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My holy grail gun

Discussion in 'The Workbench: Builds And Modifications' started by John A., Jul 18, 2020.

  1. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    14,933
    I must admit, I have several holy grail guns.

    I have seen and handled so many guns over the years that I rarely see one that I don't like.

    But, there are some that attract my attention and I just can't shake them or let them go. Like the Welrod. The Broomhandle Mauser. The P38. The Garand. Just to name a few.

    But, one thing I have noticed about a lot of newer more modern guns. I don't really fault them for it, but it's hard to ignore that blued steel and wood that have stood the test of time and are well designed just keep on proving their worth. Those are among the ones that I admire the most.

    The old cowboy guns. Lever guns. The break action single shot shotgun. Those are timeless designs that just keep on proving their worth owner after owner and generation after generation.

    And then, there are some that are even more obscure and impossible to obtain than others.

    In this case, it is the Delisle Commando Carbine. A few of you have known that I've been working on this project for a couple of months and I have been pretty scarce because of it. It has been really extensive, and more difficult than I originally imagined. But I'm glad that I tackled the project.

    I have done a metric ton of research on the overall weapon design. The designer(s). The wartime companies that made them. How many were made. Where they were used. How they used. I've always been a history buff, but I have spent close to 20 years being enamored with this design.

    For instance, did you know that the Delisle was one of the first guns to ever have night sights? It was. Not tritium like we know it today, but it was a radioactive paint called Radium. It was originally put on watch hands and aircraft instruments in its' day. And just happened to find their way onto the sights of the Delisle, which was rather futuristic for its' time. That is but one little fact that I have found out and one of the more interesting things I have learned.

    Sadly, there is so many myths about this old gun that it made it hard to wade through to historical facts. Like, while the British did claim that it was an 85db gun, it is not. If you look at the actual tests, they tested an unsuppressed shot through the same firearm at 119db. So, while it was a significant 35db drop in sound on their meter(s), you can't really say that it is an 85db gun either because most gunshots actually meter closer to 160 db. So, to stop making a wall of text that probably no one but me is ever going to be interested in or read, I'm going to skip to the meat and potatoes of the post.

    From what few records exist, there are serial numbers that go upwards of 225 being made for the British commandos, conservative estimates can only say there were only around 130 that can be traced and tracked. Many of which are no longer in existence, but what few are mostly in museums and we all know that museums don't tend to sell anything and even if they did, I'd surely not have enough money to buy it at auction. So, that left a conundrum. How could I get one?

    The simple answer is, I won't.

    There have been a few clones and copies from a few small companies over the years, but many of those stray pretty far from the originals anyway. And not to mention, most clones I have seen have different internal silencer parts, etc. that doesn't really interest me.

    In knowing that originally were made the guns from service SMLE Enfields, that's a pretty good place to start to the project. I ended up changing or modifying nearly everything on the one that I bought except the receiver, the bolt handle, and the trigger assembly. Most everything else was changed where I could, modified for the caliber change, or flat out hand made by me in my shop. There are just no surplus Delisle parts to be found. In reality, they were pretty obscure even in the time they were being made in the first place.

    I did use a 45acp conversion barrel and magazine adapter, though I modified both of them too. Like I said, not much on this gun other than the parts I mentioned have been changed or handmade myself.

    I'm glad the project is done, and even though I made a few changes internally of the suppressor in a way that I would've done if I was originally making it, it's really close to the original. Way more than most clones I have seen that don't even have an offset bore and modern baffle styles.

    I'm still more than happy to have done it. But I don't think I'll do another that takes this much work. But I can mark off the Delisle off of my life long bucket list.

    Before:
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    Everything forward of the receiver is pinned and welded, making everything forward a single piece and in compliance with NFA laws. The suppressor is obviously stamped, but there was no legitimate reason to make an SBR when I planned to weld everything together anyway in order to ensure alignment with the bore. This is one way where mine is different from the original because theirs could've been 100% disassembled whereas everything on my barrel cannot. But it's legal so I don't care how goofy it looks since no one is going to ordinarily see it anyway except in pictures.
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    Now for some integral suppressor making pictures.

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    And a couple of after pictures.

    Mine is a hair lighter than the original. This with no loaded mag.

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    And I'm sure someone is going to come along and ask how it sounds.

    It impressed me. It sounds really good. Probably more quiet than my integrally built AR9 with favorite handloads. I haven't shot them side by side, but it sounds really good.

    Sometimes, good things come to those who wait, and sometimes good things come to those who take the initiative to make it their self because there's no other way that I would've ever been able to get one.

    Test firing it for the first time.

  2. nitesite

    nitesite Sheepdog Moderator "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    5,748
    You have mad skillz Just amazing.
    meanstreak and Water Monkey like this.
  3. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    14,933
    Thanks buddy.
    I think you're being a little too kind, but thanks for the compliment. Not sure if skill is hardly the word I would call it. More like dumb luck. :crazy::giggle:

    But I do have an overdose of determination when I set my mind to something.
  4. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    8,160
    Well on Youtube it sounds amazingly quiet.
    I guess this means you got the papers.
    meanstreak likes this.
  5. Water Monkey

    Water Monkey The man, the myth, the monkey Moderator Supporter

    Messages:
    3,870
    I read all of it. Just epic. I concur. Mad skills.
    meanstreak likes this.
  6. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    14,933
    Yes, caddmann, with as much as I don't like any of my rights to be taxed, I paid the tax.
    meanstreak likes this.
  7. tcecil88

    tcecil88 .30-06

    Messages:
    1,206
    Awesome work. Looks great and sounds great too.
    meanstreak likes this.
  8. ripjack13

    ripjack13 Resident Sawdust Maker Staff Member Administrator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    22,391
    Holy cow John! That sounds very quiet. But it looks amazing! Well done sir, well done....
    meanstreak likes this.
  9. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

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    2,197
    Damn fine work John. True craftsmanship there.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
    meanstreak likes this.
  10. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    14,933
    Thanks guys. I didn't do it all myself though. Had a real good helper. He's really enjoying shooting it too ;)
    Water Monkey and meanstreak like this.
  11. meanstreak

    meanstreak .30-06 Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    3,459
    Outstanding. Congrats.
  12. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    14,933
    I don't have the rope handles on it yet, and I don't know whether or not I'm going to paint it Italian olive green or not either. I'll decide later. The box will get dirty and worn on its' own in time.

    But I guess you guys will get the jist of what I was going for. Made after the older wooden rocket boxes. Only better for what I was wanting it for.

    I used a lot of old leather straps (really old worn out belt) and shaped the dividers to fit the gun. The strap should keep the gun from getting scuffed and marred on the wooden divider. And shouldn't hurt the magazines either.

    I also drilled a place to hold the bore guide rod, which is essential when the suppressor is taken apart, cleaned and reassembled to ensure everything is straight with the bore.

    Plenty of room to hold ammo, paperwork and what not. And not overly heavy either. I just used 10" pine shelving mostly. So, it might weigh 10 pounds empty maybe?

    Anyway, I thought you guys may like to see it. It was about as cheap to make an old repro rocket case than it was to buy a cheap plastic case at walmart.

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    Bobster and CaddmannQ like this.

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