Here are some of the .223 (5.45 x 45 NATO) options presently available in Pakistan. These are legit for civilian use being semi-auto only. These can be acquired on NPB license. The top photo is Chinese CQA which is an AR15 style weapon, by Norinco. These may come with barrel extensions.
In our part of the world the price and availability of a certain caliber of ammo dictates the popularity of a weapon. Not that rare weapons or ammo isn’t available, but it comes at a price. If you talk about pistols, 9 mm and 7.62 x 25 is the way to go. A .40 ACP pistol for instance would not sell at a good price because the ammo wouldn’t be cheap and easily available. So when we talk of rifles, it was mostly 7.62 x 51 (.308 Win), 7 mm, .243, 7.62 x 54R and 7.62 x 39 (though 7.62 x 39 and 7.62 54R are banned by law in Pakistan). But then came war in Afghanistan and we found cheap 5.56 x 45 (aka .223) available in loads and obviously with it came weapons meant for that caliber, the M4, old M16 and the semi auto version AR15. The problem with American weapons was their price, about 7 years ago you could buy a Colt M4 for Rs 400k, to 600k. But then some wise dealers decided to import the Chinese CQA semi autos is the same caliber en masse. The prices were really attractive, Rs 110k for a Chinese CQA chambered in .223, semi auto off course. What more could anyone want. But then the Government changed and a ban was placed on import of weapons under the guise of security situation, a ban which practically to this day exists, though relaxed on paper. Prices of weapons and ammo sky rocketed, CQA started selling for over Rs 350k, Colt M4 was over a million, FN M16 is now around Rs 650k and the price of .223 ammo has swelled from Rs 20 to Rs 100 plus depending on where you are located in Pakistan. So then what was a man (who wanted an AR15 badly) supposed to do? Build one off course, and that’s exactly what started happening. And the best thing about an AR15 is you build it piece by piece and customize it to your liking. As the say, the possibilities are endless.
This is a pic of modified CQA 5.56 semi-auto rifle. The rifle comes in black matte finish, originally. It has a fixed front sight and a rear adjustable sight, besides a retractable stock. Apart from this, there’s no accessory item on the CQA by default, save for the removable carry handle. The CQA is a clone of the American AR15 5.56 semi-auto, which has a cult following world over and has been extensively accessorized in every possible way in the US. With after market parts the CQA can be modified or accessorized quite inexpensively to make it look beautiful and modern.
The CQA is a Chinese 5.56 x 45 mm copy of the AR15, hence its very similar in looks to the M4 also. Since 5.56 x 45 mm ammo is available in abundance in Afghanistan and Pakistan, due to the war on terror and relentless looting by the worthy foes of coalition forces, there has been a lot of interest in this rifle and caliber in our country. The ammo is dirt cheap, its modern, almost a fad with gun enthusiasts and a preferred choice due to low recoil. I got my hands on one of these a few days back, I can tell you its one mean beast. A short review is presented for my audience.