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Are guns and gun parts still counterfeited in significant numbers in modern times.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by grter, Nov 4, 2020.

  1. grter

    grter Member

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    With the widespread availability of CNC equipment and foreign factories willing to produce anything of any quality anywhere from cheap materials and quality control to top notch, have there been any confirmed cases of our most popular firearms and parts being counterfeited like other popular products.
     
  2. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    I don't think that is really a legitimate concern for gun parts (ie barrels, stocks, etc.) However there is a huge market of counterfeit optics and low-end accessories. Generally speaking if it's cheap and imported, it likely is not good quality. Usually it's pretty obvious.
     
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  3. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Maybe not so much here in the US as far as firearms themselves but you can definitely find Chinese made counterfeit firearm parts and accessories on eBay for sure. You can go to Afghanistan and Pakistan and buy anything you want that is a guaranteed counterfeit.
     
  4. Ohen Cepel
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    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

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    There is the air soft market items which are meant to look close to real.

    Some low end AR parts which may bend being counterfeit or just low end. Its not profitable for someone to CNC something unless they can sell a lot of them. Setting up to make fake Lugers for instance would likely end up with you needing more back per pistol than an original would be.
     
  5. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Yes. The factories that manufacture counterfeit firearms I witnessed overseas are sometimes larger than the real factories.
     
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  6. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I think the counterfeit market is not necessarily at the manufacturer. There are plenty cases of an antique with provenance being a reproduction gun that has been aged and paperwork created to back up a story. Look specifically at the confederate states items market and you quickly find that the counterfeits are more common than the real thing and the fakes are so good that it’s hard
    to tell real from fake. Modern day examples of such include plenty of guns that have had stamps or cartouches added to make it more special than it really is. I had a Walther PP which I liked but my dive into what I actually had took me to fakes and stamps where you could change things to make it whatever you wanted. I can’t imagine a reputable seller selling fakes, and I can’t imagine a counterfeiter being in business big enough to do much. I do have concern about some guns that have come to market recently, but thankfully they are more expensive than the real deal and have some obvious differences. Uberti Schofield being the example that comes to mind in the handgun game, and the Chiappa Burnside in the rifle category. Norinco made some good Winchester clones that could be dolled up to pass as a war gun, and lots of 1911s could have US Property stamps added, but all of those with exception of the Norinco would cost more to fake than the real deal.
     
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  7. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Buyer beware as usually but someone can build a Ruger 10/22, a Remington 700, a variety of Glock models, and probably a few other popular firearms and never touch a part from the respective original companies, and in the end these "counterfeit" firearms can be of equal or better quality. Do your research and buy your parts from reputable vendors selling parts from reputable makers and you will be fine.
     
  8. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Don't overlook the airsoft market as an emergency source for parts for real guns.

    Let me give you an example. My favorite grip for AR builds has been something called a Stow Away II by a defunct outfit named Lone Star Ordnance. Gradually, even on ebay, the supply of these has dried up. But, at one point, Numrich (GPC) had hundreds of these, listed as "airsoft" parts. The only difference was that the "airsoft" version did not have the hole drilled for the selector detent spring. (A 5 minute job to drill the hole.) So I stocked up. This is yet another example of "arbitrage" -- buying low in one market and selling high in another.

    Of course, by now, the airsoft versions have disappeared as well. But you get the idea.
     
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  9. drk1

    drk1 Member

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    It sort of depends on what you mean by "counterfeited." The Chinese have been making copies of a variety of firearms (Browning, Winchester) for many years now. Most of the Chinese examples are clearly marked, but I've seen several of the Chinese copies of the German .22 cal Mauser trainer that folks have tried to "doctor" in an effort to pass it off as an original. Many of the patents have expired and some companies take that to mean that it's open season for copying that firearm. There was a company in the Philippines that copied the High Standards and the Luger, but, once again, they were clearly marked and were not being offered as originals. However, long before CNC machining was even imagined, there was another form of "counterfeiting" in that there were folks here in the USA who would take a run-of-the-mill example of a firearm and try to turn it into a much more valuable example. Back in the 1950s, for example, there were guys that would take a $25 1911a1 and try to turn it into a Singer or US&S that would sell for as much as $200! Some of them even specialized, for instance, in Colt black powder revolvers, even going to the extent of making sequential serial numbered sets, complete with fitted cases. At one point, one of the Colt "experts" estimated that there were at least twice as many fake Colt Paterson's out there as originals. Another example I remember was Charleville muskets. For a couple of years there were more than a dozen guys trying to turn out a fake that they could pass of as an original. Then there were all the folks out there working on creating "original copies" of the M-14 after it appeared. For some of them it was just a game to see if they could put one over on their fellow collectors. For others, it was a way to hit back at the collectors they considered "snobs." And still others were simply out to make money.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  10. caribou

    caribou Member

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    I have an old Nat Geo that shows a man testing a STEN gun in a Pakistani ally way, made with very simple tools and hand labor.
    Wherever people want guns, others will make them for sale.
    Pakistan, Philippines, Africa, etc all have a homespun copys of others design, in their gun manufacturing culture.

    Gun bans dont work :D
     
  11. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Uhhh...what do you think Rock Island Armory is?
     
  12. hemiram

    hemiram Member

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    I bought an Invicta watch last week online from a seller with like 20000 positives. It's a fake! Not even a sort of good one! I'm keeping it for laughs, but the comparison to a $70 legit Invicta is hilarious. Fake dials, buttons that do nothing, bad finish, about the only thing equal to a real one is the weight of the watch and band. Say what you want about Invicta, they look nice, and IMHO, do everything I want a watch to do, and they don't cost a fortune.

