Iraqi Gunsmithing: SKS, Mosin Nagant aficionados be warned

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Photos from a backyard gunsmith in Iraq are showing a myriad of customization on Kalashnikovs, Lee Enfields (No.1 SMLEs and No.4s) and Mosin Nagants in some very interesting ways. Attempts to add picatinny rails, scopes, thumbhole stocks, forward grips, and bullpup conversions are all displayed in their full glory here. As you look through the pictures you can see the results of trial and error as the gunsmith attempts different improvisation methods, then going back and perfecting them for the next round of home manufacture. Some of the Lee Enfields have had their barrels replaced with 7.62x54Rmm PKM barrels, while others retain their .303 ones. Many appear to have Harris imitation bipods mounted to forward sling swivels as well as different scopes, to include Barska optics. Also included are SKS paint jobs, and the welding of picatinny rails to receiver covers, a product that has long been available in the United States.

The designer seems to be a large fan of woodworking, cutting all sorts of wood into thumbhole stocks replacing the original wood stocks of these rifles. This particular Lee Enfield had its barrel cut down as well, in addition to the magazine having an enclosure around it.

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And what I assume the rifle looked like before with the cut down barrel

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One of the No.4 Lee Enfields appears to have been cut down to outwardly resemble an L42. This particular rifle also appears to have been in use with a member of the Iraqi defense forces, as he is pictured with the rifle while in uniform.

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This bullpup Kalashnikov appears to be a particularly interesting job, with a wood cut out for the stock, and a rod from the new trigger to the old. Trigger pull must be atrocious.

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Then a hodgepodge of Lee Enfields, SKSs, and Mosin Nagants in different stages of customization.

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Then we have this crazy SKS-

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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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  • 11b

    Bubba-ing your SKS- an international pastime.

  • Audie Bakerson

    What’s with the camo selection? I wouldn’t think Iraq has that many areas where that kind of camo would even begin to work.

    • Kyle

      The areas around the rivers support a fair amount of plant life plus irrigated fields and what not. Though in this case it’s probably just a matter of hand-me-down gear at work.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Iraq covers what used to be called Mesopotamia, a joining of 2 rivers (the Euphrates and the Tigris), considered to be the birthplace of agriculture and of civilization itself.

      • Dougscamo

        And like all birthplaces, the kids move away to find something better…..

    • Justin Bailey

      This is because you don’t understand how camo works.

      • Audie Bakerson

        Sure it would break up the silhouette, but wouldn’t area appropriate camo also do that?

  • LCON

    My God That’s so Ugly it could be Modern Art!

    • Uniform223

      Tacticool modern art

      • Evan

        All of this stuff is rather tacti-uncool. Even the guy who shows up to the range with a $1200 ACOG on his $400 HiPoint carbine would be embarrassed by some of these.

  • alex waits

    pass the eye bleach.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    Most of those should be considered a crime against humanity they are so ugly.

  • Major Tom

    What a fustercluck.

  • A.WChuck

    Considering they don’t have MidwayIRAQ to order parts and tools from and they cannot just go down to the local Funstore for a new Remchesterson 300 magnum, I’d say they are doing pretty well with what they have on hand.

  • Ken

    That bullpup AK looks like it will smack you in the face with the EOTech if you tried to use it from there. Looks like they moved it to the handguard, so it should be a bit more usable.

  • 40mmCattleDog
    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Im going to fade into Bolivia.

      • desertcelt

        Don’t be too hard on Iron Mike. He’s voting for Trump>

  • Hoplopfheil

    That bullpup SKS is hawt with a capital W.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I pray no Americans were killed with those ugly a-s guns.

    • Jake

      that sks…wow..

  • Raginzerker

    Al-bubba custom gunsmithing

  • M-dasher

    hey, say what you want…..but those cobbled together POS’ have probably seen more action than any of the “proper” rifles sitting in half of our gun cases…..

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      And the proper rifles sitting in half our gun cases are much more capable than the cobbled together POS’s posted above, no matter how much “action” they have or have not seen.

      • Martin M

        I’m sure they’ve seen plenty of action, but I’m equally certain that their lethality leaves a lot to be desired. How can you hit anything with a scope mounted on one ring (multicam Enfield) or some ad-hot trigger? These guns were likely more lethal/useful before they were butchered.

      • iksnilol

        yeah, but if they’ve seen action and then lived to see action again then it must mean it worked for the owner? Right? I mean, I like fancy stuff and all, but don’t discount the crude/primitive stuff.

        • Jake

          50% of the cringey comments on tfb come from you, why?

          • iksnilol

            Cause you hate the playa and not the game.

            You gotta mellow out my glip glop.

          • Dougscamo

            Careful, Jake….haven’t you watched Lilyhammer on Netflix?…You know “Frank the Fixer” in Norway?…..you’ve been warned….

          • iksnilol

            Regarding that: he was one of the most relatable characters on television for foreigners such as myself.

          • Dougscamo

            Relating to that comment….I’m “afeered” to disagree…..

