Identifying Hindu Kush Guns

Named for the mountain range west of the Himalayas, here’s how I identify guns from the Hindu Kush for restoration.

by Paul Mazan

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Lately, I have been seeing a lot of guns passing through the shop that are copies of British firearms. These copies are generally referred to as “Khyber Pass” guns although they may have been made any place in the Middle East or South Asia. They often incorporate original parts and can range in quality from pretty good to simply terrible. The more you know about these guns the easier it is to recognize what you are looking at and not end up paying the original price for a copy. Here are some recent examples I have run across.

I have often joked that there must be a law that everyone ever touching a British military firearm is required to put a stamp on it. All those stamps have a meaning and usually designate some change in the condition of the gun. For example, the broad arrow means that it has been accepted into service and is the property of the British Government. As the Enfield Number Ones had additional features incorporated into them, they were stamped to indicate that upgrade. By looking for those markings we can often tell if a gun is an original or a copy.

For our first example let’s look at a Snider that I ran into recently. At first glance, it looked like an…

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