    It's amazing to think someone is copying a cheap watch, and doing it so badly.
    Real one: Look at the numbers around the dial, very crisp and clearly done.
    GxkhfY.jpg
    Fake. All three inner dials are just painted on. The number around the dial and the whole case is a sad copy of the real one. The back is a hunk of cast SS(?) and is crudely finished, unlike the real one that is nicely done. The non screw down stem wobbles like it's going to fall out, and even the band feels like junk, and it's not even attached very well on one side.
    D2K9g8.jpg
    Compared to this watch, my fake AR sights are works of art.
     
  13. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    I use "counterfeit" Taiwanese UTG front sights on all of my railed ARs, and they're very nice. I figure Taiwan is the enemy of my enemy, and they're great sights for the money.

    I've also been shown a counterfeit Magpul AR grip that was so good it was hard to spot next to a genuine grip.
     
  14. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Counterfeit in the sense of "replica intended to deceive a potential purchaser to believe the item is a genuine item as presented" is mostly confined in the Middle East. Afghanistan and Pakistan are noted for such items. They tend to come from the 'poorer' areas of those nations. Southeast Asia has - mostly in the past - been such an area. Mainstream in the United States, and most of the 'west' this is not a widespread problem.

    Counterfeit in the broader sense of 'knock-off' that claim to be 'same as' but marked with a different manufacturing name is far greater. They range in quality from better (rarely) to execrable. Parts, as opposed to complete arms, are similarly 'available'. Commonly items like this are not advertised as 'genuine [this or that]" but something like "Amazo" brand - which absolves the maker from copyright suits. As with arms, some are quite good and some are junk.

    Be careful.
     
  15. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Not sure about counter fit but they are often copied, look at how many folks make 1911’s these days...
     
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  16. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    The main problem with counterfeited parts in any device is the probability of them being so far out of tolerance so as to make the device fail and cause harm to the device user or his property. I don't think the tolerances on firearms are nearly so critical as they are on, for example, aircraft parts. If the part is so far out of tolerance basically the firearm won't work at all. Failure causing harm by firing the firearm will probably be obvious before it can be fired in most cases. So, if the firearm works fine, the fact there may be a counterfeit part in it, isn't that big of a deal as with something like an aircraft part, I don't think.

    Any part replaced by the user that isn't a part made or certified by the original manufacturer might be considered "counterfeit", so the concept of counterfeit parts in a firearm is kind of a "what-if" exercise anyway.
     
  17. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    Chances are pretty good if you have a set of MBUS and you bought them from Amazon or eBay they weren’t made by Magpul.
     
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  18. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Actually Armscor was was setup by Colt after the end of WWII using original Colt equipment as part of the rebuilding process to get the Philippines back on their feet. Yes it is a clone but I don't know if I would call it a counterfeit.
     
  19. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    I don't call a clone a counterfeit, either. A clone is made to the same specs as the original, no? "Clone" means a perfect copy indistiguishable from the original. (More or less in actual practice).
     
  20. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    A BCM M4 is a clone of a military M4, not a counterfeit.
    A Norico M1911 is a clone of a Colt Government Model, not a counterfeit.

    The use of the term "counterfeit" in the sense of "a close, or almost exact copy, but clearly marked as to the origin" is improper.

    And just a note- The whole point of patents is that when the patent expires the invention is free to be used by anyone. So, when a patent expires, it is "open season for copying that firearm". If you don't what the shape or appearance to be copied, trademark it, or apply for a design patent, e.g., the Coca-Cola bottle.
     
  21. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    When you start looking for it there is a rather large industry aimed at potentially enabling the dishonest to replicate rare or desirable marks and stamps on collectible guns.
     
  22. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    An arms company based in the Philippines that takes advantage of competitive labor rates to turn out steel-based firearms, many of which resemble those of old and renown. They do not put spurious or inaccurate markings on their firearms.
    Not counterfeits.
    When Taurs bought all of S&W's manual machines after S&W went NC & CNC, they turned out the revolvers that those machines were set up to produce. They changes the roll stamping, but, they were identical, other than being made in Brazil.
    Not counterfeits.
     
  23. grter

    grter Member

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    I often wonder about non complex parts that are relatively easy to copy and manufacture. There are factories that will make whatever a client wants. Depending on how much money the client wants to spend will determine the quality and control measures put into it. In fact I have heard of knife manufactures using these type of companies after exhausting all efforts to convince US companies to tool up for their new design. These factories are very well equipped and able to tool up for a wide variety things apparently more so than in the US and likely by a wide margin. Due to labor costs and shady US policy makers allowing it the price is almost always less than local manufacturing.

    I wonder if the IRS has any way to force these foreign companies to show them their books but that is another subject.

    I can envision a shady client having simple parts cloned in these factories for lower prices than the true manufacturer. Yes these parts can be just as good or better but I can also envision a problem arising when this client also happens to be a super cheapskate who demands that the items be made with the least expensive materials labor, and quality control. At the end of the road this can become a headache for the individual that pays full price for sub par parts that fail.

    Of course this is all in my head but I find it a likely possibility. Maybe someone who knows can set me straight.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  24. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    "Counterfeit" might also meet the same criteria.
     
  25. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    Well, then again, it might just as likely mean an "imperfect copy". With a known clone you know what you're getting, with a counterfeit you don't, that's implicit in the definition.
     
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