Kim Jong-Un got a Gun

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un aims a rifle at the Sporting Bullet Factory, built in 1996 at the order of the North's late leader Kim Jong-il. The factory produces "sporting bullets" for developing military sports. Its exact location is undisclosed. Undated picture released by the North's KCNA news agency in Pyongyang, on February 23, 2012. Wonder what sort of computers those are, and what they're running? (REUTERS/KCNA)


  1. Its funny how small that .22 looks compared to the giant scope and the fattest North Korean alive (in North Korea).

    Here is a story problem for him.  If each .22 bullet costs 5 cents (hard us currency) and you can feed a family of three North Koreans for 5 cents worth of rice, how many North Koreans died so that Fat Jong Un could have this photo op?

    1. I guess it depends on how good a shot he was.  I’m guessing he only had to shoot two or three of his subjects for this photo.

    2. Dear Leader eats decadent capitalist sea vessels and defecates bullets. The conversion of steel to lead is obviously a standard miracle for the Shining Star of Paektu Mountain that every commode he visits is infested by thousands of glorious red cranes.

  2. He’s not in a shooting gallery. He’s in a sky box high above Pyongyang Stadium during the Araing Mass Games, about to take out a kid who  turned over his flip-card pixel a second late.

  3. Guest-starring the finest computers that 1952 has to offer!

    Jesus Pudgy, do your country and the world a favor and TURN THE GUN AROUND.

  4.  As funny as that is (and it is), it seems a tiny bit unfair to ascribe to this guy the kind of random insanity his father inflicted on his nation. …unless similar nuttiness has been documented?

    1.  Lil’ Kim could be a genuinely nice guy . . . but it wouldn’t amount to anything, because he’s part of a Military / PR complex which demands he be a trigger-happy patriotic hawk.

      1. I’m pretty sure that he’s thinking, “At least it’s facing away from me. Please God let it stay facing away from me.” He’s got older, better-connected, more military relatives. It being North Korea, I assume that there are a dozen young men recovering from plastic surgery to turn them into KJU replicants.

      2. I don’t think the perpetual bewildered look he wears in nearly every photo is accidental. Old military dudes pulling the strings on young throne-inheritors is as old as time.

  5. Kinda just looks like the shooting range in Pyongyang. To get to it you go past some pachinko and pokie players. 

  6. I expect the computer is an electronic scoring system – the vent opening below the rifle’s barrel contains a muzzle flash detector, which triggers a doppler radar at the target end of the range that detects the impact location of the round. Sounds complicated, but they’re very common. Probably of Chinese manufacture.

    1. I think you’re over-thinking it. I would say that the vent is most likely to provide air-flow. Indoor ranges need constant air circulation to prevent build-up of toxic, heavy-metal-laden gases. A doppler-based scoring device wouldn’t need to detect the firing of a shot in order to detect the hit, so the flash-detector wouldn’t be necessary. On top of that, scoring of firearms sports tends to be black-and-white (reactive targets, such as steel, where a simple mechanical system is adequate to determine a hit) or very subtle (paper targets, where visual inspection to determine whether a scoring line has been broken or not). I’m unconvinced that the system you describe fits into that model.

      My guess: the computer screens are hooked up to cameras that show the targets–the functional equivalent of a spotting scope.

      1. Well, the system I described is precisely how the system I use works; professional-level firearms scoring needs to give more than hit-or-miss. Grouping of rounds is considered to be very important in many cases, and paper targets are time-consuming to score. You may be right that the vent is just a vent, and that the monitor is just a zoom display on the target, but that doesn’t explain why it would need a keyboard and a CPU. The monitor is clearly connected to the computer, which in turn is connected outbound to where ever it goes; that suggests that some degree of data processing is going on.

      2.  I think you’re a bit closer.

        That looks like a Triax connector on the back of the ‘computer’.

        Guessing it’s a control box for the camera and maybe for the target sled.

      3. I can tell you they are not. They are green monochrome monitors that show a target with a set numbers in a table that I had no idea about (X/Y axis, point scored I dunno). There seemed to be either quite a delay when plotting the hit or it didn’t work entirely.

  7. Something tells me we’re looking at a picture of someone shattering all previous scoring records…

    And damn it, now I can’t get that damn “Everybody run, the prom queen’s got a gun” song out of my head!

