Service Weapons Seen Overseas


March 17, 2011, 12:50 PM
Like most here, I'm from the United States. However, I do get to travel occasionally to different parts of the world. When I see a uniformed officer, soldier, or security guard I find it interesting to see what they're carrying. I'm curious what other people have seen too.
Please tell us:
1) the country you visited
2) what guns you saw
3) and who was carrying them

I'll start...

Costa Rica
Makarov - bank security
Star model ? - bank security
Glock 17 - national police
S&W model 10 - toll booth security
Mossberg 590 - national police at government building
except for those of the national police all the guns I saw were well used with worn bluing.

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March 17, 2011, 01:17 PM
[Southern, 3rd world part of] Philippines:

Government troops had M60s, M16A1s & A2s, M14s, 1911s, really pretty much everything they had to include their trucks and gear seemed to be U.S. surplus.

Didn't personally see any insurgents firsthand but if you look up pictures of the ASG and MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) on Google you'll mostly see them carrying the same weapons.

March 17, 2011, 01:30 PM
Russia. Private security carrying 1911's. I was amazed at how many I saw and how highly regarded they were by gun store guys. I even went shopping through some nice leather 1911 holsters at a gun shop and bought a beautiful leather shoulder rig for about $20.

The only two I was able to examine up close were both Colts. But, I saw some "tactical" looking 1911's that could have been Kimbers or STI or something like that.

March 17, 2011, 01:37 PM
British Isles a few years ago, didn't seen any guns there, except at Buckingham Palace, where the Royal Guard had some very serious 5.56mm L85 Bullpup carbines.

In Italy a couple of years ago, I saw a bunch of what looked like Browning High Powers in holsters, plus MP-5's on slings.

The Swiss Guard at the Vatican had a spike and sword, but no doubt something a bit more serious out of sight.

On a cruise to Mexico, I saw a lot of Mexican Navy guys with M-16's at dock side. The local policia had a variety of handguns, and again the M-16 seemed to be just about everywhere.

March 17, 2011, 01:57 PM
Mexican Army = G3

March 17, 2011, 01:58 PM
Navy running convoy security in Iraq, mounting M60s

March 17, 2011, 02:00 PM
The Carabinieri patrolling Rome's International Airport were carrying Beretta 9mm M12 submachine guns

March 17, 2011, 02:17 PM
Germany used a slightly upscaled and stocked UZI as both a police and low end Armee weapon. they swapped those over now though ... I think.

March 17, 2011, 02:18 PM

Army generally: G3's (locally made under license)
Special Forces: M16's
Guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: M1 Garands
Police: Glocks and MP5's

March 17, 2011, 02:44 PM
The Carabinieri patrolling Rome's International Airport were carrying Beretta 9mm M12 submachine guns

Yup... I remember seeing them at Fiumicino Airport as well. Rome, Italy

Publically, the Swiss Guard at the Vatican were carrying halberd & rapiers. After much asking around I found out they are armed with the Stg.90 rifle.

Guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: M1 Garands

I thought the Tomb guards were armed with M14 rifles.

March 17, 2011, 03:17 PM

Uzi - mall guards (but still national police)
M16- Check point police (national)

I didn't see what kind of sidearms they had.

Rancho Relaxo
March 17, 2011, 03:26 PM
Switzerland: Airport police with what looked like Mp5s
Greeze: M1 Garands with the war dead memorial tomb
Czech Republic: Chromed SKS at Prague Castle
Japan: Police officers with what looked like 38 special revolvers
Costa Rica: Uzi with police at a road block
Namibia: army soldiers waiting for a hitch hike with AKs
Peru: APC with mounted machine guns at Lima's main plaza.

Otherwise I have no firearms memory from the 25 other countries I've been to on six continents...

March 17, 2011, 03:45 PM
When I was in Honduras I saw a Wendy's employee with a 12 ga (cant remember the model) standing outside the front door. I will post a pic if I can find it.

