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Image courtesy The Times Of India

After thousands of years of horrendous mistreatment, Indian women have finally had enough of being gang-raped and burned alive. TTAG is completely down with that, and we only wish that they had the same constitutionally-protected right of armed self-defense that all Americans (outside of NYC) still do. But we think that Indian gun manufacturer IOF (Indian Ordnance Factory) may be missing the point with their new ‘Nirbheek’ revolver. It claims to be specifically designed for women’s self-defense against rape, but I’m pretty sure the idea will go nowhere. The problem might be the ancient design, or it might be the caliber. Or then again it might be the price. Read on for the curious details.

Let’s start with the ancient design. The ‘Nirbheek’ is a break-open revolver, based largely on the iconic Webley design. The Webley started production in 1887 (yes, eighteen eighty-seven) and its Victorian engineering is quaintly Steampunk these days.


Here’s a knockoff of the original Webley Pocket Pistol in .38 S&W. If you think the .38 S&W is a bit anaemic, the Nirbheek is a .32. At least recoil won’t be an issue, although stopping power certainly will be.

So the design is prehistoric and the caliber is completely inadequate, but this gun might still have a place in the Indian civilian gun market (to the extent that it exists) if it were cheap. But it’s not: it sells for $2000 US. This would be a complete ripoff for a weak Saturday Night Special here, and it’s the price of a new car in India.

But why the stratospheric price? It’s made of titanium. Once again, the question “why?” comes to mind. Why resuscitate a Victorian gun in a flaccid caliber with space-age titanium construction?


Does anybody know the Hindi word for “FAIL?”

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  1. $2000 for a new car in India? Are you sure about the number of zeros? Or the number of wheels on the vehicle?

      • I rented one of these things in Spain, almost died trying to merge onto the freeway from our beach hotel. I think a 3-cyl Geo had a serious edge in power on it. Once it got going it wasn’t too bad, even on the mountain roads. From a stop? Forget about it. No tach (fun shifting such a gutless thing without a tach. redline? when it starts to shake), no cruise control, no power steering. The AC worked great though.

  2. I read about Indian gun laws a while back, and as I recall .32 is the largest caliber pistol that the average citizen can legally own. They have extremely onerous gun laws, but obviously no shortage of crime.

    • It’s rather ironic that after overthrowing the British who had held them in check through tremendously opressive gun laws they turned right around and started oppressing their own people in the same way… One step forwards, two steps back.

      • It is because they choose to cling to their old caste system. The upper caste there have always treated the lower caste as serfs and slaves. It is pretty obvious the top caste doesn’t want the lower case to be armed, then they would be harder to control.

        So outdated and overpriced guns being the only thing the serfs are allowed to own, but can’t afford isn’t surpring at all with a country like India with it’s long history of inequality with the caste system.

      • Paladin is spot on. In fact, Gandhi (yes, that Gandhi) once said: “Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.”

        • Hey now, people don’t like it when you tell the truth about Gandhi. He’s supposed to be a faaaar ouuut bringer of peeeeace and looove maaaaaan!

        • Taken totally out of context. This Ghandi quotation is from a leaflet calling for arming Indians in order that they could fight for Britain in WWI. He was referring to arms for fighting in war.

    • I guess passive resistance and civil disobedience work better on a civilised foe like the British than their own countrymen..

      • .32 served european police well in the 20th century.

        It isn’t my first choice but certainly not the last. Besides you can make ammo for it easily.

      • Er the Webley maybe as old as a SAA Colt, but is is a good hand made DA revolver made in Birmingham and a much better weapon, very comfortable to shoot, reliable, accurate with a good trigger and fast to reload, not particularly effective in .32 maybe but that is India for you, I can assure you that the .476 manstoppers and and .455 calibres in a similar pattern large frame Webley are both battle proven as more than adequate stoppers.

    • I know nothing of Indian gun laws, but if the restriction is on caliber only, one would think a .32 magnum would be in order. Make it long enough, and it should be very effective.

  3. That’s a whole lotta ugly for $2K. I think this beats the Masterpiece .308 in both the ugly and useless categories. At least the big turd throws a decent amount of lead downrange.

