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Phillipine Gun Making, Handcrafted One At a Time

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Speedo66, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Interesting article about small gun makers who fashion high quality handguns on primitive equipment, one at a time. Supposedly make high quality replicas of guns such as 1911's, complete with engraved logos, etc in a family operation in rural areas.

    Police seem to be semi active in attempting to close them down, but police chief complements the quality of the guns, which sell for about $130.

    When the reporter asks a maker if he knows the guns are being used illegally, he says he makes guns, he doesn't tell people to kill with them.

    Here's the article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/07/...ick&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=World
     
  2. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Typical anti-gun article I have come to expect from the NYT.

    The entire article is about how the guns are only used by criminals and terrorists. No mention is made if the guns are being brought by average citizen for self-defense although given the history of government corruption and gun laws I doubt if very many will admit to owning one.
     
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  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Even raceguns. The shooting sports are popular in the Phillippines and a local knockoff is a money saver.
     
  4. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    I wonder how the guns hold up over time? It's one thing to make a functioning gun, it's another to use the right steels and fit and finish the parts for long term reliability.
     
  5. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    The article is bogus, from the top to the bottom. The pistols shown were not "handmade" in a leaf covered shack as alluded to in the article, unless that leaf covered shack has a pretty good sized mill, lathe and rifling machine tucked out of the cameras eye... I therefore hold the entire article highly suspect.
     
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  6. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    When I worked my I T guy was a philipeno.

    He would scream hit job journalism. D
    He has been to Daneo.

    He said these small shops made good quality guns, in well equipt shops, staffed by craftsmen.
     
  7. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    I've handled a number of the real "Filipino Brake Shop Guns", thanks to a neighbor who was in Federal service of some sort. Most of these weapons looked impressive unless you looked down the barrel or opened them up and looked at the internals. Metallurgy was pretty hit-or-miss and most parts were simplified and filed to fit.
    Some were pieced together from old plumbing, car parts, screws and nails and recycled lumber.
    I wouldn't want to shoot the best of them.
     
  8. CWL

    CWL Member

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    I'm not going to bother reading a NYT article, but underground gun shops do exist in the PI as well as places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. They may seem archaic but this is how firearms were made up to probably WWI when true mass production of arms began. Depending on which shop they come from, the firearms can be of very good quality.

    youtube vid of some shops, large and small:
     
  9. Bill Raby

    Bill Raby Member

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    Some of the finest gun ever made were made without the use of electricity.
     
  10. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Look up “Khyber Pass Copy” to see what people can do with primitive tools.
     
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  11. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Look at John Browning’s prototypes and one is amazed what a brilliant mind and a steady hand can create with very little. An awful lot of Filipino people are very handy and many that I have known could create some magical stuff out of what they had on hand as well. I’m sure they could have crafted guns, but I never asked.

    The NYT? My puppy would rather poop on my floor than dirty her paws treading on that biased garbage... :thumbdown:

    Stay safe!
     
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  12. Aikibiker

    Aikibiker Member

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    My brother in law, a Philippino cop, bought a Danao made 1911 copy when the muslim guerillas started blowings up in his town a couple years ago. They called all the off duty cops in to work and when they went to draw their guns at the armory (apparently they do not have take home guns and are issued their weapon every shift) they found that there were only enough guns for a regular shift. All the extras that were meant to be issued in times like that were missing (stolen and sold off). My brother in law didn't like the idea of facing abu sayaf with a stick so he bought the home made 1911 from another cop just to have something to fight back with.

