Handguns, by Pakistani manufacturing standards

Due to a previous post on small arms development in the Federally Administered Tribal Region of Peshawar, in Pakistan, TFB received some excellent first hand knowledge of firearms standards in Pakistan, from a Pakistani firearms enthusiast. One of the common assumptions about Pakistani firearms from our side of the market, especially ones from Peshawar are that they are all handmade contraptions of metal that will be lucky enough to last you several magazines safely, and maybe a couple hundred rounds operationally. Of course, this is no slight to the gunsmiths in Peshawar who are able to churn out many thousands of rounds of ammunition and hundreds of small arms from within mud walled huts by hand.

According to our reader, there are three categories of informal handgun quality standards that Pakistani arms can abide by among the community that uses them. The first are the handmade variety, the Peshawar hand builds that can be sketchy at best. The second come from more modern manufacturing methods, while the third originate from ISO certified companies in Pakistan. End users of all of these are in fact a large firearm community in Pakistan where it is legal to own certain types of small arms, provided a large number of paperwork hoops are jumped through. From our guy on the ground-

There are certainly a large number of firearms owners in Pakistan, A great majority of who go through the legal procedure of procuring handguns and sporting arms, Full auto rifles are also legal to own its just that there is a lot of paperwork required for that and it helps if you happen to know people in the government. The public sector that legally own firearms include everyone from sportsmen, hunters and firearms enthusiasts if we are talking about the upper and middle tier of society that can afford imported firearms too. The ones who do not have the finances to but imported firearms and shoot only a couple dozen rounds a year usually buy handguns or shotguns for self defense and crop protection. The black market certainly does exist too, in the federally administered tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. Anything goes in terms of firearms so I wouldn’t really call that a black market. But once those firearms be they full auto or unmarked guns come into the area that is under Pakistani law then I would consider them black market firearms, as I mentioned full autos can be legally owned but a good number of people don’t want to go through the correct way and to possess them illegally.

Also it does not help when the government puts a hold on the issuance of licenses, as that is when the dealers in the smaller towns start selling things under the table. Since the 2015 Peshawar Army Public School attack, the issuance of licenses has been put on hold, so I can imagine some people buying stuff under the table as we speak.
The legal way to own a gun isn’t very lengthy and becomes, even more fluid if you have contacts in the firearms license issuing  department called NADRA, those are the guys you apply to if you want a Non Prohibited Bore firearm which can be anything up to 45 caliber from what I know, It cant be full auto though. If you want to legally own a Full auto then you have to apply to the Ministry of Interior for a license.

I assume it is much easier for the security and body guard companies to get through. As for the illegal black market, maybe some of the more standard criminals such as the drug dealers and gangs have these handguns “fall” into their hands, but as for the Pakistani Taliban, their weapon of choice has always been the AKMs and assorted Kalashnikov and Soviet Bloc weaponry so prevalent in the region, copied or original.

Many of them [designs and handguns] are indeed Turkish, however a greater number of them are made in the Khyber Pukhtun Khua province of Pakistan being sold by some dishonest sellers claiming to be “made in turkey”. You may have noticed some of the more recent replica firearms out of that area have “Made AS Italy” on them, guess they have gotten their English corrected and now write “in” instead of “as”. The more honest dealers do let the customers know its a replica.

The firearms consumer market in Pakistan can be put into 3 major categories based on manufacturing. The largest consumer base being the cheap knockoffs that are poorly made and serve primarily as a gun to make the owner feel a little safe from external threats, these are not shot much. The 2nd category are locally made firearms of better quality made by more established companies, and at times these can also include some Norinco made products. My driver bought, a locally made TT33 knock off of this category got it new from Rs 8000, roughly $80 the barrel life on these isn’t too great but they are reliable and won’t blow up your hand even after a couple thousand rounds. Then comes the 1st category, these ones are made by the reputable firearms companies such as  Pakistan Ordinance factories, Daudsons Armory, PHSADC, Peshawar Arms and some other companies around the country. Recently Pakistan Ordanance factories have started getting more involved in the public sector. Attaching pictures
3rd Category, low quality hand guns. These usually look like this, the maker usually messes up while making them so they look all crazy out of shape. The trigger pull on these is horrendous
image image (1)
2nd category these are better made and mostly include TT33 [Tokorav] clones, Beretta clones, Stoger clones and other clones.
unnamed-1 unnamed-6 unnamed-8 unnamed unnamed-2 unnamed-3 unnamed-4 unnamed-5
1st category and probably the safest ones made by ISO certified companies, Not including any Tokarev clones cause there are just too many.
unnamed-7 unnamed-10 unnamed-9
Much Thanks to TFB reader Sam Hasan for the input on this post!


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    “the most rewording experience”

    • Brocus

      bueno excellente

  • Anonymoose

    The Cougar clones looks pretty cool, as well as thos SIG/CZ-hybrid-looking things. I would not trust a homemade Beretta 92, though. I also find it interesting that POF has apparently created a mid-size 92 with a Compact grip and a full-size barrel and slide.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Ive seen the level of manufacturing from that part of the world. No way am I buying anything I need to trust my life with from there.

    • MRHapla

      not mention anything handheld going bang/boom

  • Arie Heath

    Looks like one of those guys got their hands on a Tangfolio CZ-75.

  • Bob

    That one 1911 without a grip safety looks nice, not to mention the T33 knockoffs in the first picture. Some of those others look too gaudy for my taste, even if they shoot fine.

  • vwVwwVwv

    i wuldnt relie on one nor fire it without fear of injuris.

    • Xtorin O’hern

      R.I.P english

      • Dan

        English isn’t his native language if I remember correctly.