      • m-dasher

        thats like saying ” yeah man, i have a custom built race car in my garage that i never drive…….but your honda civic you racec ever weekend is a real piece of crap!”

      • Paul White

        They’re using what they have, and trying ot make it better, in order to protect themselves.

        If I was relying on a classic gun to save my bacon day in and out do you think I’d give a damn if it’s a classic, or would I try to find a way to mount an optic on it or make it take higher capacity magazines or improve it in other ways?

  • Sunshine_Shooter

    For everyone who thought yesterday’s M&P-15/22 was bad, feast your eyes upon the abominations above!

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

  • Dougscamo

    Iraqi gunsmithing….isn’t that the classic definition of an oxymoron?….

    • Justin Bailey

      Yes, because the Iraqis are incapable of engineering or technology.

    • Meatloaf

      I take it you’ve never heard of the Tabuk before. I’d take one of those over any AR based marksman rifle any day no matter how many thousands of dollars were spent.

  • Argartis

    Is this all a single guy? Some of those look actually pretty functional, but others…..be at…I don’t want to think about them again.

  • AC97

    If you could get the Lee-Enfield to work properly in 7.62x54R, that would actually be pretty awesome. The rest of those ideas… not so much.

    • iksnilol

      Not hard to do that. Been done to undeath already.

      • AC97

        I found that out after typing it, but I still think it’s pretty cool.

  • JT303

    What would Ivan Chesnokov think?

  • DaveP.

    That cut-down Lee Enfield looks pretty cool, though. You’d have a massive signature, but it’d be a great trunk gun.

    • AD

      Heh, yeah, I actually like that one. Something to consider if you have an old Enfield with a damaged barrel or something I guess.

  • iksnilol

    I like the SKS, the last one.

    • Meatloaf

      Yeah, I’d pay for that conversion or gladly watch their video to do it myself. Especially if they found a better way to swap to ak mags.

  • Jim Slade

    The UK Ministry of Defense is pleased to announce the new and exciting modernization program that will take the SA80 into the next several decades: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/458cf22f666d7c72f0d824f7e3374e40837a35c00b14f5ee23b2cd478b03c328.jpg

    • crackedlenses

      Well played sir, well played.

    • DataMatters

      How the heck do you use that holosight–that’s where you cheek goes.

      • ShadNuke

        Clearly that’s the before…. He didn’t bother moving the holo sight until after the Sawzall was employed to the stock and couple pieces of plywood…

  • Squirreltakular

    I’m not sure I want to hear the story of how this guy got his hands on an M110 stock…

  • Ryfyle

    Bubba gon international.

  • Richard

    A lot of it looks like what some people do to surplus rifles here.

  • tsubaka

    somebody noticed the +20moa picantiny rail on the second picture?
    Looks like somebody is a long range sniper ….oh wait….

    • Gary Kirk

      Well they figure if ours go one way, they’re on the other end so theirs has to go the other

  • Anonymoose

    A couple of those sniper rifles look pretty professional. The rest are bubbatastic.

  • Lt. Dan

    The height over bore.. it burns…

    These guys must have HUGE cheeks.

  • Every one of these rifles is a $#!+post unto itself. Good lord.

  • Joshua Scott

    Every time I see the things they’ve done to those Lee-Enfields I die a little bit on the inside.

  • mazkact

    Babu is the Arabian Bubba. Babu doe not care if a scope is rigidly mounted or is canted upward it must only look disco.

  • Alan

    Ingenuity at its finest. The Iraqis continue the weapons tradition of hundreds of years: Take what you have and make it work for you.

  • El Duderino

    Looks like 75% of what I see on Armslist.

  • inchang

    Nice concepts tho….

  • brian

    Another 2 dozen reasons why they should be bombed back to the stone age they want to live in and why cavemen shouldn’t have nice things lol….I didn’t know Amazon delivered to Iraq

  • Matheus Grunt

    I’d buy some of his work, especially the last one!

  • tarnishedcopper

    I like the look of the SMLE with the shortened barrel. I wonder how accurate the Mosin Nagant is with the scope and all the additions. I might consider bobbing the barrel and stock on a Mosin, but not painting it.

  • DistalRadius

    The Enfield in the last pic before the SKS has an SG-43 Goryunov barrel fitted. Thats a x54R heavy machinegun barrel. Guess at least you don’t have that vertical stringing problem like the PSL-types. Bit heavy though, even with the fluting.

  • Docduracoat

    I want his address
    I am going to send him some air cure cerakote and some stencils

  • RPK

    Hill Rat and trailer park trash designers at their best! Only the best for those who don’t know the difference.

  • Aldo1887

    Yikes..

  • B Hawk

    You can put a dress on a turd, but it’s still a turd!

  • Zebra Dun

    Holly Sheet! No bullpup Winchester M -94 lever actions?

  • Au_Canary

    Hope to hell he got his Form 1 and Form 4 filled out before he made those! 😉