Want to see a reproduction Bigot actually firing? Tune in to Sons of Guns on the Discovery Channel tonight at 9pm, and you’ll get to see me try one out! If you haven’t seen my video on the Bigot, it is a late-WWII experiment created by the OSS to take the place of a suppressed .45 pistol. A spigot-mortar-like guide rod was installed in the barrel of a standard 1911, onto which a big steel dart would slide. The dart had a .25ACP blank cartridge in its nose, and dropping the hammer on the 1911 would fire that blank. The resulting pressure would launch the dart out at roughly 200 fps. Not very fast, but certainly fast enough to make it very unpleasant to get hit by.
As I am writing this, I have not yet seen the final cut of the Sons of Guns episode where we shoot a reproduction of it (the original pictured here is not in firing condition), but I will apologize ahead of time for the eye-rolling drama that is a staple of this sort of TV show. I’ve been a pretty serious critic of these shows in the past, but I was willing to put that aside for the opportunity to get my hands on a firing reproduction and get a feel for how it actually worked. I know for a fact that there will be some very cool slow-motion footage of it in action, and I am also looking forward to seeing that (I saw the initial replay when we were filming, but don’t have a copy of the footage myself).
I hope that you will take some time tonight to check out the show (the other gun in the episode is a VERY impressive 20mm Hispano-Suiza cannon, and I am curious to see how it ended up working, as I was not around for that bit of filming), and that you will overlook the inevitably nauseating TV elements in order to see a legitimately interesting and forgotten piece of history reproduced! (BTW, there will be a followup post publishing later this evening for the potential wave of new readers who see the site referenced on TV and decide to take a look)