The Modernity of Peshawar

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When the subject of the gun making markets in the village of Dharra, within the autonomous region of Peshawar, Pakistan comes up, most of us wouldn’t be wrong to think of the copying of older firearms designs, such as your typical Peshawar Kalashnikovs, Martini Henrys, Tokarevs, and the list goes on and on. However, recently the gun markets have been pushing towards modernity in their new designs, much like any firearms community the world over. These designs have some interesting characteristics and twisting of various old time features alongside the new. Whether that means they are safe to fire is a whole other ball game but just from an enthusiasts perspective, the rifles and handguns coming out of the gun markets are some kind of eye candy, and makes me wonder what is going on in the minds of some of these guys! The majority of variants appear to be AK based platforms, including an interesting twist on things with incorporating an AR charging handle into the top cover of an AK. This modernity doesn’t seem to have reached handguns yet, as most of the handguns sold appear to be Turkish imports from the various Turkish companies out there. A really interesting note is that these gunmakers are putting alot of effort into adding design elements of the AR15 into their rifles. Such as charging handles, carrying handles, entire rail systems, stocks, etc… You would think that in a part of the world where the AK has been the most reliable, more people would want to stick with the status quo. However, similar to the Iraqi Army wanting M16s over AKs, or even the Karen Hill tribes in Burma wanting M16s as well, the AR platform turns up in the oddest of places. Either way, the ingenuity put into these designs is quite something, and remember that most of this is being made by hand in Peshawar.

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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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  • Giolli Joker

    That wooden folding stock, though…

    The AMT copy is quite peculiar as well.

    • Jeff NME

      That .45 longslide is only missing a SureFire laser sight on a grip-plate scope mount… 😉

      • SP mclaughlin

        You are haramed.

  • noob

    no onerous regulation (actually nearly no rule of law at all), so why hasn’t anybody there bought a suppressor?

    • Matrix3692

      When shock & awe are the mainstream in gunfights in that region, who needs suppressor?

    • Jwedel1231

      When no one cares about hearing protection and no one has told them they can’t have one, they lose all their appeal.

    • Rifleman

      I seriously doubt one would last. How many people in that region do you reckon could keep the threads concentric to the barrel?

  • BattleshipGrey

    “That cheek weld is so 1990’s man, you should try out the arm pit weld on this AR-AK I just made.”

    • Menger40

      I think the designers are competing to see who can mount a scope the highest

      • Cynic

        Beowulf scope mounts for all

  • Anonymoose

    Is that an AK with a Bren mag?! I want a .303 AK, just to say I have one. :0

  • Captain Obvious

    The guns themselves may be handmade but I’m guessing the accessories are CCC (cheap chinese crap) i.e, airsoft quality stuff. Never the less, pretty interesting designs in a “coming to a 3rd world ghetto near you” kind of way.

  • Major Tom

    So what do we call these AK/AR frankenguns? An AR-47? An AK-16?

  • politicsbyothermeans

    A 30 bore pistol! A 222 bore rifle!

    • Bojan

      30 bore is a local term for guns being able to shot 7.92x33mm, Ian on Forgotten Weapons did article on Pakistani “30 bore” AKs.

      • politicsbyothermeans

        I know… still funny though!

      • iksnilol

        I thought 30 bore was also a term for 7.62×25?

      • Sam Nakai

        30 bore = 7.62×25
        222= 5.45×39

      • Jonathan Ferguson

        That’s “44 bore”. 30 bore is 7.62x35mm as per the other reply by Sam.

        • kyphe

          Iksnilol appears to be correct, 7.62×25 tokarev is 30 bore. You must have miss read it as 7.92×33 Kurz which is 44 Bore, unless it has been edited since then by ik. Bore = caliber or diameter the length of the round is ofc irrelevant.

          • Jonathan Ferguson

            Yeah, I have no idea what I was thinking there. “35” was a typo, but my reply still doesn’t make any sense. I need to stop posting late at night!

    • Jwedel1231

      And a Winchester at that!

  • HKmaster

    A lot of people may dismiss these guns as junk, but keep in mind that they’re made with barely any machinery at all. Most of the manufacturing is done by hand, with very crude tools, so obviously these guns won’t be at the same quality as your average AR15. I bet the Peshawar gunsmiths could make some pretty decent guns if they had the right tools…

    • De Facto

      Heck, if that’s what they can do with HAND TOOLS imagine if they had a machine shop with 1950’s era lathes, drill presses, etc. Imagine commissioning a custom gun for close to the same cost as a new gun. Because to them, ALL guns are custom guns.

    • All the Raindrops

      True, but they dont, so let’s laugh at them 🙂

    • John Yossarian

      And then if they’d just stop fornicating with goats and honor-killing their women… “Made it ma, top of the world!”

  • Mmmtacos

    I… I never thought I’d ever say I’d want to melt down a gun, but some of these are making me want to make exceptions…

  • DaveP

    Laugh if you want to, but i just wish more First Word gun makers had its kind of imagination.

