Small Arms Survey Publishes New Report on Improvised Firearms

    The Small Arms Survey have published a new report looking at the use of improvised weapons around the world, examining the proliferation of various types and the driving forces behind their manufacture and use.

    Written by G Hays & N.R. Jenzen-Jones, both of Armaments Research Services (ARES), the 136-page report. Small Arms Survey say that:

    Improvised and craft-produced firearms remain an important source of firepower for a wide range of actors, including tribal groups, poachers, criminals, insurgent groups, and even some states and quasi-state groups. In various locations, these weapons account for most of the firearms used in crime; in others, their production is institutionalized, providing essential income for local gunsmiths.

    Criminals outside of active conflict zones, especially in developing states and territories, appear to hold the highest concentrations of craft-produced small arms. In several countries, such firearms account for a sizable proportion of weapons seized in law enforcement operations.

    The vast majority of improvised and craft-produced weapons cannot be easily traced, although certain forensic and investigative techniques show promise in closing this gap.

    The report looks at the developmental history of artisan and craft built firearms, the skills and manufacturing facilities needed to produce them and who purchases and uses them – ranging from tribal groups and poachers to organised criminal organisations and insurgent groups. The report also breaks down the firearms into type: hanguns, SMGs, and rifles.

    Some of the most interesting findings include that “the highest concentrations of craft-produced small arms appear to be among criminals outside of active conflict zones, especially in developing nations.” The report notes that in developed countries “strict laws aimed at limiting the proliferation of firearms appear to have encouraged the use of improvised and craft produced weapons.” Additionally, improvised weapons make up a large proportion of weapons seized by police and those used in crimes for example “in Indonesia, 98 per cent of the guns confiscated from robbery suspects in 2013 were homemade”

    You can check out the full report here

    TFB have covered a large number of improvised weapons in the past you can find some of those articles here.

    Matthew Moss

    _________________________________________________________________________ – Managing Editor – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]