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The film about "hand made" 1911s in the Philippines recalled memory of 1962 in Manila I was doing an airplane repair & needed some machine work done. Visited a machine shop & found it equipped with the latest & greatest American millers, lathes, etc., probably abandoned by the U.S. Army after WW2. Curiously the machines were sitting on dirt floor & their weight had sunk them somewhat in crazy angles -- but they still did excellent work.

Here is a Philippine Colt-copy of recent vintage but probably not hand made nor in a jungle --

 

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When I first clicked on the video I was expecting to see some crude things made of layers of brazed together sheet metal, or at most some rough looking 1911 that might srrve as a cheap but functional shooting tool for the black market in ths Philippines. But these appear to be far more than that. These are not just copies, these are COUNTERFEITS. They are actually marked as Colts and are apparently good enough to pass for the real thing. The target market is apparently the United States. Since there is no shortage of handguns to use as weapons here, either on the open market or the black market, the "target" for these things seems to be Colt collectors or at least others specifically wanting to buy a "Colt" brand pistol.
 

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A little incongruity there. His neighbors turns him in to the police, he hides in the jungle to avoid the police, the police leave his shop intact, he comes back after the police leave, and shoots his gun out the back door.
 

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Paraphrasing Claude Raines in "Casablanca"..."I'm shocked...shocked...there's gun making going on in this establishment!" Than as someone hands him a counterfeit Colt..."Thank you!"...and the police leave.
 

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With the dozen or more makers of repro 1911s any could have the slide markings replaced to be like Colt's & have a counterfeit, easily possible with home equipment. Maybe it's going on now & we are now becoming aware. With a mess of 1911 repros that retail around $500, seems an entrepreneur invite.
 

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It's shocking how good they look. There has to be more to the operation than just a couple of guys with vices and files.
If I had to guess, these pistols are only assembled in the jungle, the machining requires some pretty heavy duty equipment and I doubt they have any of that in their hut. Armscor is located in the Philippines, they were supposedly a "behind the lines" weapons factory during WWII and they're still cranking out 1911s en masse. Putting two and two together, I suspect that the machined parts could be smuggled out from Armscor or one of their subcontractors, they look way too nice to be filed out of bar stock in the jungle.

When I first clicked on the video I was expecting to see some crude things made of layers of brazed together sheet metal, or at most some rough looking 1911 that might srrve as a cheap but functional shooting tool for the black market in ths Philippines. But these appear to be far more than that. These are not just copies, these are COUNTERFEITS. They are actually marked as Colts and are apparently good enough to pass for the real thing. The target market is apparently the United States. Since there is no shortage of handguns to use as weapons here, either on the open market or the black market, the "target" for these things seems to be Colt collectors or at least others specifically wanting to buy a "Colt" brand pistol.
You can find the whole show on Netflix, and it's about "ghost guns". The target group appears to be criminals that want guns that can't be traced, and they make them look like known gun models to avoid unwanted attention. "Fantasy pieces" or guns without markings will usually raise some eyebrows, but you can take one of those ghost guns to the range and nobody will suspect a thing. They are basically fakes with faked markings, fake serial numbers and all, and once they have been used for a crime they are dumped.
 

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If I had to guess, these pistols are only assembled in the jungle, the machining requires some pretty heavy duty equipment and I doubt they have any of that in their hut. Armscor is located in the Philippines, they were supposedly a "behind the lines" weapons factory during WWII and they're still cranking out 1911s en masse. Putting two and two together, I suspect that the machined parts could be smuggled out from Armscor or one of their subcontractors, they look way too nice to be filed out of bar stock in the jungle.



You can find the whole show on Netflix, and it's about "ghost guns". The target group appears to be criminals that want guns that can't be traced, and they make them look like known gun models to avoid unwanted attention. "Fantasy pieces" or guns without markings will usually raise some eyebrows, but you can take one of those ghost guns to the range and nobody will suspect a thing. They are basically fakes with faked markings, fake serial numbers and all, and once they have been used for a crime they are dumped.
Yeah that makes sense. Frames, slides and other parts smuggled out of legitimate arms factories. Their security probably isn't as tight as the security at gun companies here, and they don't have to worry about the ATF.
 

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It could well be the security people themselves smuggling the parts out or in collusion (that's a popular word now in certain circles) with the workers on the production floor. Corruption is everywhere but especially so in some of these countries. Poor pay...poor working conditions...ripe conditions to make some side money in otherwise impoverished areas....plus longtime political unrest.
 

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Yeah that makes sense. Frames, slides and other parts smuggled out of legitimate arms factories. Their security probably isn't as tight as the security at gun companies here, and they don't have to worry about the ATF.
I strongly agree that these are put-togethers. We call them "Lunch Pail" guns. While I claim to not be an expert, I do own a better quality "jungle" made 1900 Browning and canvas holster. Nothing like this.
 
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Time to call B.S.. Historically, gun manufacturers have used cottage industries to manufacture guns. This has been and is done in the Philippines. Note the slides in the image I have captured, they are not bereft of markings, but have fully marked slides. The frame is also marked.
 

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Concerning the statement that "They don't have to worry about the ATF." The president of the Philippines, Duterte, is said to personally execute drug smugglers. I wonder what he does with gun smugglers.
 

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Concerning the statement that "They don't have to worry about the ATF." The president of the Philippines, Duterte, is said to personally execute drug smugglers. I wonder what he does with gun smugglers.
True I guess they have bigger things to worry about then going to prison :)
But, the people there are pretty desperate. Most people will risk anything to feed their families.
 

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For years there's been communist as well as Muslim insurgencies in the Philippines. Seven thousand islands...lots of places for insurgencies to take root. It would be no surprise that contraband firearms would be greatly prized for practical as well as economic needs. I wouldn't be surprised if numbers of Krags, 1903s and M1 Garand and Carbines as well as Arisakas are found in some more remote areas.
 
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