Tim sent us some very interesting photos he took of Indian police earlier this year. Time writes …

A series of images taken during the Vibrant Gujarat 2015 exposition in Ahmedabad, India, in January 2015. The Indian police (be they state, local, or federal) were displaying an impressive array of vintage weaponry. Unfortunately I was unable to get photos of the one cop I saw with a Sten Mk II. The mounted Bren Gun was in the hands of the State SWAT team. The Sterling, like many of them there, was unloaded. I’m not too sure what the bolt action rifle is. He said it was the only one left in his station’s arsenal. The front sight assembly was canted to the side making me doubtful he could hit anything with it anyway though that implies he had ammo. Other cops were seen with Ishapores, AK-variants, assorted pistols, and proper Enfields but I wasn’t able to get too many other photos. Some cops were very comfortable with me taking pictures of their guns, others were very leery.

An Enfield, I wonder if its one of the notorious anti-riot Enfields that were re-chambered to shoot .410 shotgun shells?



Bren machine gun:

Bren Gun


Sterling 2

Sterling 3

Thanks Tim! 



  • Fruitbat44

    Wow, there is a touch of nostalgia about these photos. I guess if it’s old but it works it’s good enough for the job. The Bren, a serious contender for the title best LMG in the world, is still an accurate and reliable weapon. As is the No. 4 Lee-Enfield, okay it’s reputation was really made with the No.1 back in The Great War, but still.

    And the Sterling, although I don’t recall anyone in the British Army ever really loving it, I think it was a good little weapon for what it was.

    The Sten though, while I only know it by reputation, that reputation is cheap and nasty.

    • Moa Longkumer

      A large proportion of the SMLE No.4Mk1s in our inventory are the Savage made, ‘US Property ‘ marked ones…. Lend Lease ones I’d suppose. A huge proportion of current police armament are those that were inherited at independence… mostly common wealth. Apart from 32000 sterlings imported from UK in the early 1960’s, OFB-SAF made sterlings were being manufactured till very recently. Other than a distinct drop in finish quality from sometime 2000, they are still pretty robust and reliable weapons with plenty of life still in them.

      • Tom

        As i understand the guys in the British Army loved the Sterling for its light weight and size. Its just that no one had much confidence in it as a weapon or war. Hence whilst they were very popular during training and exercise where no one wanted the hassle of carrying the 5 kilo SLR (seriously Long Rifle 🙂 when it came to an actual fight everyone wanted an SLR or AR15.

        I would guess that as many of the photos show Policemen without loaded weapons they do not expect to have to shoot them and thus a Sterling might be preferable to a more substantial but heavier and longer weapon.

        I think the 410 Enfields are single shot (the magazine is removed and the hole filled).

        • Wetcoaster

          Yeah, I think that could be a captured Pakistani No.4 Mk.2. Ishapore (and Lithgow) never made No.4s, although I don’t know if any were supplied from the UK or Longbranch/Savage during the later stages of WW2.

          I think leaving the magazine out on the Sterlings and Stens might actually be a safety precaution. During the FLQ crisis, one soldier was killed when jumping out the back of a truck with a loaded C1 (Sterling). The bolt was in the closed position, but retracted far enough to chamber and fire a round (inherent danger of fixed firing pin open-bolt designs)

          Also, troops carrying Sterling sometimes complained that it was quite cumbersome, especially with the mag in – protruding magazine (or magwell) on the left, pistol grip on bottom, sites on the top, cocking handle on the right. At any point, some part of the gun is banging or catching on something.

          • NKG

            The police are issued ex Army weapons, now they are getting INSAS rifles. They have also SLR from when it was phased out by the Indian Army.
            I have seen CISF (para military ) platoons carrying SLR, AK and INSAS…asked why, the commander said SLR for long shots, AK for high fire rate, and INSAS between the two.
            Sterling / Sten are unsafe while loaded, paras getting injured in air drops led to the habit of not loading it They are not in Army use here in India.
            The Bren is also with auxiliary forces / police, army is using INSAS LMG.
            The SMLE round is really a hollow point, hits hards and the rifles are accurate, though the ones in use are getting worn out, they too are mostly kept unloaded as the safety is iffy.
            But mostly it is AK and INSAS, and they work pretty well.
            Pistols are locally made HP35, some hammerless Glock..and some 0.38 / .357 magnum revolvers, I have seen Ruger Speed Six and S & W Magnums.
            The SWAT teams are better equipped, they were in hiding at the summit, MP5, Dragunov, Tavor, H & K sniper rifles, nearly state of the art in some areas.
            But yes, due to strict gun control, visitors do seem to feel a bit of a time warp.
            Helps them relax….

        • Julio

          “the guys in the British Army loved the Sterling for its light weight and size. Its just that no one had much confidence in it as a weapon or war. Hence whilst they were very popular during training and exercise where no one wanted the hassle of carrying the 5 kilo SLR”

          You are 100% right about that. Any combat situation in which the Sterling might conceivably be of assistance was definitely one to avoid if at all possible!

          It was fun to have a light, selective fire weapon to use on the range, though, and not just the semi-auto SLR – though that was a hoot to shoot too.

        • Fled

          Sterling is a very nice SMG well balanced and very controllable in full auto. The magazines have a roller bearing follower so very smooth feed. Saw some pics of a HMMV SOPMOD in Afghanistan where the driver had hung a Sterling from a bungie in front of him for ambush defense.

    • karmicforce01

      If love to get an Enfield in my collection … It’s good to see them still being used!

    • Zebra Dun

      I’ve read where the UK issued them and if the Tommy went to shoot it and it failed he simply threw it away and went for another.

      • Simcha M.

