Guns (with Silencers) of the Cold War Era of the 1960's


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roguespy007
December 30, 2007, 03:28 PM
Hello. I just posted an introduction. I'm interested in learning more about the guns of the 1960's. I want to learn more about the guns that would have been popular during the Cold War era of the 1960's. What is a gun that could have been equipped with a silencer back in the mid-60's. I know James Bond used a Walther, but what are some besides it? Also could you ever use a suppressor on any type of Sig Sauer or Browning? Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it. Take care. Happy New Year! Keith

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VirgilCaine
December 30, 2007, 06:20 PM
Um, sure? How many different guns do you want?

SA Friday
December 30, 2007, 06:38 PM
I think you would be better served doing some research on how the various silencers work on a firearm. Your question implies there are only certian firearms that can use a silencer, and that just isn't the case. Hell, you can put a silencer on a shotgun. Some calibers work better than others with a silencer, and some firearms are easier to fit a silencer to, but any firearm can use a silencer.

Tommygunn
December 30, 2007, 06:43 PM
... but any firearm can use a silencer.

Ah, well ... revolvers have this little problem that exists betwixt the cylinder face and the forcing cone .....;):scrutiny:

.22 semiautos can be silenced pretty easy, as well as small caliber semis. The best way is to modify the gun to lock the slide, otherwise you get the sound of the slide whacking open and closed. Also, from what I gather, the stuff on movies is exxagerated. They don't make the gun go "PFFFFFT!" but they do reduce the sound.

Nightcrawler
December 30, 2007, 06:49 PM
Here's the thing. Modern suppressor (suppressor is the trade term for what's popularly referred to as a silencer, but that's a minor semantics nitpick) designs are light weight and can be used on almost any handgun.

Older suppressors were all steel and fairly heavy, though. This is important because on guns with Browning-style actions, where the barrel moves as part of cycling, the weight of the can could actually prevent the gun from cycling properly.

Modern cans designed for such guns are either very light in weight or have recoil-boosting mechanisms (like the AAC-brand cans).

So, back in Yon Olden Times, it was more common to mount suppressors on guns with fixed barrels that didn't use the Browning action. In Europe, the Walther P38 (and Post-War P1) pistols could be used for this, as could the PPK. Smaller guns, like .32s and .25s, from Beretta could be used for this task as well.

Also, the Beretta 951, the predecessor to the M92, might've been able to function suppressed, though it doesn't technically have a fixed barrel.

On the Communist side of the fence, the Makarov 9x18mm was easily adapted to suppressed use. Above and beyond that, the Soviets devised a few different specialized suppressed weapons, though they may not have debuted until the late sixties (or later). An example would be the PB/9P9 Silenced Pistol.

The Chinese also had the Type 64 and Type 67 silenced pistols.

I think it was most common to suppress fixed-barrel .22 pistols, though. No cycling issues to worry about and with a good can, a .22LR can be ridiculously quiet. I mean, sounds-like-a-staple-gun quiet.

Visit Max Popenker's site, World.Guns.ru (http://world.guns.ru). It's the best place to research such historical firearms.

SA Friday
December 30, 2007, 07:00 PM
Tommygun, quote the whole sentence. Read it to yourself a couple of times. Then read your post..... and you can use a silencer on a revolver.

You can even put a god awful 10lb steel silencer on the end of a glock and the silencer will work, but I never said it was the best choice or even smart.

Roswell 1847
December 30, 2007, 08:52 PM
The US Military used a semi-silencer on .38 revolvers for tunnel rats. It wasn't very effective but prevented muzzle blast from deafening the trooper and kicking dirt up in his face.
It looked much like the undersized silencers seen on TV Spy series.
The OSS had made a few silencing holster type rigs. They fitted around the barrel and cylinder like a clamshell holster to absorb the blast from the cylinder gap.

The Soviets silenced a few Nagant Gas Seal Revolvers with some success.

