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The Fake Rifles of Pakistan

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Miles of TFB TV presents the fake rifles of Pakistan, in the first of a three-episode series on the topic. According to the caption, the small arms market of Darra Adam Khel have made an international name for themselves for the extraordinary ability of talented Pashtuns to handcraft a large number of small arms, and make almost identical replicas of a variety of Western designs for the past hundred years.

The guys take a look at some rifles that were produced in Darra, along with the original Martini-Henry or SMLE originals they were copied from. Also, they look at the local monstrosity that is the 8mm magazine-fed, M1917 Enfield action combined with a Kalashnikov receiver and an actual folding AKMS buttstock.

Miles presents two Martini-Henrys, and asks if viewers can tell which one is the fake. He does the same with two SMLEs. He then proceeds to discuss where the fake ones are made. The historical basis for the gun-making market in Darra Adam Khel is a worst-case scenario for a gun-control scheme backfired. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were many ongoing conflicts between the British and the Indians, in what is now Pakistan. Britain outlawed the sale and manufacture of firearms to anywhere in Pakistan in order to keep the tribes from rising up against the British empire.

As a response, the tribes began making their own, and the market developed. With the increasing involvement of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1980s, there became a great need for small arms in the region. Legitimate small arms began coming in, as well.

The most fascinating thing about these guns, Miles says, is that they are almost exact one-is-to-one replicas of the originals, and are handmade. A civilian would not actually be able to tell the difference between the fakes and the originals, especially at first sight. It would take a close examination and an expert to spot the differences.

The 8mm giant gun here is something Miles doesn’t even have an idea on – it must have satisfied some need somewhere, he says. Either way, this is a hodgepodge of various brands, parts and designs, all rolled into one.

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