The DeLisle Commando Carbine: Complete

Cold War, Complete builds, Custom builds, Delisle, Rifles, Suppressed, Weapons, WWII

This project is one I’ve been wanting to do since forever and the outcome is very satisfying.


This VSR based carbine should be a very nice balance of practical and handsome. The receiver has been left quite plain, at some point I would like to do another with the receiver all milled out like the original. This will have to wait for now as it will require extensive modifications to make it secure.


As you can see, the bolt handle has been dropped down around the right location. The bolt back cap on this one has been 3D printed, but I am likely going to replace this with a milled one for strength and durability.


The foresight, which is adjustable for windage to a limited extent.


The 3D printed front cap. You can also see the barrel poking out. Although I could have made it shorter than this, it would have ended up being incredibly short and every millimetre helps with a barrel of this length.


The rear sight, adjustable for elevation. The hop adjustment is under this, a TDC screw modification.


The faux magazine is 3D printed and quite solid. If this model proves popular I may make it in black hard rubber instead. _DSC8939

The buttplate is a rubber cast, as originals are getting prohibitively rare and expensive.


Finally a quick bottom view, the VSR magazine well in the foregrip and cut out re-enforcing band. The grain on these bits of wood are particularly lovely and you can see them in this picture.



If you are interested in this build you can see the rest of the project here. If you have an idea of your own, drop us a line on to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.


Don’t forget you can buy our smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here.


The DeLisle Commando Carbine: Build

Cold War, Delisle, Lee-Enfield, Suppressed, Weapons, WWII

The DeLisle is VSR based, so this acts as the joining unit between the different parts. Due to the sheer size of the suppressor however this will pretty much be joined as part of the chassis.

At the fore-end, the front cap is 3D printed, as is an internal spacer.


At the back of the suppressor is the rear sight, a simple V-notch on an elevation leaf.


The woodwork on this is in three parts, the buttstock, receiver housing and forestock. Once I had carved out the internal shapes for the receiver and magazine well, I could shape the outside.


Once all the parts were roughly shaped and strapped down to the VSRI added the re-enforcing band. I’m not sure this was strictly necessary, but it was on the original so on it goes!


The band had to be cut back for the magazine well, but it will make quite a nice tactile reverence point if the gun is used in the dark.


Fitting the faux magazine well in permanently, this 3D printed part is fitted with a machine screw through the stock so it’s pretty solidly mounted.


At the front, I turned the inner barrel down to the correct length.


At this stage, it’s mostly finishing and painting work to do, which isn’t very interesting to see so the next time you see this, it will be the finished item!

If you are interested in this build you can see the rest of the project here. If you have an idea of your own, drop us a line on to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.


Don’t forget you can buy our smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here.

The DeLisle Commando Carbine: Introduction

Cold War, Delisle, History, Rifles, Suppressed, Weapons, WWII

The DeLisle carbine was born of a need, usually by special forces units, to dispatch enemy soldiers quietly. This came from the rise of raiding tactics used by British forces against Fortress Europe, the only way that precision strikes could be made against German targets.

Although large-scale raids did occur, many were smaller scale and undertaken by the newly formed Commandos and Parachute units. Taking out one or two sentries discretely before moving up to the target would allow soldiers to get much closer to their objective before the main, noisy assault. 3-1

The carbine itself was the lovechild of an SMLE, (receiver and furniture) a 1911 (magazine) and a Maxim style suppressor. The reason for its near legendary status as one of the quietest arms ever made is that every aspect of it was either chosen for its quietness or modified to achieve it:

  1. The ammunition: .45ACP is a subsonic cartridge. This means that, never breaking the sound barrier, it does not have a sonic ‘crack’. A quiet ‘whizz’ is easily drowned out by ambient noise.
  2. The SMLE has very few ‘clicky’ parts already. The safety is already silent, the cock on close action means there is a fairly quiet slide into battery. The bolt was baffled so that when opened it would not make a loud clack. For when it was being closed the bolt handle had a baffle so it wouldn’t clack against the receiver band.
  3. The suppressor is huge. Much, much bigger than you could reasonably carry on a pistol. It also proved very effective at catching and slowing gasses down before getting rid of them at a low enough pressure to reduce the noise massively.


