Philippines Backyard Gunsmiths

The Philippines is one of the few exceptions to firearm ownership in Asia. It is so prevalent that people make guns in their backyards.

They are making revolvers and 1911s out of scrap metal.

The video leans a bit to the left. But the part to take home is that these guys are making handguns by hand out of scrap metal.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • Vitsaus

    Meanwhile at Rock Island….

    • Bubba

      Fun Fact: Rock Island does actually hire people like this.
      Because they already know hot to use hand tools for hand fitting guns they need far less training than people without experience.

      • M

        Yeah, if you handled a Made in the Philippines 1911, it was built by one of those guys. They love the 1911 as much as us, and really know their way around building one

    • john huscio

      The stuff these guys make on the street is probably a lot more high quality than, say, Taurus……better manufacturing processes as well….

  • Just watched The Ammo Channel’s AK-47 Scrap Build series. Reminds me of his work!

  • Brocus

    Commies with guns, what can go wrong?!

    • Manny Fal

      More like muslim jihadists with guns, Philippines has the highest rate of political assassinations in the world, the muslims managed to get their own autonomous governed region in the Philippines. Davao is right next to this autonomous region, no doubt big demand for guns by the non-muslims in this area.

    • lal

      You’re special, aren’t you?

  • Nicks87

    “leans a bit to the left” Come on now. Can we please stop promoting the false left/right paradigm? I know conservative republicans that are anti-gun and liberal democrats that love guns and going to the range. These labels are a bunch of made up crap intended to keep people at odds against each other while the media and the politicians get rich by manipulating both sides.

    • Otis

      Agreed, pro gun liberal here! (I thought TFB was firearms not politics, thats why i come here)

      • Nicholas Mew

        HEY!!!! I am not alone.

      • Jeff Smith

        That’s the beauty of this site: people with politics on opposite ends of the spectrum can come together over their mutual love of guns.

      • LiberalGunOwner

        I love guns and I’m also a proud liberal. Here’s a good lesson for all people: “guns don’t discriminate people based on their political beliefs.”

        • All the Raindrops

          The thing is, the majority of liberals are antis. For no reason other than the herd mentality, as most urban liberals have next to no experience with firearms and were brought up to think guns=violence=bad. I know this because I grew up in SF/Berkeley area.

          • Doom

            it is not a “false paradigm”
            Most right leaning people are pro gun
            Most left leaning people are anti gun
            you see this in every. single. survery. taken, dems trend pro gun control, reps anti gun control, and independents are usually pretty in the middle to slightly pro gun.

      • Randy HK-91

        FUNNY It seems the Most egregious Anti gun rights idiots are democrats –YOU Like gun rights –You belong to the wrong party….Its in your party platform to ban guns !

        • Noah Killough

          “Firearms Not Politics”

          • J

            Truth, not fairy tales.

    • CrassyKnoll

      Gun politics aside, the video does lean left just a tad.

    • janklow

      there are exceptions, to be sure. and we really SHOULD push to keep gun rights a non-partisan issue.
      …but let’s be honest, there’s a distinct difference between the way the parties align on gun issues right now. even if it IS cynical politics and not sincere beliefs.

      • raz-0

        Well one of the problems with the whole left/right thing is the ongoing false pretense that the two party system in the US is aligned along that left/right spectrum.

        • janklow

          just talking the gun issue here. cynically or not, it’s not both parties that actively attack guns in their party platform. or give their long-standing, gun-hating senators a constant platform on which to attack them.

          this is not to say i trust Republicans a great deal on this issue. it’s just to say that i have reason to trust them MORE. i know liberal Democrats that love guns too… but for some reason, they’re forever voting for guys who will openly call for more gun control, if only as a means to a political end.

          • marathag

            Outstate Democrats in Minnesota are far more gun friendly than the St. Paul Republicans

    • noguncontrol

      gun control is part of the liberal democrat platform, it is also part of the communist agenda, you can call it what you want, left right, up down, blue red, yellow green, but that divide exists. just because some liberals love to own and use guns and to go to the range, doesn’t mean they believe people should be allowed to exercise their God-given right to own and keep and bear arms, they probably don’t even believe in God in the first place. they think our rights come from the government. sorry but they dont, they either come from God or they dont exist at all.

