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Thread: South African R series of weapons information thread (lots of pictures)

  1. #1061
    Registered User lcastillo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ugh! View Post
    Those mags are coming into the US with the Yugo M85 AK pistols. Anybody here have one they can try in a galil.

    I was at a gun show today and I saw about 10 of these Yugo M85 pistols. I had a chance to inspect the magazine and the Yugo's magazine is an exact copy of the South African R-Series nylon magazines. All the Yugo pistols only came with 1 magazine.

  2. #1062
    Registered User lcastillo's Avatar
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    Question about South African 5.56MM Ammunition.

    Ruski5181,

    I have some questions about the about South African 5.56 X 45 ammunition?

    Mainly the questions are about the packaging and specs. My first question is on the outside of the 2 SA battle packs (pictured) I noticed that one pack has a M1A3 and another pack has M1A4 on the outside label. Is one better than the other?

    Second question: Is the last row of numbers on the bottom of the outside label a manufacture date by year or do you actually have to open the battle pack and look at the individual cartons for the manufacture dates?

    Are there certain production years in SA ammo that you personally prefer or is known to be better for competitive shooting? I have heard here on GTalk that later production ammo is not as good as the older ammunition.

    What is the specifications (bullet weight, grains etc..) on the 5.56 X 45 SA ammo? What twist rate was this ammunition originally designed for (1-10, 1-12 etc)? My R4 has a 1-7 twist rate barrel in your opinion would this particular SA ammo perform well for distance shooting?

    Thanks Lou
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  3. #1063
    Registered User ruski5181's Avatar
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    Hey Lou, I am actually going to go home today and check on my bags, I haven't clicked before about M1a4 and M1a3... Yes the bottom code is Batch number and year,not sure why the Z after the 1986 batch, will ask around if someone knows.
    My R5 has a 1992 barrel, 89 and 86 and 88 have shot well before, the new 2010 bags work in my rifle quiet well, haven't had an issue with groups or drop but one of the guys who has an early R4/galil one with wood furniture shot 2010 the other day and could barely hit the target at 300, switched to 86 and shot in the high 20's low 30's score which is average for him and most guys so I think there is a difference, one thing I noticed is the shells are discoloured at the top, almost like they where heated up, I will snap some pics to try explain.

    PS, one up for Cape Town in the pics all the ammo comes from the Cape Town (CTN) factory... hehe

  4. #1064
    Registered User Ady's Avatar
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    Lou. I stand under correction. 861 A is the batch number 89 is there year of manufacture. The difference between M1A3 and M1A4 is that some ammunition was made to better specs for competition shooting (skyf skiet), bisley shooting in the SADF, i'm not sure which one is which. I know this was the case in the numbering with SADF 7.62x51 (R1) ammunition where some ammunition was more accurate.

    I have heard some guys on the range (SAP) complaining about the newer pistol ammunition with failure to fires asnd some cases not having a flash hole at all when the bullet is pulled. The difference is that ammunition made in the 1980's was made for war and production costs were not as much of an issue as they are today.

    The ammunition you have will have a 55gr bullet and around 25gr of powder, but were made for R4/R5 rifles with a 1 in 12 twist. Guys shooting heavier bullets in their LM's have problems at distance. Your R4 with a 1 in 7 twist should work fine with a heavier bullet (65gr) at longer distances. The SA ammo you have should be fine at close range.

    It's just not fair that you can buy SA ammo in the USA, but we can't buy it here.

  5. #1065
    Registered User lcastillo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruski5181 View Post
    Hey Lou, I am actually going to go home today and check on my bags, I haven't clicked before about M1a4 and M1a3... Yes the bottom code is Batch number and year,not sure why the Z after the 1986 batch, will ask around if someone knows.
    My R5 has a 1992 barrel, 89 and 86 and 88 have shot well before, the new 2010 bags work in my rifle quiet well, haven't had an issue with groups or drop but one of the guys who has an early R4/galil one with wood furniture shot 2010 the other day and could barely hit the target at 300, switched to 86 and shot in the high 20's low 30's score which is average for him and most guys so I think there is a difference, one thing I noticed is the shells are discoloured at the top, almost like they where heated up, I will snap some pics to try explain.

    PS, one up for Cape Town in the pics all the ammo comes from the Cape Town (CTN) factory... hehe
    Ruski, looks like I got my hands on some of the good SA ammo then Yeah it would be great to see pictures of the discolored ammo although I think I have seen some American made ammo with this same heat treatment.

    Thanks to you I know what "CTN" now means. I thought CTN was short for "carton" or that the ammunition was individually packaged in individual "cartons". Thanks for the information


    So I took one more picture to ask you if you know the significance of what 7077 means on the plastic battle packs?
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    Last edited by lcastillo; 07-02-2013 at 12:15 AM.

  6. #1066
    Registered User lcastillo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ady View Post
    Lou. I stand under correction. 861 A is the batch number 89 is there year of manufacture. The difference between M1A3 and M1A4 is that some ammunition was made to better specs for competition shooting (skyf skiet), bisley shooting in the SADF, i'm not sure which one is which. I know this was the case in the numbering with SADF 7.62x51 (R1) ammunition where some ammunition was more accurate.

