More DIY Guns From Syria

The Atlantic has a photo essay showing the DIY weapons in used by Syrian rebels. The grenade launcher pictured above is a converted Baikal shotgun. The Baikal is a cheap, but well built, single shot. I own one and I can tell you they are very slow to reload and they have next to no military value. Turning them into grenade launchers is not a bad idea in a time of crisis. On the other hand shooting homemade grenades with an old fashioned lit fuse seems like it might to do more damage to the user than his enemies. I am not sure which is more dangerous, launching a grenade from a shotgun or a giant slingshot. Both concepts make me shudder!

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.


  • 032125 032125

    Desperate men are clever men; nothing fuels ingenuity like prolonged exposure to life threatening risk.

  • -V-

    Clever, and sometimes frightening. I think some of those arms pose as much danger to the user as they do to the target. Regarding the seemingly rampant use of grenade catapults and slings, I have to wonder, is it really that hard to get some Russian/Chinese mortars on the black market?

  • Looks like the Syrian rebels picked the Junk Rounds and Jury-Rigging perks.

    • ColdSnap

      Sounds like they could use Splash Damage and Weapon Handling while they’re at it-

      • Lolinski

        It is not fair you took all the good perks.

        • Matt

          Let’s seee… I’ll take Hand Loader, Grunt, Commando, and Mad Bomber. That should cover about what they need.

    • mosinman

      Lets hope they have the spray n pray perk too!

  • schizuki

    Lit fuses? A faulty primer could ruin your day. I wonder if they’ve tried leaving the fuse unlit to see if the launching charge would light it. That’s how muzzle-loading ordnance did it in the black-powder days.

  • schizuki

    Next to no military value? I dunno. Putting out nine 00-buckshot with a single trigger pull is nothing to sneeze at. Ever see the cowboy action shooters running double-barrels? Even without ejectors, they can average a shot per second in four- and six-shot strings.

  • schizuki

    Y’know, air-dropping a bunch of H&R single-barrel shotguns to a group of rebels could make a pretty damn effective update of the Liberator concept, couldn’t it?

    • It wouldn’t be much more expensive to drop rifles in an appropriate caliber, along those lines. I guess it depends on what you foresee the rebels doing with them. The problem with using the original liberator type guns in Syria is that the military already can’t wander the streets alone or in small groups- there aren’t the same targets of opportunity you had in Nazi occupied France.

    • Chas No

      The Liberator was a terrible concept. We might as well have been dropping single-shot muzzleloaders. When you’re a resistance fighter against an occupying army, you need the best weapons that you can get, not guns designed to be as cheap and as easily mass produced as possible. We should have been dropping Browning High Powers to resistance fighters.

      • John

        The liberator was a terrible concept if it was designed to be a fighting weapon which it was not. But if you wanted to take a pot shot at the soldier across the street and have someone recover the rifle he was holding, it didn’t do a bad job

  • Necessity is indeed the mother of all inventions.

  • LittleBearGuns

    Very good idea , Maybe thats what the Vice president had in mind when he said go by a shotgun. Silly man people take him at his word.

  • In soviet russia…Shot gun… gun shots YOU

  • ronbo

    this is what one must do when they take your firearms away.

  • Graham 1

    I’m really liking the “Sham II” vehicle

  • Jonathan Yoon/尹泰忍

    Just another day, Syria ripping itself apart.

    Assad should leave for Moscow and end this bloodbath.

  • That one looks an awful lot like a franken between what is described in Che Guevara’s as a flame bottle launcher and the SMLE’s grenade launcher cup. That notch on the body may be a device to regulate range?