March 17, 2011, 03:56 PM
Iraq many times.
Uguandan guards - AK74s
Iraqi Army partners - AK47s

Royal Guard with 5.56 Bullpups
Airport security carried SMGs (before I was a gun guy, I couldn't identify them). I believe they were probably HKs.

Local police carried an assortment of small caliber pistols, which were non-uniform. Probably personally owned. Makarovs, CZs, revolvers, HiPowers, etc.

March 17, 2011, 04:01 PM
In the countryside of central Italy I saw the police on foot with Beretta 92's and the Carabinieri conducting a traffic stop with their Beretta M12's drawn and aimed at the car. Needless to say I got out of there real quick.

March 17, 2011, 04:05 PM
Turkish Jandarma, MP-5

March 17, 2011, 05:15 PM
In Afghanistan:
Brits with L85 (post HK upgrade), Browning Hi Powers, and Sig P226s, plus various other firearms, like their .338 Lapua mag sniper rifle (a beast of a gun)
Aussies with AUGs and other infantry weapons
Canadians with M16s and Elcan optics, and lots and lots of LAVs
Germans with assorted infantry weapons
Afghan National Police with AKs...but no ammo
Afghan National Army with AKs, M16A2s, assorted sidearms, heavy weapons, and far too much ammo/little sense

In Japan:
JPD with .38 revolvers
JMSDF combat divers with MP5s and other assorted weapons

In Iceland:
Airport security with MP5s

In Kyrgyzstan:
Various security with AKs

March 17, 2011, 05:21 PM
Daewoo K1A1 5.56 x 45mm as used by Senegalese Army, 2009:

M1 .30 US Carbine as used by Private Security Guard, Jerusalem, 2009:

March 17, 2011, 05:35 PM
In the Czech Republic, I saw a BMP APC parked in an intersection in Prague, and soldiers standing around it with AKS underfolders. I also went to a surplus store in Milevsko where they had either a Makarov or a CZ-82 or something like that... he also had an SKS bayonet. We didn't have any languages in common, but the store owner knew the word "Simonov."

March 17, 2011, 05:39 PM
well im from finland so i guess i could contribute what the guys over here pack.

Police use G17 and G19. there are still som oldfolks using wheels guns but its bin a good 5-6 years since i last saw one. remember as a kid my dad got pulled over and they started chatting all of a sudden i got a unloaded .38 Bodyguard in my hands. i was maybe 5-6 but i remember it as yesterday when he unloaded the HP from the gun and let my fiddle with it.

police also uses modified Rem 870's and MP5's as backup guns which ride in the car.

Finnish Special police/SWAT Karhu Ryhmä(Bear group)
uses HK usp's,mp5's,Sig SG 552 and SAKO TRG 42

Nucleat facility Security guards pack G17.

those are pretty much the only branch of people (except for the Finnish Defence Forces) that are allowed to carry.

What the FDF use can be read here.

March 17, 2011, 06:03 PM
In the 70's and 80's I traveled all over the Middle East, North Africa, Central Europe and South America. I'm Ashamed to say that I don't remember specifically, but saw the whole array of AK's, M16's, 1911's, S&W'S, Uzi's, P38's, Broomhandles, lugers and can't remember what else, mainly at airports.

March 17, 2011, 06:53 PM
When I had a transfer flight in Frankfurt a few months ago I saw a couple security (police?) officers with fixed stock MP5s.

March 17, 2011, 07:16 PM
London - Police at the airport had MP-5's.

All the other Bobbies had whistles. "Stop, or I shall stay Stop again!"

March 17, 2011, 08:31 PM
UK, Heathrow MP5s.
France Charles de Gaulle Manurhin revolvers.
Kazakhstan mafia S&W J frame.

Kayser Sose
March 17, 2011, 09:00 PM
Frankfurt airport - cute 'female' security staff with well-used MP-5's, straight mags (a while ago)
Uganda - beer truck guards(!) SMLE #1MkIII, our group's security personnel - AK47
South Africa - R1's, FN FAL's

country boy marksman
March 17, 2011, 09:11 PM
In Nicaragua (Chinandega "province/state thingy") about six years ago:

Nicaraguan military and police: LOTS of regular and under-folding stock AK's (somewhere I have a picture of me holding one with a group of Corinto city police officers), 12 guage shotguns (if I remember correctly, Mossberg 500's), and a smattering of Beretta M9's, Glocks, and 1911's.

