Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

RollingThunder51

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I'm in a good mood this morning, so I'm going to share one of the rarest shots in the world of arcane handguns. Here is a shot of the world's smallest .45 automatic. Now some of you will immediately have a gut reaction and know what they think this is. Only at Sniper's Hide would anybody even recognize the profile of this piece. But before some of you get on to to let me know that they think this is an LM4, stop and read on.

This is a table full of over 100 rare pieces I split between the Smithsonian, the Cody Firearms Museum and the National Firearms Museum. In the center there is the world's amallest fully operational .45 automatic. This Semmerling, called the XLM was produced under an Army contract. With its threaded barrel, slide lock-out and astonishing "strip forward" cycling that uses the force of the bullet exiting the barrel to cycle this weapon, well it is a real handful. For those that know the LM4, you know there were manual cycle beasts. This unit is fully sprung.

Now you have really seen something rare today!

 

bachelorjack

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    Where could I find one of those models with the slide lock and threaded barrel?

    How much should I expect to pay?

    BTW, I love your posts....
     

    Noneya

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    Odd to make something so small for use primarily with a suppressor! Very cool thanks for sharing!
     

    RollingThunder51

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    BJ, All know examples, except for two (2) are accounted for of the XLMs. They are essentially out of circulation. That is why it was so important to get them to the best museums. The threaded barrels were cut out of the slide blocks, one unit and hard to produce.

    Original LM4's can still be found. Though one buys them by serial number range if one expects to use them. Many still do, I am surprised by the number of LM4s still in use today. Never as a primary, always as a 2nd carry, often as a tape gun. Those with deep and broad experience will tell you that the trigger of the LMs are without peer. An absolutely smooth, no staging pull. Also, the fewest number of parts for a .45.

    For those that do not know the scale for a 5 shot .45 XLM, here is an LM4 that is the same frame.








     

    neutronics

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    Fascinating. Was this some type of OSS gun?

    Ignoring the gun's rarity or history, I'd take one of those over a P7M8 any day. It looks really nicely made.
     

    RollingThunder51

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    No, just a great design for those that, may have had the poor fortune, to end up facing their own weapon and needed to dig for a backup and know that the single round they would let loose would not only fire, but have the required effect.

    Most would have no reason to own a Semmerling and your P7M8 was a marvel in its day and a much more appropriate one gun choice. It would also be large by comparision, handle heavy, hard to keep in an unstrapped holster and have way too much going on for a grab gun. Back when the LMs were being made, the term "melted" hadn't even been coined and Detonics were considered small.

     

    Noneya

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: neutronics</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Fascinating. Was this some type of OSS gun?

    Ignoring the gun's rarity or history, I'd take one of those over a P7M8 any day. It looks really nicely made. </div></div>

    Hummm P7M8 is a duty sized handgun in 9mm vs a backup bug I don't really see the comparison?
     

    RollingThunder51

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    I would agree, as to their build quality, every one made by one man, every one had its parts primary parts magnafluxed three times. Those days are gone now.

    For those that like Semmerlings, jackpot!

     

    Boomholzer

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">and astonishing "strip forward" cycling that uses the force of the bullet exiting the barrel to cycle this weapon</div></div>

    Can you describe the mechanism that times and unlocks the slide lock? 'Some mechanism' takes energy from the exiting slug and actuates the cam'ed slide lock as seen towards the business end and pulls the slide forward?

    Interesting stuff, would like to understand how it works.
     

    RollingThunder51

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    I was wondering if someone would ask as it is a most remarkable process. Commonly called "strip-cycle" "strip forward" or "strip action" the friction of the bullet gong down the barrel is used to move the slide forward. It is returned back to battery using a conventional spring return. It worked perfectly. There is no cam, there is no breach lock of any kind.
     

    kombar

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    How does the "extraction", ejection, and feeding work? From the picture, it looks like it has a fixed extractor mounted on the frame, but how does it get the fired case out and the new cartridge in?
     

    MLC

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    For it to function with a suppressor mounted the entire slide and barrel must move forward.
    Really cool stuff!
     

    RollingThunder51

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    Wouldn't function with the suppressor.
    Always locked and then manually cycled when suppressed.
    Also slide and barrel are one.
     

