Homemade $10 handguns!


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Zoogster
November 12, 2008, 12:30 AM
I thought this was a great article. It is told from the anti-gun UK British news pespective where the gun itself is always the problem, and if the guns didn't exist things would be great. Yet it is still a great example of people managing to supply a need with a cheap solution regardless of the law.

One of those things to keep in mind when the antis ramble on about thier Utopia free of guns (where women, elderly, and less capable are at the mercy of the stronger.)

http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00037/guns2_37249t.jpg

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/craft-guns-fuel-west-africa-crime-epidemic-862597.html

'Craft guns' fuel West Africa crime epidemic

'A gun costs the same as a bunch of fresh flowers' so local blacksmiths feed a clandestine trade behind scores of muders and hundreds of armed robberies in Ghana each year

Joseph Kwaku interrupted his work hawking bootleg DVDs at a teeming road junction just long enough to ensure no police officer was within earshot. He said: "Yes, it's easy to get a gun here if you want one. They're not expensive – 10 dollars. Not pretty but very deadly."


The type of gun in question bears little resemblance to factory-made weaponry such as the ubiquitous AK47 that has been used to prosecute ruinous conflicts across Africa. Nor indeed does it have much in common with the illegal handguns that account for more than 3,000 armed offences in Britain every month.

Instead, the firearms that Joseph was talking about look more like the sort of flintlock pistol once wielded by Dick Turpin.

Measuring a little more than 15cm from stock to barrel but weighing almost a kilogram, these lethal weapons costing as little as £5 each are rudimentary. Made from heavy cast-iron barrels, aluminium firing mechanisms and with rough wooden handles, they are the latest pride and joy of hundreds of blacksmiths and illicit co-operatives of craftsmen across Ghana, widely regarded as West Africa's most stable and prosperous democracy.

But when loaded with widely-available imported ammunition, these "craft guns" are no less deadly than the more sophisticated arms produced in Europe, China and America. As Joseph – one of hundreds of loquacious wheeler-dealers in Accra for whom no request is too great or illegal – put it: "You point and bang, your problem is gone. The bad guys are wild for these things."

According to weapons experts working for the United Nations in Ghana, these artisanal firearms are being made in such profusion that they constitute a major problem across West Africa and are fuelling an epidemic of gun crime.

An internal United Nations Development Programme report seen by The Independent estimates that there are 75,000 illegal craft guns now circulating in Ghana, making up the vast majority of the 125,000 unregistered weapons in the country. Around 80 per cent of the weapons seized by police and the Ghanaian security services are these locally-manufactured weapons.

Armed robbery offences tripled between 2000 and 2005 to 1,284 a year, according to the latest figures available Ghana Police Service figures. Experts say the true number is likely to be far higher.

It is also estimated that up to a third of the 400 murders in Ghana every year are committed with a craft gun. Last month a chieftaincy dispute in the Bawku region of northern Ghana exploded into violence, leading to the seizure of a large number of locally-manufactured weapons by security forces.

Daniel Andoh, governance campaigner for the UNDP, which is working with the Ghanaian government to try to staunch the flow of the craft guns, said:"Industrial weapons are getting harder and harder to get in Ghana because of restrictions on the international arms trade and the local guns are filling the gap. They may look heavy and crude but they are no less dangerous.

"Our research shows that 80 per cent of the crime committed using guns involves locally-made weapons. We see them used increasingly in the cities for everything from bag snatching to armed robberies.

"For the blacksmiths, it is a bread and butter issue. They can make a living from making the guns and they cannot make a living from producing other items. It takes as little as three hours to make one gun and because they are being made illegally they just disappear into the black market."

While a small pistol costs about 10 Ghanaian Cedis (about £5), there is higher profit margin for blacksmiths – who organise themselves into loose collectives providing different components of each gun – from making longer-barrelled weapons, which sell for up to 800 Cedis (£400).

The long tradition of metal working in Ghana and other parts of West Africa means there is a large pool of talent capable of producing the weapons. For centuries the region has been famed for its intricate metal work and the making of gold jewellery.

But now the equally longstanding tradition of gun making has found new vigour.

According to local legend in the Volta region in eastern Ghana, the first guns were produced in the 18th century when a craftsman who had studied in India returned with knowledge on how to make guns, thus predating the arrival of European colonists.

It is estimated there are now at least 400 blacksmiths in southern Ghana servicing the industry, each capable of making up to 80 guns a year.

