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Turkish Small Arms Industry | Updates and Discussions


Jan 10, 2012

The Turkish defense and aerospace industry has boosted its exports to the United States, where the possibility of gun restrictions has doubled sales of the weapons.

The U.S. has become the top market for Turkish arms and industrial goods as Turkey’s exports in January and February increased by 5.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

The potential gun control measures, projected to be adopted in the U.S. and backed by
President Barack Obama, have led to a surge in the demand for firearms.

Following the elementary school shooting in Connecticut that saw 20 children and six adults shot and killed, President Obama has delivered a plan for tightening the control of firearms in the U.S.
The number of FBI background checks required for Americans buying guns had set a record in December, indicating that more people may purchase one after the prompted renewed talks of limits on firearms, according to FBI data reported by Reuters.

The FBI said it recorded 2.78 million background checks during the month, surpassing the mark set in November of 2.01 million checks - about a 39 percent rise.

The surging market demand in the U.S. comes at a time when Turkey is redoubling its efforts to increase defense and aerospace exports abroad.

“Turkey could easily achieve its $25 billion arms trade target by 2023, with five or six Turkish companies ranking among the top 100 arms companies,” said Aral Aliş, chairman of the Union of Defense and Aerospace Industry Exporters (SSI) on the occasion of the “IWA Hunting and Sporting Arms Fair” held in the German city of Nuremberg.

SSI member companies

have also raised their export to the U.S. by 38 percent, up to $164 million, he said.

The prospect of reaching 1.5 billion worth of trade by the end of 2013 is not unrealistic for SSI, Alış said.

Turkish defense companies increased their exports to a strong $1.3 billion dollars last year, a 43 percent increase over 2011, according to new figures.

The United States topped the list of buyers by purchasing a massive $490 million worth of defense exports from Turkey over the year. The United Arab Emirates followed the U.S. at $101 million, while Saudi Arabia came third with $99 million in purchases. Most of the exported products were spare parts for airplanes and helicopters, turbojets and armored war vehicles.
BUSINESS - Turkish gun exports to US hike amid ban row


Feb 9, 2014
Its kind of long guys but its worth the read.

At the last few SHOT Shows in Las Vegas I have seen the rather large Sarsilmaz booth, but not had much opportunity to peruse the products. I knew it was a Turkish company, but that was about it. From the sheer size of the booth, I should have known it was a little more than that, as SHOT Show floor space costs about as much per square foot as an apartment in Manhattan overlooking Central Park.

When I was recently asked if I wanted to travel to Turkey to tour the new Sarsilmaz facility I have to admit I hesitated before I said yes. I hadpreconceived notions about the country, even though I'd never been there--there'd be a lot of dirt and camels and beat-up cars. But then I realized I was being the stereotypical ignorant American, and I decided the invitation should be viewed as an opportunity.

My knowledge of Turkey and its firearms was very basic--Turkey was a predominantly Muslim country, and the guns that come out of it are a great bargain--if they work. That may sound a bit harsh, but it also is accurate. ... or, at least, it used to be.

There are dozens of gun manufacturers in Turkey, but Sarsilmaz is by far the largest. They recently opened a huge new facility two hours outside Istanbul, and wanted to show some U.S. gun writers that things have changed.

Turkey, in fact, is considered a First World nation, and is a member of NATO. It is not yet a member of the European Union, which means that even though (like much of the world) their economy is not roaring, it is doing a lot better than most of Europe.

Sarsilmaz has been in business since 1880, and is a 5th-generation family business. Most of the world has a cultural history America just can't share. When your country is filled with Roman and pre-Roman ruins, the fact that Sarsilmaz is a 132-year-old, 5th-generation company is no big deal. In America, that's almost unheard of.

European American Armory (EAA Corp / USSG Inc.- European American Armory Corporation is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Sarsilmaz products. They will be importing their pistols and shotguns into the U.S. under the name SAR Arms, as it is a little easier to pronounce. Sarsilmaz, by the way, means "Unshakeable."

Turkey has the fourth largest standing army in the world at 2 million. Turkey borders Iran, Iraq, and Syria, and we were told by our hosts that they have a lot of problems with terrorists on the opposite side of the country.

