Ever want to see what it’s like inside a Filipino gun facotry? Well, thanks to Reddit user /u/baconpatrol you don’t have to wonder too hard. Here’s a two-page pictoral on how guns are made in a small-ish Filipino shop.
The factory seems to be in two parts. Across the lane from this picture is the “conventional” machine shop which initially receives the steel for the slides and the rough casted receivers. The main part of the factory is two floors with the offices and milling machines on the ground floor and the assembly and finishing (as well as cartridge making) done on a second floor.
It seems like there are armed police everywhere in Cebu (the malls, movie theatres, and banks have armed guards) and the factory is no exception, as security at the factory have sidearms and shotguns. However, it was pretty easy for us to basically just walk in off the street and get an extensive tour. I didn’t get to see the engraving section or the firing range where they test the pistols (apparently every pistol will be fired about 10 times in total before it leaves the factory). As far as I could tell, the factory doesn’t make anything else except for 1911 pistols at the moment.
They make every part of the pistols, except the magazines, which come from Italy. I’m not sure if they actually make the grips in the factory I was at, but they said that they do make the grips themselves. I was told that SAM starting making guns in 1993. At one point they had 600 employees working in two shifts, but after the recession in 2008 or thereabouts they have reduced to about 100 employees working one shift only.
The USA is their main market and they also sell to the Philippines and other countries like Canada. Wolverine and Seraphim are the two Canadian companies for which SAM makes pistols now. The factory buildings are dark, hot, crowded, and dirty. The workers seemed to be friendly enough. Some of them appeared to be in their teens, probably late teens (or even twenties). Most of them looked like they were in their thirties. A couple of older ones worked towards the end of the process.
In the United States, the 1911 series of compact and standard sizes are manufactured under the Titan name. SAM’s full product line can be found at Sam’s Website
The long steel rods which are cut to length and milled into the slides.
Here are a couple of pictures of what are eventually turned into the slides.
Work areas on the “conventional” side.
I may have misunderstood this part but i think this factory receives the forged receivers from a different factory. The rough receivers are dealt with briefly on the “conventional” side before being sent over to the CNC side.
The barrels are made of a different material but i understood that they too are forged somewhere else before arriving at the Cebu factory.
Once the initial machining is done, the receivers, slides, and barrels are taken across the road and go through several CNC machining processes. The receivers go through about 8 or 9 separate processes. A couple of views of the factory floor.
Receivers being processed and reviewed in the CNC.
A similar process is used to do the slides.