Improvised "Chechen" firearms

From English Russia, original source unknown, "These are the Chechen homemade guns. There is a risk that the war will never end if they use such weapons..." No way to tell how accurate that description is -- Chechens are such bogeymen in the Russian press-pantheon that I always take anything ascribed to them with a grain of salt.

Assorted Russia, Part 65 (some NSFW stuff on this page) (via Kadrey)


  1. I’m not sure if these guns are more dangerous out the business end or for the person shooting them.

  2. I don’t know enough about the conflict to choose sides, but I can say that the Chechens deserve their reputation as bogeymen. I’ve seen videos of them beheading two captured Russian soldiers. Alive and kicking of course, or it would lose its propaganda effectiveness.

    1. Unlike Russia which has multiple torture camps and practices widespread assassination of dissidents?

        1. No, but describing rebels as bogey men when they’re under siege from one of the world’s most repressive regimes shows a ridiculous lack of perspective. Beheading people is less barbaric than what Russian security personnel are doing to their political enemies in government facilities.

          1. Think of it this way. Most Russians don’t give a hoot about Chechnya (or at least that’s a fairly safe assumption), ergo, many Russians would likely view Chechens as bogeymen. Just like many people here in the US view Muslims as bogeymen. Unjustified, yes. True, also yes.

          2. One difference between beheading, especially in this case, and torture in prison is that beheading on video is quite possibly one of the most terrifying pieces of propaganda one could dream up. We all tend to think of our bodies as one unit, especially when the head bone is connected to the body bone. The thought of having the two separated is bone-chilling to most people, to say the least.

            That doesn’t mean I excuse torture, far from it, but a bruised and battered dead body is less terrorizing than a headless body, especially when one contemplates oneself in that predicament. At least for me.

          3. I’d be quite grateful to be beheaded compared to weeks or months of torture leading to an agonizing death, thanks. Decapitation is a fairly quick and painless way to die unless you’re unlucky enough to be Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington.

          1. Tell you what: You show me one first-hand account from someone who had been beheaded and says that’s preferable to being tortured, and I’ll gladly agree with your position.

          2. At least the beheading’s over when your head’s been sawn off.  Torture stays with you forever, AIUI.

    1. Except for the chrome semi-auto pistol monstrosity most of these homemade guns appear to be factory barrels, chambers, and actions mounted to unconventional stocks.

      I haven’t figured out that pistol yet, though.

    2. Some of them look old enough, both in design and in rust, to probably qualify as ‘home-remanufactured’, at least.

  3. The two pictured here are almost certainly single-shot grenade launchers, similar to the old Russian GP-25 and it’s successors – simple, pin-fired, muzzle-loaded, trivially easy to build, and quite safe due to the low firing pressure. The rest appear to be largely Russian weapons with homemade stocks and other add-ons.

    It’s interesting, actually, because these days you can get perfectly functional AK copies from garage/cave factories in Pakistan – there’s little need to scrounge.

    1. “It’s interesting, actually, because these days you can get perfectly functional AK copies from garage/cave factories in Pakistan – there’s little need to scrounge.”

      I’d factor in the local civilian population. Russian troops on their how-many-years-has-it-been-now?th year of a thankless counterinsurgency quagmire are probably a trifle twitchy about any locals who have the means, or are suspected of having the desire, to take a few sneaky shots at them when their backs are turned. 

      So, if they roll into town, I’d expect them to round up some pretty motley specimens: various hunting and varmint rifles in assorted states of decrepitude(going by the rust, some probably disused, some probably belonging to fairly poor people who need something to plink at whatever is eating the sheep), some pawnshop pistols, along with whatever hardware was captured from, or abandoned by, the better supplied militants.

      1. Occupying troops hate those old bolt action rifles which can flatten a guy wearing the best body armor.

        Our troops in Afghanistan still confiscate bolt action Mausers and Enfields from WW2. 

          1. Quite true, many of those rifles would have reached that area during ww2, although many would have been manufactured in ww1

          1. Play with a Mosin-Nagant then switch back to a Mauser and you’ll think you’re in heaven.

            The Timney 3 lb trigger for Mausers is pure pleasure and simple to install. 

