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.
A conventional .38spl revolver alongside an improvised 2-shot alternative. On this example the rectangular barrel is swung to the side to load and is fired by flicking closed two spring loaded strikers with the thumb. Bog simple but effective.
A quick and dirty improvised firearm assembled using pipe fittings available at any hardware store. Ammunition in this case has been improvised using nail gun charges with the crimp removed and a lead projectile inserted. The weapon functions by pulling back the ball end of the spring loaded striker bar and releasing to fire.