It is known that the DeLisle was issued to and tested by Combined Operations (who ran the Commando type raids) in the field, but finding solid accounts of their use during WWII in Europe is pretty tricky. The only account I have found so far is one by a Jedburgh Commander who says that one was used to successfully dispatch two German officers (1944). D1-4

Other more substantial accounts outlining more specific details of their use have been recorded in the Far East against the Japanese and during the Malayan Emergency. They point to it being used very much as a psychological weapon, taking out individuals during ambushes at night or on roads during the day, killing one or two men in a lorry. Being almost silent, the Japanese involved struggled to know they had been fired upon and even more-so where from.

Similarly it was deployed against bandits and terrorists in Malaya, allegedly by plantation operators. One man caught out alone in the fields had a significant advantage when he could fire on a group of hostile enemy without giving his position away. Just a couple of men so armed would have a significant force multiplying effect. 


Just before I wrap up, the folding stock ‘Para’ version does deserve a mention. Originally, these were supposed to make up 50 items of the order, but it looks as though they were left until last. As a result, when the order was cancelled there was only this sample produced as far as we know.



And in case you are not familiar with the Vintage Airsoft format by now… I will be building a De Lisle carbine! This build will be VSR based, using my new MkII magwell and almost certainly making use of my lovely ‘new’ mill (more to follow on that when it arrives!).



You will be able to follow the build progress here as it is published.

If you are interested in this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.


Don’t forget you can buy our smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here.

Inert Welrod Replica

Cold War, Complete builds, pistol, Suppressed, Weapons, Welrod, WWII

This is a little side-project I have been working on due to several requests. This replica Welrod is almost entirely 3D printed. I’ll be offering it in kit and complete form.


The trigger and grip safety are both sprung.


Both rear and foresight have blobs of phosphorescent paint to simulate the glowing radio-luminescent sights


The bolt opens and locks like the original.


It has a detachable magazine.


And the shroud can be removed to access the suppressor and barrel.


The suppressor internals, showing the spacers, rubber wipes and washers.


And the rebated muzzle, which allowed the gasses to expand a bit for a slightly tidier kill when used pushed up against the body of an unsuspecting target.


If you are interested in this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.


Don’t forget you can buy our smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here.

Airsoft Welrod: Part 1

Cold War, Custom builds, pistol, Suppressed, Weapons, Welrod, WWII

Our long-term readers may remember a long time ago an introduction to the Welrod.


While the initial project was for an airsoft model, it ended up being an inert replica for the client in question. Well, the Welrod is back for another attempt at the quietest airsoft pistol around!

The base gun for this is a double-action non blow back CO2 pistol. For those of you who like the internals of guns here is a picture!


In order to keep things simple (K.I.S.S. or Keep It Simple, Stupid is my motto), I’m keeping as much of the frame as possible as it does a good job of holding the internals and designing a new frame… well suffice to say that life is short. The red coloured areas will be removed over the course of the build.


The donor with several of the red panels cut away on one side. I actually quite like the slightly steampunk aesthetic of being able to see some of the internals.


The receiver in progress, the first step is to cut out a recess for the donor.


Which, with both halves now matching, fits in very nicely. Inside the tube is a buffer that holds the front of the barrel and stops the mainspring. In theory this could be adjustable to make the barrel unit strike the valve harder/softer to control FPS. I’m not sure at this stage how feasible this would be though.


The front cap and back cap, freshly turned on the lathe! Both parts are in mild steel so will match the rest of the receiver nicely when all finished. The dip around the muzzle is to disperse the muzzle blast more effectively when used at point-blank range. Which it often had to be as accuracy was pretty appalling with the original!


A close-up of the back end.



The next stage is to make the trigger guard and housing unit, then modify the pistol grip.


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Welrod Build Part 2

Cold War, Custom builds, Suppressed, Weapons, Welrod, WWII

Further progress was made on the Welrod yesterday! This project is coming together quite quickly as it is already starting to look like the original gun.


Below you can see the internal cylinder pulled out as if the gun was being cocked. This also aligns the feed system for loading. The gun cocks on opening when the piston locks into the sear.


Next job is to make the piston (it will be a custom-made piston in aluminium, turned on the lathe) and the second sear. I’ll also have to buy in the barrel and the spring!

If this post has inspired you for a project or you fancy one of your own do drop me a line on

Welrod build Part 1

Cold War, Custom builds, Products, Suppressed, Welrod, WWII

Last week I collected a whole host of parts for various projects from the laser cutters, among which were the bits for the Welrod MkII.


