We’ve all heard of the quasi-mystical ‘Gun runners’ and ‘illegal gun trade’, but if you’ve ever wondered where those illegal guns could come from, wonder no more.
The Philippine city of Danao has a few manufacturers, making copycat Colts and other 1911s with templates and hand tools. Unfinished though they are, they get handed off to finishers that make these guns look like the real deal. They fire, they’re dangerous, and they’re being imported. At $230 a sale, these illegal guns aren’t all that expensive, but they are massively illegal. They’re even given fake serial numbers and branding to match the real deal. The manufacturers make a barebones living, the shippers get a sizeable chunk of profit, and we get shafted with more gun crime.
If it’s this or starvation for the manufacturers, I can hardly blame them, but I can absolutely blame those who stand to turn a profit from these activities.
Maybe it’s time to do something about it, but what?
According to traffickers, there’s one place where high-quality ghost guns are readily available: The city of Denao, in the Philippeans. Denao has been a hub for gun manufacturers for over a century, but legal gun industry experiences periodic downturns. Many families believe that their survival depends on doing what they know best: Making illegal guns.[I started doing this when I was 22, now I am 53. And still, all I do, is make guns.] [THE AMADO FAMILY; ILLEGAL GUNSMITHS]
Hiding in a workshop deep in the jungle, Mr. Amado and his sons make guns to order, and they’re all handmade.[It’s a widely-known model, the 1911. The most popular one in Danao. It’s a good gun to make.]
Developed and used during the philippean war, this gun earned its name, and it was adopted by the US military in 1911. Relying on scrap metal and simple tools, they use a template and hand-craft using simple tools.[This pattern applies to various models be it a Combat, a 1911, a mark IV. These parts need to be welded, then you need to file and polish it so it will look the same as this one.]
Working twelve hours a day, together they make five handguns a month.[For a gun like this, I get paid 5,000 pesos ($115)]
Guns help put food on the table, but they still live in poverty. In the jungle workshop, it’s every man for himself. Amado and his family are on constant alert. They fear that jealous neighbors, their competition, are out to get them.[It’s envy. Thar’s when they go to the authorities to have you arrested, and then they come for you.]
Weekly raids by the police mean that Amado and his family are forced to run and hide in the jungle, rather than face arrest.[Bail is 40,000 pesos ($920), where will I get that? It’s bad for us to be arrested, our families can do nothing. They will have nothing to eat.]
For those sucked into illegal gun making, options are limited. To make money, the guns have to move on.[This is the end result. It should look like this when it’s done.]
This 45 is ready to test-fire. But it has to work perfectly for Lumabon.[We can now test this for selling. I’m loading 5 bullets.]
Any imperfection in the gun could make it jam.[It has to fire for the downrown buyer to take it.]
Lumabon tests his own gun without protection. If it misfires, it could kill him. Luckily, his craftsmanship is right on target.[This gun shoots well and is already good for delivery to Danao.]
The mechanics of the clone Colt 45 appear to work perfectly. It’s ready for its next phase.[We have contacts downtown who we sell this to, they take this and do everything, including the finishing. They finish the job for us.]
His buyer will put the finishing touches on the gun, but to get paid, Lumabon has to do two things: Get out of the jungle, and get into town without getting busted.[We are not afraid as long as there is no checkpoint. I will take a motorcycle, ask my friends if there are checkpoints or not, so I can keep going.]
Lumaban gets a warning; there has just been a police raid nearby, so he’s forced to take a detour.[When there’s a checkpoint, we detour onto another road for Danao]
With the buyer only willing to wait until sunset, he needs to hurry. It’s a nerve-racking business. Spies are everywhere. He’s made it, just in time. The 45 has exchanged hands in its first transaction, but not its last if the gun traffickers do their job. This ghost gun’s opening price: $115. When they come this cheap, for buyers, it’s all about the profit.[We deliver them when we have stock.] [‘EDWIN’, BUYER-DISTRIBUTOR]
Edwin is the first link to a large international distribution network that will see clone 45 caliber ghost guns go all the way to the USA. But the smuggling can only begin when he’s got enough of them.[When orders start coming in for 10 or 20 guns from different places, that’s when I, as the stockholder, send them out.]
Edwin deals in a variety of untraceable guns, but he buys them all unfinished. They’re all missing one vital thing: A serial number.[Like this 45, it has no bluing, no finishing, no markings.]
He sends them to a network of highly-skilled backyard workers who specialize in making clone guns look legitimate. Most important: Original brand markings, and made-up serial numbers. Guns indistinguishable from the originals get the highest price.[We sell it here for 10,000 pesos ($230)]
On each sale, Edwin doubles his money. With customers paying Edwin top dollar, he can’t afford to lose any in transit, so he selects his gun mules carefully.[When transporting firearms, we use women to deliver them.]
by Sam Morstan
Source: RandomVidz Youtube, Underworld Inc, Nat Geographic
Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical and his buddy Dave Royer were out testing a firearm myths whether dual-wielding versus using sight alignment with a single pistol is better. Seen all the time in the movies Dave and Larry are out to show you what really happens when you fire two pistols at the same time.