    I have heard some guys on the range (SAP) complaining about the newer pistol ammunition with failure to fires asnd some cases not having a flash hole at all when the bullet is pulled. The difference is that ammunition made in the 1980's was made for war and production costs were not as much of an issue as they are today.

    The ammunition you have will have a 55gr bullet and around 25gr of powder, but were made for R4/R5 rifles with a 1 in 12 twist. Guys shooting heavier bullets in their LM's have problems at distance. Your R4 with a 1 in 7 twist should work fine with a heavier bullet (65gr) at longer distances. The SA ammo you have should be fine at close range.

    It's just not fair that you can buy SA ammo in the USA, but we can't buy it here.
    Ady thanks for the information, sorry I did not mean to leave out of the SA ammo discussion. You are quite knowledgeable on your SA ammunition. I kinda blows me away that the original R4's come with the 1-12 twist barrels, I just thought Denel would have made a decision to go with a barrel twist that could give a option to shoot multiple grained ammunition on the R4? It seems like they chose just to go with one type of ammunition only. So what twist rate does your LM5 come equipped with?

    Since you reaload your own ammunition what is your main source for used brass in SA? Do you collect it at the gun ranges or do you have friends in SADF and SAP's that collect their used brass (Ruski5181 maybe) during practice outings for you. If so is there a date code you or other re-loaders prefer (such like 1989) to use for quality reloading? Or will you just about take any spent bras you can get your hands on?

    As far as being lucky to get you hands on SA ammo (battle packs) when I first saw SA ammo for sale at gun shows they where $60.00 for 300 rounds, but of course back then I was not aware of the quality of SA ammo so I did not buy any also another factor was the age of the (20 years +) SA ammo that keep me from buying it, after all there was newer US made ammo around to buy. So today this ammunition is hard to find and at the last gun show they where asking $220.00 for 300 rounds and it was selling! I have seen a surge in SA .308/7.62 (there is more of that than 5.56mm in my area) for R1's! I bet you would like to get some of this ammo for your new baby (FAL) huh?

    I will leave you with a picture of some SA .223 ammunition for sale on Gunbroker. Here is the auction link http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=350234115 or http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=350234174

    Cheers,

    Lou
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  7. #1067
    Registered User Ady's Avatar
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    Lou.

    I don't know what the code on the battle pack is. The ammo pictured above is hunting ammo made by PMP (Pretoria Metal Pressing) which is a subsidery of Denel, but it is old. Most of PMP's market today is overseas which seems to make the locals a little mad because they dont cater for the sport shooter but more for the hunter here.

    I'm not sure what twist my LM5 has, i would imagine it is also 1-12. I have read that the R4's have a 1-12 twist rate. The manual you sent me is all in mm and not inches, but the information is as follows if you know how to calculate the twist rate.
    LM4 Right hand twist, 1 turn in 305mm, 6 grooves, barrel length 460mm
    LM5 Right hand twist, 1 turn in 305mm, 6 grooves, barrel length 332mm

    We can't use military brass here because it is Berdan primed and Berdan primers aren't readily available for reloading and when they are they are expensive. I picked up alot of brass from a security company that was very cheap and thats what i'm reloading, we also pick up a fair amount on the range. There isn't a specific type of brass that i prefer, the LM chows what ever i feed it. I'm also using the cheapest bullet i can find, because all i want is a hole in the paper. I wouldn't use these bullets for anything else. SA Military R1 ammunition is almost non existant. I am using Prvi ammunition from Russia which is the cheapest at the moment, but it is also Berdan primed, but i can't reload for the same price.

  8. #1068
    Registered User ruski5181's Avatar
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    hey all, finally got to the upload page, and now its changed and its crap, anyone know of one that I can bulk upload and get the links all copied at the same time?








    We start off with the difference in the ammo casings between 1993 and 2010 ammo, I was on the range yesterday and a guy had 2010 PMP which has the same case... very odd.

    then pics of the boxes I have of ammo, you will notice 1993 and 1989 and 2010 are all m4a1 but 1986 is m3a1, bad vintage?

  9. #1069
    Registered User ruski5181's Avatar
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    Then lou, for you my man, you mags with couplers that are on the way, packed the box today, hope to ship it this weekend....





    and my one I bought which was in the packet brand new!!!




    and a bag, one of a coupl I have laying around


    and then just for fun, our transport for the weekends, busy with anti gang ops...


  10. #1070
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    Lou-

    The R series weapons are all 1:12, when they were developed from the Galil in the late 1970s the 55g ammunition was the only type available. There have been several proposals to upgrade the R-series to 1:7 or other twist rate but SANDF standard 5.56mm ball is still 55g and there is no rush to adopt 62g or heavier bullets due to the cost. Vektor only ever made 1:12 barrels for production LM and R series weapons.

  11. #1071
    Registered User lcastillo's Avatar
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    Ruski! Totally awesome with the coupler and mags. I am really excited about that set up for my R5 build as I have seen you carry with your Police issue R5 in pictures you posted. Is that coupler made by Denel or Vektor originally?