    1. Yeah, people on Weibo (Chinese state sponsored twitter) cited people on twitter who cited people on weibo who cited people on twitter. So a true rumor mill.

  8. If it’s a factory for bullets,  they are interested primarily in ballistic metrics: especially velocity.  I’ve not seen a set up like this in any range I’ve shot at…but my guess would be that the lower unit is a printer, and the CRT above is part of a spotting scope configuration.  This is obviously a staged photo…as you would *not* want to ever be standing on that side of the wall when the range is hot.  Secondly, the front sight (the ring and post on the muzzle) would interfere with the sight picture of scope. With that type of scope, you’d likely have  very minimal iron sights for backup only.  I’m sure the scope is on there just to elevate the bad-assery index.  Third, Dear Leader will soon be Deaf Leader without any ear defenders… probably did not want to damage the ‘do. (just like Dad!) . Finally, he’s just not holding the weapon right…the stock is not properly positioned against his shoulder.

    Hmm… if you look behind him, you can see what appears to be a seating gallery…with glass windows.  Look carefully and you can see the reflections of 2 uniformed Army officers.  My guess is they are standing in front of him and reflections caught.  Also, that looks like a Tokarev / Type 68 pistol in the lane beside him. 

  9. Huh – that looks like a knock off of a Ruger 10/22. I THINK there is a company in China that makes them.

    Anyway – its a ho-hum target rifle. Sort of disappointing.  The least he could have done was get a decent Anschütz.

    I mean how can a factory be able to tell how good their rounds are, if the rifle they use is not accurate enough to tell the difference?

    And I think those monitors are a ‘spotting scope’ as well, so you can see where you are hitting exactly.

  10. The logo on the back of the monitors looks like that of SIUS ASCOR, a German manufacturer of olympic-level electronic target scorers.
    That said, I’d be surprised if it had actually come from Germany. It could easily be a rip-off of one!

    1. I’m not suprised. The metro uses East German rolling stock, complete with scribes on the windows in German. The microscopes in a science lab at a show school in Pyongyang were also of East German origin.

    2.  Yeah, I think you’re right.
      Check out the unit on the lower left:

      Interestingly, these work by having three microphones listen for the sound of the bullet hitting the paper target, and then triangulating based on the time it took for the sound to reach each mic. That’s some crazy-ass precision timing there. Not something I’d want to try to do with an arduino… unless….

      If anyone needs me I’ll be in the Bucketcave.

  11. The gun seems to be child sized. It’s absolutely tiny. 

    It’s not a Ruger 10/22 since it lacks a carbine band, and the receiver seems to be round, although it looks like a semiautomatic. 

    The front sight is a mystery because it’s an assault rifle style sight but it’s not an AK sight.  It could be some sort of training rifle so troops can get used to military sights while only shooting 22 ammo, since North Korea is so broke.  Otherwise there is no reason whatsoever for the sight to be that high above the bore. 

    As somoneone noted, the front sight is completely in conflict with the scope.

    1.  re: “The front sight is a mystery because it’s an assault rifle style sight but it’s not an AK sight.”

      That style of site is a “ghost ring” and is used on many different kinds of rifles – not just assault rifles.

      I don’t think it is a 10/22 either – but a Chinese knockoff – maybe made by Norinco.

      1. Yeah, but there’s no need to put an assault rifle style sight on a sporting firearm.  The sights are tall on an assault rifle or main battle rifle because the stock is straight (in line with the bore), to get the bore in line with the shoulder, making the rifle more controllable during rapid fire. Then the sights are set correspondingly higher.  In a sporting gun, the stock has the familiar bend in it, which puts the bore above the shoulder and allows the use of lower profile sights. The little rifle in the photo has a sporting stock and an assault rifle front sight, so it’s a total mismatch of parts.

  12. Cool, milspec vga monitors! I would love to get some military standard issue olive green computer equipment. But I’ve never seen stuff like this at computer surplus places. Anyone know where you could fine a cool combat laptop?

    1. It wouldn’t surprise me if from the non-existent safety standards everyone has lead poisoning and is going slowly Caligula.

  13.  Those monitors tell you where hit the target. Depending on the shooting mode, you can’t always see the hit immediately (for example you have to shoot triples and only see your hits after the third shot).
    And yes, normally connected to a doppler radar (so you can’t mess with somebody else’s target)

    Very common in switzerland (where you have to go to such a stupid shooting range every year)

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