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Curtis Tactical CT700P: A Modern-Day De Lisle Carbine

It started on a whim while in a rural town in Ohio looking for a local gun shop to peruse for a little bit of business and mostly grins. The Google map highlighted “Curtis Tactical Suppressors,” and the journey began. While driving down a dusty country road, the realization hit that this may either be an incorrect address or a small backyard shop, but plenty of damned good work takes places in garages and sheds across the great American nation. There was no hesitation.

Mowing the lawn in front of his house, the location of his former backyard shop, was Joe Jones. Jones is the founder and owner of Curtis Tactical, and by mere happenstance he happened to take a day off to perform yard work on his large property. Introductions were made, and soon we were firing machine guns behind his house and learning details of his wares. 

It was totally random and awesome. We blame a glitch in the Matrix. Or Elon Musk. Same/same. 

 

Curtis Tactical CT700P

It looks like a normal bolt gun ­— until you get to the magazine.

Though Jones has been designing and building silencers for nearly a decade, it wasn’t until mid-2019 Curtis Tactical was officially formed. Curtis Tactical made a name for themselves by re-coring and otherwise upgrading silencers of all types (if you have a now-defunct Huntertown Arms silencer, give them a ring). Jones pulled nearly endless examples of upgraded suppressors from his safe from names both big and small. Like us, the more purpose-driven the suppressor, the more he liked them. And nothing is more purpose-driven than an integrally suppressed weapon (see RECOIL Issue 44 for a full breakdown on integrals). He had modernized interpretations of older guns: Integral 9mm MPXs replaced the vaunted MP5SD. Nazi-killing OSS High Standard HDMs were present but with 2020 baffle designs. And what really caught our eye? A rifle that got weirder and more astonishing the more we learned about it: the CT700P.

The Curtis Tactical CT700P is a Remington 700, integrally suppressed, chambered in 9mm, and converted to controlled feed, that eats ammunition from Glock mags. 

curtis tactical CT700P

The baffles are held in place with both an endcap and a locking nut.

The Curtis Tactical CT700P immediately brought forth images of the De Lisle. The De Lisle carbine (sometimes called the De Lisle Commando) was a bizarre British invention, which was essentially a Lee-Enfield MkIII converted to .45 ACP using a Thompson submachinegun barrel and integrally suppressed — furthermore, it ate from modified 1911 magazines. The De Lisle saw use among British commandos and SOE for the purposes of silent Nazi-zapping. And let’s be real: Any gun used to covertly kill Nazis will always be among the coolest guns on earth. 

A rifle we didn’t even know we wanted, which we instantly knew we’d have to get our hot little hands on. 

Keep in mind that the rifle you see on these pages is a preproduction model, and we’ll note potential changes to full production models as we come across them. 

ACTION AND OPERATION

Bolt actions make for the quietest possible silencer hosts. Ejection port noise is nonexistent, since the bolt is opened only well after the projectile and all gases leave the barrel. The CT700P is a single-stamper, because the barrel is technically 20 inches long with an 8-inch silencer popped on the end of the 12-inch rifled portion. 

Each Curtis Tactical CT700P rocks a receiver machined from 6AL-4V titanium and is DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coated. The bolts themselves are machined from 17-4 stainless bar stock, feature threaded handles if you want to swap, and are UltraOX nitride. 

curtis tactical CT700P action

The extremely short action threw us off the first time we shot it.

The briefest explanation possible of controlled feed versus push feed is that a push-feed action has an extractor that snaps over the rim of a cartridge only when fully chambered (like an AR-15), whereas a controlled-feed mechanism has control of the cartridge with the extractor through the entire cycle of operation like a Mauser model 98. Jones contends that there’s no other way to feed a pistol round with a front-lug bolt action than a controlled feed system, and he’s also spent an awful lot of time developing this system expressly for that purpose. 

Jones further explains, “The bolt face is where design is critical to get the pistol rounds to feed in a front lug action. Our patent-pending angled T-slot machined into the face of the bolt makes this a true controlled round feed and is necessary to feed the pistol cases. As the round exits the magazine, the T-slot on the front of the bolt captures the case rim; it’s machined to the perfect profile to allow a smooth feed up the feed ramp into the chamber while being retained the whole time. The side-mounted bolt stop also plays a big role in the ejection; as the bolt is moved rearward the bolt stop actuates the ejector, which is spring-loaded to the rear.”

curtis tactical CT700P bolt

The angled T-slot allows for a true controlled round feed.

The first CT700P we shot required a rather aggressive operation of the bolt in order to fully seat each round, but this problem nearly disappeared on our example due to a slight extractor tweak and shouldn’t be present on production models. 

Instead of a modified Accuracy International magazine (see page 104 for an example of a sub-caliber magazine conversion) inserted into the KRG chassis there’s an adapter for Glock magazines. Our preproduction sample can seat Glock 19 magazines and longer with ease, but the diminutive Glock 26 mags are too short to fully seat.

The silencer portion of the CT700P is easily removed for maintenance with the included 7/16-inch hex key. First, the endcap is unscrewed followed by a secondary locking nut with the same hex key. After that, the snap-together core slides out. The tube remains permanently attached to the rifled portion of the barrel, giving us that legal length of beyond 16 inches. 

Each baffle features symmetrical clips and each subsequent baffle should be 90 degrees offset from the previous for best consistency. 

QUIRKS & WEIRDNESS

The magazine adapter itself can be removed like any other detachable magazine, necessitating the removal of the enlarged KRG release lest we inadvertently pop it out on the range. A new lever release on the physical adapter itself allows for the 9mm Glock magazines to be removed and inserted. At least with our preproduction, it’s best to load a filled magazine on an open bolt to ensure proper seating. Along similar lines, the current adapter allows the magazine to over penetrate slightly, so after it clicks in, give it a little tug downward. 

