On p.72 of 'Gubbins and SoE' by Wilkinson and Astley, there is reference to Gubbins acquiring for the Aux Units 'from confidential contacts' some 'poacher's pistols' described as 'some with silencers, some with folding stocks, all designed for ease of concealment and for silent killing'. I presume these are .410 pistols but haven't seen any other reference to them. Has anyone else any more information? Were they ever issued or were they just for evaluation? Have Richard or Clive got one in their collections!! :)
Unfortunately Malcolm I do not own one of these Pistols, in fact I have never seen any examples either. There are of course single shot .410 Poachers Shotguns, along the lines of walking sticks, and I believe they collapse, perhaps this is what they were? Richard may know more and look forward to further comments. Regards, Clive.
Splendid to read your notes Clive, I hope all is as good as things can be in this awful once great land. I've never heard of "poachers pistols" for any Aux-Unit but then that might not stand for much ! Attempts to silence such firearms generally does great harm to the front baffles, I know "silenced" shotguns are made these days with various results. The walking stick guns illustrated were supposedly poachers guns, I don't believe it really as the gamekeeper would have been attracted by the noise as for pistol walking sticks, the only customer would have been that Victorian French painter ! How he did ceilings is anyones guess ! We might have to presume that these were guns modified by the skilled use of a hacksaw.