Handmade Kalashnikovs

In our third episode about the handmade small arms from the gunsmiths of Darra Adam Khel in the FATA region of northwestern Pakistan, Miles takes a look at some of the Kalashnikov variants produced by these talented craftsmen. With the Kalashnikovs some of the copying begins to show because of the more modern production techniques that stamping involves. However even with this challenge, villagers are able to put together almost exact copies of these rifles.

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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 miles@tfb.tv


  • 22winmag


  • Ark

    It’s hard to imagine hand-producing an AK being worthwhile in the part of the world that is arguably the most saturated with regular AKs.

    • noob

      “There is no substitute for quality, but quantity has a quality all of it’s own” – Iosef Stalin

  • USMC03Vet

    Too bad Rob Ski couldn’t put these through the 5,000 test. I’m sure it would be entertaining.

  • Stephen Paraski

    It looks more Chinese than Russian as far as front sight and rear of receiver.

  • GhostTrain81

    When some dude in Darra cobbles together a firearm based on an existing design by hand it’s considered a work of art, deemed worthy of respect… when a dude in China cobbles together a firearm based on an existing design with somewhat modern tooling and manufacturing techniques it’s intellectual property theft.

  • Rogertc1

    $400 gun for more.

    • BrandonAKsALot

      Good to see you again Roger. I think your blue book may be a bit outdated. You should probably check the issue year.

      • Rogertc1

        Not really..AR15s are out there for under $400.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    A lot of these guns do use parts that are found and scavenged from factory guns, but that first one does look like much of it was made there. I have an entire Paki armorer’s manual that has blueprints and methods for making every single piece of the AK.

    As for the mag, that is a common Pakistani copy of an Izhmash polyamide mag. Those have the SAG emblem in the clover. Just about every Paki made fake will have a brass locking lug at the rear. They would take Russian mags, mold them, and copy them. On some of the earlier “fakelite” mags, they copied one specific bakelite mag and it was easy to tell because the witness hole was molded in to the rear and then drilled. You can always see a bit of the molded witness hole still whereas a true Russian mag would have had the witness hole drilled after molding, not molded with it.

    There are a lot of these fakes. There are Izhmash, Molot, and even Bulgarian copies. Though the Bulgarian is double circle 23, which was not a real factory code. Now that I think of it, there may be some double circle 21 fakes too. I had a couple myself at one time. They are cool pieces.

  • noamsaying

    Maybe they can make the Desert Tech MDR. They would undoubtedly beat Desert Tech to market.