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Homemade Criminal Gun: “Smith & Meth-Son”

Rolling dumpster fire confiscated in Iowa.

On April 18th, 2022 the Meskwaki Nation Police Department in Tama, Iowa posted some pictures and a video on their Facebook page of a clearly-homemade and poorly constructed firearm found in the possession of a convicted felon. This unnamed person was also reported to be in possession of methamphetamine and MNPD disclosed the suspect had a previous conviction for cocaine distribution. Appropriately dubbed by one of the officers as the “Smith and Meth-Son”, by all appearances discharging this double-barrel pistol is as dangerous for the bearer as the intended target. The entire mess is reinforced with some form of epoxy or bondo and machinist's blue layout fluid is present on many of the parts, with random screws scattered throughout the frame.

Their post reads, in full:


Dear Public and Fellow Law Enforcement Agencies,
We want to inform you of a public safety and law enforcement matter that came to our attention today. The possessor of this firearm was a felon prohibited from possessing firearms and was previously convicted for possessing firearms. He possessed meth and was previously convicted for distributing cocaine.

We will not be answering any questions about the circumstances of this firearms seizure or the suspect at this time.

Although our officers have dubbed this creation the “Smith and Meth-Son,” this is no laughing matter.

The Meskwaki Nation Police Department not only serves the proud Meskwaki Community, but also a casino and highway that brings visitors from all over and offers opportunities for very interesting encounters.

Join the Meskwaki Nation Police Department – we are hiring an officer to join our team! 😀 See other post!



While the maker of this contraption is unlikely to be the next Eugene Stoner or John Browning there are some attributes that are worthy of note. Proving that the Smith & Meth-Son is not just for show are the spent cases in the chambers (check out the blown left primer!). Though the caliber was missing from the description, the 209 shotshell primer and case diameter point to it being a .410. The barrels themselves are likely fabricated from 3/8-inch schedule 40 black iron pipe, though we don't have a pair of calipers to confirm.

Regardless, smoothbore handguns, even in .410, fall under the purview of the National Firearms Act and require a federal tax stamp to legally make or own, because they are classified as AOWs (“Any Other Weapon)–this is why the Taurus Judge features a rifled barrel.  We don't think we're going out on a limb assuming the suspect didn't go through the Form 1 process to make and register an NFA firearm, as criminals generally don't care about the regulations the rest of us follow.

Also in this photo is a rudimentary attempt at a safety in the form of a piece of metal that swings down to block the primers. This safety doesn't look particularly effective, based on the holes through it that appear to have been made by the firing pin.

Speaking of firing pins, on the Smith & Meth-Son it looks like a 1/4-inch drive bit of some type was used.

The grip is constructed of antler or artificial antler, likely from a large knife of some sort. An L-bracket attached to the bottom of the grip does not encompass the trigger and likely serves as a backstop for the trigger. The trigger itself almost, but not quite, looks like a magazine release from an AK-47.

Proving that even criminal addicts putting together guns in their garages understand the utility of a weapon-mounted light and sighting system, a flashlight/laser combination is attached to the barrel in pure homebrew fashion with a hose clamp. Based on the body styling and LED count, it looks like a Rayovac Brite Essentials 3AAA flashlight/laser pointer with the rubber grip removed, probably procured from a gas station or flea market. Whether it's the older model that has an output of 22 lumens or the newer 40-lumen model is unknown, but functionally makes little difference. The batteries on the Rayovac Brite Essentials light are replaced from the front–so your hose clamp can remain in place!

How one goes about switching the hammer between chambers is currently a mystery to us, but here the meth maker shows a touch of artistic flourish by embedding a US quarter in the rear of the bolt. Also arguably the only item of any value in this entire mess.

Though there is no live-fire video (we'd want a really long string!), the Meskwaki Nation Police Department took the extra step of demonstrating the firing mechanism is operational:


It’s federally legal for you to build your own firearms in the United States unless you're a convicted felon or otherwise a prohibited person (state and local laws may apply). Here at RECOIL we are advocates of DIY firearms and find tremendous fulfillment in rolling our own, provided they are made safely and by those legally allowed to possess them. The Smith & Meth-Son is yet another demonstration that regardless of the laws put in place, bad actors will simply just do it anyway. Pretty methed up.

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