Showcasing Peshawar

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The Durrand Line has divided the countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan since 1893 when the British Empire created it with the king of Afghanistan. More for territorial reasons than ethnic, the line literally splits the Pashtun tribe in two, half of it’s people in Afghan provinces and the other half of them in Pakistani provinces. Most of these Pashtuns don’t even recognize the Durrand Line as a legitimate border because families are divided on both sides of the border. In Pakistan it has become such that most of the border area with Afghanistan is known as the FATA, or Federally Administered Tribal Areas. These parts of the country are largely self ruled and Pakistan has little to no jurisdiction there. In one such part of the FATA, there is an area known as Peshawar. This small valley is infamously notorious for being one of the most “lawless places in the world“. Along with the lawlessness comes the unrestricted manufacture of small arms which are sold to whomever comes through the valley. These have been discussed thoroughly in other media. But for the purposes of TFB, we have some pictures of guns coming from the region from a local Pakistani who graciously sent them our way.

This is a 12 gauge Milkor South African rotary magazine shotgun that was purchased in Peshawar.

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Notice the plastic handguards on this AKMS, they seem to be an identifying mark of Peshawar made AKs. Also see how the rear of the receiver is sloped as opposed to conventional receivers that have a square shaped rear end.

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What appears to be a table with an AKMS inside of it. Compare the rear of the receiver with the photograph above.

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Gun Safety is obviously not on this man’s priority list. Although this AKMS has an AK74 bakelite magazine, it is most likely chambered in 7.62x39mm. Magazines such as these exist in the hundreds of thousands in the region, many left over from when the Russians were in Afghanistan.

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This appears to be an East German AK74 with a GP25 grenade launcher and a scope of local manufacture added to it.

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Although both of these rifles have Romanian forward grips added to them, the top rifle is probably an original Romanian AKM. The bottom one might have started life as an East German AKMS but had the handguard replaced later down the line. The picture cuts off the compensator but it also appears that an aftermarket or AK74 compensator has been added to the rifle. Both have 50 round magazines. Rifle cannibalism such as this is common in the region as parts can’t exactly be ordered from K-Var on a regular basis.

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Peshawar doesn’t make all AKs, a good amount of shotguns, pistols, and bolt action rifles come out of the area, to include Martini Henry copies with the original serial number copied as well! This looks like a Mauser action, with a M1917 Enfield front sight. It’s most likely chambered in 8mm Mauser. During combat operations conducted by 1st Battalion 9th Marines in Helmand province, a .30-06 Enfield was captured as apart of a Taliban weapons cache, so they are in the region.

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This AKS47 is interesting in that it is either an original or a very well done copy down to the original magazine. And what appears to be a camera lanyard as a sling.

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The fact giving this AKS74U copy away is the compensator. Compare the straight compensator on this one with the Russian rifles below. They have a bulbous feature around theirs while this one doesn’t. Also the width of the front sight appears to be less than the Russian ones.

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The second and third AKS74Us from top are the only original Russian AKS74Us in this collection. The rest are all copies made elsewhere. The top rifle is a Peshawar make with plastic furniture, notice the Galil type charging handle. Second from bottom is an odd mix up, with an RPK receiver and Chinese trunnion. The rifle at the bottom is also a Peshawar make, with an AKMS folding stock, homemade compensator and wooden fashioned forward grip. Image courtesy National Firearms Centre, Leeds, UK.

 

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Although not from the Pakistani photo contributer, this AKS47 belongs to an AUP patrolman in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Notice the same plastic handguards as is evidenced on some of the earlier rifles. The author suspects theses handguards come from the Peshawar factories. Notice the clip on the stock to turn it into a One Point attachment. Decorating firearms with stickers and other such media is a popular practice within Afghanistan and Pakistan in the same way drivers decorate their “Jingo” trucks. Author’s submission.

 

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Most of these guns seem to have been brought into Pakistan with the exception of the gun second from bottom. An odd combination of AK and Mauser parts, it is probably chambered in 8mm Mauser. Notice the front sight, it also probably came from the same shop that made the earlier more conventional bolt action rifle.

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A Tokarov, it is not known if this is an original or Peshawar copy. The leather holster/belt with bullet slots is quite popular in the region as handguns are regarded as a status symbol by leaders. It isn’t really tactical at all, it would be interesting to watch anyone who can facilitate a tactical reload using this set up and a single magazine,


This showcasing post would not have been possible without the help of the Facebook group AK-47 and a member of said group.



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Elvis

    In the picture that appears to be on a table, with two AKs with very long magazines, I believe those are American made. Neither appears to have the ‘third pin’ that would indicate the presence of an auto sear, and the top unfinished receiver has a hole in the sheet metal, under the front trunnion, like some of the receiver flats sold here do. Also, the muzzle brake on the bottom rifle is not original, and common in the US.

    The photo with the black square over the shooters face is a 5.45 rifle, with a 5.45 magazine in it, which is in all likelyhood, chambered in 5.45 (not 7.62).

