semmerling lm-4

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by codydog, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. codydog

    codydog New Member

    Oct 4, 2010
    My Father recently passed and left his collection to us (his children). We have decided the best way to divide the collection will be by value. There are a few guns we know nothing about, and are looking to you for some help.

    This is one, any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Man, I wanted on of them so bad, back in the 70s. Last price I saw was over two grand.

  3. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

    And this one looks like a cabinet queen...never been fired from the looks of it.:D
  4. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Knoxville Tennessee
    To tell you the value of it, My father who is a haggleing fool when it comes to buying firearms said he'd give you 1200 for it sight unseen, He said if its unfired or little fired and in box he might go for more. I dont know the value and I have only shot one, once. I will say this, when compared to other handgun platforms includeing the 1911 there ain much that will compare. That gun marketed for 750 when it came out in the 80's

    If it was me I'd tell the family it was worthless and You would keep it for yur self cuz it reminds me of pops, you all can fight over the rest of the guns. :DUnless your dad had other items like this one. If he had this, What else did he have?
  5. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    The Semmerling LM-4 is an odd little duck, it looks like a automatic but it is manually operated. I read about it years ago in one of the gun publications, Perhaps Gun digest. After each shot you used your left thumb to flick the slide forward to eject and chamber a new round. With practice it stated it was as fast as a regular automatic. Then it was way out of my price range, now that I could buy one I find no need for it. Perhaps I'm getting old. American Derringer was still producing them, I don't know if they still are or not. It's listed in the Standard Catalog at 2500 NIB, 2000 in exc. BTW, The LM-5 is offered in .32 and .25, or was.
  6. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    throw the catalog/ book prices out when it comes to the semmerling. they are going for big bucks. i wouldn't take less than 2500.00 for mine and it's no safe queen more around the 90% condition these thing often went for higher than suggested retail much like the seecamp 32 acp when they first came out. long waiting list and a ungodly mark up.....
  7. 300 H&H

    300 H&H Active Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    oscarmayer is right about this one. Basically hand made, of the best in tool grade steel. Yup 2,500 for a used one without the box. I cann't find actual production numbers, but I assume they were not very high. Most "wump" in the smallest package you can buy.

    Regards, Kirk
  8. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Knoxville Tennessee
    Just fer the record pops didnt say what the bloody thing was worth. I jst was goin by what he said. I did cruze a couple of auctions that had been dead and gone and out of all my looking I found 1. It sold for 2200 at 90% condition. Again read what I said about telling the other family members it worth little and that you'd be gald to keep the little trinket out of their way as to not tarnish their collection with such a undersireable relic.
  9. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    cute, great size well made and a absolute bear to fire. after buying a liberator fp-45 i thought the size and the caliber to be perfect, after being warned do not shoot the liberator or at least do not fire it more than 10 times if new ( which it was nib ) they tended to fall apart. i went to my handy dandy credit union and took out a signature loan and ordered a smemmerling. 2 years later it came in. by then the thrill was gone but i had to test fire it . i used 230 grain ball and shot it a total of 5 times for function. i carried it a ankle holster on and off for a few years scuffed it up some , but it now sits in my safe and only comes out when the conversation comes to odd, or quality, or small but deadly.....
  10. Joe Guilbeau

    Joe Guilbeau New Member

    Oct 24, 2010
    You have a somewhat rare Semmerling LM-4 of which there were less than 600 made. Your serial number is very low, and therefore make your pistol more valuable.

    I purchased mine in 1981 and still have it. These pistols had the manufacturing rights bought out by American Derringer in Waco, Texas, and from time to time they make a production run if enough orders are placed with downpayments prior to production.

    There is good information and bad information on the web about this pistol. Surprisingly, WikiPedia has good info.

    The pistol has 33 parts including screws, it was made of S7 Tool Steel and magnafluxed before and after assembly.

    Yours looks mint, and I would not sell for less than $4,000.00 to be sure, simply because they are not made anymore in original form, by the Semmerling Corporation in Boston Mass.

    The pistol shoots nicely, and does not kick as much as some might have you believe, of course I always have fired 230 Gr FMJ's. Even qualified for CHL, got some looks there!