      • CrankyFool

        So we don’t normally do politics, but since you brought it up …

        I’m a Liberal (pro marriage equality, pro-choice, pro-affirmative-action, pretty consistently leaning toward the Democratic party, want more taxes, I could go on and on and on … )

        I’m also an avid gun owner, and strongly pro-2nd-amendment. And when I say strongly pro-2nd-amendment, I don’t mean “we should be able to own guns so we can hunt,” but “we should basically be able to own any small-arms, at minimum, because the original purpose of the 2nd amendment is to preserve the people’s ability to rebel.” Not a fan of the 1986 FOPA; nor of the 1934 NFA. I could go on, but I suspect there’s basically no daylight between my positions on gun control and yours.

        Oh, and I believe in God.

        • Jim Jones

          Yes, but as was pointed out by others, which party is out there promoting onerous gun laws intended simply to create obstacles to the RKBA? I have no problem with liberal gun owners. I do have a problem with the party they vote for, the platform they promote, and the gun laws they constantly propose.

          • J

            Here’s another data point. According to Gallup, 29% of Republicans want stricter gun laws. 71% of Democrats want stricter gun laws.

            Sure, pro-gun Democrats exist. However, the party and the rank and file are largely anti-gun. It’s just the way it is. To the pro gun liberals out there, please help to convince your friends and families.


          • HSR47

            Actually, the important thing for left-leaning gun owners to do is get involved in party politics: They need to get involved with their local party committee so that they’re in a position to aid in the selection of candidates that are better on this issue.

          • All the Raindrops


        • HSR47

          The only left/right scale I have ever found to accurately grade types of governments grades them by the source of power: On the far left is absolute state power over everyone and everything secured by one individual — an absolute dictatorship/monarchy; On the far right is Anarchy, with no government at all, and thus all power vested in the individual. In between fall, from left to right, Oligarchy, Democracy, and Republic.

          For the most part, people in the gun community (more than most other demographics) tend to lean towards reducing the size/scope of government.

          For example, you talk about “marriage equality” in your post: Would you find acceptable to simply get the government out of the business of ordaining marriage, and instead leave it to religious institutions (assuming also that the government was not in the business of deciding whether or not individual institutions qualified as “religious institutions.”)?

          As far as abortion, I’m not sure I agree with you. Hopefully we can agree that the two extremes on abortion, being the Catholic Church on one side (life begins at conception), and the leftist-fringe on the other (“life”, for the purposes of using “abortion” to end responsibility over a child doesn’t begin until years after birth) would both be bad positions for the Federal Government to take. That being said, if a child can be said to be viably alive at birth, but not viably alive at conception, then obviously there is some point in time between those two endpoints at which the fetus must be considered to be an individual with some manner of rights. Where that point happens to be is certainly a valid point to discuss, but as a libertarian I value the rights of the mother prior to this time, and the rights of the unborn after it.

          As for affirmative action, I’m largely opposed. I don’t see how institutionalized racism is an appropriate cure for institutionalized racism.

          As far as taxes go, I tend to favor low rates of taxation and government regulation, as the two in concert tend to spur on economic growth. As JFK said: “A rising tide [of prosperity] lifts all boats.” On the whole, the higher tax rates are, the more people are incentivized to avoid taxation by parking their money and engaging in other forms of tax avoidance/evasion. Because money changes hands less, the result is slower economic growth. On the other hand, when tax rates are relatively low, the cost/benefit of moving money around is such that money flows more frequently, resulting in much faster economic growth. As a result, between the two models, the latter will always result in the government collecting a far larger amount of money, and with an enormously larger total economy. The larger the economy grows, the more employees become a scare commodity, which in turn causes employers to compete for employees, which in turn results in higher pay and better benefits. On the whole, we’ve been trying the former model for the last several years and, while I can’t speak for you, it hasn’t worked out all that well for me; Frankly, I’d prefer the latter model.

        • Henry Bowman

          Hey you want more taxes, how about YOU pay them?

          I beat you want more entitlement voters in this nation via amnesty..Dont you?

          You love the blessings of liberty and the value of rights but do everything in your power to undermined and destroy the culture that made them possible..

          You are like a Jew who voted for the Nazi Party and is shocked when the Gestapo gets them…

        • kruzan

          Good name for you `fool’ since you believe in govment.

    • T.