The CIA at one time used a special rechambered version of the Walther PPK in .22 caliber. Special rimfire rounds were assembled using primed empty .22 Magnum cases cut to length and loaded with jacketed bullets of various sorts including poison carrying bullets. Not many of those made.

The Israelis made a few airguns which outwardly resembled a Colt 1911.
These fired a glass dart filled with Fer De Lance Snake Venom and the Venom of a Vietnamese Centipede. One paralysed and the other killed, death would be slow and agonizing, but the victim could neither move nor cry out.
A similar airgun was considered by the OSS during WW2, but it fired some sort of slug without poisons.

A near silent bolt could be fired from the standard 1911. It protuded from the muzzle and had fins which slid back to the base to stabilise it in flight.
I think that was an OSS experiment.

The Belgian Assassins, who are among the best of the freelance professionals prefered the Browning pocket autos in .32 caliber.
A Pocket auto 1910 slide combined with a 1922 .32 barrel leaves around a half inch of exposed barrel for attaching a maxim silencer. Downloaded rounds were occasionally used.
Since thousands of .32 1922 Brownings had been manufactured while under German Occupation , and many thousands of 1910 models were floating around untraceable parts were easy to find.
Silencers for small caliber hunting rifles were and still are legal in several European countries, modifying one to fit the Browning was no problem.

A Cold War Silenced carbine assembled from Spanish "Destroyer" police bolt action carbine receivers was tried out in Nam. It was in 9X19 and no records of its use are available.

A Powerful Short cased .458 Winchester was developed. It fired a subsonic bullet of similar weight to those used in the 45/70. Very deadly.

The OSS Weapon I like Best is a Commercial 9mm Express caliber Mauser pistol carbine with Maxum silencer.
These occasionally showed up in the movies but I found out they actually existed.
The longer rifle barrel screwed onto a short threaded pistol barrel. Each was hand fitted so the rifling would match up. The silencer could be used with either barrel length. A detachable side mounted scope was also supplied.

And of course the good old High Standard .22 silenced pistol, a mainstay.
There were also silenced Colt Woodsmen .22 pistols.
One or the other of these was found on Francis Gary Powers after he was shot down.

HankB
December 30, 2007, 09:00 PM
I remember reading once that Francis Gary Powers, the pilot of the U-2 the Soviets shot down, was armed with a suppressed High Standard .22; the barrel had supposedly been drilled with numerous holes, wrapped with steel wool, and contained with a can.

The S&W revolvers mentioned earlier were specially manufactured with "zero" cylinder gap; they were unsuccessful, as they jammed up solidly within a few shots.

Some larger caliber revolver ammunition was silenced - a machined cartridge was made with a captive piston that, when forced forward by a powder charge, expelled one or more projectiles out the muzzle of the gun. The piston hit a lip at the front of the cartridge which stopped both it and the gas from leaving the gun. Supposedly these were made for use by "tunnel rats" in Vietnam.

default
December 30, 2007, 09:14 PM
I believe James Bond had a Beretta 950 Jetfire before he got the PPK.

I don't know a great deal about suppressors, but as for autoloaders available during the Cold War, here's a list off the top of my head:

Colt 1911A1
Browning/FN Hi-Power
SIG P210
Walther P.38/P1
Walther PP/PPK
Beretta 951/1951
Beretta 1934/1935
Smith & Wesson Model 39
Sauer 38H
HK4
Mauser HSC
Makarov PM
Tokarev TT
P-64
CZ-52

And that's leaving out Spain, France, Hungary, South America, and Asia, numerous small Browning and Colt pistols, and some interesting guns that came along at the end of the '60s, like the HK VP70 and P9. Some would of course be more common than others, some would be WWII or pre-war surplus, etc.

I would second the recommendation to visit www.world.guns.ru. Incredibly comprehensive and detailed, with technical information, production and service histories, and countless photos.

Roswell 1847
December 30, 2007, 11:29 PM
I believe James Bond had a Beretta 950 Jetfire before he got the PPK.

