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  • gunsmith/manufacture without modern tools

    from a metalworking standpoint this is kinda wild. I was somewhat amazed at what these guys are making. (the bullet making/reloading is a bit more scary with a hammer tho) Politics aside, a cool video (bout 7 min). I wish they showed a bit more of how they can do this. I can't imagine they rifle the barrels etc..maybe they assemble the 'parts' and not make them from scratch?

    http://www.vbs.tv/full_screen.php?s=...5DC&sc=1363196
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment" R.M.Brown

    My shop tour www.plastikosmd.com

  • #2
    Wow, that's a fascinating video. Kids making 7.62mm cartridges by the case, and in the Khyber Pass, no less!
    When they went to the big gun store, it wasn't clear to me which of the weapons were copies, and which were the real thing. He identified one of the weapons as an "American Muzzelite", but Muzzelite's are composite bullpup stocks that you retrofit existing weapons, so I'm guessing that's something that came from the West.

    But the filmmaker sure did make his point though...
    Last edited by lazlo; 01-24-2009, 02:36 PM.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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    • #3
      yea what i couldnt get...are they really making that stuff? or is it 50% make, 50% assembly of parts...wild
      "Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment" R.M.Brown

      My shop tour www.plastikosmd.com

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      • #4
        Some of the early "Travel" films on the area have shown the barrell "Lathes" and the barrells being bored.The lathe bed, basically a flat piece of material with supports on the ends for the barrell to sit in, the whole lot mounted rigidly, (sat on the floor) motive power rotating the barrell backwards and forwards supplied by the operators FOOT. The firearms shown at the time made by these methods were the beautifully inlaid mountain tribal guns.

        They've obviously become comercialised/mechanised and I wouldn't be surprised if the guns shown are all manufactured on site.

        Regards Ian.
        You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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        • #5
          HSMs without electricity

          There was a BBC documentary some years ago that showed how Kalashnikovs were being made from scratch in a gun-making street in Pakistan, including casting, boring, rifling etc all done with hand tools, no electrical power at all. They made the point that the design of this gun makes this both practical and possible.

          One of the major errors of the Intelligence community (apart from those missing MWDs) was to assume that for a militia to be armed needed either massive industrial development, or smuggling the arms in from another country, and of course Iran constantly got the blame for this. The experts could not conceive that such a primitive HSM outfit could turn out the quantity and quality of arms that were being made there.

          This misinformation also came to a head when the 'previous Administration' blamed Iran for all the IEDs that were being used in Iraq, as under the same premise, they beleived that these had to be imported/smuggled from Iran.
          They were even about to have a press conference to prove their case, when it was abruptly cancelled at the last minute, and was never held later.

          Apparently, all it needs to turn a quantity of explosive into a 'plasma -type' weapon (and I'm sure many of you know more about this than I do) is to use technology developed in WWII, which is to place a copper sheet between the actual explosive and the target. When the explosion occurs, the copper becomes a plasma, and can burn its way through much heavy armour-plate etc.
          The 'experts' had concluded that the HSMs in Iraq, also without electricity, somehow were unable to cut out a ten inch circle of thin copper sheet.
          We can all laugh at such an opinion, as I'm sure we can think of many ways to do this, even with metal shears!, and when somebody more practical pointed this out, the press conference was dropped like a hot brick.

          Amazing that these 'primitive' machinists could do such a bang-up job (pun intended) , but as machinists, we shouldn't be too surprised :-)

          Richard in Los Angeles

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RPM
            Apparently, all it needs to turn a quantity of explosive into a 'plasma -type' weapon is to place a copper sheet between the actual explosive and the target. When the explosion occurs, the copper becomes a plasma, and can burn its way through much heavy armour-plate etc.

            The 'experts' had concluded that the HSMs in Iraq, also without electricity, somehow were unable to cut out a ten inch circle of thin copper sheet.
            We can all laugh at such an opinion, as I'm sure we can think of many ways to do this, even with metal shears!,
            It's more complicated than that Richard. The copper does vaporize from the high explosive, but the trick is getting the exploding copper focused into a beam of plasma and pointed in the right direction. Picture the big beam weapon on the Star Wars Death Star, where beams were converging from symmetric points around a concave section...

            So the copper jacket on a modern shaped charge is a complex conical shape, and if it's not perfectly symmetric, the copper plasma will not focus, and will not penetrate any substantial thickness of armor. Here's a cutaway of the Hellfire missle. You can see the copper shaped-charge cone in the middle:



            This is how the warhead on an RPG works, and the militants have a seemingly endless supply of RPG's, so I don't know why they couldn't just cannibalize them for IED's...

            In any event, I think the controversy and confusion about the shaped-charge IED's in Iraq was from the realization that you could machine a reasonably precise copper sphere (and not a cone) and still get a IED capable of damaging a Bradley (aluminum armor)



            But there are modern shaped-charge IED's that are penetrating M1 Abrams Chobham (composite) armor, and these are of such precise construction that they're obviously not coming from the back streets of Bagdad.
            Last edited by lazlo; 01-24-2009, 04:44 PM.
            "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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            • #7
              What most people forget is that it's relatively easy to make black powder powered weapons, The Chinese were doing it a looooooooong time ago. What guys like Mr Remington perfected was mass production and interchangebility. Necessity (War) is the mother of invention.