      +1. Not to mention that VICE has been accused of having a right-leaning bias far more often than being left. I really think VICE just doesn’t give a f*** either way, and that pisses off the people on far ends of both sides of the spectrum.

      • hjalmar

        and that is how media should be

    • Schadavi

      Same here. I like guns, unions, direct democracy, hunting and a secular state. Paired with the desire to have open borders but low welfare expenses, I now have no idea anymore what I am.

    • john huscio

      Pro choice, pro lgbt, pro legalization, yet also pro death penalty and pro 2A….……..dunno where I fall on this scale…

      • HSR47

        If one views the “left/right” political scale as describing the degree of government influence over the individual, then it becomes a lot clearer: Absolute dictatorship on the far left, followed by oligarchy, democracy, republic, and finally anarchy.

        Thus, leaving abortion out (because it can be a thorny issue for libertarians–more on this later) for now, wanting the government out of the lives of those who are doing no harm to others, wanting equality under the law, and wanting constitutional rights respected as written, are all not incompatible with the idea of the death penalty being a legitimate state power.

        As far as abortion, if we acknowledge that, post-birth, a child has the same right to life as the mother, it stands to reason that the child did not attain this status simply by virtue of birth — this status must have preceded birth. The real question for libertarians is this: At what point does the child’s right to life overrule the mother’s right to make decisions about her own body? On the whole, the science on the matter seems to indicate that this point could arguably be anywhere from 21 weeks 5 days (youngest preterm birth to survive) up until the end of the second trimester (at which point the child has greater than 80% chances of survival).

    • J

      There is actually a party difference on firearms. Read their party platforms. The Democrats have had more restrictions in their official platform for some time. The Republicans have stressed the right to keep and bear.

      If you know a pro-gun Democrat, ask them how often they try to influence their party on this topic. It would be great if the Dems would move in the 2A direction. Pro gun Dems should try to achieve this.

      2012 Democratic Party Platform: “we can work together to enact commonsense improvements – like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole – so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few.”

      • Nicks87

        So vote republican just because they say they are pro 2A? The most restrictive gun control legislation was signed by who? Yep. Ronald Reagan. A what? Republican. Here are some more facts about a great “Republican”

        Given the proper motivation Repubs will take your guns without a second thought and then tell you its for Jesus.

        • Doom

          LOL, you think FOPA is the most restrictive gun control? how about the NFA? oh ya, that was signed by Democrat FDR, or perhaps the 1968 gun control act? oh that was signed by democrat LBJ. oh, and did I forget to mention the bad part of the FOPA bill, the huhges amendment, was submitted by Democrat William Hughes. Learn history before you open your ignorant pie hole.

        • Say No to Totalitarians

          Nick you are a damn fool, and a bald-faced liar to boot.

          Gun control is overwhelmingly a liberal Democrat game. From FDR’s National Firearms Act and Federal Firearms Act, to Johnson’s Gun Control Act, to Clinton’s assault weapon ban and Obama’s attempt to get another assault weapons ban just this last year.

    • Socialistgunowner

      I am quite the socialist and I love guns.

      and for the record liberal does not mean what you americans think it means.
      you are using it wrong! you don’t even have a right/left scale, you have a right and more right scale

      • Yellow Devil

        Any political label (whether it’s Right-wing, liberal, or whatever) is going to mean different from country to country and among different eras. In America, if political leanings could easily be divided up into two catagories, it would be between collective Statism and individualism. Party membership may have varying degrees of either followers. This political “paragon” is different in Europe and Asia, where for the most part both political spectrums are generally considered pro-statist.

        • Socialistgunowner

          yes of course it changes due to political and social climate
          but how liberal is used in the US goes against the very meaning of the word liberal
          The Tea Party are liberals in the true meaning of the word.

          you can trace the roots of the word to latin liber meaning free you know

      • Say No to Totalitarians

        So was Stalin.

  • Cadet

    ok, so… anyone else notice the amount of US M16’s and M14’s? Heck theres even a kid with an M79! So that’s where all those things went when the US was done.

    • John

      If you didn’t know already, the Filipino military’s small arms are eerily a carbon copy of our small arms:
      Their standard rifle is the M16, being phased out for the M4
      Service pistol is primarily the 1911, some Beretta 92s
      Smg is a mix of MP5s and Grease guns
      Sniper rifle is a mix of M14s, SR-25s, Remington 700s, and Barretts
      MGs fielded: M240, M60, M134 minigun, M2, FN Minimis
      Grenade Launchers: M203 and M79s

      • john huscio

        Remington makes their M4s now……god help ’em…..

