General Motors


1943: The idea for this pistol came from the US Army Joint Psychological Committee.

It was designed for the United States Army in 1942 by the Inland Guide Lamp Manufacturing Division of the General Motors Corporation.

The concept was that the guns would be dropped behind enemy lines and used by would-be members of the resistance as single shot pistols to "liberate" better weapons from the enemy. They were made in secret and designated the Flare projector-45, or FP-45.

A few rounds of 45 ACP ammo were stashed in the grip and they came with a cartoon illustration of how to load it. Reputedly, it took longer to load one of these than it took General Motors to stamp one out.

Approximately a million were made in a period of just a few months, but the logistics of delivering them to the intended users was more daunting that the manufacture of the guns. Very few, if any, went to occupied Europe, although significant numbers were distributed in China and the Philippines.

After the war the vast majority were destroyed, making them very rare today.

Roger Papke (USA)