Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Arms of the Tunisian Mass Shooter

In reading about the horrific attack by the Tunisian mass shooter, on the beach on Friday, the 26th of June, 2015, it appears that he used two weapons systems.  An AKM rifle, commonly referred to as an AK47, almost certainly in 7.62x39 caliber, with several standard 30 round magazines, was used for most of the killing.  The rifle is seen above.  It has wooden furniture, the AKM muzzle brake, and a web sling.  It is missing the standard cleaning rod from under the barrel.

Update: from a colleague on freerepublic:

Appears to be an Egyptian Maadi [or MISR] AKM. Doesn’t have the vertical gas block of later stamped-receiver AKs based on the AK74 receiver, very frequently identified as *AKMs* though internally, they are not. But it appears to have the Russian-style ribbed top cover, and *possibly* a black plastic pistol grip. They’re VERY widely distributed in the Middle East going back to the 1970s; The Soviets set up the factory for the Egyptians when they were a loyal client state, then by way of thanks, beginning with the Carter Administration, more than a million Egyptian Maadi AKs were distributed to the Afghani Mujhadeen for use in killing the Soviet infidel invaders, with a large bit of the start-up money for that arms pipeline supplied by the Carter-era CIA and State Department. It does appear to be in caliber 7,62x39mm, based on the usual AK47/AKM steel magazine; can’t see the back edge of it to tell if it’s typical Euro/Soviet ribbed, or Chinese/North Korean seamed...though the Chinese have produced both types in massive quantities.

The Maadi/MISR rifle was also sold in this country as a semi-auto, both with and without a *thumbhole* stock to beat the *assault weapons* ban on the as-issued buttstock.

On the right, below the rifle muzzle, is one of the other armaments used by the mass shooter, an IED fragmentation grenade.  You can see the ball bearings or similar projectiles secured to the outside of the device by transparent tape.  The fusing system appears to have been removed and placed next to the device by security personnel.  At least two of the devices, perhaps more, were used in the attack, though it is unclear if they caused any deaths directly.  The death toll has reached 38 at last count, and is likely to increase.

From my colleague:

The grenade/fuze: Does not appear to be a common frag grenade fuze assembly, certainly not a US M213 [M67 frag grenade] bouchon-type fuze, most recently seen with the C70 detonator. Likewise it’s not a Soviet F1/RGD-5 grenade UZRGM fuze, also used on the Soviet/Russian RG-41, RG-42, RGO-78, RGN-86 grenades. I suspect it’s a demolition kit item rather than a grenade fuze; it may have been the user’s no-delay *final exit* to avoid capture and take a close-in enemy with him, particularly if wounded.

The picture above shows the shooter down with the rifle and improvised explosive device on the right. 

The rifle used in the attack does not appear to be one of those pictured in an image posed by the shooter before the attack.  These rifles have different furniture than the one located with the mass shooter's body.  The wood stock of the rifle on the left extends well to the rear of the rear sight block, which suggests that it is a mock up or a training dummy.  It does not have a forward lug for the cleaning rod.

From my colleague:

Yep, the rifle on the left does have an odd-looking stock and handguard, *might* be Chinese Type-63 based rather than AKM, though the estimate that it’s a dummy or mock-up is not quite my take on it. My guess is that it’s a bayonet practice or hand-to-hand fighting training rifle, which could easily have had furniture broken during use, thence replaced with whatever could be made to fit. That just might be a bakelite upper/forward handguard [same analysis] but the thought that it’s used for such activities would also help explain away the missing cleaning rod. It also looks very maybe like the rifle has a 30-round AK74 brown/*brick red* bakelite 5,45x39mm magazine rather than an older AK47/AKM magazine...but those have also been widely distributed made of synthetic material as well.

The other AK, to *Smiley’s* left side also looks like it might have an AK74 magazine, and the shadows near the muzzle *could* be that of a bulbous AK74 flash hider/muzzle break [*flame extinguisher* in Russian nomenclature] The stock on that rifle looks to be a late-issue black plastic AK74M stock with *grasping ribs,* possible a late receiver lock side folder [AK full-stocked sidefolders usually fold to the left side [non-ejection port side] of the rifle to retain user access to the ejection port-side selector/safety lever. Some of the tube stock versions [Romanian, East German, Hungarian, Polish, Egyptian, Chinese] side folders don’t bother, and allow the folder to go to the ejection port side, since the tube sections block the safety to a lesser extent.

The shooter had at least three magazines, perhaps more.   From
Rezgui was apparently well aware of the hotel’s layout, a security source said. He had time to reload his rifle at least twice before he was finally confronted and shot dead by police outside the hotel.
The shooter targeted tourists and attempted to avoid locals:
“I was on the beach when he started shooting. We got everyone back toward the hotel, but he followed us. He targeted the foreigners but not the Tunisians,” said Wadia, a waiter.

“When he saw a Tunisian he shouted out ‘Get out of the way’ and shot at foreigners.”
It is reported that the shooter had psychoactive drugs in his system, similar to cocaine.

The attack is said to have taken about seven minutes.  I have not read any reports of attempted resistance, though some bystanders are reported to have followed the shooter and taken pictures.  Perhaps they thought they would be useful for evidence afterward.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

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