Category Archives: Zip guns and improvised firearms

Homemade submachine gun / UZI copy (United Kingdom)

A homemade submachine gun closely based on the UZI housed along with other improvised firearms in the National Ballistics Intelligence Service reference collection in Birmingham, UK.

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Craft production of firearms in Nigeria

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.

New Small Arms Survey Briefing Paper: Craft weapons used in significant proportions of firearm-related crime in four Nigerian states

Paint sprayer zip gun

An improvised .22lr revolver made using part of an automotive paint spray gun handle drilled metal bar for the cylinder and barrel. The trigger is located at the bottom and is fired using the pinky.

Simple homemade double barrel .38 pistol

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.

Jamaican-made Street Sweeper

: Police seized a sub-machine gun, a homemade firearm and 5 shotgun cartridges in Lilliput, St. James. More details soon. – Jamaica Constabulary

Improvised firearm / zip gun made from pipe fittings

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.