Showcasing Peshawar

    The Durrand Line has divided the countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan since 1893 when the British Empire created it with the king of Afghanistan. More for territorial reasons than ethnic, the line literally splits the Pashtun tribe in two, half of it’s people in Afghan provinces and the other half of them in Pakistani provinces. Most of these Pashtuns don’t even recognize the Durrand Line as a legitimate border because families are divided on both sides of the border. In Pakistan it has become such that most of the border area with Afghanistan is known as the FATA, or Federally Administered Tribal Areas. These parts of the country are largely self ruled and Pakistan has little to no jurisdiction there. In one such part of the FATA, there is an area known as Peshawar. This small valley is infamously notorious for being one of the most “lawless places in the world“. Along with the lawlessness comes the unrestricted manufacture of small arms which are sold to whomever comes through the valley. These have been discussed thoroughly in other media. But for the purposes of TFB, we have some pictures of guns coming from the region from a local Pakistani who graciously sent them our way.

    This is a 12 gauge Milkor South African rotary magazine shotgun that was purchased in Peshawar.

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    Notice the plastic handguards on this AKMS, they seem to be an identifying mark of Peshawar made AKs. Also see how the rear of the receiver is sloped as opposed to conventional receivers that have a square shaped rear end.

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    What appears to be a table with an AKMS inside of it. Compare the rear of the receiver with the photograph above.

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    Gun Safety is obviously not on this man’s priority list. Although this AKMS has an AK74 bakelite magazine, it is most likely chambered in 7.62x39mm. Magazines such as these exist in the hundreds of thousands in the region, many left over from when the Russians were in Afghanistan.

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    This appears to be an East German AK74 with a GP25 grenade launcher and a scope of local manufacture added to it.

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    Although both of these rifles have Romanian forward grips added to them, the top rifle is probably an original Romanian AKM. The bottom one might have started life as an East German AKMS but had the handguard replaced later down the line. The picture cuts off the compensator but it also appears that an aftermarket or AK74 compensator has been added to the rifle. Both have 50 round magazines. Rifle cannibalism such as this is common in the region as parts can’t exactly be ordered from K-Var on a regular basis.

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    Peshawar doesn’t make all AKs, a good amount of shotguns, pistols, and bolt action rifles come out of the area, to include Martini Henry copies with the original serial number copied as well! This looks like a Mauser action, with a M1917 Enfield front sight. It’s most likely chambered in 8mm Mauser. During combat operations conducted by 1st Battalion 9th Marines in Helmand province, a .30-06 Enfield was captured as apart of a Taliban weapons cache, so they are in the region.

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    This AKS47 is interesting in that it is either an original or a very well done copy down to the original magazine. And what appears to be a camera lanyard as a sling.

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    The fact giving this AKS74U copy away is the compensator. Compare the straight compensator on this one with the Russian rifles below. They have a bulbous feature around theirs while this one doesn’t. Also the width of the front sight appears to be less than the Russian ones.

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    The second and third AKS74Us from top are the only original Russian AKS74Us in this collection. The rest are all copies made elsewhere. The top rifle is a Peshawar make with plastic furniture, notice the Galil type charging handle. Second from bottom is an odd mix up, with an RPK receiver and Chinese trunnion. The rifle at the bottom is also a Peshawar make, with an AKMS folding stock, homemade compensator and wooden fashioned forward grip. Image courtesy National Firearms Centre, Leeds, UK.

     

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    Although not from the Pakistani photo contributer, this AKS47 belongs to an AUP patrolman in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Notice the same plastic handguards as is evidenced on some of the earlier rifles. The author suspects theses handguards come from the Peshawar factories. Notice the clip on the stock to turn it into a One Point attachment. Decorating firearms with stickers and other such media is a popular practice within Afghanistan and Pakistan in the same way drivers decorate their “Jingo” trucks. Author’s submission.

     

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    Most of these guns seem to have been brought into Pakistan with the exception of the gun second from bottom. An odd combination of AK and Mauser parts, it is probably chambered in 8mm Mauser. Notice the front sight, it also probably came from the same shop that made the earlier more conventional bolt action rifle.

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    A Tokarov, it is not known if this is an original or Peshawar copy. The leather holster/belt with bullet slots is quite popular in the region as handguns are regarded as a status symbol by leaders. It isn’t really tactical at all, it would be interesting to watch anyone who can facilitate a tactical reload using this set up and a single magazine,


    This showcasing post would not have been possible without the help of the Facebook group AK-47 and a member of said group.

    Miles

    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 [email protected]


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