The Philippine Arsenal has been kicking it as of late

In 1967 the Armed Forces of the Philippines built the Government Arsenal, DND, in Camp Luna in Lamao, Limay, Province of Bataan, about 120 km from Manila by land, 70 km from Subic Naval Station and 90 km from Clark Air Force Station. The factory by 1971 was producing small arms ammunition for the AFP and today cranks out 5.56mm (M855, M193, Blank ammo); Cal. .45 M1911 ball, 7.62mm (linked & loose), Cal .30 M1 (the PI still has over 35,000 M1 Garands issued) and Cal. M2, 9mm parabellum.

However, since 2011, the Arsenal has also been modding and refurbing the PI’s legacy firearm inventory, much of it WWII surplus.

The main rifle of the AFP is the M16/M4 in a number of variants. Between 1974-1986, a local company, Elisco Tool Manufacturing Co.made 150,000 M16A1s for the Philippine Government under license from Colt. As part of the license agreement, in addition to the TDP Colt provided technical assistance to establish the manufacturing line.

The AFP also used locally made M7 bayonets, marked with the country crest. More info on those here

In 1983, the company picked up ArmaLite’s remaining production line at a fire auction and started making AR-18s, though not for PI military use.

These M16A1s have been the backbone of the AFP for 40 years, and have seen much use in rough conditions. To augment the aging 5.56 eaters, 63,000~ new Remington R4 (semi-auto only select-fire M4s) have been acquired in the past few years with DND doing in-house upgrades on them including installing slings, Troy flip-up backup iron sights (BUIS) and EOTech optics.

AFP troops in Mindanao firefight with a Remington R4. Good TD

But wait, there’s more!

They have also been reworking old Elisco Colts into two new versions for use by police and military forces:

Worn out AFP M16A1s. Note they are largely “in the white” and you have some obvious handguard issues

They become the new 16″ Mid Length Carbine

Or the SDMR

Note the Israeli style slings. Also, odds are the OD green as well as the 16-inch barrels, and M4 style collapsable stock are more welcome in the jungle environment than black A1 “Mattel” furniture and 20-inch barrel.

Note the old Elisco Tool markings

Old 1911A1s are getting similar treatment.

WWI?WWII-era M1911A1s, the newest of which was made in 1945. You can bet the ones taped together have long since lost their internals, cannibalized to keep other pistols working.

Speaking of new, the serial number on the pre-owned Ithaca is in the 1945 run.


It’s a shame as those old 1911s were collectible war vets, but you have to admit these upgrades are night and day differences. You work with what you have I guess, although it could be argued they could have sold the WWII era guns on the milsurp market and bought brand new PI-made Rock Island/Armscor 1911s, but hey…

Then there is the Arsenal’s M3 Grease Gun updates for the PI Marines:

Philippines modified M3 on the range– note suppressor. That’s just good clean fun there

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

One response to “The Philippine Arsenal has been kicking it as of late”

  1. Trevor Shaw says :

    The Remington R4 Carbines are not semi-auto only, they are full-up select fire weapons – both semi and full auto.

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