There were some other LEO's that had different uniforms (I don't know wether it was just a different agency of if they were "private security types") that had had Smith and Wesson revolvers.

I went into a gun shop there, and though smaller, it looked very similar to here, without the "assault" rifles (though I'm sure they could be had if you looked hard enough), and less handguns.

March 17, 2011, 09:19 PM
In Greece I saw a ton of police (During last summers protests/riots) with MP-5s, USPs and occasionally G3s. The Evzones or honor guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier had M1 Garands.

March 17, 2011, 09:21 PM
honduran police - Fals and uzis

March 18, 2011, 12:18 AM
Rohrschach Police (Canton St. Gallen, Switzerland): SIG P210 (this was a number of years ago) in holster very similar to those used by the Germans in WWII. The holster wasn't attached to a belt: it was carried crossdraw on a strap that that went over the strongside shoulder.

Geneva Police: Browning High-Power.

Frankfort Police: Walther
Zoll (Customs) H&K

March 18, 2011, 03:35 AM
In Beijing, the regular police only carry a radio and sometimes a baton. Then you have the SWAT-type armored police who are sometimes deployed to guard random street corners by establishing a presence. They have tactical 870-looking shotguns (I assume a Norinco clone) and some kind of bullpup, I think the QBZ-95. I couldn't make out the sidearm because I didn't want to stare at those guys for too long. On a related note, Beijing has a LOT of little stores which sell nothing but gun accessories. Red dot sights, scopes, holsters, etc. I was surprised to find this in a country where NOBODY can own a gun. One of these shopkeepers told me that a lot of people just like to collect modern military-style stuff.

In Yunnan province in South China the police don't carry guns either, but I saw one cop walking a foot beat with an honest-to-god six-foot bo staff. It kind of makes sense that in a gunless society, a long staff trumps all other hand weapons.

In Johannesburg I think I saw a cop carrying - and this was only for a moment so I can't be sure - one of those old 'Thumper' grenade launchers from the Vietnam War. South Africa is a rough place.

March 18, 2011, 09:56 AM
Sorry, I know that's off topic, but this is hilarious

MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front)

March 18, 2011, 10:11 AM
On a related note, Beijing has a LOT of little stores which sell nothing but gun accessories. Red dot sights, scopes, holsters, etc. I was surprised to find this in a country where NOBODY can own a gun. One of these shopkeepers told me that a lot of people just like to collect modern military-style stuff.

That is not at all what I would have expected.

March 18, 2011, 11:14 AM
The last time I was in Bhangkok in 2001, the brown mice(municipal police) bought their own pistols. I saw everything from PPKs to s 6 inch Model 28 and everything in between.

A couple of years ago, I was in Torreon, North of Mexico city. Judgiing by the markings on the vehicles and uniforms, there were at least five police agencies patrolling this small town. The most common seen handgun was a Smith Model 64.

In Hesse in 2005, The state police(the only kind they gave in Germany) were carrying Sig p-6s in American style leather. Around town centers, the airport and the train stations, you would see a few carrying fixed stock MP-5s. The one's carrying the subguns were wearing armored vests over their uniforms. Private security at my daughter's apartment complex were carrying M-10 heavy barrel 38s.

About the same time frame cops patrolling the town center in Vienna were carrying Glock 17s. Interesting to note that each of them was wearing American style leather with a basic leatherman pouch positioned right in the middle of the back of the belt where they tell you not to wear anything to prevent spinal injury.

March 18, 2011, 12:19 PM
That is not at all what I would have expected.

Me too. One storekeeper got really excited when he found out I was from the US. He asked if I had ever been to SHOT Show.

I forgot to mention, my father served as a munitions officer in the Taiwanese army when he was younger, and he said they carried a mix of American-donated M14s and M16s. The M14 was heavy to carry but he preferred it to the M16, because the latter would explode if you got water into the barrel (easy to do in humid Taiwan).

