Four Homemade Submachine Guns Confiscated Near Sydney, Australia

When extreme restrictions are placed on the manufacture, acquisition and ownership of legal automatic firearms, one of the easiest repeaters to make at home or in small workshops is the submachine gun. The four homemade submachine guns shown above were recently discovered in a raid with a number of other firearms, drugs, and 2.75 million Australian dollars (about two million in U.S. dollars).


Acting on information received, Strike Force Raptor, assisted by the Drug and Firearms Squad, executed a search warrant a storage facility at Waterloo in the early hours of Wednesday (30 May 2018).

During the search, police located 1.15kg of cocaine, 1.1kg of ice, 26L of GBL, 13 firearms, including five sub-machine guns, two semi-automatic pistols, and two revolvers; ammunition, a silencer, and $2.75 million cash.

The firearms will undergo forensic and ballistic examination.

Just after 9am yesterday (Thursday 31 May 2018), Strike Force Raptor arrested a 34-year-old man after he arrived at Sydney Airport from New Zealand.

He was taken to Kogarah Police Station and charged with three counts of supply prohibited drug, possess ammunition, deal in proceeds of crime, resist arrest, participate in a criminal group, and aggravated firearms offences.

Just as with drug prohibition, with that kind of money available, the fabrication of guns and the availability of ammunition on the black market is inevitable.

The most famous case of organized crime fabricating submachine guns in Australia is that of Angelo Koots. Koots was a jeweler who had a side business making copies of the MAC-11. He was caught in a sting operation and convicted in 2013.

Koots’ copies were said to be of as good as the originals. He claimed that he had made a hundred of the guns, selling them for up to $15,000 each with two magazines and a suppressor included. Koots was sentenced to six years in jail.

Koots’ guns are still out there. One of them was recently confiscated in a raid in Sydney in April.

Firearms such as these are easy to make, taking only a couple of days each once the first one has been made and jigs are fabricated. Koots probably spent less than a year’s worth of labor turning out the guns which brought him about AUS1.5 million dollars from organized gangs. There are no doubt many talented fabricators who would be willing to work — and probably are — for a fraction of that amount.

A different black market submachine gun design, the “Carlo,” is frequently encountered in Israel. They’re made in small shops and sell for about $800-$1,000 on the black market.

Homemade, or small shop submachine guns are made all over the world where extreme gun restrictions are in place. They’re commonly found in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Israel, the Philippines and more.

Because of the heavy regulation of submachine guns here in the US, a legal MAC-11 submachine gun costs more than $8,000. Strict gun control laws and the resulting price distortions they cause provide the perfect market conditions for black market producers to step in and meet demand. No matter how hard politicians try, they can’t repeal the basic laws of economics.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


  1. avatar Bloving says:

    No 3D printer to be found?
    Fake news, then.

    1. avatar Jack Crow says:

      Besides, those are illegal in Australia, so they can’t be there.

  2. avatar Nanashi says:

    Gun control doesn’t work? Not sure why this surprises people.

    The real interesting thing is none of these homebrew SMGs ever have any kind of stock. Not even a simple M3 style piece of thick wire.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      With the intended usage range typically under 10 meters and most likely under 10 feet, I don’t think a stock would be necessary.

      3D printers are allowed in Australia but they are expensive and not very common.

      One person was recently caught making replica non-functional guns for cosplayers but made the mistake of selling them via FaceBook. He now faces 5 years in prison.

      1. avatar Draven says:

        Aldi in Australia occasionally sells a 3D printer that is nearly identical to the Monoprice budget printer, for $300. They run out of them every time they get them. They also apparently sell higher end ones as well.

        1. avatar Southern Cross says:

          I will concede that would be the cost of a low end 3D printer but the ones seen actually making Liberator pistols look to be the higher end models.

        2. avatar Draven says:

          Naah, anything that can reliably print ABS can make one, that is kinda the point.

  3. avatar jwm says:

    I know. We’ll ban alcohol. We’ll have a safer and nicer society.

    I know. We’ll ban drugs. We’ll have a safer and nicer society.

    I know. We’ll ban pre-marital sex. We’ll have a safer and nicer society.

    I know. We’ll ban…………

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      “Ban alcohol”
      “Ban drugs”
      “Ban pre-marital sex”
      Jeeze, that about covers it!………………………..Oh,……wait!

