An interesting armoury item appeared in the War is Boring Blog this week. Written by Matt Cetti-Roberts, it tells the story of a day in the life of Bakhtiar Aziz who runs a family gunsmithing shop in Erbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital.
Mr Aziz has been running the business since 1987 taking it over from his father. Originally it was focussed on repair of hunting weapons but, of course, since the war began things have changed.
Mr Aziz reports that 85% of weapons that pass through his shop for repair are Russian in origin, produced in the 1950s. The most common weapon is of course the AK47.
He also sees M16s which he repairs and converts to a carbine M4 type version. These weapons have done the rounds from the Iraqi Army to ISIS and then to the Peshmerga.
Apparently the cost of an M4 in Kurdistan is around USD5,000.00
As you might expect the business of gun repairs these days is brisk and sees Mr Aziz often working late into the night. Let’s hope that he can return to his core business of repairing sporting rifles sooner rather than later.