Since drafting this Ontario police have arrested and charged multiple individuals involved in the manufacture and distribution of handguns assembled in an identical manor, likely being the source of the examples below.
A firearm seized from a male suspect on 28th August in the city of Mississauga, Ontario CA appears at first glance to be conventional though is in fact illicitly manufactured from a combination of non-firearm parts. The body of the weapon including the frame (receiver) and trigger mechanism is that of a common gas powered replica Colt 1911 6mm airsoft / .177 BB pistol which is manufactured in Taiwan. The ‘F’ within a pentagon mark present on the frame indicates a muzzle energy not exceeding 7.5 J (5.5 ft⋅lbf) usually added in accordance with German law. This appears to have been combined with a conventional .22lr slide which is branded with a Blue Line Solutions logo and made in Germany, likely by GSG (German Sports Guns). All parts required in this case are available as conversions kits from the likes of GSG and others which usually include the slide, barrel and magazine, ready to drop onto an unmodified full-bore 1911 pistol frame assembly to allow the use of smaller .22lr cartridges. In this case very little modification is required to the airsoft frame to allow the .22lr conversion parts to function, the results having been documented by in videos and forum posts the past.
A number of identical conversions have been recently seized by Toronto Police:
The example below was seized in June:
Other examples seized this year:
Below: The result of a successful test firing of an identical conversion demonstrated in a video posted to Youtube:
A homemade .380 semi-automatic pistol more than likely based on the widely available DIY Sheet Metal Self-Loading Pistol plans. This example was seized in September in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo.
The Sikligar are a primarily Sikh armorer caste who historically specialized in swordsmithing and repair. In recent years many skilled artisans within the community have focused on the dramatically more profitable illegal firearms trade where Ghost Guns are created from bits of scrap metal, likely without the help of a 3D printer.
” “We are born as skilled arms-makers and are making arms since ages. Where is the option for us? (The) government hardly cares for us. Most of our people are helpless because of utter poverty and we need money… even police take advantage of this,” said Kartar, another resident of Signoor.
Police said that earlier most of the guns made by the community were .315 bore or .12 bore but now many of them have mastered the art of making high-precision 7.65 mm pistols.
Police are also following up information that some of Sikligars have even started making automatic weapons.
According to sources in the community, a Sikligar can earn anything between Rs. 3,000 to Rs 40,000 for an investment of Rs 1,500 to Rs 4,000.
All he has to do is to buy an iron rib, gunpowder and umbrella spring (used for making magazine) and fire a kiln. Working with bare hands and using a hammer and chisel, one weapon is ready in about four days. Some also use lathe machines to make more sophisticated weapons, the sources said.”
The automatic pistol in construction above appears to be made from sheet metal plates welded together and not dependent on any type of expensive modern machinery. Barrels in the region are often made from steel pipe or tubing salvaged from car parts or simply drilled out on an ancient lathe.
“Polish nationals Lukasz Kur & Rafal Anyszek were intercepted at Dover Eastern Docks freight controls on Friday morning by Border Force officers and referred to the NCA for investigation. A search of the HGV & trailer revealed 20 handguns, 1,000 rounds of ammunition and a variety of Class A drugs. ” National Crime Agency
Shown on the left is a high quality illicitly produced 9mm machine pistol which has been seized from organized crime gangs on a number of occasions across Europe, usually branded with the fake company name ‘R9-Arms’ along with ‘Made in the USA’. The likely origin of these is probably an illicit gun factory operating in Croatia, owing to its history of manufacturing illicit UZI copies as well as a large number of the weapons being seized there back in 2015.
Another illicit factory uncovered producing automatic pistol copies typical of the region. This is part of a growing trend towards more advanced criminal arms production in India.
“Acting on a tip off, Kolkata Police’s Special Task Force (STF) apprehended three persons while dealing in Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) and illegal arms on Monday. In the process, they also busted an illegal arms unit in Barackpore.
Three persons – Suku Sheikh, Md. Amjad Rayeen and Md. Abdullla were apprehended by the FICN team of STF from Maidan Police Station limits. As many as 40 semi-finished improvised arms and fake notes worth worth Rs. 1 lakh was seized from their possession.
However, this was just the tip of the iceberg. Further questioning and examination of these three arrested led investigators to an illegal arms manufacturing unit at Jaggatdal under Barrackpore Police Commissionerate. Investigators unearthed this illegal arms manufacturing unit where 20 semi-finished improvised arms, drilling machine, lathe machine, raw materials and equipments were recovered. Six others who were working at this manufacturing unit were also arrested.
According to sources, the arms that were being made here were 7mm and 9mm pistols. The consignment compromising 20 semi-finished arms was meant for Bihar.”
Small Arms Survey have released a new paper documenting the widespread illegal production of improvised / craft-made firearms across Nigeria. The study found that these weapons account for around 32 per cent of firearms-related crime in Adamawa state to a staggering 69 per cent in Plateau state. Along with exploding crime rates, the demand for firearms to equip community defense groups increased drastically following the Boko Haram insurgency with many having to resort to equipping themselves with locally produced weapons such as ‘dane guns’ (Locally hand-made muzzleloading percussion-lock long-guns) and break barrel shotgun copies long used by traditional hunting and tribal groups. More recently illicit gunsmiths have progressed to producing more sophisticated weapons including submachine guns and self-loading pistols utilizing simple sheet metal fabrication methods. Like swords and bows & arrows, firearms are simple devices dating back 800 years which can be produced by anyone and aren’t going to ever go away.