Don't know the model designation but Bond's early Berretta .25 was a seldom seen early version that was either striker fired or had an enclosed hammer. It looked very different from the more common Berretta .25 pistol that have a visible hammer.

mp510
December 31, 2007, 12:01 AM
There was the British Welrod pistol

Tommygunn
December 31, 2007, 12:26 AM
Tommygun, quote the whole sentence. Read it to yourself a couple of times. Then read your post..... and you can use a silencer on a revolver.

You can even put a god awful 10lb steel silencer on the end of a glock and the silencer will work, but I never said it was the best choice or even smart.

You can put a silencer on a revolver if you don't mind the noise that escapes from the space between the cylinder and the barrel.
There has only been one revolver that has been successfully silenced; it was made by Dan Wesson. To use it you had to cock it, then manually screw the barrel down tight which effectively locked up the cylinder.
The silencing of a revolver involves fixing a technical proplem that is fixed when you use a locked-slide semi automatic.

Jim K
December 31, 2007, 12:37 AM
A list of pistols that were or could have been used by the various intelligence agencies in the Cold War would be a list of every pistol made between roughly 1900 and 2000. There were a few special items, like the Russian plastic Troika (which really would get through airport metal detectors), and the U.S. "dart gun" about which no more will be said.

But in fact, that stuff was rarely used, and seems to have been developed mainly to cater to the "gadgetitis" of those who work for intelligence, rather than out of any real need. (The KGB used poisoned umbrellas, not guns, to kill at least two defectors, and firearms used by political assassins have tended to be conventional rifles or handguns - a Carcano rifle, a Remington pump, a BHP pistol, an Iver Johnson revolver.) Our intelligence agents in most countries, should they for some reason need a gun, get it from the American Embassy, whose arms had been brought in in the "diplomatic pouch."

As to spies in the real sense, few carried any gun. A spy's job is to ferret out information, not go around shooting people. In most countries, anyone found carrying a gun would automatically be arrested, ending a spy's mission and probably his life. The idea of a shootout with the police if detected may be romantic, but it would have only one ending. Once a spy is detected, it is all over, no matter what guns he has.

P.S. James Bond and his feats were fiction, repeat, fiction, and mostly complete nonsense to boot.

Jim

PercyShelley
December 31, 2007, 03:30 AM
One of my espionage equipment books mentions crossbows...

Remmi
December 31, 2007, 04:09 AM
The soviets also developed several integrally silenced pistols, many on a derringer platform, but also the PSS Silent Pistol, using the sub-sonic SP-4 ammunition. There's also been a more recent OTs-38 revolver that uses the same principles for a integrally silenced weapon.

Roswell 1847
December 31, 2007, 04:21 AM
There has only been one revolver that has been successfully silenced; it was made by Dan Wesson.
Actually besides the Nagant Gas seal revolver and the OSS revolver with the clamshell silencer that covered the cylinder gap, theres also a Gas seal revolver system adapted from a traget pistol design.
This systen is used today by a modified Ruger Redhawk converted to a silenced pistol carbine.

A Large caliber cylinder is fitted with a subcaliber chamber which has a separate spring loaded gas seal. The chamber pressure pushes the gas seal into a recess in the breech of the barrel. When chamber pressure drops the gas seal retreats back into the chamber mouth ready for the next cycle.

Other Gas Seals have been used with less sucess. A High temperature plastic O-ring like seal that mounts inside the forcing cone area is pushed back against the chamber mouth by gas pressures. Some gas escapes before the seal takes place.

I like the OSS clamshell approach best, no modifications are made to the gun and the clamshell can pass as a holster if not inspected closely.