I've also heard from the other side that they aren't terrorists, they are Kurdish separatists fighting for their independence. That is an argument I don't want to get in the middle of, especially since I don't know nearly enough about Turkish history and culture to even pick a side. The winners write the history books.

My point is that Turkish troops see action, and have money, so they buy what works--and they chose Sarsilmaz for their pistols. Sarsilmaz is the sole pistol supplier of the Turkish armed forces. This pistol is known as the Light. They also produce the official pistol of the Turkish National Police, the Mega.

Both of these are CZ-75 clones, the only difference being that the Light has a safety that allows the pistol to be carried cocked and locked, while the Mega has a squared trigger guard. I'm told the military carries the Light with the chamber loaded, hammer down, and safety on.

The Mega is going to be imported as the SAR B6 (and by the time this article makes it into print you may already see some of them in the USA),

For their long guns, the military uses HK G3 rifles and MP5 submachine guns made in Turkey by MKE, an HK-licensed factory.

Istanbul doesn't have any problems with terrorists, as it is on the opposite side of the country, which is shaped more or less like a rectangle and roughly the combined size of Texas and Oklahoma. I was expecting an Arabic city, and one not necessarily in the best of shape, given the age of the culture in the region. The truth was that Istanbul was very nice and new--a Mediterranean version of Toronto.

Istanbul is a huge city, more than 75 km in diameter, with a population of more than 15 million, but it is anything but dirty. It is a truly modern city, and most of it looks new

The city is split by the Bosphorus Strait, which is the official demarcation line between the continents--which means part of Istanbul is in Europe, and part in Asia. The European side is actually much more crowded, but that is where most of the tourist sites are located.

With gas priced at $10/gallon you'd think people would be hesitant to drive anywhere. Hah! Most of the cars were small, but they're new, and everywhere. The most common vehicles I saw were Fiat LCVs (light commercial vehicles) such as the Doblo and Fiorino. They look like the slightly melted inbred offspring of a Ford Transit and Escape.

Traffic is insane. The Turks can find four lanes to drive in on a three-lane road (motorcycles don't need lanes, they just zip in-between the cars) in a continuous consensual good-spirited game of chicken. While the Sarsilmaz corporate offices are located in Istanbul, the factory is located two hours to the east just outside of Duzce (pronounced "doos-jay"). This is not just because of the traffic in Istanbul, but the cost of living. Two hours is close enough to the Istanbul airport to be convenient, while avoiding the city's clogged streets.

Duzce is a medium-sized town of 134,000 people, and Sarsilmaz' ew facility is located in a new industrial park nearby. Their old plant was about two miles away, so there was no relocation necessary for the workforce. The employees live locally, and are bused in.

The new building is huge, and once I did the conversion from square meters to feet learned that it is nearly 400,000 square feet. Everything (including many of the CNC machines) is brand-new, and they have all sorts of room to expand. Sarsilmaz also has about 40 retail stores around the country, and we ran across one in Istanbul walking from the corporate offices to the Grand Bazaar.

I have toured a number of firearms factories over the past few years (in addition to small and large factories unrelated to the firearms industry including a GM plant roughly the size of the moon), and the first thing I noticed about the Sarsilmaz factory was how bright it was.

The factory is filled with natural light and potted decorative trees, and it is clean. I mean eat-off-the-floor clean, even though it has been operating for over a year. I had never seen anything like it, and asked around among my fellow gunwriters. The only plant remotely similar to the Sarsilmaz factory any of them had seen was the Walther factory in Germany.

Sarsilmaz has roughly 350 employees and is running three shifts, seven days a week. They produce 105,000 pistols a year, as well as 85,000 shotguns, 28,000 infantry rifles, and 15,000 submachine guns. Unfortunately we didn't get to watch them building the infantry rifles or subguns, but their hope is to bring a familiar semi-auto rifle design to the States, at a price most people won't believe.

Firearms are not nearly as complicated to make as computers or cars. What is the difference between quality firearms and junk? Tolerances and workmanship. ... and if your machining tolerances are tight enough so as to require little to no fitting, the human element becomes a much smaller factor. Sarsilmaz has invested a lot of money in the new facility, and filled it with the finest CNC machines on the planet.