    • Ken

      Apparently the Chinese made M14 clones to send to the communist rebels in the Philippines, so that would account for some of them.

      A company called Elisco made AR pattern firearms for their military.

      • Ben Loong

        “Apparently the Chinese made M14 clones to send to the communist rebels
        in the Philippines, so that would account for some of them.”

        It would actually account for none of them. All those Norinco M14s (the first known appearance of them, by the way), were destroyed along with the smuggling ship that was intercepted by the military back in the 70s.

        The reason why the ChiComs sent M14 clones was because M14s and their ammo was readily available in country as the Armed Forces of the Philippines already used the weapon, and the communist rebels usually stole their weapons from them and police forces.

  • Zachary marrs

    “1911’s out of scrap metal”

    I love how this is above a press release for a 1911 from an unknown maker.

  • rxd

    this is soooooooooooo old. we got cnc now.

  • Phil White

    I’m surprised these stupid Phillipinos can operate a drill.

    • Erick

      If you’re going to call “Phillipinos” stupid – you should probably spell “Filipino” correctly. Filipinos are native people from the Philippines and “Phillipino” is not even a word. Side note: why the hate?

      • That would be the racist Waffen SS posting under my name. He apparently gets a bit angry when I ban him:-)

      • john huscio

        Or go a step further with “pinoy” or “pinay”

  • Rxd

    Locally called “paltik” the level of quality of these homemade guns have gotten better and some have even transitioned to becoming legal gun makers. Shooters arms used to be a paltik shop in subangdaku cebu now actually sells guns to the USA market. Mostly 1911 style handguns.

  • Harrison Jones

    What’s interesting to me is the parts on the gun that have to be made somewhere else like the fiber optic sights.

  • Simcha M.

    I’m surprised that nobody in the video or in these discussion threads has mentioned the amazing similarity to the famous gunsmiths of Darra, Pakistan.

    Also, loved the Filipino kitten, hope he’s not a commie cat, too!

  • LongBeach

    Ok, that 1911 at 1:33 is ridiculous. Serious props if that bad boy was all hand-built from scrap metal. Also, black-clothing-balaclava-8-belts-of-ammo guy is not to be F’d with. Filipinos are CRAZY! Glad I bought a Rock Island, otherwise they’d probably come over here and kick my ass.

  • Franciscomv

    This is from one of the Vice HBO programmes, the journalist is Ryan Duffy. The main focus of the story was political violence and assassination in the Philippines. Here’s the full episode from Vice: (and also shows some extra footage on gun makers).

  • /k/ommando

    *Pulls cookie tray out of oven* 1911’s, just like Browning used to make.

  • TiC

    Apparently, I somehow ended up on TTAG. Drop the politics. This is one of the few places we can escape that tiref bullshit. Let’s keep it that way.

    • Yellow Devil

      Unfortunately, politics is everwhere. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, nor if the site warrents it or not. Even sports and videogame/tech sites occasionally fall into the prickly briar.

  • guest

    This is typical apolitical fear-mongering Internet-age news which quickly mixes a bunch of complex issues in one pot with very little care for history or context. Back in the day (I’m getting old) journalism leaning to the left would have fairly in-depth coverage of the Philippine rebel group and their politics (such coverage which these days counts as not just sympathy but outright support). That the reporter sounds a little effete gives this a left leaning flavor. If the story were on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and the reporter were outraged then there’d be that. Same story. Be afraid. Ermergehrd!

  • Dan

    I was at THE Gun Show in the Philippines for the past three days now. Lots of guns, not many buyers. It’s because of the new stricter gun laws and registration of gun owners that have stymied the growing acceptance of guns. It’s frustrating. I have a Ruger handgun, but now I’m contemplating getting the homemade ones from Danao. Sad, sad, sad.

    I bought a pocket light, some paracord, an EDC knife, even a few bullet keychains, but no guns for now. I have to sort out my gun license first. You Americans should defend your 2A rights. Our constitution does not have an RKBA clause so gun ownership is still considered a privilege that can be restricted. Sigh…