              Regards Ian.
              You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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              • #8
                Richard,

                I agree that some humility is always appropriate in these matters, but let's flip that the other way too.

                The way I see it is, you need three things: knowledge, tools, and materials. You can substitute some of one for less of the other, but there are limits.

                I don't know a lot about explosively-formed projectiles, plasmas, and armored vehicles, but I do know that there are times when the difference between success and failure of a process comes down to very precise control and engineering of all the bits and pieces. Is it as simple as laying a sheet of copper on top of a smear of TNT, or does a .010" variation mean the difference between a harmless fireworks show and a dead tank?

                Given a box full of parts with certain shapes, finishes, etc. you could make an informed guess as to how they were made. Imagine something with a very complex sort of compound contour. If you see one, maybe it was made with a file and chisel, if I gave you 100 of them with <.001" variation between them on any point, you'd probably conclude it was run on a good VMC. It is not definitive proof but if an analysis turns out they're all made of Inconel you might conclude they probably didn't come out of a cave in Waziristan.

                The politics are a whole 'nother question of course...

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                • #9
                  What makes you think they don't have complete machine shops up there and generators to run them. In the 1950's Turner Kirkland of Dixie Gun Works used to go to Pakistan, Afganistan and other countries there to buy arms and have his guns and parts made. They can make anything you want for a price. Those countries have been at war for thousands of years and they know how to fight and arm themselves. I don't think any country will ever beat them in a standard war. Atomic, maybe, but just maybe.
                  Last edited by Carld; 01-24-2009, 09:59 PM.
                  It's only ink and paper

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                  • #10
                    Interesting Fact

                    Interesting fact about their reloading practice during the war between Russia and Afghanistan. When Russia first invaded Afghanistan they destroyed the Afghan ammunition supply dumps. I believe they figured that there would be insufficient ammo left for the Afghans to fight with.
                    The Afghans sent people to Japan to purchase used photographic film which they cut up and stuffed in to cartridge cases in place of the cordite.
                    The film is nitrated cellulose and worked very well. The Afghans have been building rifles by hand for a long time their favorite build was the British Enfield. I don’t think the accuracy of their weapons would be match grade.
                    Chuck

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                    • #11
                      I'm of Norwegian descent. As a kid in the sixties, my family used to visit Norway with some regularity. One of my uncles had a Sten gun hanging on the wall of his house. As I understand it, he had made it and others on his own in his basement shop during the nazi occupation, having reverse engineered a weapon dropped to the resistance by the Allies.

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                      • #12
                        Some years ago (jurying the Russian occupation I believe) there was a story on how one of these shops would build any weapon to order up to a 40MM Bofors anti aircraft gun.
                        The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                        Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                        Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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                        • #13
                          I have seen a film, where they are squatting down, draw filing parts, hand fitting, etc, small boys, old men; happily making automatic weapons.And has been noted, they did it with the enfield, and before that, muzzle loaders, and before that, edged weapons. I don't mean to sound defeatist, or "dovish" , but how do we fight that? Bomb them into the stone age? Nah, they are already there. They are not like us, on so many levels.

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                          • #14
                            Wouldn't it be nice if Americans were so industrious and ingenious as they are. Maybe in the past we were but no longer. There are still some of us that can make damn near anything but we are few and dying off.
                            It's only ink and paper

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                            • #15
                              It should be the most elementary exercise imaginable to determine whether a particular weapon was made "by hand in a cave" or in a factory. You can examine the tool marks. Different machines, different processes, different toolmarks.

                              The Afridis have been bad medicine for 150 years at the very least.... throughout the British occupation certainly. Mountain folks tend to be that way. The Khyber pass has traditionally been the border between "pacified areas" and the wild areas.

                              Now, as for IEDs and precision........

                              If you try your best to do it right, and you make 100 of them, the odds are that a number of them will work "perfectly" and of course some will not. It won't make a lot of difference which it is, because even a poorly made weapon still goes off with a bang and causes damage. We are arguing about the AMOUNT of damage.

                              If you want to, simply bury enough explosives. There are a lot of explosives over there, and it isn't that hard to get them, either from existing dumps, or from "friends". Saddam had huge dumps, and they got raided early and often by evil-doers.

                              If you set off your buried ton or so of HE with a tank over it, the tank will be damaged. Maybe flipped over, if you have buried enough and pick your moment.

                              So you don't always get it right.... That will still mean a very substantial number of your enemies are damaged or killed. You don't have to be perfect every time to cause a lot of precaustions to be taken, for a cheap price. After all, you didn't pay for the explosives, you stole them..

                              However, there is still considerable evidence that there are weapons coming from "official sources", typically Iran. Why wouldn't there be? The Iranians , even if they are converted Persian fire-worshippers, as now good Shiite mislims, and so are the majority of Iraqis.
                              1601

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

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