    From what I understand the Danao home built guns get about 10k rounds before they fall apart. That is a fraction of what a good quality mass produced firearm will last, but better then nothing if your income is only a couple thousand USD per year and a Glock costs $1,000 USD. (Philippines has a VAT that makes firearms crazy expensive)
     
  13. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    I can't answer your question, but "the right steels" are not exotic in 2019. Neither are they difficult to obtain or even terribly expensive. We are basically talking about one CrMo steel, 4140. Hardly hard to come by. There is no reason that a competent gun maker wouldn't be using that whether 1st, 2nd, or 3rd world. The real question is are the appropriate parts being properly heat treated to get the ultimate performance out of the 4140? Once again, I don't see why not. Anyone who has the mills and other equipment needed to fashion a gun should have no trouble getting the furnace or other heat treating apparatus. As for fit, that has already been described as excellent. And finish is certainly not rocket science in this day and age. Even assembly line Philippine guns are quite good. Everyone knows that about Armscor/RIA guns, but I really like my even cheaper ATI Philippine import. Very sweet.
     
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  14. Aikibiker

    Aikibiker Member

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    Most of the steel comes from the Philippines' ship breaking industry. Where old ships are reduced to scrap metal. As I understand it heat treating is a done by the craftsman based on color the metal is heated to. The cooling fluid is different from craftsman to craftsman and can be a secret. So yes there is quite a bit of difference.

    I don't know where you get the impression some backyard gun maker in a bamboo hut is going to have a mill or any other sort of power tools. Most of their work is done by hand using things like files,hand saws, etc. The big operations will have power tools, and also have government licensing.

    Here are a couple ways to make a rifled barrel that home gunsmith could use:


    Using a homemade rifling tool


    Mark Serbu actually making a barrel by hand, but using a rifling button
     
  15. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    I've got a Charles Daly and an RIA. Both run fine after a little massage, although the metallurgy on the slides and a few internal parts could be better. Neither is likely to see 10k rounds from me, but they look adequate for normal use.
    Definitely not top-of-the-line.
     
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  16. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    I am assuming these are small but competent workshops, not jury rigged operations. You may know better.
     
  17. rust collector
    • Contributing Member

    rust collector Contributing Member

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  18. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    In machining school they used to start a student with files and a metal block, then tell them to come back when the block looked like [random finished product]. Dunno if they do that anymore but they did.

    Even early AK builders used creative and unorthodox techniques to finish their firearms. One way to heat treat small parts was to cover them in ATF and light it on fire. As it burned down it would provide a reasonably consistent, effective heat treatment.

    If joe schmoe in his garage can figure this out then so can they. It ain’t that hard if you’ve been taught and have time and the most basic of tools. And the firearm will be reasonable and relatively safe too.
     
  19. CWL

    CWL Member

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    Sorry but you're confusing the Philippines with Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

    Their likely source of steels are from old trucks and obsolete factory machinery, possibly steel blanks sourced from China.
     
  20. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I had a Charles Daly 1911 as well and it, too was a bit rough on the inside. (Armscor made them I think ?!?)

    Despite being rough it was boringly reliable and fairly accurate with 230 gr hardball.

    Stay safe!
     
  21. Aikibiker

    Aikibiker Member

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    They run the gammut, but most are literally some guy in a bamboo hut with handtools. Youtube has several news reports and documentaries. They are great for showing antis why gun control will never eliminate guns. Search for "Danao gunsmiths"
     
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  22. Aikibiker

    Aikibiker Member

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    Ship breaking is done all over the region. The Philippines is no exception, though they are not as big into it as other places.
     
  23. CWL

    CWL Member

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    Not correct. We're talking about Cebu, the next most industrially developed province after Metro Manilla. They build ships there, not break them apart. Cebu is know for their beach resorts.

    You're thinking about the ship breakers of Bangladesh & Pakistan (and sometimes India) where rusted hulks are pushed right up to the beach and thousands of poverty-stricken workers break them apart with hacksaws and sledge hammers.
     
  24. silvermane_1

    silvermane_1 Member

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    Exactly, except Philippenos are high-end/high quality "Khyber Pass" craftsmen.
     
  25. Aikibiker

    Aikibiker Member

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    The people making the guns say that is where they get the steel. You really think third world ship yards don't scrap ships as well as build them?
     
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