The first station we stopped at on our tour of the plant was a seven-axis Okuma CNC machine. I'd never even heard of a seven-axis machine before, and none of the other writers had ever seen one. It is capable of turning bar stock into a finished revolver cylinder in 20 minutes, without the operator having to touch the part. It is machinery like this that allows Sarsilmaz to manufacture firearms to the tightest tolerances possible.

Across the plant floor were a number of five-, four-, and three-axis CNC machines. One location had three German-made Chiron three-axis CNC machines tied together, with a robot arm moving the part from one machine to the other to the other. I was told this was one of only two setups like this in the world.

A forged blank goes in the first unit, and 12 minutes later, a completely machined shotgun receiver comes out the other side. When it comes to machining parts, the less human interaction required, the better.

Some of the CNC machines they were using had robotic tool changers, and the factory has computer-tracked tools and toolheads for inventory control. They showed us another production machine identical to one used at the Ferrari factory they didn't even want us taking pictures of Whoever designed it has obviously watched a few Transformers movies.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the Sarsilmaz facility is just how much they do there, all under one roof. They do not just machine parts, they also do injection molding, make their own magazines and even do the wood stocks for their shotguns--from wood blank to oiled, varnished final product. I'm not aware of any other firearms company in the world that also does their own wood stocks and injection molding of plastic parts.

Sarsilmaz makes a number of shotguns with polymer stocks and fore-ends, and we watched an operator at an injection molding machine producing fore-ends at a rate of about 25 an hour. Sarsilmaz also makes polymer-framed pistols, and they make those frames as well. We saw one worker doing a final inspection on those frames, cleaning up the excess material with a file. Interestingly, Sarsilmaz even makes its own gun cases and inserts, holsters and magazine pouches--if you've got the machinery, doing it yourself is always cheaper.

The factory also does its own camo dipping for their synthetic stocks. The camo pattern being applied the day we were there was Advantage Wetlands. After the initial dip, the workers checked the patterns out, and if there were any flaws in the application they touched them up by hand.

The over/under shotgun stocks we saw being worked on were all Turkish walnut, and their grain was beautiful. They started out as blanks, and were machined four at a time in a big computer-controlled router/lathe. They told us it was the only machine in the world that could machine four stocks at once.

The interesting thing about this machine (and the whole "woodworking" area) was that it was in the middle of the plant floor. The four-docklathe had a completely enclosed work area, with fans and ventilation, and there was no sawdust to be seen on the floor. Once the major machining was done the stocks were all fine sanded/stained/oiled by hand, and there the workers did get a little dusty.

We didn't get a tour of where they make their pistol magazines, but we did watch an employee silver-soldering ribs onto shotgun barrels, which was interesting. We were told at a meeting with the plant executives that most shotgun barrels which come out of Turkey are made from tube or cold-drawn pipe, designed for plumbing. The barrels of Sarsilmaz shotguns are solid drilled and cold forged.

In fact, the management at Sarsilmaz doesn't believe in castings. None of their parts on any of their firearms are cast, they are all machined from forgings. Forging is one of two things Sarsilmaz doesn't do itself--the other is metal finishes. We watched a worker matching serialized frames and slides which had returned from the finisher, and the slide to frame fit on the pistols was so perfect he had to lightly tap each slide into place with the heel of his hand.

Pistols are assembled in a quiet room on the second floor where we weren't allowed to take pictures. Every pistol, before it leaves the factory, is function-fired with one full magazine of ammunition. For the testing and demos Sarsilmaz did of their pistols for the Turkish Army, they actually sent their engineers and assemblers instead of PR people. While this may seem only common sense, trust me, it's not.

If you're wondering how, with such modern equipment, Sarsilmaz can sell such reasonably-priced firearms, it is because the cost of living is so low in Duzce. The average worker makes 12,000 Euros a year (less than $8,000). If this doesn't sound like much, just know that we stayed in a number of five-star hotels in Turkey, and none of them was nicer than the Gosterisli Otel in Duzce, which cost $40/night, including breakfast and the best coffee I had in the country.

