Posted July 27, 2020 4:14 am by Comments

By Chris Eger

This amazingly rare Semmerling LM-4, serial number 31, is up for grabs in the Vault for the decerning collector. It looks like a small semi-automatic. But it only looks that way. (Photo:
An unusual micro-compact .45ACP designed in the 1970s with something of a cloak-and-dagger history behind them, the Semmerling LM-4 is among the most sought after of collectible handguns.
Mr. Lichtman, I presume
One could not talk about the LM-4 without covering its father, Philip Lichtman. Harvard educated and the holder of more than 30 patents, mostly for innovative surgical instruments, Lichtman was described in his 2017 obituary as having “seven avocational passions in the course of his life: fishing, model airplanes, butterflies and entomology, telescopes and astronomy, cars, guns, and collecting and restoring oriental rugs.”
Across the course of three patents filed between 1973 and 1980, Lichtman laid out a curious manually-operated handgun design that became the LM-4 in a series of no less than eight claims detailed in 46 drawings.
Smallest 5+1 .45ACP
Originally billed as a “vest pocket .45” built for maximum concealment in mind, the 4+1 shot pistol was only 5.2-inches long, 3.7-inches high, and a svelte 1-inch wide. For reference, this puts it in the same neighborhood as


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