Indian Made HandGuns-An Analysis
Indian made handguns are now competing with the weapons of other countries.They are handy and sturdy
The Indian Handgun Scene
India is a large country, but as it was an colonized nation no arms were manufactured here. Now it is the dominant power in SE Asia and has a standing armed force of over 1.2 million. The political leadership realizing the need to modernize the armed forces set up gun and rifle manufacturing facilities. As a corollory the small arms industry also got a boost and these weapons were started being manufactured in India.
The government has set up about 50 ordinance factories under the department of defense production. The Ordnance Factories come under the control of Ordnance Factory board which is located at Delhi. These factories now manufacture revolvers and pistols for the armed forces. The weapons are also available in the civil market and any Indian with a valid arms license can buy these guns from the outlets of the Indian ordinance depots.
The weapons manufactured are the FN Browning GP35 a 9mm pistol. Also manufactured is a copy of the Pistol manufactured in Canada by John Inglis. These are high power pistols and are freely available.There is no restrictions on their purchase, but the weapon has to be booked with the ordinance depot and the cost of the weapon paid up front. The weapon which is priced at about $1500 is made available to the buyer in about 2/3 months after the weapon is booked. Another variant of the pistol manufactured is the Glock17 which is another 9mm pistol. This pistol forms part of the armory of the special protection group that guards the Prime Minister and other important personages of the Indian state. This is not available to civilians.
The Indian ordinance factories also manufacture a six chamber revolver. They manufacture the.38 as well as the.32 range of weapons. The .38 is exclusively for the armed forces and is characterized as a prohibited bore weapon. The .32 revolver however can be sold to a civilian and is also priced similar to pistol at about $1500. The .32 caliber revolver which is also referred to as IOF Mk1 is clearly copied from the famous Webley Scott revolver of the UK. The Indian made revolver weighs .70kg.
The quality of the pistols and revolvers has improved over a period of time. Earlier the general look of the Indian made small arms was inferior ,compared to weapons made in the advanced western world. However the finish has improved, but still the government owned ordinance factories need to have a quality control check in place. The pistol particularly the ones marketed for civil use are still prone to jamming while in use.
The functioning of the Indian made revolvers is better and they handle easily. I have used both the revolver and pistol and find that they are pretty ok and can be lethel.
The ordinance factories are also manufacturing other arms including rifles for the Indian Army. Quite a few rifles have been sold to the Nepal army. India is on the threshold of an entry into the world arms bazaar. Things can be improved further if a decision is taken to privatize these factories and allow the private manufacturers to enter this arena.