The management at Sarsilmaz has realized that happy workers make better guns. They pay them a good wage, they bus them in so they don't have to buy gas at $10/gallon, and the factory is filled with natural light and potted decorative trees.

Their cafeteria was as nice as the one at Smith & Wesson, and the food was better. Part of the four-course lunch we got at the factory cafeteria was a pile of French fries, and I asked the plant manager Nuri Kiziltan what they called them--French Fries, Turkish Fries, American Fries? "Just fries," he told me.

A four course lunch? Yep. Every meal we had in Turkey had 6-10 courses, although each course was small. Still, by the end of the trip we had more than had our fill of lamb, which was everywhere. Its presence in the Turkish diet is pretty much the opposite of what you'll find in India with beef.

This was the first time Kiziltan had taken western gun-writers through his factory, and what was interesting to me was seeing how he was sometimes surprised at what interested us. I did my usual thing and asked him if the Turkish walnut shotgun stocks came from Russia.

We were able to get some range time with a number of different firearms from the factory. We drove to a nearby shooting range just outside of town on what turned out to be a beautiful and warm day. I mentioned before that Istanbul reminded me of a Mediterranean Toronto, and the countryside around Duzce really reminded me of Italy.

Sitting near the top of a hillside looking over rolling, terraced green fields, all the houses I could see had red tile roofs, and the gentlemen busting clays on the trap line were all shooting Perazzis.

I have had to chase cows off ranges before, but I can honestly say I've never drank 150[degrees] Turkish tea in 90[degrees] weather. They say drinking hot liquids in hot weather cools you off, but whoever "they" are, they're idiots. If that was true, you'd see NFL players dumping urns of hot coffee over their coaches when they win the SuperBowl.

Sarsilmaz produces 65 models of pistols in 10 different calibers. We got to look at (not touch) what appeared to be a copy of a Baby Browning in .25 ACP, but unfortunately they can't export that to the U.S. They do make a very popular and well-made copy of the Smith & Wesson K-frame revolver (the SAR REV), and 6-inch versions of those loaded with .38 Spls. were very pleasant to shoot.

Everybody overseas seems to make a copy of the CZ-75, and Sarsilmaz is no different. If that seems weird to you, just sit back and try to name all the companies which make 1911s for the American market. Sarsilmaz makes several variations on the design, including both a steel-and polymer-framed version of their B6. They also make a compact version, and you should be seeing some of those models being imported shortly. The all-steel version was popular on the range, as it is very soft shooting.

Taking the pistols apart revealed a distinct lack of tooling marks, which goes to not just the quality of the machining but an investment in turning out well-made guns. The only jam we had on the range that day was due to a blown case, and we blew through a lot of ammo.

I put a number of rounds through the SAR ST10. The ST10 physically resembles the HK USP, but nobody from Sarsilmaz or EAA likes it when writers say that. The ST10 has an aluminum frame with tactical rail, holds 16+1 rounds of 9mm, and is already available in the U.S. Most of the pistols seem to be offered in either an all-stainless or two-tone version, and the ST10 is no different. I've seen the two-tone versions retailing for just $529.

The pistol I was most looking forward to shooting was the K.2. This is available now through EAA. This is a CZ-75-type pistol, but chambered in .45 ACE 14+1 rounds of .45 ACP! This pistol is fed by Para magazines, but the grip does not feel anything like a Para Ordnance, as it has the traditional CZ humpback styling, just scaled up.

The plastic grips are thin and, honestly, it doesn't feel big enough to hold that many rounds. What makes the K2 different from a standard CZ-style pistol is that it has a SIG-type lockup, and that is reflected in the contour of the slide.

Sights are good, felt recoil is not bad at all, and it can be carried cocked and locked (although the safety positioning/styling isn't as good as you're going to find on 1911s). At a suggested retail of $592, it's a heck of a bargain. We were told a smaller-framed 9mm version of the K2 survived a 25,000-round endurance test.

Sarsilmaz produces 28 models of shotguns in 12-and 20-gauge, with six different barrel lengths. Their nomenclature is easy to figure out--SAR shotguns are either pump action (PA) or semi-auto (SA). "Special Purpose" (SP) equates to a pistol grip and ghost ring sights, so an SARSASP is a semi-auto shotgun with a pistol grip stock and ghost ring sights.