It’s always an unnerving time when the parts come back as there’s almost always something missing or slightly wrong that you have forgotten to correct during the development of the design. In this case there was a little to-ing and fro-ing on the size of the cylinder and the guide washers that suspended the cylinder in the original deign became somewhat redundant by the time the parts went for cutting and the stop-post (that prevents the spring sliding back with the rest of the cylinder) was built into one of these. An easy enough fix though and one that will both simplify manufacture in the longer run and make the Welrod much easier to strip.

While I was waiting for the tubes that make up the shroud and cylinder I decided to make progress on assembling the groupings that make up the gun.

Key: Blue-foresight blade and rear sight, Red-spring guide and back cap, Green-loading mechanism, Yellow-front caps, Pink-pistol grip. Purple is a front view of the original stopping post.

Key: Blue-foresight blade and rear sight, Red-spring guide and back cap, Green-loading mechanism, Yellow-front caps, Pink-pistol grip. Purple is a front view of the original stopping post.

In this picture I have left out the spring (as I haven’t bought it yet) and the second sear (as I haven’t made it yet) but as you can see, it’s pretty simple, much like the original. There may have to be a few tweaks to the design here and there as the build progresses but so far, so good!

As per usual, if this post has given you an idea for a project so drop me a line on!

The Welrod

Cold War, Custom builds, Suppressed, Weapons, Welrod, WWII

A client recently contacted me and asked about the feasibility of building an Airsoft Welrod. This is a project I have wanted to do for some time so I came up with an initial design within three days and have revised it a little since then.

Anyway, a brief history of the Welrod is in order:

Design and Variants

By the Second World War, the science of suppression was pretty established. Suppressors had been made for the Maxim gun and were available for automatic pistols. However, the noise of the action cycling was an issue with suppressed automatic pistols and British clandestine forces (and indeed Resistance movements throughout Europe) required something more discrete.

WWII-era suppressed M1911

WWII-era suppressed M1911

The answer came from Major Hugh Reeves of the Special Operations Executive’s Station IX, where a great number of novel inventions came to life. He designed the rather ugly Welrod Model 1. In .32 ACP this design had a few shortcomings:

  • Magazines had to be loaded through the ejection port one round at a time
  • The pistol grip, though short, made the gun an awkward shape to carry
  • The trigger was a thumb-activated push-switch in the left of the gun, meaning that accuracy was impaired through a loss of purchase
MkI Welrod

Model 1 Welrod

Just to confuse you, there is also a MkI Welrod, which looks a little more like the pistol people recognise today:

Welrod MkI

Welrod MkI

Featuring a trigger guard for the more conventional trigger and a grip safety, this design had many features that appealed to the end users. It did however still look a bit gun-like, which for secret operations isn’t greatly desirable!

So, a re-design was in order and led to the MkII and MkIIa. This is the Welrod people recognise, it uses the magazine as the grip and is a simple bolt-action using a knurled round grip to operate it rather like the MkI.

Welrod MkI (bottom) compared to Welrod MkII (top).

Welrod MkI (bottom) compared to Welrod MkII (top).

Due to the removable nature of the grip magazine, this version was significantly easier to hide, the main body of the tube was affectionately named the ‘bicycle pump’ for obvious reasons. When taken apart it could easily hide in a cyclist’s pannier or a plumber’s toolbox and be quite unidentifiable to the untrained eye, made less obvious by the deletion of the trigger guard.

The MkII/a was available in .32ACP and, perhaps more sensibly on the continent, 9mm Parabellum, the standard round of many German submachine guns and handguns.

The nature of the suppressor is also definitely worth a mention here. As well as the usual close-fitting metal rings found in a normal suppressor that eliminate various pitches of sound, the Welrod contained a number of rubber washers with a hole in the centre, just *slightly* smaller than the round that passed through it. This makes the suppressor extremely effective, if a little less accurate! Most Welrods were measured to make about 73db of noise.

 Service History

Obviously a weapon designed for secretive use such as this gets little mention in the annals of history. However, there are suggestions that as well as extensive use with the SOE and Resistance movements through Western Europe, a US version saw service with several of their forces in the Far East not only in WWII but also possibly in Vietnam. Some sources suggest that Welrods were used as late as the 1991 Gulf War by British Special Forces, as well as in Ireland and the Falklands.

If any of you are familiar with the stay-behind units of NATO designed to slow down and harry the Soviets in event of war (Gladio teams), Welrods also featured in their weapons caches.

So much of this is of course, somewhat speculative. There are many rumours and tall tales about who was issued these unusual guns, and they add a romance to a story that a suppressed Browning Hi-Power just doesn’t quite carry…