They start the test with stationary shooting at multiple targets. (5 targets) Dual shooting (using H&K .45 Compact and a custom Colt 1911) was going from inside targets to outside targets. Single pistol shooting went from left to right. The result for dual shooting was at 2.8 seconds and 3.73 seconds for single pistol. Dual shooting was faster but not as accurate as with single pistol. However, for this test single pistol shooting with good sight alignment wins the accuracy test.
Starts out at a walk towards the target from 30 yards out and at the sound of a buzzer. Shooter engages the target while still moving forward. Dual pistols will be alternate shots between left and right. Single pistol lay down some lead rapidly. The verdict single pistol wins with accuracy and speed on this drill.
Larry: The next movie myth we’re gonna tackle is the Dual Wield Handgun. You’re also seeing this show up in a lot of videogames. Essentially you’ve got a handgun in each hand, and you’re firing at multiple targets, with amazing accuracy on the silver screen. On the surface it looks like it might be a home run, because you can fire a lot more bullets in the same amount of time as one handgun, in theory. What do you think?
Dave: I think I’d go with one gun, because you’re throwing out sight line on it, and that’s the key to accuracy.
Larry: Well, we’ll see how it shakes out. Got two guns here, HK-45 compact 45 ACP, and a custom colt 1911 built by yours truly, 45 ACP. We’re gonna do a variety of drills, dual-wield, then we’re going to do the exact same drills single-handgun. We’l look at the timer and look at the hits, see how it shakes.
Dave: Alright Larry, we’re gonna shoot these targets, you’re gonna shoot simultaneously at two targets, working from the center out, one at each target.
Dave: On the buzzer, shoot ready. Standby [beep] [gunshots]
Dave: Let’s check it out.
Larry: What kinda time we got?
Dave: 2.81 seconds.
Dave: Well this target looks clean.
Larry: Don’t think we have to worry about pace, now remember this was the far-left target, left handed, with the HK-45, this is actually the last target I shot at on the left hand side. Same deal.
Dave: Clean target on the left on the second target.
Larry: This was double-action, the HK-45, the first target I shot. Was this it?
Dave: I believe that’s it.
Larry: Target’s clean.
Dave: Got a center hit on this target.
Larry: Now this was the target I was focusing in on. I was doing the thing that you and I talked about, actually looking at the targets, and kinda trying to do sympathetic movement.
Larry: Ok, we’ve got a shot here. Not a great one, still a hit. And I got a hit here.
Dave: So basically, you were point-shooting to the right, and you hit every one.
Larry: Right. Two very good hits, one mediocre hit, and three misses. 2.8 seconds. Now, same technique: Low ready, finger straight, one on each coming all the way across.
Dave: Alright Larry, so we can compare, we’re gonna have you shoot like you normally would: With one gun, two-handed, from the low ready, at the beep shoot from the farthest left to the right, one on each target.
Dave: Shooter ready. Standby.[Beep, gunshots]
Dave: Time is 3.73, so less than a second, but I’m betting we got better shots.
Larry: Yea let’s check out the test. Bad hit, but still outside the circle. Talking about an OK hit but not great.
Dave: Excellent hit.
Larry: Outstanding. This one’s in our circle.
Dave: Top of the circle.
Larry: So we’ll accept that.
Dave: Absolutely. About the same place.
Larry: Same thing here.
Dave: Inside the circle, ’bout one O’clock.
Larry: ‘Nother hit inside the circle, and another excellent hit. Well I think the verdict is clear on that. Clearly one handgun and point fire, using your sights and index on the target, firing one shot at a time and make that shot a good shot; far superior to any kinda dual-wield in that scenario.
Dave: Absolutely, because as we know, with any kinda real threat, the only way to get rid of it is this.
Larry: Bingo. Got another movie myth coming up, this involves two pistols, and shooting on the move while shooting forward. This one’ll be really cool, I guarentee ‘ya.
Larry: Alright Dave, what’s the drill?
Dave: The drill is, I’m gonna give you the command to walk, and at the sound of the beep, you’re going to alternately shoot at one target.
Larry: Alright, and three shots each, alternating?
Dave: Shooter ready?
Dave: Walk.[Beep, gunfire]
Larry: Hm. The hits are actually pretty decent.
Dave: And that’s what we were talking about. As long as you can acquire the target, point-shooting or the sights. If you’ve got sight-alignment on the target, it’s much easier, or you have much better accuracy.
Larry: Alright. Now I’m gonna try it with one gun.
Larry: Alright dave.
Dave: Alright we’re gonna do the same drill with one gun, command of walk you move toward the target, on the beep you engage with the target six-seven shots.
Dave: Shooter ready. Walk.[Beep, shots]
Larry: Alright. Well. Can’t argue with those hits.
Dave: No, and it’s what I expected on this drill, because this is a common drill in training, shooting on the move. You have perfect sight alignment, you have one target, shouldn’t expect anything else.
Larry: Well I think we can kinda wrap up two guns Vs. one gun.
Larry: I know what I’d pick.
Dave: You bet.
Larry: One gun. Every time.[Vicker’s Tactical Outro]
Source: Vickers Tactical Youtube, TAC-TV Crew, Larry Vickers