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Silent But Deadly: Welrod Mk IIA


The Welrod is a nearly completely silent bolt action pistol designed by SOE Section 9 for covert operation and assassination use during WW2. Chambered for the .32ACP cartridge (which is subsonic to begin with), the Welrod uses a ventilated barrel and large-volume suppressor with several solid rubber wipes to bring its firing report down to the minimum possible level. This noise reduction only lasts for about a dozen shots, after which time the rubber wipes have more or less bore-sized permanent holes in them, reducing the suppressor’s effectiveness to pretty much on par with other typical designs.

The Welrod is a manually operated pistol, to avoid action noise. It feeds from a Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless magazine, which also serves as its grip. A grip safety is the only safety device, and it fires using a striker mechanism. The Welrod was first introduced in 1943, with a larger 9x19mm version added later in the war. They appear to have been manufactured by BSA, with a total of about 14,000 made. Welrods were in service as recently as Desert Storm, and are most likely still in use for those times when a very efficient silent pistol is necessary.