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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Indian NIRBHEEK Revolver Sales:

The Indian Ordnance Factory introduced the NIRBHEEK (Fearless) .32" revolver for women in 2014 and I have blogged it twice before:

I believe that India bought the Webley revolver rights and manufacturing equipment in a similar way to how the Royal Enfield motorcycles changed countries.

The Nirbheek seems to be a Webley Mk IV expensively made of titanium in .32" caliber and 'aimed at' sales to women for self defense. I think that this revolver costs in the region of $2,000. to buy - as a 'lakh' is worth around US $1,500. (a 'lakh' is 100,000 (eg. rupees) I discovered).

. Billed as India's first "firearm for women", the Nirbheek weighs just over 500 gm, and the short-muzzled revolver packs inside a women's clutch or handbag. 

I found this story written by Shailesh Menon in the Indian ECONOMIC TIMES:

Since its introduction, IOF has sold more than 3,000 Nirbheek revolvers, priced about Rs 1.35 lakh apiece, to gun licence holders in the country. 
The sales figures may appear small, but considering the limited number of gun licences issued across Indian states, any civilian firearm selling over a thousand units is considered a blockbuster. An email sent to IOF seeking data on sales figures had elicited no response at the time of going to press. 

Ironically, this revolver that comes in a decorative velvet box, is being purchased by men. If dealer logs are to be believed, just over 
a 100 Nirbheek revolvers have been sold to women gun-licence holders to date. "The reason could be the lower number of women gun-licence holders," says a Delhi-based IOF gun dealer. "Only about 3-5% of Nirbheek's owners would be women...," acknowledges Prasad Kulkarni, proprietor of Gunmark Armoury, a Pune-based weapon retailer. 

According to IOF officials, most Nirbheek orders come from Punjab, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh: India's most populous state accounts for almost half of India's 26 lakh gun licences, and has the dubious distinction of topping the charts for gun crimes. The applicants are mostly politicians or businessmen. Among women buyers, many are sarpanches, (sarpanches are elected heads of a village.) business women, members of erstwhile royal families, and a few doctors and lawyers. 
For a three-year-old locally made firearm, the Nirbheek is considered expensive. At launch, it was sold at Rs 1.22 lakh, and the price of each revolver has risen about 10% since its introduction. "Nirbheek is an expensive gun in its category... A normal person may not want to spend that kind of money for a firearm," says Milan Soni, owner of Ahmedabad-based Smit Gunhouse. "Buyers also have the option to choose from other variants... 0.32 MK-3 and MK-4 revolvers are available for much less." 

According to dealers, affluent clients would always prefer to buy an Italian or German handgun instead of a locally made revolver. Now that the government has restricted the import of foreign handguns, the second-hand foreign firearms market is thriving. Foreign-made handguns are traded at prices ranging from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 12 lakh. This, in a way, creates room for Nirbheek to sell more to the 'not-so-brand-conscious' consumers. "Nirbheek is a decent gun for self-protection... It is lightweight .. 

I'd love to have one of these rarities in my gun safe - but I seriously think it might better be made in 327 Federal Magnum caliber - but probably Indian caliber restrictions would prevent this.

Another IOF revolver .. The 8 shot .22" NIDAR revolver is likely a better & cheaper gun for self-defense carry.

IOF Nidar Revolver

There is a whole world 'out there' that we know so little about eh,

Marty K.