    • I’m pretty sure I’d rather own a Jennings, cobra, or hi point over this high dollar turd. Definately a Phoenix arms hp22.

  4. “Does anybody know the Hindi word for “FAIL?””

    I hit Google translate with that….I’m not sure those characters exist on my PC…

  5. The .32 might not stop anyone, but it will probably take rape off of the mans mind. Which may or may not be a good thing.

    • A .32 obviously isn’t the greatest option, but if you hit someone in the right spot it will absolutely stop them.

      • Indeed. All those whining about the insufficient stopping power of .32 should shoot themselves with one and get back to us with the results, or shut up.

      • I personally dont want to get shot at point blank range by any kind of gun. Even the modern bb gun is almost as powerful as a 22lr. A very large portion of criminals, I would guess pretty much all who dont have murder on their mind already have no urge to be shot by anything. Anybody willing to step up and take a 10 round mag from my wifes 32 to prove how worthless it is has earned the right to have their way I guess.

    • A .32 H&R mag with hollowpoints will definitely take a rapists’ mind off anything but his pain.

  6. If I recall correctly IOF is the only firearms manufacturer in India, with a government supported monopoly. This is what happens when you do not allow competition in an industry, bad products at ridiculous prices. They also had issues purchasing firearms for their military where, quelle surprise, they got overpriced junk. They’re looking to foreign companies to arm their military now.

    • The Indian army back in the day baited the E. German government to provide them with production samples of the Stg-940 “Wieger” 5.56mm AK-74 variant.

      The Indian government received a small sample, copied the blueprints, and canceled all production orders from E. Germany.

      A few years later, the INSAS was born, based on the E. German Wieger blueprints, with a few retarded India-specific modifications.

  7. Translated to Hindi (

    तो डिजाइन प्रागैतिहासिक है और क्षमता पूरी तरह से अपर्याप्त है, लेकिन यह सस्ता थे, तो इस बंदूक अभी भी (यह मौजूद है कि सीमा तक) भारतीय नागरिक बंदूक बाजार में एक जगह हो सकता है. लेकिन ऐसा नहीं है: यह $ 2000 अमेरिकी के लिए बेचता है. यह यहाँ एक कमजोर शनिवार की रात विशेष के लिए एक पूरा चीर बंद हो जाएगा, और यह भारत में एक नई कार की कीमत है.


    Local media had a story about it yesterday and typically they couldn’t resist to use it as an excuse to bag self defense/gun rights:

    “”It really is an insult to the memory of Nirbhaya,” said Binalakshmi Nepram, founder of the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network said on Sunday.
    “Our research shows that a person is 12 times more likely to be shot dead if they are carrying a gun when attacked,” she said.”

    I’d really like to see that research. Oh and the above article mentions that its made from Titanium-alloy, but still, $2k for that?

    • “After thousands of years of horrendous mistreatment, Indian women have finally had enough of being gang-raped and burned alive.”

      I guess that is why India is such an anti male country. In India, only women can legally file a sexual harassment complaint, men can not.

      Indian law defines that only men can be booked for committing rape against women. Indian law does not consider any kind of rape against men to be rape. The Indian government deemed it necessary to deliberately and actively deny men equal protection under the law.

      A decreasing male population despite an increasing male birthrate.

      Women have special train cars men are not allowed in. And the women will gang attack any man who steps into such a car and the man has no legal right to defend himself. There have been cases where police throw men off of moving women only train cars.

      Buses have seats reserved only for women.

      There are many women only queues for windows.

      In cases of adultery, only the man can be held guilty.

      The “modesty of a woman” is a common phrase in Indian laws. It is not even clear what modesty of a woman really is but it roughly makes a woman’s body a treasure which every man wants to possess by force (Read Section 354 of the IPC for more information).

      Indian press about a politician offering a bounty for women to publicly beat and humiliate husbands who they allege have abused them, or if they think he drinks too much, with escalating payments. More of a beating, more physical damage, means more money.

      An anti-dowry harassment law, Section 498a of the IPC was created in 1983 which is draconian and most misused. It gives a woman complete power to get anyone from her husband’s family arrested.