    • Ah ha, now with conventional AKs, that would be the case, with a 74 magazine, it would most likely be an AK74 in 5.45. But let me show you the exact opposite. In this picture, it’s what appears to be an AK74 through the stock, handguards, magazine, and compensator, but it is chambered in 7.62×39. How do I know this? Because those are my feet at the bottom of the picture and I have some more pictures of the 7.62 rounds in the magazine.

      In the case of the Romanian AKs, I say this: This is Peshawar, they make copies of everything, and thus anything is possible.

      • Elvis

        The magazine on that rifle, near your feet, is clearly a 7.62 magazine.

      • Zachary marrs

        Pretty good copy, they did it 3 times ; P

    • Grindstone50k

      Peshawar and Kyber Pass are well-known for making 74-style AKs chambered in the much more common 7.62x39mm, all the way down to the mags.

  • plumber576

    Kinda old but relevant, the Gun Markets of Pakistan.
    http://youtu.be/FinRqCocwGE

  • Bubba

    A lot of these “peshawar-made” guns and parts seem to be standard Norinco Type56 AKs and parts.

  • Hilmer Lindberg

    Milkor rotary magazine? Armsel Protecta, or a copy thereof rather. Come on, is this The New York Times? What’s next? Ghost guns?

    • Zachary marrs

      If we follow the time line, I think we are at “shoulder thing that goes up”

  • Fred Johnson

    That folding stock bolt gun is the coolest tacticool bolt gun ever built.

    Tapco needs to copy that.

  • Mystick

    I like that AKS74U with the thumbhole forestock….

  • Lance

    There are some Ak-74s in the region but ammo is very VERY hard to find in the post Soviet era. Though AK-74 clones are made. Overall awesome seeing so many gun made. Though quality and safety is another reason seen videos of AK blowing up are common in that region. I’ll stick to Russian Romanian and Bulgarian AKs. Notice too many Type 54s TT-33s are 9mm not 7.62×25 making the 9mm most common pistol round in South Asia. Sorry want some quality for a rifle. I still see alot of Chinese Type 56s there and notice so many ISIS terrorist have them too. maybe the PRC is Islams biggest gun broker?

    • Gunhead

      Unlikely, China doesn’t want Xinjiang to get any ideas. More likely they were supplied by a connection in Al-Shabaab who knew someone that worked the big-time African market.

    • Ge

      To be honest, following an AK trail is very hard: like trying to find out who rode the village bicycle last. China is not the only supplier who has no qualms shipping their arms to conflict regions… also AK’s have a long service life and tend to change often. I’d like to see someone attempt to map it though. It’d be a very interesting read.

    • Scott P

      China is/was the largest AK exporter in the world far outproducing the Soviets, even the East Germans exported more AK’s than the Soviets.

      A lot of those Chinese AK’s found in the Middle East were originally exported to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and a whole slew of countries who originally hated the U.S./socialist. A lot are in Afghanistan as well since the Chicoms hated the Soviets so a lot are leftover from the Soviet invasion, the whole enemy of my enemy is my friend. The Chinese wanted to flood the world with AK’s to defeat the “evil capitalists” and “Soviet revisionists” before they too became capitalist as well as friendly with the Russians.

  • Zugunder

    Nice article, thanks! One thing tho – it’s Tokarev not Tokarov.

    • Zachary marrs

      ROOBY ROO!

      • Zugunder

        I don’t get it, sorry.

        • Zachary marrs

          Scooby doo?

          • Zugunder

            Nah, not your fault. I’m Russian, didn’t watched Scooby doo very much, and what i watched was translated to Russian. So i just can’t recognise such reference 🙂

  • g9jty78ty8

    ///The rifle at the bottom is also a Peshawar make, with an AKMS folding
    stock, homemade compensator and wooden fashioned forward grip.

    Nope. Its a old Soviet made AKMSU.

  • claymore

    The Town (as we would call it) of Peshawar and the firearms making area in the TTA are two different things. These were made in Darra another place in the TTA that is not in Peshawar town but maybe two hours by car away. To call them Peshawar weapons is a misnomer.

    There are two more threads on here showing Darra and their guns. For more info on this subject here they are.

    This one has some photos of mine from when we were there.

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/08/22/many-sons-lots-guns/

    and an earlier one

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/08/21/cia-double-44-ammunition-darra-adam-khel-pakistan/

  • John

    Some guy around New England made an AK-47 by cutting off a portion of a shovel handle as a stock, while straightening, reforging and using the shovel metal for the upper receiver. None of the guns shown here surprise me.

  • Scott P

    “Notice the plastic handguards on this AKMS, they seem to be an identifying mark of Peshawar made AKs. Also see how the rear of the receiver is sloped as opposed to conventional receivers that have a square shaped rear end.”

    “What appears to be a table with an AKMS inside of it. Compare the rear of the receiver with the photograph above.”

    Although the gun looks like and probably is a copy it is still technically correct for what it is. It is a Type 56 which defies the conventional rules of the Soviet/Russian standard AK.

    The Chinese did make plastic handguards like the one on top although it could be a copy. They also continued to slant the back of the rear trunnion on their stamped AK’s.

    If anything the stamped Type 56 is an AK-47 with a stamped receiver (not an AKM) seeing as how it uses many parts from the AK-47. It is what the original AK should have been to be honest.