    • Anon

      You’re right, I mean every time I pick up an AK I just can’t stop thinking of how much I’d like a t handle sticking out the back.

    • Blake

      You mean Winchester never made MP5s? Shocking!

  • Ambassador Vader

    are you sure that’s the middle east and not the american mall ninja market?

    • Paul Epstein

      There’s clearly an arbitrage opportunity here.

    • John Wisch

      Yeah, I’ve been there before.

      They make these in a room no bigger that a decent sized closet while sitting or kneeling on a dirt or cement floor.

      For the conditions & parts supply that they have to work with their products are amazing.

  • Cameron Bissell

    I love the colt and Winchester logos

  • Anomanom

    1911 with what, 7-8 inch barrel? That’s kind of nice. I’d buy that.

  • Mike

    FrankenGuns, they may be but… hey man. If it hits down range beyond 200yrds, takes out my target effectively and can easily be repaired, even with the cheap stuff, then I’d say these are all wins.

    Long slide 1911 and the Wood furniture model though, I think I’d take ’em home

    • All the Raindrops

      There’s no way these with the carry handle can be zeroed, it’s way higher than the front sight post

  • Phillip Cooper

    Crack kills, mmkay?

  • De Facto

    I’ll take the MP5 knock off and the long slide .45.

  • Pod

    The UZI clone has a Miami rollmark. I want it just for that reason.

    That being said, this is proof positive that you can’t stop the signal. If you want to ban certain types of guns, or guns as a whole, people will be able to build functional ones, even beautiful ones, with some basic tools that can be found in any Home Depot.

    I surmise that the Left will try to ban tools at some point.

    Sorry if I went political, moderators.

    • Lt_Scrounge

      You couldn’t find the tools at Home Depot since they don’t sell lathes or milling machines. You CAN get them at Harbor Freight which is worse since they ship and are a LOT less expensive. The quality won’t be great, but they will work for at least a few builds.

  • GreatHumpback

    The AK-looking rifle with the lightened wooden handguards and folding stock is absolutely not a “Khyber Pass copy”, but a custom build by an american-based (NE USA I think) gun enthusiasm/tinkerer know as kmanator or a-kamanator.
    This gun is a “Franken-PSL/FPK” including parts from various rifles such as Siaga, Yugo M70, FAL,.. and a Lahti-Saloranta M/26 LMG mag.
    His build is detailed on several forum, such as www dot akfiles dot com / forums / showthread.php?t=107059

    • Giolli Joker

      Thanks!

    • Sam Primeaux

      Yeah i think i saw it on sks boards too

  • Right-wing Realist✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

    I wish I had a friend named Abu Habib that I could crank out custom weapons with in my basement…

  • Widgt

    Third rifle reminds me of a Zika virus baby. 🙁

  • Ed

    Mutant guns from Pakistan!

  • That top one is a game-changing AR-AK hybrid!

    • Rifleman

      ‘Bout time!

  • Rick5555

    This is the end result(s)….when inbreeding is permitted and encouraged. Miles you need to stop with the super long sentences. It’s grammatically incorrect. If you’re going to be a journalist per se, At least use proper sentence structure. Please. It’s quite difficult reading your articles. I’m not trying to insult you…just attempting to help and make you a better writer.

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    Proof that Bubba has cousins living in Peshawar…

  • Andrew Dubya

    Aaaaand the one guy pictured holding one exercises better trigger discipline than a lot of the dinguses I see at the range.
    Big surprise.

  • LazyReader

    An AR AK Winchester MP5, every liberals worst nightmare.

  • Longhaired Redneck

    I love the way the cleverly engineered hi mount optic is still able to cowitness the iron front sight. I will be copying this idea on my upcoming AR build!

  • BrandonAKsALot

    Pretty sure that wooden folding stock one is sometimes build from the weapons guild. It’s sometimes in the US for sure.

    I’d like to add my Winchester MP5 30 bore has been a very reliable gun and I love it

  • Ricardo L. Mata

    Just think about this folks: One of those guns, as badly built as they may be, can kill you just the same as our best AR-15 or our best 1911.

  • Eric X Ericx

    They must have some really good crack in Peshawar… just sayin.

  • Benjamin Goldstein

    Wonder of the longslide 1911 is in 30 Tok.

  • Nice copies.

  • Meatloaf

    I dig their version of the mp5k especially since they bothered with the collapsible instead of folding stock

  • Core

    I like the Magpul UBR on the Colt Commando.. This article is too rich. It never ceased to amaze me what they could fabricate in the Near East.

  • AD_Rtr_OS

    Visited Dharra in ’64 while stationed in Peshawar – they were making #1 Enfields, and “Bretta” pistols, on machinery taking power from overhead shafts via leather belts. The water-wheel had been replaced by a large electric motor though.

  • Stephen Paraski

    Sign me up.

  • Cynic

    Shiite surely

  • janklow

    …i really want “special modified gun” on my ARs now