De Lisle Silenced Commando Carbine
Designed around an adapted MkIII Lee-Enfield action and stock the De Lisle is chambered in .45ACP, accepting .45 calibre Colt 1911 pistol magazines rather than Lee Enfield’s usual 10-round .303 magazine. The key element of the De Lisle’s design was the 21cm long integral barrel sound suppressor (silencer). The suppressor allowed propellent gas from the rifles .45 cartridge to bleed out of the barrel quietening the sound of the round leaving the muzzle.
The weapon was developed by engineer William Godfray de Lisle & Major Sir Malcolm Campbell of the office of Combined Operations (later famous for his land and water speed records). The carbine was completed by 1942 and a production run at the Sterling Armaments Company, later known for their submachine gun, with around 150 being built throughout the war with a later model featuring a folding metal stock.
De Lisle carbine with folding metal stock
It was issued to British Commando units and the SOE (Special Operations Executive) during World War Two. Accurate at up to 800ft and extremely quiet they used to kill sentries during infiltration missions. Following the end of the war they remained in service until the 1960s with De Lisle’s finding their way to Korea and Malaya and possibly Northern Ireland. They’re much less well known than the other silenced weapons of the war; the Welrod pistol or the silenced STEN submachine guns (MkII & VI).
Image One Source
General Templer test firing a
De Lisle carbine
, Perak, Malaya, 1952 (source)
Folding Stock (source)
Jane’s Guns, Ian Hogg (1996)
Military Small Arms, G Smith, (1994)
'The De Lisle 'Commando' Carbine' (source)