The UN-funded study by independent Ghanaian experts said: "Local blacksmiths produce a substantial proportion of the illicit guns circulating in the country. Guns ‘made in Ghana' are now known for their competitive prices, reliability and accessibility. Indeed, guns produced elsewhere rarely challenge Ghanaian gunsmiths when it comes to their own market."

Disarmament experts say an entrenched gun culture in Ghana, which has a population of 23 million people, many of them living in rural farming communities, means there is little political will to contemplate an outright ban on small arms. The weapons were traditionally produced for hunting and for farmers to protect livestock but criminal gangs and tribal conflicts have revolutionised demand.

The picture is similar in other parts of West Africa. Craft guns were widely used in the civil wars which killed hundreds of thousands in Sierra Leone and Liberia and countries including Mali have been pinpointed as major manufacturing centres for the weapons.

Dr Kwesi Aning, director of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeper Training Centre in Accra, which is drawing up a strategy for reducing the number of small arms in Ghana and across West Africa, said: "There is a disconnect between the modern African state, which accepts the case against small arms, and the traditional state, which does not.

"There is no senior west African political figure who will go to a hunting festival and not be seen waving a local gun. They are a symbol of strength and power. But small arms are also our weapon of mass destruction. After HIV/Aids and malaria, they are the biggest cause of death and injury.

"A gun costs the same as a bunch of fresh flowers. Yet they have a devastating effect. When a population has a sense that guns are widely in circulation, a sense of insecurity spreads everywhere."

Attempts to crack down on the Ghanaian gunsmiths have succeeded only in driving the trade further underground. A subsequent attempt to legalise the trade by providing gun-making licences has been met with a complete dearth of applications.

Instead the Ghanaian authorities and aid agencies are attempting to stem the flow by providing alternative work for the gun manufacturers. Rather than spending £500,000 year on importing special pruners from Germany for the country's lucrative cocoa crop, the money has been diverted to local blacksmiths to make the tools.

But on the streets of Accra there was little evidence that the hefty craft guns are going to disappear any time soon. Before heading off to sell his stock of pirated Hollywood movies, including a complete set of the Lethal Weapon films, Joseph said: "The guns are here to stay. If you think the man around the corner has got one then you need one too. Only a fool would not want one."

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Kind of Blued
November 12, 2008, 01:12 AM
...oh, and the children wept so.

Hoppy590
November 12, 2008, 01:14 AM
il be honest, the one in the foreground seems well made.

Gord
November 12, 2008, 01:17 AM
Yup. I'd kinda like to try one of those things out. Looks neat. :)

Prince Yamato
November 12, 2008, 01:19 AM
When a population has a sense that guns are widely in circulation, a sense of insecurity spreads everywhere.

Really? Because we have guns all the hell over the place and I feel a lot safer here than I would in any of your "gun-free" African countries, Kofi.

DRZinn
November 12, 2008, 01:22 AM
Dave want.

Kind of Blued
November 12, 2008, 01:22 AM
Really? Because we have guns all the hell over the place and I feel a lot safer here than I would in any of your "gun-free" African countries, Kofi.

There are still starving kids somewhere in Africa... with no guns. :(

Rubber_Duck
November 12, 2008, 01:24 AM
Sign me up for 50 of these!

I wonder how they compare in craftsmanship to the crude guns made in the Khyber Pass/Pakistan area.

Fleetwood_Captain
November 12, 2008, 01:29 AM
Just like when they made recreational drugs like alcohol illegal. People will just make their own or pay a higher price to someone with manufacturing knowledge.

It's called supply and demand. If there is a large enough market for a product, it will be traded.

Highland Ranger
November 12, 2008, 01:39 AM
craft guns . . . . what a pleasant name. makes me think of apple pie and beeswax candles

How come they get that moniker and we get "assault rifles" . . . going to figure out a way to blame the nra for this . . . .

;-)

Zoogster
November 12, 2008, 01:42 AM
One of my favorite parts:
Attempts to crack down on the Ghanaian gunsmiths have succeeded only in driving the trade further underground. A subsequent attempt to legalise the trade by providing gun-making licences has been met with a complete dearth of applications.

Government: Lets crack down on these guns.
Result: Gun makers are even sneakier and harder to control.

Government: Okay that didn't work. "Hey peasants, we no longer wish to ban your guns, you can trust us. Just register with us and everything will be okay." (wink wink)
Result: Almost nobody steps forward for the 'mere' simple registration/licensing.