    Boomholzer

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: RollingThunder51</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I was wondering if someone would ask as it is a most remarkable process. Commonly called "strip-cycle" "strip forward" or "strip action" the friction of the bullet gong down the barrel is used to move the slide forward. It is returned back to battery using a conventional spring return. It worked perfectly. There is no cam, there is no breach lock of any kind. </div></div>

    So the bore is tapered to retain chamber support in timing? Not that the .45 needs much. That forward slide lock is purely a safety type mechanism?

    The extractor 'claw' is port side and springs over the case head on chambering... It's spring force alone is sufficient to toss the casing out?
    Is there a ejector pin 180d opposite?

    Direct blow-forward?
     

    RollingThunder51

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    The slide lock was to provide the least action noise.
    The system would forward cycle and eject when suppressed but the spring would not return the slide to battery without a quick pull back.

    Extraction on all Semmerlings was always robust.



    DH provided a link to a stainless version produced (and perhaps still in production) by ADC. The emmerling was very labor intensive, the ADC version while fully functional is IMO a very different fit and finish.

    The bright unit you see above is nickle plated to resist body salt and would be an original Semmerling LM4.

    Rounds could be counted out in the frame, handles were taken off to skeletonize the frame. Remember, this was the same time period as the S&W ASP, all of this was considered "new".



     

    Sean the Nailer

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    Most definitely, intriguing. What other tricks do you have up your sleeve?

    You looking to adopt?

     

    Noneya

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    The good old days of ASP's, Detonics, COPs and my favs S&W Devel's they were all before my time but damn those days were cool! They use to build some nice hand fitted thought out stuff not the mass produced MIM crap of today with no heart.
     

    Strickland

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">his is a table full of over 100 rare pieces I split between the Smithsonian, the Cody Firearms Museum and the National Firearms Museum.</div></div>

    Does this mean you owned them?

    Cool history.
     

    RollingThunder51

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    Yes, but we all stand around and are impressed by the shear performance available today in Sigs, HKs, Walthers, Glocks, Berettas, on and on and on. Add the brilliant work on custom .45s and it is a period of remarkable diversity and performance. Perhaps the most impressive period of all. One didn't get 30,000 rounds without as much as a hiccup in "the good old days."

    Paris was an interesting duck, he burned bright, but generated copious amounts of very dark smoke. Also remember, ASP frames cracked as the metalurgy was new. Those that have them best not shoot them as they are worth more as a paperweight.



     

    RollingThunder51

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    I did not own them, I was called upon to help by the brilliant designer to move his life's work to these fine institutions. It is a privledge to be called upon do so and I make a special point of finding the time to help people like this. He graciously gave away $500,000.00 worth of materials (zero tax advantage for designers gifting their own work) to our nation. Most remarkable man and increasingly rare act of generosity. Now, the full history, all the design and production documents, all the prototypes and tooling and every important variant can be seen by interested parties. I encourage anyone near the Smithsonian, Cody or NRA Museum to see the collection.



     

    Noneya

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: RollingThunder51</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Perhaps the most impressive period of all. One didn't get 30,000 rounds without as much as a hiccup in "the good old days."

    </div></div>

    Very true! Function has become just expected and rightly so. I guess I just really love and respect the craftmanship and though process with the old classics. As I said they were before my time, and I know from having to rely on what I use now, the love affiar may have been short lived with malfunctions. I do stick with them having heart though, my glock is just a tool and it is perfect for the job of keeping me safe, but it has no heart and I am no more attached to it then one would be a hammer or screwdriver!
     

    wilshire1412

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    Re: Smallest and rarest of all .45 automatics.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: RollingThunder51</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm in a good mood this morning, so I'm going to share one of the rarest shots in the world of arcane handguns. Here is a shot of the world's smallest .45 automatic. Now some of you will immediately have a gut reaction and know what they think this is. Only at Sniper's Hide would anybody even recognize the profile of this piece. But before some of you get on to to let me know that they think this is an LM4, stop and read on.

    This is a table full of over 100 rare pieces I split between the Smithsonian, the Cody Firearms Museum and the National Firearms Museum. In the center there is the world's amallest fully operational .45 automatic. This Semmerling, called the XLM was produced under an Army contract. With its threaded barrel, slide lock-out and astonishing "strip forward" cycling that uses the force of the bullet exiting the barrel to cycle this weapon, well it is a real handful. For those that know the LM4, you know there were manual cycle beasts. This unit is fully sprung.

    Now you have really seen something rare today!

    </div></div>

    What are the three pistols in the left side of this photo?