Shanghai McCoy
March 18, 2011, 01:56 PM
While in the Merchant Marine I was in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in the 80's. This was right at the start of the war there and there had been some bombings of buildings and an airliner.
Took a walk around and went past the presidential palace grounds where I remember seeing some nervous looking gate guards in fancy red uniforms carrying old bolt action rifles.
I thought that it was odd considering what was going on but then some movement inside the grounds caught my eye and I saw the what looked like an M-60 manned by serious looking soldiers in camo.
I guess the guys at the gate were the decoys...;)

March 18, 2011, 05:01 PM
French customs agents at Caen-Ouistreham, still with S&W Mod.10s

March 18, 2011, 06:31 PM
My wife and I where in Ireland last summer and saw the The Irish Defence Forces (Army) providing security for a bank transfer. All the soldiers where armed with Steyr AUG A1. Side arm for NCO's appeared to be HK USP.

Larry E
March 18, 2011, 07:03 PM
A couple of security guys at Gatwick airport were armed with L85 bullpups, body armor, and enough spare mags for combat. Can't remember if they were carrying sidearms as well, but from the looks I got as I watched them walk by I gathered they didn't appreciate my looking.

In Rome the carabinieri and city cops were carrying pistols in fully enclosed holsters that I never got close enough so see what they were.

March 18, 2011, 11:45 PM
Nigeria Mobile Police (Mopol) just about anything and everything you can imagine from sawed off single shot shotguns to AK47s to FALs and everything in between.

March 19, 2011, 12:03 AM
San Jose, Costa Rica - Two policemen buying groceries. Both had kevlar vests and holstered pistols (I want to say they were GLOCKS, but I don't really remember) One was carrying two bags of groceries, the other had an UZI.

Mexico/US Border - Mexican Marine (His Kevlar vest was in spanish, so...) M16 with an undermounted M203. I was very excited, and thought about asking to take a picture with him.

Tijuana, Mexico - Saw lots of SAWs, AKs, M4s, M16, and a couple M14s in the hands of the Police(?)

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

Ignition Override
March 19, 2011, 02:02 AM

I've read a number of stories about how dangerous it is in some South African cities. Many citizens are well-armed.

Off topic, but a guy there walked into a gun shop and the staff was destroying old Enfield and Bren rifles. He could not believe that such senseless destruction of bolt-action rifles was deemed necessary. The report was second-hand, on "Gunboards".

Maybe the money came from those UN or British/European funds to help keep any surplus guns away from warlords and potential child warriors (i.e. Monrovia etc).

kayak-man: Some of the countries' police seem to have such a mix of rifle calibers in the same towns, that this could be a serious handicap during a major firefight or other emergency?

March 19, 2011, 11:10 AM
I pulled duty while on a port call in Lamut, Malaysia and the Malaysian Army had Styer AUG's. The sad/funny part is after about 6 hours on duty with that guy he asked if I could get him some porn and he would trade me his AUG. I didnt have anything to trade as i didnt "collect" adult rading material. LOL About the only time I wish I had a sash of the stuff. LOL

March 19, 2011, 11:34 AM
I am under the impression that Glock supplies the WORLD with pistols. Strange that only 3 people have seen them so far. I was really expecting more Glock sightings.
On a trip around Mexico there were lots and lots of M-16's carried by Police at the Ports. Don't know what the sidearms where.

March 21, 2011, 03:38 AM
My first sight of Korea was a policeman standing infront of the gate; black beret, body armour and aviators, carrying a super short Daewoo K1 and a Daewoo 51 pistol. He had mags hanging from every place you could fit one. I got a picture with a couple of them but can't for the life of me find it. They never smile, never.

March 21, 2011, 06:05 AM
Italian cops generally carry Berettas (surprise!): 92s for the Carabinieri, state police and some city forces, 8000, 84 or 85 for other city cops. Some special forces use Glocks. Haven't seen anything about them using the PX4 Storm though it has been adopted by Portugal's security police.

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