Couple of years ago I did a review of a local Glock 19 made by Royal Arms from Peshawar. I was at that time in Peshawar and a kind friend handed me over this nice piece which I decided to test fire at the range. Off I went in a jiffy with a box full of 9 mm Chinese ammo, which at that time cost Rs 30 a pop, and which sadly costs today Rs 120 a pop! More on that later 🙂 After that I lost interest in copies. In fact I haven’t been a fan of copies ever. A Glock knock offs are in fact everywhere in the market now. Any reasonable guns factory in Peshawar having a CNC machine is now making Glocks, well frankly because Glocks are so popular in Pakistan and because an original Glock 19 as of today, 14 Aug 2019 costs Rs 500k plus 🙂 And not everyone in Pakistan can buy one, so people tend to buy knock offs, which are generally available in the Rs 30 to 45k range, depending on where you buy from. Long story short, let me tell you about the Glock 19 from Baba Arms…
When a friend talked good things about Baba Arms Glock 19, I was forced to take notice. Baba Arms is a gun maker in Peshawar, which is making Glock 19 copies besides so many other things. A little inquiry with my close contacts told me that these guys were in fact making good copies. Before I say more, let me tell you how this whole Glcok thing is happening in Peshawar. The frames are made by someone in Punjab, I am not sure who, but it is simple injection molding process. The slide, barrel and internals are made in Peshawar or Darra and then assembled in local factories. There might be a few who will only assemble these guns are procuring the different parts, like slide, frame, springs, upper/lower internals, and barrel etc. And I have heard that the polymer frame is not of good quality or maybe they haven’t been able to figure out the exact composition of the plastic and so the frames are known to crack after a 1000 rounds. But more on that later…
So a close friend promised to get me one of these from Baba Arms, made to order but with an original S&W SD9 VE barrel!!! Yes sir, you read it right. So a lot of S&W SD9 is coming in to Pakistan from our good neighbor Afghanistan, and after little tinkering the barrel is fitted in to local Glock 19s. Apart form this I know of people who have procured original Glock 19 barrels and internals and got them fitted in to local Glocks, so in effect the fame and slide is made in Pakistan or Peshawar if you will and rest of stuff is original. That’s a close as one can get to an original Glcok 19, for around Rs 100k. With the gun in my hand, I went on the double to the range just to test fire this piece. The owner claims he has fired over 300 rounds with no issues what so ever. 300 IMHO is just the break in period for a gun, if you ask me, or maybe a little more. So its too less to ascertain about a gun’s reliability. More importantly about the frame. I will let the photos do the talking. I have generally found the gun to be well made, off course not as good as an original, but still good. And let me tell you I was impressed with accuracy. Sorry for not being able to show the targets since I forgot to bring them back but it was firing in the middle of the dark circle at 15 M, both hands and slow fire. I fired two mags without an issue. I intend doing a 500 or more rounds test, but believe me with the cost of ammo soaring high, it will take time.
The gun dis-assembled.
The original S&W SD 9 VE barrel.
Guide rod and recoil spring assembly.
The frame and internals.
Another view of the frame.
The Slide back plate is not at all impressive.
A lame effort at getting glow in the dark sights, three dot, that is.
I am not one bit impressed with the mags.
So, a knock off is a knock off. I think one should not expect something extraordinary out of it. The problem is, the gun makers lack will to make a quality product. They are NOT farsighted, in most cases “the next gun sold is a good business” thinking persists. The are no guarantees or very less indeed. People with cracked frames (I am not talking about Baba Arms, this is a general discussion) have got no replacements from gun makers despite getting verbal guarantees at the time of sale. This piece with the SD9 barrel costs around Rs 45k. So in general it is a gun with acceptable quality, although nothing can be said about its reliability as of now. The fact that it has fired two mags without a fail of any sort is not proof of its reliability. However,I do intent to use this gun at the range to see how it functions beyond a few hundred rounds.