The recent political upheaval in Egypt has fueled demand for cheap weapons for personal defense giving way to a variety of locally produced guns. Most commonly seen are patterns for simple homemade single shot shotguns and pistols circulating among those who have small workshops:
With the big guns out of reach, many Egyptians, particularly those in exceptionally poor communities where crime rates are often higher, tend to opt for cheaper weapons known as fards, hand-crafted handguns that shoot 16mm and 12mm shotgun cartridges. These are made locally by blacksmiths using scrap steel originating from discarded water pipes and vehicle spare parts.
Before the revolution, these improvised guns sold for LE300 to LE500. “These are regular blacksmiths, who are very skilled. They make the guns under the table for more money. A kilo of scrap metal worth LE3 can be made into these guns and sold for LE1000,” Ibrahim said.
The rise in demand for weapons during and immediately after the uprising caused prices to shoot up significantly. Despite increased supply, however, increased demand has kept prices high. During the zenith of the security vacuum, however, prices of the locally made fard shot up to LE1000, while decent sawed-off shotguns sold for LE2000.
“All of a sudden, everyone, especially in poorer neighborhoods, wanted one,” Hassan said EI
Here is a video report including interviews with the local customer base: