Though there are tons of homage builds floating around, few actual Rhodie FAL’s are in circulation outside of Zimbabwe, and here is one up close and personal.
Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical and Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons team up in a join table top discussion of a real deal Rhodesian 7.62x51mm NATO battle rifle from the Bush War period to include a rarely seen Halbeck Device.
While Rhodesia, a Crown Commonwealth country, had started replacing their WWII-era .303 Enfields in the early 1960s with British-made L1A1 rifles– a semi-auto version of the FN FAL– they were cut off from arms shipments from the UK and the rest of the world by a UN Security Council embargo after 1966. The only countries that provided the regime with rifles were those who were also fighting their own insurgencies in Africa at the time: Portugal, who provided HK G3s, and South Africa, who coughed up some “sanitized” Belgian-made FALs (R1s) from their own stores.
In the above video, Vickers points out the modifications made both by Pretoria and the Rhodesians themselves to include the removal of the South African crest– leaving a hole in the magazine well– the deletion of the carrying handle and the addition of the grenade launcher sights and garish green “baby poop” camo scheme.
But you want to see it go boom, yes? Yes.