including the timeframe when they were producing Welrods. He was a master machinist who did many different jobs but his main responsibility was pulling rifling’s although he also did some assembly work. His Grandfather also told him that it was
not an uncommon occurrence for completed pistols to be “tested” at night upon the roof of the building by the workers, and he remember him describing how they made a very strange sound the first time they were fired but thereafter they were amazingly quiet. It was also rumored that a number of people working there at the time have assembled their own Welrods from spare parts. Although it is only a rumor, it seems plausible, and there have properly only been a few if any measures in place to prevent it at that time. As late as in the 1960’s a modified version of the Welrod Mk IIA was produced by Military Armament Corporation headed by Mitchell Wer-Bell. The main differences from the original design consisted of replacing the ebonite on the grip with plastic and replacing the original insides of the tube with the more up-to-date silencer technology of Sionics. It has not been disclosed how many were made but most likely it was no more than a handful. If you have any additional information please feel free to send me an e-mail.
SLEEVE GUN I’ll just briefly mention another variant of the Welrod equally developed at station IX; the so called “Sleeve Gun”. It is best described as a Welrod Mk II without the magazine grip and is also produced in two versions, Mk I and Mk II. The primary difference is that on the Mk I, the trigger housing consists of a separate tube running on the outside of the suppressor tube in the full length of the suppressor. This trait makes it appear clumsy contrary to the Mk II that has but the trigger rod on the outside of the suppressor tube. It is a single shot weapon in .32 ACP with the suppressor designed exactly as the Welrod Mk II. It is a “one shot, one kill” weapon, as the reloading process is extremely elaborate. In a tight spot it had an additional use as a truncheon. The idea was to carry the gun up the sleeve of ones coat. At the end of the suppressor tube is a little lanyard-hole to attach one end of a rubber band. The other end is attached to the arm right above the elbow, allowing the operator to discreetly go about his business and yet be able to produce the weapon at moments notice. The trigger, a device resembling the switch of a flashlight, is mounted close to the muzzle of the gun and doubles as a safety. To fire the gun, the knurled switch/trigger must first be slid backwards and then forwards. Having fired the gun one simply lets go of it to let it slide unnoticed back up the sleeve. In the S.O.E. catalogue: Descriptive Catalogue Of Special Devices And Supplies, Product No. N 254 under DESCRIPTION the following can be read: The gun is intended for use in contact with the target, but may be used at ranges up to about three yards; the silencing element cannot be removed for replacement since the gun is not intended for prolonged use. The “Sleeve Gun” was tested by OSS on February 11, 1944 and again in January 1945 but was never adopted. It was produced by the B.S.A. because the drawings are clearly marked B.S.A.
GUNS LTD, England, and drawn by B.J.R. Yates. No date is mentioned but the only three that I have knowledge of are property of the National Firearms Centre (NFC) in Leeds, England. They bear the serial numbers 01 and 11 respectively and none of them are stamped with either the star or square. One is also found at the Bergenhus Festningsmuseeum in Norway and it carry the serial number 8.
The Sleeve Gun Mk.II. and it´s trigger. Note the serial number 8. (Photo - Per Ove Bø)
The Sleeve Gun Mk.II. caliber .32ACP. (Photo - Anders Thygesen courtesy of the Royal Armouries)
The Sleeve Gun Mk.II. caliber .32ACP about to be loaded. (Photo - Anders Thygesen courtesy of the Royal Armouries)
The business end of the Sleeve Gun Mk.II. A slot is cut in the face of the end cap to assist easy dismantling. (Photo - Anders Thygesen courtesy of the Royal Armouries)
Cross section of the Sleeve Gun Mk.II. caliber .32ACP. (Illustration: Joe M. Ramos - Canada) If you have any additional information please feel free to send me an e-mail.
WELROD Mk.II & Mk.IIA .32 ACP. Cartridge. Designed by John Browning and introduced in 1899. It was marketed in the U.S. when Colt turned out an automatic pocket pistol on another Browning patent in 1903 hence the designation A.C.P. (Automatic Colt Pistol). It is one of the most popular pistol cartridges ever developed. In Europe every company that made automatic pistols chambered the .32 ACP cartridges. In Europe, it is known as the 7.65mm Browning, while in the U.S. it is designated .32 Automatic or .32ACP. For decades it has been the standard police chambering in Europe but has now in most European countries been replaced by the 9 mm. Luger round. The .32 ACP cartridge is produced by all major ammunition makers in a wide variety.
The cartridges case is semi-rimmed, strait walled (see illustration) and uses a .311-inch diameter bullet.
Illustration courtesy of Mike Haas. If you have any questions please feel free to send me an e-mail.
WELROD Mk.I (A&B) 9mm Parabellum Cartridge. The 9mm. Luger, also known as 9 mm. Parabellum or 9X19 NATO was introduced in 1902 with the German Luger automatic pistol. It was adopted first by the German Navy in 1904 and then by the German Army in 1908. Since that time, it has been adopted by the military of practically every nonCommunist country. It has become the world's most popular and widely-used military handgun and submachine gun cartridges.
In 1985, the 9 mm. Luger was adopted as the official military cartridges by the U.S. Armed Forces. It is now in use with most of the militaries of the world, including all of the NATO countries. The 9 mm. Luger cartridge is produced by all major ammunition makers in a wide variety. The cartridges case is rimmed with a slight taper from rim to mouth (see illustration) which enhances feed reliability. It uses a .356-inch diameter bullet.
Illustration courtesy of Mike Haas. If you have any questions please feel free to send me an e-mail.