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Canadian Test Trial Lightweight - "L 1"

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This is one of the two Inglis Lightweights used in the Canadian test trials held from May, 1948 to July, 1948. Its serial no. is 0T5172. The military realized the value of a lighter pistol. Actually this is one of the forerunners of the common light weight pistols on the commercial market today.

The right view, Serial No. 0T5172. The serial number is visible on the slide and has been crudely electro-pencilled onto the barrel. There is no serial number or proofs on the frame. (There were frame serial numbers on the later ones that were made with left over parts.)

The frame was machined (not cast) from aluminum alloy bar stock. (CAL - Canadian Arsenals Limited manufactured the Lightweights.)

The slide has been lightened by five cuts found on both sides and on the top.

The grips are wood and crudely checkered.

Right side - Serial No. 0T5172.

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Left side - Serial No. 0T5172

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Bottom view - Serial No. 0T5172.

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Rear view - Serial No. 0T5172.

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The rear shows bare aluminum. Originally it was finished as the rest of the frame and had sharp defined edges. During the test trials, the firer was suffering injury to his hand and his skin was beginning to tear. Thus the rear of the grip was rounded to as to prevent further injury. This resulted in the bare aluminum being visible as shown in the picture.

Top view - Serial No. 0T5172.

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View of the cut on top of the slide - Serial No. 0T5172.

(Note that part of the rear sight was removed for the cut.)

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In the cut on top of the slide it was painted with the "L 1" identifier. (Actually, the entire cut was painted and the paint was removed to form the "L 1".)

Although not shown in any of the pictures, the barrel does show a few pits.

The test results measured that there was 1.1 pounds more recoil energy with the lightweight pistol (as compared to the standard pistol), but that this did not hinder the usability of the pistol.

"L 1" went through most of the trials but suffered problems with angular feed which was the result of poor magazine support. Towards the end rather than fix the problem, "L 1" was replaced with "L 2".

Consider the appearance of the pistol. This is how it looked after it was dumped in the mud, in sand, and all other types of punishment. And it worked after each event.

Summary of the six pistols:

Some think that the lightweight test pistols are common. I guess that this is due to the fact that some pistols were made up from left over spare parts after the conclusion of the trials.

However, there were only six (6) of these Lightweights manufactured. Only six (6).

Two stayed in Canada. Two were sent to the United States. Two were sent to Great Britain.

The two that went to Great Britain, presently reside in the MoD Pattern Room at Nottingham.

Of the two that went to the United States, one is in the Springfield Armory Museum. The location of the other is not known. (Its serial number is 8T2326 and what a find it would be.)

Of the two that stayed in Canada, "L 2" is in a private collection in Canada. The other namely: "L 1" is in a private collection in the United States.

The data above came from Clive Law's book "Inglis Diamond", a well researched and detailed book. This pistol came from my collection.
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