Strange and Interesting weapons in Iraq

This was a nice CZ75 pistol a contractor doing some construction for us had.  I liked it enough that I was going to try and buy or trade something for it until I realized that he wanted to charge me enough that I could just buy myself a brand new one back in the US.

In slide lock.  I’ve also seen some Iraqi security forces carrying new Smith and Wesson automatics…  WTF?  Iraqi soldiers are carrying M16’s…don’t even get me started.

This is a AK rifle grenade that I was looking at in a improvised Iraqi arms room.  It is fired from the barrel of the AK-47 with a blank round that is provided with the grenade.  The pin in the nose is a safety.

This is a Gorjunov WW2 era Soviet machine gun.  It fired the same 7.62x54mm Rimmed ammo as the PKM.  I took this picture before I attempted to disassemble the thing.  Ultimately an Iraqi NCO (pictured below) showed me how it was done.  This particular rifle has been retrofitted with a bizarre flash suppressor (?) for some reason.

Check out this Chimera of a rifle.  It was home made, constructed by the soldier holding it in his home with a mish-mash of weapons components.  It features a AK receiver fitted with a home made M16 style charging handle, a PKM barrel, a improvised wooden stock, a Browning Hi-Power pistol grip, and finally a crappy BB gun scope.  This thing actually fired, I saw it with my own eyes, from a safe distance of course.

Here is another shot of the rifle with it’s owner.  You can tell he is a gear nut as well as being a gun nut.  We had a lot in common.  Note the flash bangs we gave him, the flare gun on his left side, and home made unit insignia on his chest.

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9 Comments

Filed under Iraq, Pictures, Weapons and Tactics

9 responses to “Strange and Interesting weapons in Iraq

  1. Interesting rogues gallery you’ve got there. I’ve had a chance to fire a CZ-75 a couple of years ago. I found it to be a wonderful handgun, both in the hand and sending rounds down range. I got some very acceptable groups with it – some of my best shooting considering it was a first date, so to speak.

  2. Hey JE, I’ve actually never had the chance to live fire a CZ75 but have heard nothing but good things. I like the fact that it is a 9mm that you can carry locked and cocked with a thumb safety so I’d like to get one at some point.

  3. Yup, a condition one pistol – I like to think of it as someone having taken the Hi-Power and tweaking it to suit them 40 years later. I got to fire a Hi-Power for the first time about six months after the CZ-75, and they were very similar in feel and gave similar groupings in my hands. If I was to buy one handgun, simply for the pleasure of owning one, either of the two would be near the top of my list.

  4. I never liked the “magazine safety” on the BHP but I’ve also never handled or fired the more modern Hi-Power pistols just the older ones. The Glock 19/17 is nearly perfect except for maybe a few applications, I certainly would not carry my Glock with a round in the chamber without having a good quality holster. I carried a 19 in Iraq and was pretty happy with it, much better then the Beretta 92F (M9) that we are issued.

  5. Granted if I was the sort of person who actually needed a “carry gun”, I’d probably lean in the direction of the Glocks, but I guess it’s the aesthetics of the Browning that just appeal to me. It’s a beautiful, sleek pistol with a profile that appeals to my eye and my hand. Maybe it’s also just a personal preference for non-synthetic weapons hardware, but of course, I never had to (nor will I ever need to) lug an all-metal weapon for weeks or months on end in the field.

    I’ve also had the opportunity to handle and fire a Glock 19, and found it a very pleasing firearm. Do you feel it’s “trigger safety” is inadequate, given your comments about not carrying w/ a chambered round?

  6. I would carry it chambered in a decent holster, I did in a injection molded plastic holster while I was deployed. The trigger safety is more of an inertia safety then anything to prevent the gun from going off if you jump over a fence or drop it on the ground. There is another internal inertia safety as well. The Glock is one gun that you can be sure will not go off unless the trigger is actually pulled so that it one way to look at it. So for most applications these safeties are fine when used with the right holster but from “Big Army’s” point of view nothing is safe without several redundant manual safeties, which is why you will never see Glocks actually issued to US troops despite them probably being the best tools for the job.

  7. Gotcha. I always find it interesting when an issuing agency such as a police department had no problem for decades with a service revolver of some sort (having no safety whatsoever save perhaps a firing pin safety to prevent drop-discharges), but a semi-auto pistol NEEDS to have a safety catch. I know that mentality has dissipated to some degree (which is why Glock is so in vogue with so many local police departments), but it always strikes me as funny/peculiar when I see it still.

    Of course, having known a few law enforcement officers for whom their service weapon is little more than just a big weight that hangs on their belt, that they have to fire one day a year on the range to keep their job, I begin to understand where the old philosophy comes from…

  8. I can’t speak for law enforcement, but the army is absolutely safety obsessed. This leads to problems with everything from marksmanship to retention of personnel. The army even regards the decocker on the Beretta M9 as a “safety” and officers and NCO’s run around telling soldiers to have their “safety” engaged. It’s a double action trigger and with that decocker engaged you are going to draw that gun when you need it, pull the trigger, and nothing will happen. This of course is in addition to the mandatory pistol lanyard that everyone is supposed to have. Needless to say we blew that regulation off as would any soldier with common sense.

  9. Calbert

    You passed up one of the rarest CZ-75’s ever made – the Long Rail Forged Frame model. This model was made for a short time between 1979 and 1981 using the original spec steel and frames forged from a solid block. Later pre-B CZ-75’s with two-line “Made in Czechoslovakia” used cast frames which were manufactured in Spain. These were dogshit, and earned the CZ’s an undeservedly bad rep in Europe. Later, CZ started making their own frames, but again, used casting instead of forging to speed up production. Forged Frame CZ’s with short rails, made between 1975 and 1979, are highly regarded among CZ collectors since so few were imported to the United States. A Forged Frame Long Rail? You looked at and handled a unicorn.

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