A kurdish iraq bring back


October 8, 2006, 07:22 PM
Sorry, no pics, but I was at a small gun shop in my hometown this weekend and I got to talking with the owner about war bring backs and I asked him if the soldiers were still allowed to bring weapons back. He said that if they were curio and relics, or non guns such as black powder they could. Then he showed me this muzzle loader that an Iraq vet brought back. I guess he was in a kurdish elders house and commented on his nice gun hanging up and tradition being what it is, he was told to take it, as the elder had another gun. He gets back, and the wife tells him no guns in the house, so it ended up at the gun shop. I was just wondering if you guys happen to know of any images of old arab guns that I could compare it to. It was really ornate, with engranving all over the stock and barrel and as far as I know, wasn't for sale. The owner said it was made anywhere from 1850 to 1920.

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October 8, 2006, 07:39 PM
wow thats pretty cool, id like to see some pictures of something like that as well.

October 9, 2006, 02:24 AM
I remember reading an extensive post complete with pictures, (I don't remember which forum it was) about the extensive cottage antique gun industry in Afganistan. The individual had gone there and went to a street bazaar and took pictures of the extensive racks of antique looking black powder guns. The story went on about how the British had been in Afganistan many, many years ago and left behind many black powder weapons which ever since then, a local industry has flourished in copying and replicating down to the most minute detail. He described how there were literally tons of antique looking replica guns for sale at a fraction of what the actual originals would cost, all having been hand made with rather rudimentary equipment by artisians who have spent there entire lives mastering their production skills, mostly in their homes. Many different guns are copied and for sale on the open market which would require a well trained eye to note the differences between any of them and an original.
Now I'm not saying that there aren't any real antiques for sale there, or that the replicas were in any way inferior. It just the fact that such an industry exists in what would be considered such a 3rd tier nation, and that the asking prices of such items were far under any price that we could imagine that they would be sold for here. Who would think that such an unindustrialized people would have such a skill that has been passed down from father to son for generations, all in the name of market demand which they have so cleverly created for themselves.
Imagine if these fantastic looking guns are sold and traded throughout the region, it would be akin to any of us going to a store and buying a factory made replica muzzle loader to hang over the fireplace. So while I'm sure many genuine antiques do exist somewhere "over there", there are also many fine handmade "genuine" replicas that anyone would be extremely proud to own and cherish. :D

October 9, 2006, 02:56 PM
Arcticap, I saw an article like you mentioned too, only this one was in National Geographic several years back. Like most of their pieces, it was long on pictures and short on details. The gunsmiths were replicating Lee Enfields with almost zero machinery, and the finished products were pretty amazing.


October 9, 2006, 04:00 PM
My friends who returned from Afghanistan reported the following:

They could only ship home authorized firearms purchased in the market. Firearms seized/captured were not permitted. IOW, no trophies. Apparently trophies aren't PC anymore. I'm told that the last even applies to bayonets!

They could find just about anything in the "market". There was a suspicion that sometimes these were the same guns that had been seized/captured.

Gaucho Gringo
October 9, 2006, 06:00 PM
I will bet in the 1700's and very early 1800's the gunsmiths in the US used methods of production that are not far from what these people are doing. Up until the Industrial Revolution all forms of arms were basically made by people traned through apprenticeship producing at most 50 guns a year. I read an article a while back about these brothers in Afganistan who had a thriving business repairing AK rifles, making all the replacement parts by hand. The oldest was about 18 from what I remember.

October 9, 2006, 10:23 PM
There was a good article in the 1980 issue of the GUN DIGEST about the small arms cottage industry in Afghanistan. The people made almost every conceivable type of firearm.

October 9, 2006, 10:56 PM
If you can find a takeback you need to find one of them gold plated aksu's or a briefcase mp5k.

October 10, 2006, 03:48 AM
See these 2 "Afghan Gun Shop" pictures #34 & #35: :D



October 11, 2006, 12:32 AM
Cool pics. The one the guy showed me looked like the rifle in the first pic link posted. It would be the 4th one up from the bottom, only this one was black with a goldish inlay thing around its entire stock. I am not really that interested in black powder, but I thought it was cool. Could very well be a repo, as I didn't inquire as to how the shop owner dated it.

Joe the Redneck
October 18, 2006, 06:57 PM
The traditional weapoons of the Afghanistian area were called jezails, there were many variants depending on the tribe and location. I have a samll collection.

Many had very skinny, upward curving buttstocks, long barrels and bipods. They seem very strange but vere designed to be fired from the prone position. After the weapon was fired, it was passed back to a man on horseback to be reloaded, hence the long barrels.


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