The gun markets of Pakistan

This is an updated and high quality version of a video I posted some years ago. Well worth watching … if only to see 7.62x39mm rounds loaded using a hammer!

[ Many thanks to OVERZERO for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Jarre of Sweden

    Wow, haven’t seen this one before. Thanks for posting it!

    A 1000 weapons per day (made under those conditions)… no wonder the insurgents in AfPak have enough material to fight with.

  • Bill Lester

    Nothing is visible to me except a dead space under Related Posts.

  • JoelTexan

    Yeah, gimme some of those handloads … I could finally hold off my wife!
    Seriously though, great video, great job done. We don’t often see the raw culture of this region. I fear they will outlast all of us.

  • Maigo

    So many things to say!

    And they expect us to believe the Mexican cartels are buying guns from the US?
    They should open up for tourists.
    Tony Stark built this in a cave.

  • Sian

    It’s a fascinating combination of truly high hand craftsmanship and shoddy slapdash. Their ammunition manufacturing is downright scary.

  • subase

    Well now the cartels are buying them from china instead.

    I like it when he says. “The people here believe in a having a lot of guns and a lot of sons”. lol A real law of the jungle over there.

  • John Waters

    I have “visit Darra” on my short list of things to do. There is a rich tradition of small arms manufacture (read: cloning) in NWFP. While their output can hardly be considered high quality, or even safe, it still speaks to the industrious (and redneckish) character of “The Pathan”.

    While OCONUS in 2008 I had the pleasure of meeting dozens of Pashtun taxi drivers. Every single one of them was thrilled to meet an American and were eager to communicate in my terrible Arabic/Urdu and their terrible Arabic/English. Most of the time the conversation ended with the Pashtun pumping his fist in the air and shouting “Amreeka Zindabad!” (Long live America). This is a stark contrast to the stories of the Pathan ghazis who dispatched the soldiers of the British Raj quietly with pesh kabz or the scowling turban wearing tribesman of waziristan mentioned in the media.

    I wonder how much of a hassle it would be to bring a “Khyber Agency” Martini Henry back into the country. 🙂

  • ZomBkiller

    Two spotters, two bombs, problem solved. At least temporarily.

  • Hasan

    I live in Pakistan and would sadly like to inform you that the famous darra gun market doesnt see much activity nowadays. One has to pass through many military check-posts to get there.Even we are afraid to go there due to constant fighting between army and tribal militants in surrounding areas.

    the militants never use locally made AKs or ammo.They prefer Russian,Chinese, Iranian and yogoslavian made Aks. The manufacturing processes and techniques are outdated and there is a famous joke that the firer should pray before firing a locally made AK47 because there is an equal chance of the barrel blasting into his face. Still, i own one.hehe

    @JoelTexan: I havent travelled out of this region but from among the different ethnicities living in pakistan and Afghanistan the pathans have proven themselves to be the most resilient. after all they defeated one super power and have been fighting the other for 9 years.

    • Hasan, I was hoping to visit that market. I guess I have not chance now at least in the near/medium future.

  • Komrad

    Very interesting. The guns did not seem to be low quality or crude and the reloading tools were ingenious. I find Arabic culture fascinating and this is a great view of it.

    • Komrad, they are Pashtun, not Arabic. Muslim culture sure, but not Arabic culture.

  • AntiCitizenOne

    would anyone really trust a Khyber pass copy?

  • subase

    This supports my earlier theory that the guns they make are just for the local population and for defence, possibly for training and familiarity too. The quality of their steels just can’t be replicated in a home forge, and unlike mass producers, only appearance needs to pass inspection, long term durability is not profitable, since their guns are copies of other Yugo/Norinco firearms. Even if Pakistani’s wanted to make a quality AK, someone else will just make a dodgy copy of it. They have zero copyright infringement laws or consequences.

    As for the resilience of the fighters. Military action and controlling of territory and business at the barrel of a gun and tribal alliances IS business. If they let the American’s and Pakistani’s take their land and business influence, they loser their livelihoods. The U.S has unfortunetly left them little if any alternative but to fight, probably hoping they will pop out with a white flag and lay down their arms. More likely they will arm and support pro american/pakistan tribes and groups of the Taliban, until their is an overall winner. Problem is it’s probably gonna take another ten years before such a victor emerges.

  • Bill Lester

    Would someone post the direct link to the video mentioned in this thread? I’m still seeing nothing more than a big, blank space where the videos usually appear. Thanks in advance.

  • Clodboy

    I’d really like to know how that SPAS-12 or the Muzzelite-stocked Mini 14 ended up on a Pakistani market…
    Maybe the Pakistani film industry needs those for making Khyber pass copies of 80s Hollywood action movies 😉

  • JonMac

    Interestingly, those rounds being loaded with a hammer look more like 7.92×33. The fake Norinco trademarks on the ‘Mauser’ (actually a TT33) are also amusing.

  • jdun1911

    I pretty sure that the experience they have allow them to make decent or better firearms than some that are currently sold in the USA.

    Here DK-Prof finish his 80% lower with dremel.



  • Crabula

    Gotta love the muzzle control.

  • Abid

    These weapons are not used by militants/taliban types, I am sure there are many arms dealers selling surples arms to these groups. I am a british citizen, family originally from Azad Kashmir, These weapons are used by ordinary people to defend their homes from burglers maiinly. Its easy to a firearm licence there from local cop shop. A few years ago I brought a SIG P226 9mm that was made in Derra,?( I have licence) Excellent quality only issue i had with it was that the fireing pin broke after 250 rounds. In my opinion Talibans have about 5% support of the locals, talibans just went there killed the local tribal leaders and took over, now talibans have been evicted by the pakistani army.
    As for foreigners not being allowed in, there is no law in derra, people can get kidnapped for ransom there, so its a safety issue. Its like a black guy going to a KKK town! taliban being KKK. Lots of people visit pakistan, with tour operator or they may have desi mate. Its totally safe if go with a guide, just say you a swiss !!

  • As with everything in life you get what you are willing to pay for it while most darra products are downright dangerous,for right money and more importantly local connections you can have a clone that is as good as the original.