        In combat, perhaps; but not in garrison. The British are WAY too money-conscious; remember the Generals who disdained the whole concept of the SMG because it was wasteful of bullets and characterized as a “gangster weapon”???

        Then, when WWII finally began, they bought every single Thompson they could, and when America entered the war, we bought all the Thompsons that the British wanted.

        Finally, after the debacle of Dunkirk, the British needed a cheap-ass gun that worked, and that was the STEn.

        The only STEns that didn’t work well were the Haganah-made guns. The British guns worked all the time, fugly as they were.

  • Martin Grønsdal

    Guard at the Ajit Bhawan resort, in Jodhpur, India.

    Double-barrelled shotgun, with a “magazine” welded to the barrels, to make the impression of an assault rifle….

    • Kirk Newsted

      And its got a real pistol grip.

      • Martin Grønsdal

        it looked like the entire rear part of the gun was made like that, and not that they attached some aftermarked (read, made in the gutter) part

    • Azril @ Alex Vostox


      • Martin Grønsdal

        actually, is it black? no? not banned!

        • karmicforce01


          • Martin Grønsdal


          • karmicforce01


          • Martin Grønsdal

            ok, I’ll give you a vote up

    • John

      A shame. I appreciate the effort, but it’s not going to work with anyone intent on attacking the resort. He would have been better off making some homemade shell carriers and attaching them on both sides of the fore end for that practical, apocalyptic look.

      • Martin Grønsdal

        I have no idea about indian gun-laws, but it looked like civilian guards could only have shotguns, while any gvt building could sport machineguns and assault rifles. The Ajit Bhawan was part hotel, part royal residence. Why it wasn’t important enough to have a real gun, have no idea.

        But I can tell you one thing: all security in India is just a show. The used hand held scanners that kept beeping at keys and cellphones, but no “officer” reacted. They made you remove your camera bag to enter an upscale hotel, but didn’t check your jacket or pants. At the airport in Udaipur you could throw a pistol over the barrier after security.

        But, you can rest assured that all the security was painfully slow, irritating and a hassle.

        • Paladin

          So… their security is basically the same as what we’ve got here in North America?

          • Martin Grønsdal

            my last visit to the US was painless, but we were flying business/first class and maybe the security at these gates is easier?

      • Azril @ Alex Vostox

        Then this old guard that nobody cares finally becomes a hero after he defeated a load of Pakistanis terrorist holding the whole resort hostage during Christmas day. He then single-handily kick the terrorist leader Mohamad Hassan Grubber in the ass while screaming “Curry Ki Yay, FatherF***er~!!” While the stereotypical Indian police and crowd cannot do nothing except do a choreographically crowd dance in the background.

    • buzzman1

      Its banned in Maryland! It looks like an evil stockless assault rifle.

  • Blake
    • Grindstone50k

      That top picture is an interesting carry method…

      • Blake

        Wouldn’t wanna do that with a hot barrel!

  • thedonn007

    What good is a firearm without ammunition?

    • Zebra Dun

      Think club or bat.

  • Roger Harrington

    That Sten is a Mk III not a Mk II

    • steveday72

      Actually, it’s a Sterling not a Sten.

      • Jonathan Ferguson

        No, he’s right. Examples of both the 1A1 ‘Sterling’ & the Sten Mk.III appear in these photos.

  • Kirk Newsted

    Hey, if it still works . . .

  • Azril @ Alex Vostox

    Hey, Did anyone still remember when the creme de la creme of India elite NSG commander claims that H&K MP5 is more powerful than AK-47?

    • Victor Lourenço

      I do, I remember that.

  • May

    I don’t think that SMLE is one of the .410 conversions, memory serving the Indian conversions had their magazine wells filled in so you can’t load a mag into them anymore (they were meant to be single shot), the only ones I’ve seen that retained magazine usage were civilian conversions.

  • Steve

    Why is this posted in Everything AK?

    • spacegy4

      Did you read the article? “Other cops were seen with Ishapores, AK-variants…”

  • Zebra Dun

    More a badge of authority than an actual useful weapon unless a butt stroke is in the list.
    Probaly no ammo or not more than five rounds.

  • dan citizen

    These may be old, but they are still functional, potent weapons. A person’s vital organs respond the same to a bullet, whether it be from a sterling or an mp5. And if you get on the wrong end of that bren gun, you’ll have a bad day.

  • Wetcoaster

    That’s not one of the SMLE riot guns

    1) The riot guns are based off SMLEs without the protruding barrel, not No.4s

    2) Have the magazine removed and the magazine well blocked up with a piece of wood.

    It’s quite possibly an ex-Pakistani POF No.4 Mk.2 wartime capture

  • Eddie_Baby

    If these guys knew what they were doing, they could all have bolt action rifles and they would be fine, but their old guns have probably seen a lot more action than their current bearers.

  • einszweidrei

    some years ago some police units from Rio were still using the madsen converted to 7,62.

    • Fredrik Mundt

      According to one news bulletin I have read they have finally been retired, they are in a museum now.

  • Bob

    It occurs to me, having amused myself by shooting holes in a steel plate yesterday with my No 4 Mk 1, that a Lee-Enfield is probably not the best choice of weapon for a crowded city landscape…

  • FarmerB

    I’ve spent quite some time in India. Once when in a Mumbai hotel, an official-looking young man came striding though the lobby heading for the elevator.
    Following a couple of meters behind was a military person dressed in a very sharp uniform with an impressively flamboyant head-dress. He was basically doing a quick march and moving as though on in a drill competition.
    He was carrying a single barrelled shotgun of around 12G – which made me giggle. I went up in the elevator with them which gave me some time to check out the ‘weapon’.

  • Grindstone50k

    Lots of colonial leftovers, makes sense.