    1.  these aren’t exactly the greatest craftsmen around.
      I mean look at that gun, if it was a real craftsman that made it it would have had at least half a roll of duct tape on it.

  4. If you want to see real homemade guns just watch the episode of “Michael Palin Around the World” where he visits a street in Pakistan lined with gunsmiths making homemade AK-47s.  These weren’t shoddy things either, they were about as close to factory made as hand made can get.

    1. Makes sense. Pakistan has been filled with steelworks since… I dunno, ancient times? If people have enough access to casting and machine tools, they could be grinding out guns to spec as good as any factory.

    2. There’s a blog somewhere and a guy makes an AK receiver from a hardware store shovel. It’s a lot stronger than the standard issue.  ANd he used the shovel D handle for a stock just for grins.  I think he could make one in his sleep. 

  5.  I think most people will agree that “enforced disarmament” isn’t practical. However, whether firearms are reigned in that way or through better controls and enforcement, the number of “un-managed” guns floating around will decline. It would take a very determined person to go through the hassle of building their own DIY firearm, and no efforts to limit firearms will stop someone like that. And in fact, if someone was honked off enough to want to shoot someone, the process of building their own weapon will slow them down and possibly – hopefully – give them time to cool down.

  6. In Soviet Russia, gun control occurs during all shooting before 3rd bottle of vodka is opened…

  7. /cough

    Russian firearms laws are really strict. Ownership works something like this: You can purchase either a pistol or a shotgun. If you can own ONE of these weapons for five years without some sort of incident(I.E. breaking the law/accidentally shooting your neighbor through the wall of your tenement building) you are allowed to buy a second firearm, either a rifle or a carbine.

  8. There’s a serious geographical issue there, too.
    Chechnya borders on Georgia. You know, that country that’s recently had a bit of a war? The far side of Georgia (not a large country by any measure) are Armenia and Azerbaijan, which have had a low-temperature war since well before they’d split off from USSR. Weapons aren’t hard to come by in the region, and the borders are mountainous, sparsely-populated, and very long, with plenty of opportunity to get from the neighbouring countries into Chechnya.

    Comparing US gun control efforts with what has essentially been a war zone for close to 30 years is, to put it mildly, silly.

  9. Or shorter: In Soviet Russia, guns control you!
    But maybe that isn’t reversed enough for modern Americans to appreciate.

  10. ‘Russia’ is also a top answer for ‘law enforcement’.

    And that’s “really strict” only in comparison to the US’s toothless approach.

  11. A zip gun still must be constructed, even if it only takes a half hour or so. Someone could build one in advance with the intent of probably using it, or one could build one “in the heat of passion,” but possibly delaying completion long enough for the anger to die down.

    There are no perfect solutions, I’m aware of that. Gun control of any kind won’t stop many of those that are intent on breaking the law, but it will require a bit more effort on their part to obtain a weapon. You can’t stop it, but you can slow it down.

  12. I suppose in reality, if someone was angry enough, they’d grab the nearest hammer and go to town. A home built firearm/zip gun would probably be used in hits or some other such situation.

    However, it would nevertheless be interesting to see how much of a factor this would be in such a situation.

  13. We’re getting better though. I haven’t read the exact literature in Obama’s executive orders, but from what I saw he really cleaned up a lot of really outdated, clearly problematic features of the Gun Control Act of ’64. 

    Ideally our society would shoot for something similar to the Czech Republic’s laws, but given the degree to which the NRA lobbies, that’ll never happen.

  14. Ah…I see…a couple of supporters of the ‘Great Russian Race’, apologists for the Russian pograms against Jews, Chechens or any other group that resists the Russian boot on their necks.

  15.  I’m not sure I understand your post. Are you saying I don’t know what I’m talking about, or just Cory and Antinous? It’s fine if you think I don’t know, and I don’t claim to “know,” just expressing my opinions. I rarely proclaim absolute knowledge as it’s too easy to be proven wrong, and it’s too hard to gracefully adopt new positions on a given subject.

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