Liberator Shotgun from the Early 1960’s: Government Sponsored Ghost Gun!
Today I learned about a really neat piece of gun history. The “Liberator Shotgun” made by a man named Robert Hillberg. He designed a special purpose shotgun for the “Hillberg Insurgency Weapon” Project with Winchester & DARPA because they wanted a weapon to drop behind enemy lines to arm under trained guerrilla fighters with the lethality that they needed… I was impressed. But who is not impressed with a shotgun with 4 barrels?
The “Liberator Shotgun” is not to be taken lightly. It seems to have been a great idea with some what of a rough execution. Eventually all of the bugs got worked out, but not soon enough. It fell on its face in the market place and that is why we cannot get a new one today… Also there is the pesky NFA thing. The Liberator is not to be mistaken for one of the the original “ghost guns” that the government sponsored, the single shot FP-45 Liberator Pistol in 45 ACP from WW2 that was suppose to be dropped behind Nazi lines for folks working to end Hitlers Third Reich. I know what your thinking, “One shot of 45 ACP!” What more could you ask for to put down a NAZI right? Everyone should learn the reasons why the FP-45 Liberator was made and its history. Liberty is at stake far to often. As usual the Government lied to us about why they were made… Most never made it to Europe. The OSS/CIA took most of them for other reasons…
Also don’t mistake the “Liberator Shotgun” for the the really neat modern version of the FP-45, the 3D Printed Liberator Pistol from Cody Wilson (Ghost Gunner Machine) at Defense Distributed that was named after (you guessed it) the FP-45 Liberator.
They are both worth checking out and learning from. But the Liberator Shotgun is different. Its a hi-capacity blaster compared to the other two Liberator guns.
It’s got more teeth. It’s got more Barrel. It’s got more bullets. It even has a for grip…
Plain and simple.. It is a shotgun with 4 with short 13.5″ barrels…
What red blooded American has not looked at a tiny shotgun and thought to themselves…
“That looks like a good idea! I could defend my family/Liberty/country with that. Or just have fun with it”
Well the “Liberator Shotgun” is that times four. Yep, did I mention it has 4 barrels? It was a mix between a derringer, and a top-break open shotgun. Kinda crazy sounding but it was a special purpose built gun. It just took a while to get the bugs worked, and by then the war machine had moved on to something else.
“the designer, envisioned a weapon that was cheap to manufacture, easy to use, and provided a significant chance of being effective in the hands of someone who had never handled a firearm before. Pistols and sub-machine guns were eliminated from consideration due to the training required to use them effectively. The shotgun was chosen because it provided a very high volume of fire with a high hit probability.” – Winchester Liberator From Wikipedia
With encouragement from DARPA, Robert Hillberg at Winchester designed the “Liberator” shotgun. The project is worth studying. It has lots of great info and data for Patriots to learn from. You can watch a great video about the Liberator Shotgun from ForgottenWeapons.com
“The guns were initially planned to be made almost entirely as magnesium castings, with steel liners in the barrels, with a total cost of about $20 per gun. They would use prepackaged 4-round ammunition packets as well, rather than standard individual shotgun shells. By the time production was actually begun, however, the design had been altered to a break-action system using regular shells – the prepackaged quad-cartridges proved too difficult to perfect.” …….. By this time, however, military interest in the guns had fallen away and Winchester was left to try to market them commercially. They attempted to interest both police and civilian markets (although with 13 inch barrels, the guns were regulated by the NFA). None of these marketing attempts succeeded, and major production never began. The design was too impractical and guerrilla-oriented to really appeal to anyone with a more ordinary use (like recreational shooting, sport shooting, or security/law enforcement) in mind. – Forgottenweapons.com
Also a comment on Forgottenweapons.com made this suggestion for an easier cheaper and less conspicuous design for guerrilla fighters that is worth a read….
“The name said it all. The Liberator shotgun was intended to be delivered to indigenous forces fighting Communist governments, for the same mission as the original FP 45 Liberator .45 pistol; killing a government soldier and taking his weapon. Except of course that a 4-shot 16-gauge shotgun could take out half an infantry section at one go.
The fact that it was a 16-gauge rather than the more common 12-gauge betray its purpose; the 16 was a very common shotgun bore in “underdeveloped” countries at that time, notably in the Far East.
The bottom line is that the specially-built Liberator was no more effective than any other 16-gauge shotgun, and frankly a break-open single-shot or double was easier and cheaper to make.
For that matter, why Winchester didn’t simply make a cheap, short-barreled “coach gun” version of their regular side-by-side or single-shot break-open shotgun for the job is hard to understand. Something like the Rossi Overland would have been more to the point, as well as less readily identifiable as a purpose-designed “guerrilla warfare” weapon, and therefore much more easily “deniable”.
A similar fate was accorded to the CIA’s 9mm “Deer Gun” about the same time. In many ways it was both an updated FP 45, and a precursor to the modern-day 3D “printed” single-shot;
Want to make your own Liberator? Well its seems it’s easier these days to make one that shoots 12ga.! All you need are a few cheap things from the hardware store and you can be ready to liberate if the need to defend Liberty arises. We are bound by duty and commanded by God to Love our neighbor as ourselves! Search the Internet for “Black Pipe Shotgun” and you will come up with lots of help on “how to” do it.
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