      Then came the Dowry death law –Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code. It considers any unnatural death of a woman within 7 years of marriage as dowry death – meaning it assumes the husband and his relatives as guilty for her death and they are put behind bars immediately. There have been many other anti-men laws that have come up regularly.

      Indian police can beat up young couples if they kiss on a park bench. During Valentine’s Day, there were instances of goons roaming in the streets to beat up young couples walking hand in hand. Some male and female goons even force young couples to get married by forcing the guy to tie a symbolic necklace around the woman’s neck.

      In New Delhi, which is infamously called the Rape Capital, men are treated like beasts. Since the preconceived notion is that men are the perpetrators and a woman cannot lie about being troubled by a man, even the slightest hint of discomfort shown by a woman could mean doomsday for a man. The rapes that actually do happen are mostly at night when girls roam around unguarded in isolated places, but the media portrays it as a crime that happens around the clock in every possible area. I do not know anybody who has known rape victims personally but I know many who knew murder, attempted murder and assault victims. Statistics would easily tell you that murder and assault are more common in New Delhi than rape, and that men are murdered and otherwise harmed much more frequently than women. No one is rioting on the streets about what is happening to men.

      It just seems anti gun and anti male ideologies go hand in hand.

  9. If I remember correctly one of the refinements they made to the originol design was to add a manual safety. On a revolver. Some people just have too much time on their hands.

    • I have one of the Webley 38 S&W revolvers with the safety, Pain in the butt.
      Wish someone would remake the Webley in 455

  10. This ugly thing would be a great companion gun to go with the $4000 .308 in the other thread. Why buy one ugly gun for $4000, when you can have two for only $6000!

  11. Pretty sure anybody in India who can afford to blow 2k on a gat doesn’t need to walk home alone at night / take public transportation, which is how all the high profile rape cases there seem to start.

    How on earth can this thing be so bad, though? Couldn’t they steal a more modern design in a real caliber? It’s like they were trying on purpose to make the worst possible carry gun.

  12. OK, here’s where people can slam me for my various over-serious critiques:

    When I see anything similar to an early Webley I want one. “I must resist.” It just looks like Watson’s revolver from the 1st Boer War, as in Holmes’ intoning “And Watson, bring your gun.” I want to stuff one in the pocket of my heavy Mack and be off into a 19th century London adventure. It’s probably similar in causation to the feeling many have about AK’s, Thompsons, or double rifles…Oh, hell, I want a Webley in .455 and a double rifle in .500 Nitro. I slip into reading-based nostalgia in a way I cannot with contemporary military items, which just seem like work tools.

    • Michael Caine fumbling to re-load his revolver after the first assault in Zulu (might not be a webley, but it looks cool, even if the time period is wrong)… I’m with you, man. I want an original .455 Webley and a later one in .38 S&W. I want them all. I have a 1936 Mexican Mauser in 7×57 that was sporterized before I bought it. Decent rifle, great aperture sights. When I take it to the range and people ask me what it is chambered in, I tell them “.275 Rigby.” The true rifle loonies like me roll their eyes or grin; others just nod and say, “cool!”

      There is charm there that is uniquely British, sort of like putting the plumbing outside the wall.

      • as an aspiring gun smith I took on a repair to a WW1 webly 455, lord it was a beast, outside and inside, no wonder the Indis ppl produce such dreck, look at whom they immolate!

        • Families in India used to immolate the wife when the husband died.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if the Webleys were rough. In my mind I simply know when Watson pulled the trigger the gun fired. So mine would. Laugh. The power of imaginative narrative depicting a different time and place.

        • “Immolate” means to sacrifice a person usually by setting fire to them, do you mean imitate? Perhaps you should learn to write English properly before you express your oafish opinion of the English, you berk.

    • I understand completely. I’ve wanted a pair of Chamelot-Delvigne Model 1873 revolvers since the Mummy movies with Brenden Fraser. I later learned that they were pretty crappy even in their day, but those guns in their cross-draw double shoulder hoster rig, so badass looking.

      • There was nothing wrong with the mechanics of the french revolver. Provided you got a real one and not one of the belgium or spanish knock offs from the period. There’s still a number of 1873’s out there that are fully functional. Bear in mind also that french designs are usually produced on a smaller scale than other countries designs. Hundreds of thousands, not millions.

