A Taliban Armoury

C.J. Chivers has published photos on the NY Times and his personal blog of weapons captured in Afghanistan. It is a good to see that either the Taliban do not have the resources to purchase new firearms or they do not have the ability to supply new firearms to frontline insurgents.

Copyright C.J. Chivers

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 and Suburban Survivalist 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.


  • West

    If this is indicative of the general state of repair of Taliban weaponry then it can be seen both positively and negatively.

    Positive in that this could be a sign that their re-supply situation has become unreliable due to our efforts to put a hold on their gun money.

    Negative in that this is a sign of their continuing will to fight even at a severe disadvantage in manpower and technology.

    Does this remind anyone of the North Vietnamese?

  • jdun1911

    The North Vietnamese had the support of the People Republic of China and the Soviet Union. The North Vietnamese were well funded and had the latest and best heavy weapons that were available to them. And unlike the Taliban they also have a Air Force that constant engaging US fighters. They were nowhere near the level of the Taliban.

  • Lance

    Good hopefully there guns will blow up in there face when they shoot.

  • dmurray

    I don’t know the state of North Vietnamese arms during that war. I do recall that we walked away from South Viet Nam and that ARVN funding was cut off in Congress. Perhaps commenter West predicts the same withdrawl and outcome for Afghanistan.


  • HK_WSU

    Is it just me or does the rifle kind of look like a pinata?

  • M.G. Halvorsen

    Actually, West, from all I’ve heard about the NVA, they were reasonably well equipped…at least as well as any other SE Asian Army of the time. Now, the Viet Cong were kind of strapped in their supply realm and had to make do with whatever would load a round and go “Bang”…but they were actually closer to the Taliban in their Guerrilla warfare: anything that can inflict casualties on their advesaries (us!) with a minimum level of Damn-Damn on them…their weapons were whatever they could make, steal, modify, or cobble up. The Vietnamese have had A millenium to perfect Guerrilla warfare…and did a damn good job, considering…The Afghanis are running a close second. And one has to take a seriously hard look at ANYONE who feels desperate enough to use something like this, even as a stopgap.

  • Lance

    The NVA was equiped with free weapons from USSR and Red China. Many RPD Type 56s and AK-47s made the NVAs arsenal. The Vietcong being local thugs and murderers they where wernt equiped as lavishly as the the NVA. At the Start they had alot of Arisakas from the Jappanese defeat in WW2. Left over Mas-36s and MAT-59s and Mosin Nagant rifles and carbines the North gave to the mvement made up most of the arms in the pre US war. Most where in poor shape since many fighters lacked skills and training. When the Soviets and red Chinese backed the war in 63 they gave enough SKSs and Aks to reequip the North that the North gave the VC surplus AKs and SKSs. The North also trained the VC so many AKs and SKSs where in good shap and had spare parts to keep them in good shap. But after the US entered the war and by 1972 the VC though still survived the war was too weak after 8 years of fighting the US to take over the South. So in 72 the North invaded in a conventional war. The US was already leaving the South like we are in Iraq now. US air power did slow the North advance and after the 1972-3 Christmas bombing of Hanoi forced the North to accept a cease fire. It was then Ted Kennady and the liberals in congress cut off ammo weapons and medical supplies to the South. Teddy wanted to ban Vietnamese refugees here too, the scumbag. In late 1974 the North know we couldnt no longer help the South invaded again and took over, the war was over…. Not relly then came Loas and then they invaded Cambodia then China invaded them. Commies killing commies after we left.

    Vietnam was and is a bad compairison to Afghanistain today. In many was Ted Kennady and the Dems won the war for the North before Saigon fell. In Afghanistain today the enemy is supplied in areas weapons can be sumaggled in. Near China and Pakistain wherethe Chinese and Pakistaini Taliban can resupply the the enemy easliy threw the boarder. Almost all weapons in Taliban hands are Type 56 rifles and Type 56 SKS carbines from China. In areas like in the north and west the Taliban must make due with out alot of new equipment since weapons cant be as easliy sumggaled in w/o being cought by NATO and US troops. It ws simular to the Soviet Afghan war in the 1980s. Near Pakistain and China the Russians found it hard to stop enemy resupply and enemy attacks on Soviet bases. Near kabul and near the Russian border the Soviets had alot more control of the area.

    The Afgans since the 1900s have had Lee Enfields in service with both Government and local forces. Many are gunsmithed today very well so dont count bad looking guns out they can kill you easliy like a brad new Type 56.

  • West

    M.G. – Sorry, I should have been more specific. I meant to make the comparison to the Viet Cong guerillas not NVA regulars.

  • gyrfalcon

    I wonder what an M4 would look like if it was in service for the same period of time with the same level of maintenance.

  • Lance

    Prably just as busted and rusted as your junky chicom ak.

  • gyrfalcon

    “Prably just as busted and rusted as your junky chicom ak.”

    I doubt that.

  • none

    How much of this color scheme is just decorating the rifle. Very similar to carving the stock up? Perhaps it helps keep the cold metal from from contacting the skin. …Of course these could just be propaganda photos….