L. W. Seecamp Co. was a manufacturer of handmade pocket pistols located in Milford, Connecticut from 1981 to 2014. In 2014, the company announced that Whalley Precision would take over production of the pistols.
|Founder||Ludwig "Louis" Wilhelm Seecamp, Lueder "Larry" Seecamp|
|John Whalley (CEO), Chris Garvey (Prgm Mgr)|
L. W. Seecamp Co. was started as a pistol smithing company in 1973 By Ludwig (Louis) Wilhelm Seecamp who trained as a master gunsmith in pre-World War II Germany. Seecamp immigrated to the US in 1959 and was a gun designer for shotgun maker O.F. Mossberg. He also specialized in double-action conversions for the 1911 Colt .45. At the time, there were no commercially available double-action 1911 pistols anywhere in the world.
In 1978, Seecamp specialized in the miniaturization of pistols. The Seecamp patented spring system is currently used in almost every locked breech miniaturized semi-auto pistol.
In 1981 Seecamp ventured into firearms manufacturing, beginning with the LWS-25.
The elder Seecamp died in 1989. His son, Larry, kept the company going in a small shop. He only had about seven employees at his height. Until the acquisition by Whalley in 2014, all guns were handmade one at a time in the old-world fashion.
All Seecamp pistols are double action only (DAO), and are similar in size. Barrel length is 2.06 inches (5.2 cm), and weight is 11.5 ounces (330 g). Grips are glass-filled nylon and checkered. These pistols are not equipped with sights because they are intended for use at close range. The Seecamp, like the Czechoslovakian CZ 45 pistol, utilizes a very compact and reliable DAO trigger mechanism. Each pull of the trigger first cocks then releases the hammer. The hammer follows the slide after each shot and rests in the down position.
The original Seecamp model was the LWS-25 chambered in .25 ACP and manufactured from 1981 through 1985, with a total production of about 5000 units. It used traditional blowback operation with a magazine capacity of 7 rounds. Collectors have driven the price of these original Seecamps to as high as $3000.00(US). The .25 ACP model was dropped shortly after the introduction of the .32 ACP version.
Seecamp's second model, the LWS-32 was designed around the only hollow point .32 ACP ammunition available at the time, Winchester Silvertips. Ammunition with an overall length exceeding 0.910" (23.1mm) may not feed or chamber correctly. Operation is through chamber-ring delayed blowback where a raised ring at the rear of the chamber retards the rearward motion of the slide. This model uses a magazine with a capacity of 6 rounds. The LWS-32 remains Seecamp's most popular firearm. During the height of demand, production guns were selling out years in advance with individual guns selling for up to US$2000.
There were 20 sets made in both .25 ACP and .32 ACP with matching serial numbers in 1988.
In 1997, North American Arms introduced their Guardian pistol in .32 ACP attempting to compete with the smaller sized Seecamp and Rocky Bannister of Autauga Arms released a near clone of the Seecamp LWS-32. Seecamp sales remained unaffected despite the availability of a near clone alternative. Further competition is provided by Kel-Tec in the form of their P32 and P3AT polymer-framed pistols which are bigger in profile but lighter and thinner. Unlike the Seecamp, the North American Arms and Kel-Tec versions have rudimentary sights.
- Ayoob, Massad (15 March 2010). Massad Ayoob's Greatest Handguns of the World. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 25. ISBN 1-4402-1503-0. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- James, Frank (15 December 2004). Effective Handgun Defense: A Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. pp. 184, 193. ISBN 0-87349-899-2.
- Ahern, Jerry (5 October 2010). "27". Gun Digest Buyer's Guide to Concealed-Carry Handguns. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 177–180. ISBN 1-4402-1743-2.
- Ayoob, Massad (28 September 2007). The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 38. ISBN 1-4402-1825-0.
- Shideler, Dan; Lee, Jerry (December 2011). 2012 Standard Catalog of Firearms: The Collector's Price & Reference Guide. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. p. 992. ISBN 1-4402-1688-6.