        From an American point of view the biggest draw back to the european revolvers of the day was power. Europeans used 10-12mm service revolvers but the cases were very short and they had reduced powder charges in comparison to what we Americans prefer.

        The french 1873 was a double action at a time when the American army was issuing single actions.

  13. Makes sense within the class system. Make guns available but unaffordable to anyone but the rich and powerful.

      • “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a…” well, a flower in your hair, maybe, but not your gun belt. Not if it holds a legal gun. If it’s an illegal gun, well, you’re not going to listen to me or anyone else. It all seems so simple. Rape in India is spawning wide sales of .22LR, says the Times. Murder isn’t so rare in India. If I’m to believe the Times of India, the favorite weapon is a mob with clubs by torchlight.

  14. Don’t know what it is about the Indians: They still make the Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle basically unchanged since the late 40s.

  15. I just remembered that I have an old Webley out in the shop. I would grudgingly take $1,500 for it….

    • And tearfully tell the guy buying it how it saved your life at Rorke’s Drift and you’re only selling it cause you need an operation.

        • The British soldiers said it was a relief to be stabbed by an assegai as it was much less painful than the punishment meted out to their shoulder by the Martini Henry… which also jammed when hot, the ammunition was strictly controlled by officious quartermasters, and the black powder obscured the upcoming Zulu warriors from sight.

  16. To be fair, I am guessing that the only women that could buy a firearm legally in India are the ones that could afford that in the first place. For the women that really need a firearm the law prevents them from owning one, so an Indian manufacture is not going to make a firearm to market towards them. Think about the out cry against “Saturday Night Specials” here in the US buy some politicians. In India I’d guess that the government would quickly shut them down if they thought they were making firearms intended for people that the government did not think should own them.

  17. I wish somebody over here would make a modern break action revolver. With speed loaders I can rock and roll with my schofield replica.

    Why not a modern design like that Russian MP412 Rex. talk about obscure object of desire…

  18. From the Times of India:

    Nirbheek, India’s first gun for women

    Priced at Rs 1,22,360, Nirbheek was launched on January 6 and has already received around 80 formal enquiries and over 20 bookings. “At least 80% bookings are from women licensees,” says Abdul Hameed, general manager of IOF. Described by arms experts as an Indian hybrid of a Webley & Scott and Smith & Wesson, for its simple mechanism and light frame, it is the smallest revolver made in India — an ideal to fit a purse or a small hand bag.

    In a state where government offers arms licences as incentive to achieve wheat procurement and immunization targets, it is not surprising that a total of 11,22,814 persons have licensed arms as per the state home department records. This is over four times the count of firearms available with the Uttar Pradesh Police (2.5 lakh). Hence a ready market already seems in place for Nirbheek.

  19. I have my father’s Webley. After WWII, they were a dime a dozen so I am told. He had the .455 cylinder milled to use .45 ACP with half moon clips, a common mod at the time. I keep it for sentimental reasons and because you never know when you might have to dispatch a whirling dervish or two.

  20. I speak Urdu/Hindi… Can’t recall the word for fail off the top of my head, but the word “Bakwas” comes to mind.

  21. Sneer at the Webley family all you want, but if I had to go to a gunfight with a revolver, a Mk VI with moons and .45ACP Gold Dots would be my top choice.
    Far more reliable and outdoorsy than any of my lovely Colts and Smiths, it carried me all the way to a “B” classification in USPSA competition, back in the days before USPSA degenerated into an eight-shot sport.
    The ergonomics are excellent- it’s much less punishing to shoot in large amounts than a Smith 1917 or 625. As one of my A-class Revo range buddies marveled after putting a few cylinderfuls through it: “It’s really easy-shooting.”
    Yes, the trigger is very heavy and the sights are about two shades too tactical for my older eyes, but I can shoot things with it pretty handily.
    I paid $75 for it in 1974- the shop had a shoebox of the things and I picked out the one I still have four decades later.
    You know what? I’m headed to the range in the morning, and the Webley’s going for a ride.
    1926 seems not so long ago.

  22. Yes, it is such an awful design it was issued to British troops for 76 years. All those Indians need is a fistful of plastic and maybe an overpriced Israeli bullpup.

