Commando’s Choice: The De Lisle Carbine

    The De Lisle Commando Carbine has fascinated small arms enthusiasts since knowledge of it became widespread after the Second World War. Almost entering myth like lore, it is claimed to have been the quietest weapon ever issued and used by Allied forces both in the European and Pacific theaters of war. Only 129 are known to have been produced on a production line (there might have been more but we only have 129 recorded) and were mostly issued to Special Operations Executive (SOE), Royal Marine Commandos and in very rare cases some American special operations forces during the war.

    Built using a converted Lee Enfield Mk.III* (No.1) attached to an enormous baffle tube and chambered in .45 ACP, the weapon used modified 1911 magazines and an 8 inch barrel to propel subsonic rounds downrange, mostly for assassinating purposes. Because it was a bolt action design users could neglect to cycle the action and thus not compromise themselves after firing the shot (which has hopefully been successful). From what we know the carbine was very effective in combat, but with only 129 production examples it probably saw very little service during the war. Some examples appeared to have survived the war and were rumored to have been use by British special operations and clandestine forces beyond the Korean War.

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    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]