If you can't ban the guns outright, just convince the population all you want to do is register or license thier use and manufacture for thier own good. Then you can control what they do, strategicly limit thier numbers and ability to function as gun makers (random raids and various tactics to limit thier numbers), and eventualy crush them as they try to comply.
'Unfortunately' if the people realize that, they are less likely to comply.

moooose102
November 12, 2008, 07:55 AM
yep, sign me up for a couple!

Klusterbuck
November 12, 2008, 08:53 AM
But who's doing the background searches??? This is not right. Someone please step in and regulate this....

TexasRifleman
November 12, 2008, 09:07 AM
Disarmament experts say an entrenched gun culture in Ghana,

LOL what the hell is a disarmament expert? That's rich....... :rolleyes:

After HIV/Aids and malaria, they are the biggest cause of death and injury.

Well let's just skip right over fixing those and go after the nasty guns.


This is too funny, thanks for the morning humor. Now the sad part, it's American tax dollars funding all this UN jerking around.

TX1911fan
November 12, 2008, 09:38 AM
Further proof that if you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns.

Mobal
November 12, 2008, 10:07 AM
Fuzzy Math...

It takes as little as three hours to make one gun and because they are being made illegally they just disappear into the black market."

It is estimated there are now at least 400 blacksmiths in southern Ghana servicing the industry, each capable of making up to 80 guns a year.

rocinante
November 12, 2008, 10:23 AM
What are the minimum tools you would need to make a gun assuming you start from scratch? Well you have adequate metals to start with. A drill press for sure. lathe? saws?

MagnumDweeb
November 12, 2008, 10:30 AM
So cast iron barrels with aluminum firing mechanisms. That's a lot simpler than what I would have been thinking of. They have a large supply of ammo as I understand it but with cast iron barrels you might be able to get away with black powder ammo and homemade fulminated mercury (mercury fulminate) for a few rounds. At ten bucks a pop if they were legal here I'd stash five on my person for giggles when I wanted to make a point about CCW.

7.62X25mm
November 12, 2008, 01:26 PM
Have a look at the FP 45 Liberator --

http://www.defensetech.org/archives/images/lib.jpg/M1942_liberator.jpeg

45 ACP, single shot, smooth bore. Stamped sheet metal, produced in WWII and dropped to the Resistance forces from planes.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FP-45_Liberator

Zundfolge
November 12, 2008, 01:37 PM
/me points to the article linked in my sig (Imagine).

Zoogster
November 12, 2008, 03:01 PM
.....

mgregg85
November 12, 2008, 03:21 PM
Does that open double barreled pistol even have some sort of an extractor/ejector mechanism? Is that what the silver part is?

damien
November 12, 2008, 03:47 PM
What type of ammo do you suppose that uses? Maybe .410 shotshells? It might make a decent defense gun at about 1/40th of a price of that popular .410 derringer (forget the manufacturer).

offthepaper
November 12, 2008, 04:16 PM
LOL what the hell is a disarmament expert?

Oh, he's likely the guy standing in a crowd of terrified peasants telling them that the gov't will not tolerate FA ownership, while surrounded by his many armed guards. :barf:

Carlos Cabeza
November 12, 2008, 04:25 PM
Any goober with a "Smithy" and some scrap could build a working firearm.

Now,...........we need to ban evil scrap metal...........:rolleyes:

Where would it end ????????

Beagle-zebub
November 12, 2008, 06:37 PM
I wonder how they compare in craftsmanship to the crude guns made in the Khyber Pass/Pakistan area.

A lot of those Khyber Pass Copies are sufficiently un-crude to be indistinguishable from the originals when a person is not aware of how the markings differ.

MikePGS
November 12, 2008, 06:40 PM
Really? Because we have guns all the hell over the place and I feel a lot safer here than I would in any of your "gun-free" African countries, Kofi.
Perhaps if they were to channel some of the oil for food moneys towards this problem... oh, sorry thats probably a sensitive subject for Mr Annan.

rdrancher
November 12, 2008, 07:32 PM
My wife loves crafts. Bet she could make me one.


rd

HB
November 12, 2008, 07:35 PM
Look, Hand grenades :eek:

Big Daddy Grim
November 12, 2008, 07:41 PM
I wouldn't mind about twelve of them little devils Hello stocking stuffers:)

Speedo66
November 12, 2008, 07:52 PM
I don't suppose we could get one of them to post the plans......:D

(Administrators, as poor a one as it may seem, that was a joke!!)

mbt2001
November 12, 2008, 07:54 PM
You know, in other countries they have cheap cool stuff... Cars that cost $1,800 dollars (the peoples car), laptops that cost $200 (microsoft in India), scooters for $200, Guns for $30.00

In America, we have to pay ridiculous prices for plastic flowers... Ridiculous prices for ATV's... I mean in India I can get three CARS for that...