    • They need a free market so their needs and wants can be met by whatever brand or model is best suited in their opinions. Love it or hate it nobody in their right mind would chose it above all else when it is their own tender flesh at stake.

  23. I lived in Mumbai for a while… the word in “Mumbaiya” style hindi (slang) would have been “Lavda” (Pronounced lowda), which in literal translation means “dick”, but is used in Mumbai to express “fuck it”

  24. When I take my Webley to the range many people want to shoot it, Much more interesting than Sigs, Glock and H&Ks

  25. 1887. 1911. Today is 2014. Wouldn’t deride a gun on age of the design alone. Given mroe modern materials a +p .32 can do well. That caliber was a common and functional police round long enough anyway.

  26. Indian gun laws are crap – I am an immigrant from there. The largest handgun caliber that is permitted has to be “below .38” which means that the 38 Special is banned, but you can own a .357 Mag. Go figure . . . And, while the Indian Ordnance Factory claims to make these Webley Mark III ripoffs out of Titanium Alloy, I’ll believe them when I actually see one of these paperweights. They still produce a steel Webley pattern revolver in 32 for civilians and in 38 for the Police and Forest Departments, but they don’t bother bluing it and paint it with black enamel paint instead. The Indian ordnance Factory still runs factories that manufacture cordite for ammunition propellants, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the idiots used that in the third rate ammo that they produce. That said, crimes against women are a sad reality of life there, and, if one of these pistols stops even a single rape, it would be well worth it. India is a socialist country – the constitution specifies this – and its gun restrictions are not going to change. With that being the case, the best gun that an Indian woman could own is the one that she has when she needs it. The IOF revolver should fill that purpose.

    PS Binalakshmi Nepram is an old anti gun bandicoot. When she isn’t campaigning against gun ownership, she goes around trying to get Tom and Jerry cartoons banned. it is the measure of a country’s collective intellectual abilities when a woman like her gets top billing in the Indian media, but then, Diane Feinstein gets elected and re-elected in Commiefornia, so there are jokers everywhere.

  27. My understanding is that in India, the people who can navigate the convoluted process to obtain a gun permit are mostly wealthy. So the price tag may not be such a big deal.

  28. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s
    both educative and entertaining, and without
    a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy that I stumbled across this during my hunt for something regarding this.

  29. Guys, the price of the revolver, is not because of its quality but because of the law in india. Its more like if i was to kill all the cows in US and ban import of cows completely, would i still sell the milk at a dollar? Exactly what the goverment did, import is banned and any caliber over .32 is prohibitted. So the selling price of a brand new revolver/pistol today is $1450. But to buy a second hand revolver its anywhere between $1950-$2100. And pistol anywhere between $2600-$2700. Why is second hand more expensive? again because the law in india which prohibits sale of a brand new weapon for first 5 years.

  30. I looked into some Indian blogs on this subject, and I found that it is best to employ an agent to oversee your safe arrival at the factory city, help with the regulatory process, and ansure your safe return to the train station. These agents are said to be affiliated with or known to the local gangs, and will make sure you don’t get robbed and your weapon stolen on your way home. The gangs source most of their weapons in this way.
    The guns will fire, but the poor quality ammunition may not.

  31. Enjoy more Orlando like shoot outs.
    Enjoy free gun culture. You deserve that.
    And keep your mouth shut you don’t know a damn thing about indian social, political or any other aspect.

  32. my wife was looking for CA HAPP 40-C some time ago and found a great service that has a searchable database . If others need CA HAPP 40-C also , here’s a

  33. Its not true that only handguns of 22lr and 32 are allowed in India. You can get a handgun of any caliber if you have a license, except for 9mm parabellum, .38, .357, .45 ACP, .455 (rimmed), 9mm luger, .380 rimmed, 38 SW long, .45 rimless, .455, .476 as these are used by various police and military forces. However only .22lr, .32 SW long and .32 ACP are widely available at gun shops as these are common for competitions. Other caliber ammo is hard to find and import is not allowed.

    Worst part of gun restrictions in India are that you have to deposit your firearm during elections every five year, and also during RIOTS !!!.

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