DIY 1911 Carbine, M1 Carbine Grenade Launcher, Commie Insurgents

A reader sent me a fascinating photo taken by a friend of his who is a Malaysian defense journalist and photographer. The photo below was taken at a Malaysian counterinsurgency training exercise last year. The men pictured are members of VAT-69, the Royal Malaysian Police’s paramilitary commandos, and were playing the part of the terrorists during the exercise. The weapons they are armed with are fascinating. The firearms, with the obvious exception of the HK416, were confiscated from Communists terrorists during the 2nd Communist Insurgency (1968 – 1989).

The 1911 pistol (right) is mounted in a rifle stock with a trigger connected to the pistol’s trigger. The M16 (center back) has had the plastic handguard replaced with a nice-looking wooden handguard. The M1 Carbine (bottom right) has a nifty under-barrel grenade launcher mounted.

These guns were probably supplied by Vietnam who had captured large quantities of weapons, including M16 rifles and M1 Carbines, after the fall of Saigon.

[ Many thanks to Perajurit and Faisal for the photo. ]

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.


  • Jason

    How about the dude in the back with the HK416. He must have better connections.

    • jdun1911

      Probably the richest commie in the area.

  • Joseph

    Fascinating pieces for sure. I’d love to have a closer look.

  • Alfred

    Probably confiscated from a Cambodian refugee boat in the 80s.


    Gotta love wood on an M16!

  • Chuck

    Look at that dent in the m1 carbine magazine.

  • hojo

    It’s tragic how few people know what the words “terrorist” and “terrorism” actually mean.

    • hojo

      I’m assuming the down votes are from people who can only see things from their own pathetic narrow perspective. Enjoy your lives as farm animals.

    • Komrad

      I have not yet down voted you. If you can explain what you mean by that, justify it, and explain how it pertains to this article, you might get more up votes and fewer down.

      As it stands, your post is a meaningless opinion. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and let you explain yourself, but I am rather tempted to down vote you too.

      • hojo

        OK, since you seem a reasonable sort, I’ll explain.

        While there is no strict definition of terrorism, the term is used to describe the use of force against non-combatants and non-military targets in order create fear, social unrest, and reduce support for the dominant government or regime. Flying commercial airliners into a commercial building would be an example of terrorism. Fighting an occupying army in your own country would not.

        I was not familiar with the particular conflict this article referenced, so I went to a couple of sites and read about it. I don’t have a deep knowledge of the subject, but nothing I read suggested that the MCP used terrorist tactics.

        My suspicion is that the word was used in the unfortunate popular usage, which is anyone who fights against an established government, unless that government is communist, or Muslim. The word itself is often used to create an irrational emotional response against whoever is being labeled a “terrorist” without having to meaningfully describe them. Calling someone a soldier who supports communism doesn’t create quite the frothy fervor that labeling them a communist terrorist does.

        Since we live in a time when anyone who fights against US forces is labeled a terrorist, I am still confident in my original statement, which is that there are a great many people who use the word, who apparently do not know what it means.

        So to recap, being a communist, Muslim, guerrilla fighter or insurgent does not make someone a terrorist. Attacking civilians, or civilian targets in order to cause internal upheaval makes you a terrorist.

      • Komrad

        Fair enough. I gave your original post a thumb up for the well reasoned explanation. I still gave your second post a thumb down because it was rather rude and made an assumption that all those thumbing down your comment were being narrow minded. Not the best way to make your point.

      • hojo

        The number of up-votes since my explanation seems to support you. Sometimes I’m not too good about explaining myself.

        On the other hand, I have a hard time thinking of a rational reason for someone to down-vote my original statement? What is offensive about the idea that people are using the wrong word. I think it’s the implication that there is more than one side to everything, and that maybe people we label as terrorist have legitimate grievances, which we can perhaps subvert by using inflammatory language.

        I don’t mean to express any support for actual terrorist. It’s a despicable method for achieving one’s ends. For that reason, it’s unfair to label someone a terrorist simply because they don’t share your political ideals.

      • Scott

        Hojo, I think the point is that it’s probably less inflammatory to start your thread with your well thought out (really!) followup comment.

        The topic is already contentious, and personally, I tend to tune out when I see a short comment of the type that you stated up front…..people are so sensitized, they are actually becoming less engaged.

        I really did like your detailed comment…..

        Just my 2 cents.

      • hojo

        dammit, I meant that to be a “thumbs up”… stupid touch screen.

      • Zermoid

        According to the US Govt anyone who owns guns and more than a few days worth of food is a terrorist now………

      • Komrad

        Suspected terrorist actually, but that’s just semantics.

      • hojo

        Which I guess means that they can be detained indefinitely without trial.

  • Lance

    Awesome wooden stock on that A1 while some M-16A1s may have been from Vietnam most weapons are from China who smuggled weapons to Malaysia but the Islamic insurgence in Southern Philippines also received CQs (M-16A1 clones) and M-305s (M-14 clones) clones from China and Chinese smugglers. Most weapons in Vietnam US or Commie supplied stayed in Vietnam due to that Vietnam got broiled in a war in Cambodia in the late 70s and 80s as well as several boarder wars with China. so most old US arms stayed in service till the 90s when they where worn out and replaced by newer Russian arms.

