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Ruger 1022 “Baby 14:” A Full-Auto Conversion from the Philippine Underground Workshops

By J.M. Ramos

It has been 10 years since I last returned to the Philippines. Each visit proved to be quite a memorable one. This time it’s extra special, as I have to attend the 50th anniversary of my high school reunion. A lot has changed since I last saw my classmates, all in their senior years. Just like me, the signs of wear and tear of getting old are clearly evident. Sadly, each year the reunion is held, the number of attendees becomes fewer. And for those who are still around and able to make it to the event, it is a pure delight to see them and hear their accomplishments in life. Some became doctors, professional photographers, professors, engineers, military, police and so on; but many did not make it past high school due to poverty, with most of their parents working for landowners.

Two of my best friends during high school, Tom Casco and Rick Salgado, joined the military and National Police after graduating from college. Tom achieved the rank of Colonel with the army and became a Chief of Police in one of central Luzon’s suburban towns. Rick, on the other hand, became a senior criminal investigator of the PNP. Both retired after 30 years of service. These veterans are avid gun enthusiasts, so having these two around is like being at home. There were many stories being shared by the two veteran lawmen ranging from firefights, car chases and the usual drug related busts. What interest me the most are the many types of weapons they have encountered over the years, many of which are homemade, but there are also interesting full-auto conversions of both local and imported commercial type rifles. Filipinos need no introduction when it comes to gun craft, especially homemade guns. You only need to visit the internet to see near-perfect clones of 1911-type pistols and Smith & Wesson/Colt revolver copies, all done by hand from the ground up with minimal tools in some of the most remote areas in the province of...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N7 (September 2017)
and was posted online on July 21, 2017

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