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Sounds like the Judge Death approach from 2000AD. Since all crime is committed by the living make life itself the crime.

  4. avatar Mark N. says:

    I guess I must be getting old…The coke I got. But what is “ice” (meth?) and “GBL”?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      There was a time I preferred Coke to Pepsi.

      Now I’m a micro brew root beer sort of guy.

    2. avatar AM says:

      I think the ice was to keep the coke cold.

    3. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “But what is “ice” (meth?) and “GBL”?”

      Ice, meth is methamphetamine, an ‘upper’. It’s one of the nastier ones, just Google “Faces of Meth” for pictures.

      GBL, no idea…

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        gamma-Butyrolactone, which, in the human body, gets metabolized into GHB, which is a precursor to GABA, which is a neurotransmitter in the human body.

        Basically, GBL is a way to try to get around laws against GHB.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          I read that and still haven’t a clue.

          I’m blessed to be mostly ignorant of the drug culture.

        2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          It’s a “downer”. Like barbs. Barbiturates.
          Like, “let’s fill the hot tub with peirreire and bob for quaaludes” kind of party drug.

        3. avatar jwm says:

          I’m more of a ‘let’s fill the hot tub with women and bob for boobs’ kinda guy.

  5. avatar Don says:

    Some nice looking work actually, they took the time to make them look good, not just your hardware store knock together. I’m willing to bet there’s large green (or whatever color they pay for their Foster’s with) in play for guns like that.

    1. avatar Toni says:

      lol Fosters is mostly an export beer. Few self respecting Aussies would drink it if it was the last beer on earth 🙂

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        So Bud for demtards (blue can)

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      No Aussie drinks Fosters. That’s why it is exported.

      The usual go-to beers are VB, Toohey’s New, Toohey’s Draught, or Resch’s Pilsner.

      1. avatar Toni says:

        here in the NT and in QLD the most common beer is XXXX or fourex as it is called. those beers you mention are more common in NSW and Vic

  6. avatar GunnyGene says:

    They need to expand their reach, and go after “fully semi-automatic boomerangs”. 😉

    1. avatar jwm says:

      They tried to throw away some confiscated boomerangs once. Once.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        OH geez.
        I may have shat myself from laughing so hard.
        Great “Johnny Dangerously” reference.

      2. avatar Bill B says:

        All I can visualize is Joe Piscopo hanging on a door hook as the door swings open. Great reference.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      Wouldn’t work. Large capacity mags would weight them down.

  7. avatar RCC says:

    I’ve got in laws in that suburb. Will have to tell them I need better local knowledge of the “unofficial” gun shops.

    No doubt media will try to blame legal owners somehow.

  8. avatar Gunr says:

    “Strike Force Raptor”
    Sounds like something out of Star Wars!

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      Right? Sounds like some fatass loser cops desperately trying to sound cool.

      “Yeah, I’m on Strike Force Raptor, and we carry guns!” Sounds like something an 8 year old boy would say while playing army (the lack of capitalization is intentional as I’m referring to the broad make believe activity rather than the official body) with his friends

      1. avatar Toni says:

        lol agree. They come up with some damned pretentious names for these operations here in Comstralia. Maybe it is to make the sheeple think that they are actually doing a hell of a lot more than they actually are

      2. avatar Recon says:

        Sorry, playing “Army” is no longer allowed in demorat America. Screws little boys up and prevents them from properly “choosing” their gender around 8 years of age.

    2. avatar RMS1911 says:

      Sounds like a jackie Chan movie.

  9. avatar Draven says:

    but teh 3d printered gunz! teh criminalz wil be doing all the printerings!

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    Annnnnd that’s why places like Chiraq will never be “safe”. I need to Google “ice” and GBL😄

  11. avatar Dog of War says:

    Is it bad that I kinda want to try my hand at making a US legal one of these? >,,> 😛

    1. avatar SteamTroller45 says:

      Go for it. I’m making a straight-blowback 45 with some square tubing and a Glock 21 barrel and extended mag I picked up for $50 at a pawn shop for just this purpose. With an almost 5 pound bolt, it won’t be super practical, but being able to say I made it with a band saw, drill press and my old Lincoln is a nice middle finger in the idea of gun control. Plus it distracts me while I wait for more money to finish my increasingly more expensive Para 80% build.
      Can’t stop the signal.

