Pakistan’s Gunmakers Under Threat


Globalization eh? What are you going to do? [apologize for digital jitters]


  1. avatar Anon says:

    This just shows how easy it actually is to make a handgun. Ya, ban them and they will totally just go away [/sarcasm].

  2. avatar إبليس says:

    Pakistan has a right to bear arms in their constitution. Perhaps TTAG will investigate this and report, إبليس willing.

    1. That would be a cool report. A world look on the right to bear arms.

      1. avatar Indy.Eric says:

        I agree.

    2. avatar BLAMMO says:

      Everyone has the right to be armed and to defend themselves from predators, tyranny and oppression. The right is not conferred by the constitution. Enumeration is only an explicit charge by the people to the government to protect the right.

      1. avatar karlb says:

        Sure, in a post-enlightenment world. In the 16th century, there would have been a whole lot of people wondering what the heck you are babbling about. Of the ideas you just listed, only self-defense against predators (thieves, and the like) would have been seen as a right.

  3. avatar zerplex says:

    Vice did a video awhile ago where they went into the tribal gun factories in pakistan.

    Crazy shit, theres a guy in the video with no tongue cranking out tokarev copies all day long.

    1. avatar Ken says:

      Back in the mid 70’s there was a TV show called David Niven’s World. One of the episodes was, as I recall, practically a mirror image of this report, showing the gunmakers doing exactly the same thing under the same conditions. I don’t remember if it was Niven himself who went there or whether he was just the narrator of the film.

  4. avatar brett says:

    Wow, they have more production capacity than Kel-tec.

    1. avatar Boris says:

      Better QC too

  5. avatar Anon in CT says:

    Knowing that some of these guns will end up killing Americans and other NATO forces, I can’t get overly worked up for these guys. The main problem with Afghanistan is Pakistan, though it’s really the people (like the ISI) and not the guns.

    1. avatar BigC says:

      Isn’t that just the same as saying “I don’t care if Kel-tec (or any other smaller American gun manufacturer) goes under because some of their guns are used in gang murders?” It seems from this report that these small private industries are just trying to get by doing what they know best: making guns. Is it their fault that people are misusing their merchandise? that one guy has been making guns long before the Taliban appeared on the scene…just a thought.

      1. avatar Sanchanim says:

        Doesn’t that fall under people kill people not guns?
        It is interesting to see the cottage industry. It goes to show you if you ban them they will make them. I homes, garages, and warehouses across the country.

      2. avatar Anon in CT says:

        Kel-Tec, I assume, makes a good faith effort to follow the rules and sell its wares legally.

        I’m not saying that we should drop a Hellfire missile on these Pakistani guys (though I’m also not saying we shouldn’t), but if you want some of my very limited supply of sympathy, don’t sell guns to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. I mean, how much sympathy did we have for those poor folks in the Mauser factory during WW II?

        1. avatar Derek says:

          Why not? WE DID. Thank Charlie Wilson.

  6. avatar matt says:

    I always knew Pakistan made guns but this is the first time I saw something CNC. Is it the only shop to get to make it to the 1970s? I’ve always wondered how these guys rifle their barrels.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Drill a hole down the bore, then ream it as straight as you can.

      Then mount the barrel in a press and push (or pull) a HSS or carbide broach down the bore.

      It might not yield the best barrel, but it will yield a workable barrel.

  7. avatar DaveM says:

    Read a story years about hand-made firearms using crude tools in that part of the world, CNC is definitely a big step forward.
    Whats next work benches and chairs ?

    1. avatar Mark the boobiehead says:

      “work benches and chairs” OMG I about spit my soda on my keyboard. I think I could make a killing (or get killed) going over there and introducing 5S and SixSigma to these people? Hmmm??

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Actually, the way they’re working with their butts on the ground is about the only other way to get good results with a file.

      I do most of my benchwork standing up. I’ve never seen anyone accomplish anything worthwhile with a file, saw or polishing cloth sitting at a bench on a chair. You ideally want the top of the vise to come to the bottom of your elbow, and by sitting their vises and butts directly on the floor, they accomplish this.

      1. avatar DaveM says:

        I stand corrected.
        Whats next work benches ?

  8. avatar John Fritz says:

    A few years back I was posting on a Pakistani gun forum for a little while. It was quite interesting. The forum members certainly were friendly!

  9. avatar Aharon says:

    It is officially legal in Pakistan to do X and they still get harassed by the authorities. Sounds familiar.

    Otherwise, it’s wonderful that high technology and machinery are now setting the stage so people can make guns in their homes after telling a software program what to create.

  10. avatar Sanchanim says:

    It is actually quite amazing. It looks like they do a lot of hand finishing. Not sure about barrel technology, but it certainly looks like they take pride in their work.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:


      People forget that London “best guns” used to be almost entirely hand-made and fitted. The “field grade” guns were made by apprentices and newbies, the middle grade guns were made by recent full employees and the best guns (which today are worth from $35K on up) were made by the most experienced men in the shop. Most of the metal shaping in those best guns of 50 to 100 years ago was done with saws, files, broaches, etc. There was very little machinery in those gun makers’ shops of London and Birmingham.

      Today, of course, they’re putting in more and more CNC equipment, but if all you want is a gun cranked out on CNC equipment, you can get a nice over-n-under or side-by gun out of the Basque region of Spain or out of Italy for 1/10th of what you’d pay for a London gun today.

      Now, if you want to see brute-force manual barrel-making technology, look at how they used to make damascus barrels. It was truly a sweaty, back-breaking affair, where steel and iron were twisted together into billets, then forged down into strips, which were then forge-welded in a spiral around a mandrel. The results could be anything from crude to astoundingly beautiful, according to the skill of the three to four men hammering out these barrels.

      This type of barrel making was seen in arms from Persia and India (I can find historical record of barrels produced thus in India in the late 1500’s), and the technology spread from the Ottoman Empire into southeastern Europe by the late 1600’s, and then was propagated back to England’s gun industry from India by British military officers in the early 1800’s.

      In short, it is possible to not only make effective firearms with crude tools, one can also make very nice firearms with crude tools.

  11. avatar LeftShooter says:

    Interesting slice of life video. I’d still recommend safety glasses for the metal workers and both eyes and ears for the test-fire “engineers.”

    I also love their respect for the international patents on those firearms.

  12. avatar Paul says:

    How do we acquire these arms? Should we contact Holder USAG, and have him do a “FAST AND FURIOUS” type operation?

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    Look at guns made in the 1800s in America, long before electricity and CNC.

  14. avatar bontai Joe says:

    Reminds me of machine shops I saw in the Philippines…. I suppose that most third world nations (AKA emerging nations) are similar in set up for small cottage industry jobs. Guys sitting on the ground with simple tools making semi decent stuff out of material someone else threw away as useless.

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