Sunday, November 8, 2009




Maybe there is not a market for revamped classic guns that captured thousands of loyal users worldwide. But I think there is. With the great advances in polymer technology for gun frames in the past 20 plus years, I'd like to see a couple of cool guns reintroduced in a version 2.0. Lighter, jacked up with advances that have occurred in handgun ergonomics . You know, just like the revamped movies being redone 20 to 40 years after the first version.
THE COP .357 4 SHOT DERRINGER (First From Top)
This weapon was manufactured by the now defunct COP, Inc out of California. A substantially heavy pistol that packed 4 .357 rounds (or .38 Special with or without the +P or +P+ designation), it weighted in a 28 oz. Monica Belluci's character in the second Matrix shot a henchmen in the head with this pistol pulled from her purse.
It was, however, roughly the size of the venerably ineffective .25 Auto of days of yore (although I have seen a few fatalities professionally from .25 autos, I'm also familiar with more cases where the attacker was not immediately incapacitated and either assaulted or killed the .25 auto shooter before said attacker got incapacitated).
My school of thought about self defense weapons and police weapons is MASS +
LOWER BULLET SPEED = knockdown power.
A friend of mine had one of these in the 1990's and I carried it for a few months. It was a handy pistol to slip in the back pocket for trips to the store and the like. It did sag a little big due to the high weight but hey, it's a heavy gun.
Suggestions for a version 2.0 of this cool gun would be a greatly improved trigger pull (it is DAO) and adding some polymer or lighter weight metal to the frame to lower the weight. Make it a +P .38 Special instead of a .357 because of the lighter weight materials.
THE SEMMERLING .45 (Second from top)
About the time Detonics, the Star PD and all but a few custom shop chopped Commanders and 1911's in .45 Auto caliber hit the market, law enforcement folks like me yearned for a highly concealable .45 caliber pistol. I could've afforded the Semmerling "back in the day", but like many assault rifle and handgun purchases I coulda/shoulda/woulda made back the say, the diversity of my sporting and musical interests took care of other fungible income.
The Semmerling LM-4 was a five shot MANUALLY REPEATING double action pistol. It is currently, I believe, being manufactured as a reissue in limited quantities here at As their site says, the LM4 weighs in at just 24 oz., and is only 5.2 x 3.7 inches in size with a thickness of 1 inch.
Now, that's considerably smaller than my Glock 36, which holds 6+1 rounds, but 4 oz heavier. The Glock 36 is thicker than the Semmerling as well.
Again, surely there could be a way to design perhaps a titanium or scandium or composite frame that might get that weight down to about 15 oz. You could also replace the front of the stationary part of the slide with a lightweight metal as well.
I got to shoot one in the early 80's. It had substantial recoil, but I'd like to shoot it with some of the Federal Premium Low Recoil ammo I've been shooting lately in .45 auto and .38 special. I have found this ammo to be highly accurate at 5 to 25 yards and just a joy to shoot.
The LM4 also suffered from a heavy double action trigger pull. With the great advances that have been made since it's introduction, I've love to believe that a better trigger mechanism could be designed as well
The Semmerlin is unique because it is not a traditional semi-auto, rather, the shooter must manually cycle the back half of the slide to eject and load the next round. It's sounds cumberson, but it is really quite intuitive with practice. At the demo I saw, the instructor showed how easy it was to use the outside seam in your blue jeans to catch the rear sight and cycle it one handed, although two handed was much more effective.
The demo I saw had the shooter getting rounds off at one per second.
I would think that a high-tech ammo like the Federal Premium Low Recoil would be just the ticket for the Semmerling. There was also some sort ability to skeletonize the gun where the grips could be removed and rounds counted throught the mag holes now visible sans grips. I do seem to recall some sort of belt clip device holster that was more of a belt mounted clip than a holster that the gun clipped to, rather than was holstered into.
UC Narcs I knew in the 1980's often carried non-cop looking guns like the HKp7 or the Hi-Power or other guns not normally issued or carried by cops. But at least one narc I knew had one of these in a custom made in a homemade belly band rig made from an old rib support belt from having broken ribs.
EDIT: As I was thinking about this post today, it reminded me of the heavy trigger pull double action only HK VP70 pistol. The one I shot was a semi-auto version of the machine pistol, as this gun was meant to be. The heavy trigger pull of the machine pistol version of the VP70 was designed to prevent accidental bursts. FWIW.


  1. Your not keeping up...The Semmerling XLM was a double action, automatic (yes it cycled and relaoded) LM4 that was buiolt under contract for the U.S. Army. It came with a threaded barrel as well. The trigger pull, well, you should know that the LM4 trigger pull needed no improvement as it was without a doubt the finest .45acp trigger pull already. Smooth, no creep, astonishing build and let off, it was perfection. The frame was ready for no grip out of the factory, nothing more to do than screw on the available right side plate and go. Just google "semmerling XLM."

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  3. I didn't include the XLM because it was never sold or available to the public, just the military pursuant to their contract. I stand by my description of the trigger of the LM4 from my brief experience. It was not great or even good. It was a way too long DA type of trigger feel, but such was obviously necessary for safe carry of this gun.

    Maybe the XLM trigger was much better than the LM4, but the LM4 trigger was as bad as the COP trigger. Still, both cool guns which could undoubtedly be improved.

    Thanks for stopping by and helping "you'res truly" (sic) keep up.

  4. the barrel actually moves use your thumb....all you would accomplish trying to cycle it via the rear sight on a pants pocket is the removal of the pocket....the rear sight is part of the frame and is stationary

  5. excuse me..i mis spoke..the rear sight is part of the bbl and is stationary....same result....