Pakistan spends a fifth of its national budget on defence. Hamed’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher was designed in Russia and made in China.


The arms trade: Where to get guns

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Saab Bofors AT4-CS

The most expensive handheld rocket launcher on the market, an AT4-CS costs US$2,700 and can be used only once. Manufactured under license by US company ATK, 300,000 have been bought by the US Army, despite claims that they’re not as effective as cheaper alternatives.

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Beretta 92FS

A Beretta semi-automatic pistol can be bought on the Silk Road online marketplace for US$1,880. Payment must be made in bitcoins, an online currency that protects your anonymity. Pieces of your purchase will be shipped one at a time; you’ll have to assemble the gun yourself.

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Smith & Wesson M&P15

At US$499, this assault rifle costs as much as an iPad. Both are available at US Walmart stores. With almost 9 guns for every 10 citizens, the USA tops the world for gun ownership. Yemen comes second, with a rate roughly half that of the USA.

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Kalashnikov AK-47

Of the 500 million firearms worldwide, one in five is a Kalashnikov, half of which are counterfeited, unlicensed models. In Mogadishu, Somalia, an original Russian Kalashnikov AK-47 can be bought for US$400, but a counterfeit made in India will cost just $140.


From the pages of COLORS #85 - Going to Market.