Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3724: Unknown Single Shot Pistol 9 mm parabellum

Auction Date: December 2, 2011

Extremely Rare C.I.A. Deer Gun Single Shot Pistol with Original Polystyrene Container Bullets and Instruction Sheet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $18,000 - $27,500

Extremely Rare C.I.A. Deer Gun Single Shot Pistol with Original Polystyrene Container Bullets and Instruction Sheet

Manufacturer: Unknown
Model: Single Shot
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 9 mm parabellum
Barrel: 2 inch round tapered
Finish: bright
Grip: metal
Item Views: 14544
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 345
Class: Modern Handgun

This is a super rare assassination pistol as manufactured in the early 1960's for the C.I.A.'s Clandestine Operation and was the successor to the Liberator pistol. According to Chapter 6, "The CIA's Deer Gun" in the book "Zips, Pipes and Pens" by David Truby, the Deer Gun was designed by the then legendary ordnance designer Russell J. Moure, the chief engineer for American Machine & Foundry's special firearms division. The Deer Gun was intended as the successor to the FP45 Liberator pistol and were made in 1962-1963. By 1964 the Deer Gun was listed in the CIA's special weapons inventory and carried a regular stock number (139-H00-9108). After President Kennedy's assassination, congress passed a law that all Clandestine devices be destroyed. Almost all of the Deer Guns were destroyed and of the 1,000 produced, according to collector/historian Keith Melton only about 20-25 remain in circulation. Approximately 150 reportedly were sent to Southeast Asia for field testing according to a consensus of sources. Although no official record of any of these pistols were used beyond controlled, non-combat testing, a U.S. military officer disagreed saying that he accompanied a patrol of U.S. and Vietnamese Special Forces who were carrying the pistols for "active evaluation". Any other usage is undocumented. How this pistol came to be called the Deer Gun is a mystery. It has nothing to do with deer or hunting. It was suggested at one time that it was an Agency code name with sardonic reference to a survival weapon. It was packaged for "air drop" like the Liberator. It was originally packed in a polystyrene box with three cartridges and instructions. The cost at the time to make the Deer Gun was $3.95. Prompting one of Moure's colleagues at AMF to refer to it as "basically a crude, ugly, but damn decent four dollar zip gun for our Third World allies to use to kill bad guy soldiers." The Deer Gun measures 4 1/8 inches high, 5 inches long and has two screw on barrels, one rifled and one the original smooth bore. It weighs approximately 12 ounces. It has a one piece cast aluminum body with a raised cross-hatched grip area and dark blue steel barrel. Extra ammunition can be stored in the hollow grip. It has no trigger guard and the sight is a single grooved notch across the top of the receiver. The pistol has no markings of any kind to indicate its origin and all components were fabricated from non-domestic sources outside of the U.S. for further "operational denial", which is how the CIA described its attempts to hide the weapons origin. To fire the pistol, the barrel is unscrewed, a cartridge inserted and the barrel is screwed back on. The cocking lever was then pulled back and then the user pulls the trigger to fire. The cartridges that were provided with the pistol had a Clandestine head stamp with no arsenal markings and some of the cartridges were marked "9 MM 42". An extremely rare and little known Deer Gun pistol. This is truly a unique opportunity to own one of these as writer has only seen three others that Rock Island Auction Company has sold in the past. Complete with the polystyrene container, three "9 MM 42" head stamped bullets and the original instruction sheet.

Rating Definition:

Excellent. The pistol shows very little use or wear with a few light scratches. 99% of the original blue finish remains on the barrels. Mechanically excellent. The container is very good, with a deep dent in one corner of the lid and overall scattered dents and some of the packaging tape remains.

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