      1. avatar Dog of War says:

        Oh I will eventually. I’ve always had a bit of a dream of producing videos of how to do it. But the threat of censure via ITAR regulations always kept me from really considering it. Plus I need to brush up my machining and welding skills. I took as much of it I could during high school and got pretty good at it. But that has been a good decade ago. But hey, sooner or later I’ll see about getting a hold of a few tools and work on something. First I’m thinking first about a copy of one of those old Mossburg bolt action shotguns from the 50s.

  12. avatar FedUp says:

    Just goes to show, if semi auto handguns are illegal and you have to make your own, might as well have an illegal subgun instead.

  13. avatar Anymouse says:

    Open bolt/slam fire full auto only guns are much simpler to make than semi autos. No need for disconnectors, auto sears, etc. A chunk of metal with a fixed firing pin for the bolt, a spring, a trigger, chamber/barrel, and something to hold them and a magazine is all you need. Stens, M3 Grease Guns, and Sterlings are ridiculously simple, but effective, designs.

    1. avatar ollie says:

      Not only easy to make, but if kept disassembled (until needed) the parts could be easily hidden among ordinary mechanical objects and be invisible to raptors and burglars. You could probably even make a cool chandelier out of a half dozen machine gun’s parts.

    2. avatar Jimbo66 says:

      Exactly right! I fired a sten a friend of mine put together from a kit the atf ok’ed with the cut receiver. That was a blast. Squeeze the trigger and hold on, boy did that thing dance. Close quarters great, distance not so much. The best part was firing full auto of course. After a couple mags though it was time to go. That’s a pretty distinctive sound. Of course we didn’t shoot it around his house but the brass had no fingerprints.

  14. avatar neiowa says:

    Koots’ copies were said to be of as good as the originals (MAC11). So useless POS.

    1. avatar Dog of War says:

      MAC’s often worked just fine, but they need to be kept pretty ‘wet’ in terms of lubrication to make sure that they run reliably.

      That said there have been a lot of really terrible copies made. The second gun I ever owned was a carbine model made by Leinad firearms. That thing was so far out of spec that it would slam fire often and even broke a lot of magazines. I had to send it back several times before I just sold it.

  15. avatar arc says:

    This was on impro guns like… months ago… TTAG is getting real slow…

  16. avatar BD says:

    So, Gun Control does control.
    It Controls the cost:
    In Australia with absolute prohibition, it inflated the price by 15x.
    In the US, with absolute prohibition with a grandfather clause, it inflated the price by 8x.

  17. avatar Marcus says:

    The black or free market is the cause of all innovation. Would DD even exist if it wasn’t for California laws that make the only legal way to acquire a particular gun by building it yourself? One unintended consequence begets another and sometime that result is crime and violence. Maybe assisting in the creation of homemade will be a benefit for criminals around the globe but I would only fear a crappy single shot weapon if some criminal had it and I had nothing.

    1. avatar Jim Bullock says:

      “One unintended consequence begets another and sometime that result is crime and violence…”

      “Sorry about your cat, I was just getting this anvil off my roof.” I’m developing some heartburn about the idea of “unintended” consequences. You didn’t mean for that to happen, so you’re off the hook?

      Further prohibitions on citizens’ firearms is the single most effective way remaining to strengthen drug cartels. I’m not sure this consequence is “unintended” by voting dealers. “Unrealized” by the people pushing the laws makes them clueless, not noble.

  18. avatar RedOwl says:

    “Strike Force Raptor?” – Awesome. Why can’t our American law enforcement units have names like that?

  19. avatar Phillip Evans says:

    If Australia had men, they’d take back their freedom.

    1. avatar BRUCE CLARK says:

      They have men, as an American I’ve worked with many Australians in my military service that would put most Americans to shame. Especially now a days. Think of it this way, beyond all the bravado and hype, if the same thing happened here how many of you would step up and fight for your freedoms today. And I don’t just mean running your mouths, I mean really fighting? I suspect a small percentage. 1% maybe?

  20. avatar John C says:

    A black powder 44 revolver is effective short range until you need to reload. Yes with practice swapping the cylinder is also effective. Of course I don’t want to get shot from a pellet gun. Them bastards hurt.

  21. avatar Capn Jack says:

    A home made gun…Meh, just another interesting project for some one with any skills at all.

    Personally, if I want one, I’ll buy one. Other things are more important.

  22. avatar BRUCE CLARK says:

    When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

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