On December 15, 2006, I and a group of stalwarts toured the world-famous Huglu shotgun factory in (as luck would have it) Huglu, Turkey. The correct name of the company is the Huglu Hunting Firearms Cooperative, which was started in 1962. CZ-USA is the current importer of these shotguns into the United States, and is responsible for really jacking up the prices of shotguns in Turkey!
The factory complex is located a few kilometers outside of Huglu, a village of about 3,500 people. As you can see, the factory is relatively isolated.
Turning 180 degrees around while standing in place on the frontage road reveals the main building:
Here is the front door of the factory and showroom complex:
This is the showroom and sales floor; since it is very difficult for non-"connected" Turks to buy shotguns (and nigh-impossible to buy rifles or pistols), the showroom does not see much business except for foreigners in search of very elusive bargains. Since CZ-USA is buying everything that Huglu can produce, their current idea of bargaining has been reduced to "...take it or leave it." Since the prices are still decent compared to the cost of the same shotgun in America, we "took it" to the tune of $12,000 between the five of us. While the factory standard pieces represented no savings over the large Huglu "outlet" shop near Incirlik Air Base, the super-grade guns are more affordable buying direct.
This is the second large building in the complex, housing the large machinery.
Inside the "machine" building: The floor was clean and neat, everything was well organized and in serviceable condition, and OSHA standards were nowhere in sight. However, we did not see anyone hurt or injured...hmmm...could it be that making people take responsibility for their own actions is better than an oppressive government standard, complete with jackbooted enforcers? Nah...
From the other end of the building; note the stacks of receiver blanks on the left:
Another shot of the new cabinet machines. These were, according to our guide (whose name, as near as I could understand, was "No Pictures!) new last year. Their goal is to produce 40,000 shotguns per year. Last year they made 32,000 and they are close to the goal for this year. Notice how busy everyone is...these pictures were taking on a Friday afternoon; Friday being the prime "holy day" in the Muslim world.
From there, we left the machinery building and went back to the main building. This area was primarily hand fitting, with very few machines in use. The fog effect on these next pictures is not the fault of my camera; while clean, the ventilation was a product from a less...robust...era.
Notice how neatly the tools are arranged on the tables. This was evident throughout the factory; very clean, very neat, and with pride evident in each worker's actions. The people we pestered while wandering about were all happy to show us what they were doing, no matter how big the stack of parts beside their respective benches.
A shot from further down the workspace.
The wood shop; fitting and checkering forends.
I missed the next several stops, due to increased diligence of our guide, Mr. No Pictures. The trigger assembly room was four elderly gentlemen sitting around a table with rows of files in front of them and baskets of parts behind them. After that was the "lettering" section, with two men using pantographs attached to mototools to engrave Huglu and CZ-USA nomenclature.
Here is my favorite stop, the actual engraving section. Notice the hammers and chisels...
Due to some of our stalwart crew wanted to get back to Ankara, we left before we could see the bluing tanks, final assembly, and the test firing section. Maybe next time...
That concludes the photographic record of my trip to the Huglu shotgun factory!