Improvised Shotgun With Revolving Cylinder in Nigeria

    An improvised shotgun utilizing a revolving cylinder that appears to hold six 12 gauge shotgun shells was captured in a Nigerian Army operation in May of this year, capturing several alleged kidnappers on their way to committing a crime. Along with the improvised shotgun were several machetes, of which I’d probably be more afraid of doing damage with than the improvised firearm.

    From the

     Troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Yuga on blocking position, today, following a tip off from well-meaning individuals, ambushed and arrested 4 suspected kidnappers at Mundu village.

    The suspects, …, aged 25, …, aged 20 years , …, aged 18 years and … were found to be in possession of 1 Locally made Six Loader Single Barrel Gun, 1 Empty Cartridge, 2 Machetes, a Knife, 2 Mobile Telephone Handsets, 2 Packets of Tramol Tablets and the sum of Three Hundred and Sixty Naira, while on their way to commit crime. They are also currently being further investigated.

    The shotgun appears to be made out of components available on the local economy, such as used sheet metal, pieces of wood, wire, and a shred of cloth being adopted for a sling. I’m currently assuming that the improvised device uses shot shells as the cylinder chambers and bore diameter are quite large, in addition to the low chamber pressure that many commercial shot shells produce during the process of firing, allowing something like an improvised shotgun to be made. Overall the weapon appears to be around 24-36 inches in length, with what would be a smooth bore (more likely a local pipe of correct diameter) barrel of  possibly 8- 16 inches. There is a faux magazine that most likely serves as a forward pistol grip, probably trying to imitate the appearance of a Kalashnikov rifle, popular among numerous criminal and anti-government organizations the world over. There is a charging handle on the right side of the weapon, which would appear to fire from an open bolt position, with an internal preen pushing the cylinder into alignment with the firing pin (probably fixed), and the barrel.

    The case of the improvised revolving cylinder shotgun is not a new one to Nigeria, in July of this year we covered quite a few examples captured by Nigerian government forces in a TFB post.

    An article in 2016 in the Premium Times highlighted that there is a local firearms manufacturing capability in rural Nigeria. That capability was in Benue State, in the southern part of the country near the border with Cameroon. However the improvised shotgun was captured in Yobe State, in the northernmost part of the country, bordering Niger. The two are separated by a few hundred miles of travel. We honestly don’t know enough to connect the two, but both are indicative of a local manufacturing capability and illicit arms market.


    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.

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