The Rifles of the IRA, UFF and UVF

Magill has obtained exclusive details of RUC  and Garda estimates of the weapons being  held by terrorists in Ireland. The details form  part of a document which was presented  to the Mitchell Commission  on Decommissioning and are as follows:


An assessment by Magill of terrorist weapons holdings in Northern Ireland

Assessment of terrorist
weapons holdings

Republican weaponry:
The contents of the four pre-Eksund shipments from Libya to PIRA, as estimated by the RUC and the Gardai are as follows:

Description            Contents    Recovered     Outstanding

AKM assault rifle        1200        612        588
GPMG machine guns        40        30        10
DSHK machine guns        26        9        17
SAM 7B missiles        10        1        9
RPG 7 missiles            130        84        46
RPG 7 launchers        33        22        11
Flame throwers            10        3        7
Webley revolvers        130        62        68
Hand grenades            275        160        115
9mm pistols            50        32        18

2. In addition approximately 1.5 million rounds of ammunition were imported on the four pre-Eksund shipments. While substantial quantities of ammunition have been recovered in various jurisdictions, it is impossible to quantify what amount has been expended both operationally and on training.
3. It is further estimated that the following explosives and ancillary items are available from the pre-Eksund shipments -

Hand Grenades            115
Electric detonators        711
Plain detonators            493
Semtex                2658 Kg

4. The above figures are calculated from an analysis of the October 1987 Eksund shipment and the likely contents of the four earlier shipments which were not intercepted. The figures are supported by information provided by the Libyan government to HMG and are agreed with the government.
5. UK intelligence has reported on other weapons shipments which push the figure for the total number of rifles (of various types) to just over 1,000, the number of hand guns to a little under 600 and 3 0.50 calibre HMGs.
6. An analysis of the number of weapons which are ballistically outstanding confirms that PIRA has more weapons than the pre-Eksund shipments alone.
Ballistically Outstanding Republican Weapons    
HMG 12.7mm            6
HMG 0.50 inch            2
GPMG                19
Rifle                395
Shotgun            31
SMG                40
Handguns            497

Total                990

7. There will be some overlap between tables 1 and 3. An analysis of the three tables points to a PIRA arsenal of at least 67 machine guns (of various types), 588 rifles (again of various types), 497 hand guns and 2,658kg of Semtex. This assessment takes no account of the Republican's capacity to manufacture explosives.

Loyalist Weaponry

8. The main acquisition by Loyalist paramilitaries occurred in 1987 when a consignment of VZ58 rifles, RPG grenades and launchers and FN pistols were obtained. This consignment was to be shared between three Loyalist groupings. Listed below are the factual recoveries and outstanding weapons based on intelligence estimates of the acquisition.

Description            Contents    Recovered    Outstanding

VZ58 7.62 x 39mm        206        132        74
Czech rifle           
FN 9mm pistols            94        67        27
RPG 7 launcher            4        4        0
RPG 7 grenade            62        42        20
RGD grenade            536        351        185

9. An analysis of ballistically outstanding Loyalist weapons confirms that they have significantly more weapons than the 1987 procurement.

Ballistically Outstanding Loyalist Weapons

Rifles                        34
Shotguns                    33
SMGs (including home-made)            80
Handguns                    674

Total                         821

10. Again there will be some overlap between tables 4 and 5, but an analysis of the tables points to a minimum Loyalist arsenal of 80 machine guns (of varying types including home-made), 74 rifles and 674 hand guns.