I would like a few stocking stuffers too.

Shear_stress
November 12, 2008, 08:04 PM
You know, in other countries they have cheap cool stuff... Cars that cost $1,800 dollars (the peoples car), laptops that cost $200 (microsoft in India), scooters for $200, Guns for $30.00

In America, we have to pay ridiculous prices for plastic flowers... Ridiculous prices for ATV's... I mean in India I can get three CARS for that..

Are you serious? Annual per capita income in India is less than a thousand bucks, while it's over $45,000 in the U.S. An $1800 car to the average Indian is like an $81,000 car to the average American.

matt87
November 12, 2008, 08:59 PM
Cast iron barrel? In a suitable weight, that sounds rather... 'delicate'. Wouldn't wan to touch-off any hot loads, certainly without a decent proof...

One can build a smoothbore SMG in a weekend with some cheap tools -- hand drill, files and a vice are probably the most appropriate modern ones. An angle grinder and an electric hand drill are faster though. (This was proved quite well by a British man by the name of Luty.) Add some good ol' blacksmiths' knowhow and you have a very capable gunsmith. Who needs a mill or a press? A MIG welder might be useful though -- speeds production.

Look at the production of Kentucky rifles 150+ years ago. That happened in backwoods smithies without modern metallurgical knowledge, without the unitary cartridge and without power tools.

wacki
November 12, 2008, 09:54 PM
One can build a smoothbore SMG in a weekend with some cheap tools -- hand drill, files and a vice are probably the most appropriate modern ones. An angle grinder and an electric hand drill are faster though. (This was proved quite well by a British man by the name of Luty.)

submachinegun? luty? Sources plz. I don't intend on making one but I'd love to have this info for academic debates.

matt87
November 12, 2008, 10:15 PM
His website: http://www.thehomegunsmith.com/ The gentleman seems... not exactly the most unbiased. Okay, so he seems plain unhinged at times. His results though are there. His first book is usually available through Amazon.

Loomis
November 12, 2008, 10:29 PM
I got news for ya matt...

Stainless ruger revolvers are made of...are you ready for this?...

CAST STAINLESS

Loomis
November 12, 2008, 10:41 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T9UDasLeiA&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhgpUDcyiwA&feature=related

matt87
November 12, 2008, 10:43 PM
'Cast iron' is an archaeic term which denotes that the chemical composition lends itself to casting at a manageable temperature of some 1200 degrees C.

Cast iron is an alloy of iron and between 2.2 and 4% carbon by weight. Steel is an alloy of between 0.1 and 2.2% carbon, iron and other elements as required. Stainless steel for instance has over 10% chromium. Steel can have its properties altered by adjusting the heat treatment and the chemical composition, so it can be malleable and tough or hard and brittle, or anywhere in between. Cast iron is just plain brittle -- it works in a black-powder cannon since the barrel can be thick and BP tends to give a lower pressure curve than smokeless.

Loomis
November 12, 2008, 10:53 PM
Yeah, so take your cast iron cannon, and build a scale model. Scale it down to, say, a 45 caliber smoothbore. Then make the bore a kinda loose to bring down chamber pressures. Make it short too.

TADA!

Cast iron handgun.

zxcvbob
November 12, 2008, 11:06 PM
I don't suppose we could get one of them to post the plans......
(Administrators, as poor a one as it may seem, that was a joke!!)

You realize that building your own gun is legal in the US? You don't even need any kind of license unless it's a MG or other NFA weapon. (Some designs would be best stayed away from, like anything that fires from an open bolt...)

Cast iron is just plain brittle -- it works in a black-powder cannon since the barrel can be thick and BP tends to give a lower pressure curve than smokeless.

Not all cast iron is brittle. Look up "ductile iron" or "nodular cast iron"

zxcvbob
November 12, 2008, 11:10 PM
Does the gun in the picture even have a trigger, or does the shooter just thumb the hammers?

matt87
November 12, 2008, 11:11 PM
I'm not saying it's not feasible with an appropriately designed gun, but either these guns have steel barrels or I wouldn't be the first in line at the range...

BHP FAN
November 12, 2008, 11:16 PM
the silenced pistol seems to be a Welrod.