    What follows is something that I have scrapped together and put into a Word Document of which a portion has been cut and pasted:

    This extremely high quality pistol was manufactured by the Semmerling Corp. of Boston, Ma. The LM-4 was designed as the ultimate police backup/defense weapon. It is a manually operated, 5 shot repeater, 5.375 inches long, 3.75 inches high and 0.8125 inches wide, without the ebony wood grips mounted. With the ebony wood grips installed the overall width of the pistol at the grips is 1.25 inches wide. The barrel is 3.75 inches in length.

    The LM4 was first designed and manufactured in the U.S.A. in early 1980s and marketed at a price of US$750. The goal of the LM4 was to achieve a combination of the highest practical firepower in as small and light a gun as possible, so as to be easily concealable. This was approached by selecting the service caliber of .45 ACP for its proven stopping power and opting for a manual repeating mechanism to minimize bulk and weight and ensure flawless operation in the most difficult situations.

    The Semmerling LM4 has 33 parts (including screws), making it one of the simplest guns ever made. In the original design, every part except for the springs was made of high-quality S-7 tool steel. Every pistol was Magnafluxed (a method of testing ferrous metals for surface and subsurface flaws) twice in their assembly, making the LM4 one of the most carefully constructed pistols produced.

    Although the Semmerling was intended as a back-up pistol for those most at risk of having their primary weapon taken from them, some adopted the pistol as a "hide-out" weapon. Capable of a "shot-a-second" firing rate, a practiced shooter can achieve an outstanding shooting performance. With the magazine loaded and a round in the chamber, the Semmerling LM4 is capable of carrying five .45 ACP rounds.

    Fully loaded, the LM4 weighs in at 24 ozs. Built of the finest materials to be had, each Semmerling frame and slide was X-rayed and Magnafluxed by an independent lab--twice. Once before milling work begins and once when the frame was fully finished. Each Semmerling was essentially hand made with production averaging a little over ten pieces a month.

    Every gun was proof tested and sent to the range for at least a dozen rounds of tuning before being sent out. The Semmerling is fashioned out of 33 parts (including screws) making it one of the simplest guns ever made. All the points of failure on a semiauto have been designed out of the Semmerling. Shock-resistant S-7 specialty steel was selected for everything except the stress-relieved "rocket wire" springs. S-7 material is super tough and accounted for only three extractors and one magazine ever to known to have failed. Production was always sold out, with people waiting months for their Semmerlings and the price climbed quickly.

    Chambered for the 45 ACP cartridge it is undoubtedly the smallest 5 shot 45 caliber pistol ever produced. Although it appears to be a semi automatic, it is not. The slide is manually operated after each double action firing. The trigger pull is approximately 8 lbs.

    The Semmerling fires from a static, fully-locked breech, producing considerable recoil. The barrel mechanism is manually pulled forward to eject the fired round, then pushed back to chamber the next round. This can be accomplished by thumb.

    For carry, the slide is locked in the closed position by means of a tiny lever located in the middle of the weapon. By carefully pulling the trigger back approx. 1/4 inch and pressing on the lever, the lever clicks into "lock" mode. Hold the lever down and release the trigger. The Semmerling's action is now locked closed with a round in the chamber.

    To fire, the trigger is pulled back fully. When there is a cartridge in the chamber, the extractor protrudes 1/8 of an inch, so as to act as loaded chamber indicator. Thus, even in the dark the owner can determine the exact condition of the weapon.
    It has no safety, decocker, or slide release.

    The number of remaining rounds could be seen by using the "thin grip" kit or by removing the grips when carrying the LM4.

    The 23rd Edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values (Circa 2002) list the original LM-4's grading ay 95% to be anywhere from $2,300 - $4,000, depending on whether the finish was Chrome, Electroless Nickel or High Polish Blue.

    Hang on to it, these are a footnote in firearm history.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  11. codydog

    codydog New Member

    Oct 4, 2010

    Thank you so much for a great lesson. I am sad I have to sell it, but it appears I will. There will be a lucky person to own this rare beauty, and I will offer it to the great folks of this forum first, before going to another source.

    It will be a sad day for sure.
  12. Gregwhite

    Gregwhite New Member

    Feb 26, 2013
    Hello codydog,
    Do you still have the Semmerling?