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.
The SKS Siminov is a semi auto rifle chambered in 7.62 x 39 mm. It is a Russian weapon and like all Russian weapons it is very reliable and robust. It has a 10 rounder clip, in the local Pashto lingo it is commonly called as the “las dazzi” literally meaning “the ten rounder”. I have always been fascinated by Russian weapons and the SKS is no different. It came to Pakistan through Afghanistan during the Russian invasion, though it had largely been replaced by the AK 47 in 1950’s still it remained as a second line weapon. It is a simple gas piston operated weapon. If you disassemble it you will notice the similarity between an SKS and the AK 47. However, it is a very very accurate weapon as compared to the AK 47. SKS was produced in bulk, some estimates say over 2.7 million rifles. It is simple to operate and fun to shoot. If you surf the net you can find 20 rounder magazines for the SKS. I have even seen lots of accessorizing of the SKS, such as scope mounts, synthetic stocks and red dot sights or scopes. The SKS is a very inexpensive weapon here in Pakistan. You can find one from Rs. 35 to 60k range depending on its condition. There are also the Chinese variants of the SKS available in local market, though these rifles were excessively produced in the eastern block countries. The stock in the Chinese are dull brown on yellowish in color. One good thing about the Chinese SKS is that their barrels are chrome lined, hence they give better protection against rust. With iron sights I have found the SKS to be an excellent shooter, very accurate. Although the rifle SKS is semi auto. With a 20 inch barrel and an overall length of 40 inches it is compact and easy to carry. The weight is around 3.8 kgs , and if you remove the bayonet it can further be reduced. Some time back SKS were also given to LEAs in Pakistan, mostly the police and FC. A number of times I have seen SKS in dilapidated conditions with the police, a sight which can bring tears to my eyes. In my opinion it is a very good weapon for hunting, but sadly here in Pakistan since the 7.62 x 39 mm ammo is prohibited or falls in the prohibited bore category so getting its license made isn’t easy. Still it doesn’t hurt to get one of these in your collection and boast about it 🙂
When it comes to rifles, there’s quite a serious dearth of them here in Pakistan. I am talking about quality weapons, meant for hunting, or for competition shooting. If you are able to find a fine rifle you will run in to difficulties finding its ammo. The one time popular 7 mm (7 x 57) ammo isn’t available and even if you find some it will be exorbitantly priced, so finding an (inexpensive) rifle in that caliber is easy. But then there’s ample ammo available in 308 Winchester but buying a rifle is not easy. Firstly no one wants to let go of it, and even if you are able to find one, it will be very expensive. So to solve this problem the local gunsmiths have come up with good solutions for the local market. In that 308 Winchester and 7.62x54R (called as “Dungar”, because of Dragunov) have been favorite choices all along. The rifle being reviewed is a local rifle using a Russian Goryunov MG barrel and a P14 or P17 Enfield action with a local stock. Its a well made rifle, as you shall see.
The Walther PS22 Red Dot sight is an inexpensive piece of equipment well suited for mounting on rifles and hunting guns, whether center fire or rim fired. It obviates the need for iron sights and lets you in quick target acquisition with both eyes open. The sight comes with a Picatinny style mount so you do not have to buy extra mountings. Its light weight, easy to install and makes shooting fun.
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 Toz Model 8, is a Russian .22 LR Bolt action Rifle. Toz 8 was in initially conceived in 1932 for small game hunting, practice and teaching purposes. The rifle being reviewed is 1957 model. It is a single shot model, meaning the rifle lacks any magazine or clip. You load in a round, fire it and after ejecting it load another one. The rifle is really simple to disassemble. Just remove two screws and the whole thing comes apart in seconds.
I got myself a Mosin Nagant M44 couple of weeks back. It is a 5 shot Russian bolt action rifle just like the one used by Vasily Zaitsev (Jude Law) in the movie “Enemy at the gates”. Actually that is a Mosin Nagant M 91/30 sniper which has bigger barrel and scope mounts etc. But the caliber is the same 7.62 x 54 R. And off course the action is the same. It was designed in 1891 by Captain Sergei Mosin and Leon Nagant. In all around 37 million Nagants were produced, which are still in service in some armies world over.
Tula Toz 78-01 is a .22 LR bolt action rifle manufactured by the Tula Arms, Russia. It is a small, light weight weapon that is quite accurate. I had been on the look out for an inexpensive rifle for plinking and for small game hunting. This weapon, serves both the purposes. And with a scope it is deadly accurate. Tula Arms is an old company that dates back to 1712, this means they have considerable experience in designing and making weapons. Here is a short review of this rifle.
Henry Martini was a single shot breech loaded rifle used by the British during late 1800’s. It was a good weapon in those times. The under-leaver located at the pistol grip would open the breech for loading a single round. The caliber is a whopping .577 inches! I am sure it must have made a big bang when fired. Over a period of time various versions were produced. The smaller one made to be carried by horsemen was called a musket.