Curtis Tactical 9mm magazine well

VARIANTS

Though you’re seeing an integral 9mm on these pages, Curtis Tactical has several pistol-caliber models available for purchase. All models ship with 20-MOA scope bases, medium-contour threaded barrels, Trigger Tech triggers, the appropriate magwell adapter, and a magazine. 

You can get a CT700P chambered in .40 S&W that uses small-frame Glock magazines, and also .45 ACP with the choice of either G36 mags (weird) or full-on De Lisle with 1911 mags. Rifle configurations have either 16- or 20-inch barrels and custom “Pork Swords” pistols (see RECOIL 50 for an example) with barrel lengths between 3 and 12 inches. 

While any Remington 700 short-action stock or chassis can be used, standard options are KRG (shown) and Masterpiece Arms. This preproduction CT700P was put together with a Green Mountain 1/10 twist barrel; Douglas and Krieger precision barrels will be available with an upcharge. 

MAD SCIENTIST

Seeing as how the 350 Legend uses the same projectile diameter of a standard 9mm, RECOIL Editor-in-Chief Iain Harrison loaded up some Hornady 170-grain FTX and Spire Point 350 projectiles in 9mm cases using 3.0 grains of WSF powder. While the results won’t directly feed from Glock magazines, they will from modified 1911 mags — and it just so happens that Curtis Tactical makes one. We don’t have full load development, yet these are quieter than pissing in the snow. Expect to see more of our 355 Whisper in the near future. 

curtis tactical CT700P suppressor baffles

The baffles can be snapped apart for maintenance.

OUTFITTING

While this is a 9mm rifle, it’s also a precision rifle. Extreme Long Range shooters have been known to push calibers traditionally considered short-range to the distance (1K yard shots with .22LR is increasingly more common these days among the ELR crowd) — we didn’t push the capability envelope too far. Magnified optics were a no-brainer, but we decided an LPVO would make for the best-case use for our imaginary Nazi-snuffing scenario. After much studying of ballistic calculators, we settled on a 1-6x24mm Vortex Viper PST in a set of Precision Reflex Inc rings for the optic.

While we knew that standard Glock magazines would be fine, we threw the original game plan entirely out the window and threw a generally garbage stolen KCI 50-round drum magazine into the mix. No, these magazines aren’t recommended for semi or automatic use, but they were perfectly fine for the slower bolt-action CT700P, though they certainly added onto the weight. 

The KRG Bravo chassis allows for easy attachment of a sling and bipod, so we rolled with an Accu-Tac bipod and a legacy-padded QD Ares Armor Huskey sling.  

AT THE RANGE

Shooting 9mm not from a pistol or even a carbine changes a lot of metrics. As you extend your range, you’ll quickly find that the ballistic coefficient of your load matters far more with the CT700P than your pocket pistol. Our suggestion is to take several different types of ammunition to the range and see what she likes.  

Using a MagnetoSpeed and an Applied Ballistics calculator, we determined our best zero using Israeli 158-grain ammunition would be at 15 yards. This gave us pointy-clicky to 120 yards and easy holds for an additional 50 yards beyond. 

For testing accuracy, we replaced the lower-power 1-6x Vortex with a 6.5-20x Leupold VX-3I LRP to get our eyeballs closer to the target. 

curtis tactical CT700P at the range

Using IWI 158-grain FMJ 9mm, the average five-shot group was 1.15 inches at 100 yards. Curtis Tactical tells us their Kreiger and Douglas barrels are sub-MOA, provided you’re using match 9mm. 

Swapping grain weights of ammunition became troublesome, because cheap 115-grain Walmart Winchester white box has significant ballistic deviation at range when compared to their heavier (and quieter!) subsonic brethren. Our take is that the best practice is to stick to a single grain weight and brand of ammunition lest you either have to constantly re-zero or guess at projectile drops at range. 

Given the longer barrel, baffle stack, and bolt-action, it should come as no surprise that the CT700P is less than handclap-quiet when loaded up with subsonics. 

LOOSE ROUNDS

Coming across Curtis Tactical through random happenstance and being extroverted enough to walk up to a random house was the first of many new surprises. Sometimes backyard shops grow into sustainable businesses, and that nearly always happens when someone brings a new idea to fruition or takes an old idea and puts a new spin on it. 

Sure, there are a few things that have to be worked out, but that’s the nature of R&D for preproduction guns. Just while writing this article, the bolt and extractor design was tweaked twice — Jones is quick to make changes, and shifting gears quickly is something a small, custom shop can do. 

Some would argue that the CT700P should accept Sig Sauer M17/18 magazines to be a true successor to the De Lisle, and to those folks we’d point out the bevvy of 9mm Glocks currently in USSOCOM inventory. We don’t know what Curtis Tactical will cook up next, but we’re for damned sure watching and waiting. 

[Editor's Note: This article first appeared in RECOIL #51.]


Curtis Tactical Integral CT700P 

Cartridge: 9mm Luger
Overall Length: 39 inches
Weight Unloaded: 9 pounds, 6 ounces
Barrel length: 20 inches
MSRP: $2,075
Magazine Capacity: 10, 15, 17

URL: curtistacticalsuppressorsandrifles.com

FEATURED ACCESSORIES:

Vortex 1-6x24mm PST VMR-2: $900
Precision Reflex Inc Rings: $109
Spuhr SP-5602 Scope Mount: $108
Accu-Tac BR-4 G2 Bipod: $299

Price as Featured: $3,491


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