The Old Gun Markets of Kabul

by Miles

Previously we looked at some of the very modern stores that sell numerous Turkish models in Kabul but in this episode, we look at some of the older small arms that are considered antiques but still legal to purchase (although ammunition is somewhat of a gray area). For that purpose, we went to one of the best shops on Chicken Street in downtown Kabul where there was an excellent array of British martial arms from the early 1800s and ending with the Martini-Henry. Several of these rifles (and smoothbore muskets) were in excellent condition considering their age and location throughout almost a century of being in Afghanistan. Although we can’t be entirely certain of their authenticity, they are still an excellent trip down history lane. And the prices! These pieces would be many times their Afghan prices in these conditions if they could be imported into the United States.

Brown Bess
Pattern 1853
Martini Henry

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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

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