PTK
November 12, 2008, 11:22 PM
And just think, in the USA modern tools (lathes, mills, grinders) that are electrically powered are all over the freaking place. Try to ban guns here and you'll see all manner of untraceable firearms like these, just better made and probably cheaper! :D

crazy-mp
November 12, 2008, 11:38 PM
When I send my 500 percent tax in should I figure man hours AND parts, or just the overall value?

Bench vise: 50 dollars

Hack saw: 10 dollars

Pipe: 12 dollars

Homemade gun: Priceless, till its sold $$:D

FLoppyTOE
November 13, 2008, 10:08 AM
I could seriously only stomach reading about paragraph and a half. That crap makes my blood boil.

mbt2001
November 13, 2008, 11:02 AM
Are you serious? Annual per capita income in India is less than a thousand bucks, while it's over $45,000 in the U.S. An $1800 car to the average Indian is like an $81,000 car to the average American.

uhhh

Do you think that has anything to do with anything? Because I have more money on average and everything is relative, I should have to pay more for a car?

That makes no sense... Thinking like that is what is killing American innovation and competitiveness.

Speedo66
November 13, 2008, 03:15 PM
"Do you realize it's legal to build your own gun in the US"?

Yes, but for most people, once you built it, it would be illegal to possess due to local laws.

PTK
November 13, 2008, 05:19 PM
Yes, but for most people, once you built it, it would be illegal to possess due to local laws.

Anywhere gun registration isn't required, a rifled pistol would be perfectly legal. You just have to obey all state and Federal laws - mostly, just follow the NFA and you're good.

Now and then just for fun I make a 20" barreled pull-release fire shotgun out of pipe and a 2"x4". :D

kurtmax
November 13, 2008, 05:28 PM
I don't suppose we could get one of them to post the plans......

(Administrators, as poor a one as it may seem, that was a joke!!)

It's not illegal to make your own guns in the US...

RPCVYemen
November 13, 2008, 05:42 PM
Actually, what the article doesn't tell you is what the per capita income in Ghana. If it's $1500, that $30 bucks a week. That would mean that a $10 gun is about a 1/3 of a week's pay.

I have guns that cost me less than a 1/3 of a week's pay. If you make $50,000 year, that's like spending $300 on a gun.

Given that (in general) in Africa income is very unevenly distributed - many countries have a few rich and a vast number of poor (with no significant middle class), $10 could well be a week's wages for an average Ghanaian.

The guns may be "cheap" by US standards, but not so cheap in Ghana.

Mike

Shear_stress
November 13, 2008, 06:12 PM
uhhh

Do you think that has anything to do with anything? Because I have more money on average and everything is relative, I should have to pay more for a car?

That makes no sense... Thinking like that is what is killing American innovation and competitiveness.


What exactly is your point? Are you surprised that things are cheaper in countries with dirt cheap labor and low standards of living?

American innovation and competitiveness is what gives us the means to afford the things we do and makes it more expensive to do business here than in developing countries. It's basic economics, not some conspiracy to make you spend more money. Do you think that same car would be $1800 if shipped and sold in the U.S. and brought up to our standards of performance, luxury, safety, and reliability?

To return to the thread, as has been pointed out, $10 guns are cheap by our standards, but still cost a bit in the market's they're sold in.

JImbothefiveth
November 13, 2008, 07:21 PM
There are still starving kids somewhere in Africa... with no guns
Actually, that's a good argument: if they had guns, poor rural farmers could still get food.(They did in America for over 100 years)

mbt2001
November 14, 2008, 05:59 PM
What exactly is your point? Are you surprised that things are cheaper in countries with dirt cheap labor and low standards of living?

American innovation and competitiveness is what gives us the means to afford the things we do and makes it more expensive to do business here than in developing countries. It's basic economics, not some conspiracy to make you spend more money. Do you think that same car would be $1800 if shipped and sold in the U.S. and brought up to our standards of performance, luxury, safety, and reliability?

Yes... I am surprised, that is the point. We are being inundated with "cheap" crap from China / India. We are manufacturing stuff over there. It is a conspiracy that laptops built on outsourcing contracts sell for $200 in India and blooming $1,200 here... That is what is happening! Shoes, same story, clothes, same story, frying pans, tea kettles, EVERYTHING... They are sold in local markets for less, shipped over here and sold at 300% profit rates. There are some costs associated with it, advertising, compliance, importation, but trust me it isn't fair.

Why do you think it is "profitable" to outsource?

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