    Many insurgence today not only buy weapons from China but Iran and other Islamic terrorist countries smuggle large number of weapons to Islamic movements all over the world.

    • More than a few M16A1 abandoned in the RVN ended up getting funneled to Communist insurgents in Central America during the 1980s. These were tracked by their serial numbers.

      • mosinman

        im in nicaragua atm and some of the police here have m-16s mixed in with the mismash of ak clones and the like. infact the us goverment had supplyed the Contras with m-16s and then when the Sandinistas won they fell into the hands of the current goverment

  • Mike

    I find it pretty funny that I like the look of their 1911 carbine better than any commercial model I’ve seen.

  • Mike Knox

    That quite an oddball armoury. An AR-15, M1 carbines, Improvised 1911 carbine, then an HK416? Well, it could be an Umarex .22 HK416..

    • marzuq

      according to some sources,M16 with wooden handguard were captured from security forces & modified to operated manually.

  • Nate


    • bima86

      if you look close enough, you will notice that their faces have been photoshoped..

      • mosinman

        thats surprising…. i thought thats how commie insugents really looked….

  • bima86

    I wonder how the magazine release is for the 1911 carbine.

  • John

    BTW, the M1 carbine is bottom left.

    • Bret

      Not the one with the grenade launcher attached. That one is peeking up from the bottom-right. I thought the same thing at first.

  • yeah, i found it quite odd as well that you mention all the hand pieced weird guns and fail to mention a freakin’ hk 416 just floating around in the back. i guess it was stolen.

    • W

      first paragraph of the article

  • Kdawg

    The guns are cool and all, but where can I get some of that Venetian blind camouflage?

  • armed_partisan

    I think that’s some very impressive wood working on most of those modified guns. That hand guard would probably take a significant amount of time to make. It’s probably not made from a table leg with a hole drilled through it.

    I think that 1911 carbine probably had to have been made on machinery of some kind, even if it was furniture making machinery. There’s probably a large recess on the left side for the mag release. Very cleaver, but I wonder if it improves the usefulness of the gun.

    I wish we could see more of that grenade launcher. What’s it made out of? A flare gun or something? Where did they get the grenades? Are they NATO or Warsaw Pact?

    • Sian

      The grenade launcher looks like a Russian muzzle-loading GP-25 just from the barrel (which is all we can see). It had to be some pretty ingenious work mounting it to an M1 Carbine.

  • Larry

    Uh, is it me or does the selector lever on the 416 look like is on semi?

    • marzuq’s on semi.

    • Komrad

      Well, these guys are actually trained, so it isn’t that surprising. Most militaries teach to use semi except in emergencies or for suppression.

      • david

        You may find that most militaries train their troops to keep their weapons on safe except when firing…

      • W

        They may have been ordered to keep the hammer forward, cleared, instead of back with the safety on.

      • Komrad

        Touche David.

      • G

        @W That wouldnt really matter, seeing as how the 416 can be put on safe even with the hammer forward

      • W

        g, i agree. it was a educated guess on my part 😉

    • Tuulos

      Maybe the hammer is down so it can’t be put on safe? I can see that the AR-15 doesn’t have a mag inserted but can’t say the same for 416.

  • Chase

    That M16’s wooden handguard is BEAUTIFUL! All of those guns look fantastic, really.

  • mosinman

    if only those and other old vintage weapons could talk……. what kinds of stories could they tell?

    • Scott

      Probably ….”clean me”

    • mosinman

      probably lol but i think it’d be cool to see where my mosin has been during its time in the red army

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    If you like that, you should check out the pics of Castro and his buddies back in the early days when they were running around and hising in the jungle. The photos I’ve seen show an amazing mix of arms.

  • John Doe

    That M16 gave me wood.

  • Laserbait

    I like the guy on the left with the epic facepalm: “God, not another picture with these f’n noobie perajurit again…”

  • Jon Mac

    The 1911’s buttstock is M1 Carbine also – the fore-end is custom though, obviously.

  • Mike Knox

    I’m thinking of building one of those improv stocks..

    • Kory

      Safety Sally Alert!

      Attaching a buttstock to a firearm that has a barrel less than 16″ long requires a NFA $200 tax stamp.

      • Máté

        Does it apply even if you can take it out without tools?

      • Mike Knox

        Wouldn’t worry about it..

      • Kory

        Sad to say but the NFA law is quite clear on that issue. Whether or not you need tools to add or remove it you are still adding a buttstock to a firearm with a barrel under 16″ and it needs to be registered as an SBR. If you really like something like that then send a picture and a letter to the BATFE and ask them if you would need to register the firearm as an SBR. Me personally, I would rather use a rifle caliber bullet but it was interesting…

      • Mike Knox

        Like I’ve said, I wouldn’t worry, I already have a tax stamp for a Mk18. Wouldn’t be hard soing something like that again.

        Besides, I’ll use an airsoft gun for prototyping before an actual 1911. Just to see if it’s any fun..

  • Máté

    Insurgent facepalm: when a normal facepalm is just not enough.

  • Máté

    I’m just curious. Thanks.

  • Netforce

    When censored like this, they look like Cobra Commander of G.I. Joe, hahaha.

  • Ben

    does that m16 upper look like its “in the white” to anyone else? I wonder if its homemade or just so heavily used they wore the finish off? lol

  • Fluffy

    That 1911 just… wow.