      • vwVwwVwv


        • M40

          Don’t worry about it. English is one of the hardest languages on earth. It is spoken quite well (as a second language) by many people all over the world… but to spell it correctly is another matter entirely. The way we spell words makes no sense whatsoever. This is because it’s a “hodge-podge” language made up of words from dozens of other languages. You’re doing just fine!

          • vwVwwVwv

            i culd use spellchecker but i wuld not benefit from it. may be i will.

            thank you, my first language was georgian then russian, german, english, hebrew and a litle aramic, from my shool french sadly nothing is left over.

            thank you for the support.

          • M40

            My first language is English. I was relatively fluent in various dialects of Arabic from my time in the service, but I’ve forgotten more than I remember (that was 20 years ago). And my 2 years of high school French vocabulary has also disappeared. If you don’t use it… you lose it!

          • vwVwwVwv

            arabic is hard, the alphabet is a killer, i want to learn it but i am a kind of afraid.

          • M40

            Reading and writing Arabic is EASY. Everything is spelled exactly the way it sounds. If you can say it correctly, you can spell it correctly. As far as languages go, Arabic is somewhere in the middle as far as difficulty (not the easiest, but nowhere near the most difficult).

          • vwVwwVwv

            i must give it a try, with hebrew and aramic i understand lot of words easy.

  • gunsandrockets

    Good article.

  • Tassiebush

    Really interesting!

  • kingghidorah

    I love that 1st tok.

  • Kivaari

    Great article.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    The PX4 clone with what I assume is a metal frame looked cool.

    If the way to end terrorism is through economic prosperity let the imports in! I’d love to own a kyber made gun for the heck of it. I wouldn’t dare shoot it but they are impressive for what they are.

    • iksnilol

      These aren’t Khyber Pass guns tho.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        I know all aren’t but because of the Kyber pass guns I’m interested in all Pakistani guns. The PX4 clone might be and some of the guns pictured were of the homemade variety.

        • M40

          These are kind of like the handmade knives that come out of that region. Some are good looking pieces, some have countless hours of hand forging and laborious work that someone performed to make them… but you just can’t trust the materials. It could be decent steel… it could be the crummiest pig iron on the planet. In the end, you can hang it on a wall and admire the workmanship, but you’d never trust your life to it!

          • Harry’s Holsters

            Exactly! I’d love to collect homemade guns from the small shops. I’d never dare shoot them but the craftsmanship is impressive.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        Some of the guns pictures are homemade or made in small shops. they specific on where each one was made so they could be kyber guns.

  • AK

    Stalin said “quantity has a quality of its own”, and I think it aply describes not only the average red army conscript of WW2 but also these pistols.

  • H Panni

    Regarding that last image, POF only makes the PK-9 in Pakistan.
    The ST-9 and B-6 are made by Sarsilmaz in Turkey.

    • Ergo

      i thought the b6 looked to similar to a b6p. Looks like they just whipped up another mold with pof markings for the frame.

  • H Panni

    I would also like to mention that in Pakistan imported Glocks, Sigs, H&Ks sell in the $2,500 to $3,500 and upwards range. This was before the import ban.
    And now that there has been a firearms import ban for the last 3 years, the markets are empty of imported weapons. I myself have 3 new licenses waiting for weapons to be registered against them since Feb 16.
    I dream everyday of an international firearm manufacturer setting up shop in Pakistan. At a price anywhere under $1,000 quality handguns will sell faster than they could be made.

    • toms

      Why the ban?

      • M40

        Do you even have to ask why they have an import ban? He’s clearly spelled out that locally made guns fetch huge prices. You can be sure that all manner of organized crime and government officials get big kickbacks from the local manufacturers. If they were to lift the ban and cheap guns became available from elsewhere, then the money stops flowing into government pockets. In practice, it’s not too different from a Massachusetts highway project.

    • Aleksandr Kamarov

      Damn that really sucks. Despite the heavy taxes firearms are under here in Chile a factory new Glock 17 G4 still goes for around $1000, while Taurus and Bersas go for half of that.

  • Voice_of_Reason

    Very cool…now I would really like to own a pick-up truck mounted ZU-23-2 clone. Can those guys pull that off???

  • MRHapla

    Some pricing info would be greatly appreciated,,,,

  • AJ

    As a Canadian of Pakistani origin, I can tell you about POF.

    POF plant was setup by HK and they make licensed MP5 and G3 for the army. Their stuff is top notch.

    POF has recently started getting into the civilian market. Semi auto versions of MP5 and G3 are available for civvies.

    All the Khyber pass stuff is garbage. Market is dominated at the lower end by Norinco and locally ISO certified companies. Mid end by Turkish stuff.

    Prices are 5-10 times more than US or Canada.

    Colt LE6920 goes for USD 10K
    Norinco M4 goes for 3-4K

    Glock 17 is 3-4 K. Just to give an idea. Ammo is very pricey 7.62×39 is $1.5 a round. Firearms is very pricey hobby in Pakistan and only for rich and criminals.

  • BigR

    I don’t buy anything from the enemy!

  • Mr Saturday Night Special

    Pakistan has the most modern mutations factory in the world. It was built in 2005 care of US taxpayers. All Swiss machinery. It was a bribe for allowing transit of supplies for the Afghan war.
    I tried to import 7.62 and .223 when obama came to power, but I could never get the same answer twice from any Pakistani officials.
    Sad but that’s how they role in Pakistan.

    • M40

      I believe you meant “munitions” factory? Methinks spell-check hath taken its toll!

      • jonp

        Its Pakistan, how do you know what he meant? Those crazy Swiss are up to all kinds of stuff. Besides, some of those guns look like mutations to me

        • M40

          I hadn’t considered that 🙂

  • Goody

    I wonder if they can make a Golt 19I1