number of pretty good guns have come to us by way of South Africa.
There is the way
cool Milkor Multiple Grenade Launcher (MGL), the 6-shot grenade
system that is capable of raining lethal, 40x46mm ordnance downrange
on enemy troops.And
ever-capable, enemy shreddin'South
African, revolver-operated, 12-round, 12-gauge tactical shotgun, the
Armsel Striker or Striker-12.
I would trust either gun in a pinch - for the
specific mission it was designed for.
Whether it's 12-gauge double-ought buckshot or High
Explosive ordnance being dumped on the bad guys, either or both will
perform the mission with lethal effectiveness - and certified
Then there is another South African gun of the assault
weapons kind - the R4 Assault Rifle.
The R4 succeeded the
7.62mm Belgian-made FN FAL rifle for South African Defence Forces.
It's one mean hombre,
a licensed variant of the Israeli Galil - but then, aren't they
all - MEAN?
We have come to know and love the combat effectiveness
of Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) guns. Better step aside when the IDF
comes to town - they know only one speed - FULL AHEAD.
The R4 was designed in the 1970s, manufactured from
then to the present by Vektor, aka, Denel Land Systems. It is one of
a family of guns that includes the R5 and R6 and the LM4, 5 and 6.
The Israelis developed the Galil in the late 1960s as a
replacement gun for the FN FAL. The IDF seldom make mistakes - and
when they do, unlike others - they rarely make the same mistake
twice. IDF saw firsthand the combat effectiveness of Mikhail
Kalashnikov's vaunted AK-47...hell, anyone that has gone up against
the Kalashnikov is either soon dead or in awe of this Russian assault
rifle. And they either adopt the AK as their very own, like the
Warsaw Pact countries, many African nations and Red China, or they
take its superior features and incorporate them into their own
rifles. The IDF did the latter.
The end result of Israeli battle field lessons learned:
the IMI Galil.
But any child is born of two parents: the Galil owes
its birth to the AK-47 and Finland's M62.
The R4 is chambered for 5.56x45mm NATO. It's
gas-operated with a rotating bolt, and it lays down rounds at 700 or
better per minute, using a 35-round, synthetic detachable box
The R4 weighs about 9 1/2 pounds. (Successive R
variants have gotten lighter.) With its side-folding tubular stock
folded (right), it measures just 29 inches, nearly 40 inches
The gun has a handy, slotted flash suppressor that
doubles as an adapter to launch grenades. Flip up the rear sight, use
the front post to acquire your target, move the selector switch from
S (Safe) to R (Single Shot), A (Full-auto) and commence fire - sending
lead downrange at 3,200 feet per second.