Beyond State Control: Improvised & Craft-produced Small Arms

Homemade 22 Caliber Staple Gun
Homemade 22 Caliber Staple Gun

U.S.A. –-( Review: Beyond State Control: Improvised and Craft-produced Small Arms and Light Weapons. G. Hays and N.R. Jenzen-Jones and 136 pages.

Published on the Internet, November 4th, 2018, by the Small Arms Survey, paid for by the U.S. State Department Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement. Beyond State Control is an aptly titled study of improvised, homemade, and craft-produced firearms and light weapons from around the world.

This is an important topic. It defines a floor beyond which gun control is no longer effective. If people desire small arms, they will be able to obtain them by home manufacture, through improvised and craft-production. I have written extensively about the subject. I used the term “small-shop,” but “craft-produced” is more inclusive and descriptive.

Beyond State Control covers everything I have written about homemade, improvised, and craft-produced firearms for the last 40 years.  I did not write it. I can vouch for its validity. This is a well researched and comprehensive paper. It will be useful reading for every student of citizen disarmament, or “gun control.” I recognized many of the items photographed in the extensive documentation.

The authors are experts in their field. They have studied the improvised and craft-manufacture of small arms extensively.  There are a few minor errors. When writing about such a vast area of information, they are excusable.

On page 22, the authors include the Liberator pistol as being designed for production in small workshops during WWII. It was not intended for workshop production but was mass produced in a highly efficient industrial plant. This error is corrected on page 36.

On page 46, a hand indexed revolver is mistakenly called a “pepperbox” type weapon. I emailed the editor of Beyond State Control about these small errata.

Those minor errors are overcome by the wealth and breadth of the information in this seminal report. In the “Key Findings” there is this gem:

Improvised and craft-produced small arms account for a sizable proportion of weapons seized in domestic law enforcement operations in several countries. In the UK, some 80 per cent of all guns used in crime in 2011 and 2012 were improvised, craft-produced, or converted; in São Paulo, Brazil, 48 per cent of the sub-machine guns recovered during the same period were homemade; and in Indonesia, 98 percent of the guns confiscated from robbery suspects in 2013 were homemade.

Making factory produced firearms difficult to procure creates strong incentives to produce firearms beyond state control, aka the Firearms Black Market. The vast majority of improvised and craft produced weapons are used by criminals:

Data suggests that the highest concentrations of craft-produced small arms are among individual criminals and criminal groups outside of active conflict zones.

In the United States, homemade and craft-produced guns are primarily made by hobbyists for technological interest and ideological reasons.

Beyond State Control excludes explicitly the study of 3D printing technology and 80% receivers, though they are mentioned in passing.

The paper covers improvised ammunition and light weapons such as mortars, grenade launchers, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and recoilless rifles. Many images have been garnered from blogs and alternative media sources. There is an excellent section on improvised and craft-produced sub-machine guns on pages 76-83. The pictures are worth the attention of any student of population disarmament.

On page 116, the paper mentions improvised guns being explicitly produced to target gun “buybacks.”

The authors understand that controlling the making of firearms relies on controlling the flow of information:

Many of the books, magazine articles, and other publications containing instructions for the manufacture of improvised and craft-produced weapons have since been digitized and are readily available via the Internet. Home gunsmiths and hobbyists—including those who produce firearms legally in countries such as the United State—regularly post technical know-how and techniques related to home gunsmithing and the manufacture of arms on YouTube and other social media platforms. In some cases, non-state armed groups have also produced online documents, guides, and videos that provide instructions for the manufacture of improvised or craft-produced weapons. Various armed groups in Iraq and Syria, for instance, have posted videos focused on the design and construction of anti-materiel rifles (ARES, 2018).

The Second Amendment and the First Amendment support each other. Both are essential to limited government.

“Gun crime” in the UK, is higher today than it was when the draconian control of firearms was implemented, starting about 1920. Brazil has a homicide rate about eight times that of the United States. Its highly restrictive gun control scheme reached its nadir, (or apex, depending on your viewpoint) 15 years ago.

“Gun Control” is promoted as a crime reduction measure in the Western world. That is how it was characterized in England in the 1920s and later. It is how it is promoted in the United States today. The ability of criminals and criminal enterprises to access effective, improvised, homemade, and craft-produced small arms creates a limit, determined by technology and physics, on how much crime can be reduced by limiting legal access to firearms.

Many millions of improvised and craft-produced small arms have and are being manufactured the world over. Craft-produced arms are becoming well known in international black markets.

If people desire small arms, their desires will be met by improvised and craft-production.  If they do not want small arms, no controls are necessary. The arms produced may not be the most sophisticated weapons. They are sufficient for criminal activities.  There are few crimes committed with firearms in the United States that would not be accomplished with homemade pistols and sub-machine guns. The improvised and craft-produced arms are not subject to controls, and more likely to cause injury to users and bystanders.  Improvised and craft-produced firearms are more than sufficient to provide for the needs of the small class of violent criminals, as seen in Brazil.

If you are interested in the political and practical aspects of restricting populations’ access to firearms, read the entire 136-page report below.

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Sooner or later the Truth will come out. It is not “gun-control” that is being sought. It is people control that is the desired intent.


Many years ago when I was in Combat Arms at an Air Force Base I got a call from the FBI wondering if it was possible to reuse a M72A1 (Disposable Light Anti-Tank Weapon made with a fiberglass launch tube). I told him it was possible as we reused the old tubes after they were fired with a sub caliber device for training up to 30-50 times before it broke or was unusable. They had found a group in Louisiana that was building and live fire testing 66mm rockets to use in old tubes taken from a nearby military junkyard.… Read more »


Do all these gun control/gun grabbing FOOLS think that Firearms/weapons manufacturing facilities just magically appeared and started producing guns? Not hardly. The majority of them came to life from an idea in someone’s garage or local machine shop. In Europe, during WW1 or WW2 (I think), machine guns were made in secret, in the back of Bicycle shops. American innovation CAN NEVER BE STOPPED!! The American Patriots will ALWAYS rise to the challenge. Stay Calm…Build On…MOLON LABE!!


We Yanks have forgotten, and lost, the self-sufficient skills of our forbears, even of the most recent generation. Those who grew up during the Great Depression of the Twenties could improvise, cobble, baling wire, hand-file, jury rig, Mickey Mouse, etc, to make something, or make something broken work again. These days, if a kid can’t take ten, fifty, or a hundred bucks to some store and buy it ready made, he cannot have it unless he steals it from someone else who did that for him. That helplessness is what will spell their doom should the Ship hit the Span……… Read more »

Mike B in WI


Click on the link in the last paragraph, “read the entire 136-page report” and save the pdf.

Richard L

Ammoland, how does some one get a copy of this report ?


Do you see that little red line that says “read entire 136 page report below”?

F Riehl, Editor in Chief

What Vanns40 said…

Joseph P Martin

Pakistan, in the past and currently, produces thousands of up-to-date, modern weapons for use in Afghanistan by the locals, both American backed and the Taliban, and the weapons are all manufactured in homes and shops using primitive tools.