POTD: A Different Liberator Pistol – C.I.A. Deer Gun Single Shot Pistol

   09.16.21

POTD: A Different Liberator Pistol – C.I.A. Deer Gun Single Shot Pistol

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a picture of an extremely rare boxed Deer Gun. The Deer Gun was a handgun developed by the CIA for clandestine operations. It’s name is a mystery and has never been solved. A possible reason could be that naming it something like “deer gun” makes it sound less like a top secret government spy gun. The Deer Gun was only made from 1962 to 1963 at a production cost of $3.95 (about $36 today). Only 1,000 units were produced and a majority of which were destroyed after the assassination of JFK. It was made to shoot 9mm, had an overall length of five inches, was 12 ounces, and came with two barrels (one was rifled and the other was not).

“This is a super rare assassination pistol as manufactured in the early 1960’s for the C.I.A.’s Clandestine Operation and was the successor to the Liberator pistol. According to Chapter 6, “The CIA’s Deer Gun” in the book “Zips, Pipes and Pens” by David Truby, the Deer Gun was designed by the then legendary ordnance designer Russell J. Moure, the chief engineer for American Machine & Foundry’s special firearms division. The Deer Gun was intended as the successor to the FP45 Liberator pistol and were made in 1962-1963. By 1964 the Deer Gun was listed in the CIA’s special weapons inventory and carried a regular stock number (139-H00-9108). After President Kennedy’s assassination, congress passed a law that all Clandestine devices be destroyed. Almost all of the Deer Guns were destroyed and of the 1,000 produced, according to collector/historian Keith Melton only about 20-25 remain in circulation. Approximately 150 reportedly were sent to Southeast Asia for field testing according to a consensus of sources. Although no official record of any of these pistols were used beyond controlled, non-combat testing, a U.S. military officer disagreed saying that he accompanied a patrol of U.S. and Vietnamese Special Forces who were carrying the pistols for “active evaluation”. Any other usage is undocumented.”

Lot 3724: Unknown Single Shot Pistol 9 mm parabellum. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved September 15, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/54/3724/unknown-single-shot-pistol-9-mm-parabellum.

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