To fit his gun in a pocket, L.W. Seecamp had to get creative
by MATTHEW MOSS
Gun-designer Ludwig Wilhelm Seecamp immigrated to the United States in 1959 and worked for Mossberg until 1971. In 1973, he and his son Lueder established L.W. Seecamp Co.
Seecamp initially built custom, double-action 1911s. And, in 1981, he began producing his own very, very small pistols.
Traditionally, the U.S. pocket-pistol market had been dominated by foreign pistols. Domestic designs took over after the 1968 Gun Control Act barred many firearms-imports.
Seecamp’s pistols use an interesting hammer-fired system, where the hammer follows the slide home after each shot and sits flush. The pistols are double-action — each trigger-pull cocks the hammer. Their exteriors, reminiscent of Makarov PM’s profile, are smooth and featureless to prevent snagging on clothes.
The pistols initially came in .25 ACP. Seecamp added .32 ACP in 1985 and .380 ACP in 2000.
To keep down their overall size, both the .32 ACP- and .380 ACP-caliber guns use a chamber-ring delayed-blowback action. This means that a fired cartridge case expands to seal the chamber, preventing gases from leaving the weapon’s action. The Seecamp is one of very few modern pistols that use this system.
The LWS-32 and -380 pistols are both just 4.25 inches long, weigh 11.5 ounces unloaded and have a six-plus-one magazine capacity. They lack manual safeties and instead rely on a heavy, 11.5-pound trigger pull — although Seecamp added a trigger-block safety for California-compliant pistols.
Ludwig Seecamp died in 1989 at the age of 88. The company survived under his son Lueder, who sold the company to Whalley Precision in 2013. Production moved from Millford, Connecticut to Southwick, Massachusetts.
The pocket pistols continue to be sold under the L.W. Seecamp brand.
Originally published at Historical Firearms.