Counterfeit or Copy? Darra Handguns

Previously we looked at examples of long guns out of the Pashtun gun-making village of Darra Adam Khel in the FATA region in Pakistan. In this episode, Miles looks at some of the handgun copies that have emerged from the cottage industries there. We compare Makarov and Beretta copies side by side, in addition to an odd Martini Henry contraption that has since been deactivated. Many of these copies are so well made that it would make most small arms enthusiasts think twice about which one is legitimate and which one was handmade. But most of all, the conditions that these are made in are sure to be admired as the gun-makers lack any of the amenities that most firearms manufacturers or even Western gunsmiths possess.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Proxibid – Shop For Home Defense Pistols Online Here

Ventura Munitions – Retailer of quality ammunition.

Hoppe’s No. 9 – A worldwide favorite since 1903


Please subscribe!!! Click here.

Please subscribe!!! Click here.


Transcript ….

[coming soon]



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


  • 7n6

    Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan, not Tajikistan dude.

    • Yeap, I always get Tashkent and Dushanbe confused.

      • Dougscamo

        Who doesn’t?

  • John

    I dunno, I’m more impressed with the illicit Philippines gun manufacturing. Also started its origins being made in huts but they’re high enough quality that some businesses went legitimate and started to sell their firearms in the US. whereas the Dharra guns exist more as wall-hanger oddities

  • Haulin’ Oats

    NPR started this whole fake accent stuff in their reportings to appease the terrorists and foreigners. I wish we would stop using it.

    • Michigunner

      Or, you can make an effort to pronounce it as it is meant to be pronounced. Personal choice. No need to politicize the correct pronunciation of words from different languages, that is just silly.

      • Haulin’ Oats

        You certainly don’t hear other foreign language speakers doing this, in any language; anywhere in the world. It’s a recent american phenomenon and one that doesn’t creep up in other English speaking societies.
        For one, when speaking of an American place, you don’t hear the BBC reporters switching to American English to describe a place or word that is unique to the United States and then switching back to Queens English.

        Breaking out of your native tongue and in to a foreign tongue like demonstrated here is just another form of recently founded political correctness.

        • AD

          My father (who’s first language was not English) changes his speech patterns depending on who he’s talking to; sometimes he tries to (consciously or unconsciously I don’t know) sound more “British” or “correct” when speaking to people who’s English is good, but when he’s speaking to people who’s English is poor he leaves out small words and just focuses on the “keywords” of the conversation (sort of like saying “eat food” instead of “here, why don’t you eat some food”).

          So yes, some foreign language speakers do modify their accents. I would argue however that most foreign language speakers are doing the best they can to pronounce each word as correctly as they can in the language of that word / language they are speaking in. So a native English speaker occasionally making an effort to pronounce a non-English word correctly is not some sort of major concession that non-native English speakers never make; it’s just making the same effort that all non-native English speakers do all the time when they speak in English, and for that matter that any human being does when speaking in any language other than one that they have mastered.

          I also feel that you might want to re-think the suggestion that people making a willing effort to do something better, simply because they want to and not because they have to, is something that “should be stopped”. Is that freedom? Being prevented from doing something harmless to the best of your ability simply because you wanted to?

          • Haulin’ Oats

            Americans have always said Paris not Pah-ree, like they do in France. And the Germans didn’t switch to a french accent when they invaded.

        • Stephen Paraski

          Are you calling “douche”?

          • Haulin’ Oats

            I like Miles V.

          • Longhaired Redneck

            I believe that’s douche’…

  • fastsaluki

    When working in Riyadh in the 1980s, you could get excellent body and fender repairs for very little cost. The workers were from Darra for the most part. We used to joke that you could drop off half a dozen 55 gallon drums and come back in two days and they would have a copy of any Rolls-Royce body you wanted. They were excellent craftsmen.

  • Ryfyle

    Are they good? Can I give them a hundred bucks and bits of railroad and get me a Makarov Chambered in 9mm Para?

    • oldman

      Mackarov are blowback guns and 9mm Para is to powerful a load.

  • DW

    They are antithesis of remington: given scraps and turns out exceptional guns. Maybe Remington should hire them.

  • Diver6106

    Certainly capable of making quality guns and Pakistani steels are great. But need to be careful of chamber pressures. As we switch to making plastic guns, theirs will continue to be steel and better in my mind. I just wish we could import parts for older guns from them, their workmanship is first rate. Inexpensive Luger or P.38 parts? black powder arms? parts for rifles? Sadly, we can’t make full use of their gunsmithing skills.

  • MikeA

    Tony Stark built it in a cave!
    With a box of scraps!