The pistol grips on the shotguns are some of the most comfortable I've ever shot. They are a little big, and covered in rubber. Both pump and semi-autos are being imported now, and if you want a few more rounds in the tube than the 5+1 they come with, the magazine tube threads are the same as the Remington, so any mag tube extensions which fit the 870/11-87/1100 will fit the SAR shotguns.

Hakan Ozadali was our official chaperone and gave us the guided tour of his company and his country. When he is not busy babysitting spoiled gunwriters he is the import/export manager for Sarsilmaz/SAR Arms. Istanbul traffic being what it always is, we spent a lot of time in the car with him, and I asked him a lot of questions.

As I'm always being interested in gun rights, I asked him about Turkish gun laws, and learned they are a mix of good and bad, like many places. Turks are allowed to own pistols, rifles, and shotguns, apparently with no magazine capacity restrictions. Concealed carry permits are very tough to get and usually only reserved for those people who have to transport cash or jewels for a business.

Citizens can keep a loaded gun in their home but if they confront an intruder they have to respond with an equal or lesser weapon--if he has a knife, you'd better use one too, because if you shoot him you'll get in trouble. You also only have a right to defend the "private" areas of your home, namely the bedroom. On the whole, Turkish gun laws could be better, but they're still a lot better than you'll find in Canada. Or California.

I also asked Hakan why every single police vehicle we saw on the road had its red and blue lights going all the time. Hakan just shrugged and threw up his hands. "They like a disco?" he guessed. :yahoo:

In addition to the factory tour we had an opportunity to do a few touristy things. Istanbul has been around so long that pre-Roman architecture is pretty easy to find. We toured the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Hippodrome, and an underground Roman cistern bigger than some high schools. What got our guide the most excited, however, was talking about how Daniel Craig had been in town filming for the next James Bond movie Skyfall, and Liam Neeson had been there filming Taken 2.

Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, but it is a secular republic. Almost everyone you see (including the women) is in Western dress. Most of the women don't cover their hair, and very few people get married in mosques. When we were doing the tourist thing in Istanbul our guide told us that any women we saw in burkhas were tourists from Saudi Arabia and parts east.

Most of our second day in Turkey as part of the Sarsilmaz/SAR Arms whirlwind tour was spent traveling to the Antalya region, which is the "Turkish Riviera." This is hundreds of miles of Mediterranean coastline frequented by tourists, especially Germans and Russians (it's only a short plane ride for them).

If the Turkish Riviera was a little closer to the U.S. chances are a lot of us would be spending some time on their beaches. We stayed at abeachfront hotel in Alanya with three pools where all the drinks and food (and it was great food) were included, all for about $70/night.

If the travel expense was the same, I would rather vacation in Turkey than anywhere south of the U.S. border. The people are polite, the country is full of world-famous tourist attractions, and the food is great. I would stay away from the ayran, though, which is the traditional Turkish yogurt smoothie that is both sour and salty. Definitely an acquired taste.

I had a great time in Turkey, and neither it nor Sarsilmaz was what I expected. The Turkish government actually encourages Sarsilmaz/SAR Arms to export, and gives them tax breaks ... unlike the U.S. government which seems to view guns as a source of evil as opposed to revenue.

Because of that, and the quality and price of their products, you should expect to see a lot more guns from SAR Arms on dealer shelves. To use what little Turkish I picked up, as a value, the pistols and shotguns made by SAR Arms are gesterisli--spectacular.
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Feb 19, 2011
United States
I am highly impressed with sar, B6p full size cz clone.... I am CZ fanboy, and if Sar B6P can make it more affordable, more power to them.


May 3, 2009
This thread shall keep record of the developments in Turkish small/medium arms industry.

  • Handguns
  • Shotguns
  • Hunting rifles
  • Sniper rifles
  • Assault rifles
  • Sub Machine Guns
  • Machine guns

    Please try to attach pictures instead of embedding URLs. This will extend the life of the images on display.

    How to Upload a File in a post at defence.pk ?
Best Regards | Aero
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