Book Review: V10N6


A History of South African Firearms

South Africa has a rich history evident in its firearms, but this is a story that is seldom told outside of Southern Africa and certainly the lore that has been passed around verbally has not been previously researched, documented and properly presented. The initial goal was to research and record approximately 220 firearms made in the region, and the dozen and more distinguished contributors have come close to hitting that goal. For over 8 years members of the Pretoria Arms and Ammunition Association searched, researched, photographed, interviewed, gathered documents and compiled the information on over 180 firearms indigenous to the region.

The firearms covered in this book are tools, and as such, appearance and function are dictated by the job at hand. These run the gamut from fine hunting rifles, to weapons of war, to law enforcement tools, to the pleasures of sport shooting. This book is not just about one type of weapon or firearm, it is about entire cultures of shooters and designers in the post-World War II-era of the Republic of South Africa. A section on Rhodesian firearms (now called Zimbabwe) covers many of the items from the 1970s war period.

A History of South African Firearms, Edited By Chas Lotter

Historical anecdotes abound, from the interviews conducted with manufacturers and designers such as Truvelo Armoury, Tony Neophytou, Denel and many others. The Neopup, Neostead, Truvelo’s CMS series including the 20x42mm sniper, LDS submachine gun, Panther, CR21 and many hunting rifles that were innovative are covered. The birth of the Striker 12-gauge and MGL 40mm are well covered, as are the Rhodesian War guns such as the Kommando SMG.

Chapters include: Musgrave; Lyttelton Engineering Works; Truvelo; Republic Arms; Milkor; Other South African Manufacturers; and Rhodesian Firearms.

We highly recommend this book for all those interested in small arms. It is well organized and can be searched by products made by weapon designer or company as well.

Compiled by: Pretoria Arms and Ammunition Association
Edited By: Chas Lotter
Published by: Pretoria Arms and Ammunition Association, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-620-72874
Hardcover. 540 pages, 1252 images
(Also known as “The DAMISA book”)
First edition: 1000 ZAR / Second edition: 750 ZAR (About US $70, 60€, 55£ at press time)
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