I Want My U.N.C.L.E. Gun!

When the first James Bond movie came out, the public went wild.  To cash in on this popularity, a TV show titled The Man From U.N.C.L.E. started to air in 1964.


The formula for the success of the show was based on gorgeous women and absurd fight sequences.  The stars of the show almost always prevailed against the bad guys when the bullets started to fly, the reason being that they had the coolest guns.

man from uncle stars with gun

The special effects department tasked with creating the futuristic guns bought low cost Walther P-38‘s, cheap and plentiful at the time, and heavily modified them.  The poster below from a Japanese toy company shows all the stuff they dreamed up.

man from uncle gun

Extended magazine, suppressor, barrel extension, shoulder stock, telescopic sight, and flash hider.  The flash hider was for standard carry, the rest of the parts would be screwed on when trouble arose.  So all the agents would have to do would be to remove the flash hider, and then put all of the rest of the parts together to create a nifty carbine that doesn’t make enough noise to wake the neighbors.

assembled man from uncle carbine

That is pretty nifty!  But the one aspect of the gun that I found fascinating was how a handgun small enough for daily carry could be transformed into something with increased range and accuracy.

I’ve been looking for something in the real world which could do the same thing ever since.  A handgun suitable for concealed carry, but which can also reach out to at least 100 yards and reliably produce acceptable accuracy.  So far my quest has not produced any results.

Frustrated search aside, are there handguns that could produce fast, aimed shots out to 100 yards?  There have been a few, but most have proven to be less than successful as concealed carry guns.  This essay has already run on too long, so I’ll save the discussion of actual far shooting handguns for the next post.

See you there!

24 thoughts on “I Want My U.N.C.L.E. Gun!

  1. Reading about the MagTech conversions was the first time I’d ever heard of .460 Rowland, that’ll up your horsepower as well as provide a more stable shooting platform!

    • It is a foregrip, so you can use your off hand to steady the gun without burning your fingers on a hot barrel.

  2. You can sort of get there with the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 folding carbine. A company used to make a shoulder holster for it. Folded it’s compact enough for carry for someone our size, unfolded it’s a 9mm (or .40) that will easily reach 100 yards with accuracy. Takes standard pistol mags. Mine uses Glock even though I don’t like those pistols.

    Fun little gun, more of a ‘keep in car’ type to surprise someone who thinks they have you pinned down from out of range than for carry though.

    Get the ‘F’ out of the ATF and we can go back to adding shoulder stocks and such.

  3. Of course, if you can afford it there is always the Broomhandle Mauser. A friend has one and a business in Cleveland set him up with a holster and other equipment that was originally availible except extended barrel. It had flip-up sights going out a long way, although I no longer remember how far out it was supposed to reach.

  4. I had a plastic toy gun that looked like that when I was a kid, though I do not recall the shoulder stock. Maybe I broke right away, or maybe my parents bought a less expensive knock-off of the UNCLE toy.

  5. Did you ever see this film? IIRC upon returning to duty and being issued with equipment Mr. Solo asks “what about the special UNCLE guns we used to carry?” and is told that “they’re in the special UNCLE wing of the Smithsonian”. I wonder whether they’d lost the original props by that time.

  6. Although it’s not fun to carry in a shoulder holster, the Desert Eagle in .50 Action Express is sighted-in for 100-meters at the factory. When I first got mine, we took it to a rifle range. A friend had made these plain targets, just a black 8-inch circle on a plain piece of paper, and he made a bunch of photocopies. We put one of them at the 100-yard mark. I settled the DE on a sand bag and using only the iron sights, I fired two shots. We went out to look and the rounds had hit within the black circle, but about 2 inches low and to the left of the “center” of the circle.
    But I suspect you could sight-in any magnum pistol (.357, .41, .44) for 100 meters/yards and it would be effective at that range.

  7. I had the Man from UNCLE pistol set you describe, with the stock, scope, and barrel extension. I also had a knockoff that used a P08 luger with stock, scope and extension. THAT one came in a brief case that if you pressed a button on the side with the pistol in the case, the pistol would fire a plastic bullet from the end of the brief case.

  8. Windy, it sound like you had the 007 briefcase set. It had the Luger you mentioned, and a ghost of accessories.

    I can’t remember if it shot anything though.

    I also had a Japanese-made metal replica of the UNCLE special, that was very close to the real ones except these were non-functioning versions. Wish I still had it!

  9. “knirirr on July 4, 2014 at 5:43 am said:

    “Did you ever see this film? IIRC upon returning to duty and being issued with equipment Mr. Solo asks, ‘What about the special UNCLE guns we used to carry?’ and is told that ‘They’re in the special UNCLE wing of the Smithsonian.’ I wonder whether they’d lost the original props by that time.”
    The props were around — some of the original fans, like Robert Short (who consulted on the reunion movie you mention), had them. But the producer’s idea was to “update” everything whether it needed it or not, and make the film more like James Bond than like U.N.C.L.E. The replacement carbine looked like this: https://www.manfromuncle.org/return.htm

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