Germany Copies the Soviets: L23 & L27 Silencers

The German L23 silencer was essentially a copy of captured Soviet Bramit silencers, complete with the attachment system locking around a rifle front sight. Two hundred of these made for the K98k rifle for German trials. These resulted in a desire for a better attachment method, and this led to the L27 design. The L27 was essentially the same wipe-based suppressor but attached using the locking clamp of the German rifle grenade spigots. A full thousand of the L27 silencers were ordered for production, although a shortage of rubber for the baffles (this was late in 1944) forced production to end early.

The L27 was intended to be used on basically all German 8mm small arms – the K98k, G43/K43, and MP44/StG44. Like the Soviet Bramit, it was intended for subsonic ammo, and a range table was engraved on body of can to give rear sight settings for ranges out to 250m with subsonics.


  1. I wonder if there is more information about the subsonic 8x57mm Mauser round (Nahpatrone) I haven’t been able to find a lot of information about the wartime specifications.

  2. Unlikely that the reason for ending production was a “shortage of rubber”. The entire production run could have been made with less rubber than was used to make a single truck tire.

    More probably the reason was bureaucratic. The project did not have a high enough priority to get some company producing rubber products to accept an order to make the baffles.


    • The most likely reason was twofold.

      First, as Stephen Hunter pointed out in a novel (The Master Sniper) the Wehrmacht philosophy was that suppressors were for use with special night sights (like infra-red telescopic sights) in “stable night-time situations”. By that stage of the war, the Wehrmacht wasn’t having too many of those compared to frantic run-and-gun retreats versus the advancing Allied armies.

      Second, even if they had seen a need for silencers to be paired with such sights, while manufacturing the silencers might not have been much of a problem, manufacturing substantial numbers of IR night sight units was a major one.

      Look at the U.S. T3 IR sight system for the M2 Carbine, and consider where Germany was supposed to get all the materials to mass-produce the equivalent. Even a special limited production run was probably beyond their capabilities by that time.

      There would be little point in making silencers for subsonic rounds for night sniping if they couldn’t make enough sight systems to go with them.



  3. There is a chap over here in Frannce that sells a copy of these silencers The attachement is a copy of that used on german grenade launcher FOR THE 98k
    The great thing here is that if you have a licence for the specific gun you can buy a silencer for it with no more paperwork
    And a few years ago they passed a law allowing silencers for hunting so 12 gauge shotgun silencers and subsonic shells are cheap

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