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Zip Guns, FP-45 Liberator
An improvised firearm is a firearm manufactured by someone who is not a regular maker of firearms (such as a firearms manufacturer or a gunsmith),
and is typically constructed by adapting existing materials to the
purpose. Called by many names, these improvised firearms range from
crude weapons that are as much a danger to the user as the target, to
high quality arms produced by cottage industries using salvaged and repurposed materials.
Improvised firearms are more commonly found where legal and
commercially produced firearms are unaffordable or strictly controlled.
If commercial ammunition is obtainable, then improvised arms will
generally be built to fit that ammunition. If commercial ammunition is
not available, then muzzle loading black powder designs can still be produced.
Most countries have controls in place that regulate production, sales, and possession of firearms and ammunition (see gun politics for regional information). This means improvised firearms are for the
most part illegally produced, which makes their possession and use
criminal as well. Improvised firearms are commonly used as tools by
criminals and insurgents and therefore often associated with such
Other uses for improvised firearms include self-defense in lawless areas, or in poor rural areas for poaching
game for food or profit.
FP-45 Liberator (Click Here for images of FP-45 Liberator Guns on Google Image):
The pistol had its origins in the US Army Joint Psychological Committee and was designed for the United States Army
in 1942 by the Inland Guide Lamp Manufacturing Division of the General Motors Corporation
in Dayton, Ohio
The army designated the weapon the Flare Projector Caliber .45
hence the designation FP-45. This was done to disguise the fact that a pistol was being mass produced.
The original engineering drawings label the barrel
as "tube", the trigger as "yoke", the firing pin
as "control rod", and the trigger guard as "spanner". The Guide Lamp Division plant in Anderson, Indiana
assembled a million
of these weapons. The Liberator
project took about 6 months from conception to end of production with
about 11 weeks of actual manufacturing time, done by 300 workers.
The FP-45 was a crude, single-shot pistol designed to be cheaply and quickly mass produced. The Liberator had just 23 largely stamped and turned steel parts that were cheap and easy to manufacture. It fired a .45 caliber pistol cartridge from an unrifled barrel. Due to the unrifled barrel, it was intended for very close
ambush (1-4 yds). Its maximum effective range was only about 25 feet
(less than 8 m). At longer range, the bullet would begin to tumble and
stray off course. Because of the low quality, it was nicknamed the "Woolworth gun."
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