Commander Guineapig
December 31, 2007, 10:38 AM
I have a book entitled
"Snipers, Silencers, and Assassins" that's a good read. I'm not sure all of it is accurate but it does have lots of pix and references, and given that it was written in the late 80s or earlier (I think, don't have it in front of me), it contains much about the Cold War.
It's worth a trip to the libarry if nothin' else.
GP

SDC
December 31, 2007, 10:46 AM
Here's a picture of an original Nagant revolver (the Russians would have started using these as early as pre-WW1, but who knows HOW long they were actually in service):
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p22/StaceyC123/SilencedNagant.jpg

Silenced revolvers aren't dead by any means; Knight's Armament has produced THIS neat item (a take-down silenced revolver based on a Ruger Redhawk) for the US gov't, but no-one is saying exactly what it's used/intended for (surprise, surprise):
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p22/StaceyC123/RevolverRifle-1.jpg
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p22/StaceyC123/Knightrevolver.jpg

The US has fielded "captured-piston" firearms (both revolvers and shotguns) since at least Vietnam, and the Russians currently have several handguns and sniper-rifles that use the same technology (a sliding or folding plug, cap, or membrane inside the cartridge case captures the expanding propellant gases, while still giving the projectile(s) enough of a "kick" to give it/them a lethal velocity). Here's a picture of what a fired and loaded cutaway version of the US shotgun shell looks like:
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p22/StaceyC123/QSPS2.jpg

The Russian equivalents are based on the 7.63x39mm cartridge case, but necked down to 9mm instead of .30 calibre; they have several handguns and rifles that use this system, including the MSP derringer and the PSS semi-auto, and the Val, Vintorez, and Groza rifles. (Max Popenker's site at http://world.guns.ru/main-e.htm has plenty of good information on these). During the 1960s, you could probably expect to see a wide mix of different silenced firearms in use, but their existence wouldn't have been publicized until at least the 1980s. On the Western side, you could definitely expect to see things like the WW2 Welrod, and on the Eastern Bloc side, you could see everything from the silenced Stechkin (APB) and Makarov (PB) to the Chinese and North Korean silenced versions of the Browning 1900 (their Type 64 and 67).

Tommygunn
December 31, 2007, 12:12 PM
I have a Nagant 1895. It's an interesting revolver, but it has a anemic cartridge -- it couldn't kill a sick mouse. I know people have attempted to "silence" revolvers. I don't know why anyone would bother, since if you use a semiauto, the problem you're dealing with simply doesn't exist.

Onmilo
December 31, 2007, 02:40 PM
The Chinese Type 64 and Type 67 are copies of the FN 1900 using a rimless .32 acp cartridge and were definate cold war suppressor specific guns.

Francis Gary Powers was in the possession of a suppressed High Standard .22LR pistol when shot down by the Russians.

The Israelis used suppressed Beretta Model 70 .22LR pistols and may still.

British Welrod .32 acp pistols are still listed as a standard item as are DeLisle .45 acp bolt action suppressed rifles.

Americans had Beretta Minx .22 short caliber suppressed pistols and Later, the Walther TPH in .25acp and .22 LR along with the High Standard guns.

These are the only pistols I can think of as definate use items.
I am sure there are others but I cannot verify the use.

roguespy007
January 18, 2008, 01:03 PM
Thanks guys for all your great response. I appreciate it. Sorry I didn't get back before now. I'll definitely have to do some research on these various weapons. I guess what got me started on this thread was all the spy novels I've been reading. I've always enjoyed Bond, but I've been reading a lot more of the men's adventure novels of the 60's and 70's. While I know that most real spies never had missions like this, it did get me thinking.

If you were a secret agent in like 1965. You need a gun that could be concealed within your suit or tux. You might use it without a suppressor, but there might be times that you need a silencer on it. So what would be the gun like that you would choose as your weapon of choice if you could? Would it be a Walther or something else? Many people I come across don't seem to care much for Walther.

Also what if you wanted a gun that you could keep around the bottom of your leg as a secondary gun. You know if something happened to your other weapon and you were in a jam that you could get to and use.

I know this is all fantasy, but I'm curious as to what you guys would choose. Thanks again for all the feedback I got. I'm going to start looking up these weapons. The reason I asked my original question like I did is because I thought there were some handguns, etc. that suppressors really didn't work with.

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