Looking for info on a 'Liliput'


July 7, 2003, 09:58 AM
Hi. As a guilty pleasure, I am big fan of Alistair MacLean's books. But, as I have come to learn more about firearms, I have begun to see that while Mr. MacLean could write a fair piece, he often let some inacurracies about firearms creep into his writing.

One of the guns he used repeatedly in his stories was a .21 Liliput, 'The Smallest Really Effective Gun There Is.'

For some reason, this gun has just stuck in my mind as something that would be cool to have, and a great place to start the 'Collectible' side of my collection.

I have done some research on-line, but haven't turned up much data.

I was wondering if any of the history/collectible arms buffs out their might have some good data for me about this gun...who made them, how much they cost, if there are any out there for an aspiring collector to pick up...

Thanks for any help.


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July 7, 2003, 10:07 AM
Yes, they were real. August Menz, of Suhl, Germany, manufactured a line of "Liliput" pocket pistols, chambered in .25 Auto and 4.25mm Liliput (about .17 calibre) during the 1920s; the 4.25mm pistols are notable for being the smallest centre-fire handguns ever produced. If you can find one, the 2000 Blue Book says they're worth at least $700 in excellent condition.

Jim Watson
July 7, 2003, 12:30 PM
One smaller.
Kolibri 2.7 or 3mm with 3 (three) grain bullet.

July 7, 2003, 01:04 PM
(Slapping self in head.) "Duh." Of course, Jim's right, I've got a Kolibri round AND a Liliput round in my cartridge collection, but the Kolibri slipped my mind. I'll post a picture tomorrow showing how small these are; I don't think anyone could claim either one of these as being "effective" :rolleyes:

July 7, 2003, 02:29 PM
A Browning Liliput:


Some more little ones here:


July 8, 2003, 08:19 AM
Here's a shot of some of these "micro-calibre" rounds; left to right: a 2mm pinfire blank, a 2.7mm Kolibri round, a 4.25mm round, and a .25 Auto for scale. Laying down in the back is a .50 Browning. Hope the information is of some help to you. :)

July 8, 2003, 10:58 AM
Thanks SDC...that was some great information. After looking though...I'm not sure I'm meant to be a collector. I mean...paying Python type money for something there probably isn't even any brass out there to shoot?

Man...looking at that shell, it looks like a .32 compared to a .45...

July 8, 2003, 11:20 AM
From Cartridges of the World, by Frank C. Barnes:

"The tiny 2.7mm Kolibri bullet is of .105" to .108" diameter and weighs about 3 grains. Actual ballistics are lacking, but muzzle velocity was probably around 650 to 700 fps. This would develop an energy of only 3 foot pounds. When you consider that the .25 acp develops 73 fp at the muzzle, you can see what a pipsqueak this cartridge is. However, it is by no means a toy. It is claimed the bullet will penetrate up to 1 1/2" of pine, and that is sufficient to inflict a serious wound at close range. It should be treated with the same respect accorded any firearm. The 2.7 Kolibri should not be considered a humane caliber for hunting anything. However, it might do to dispatch a trapped mouse or an overly aggressive cockroach."

Frank says the 4.25 Liliput has a 12 to 15 grain bullet and around 800 fps, generating 17 foot pounds of muzzle energy.

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