Watch: “Silent But Deadly” Welrod Assassination Pistol
Russ Chastain 11.27.17
When you’re a government, you figure you can get away with murder. Any why not? Governments have been doing so ever since the first one was formed, usually with very little in the way of consequences. Even so, it generally pays to at least be a little subtle about, and that’s where this weird old gun comes in.
It’s a British 32 ACP handgun that’s both bolt action and almost entirely silent to fire. Ian of Forgotten Weapons takes us on a tour of this assassination tool, and has this to say about it:
The Welrod uses a ventilated barrel and large-volume suppressor with several solid rubber wipes to bring its firing report down to the minimum possible level. This noise reduction only lasts for about a dozen shots, after which time the rubber wipes have more or less bore-sized permanent holes in them, reducing the suppressor’s effectiveness to pretty much on par with other typical designs.
The Welrod is a manually operated pistol, to avoid action noise. It feeds from a Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless magazine, which also serves as its grip. A grip safety is the only safety device, and it fires using a striker mechanism. The Welrod was first introduced in 1943, with a larger 9x19mm version added later in the war. They appear to have been manufactured by BSA, with a total of about 14,000 made. Welrods were in service as recently as Desert Storm, and are most likely still in use for those times when a very efficient silent pistol is necessary.
It features one of the most-effective means of reducing the sound of a gunshot ever devised. Ian says you can be within about 15 feet of it and not recognize its sound as that of a firearm. Talk about preserving your hearing! Oh, and ensuring a clean getaway.
It’s crude and awkward, but that seems to be the price of quietly killing folks with bullets. Enjoy.