    Ady thanks for the specs on the R-Series rifles and as always thanks Mrf2 for your input! Lou

  12. #1072
    Registered User Ady's Avatar
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    Lou, you better look after that coupler from Ruski, you don't often see them.

  13. #1073
    Registered User ruski5181's Avatar
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    Ady, i'm sure i've seen a couple more if you want me to keep my eyes open, I stopped using couplers cause it makes what you are carrying on long treks through the blocks of flats in the areas fookin heavy, rather carry six mags on my chest and 2 on my leg than 2 in my hands!

    Lou, they seem to be one of the original couplers, I have seen a couple of cops using them, I have a metal one I got while using my M4 overseas, fits my galil steal mags, but man it adds weight.

    MRF2, so what you are saying is when building my LM4, I must find a 1:7 barrel? what would shot better at 300Metres, 1:12 or 1:7?

  14. #1074
    Registered User Ady's Avatar
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    Ruski, if you come across a coupler please keep me in mind.

    I would stick with a 1-12 twist for your LM4 here in SA. All state ammo is 55gr and 55gr bullets are very easy to find and relatively cheap if you want to reload. Your LM4 will make 300m easy. I have shot accurately in competition at 300m with my LM5's short barrel shooting 55gr state ammo at a SANDF Bisley shoot. The biggest problem at that distance is wind, not bullet weight or barrel twist. The 1-7 twist will be ideal for a heavier bullet which state ammo isn't.

  15. #1075
    Registered User lcastillo's Avatar
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    Ruski5181, It was interesting you said that some of your boys where having issues at the 300 yard distance with the newer ammo. Then they switched to older 1986 ammunition and it worked fine? I read in Peter G Kokalis article "Afrikaans AK" printed in 1993 for Soldier of Fortune magazine (the full article can be seen in this thread on page 36 and bottom of this post). On the lower left hand side of page 34 on 3 paragraph the author states the following:

    There are presently no less than 8 variants of the R4 Series. All have six-grooved barrels with right-hand twists of one turn in 12 inches for the M-193 type ball projectile. The SADF is currently evaluating the prospect of converting to Belgian SS109-type (US M855) ball ammunition, which will require a faster twist (at least 1:9 inches).

    So what if SADF did finally convert to a heavier weighted (62 Grain) in the 1990's (M1A4?) and maybe the issues your shooters encountered was keyholeing from shooting a heavier grain bullet (M1A4?) thru a 1:12 twist barrel of an older wooden R4? After all the older R4 1:12 twist barrels where designed to shoot the 55 grain (M1A3) ammunition. Could that be plausible?

    Ruski you also said the newer SA ammunition's brass casing has a heat line on it . These are the same heat lines that are found on the brass casing of the M855 ammunition I own (62 grain).

    Of course this is just wild speculation and I may as well be wrong, but again this theory could be easily tested by weighing the bullet grain of the newer SA ammunition against the older SA ammunition.

    I just can't see how the South African defense industries would cut corners when they have such a rich history of taking products and making them better? That's my 2 cents for what is worth
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  16. #1076
    Registered User lcastillo's Avatar
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    Ruski5181,

    Here is the rest of the article on the Afrikaans AK's in the last paragraph Peter K. goes on to explain about what happens with heavier bullet grains in 1:12 twist barrels.

    It is actually a very good article about the R series rifles from South Africa!

    Cheers

    Lou
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  17. #1077
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    VEKTOR R7 (Heavy Barrel) Rifle.

    Ruski5181 & Ady,

    I already can guess what the answer to this next question directed to my South African buddies is? But have you guys ever seen a R7 at the gun range? I know this is probably one of the rarest rifles in the SADF inventory. I just hope maybe one of these R7's made it in to a private collectors hands so we eventually can get pictures of one?

    Did these rifles get issued to SADF units? Or where these rifles another victim of the chopper? Thinking as a soldier, I figure these rifles might have not been very popular with SADF soldiers due to the added weight of the heavy barrel (R4 is already heavy on its own)? I bet it was an excellent shooter with that heavier barrel! Well I was hoping maybe one would eventually pop up to get the specs. Maybe that way we could duplicate one with a U.S. made bull-barrel (hint,hint) and test Jeff Miller's mad rifle making skills) That would be nice
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  18. #1078
    Registered User ruski5181's Avatar
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    That is an interesting theory on the ammo Lou, PMP who stamp out the state ammunition as well stopped supplying to most forces after 1993 after government ordered them to slow down on production. We didn't see stamped state ammo again until 2010 when the massive amount of money that was set aside for world cup included new ammo for all forces just in case. Everything before 2010 has a uniform colour casing, the new heat treated look ones have only appeared since 2010. it is possible as the army did massive refurbs to their weapon supplies at this time as well, loads of weapons went in for clean up, and our police guns all went in for barcoding and engraving.
    I am not a person in the know, but ill ask around.

    R in the R7 would dictate government only, no civvie ownership. I have never seen a heavy barrel R7, but, I have only ever seen 2 R6's in person, so who knows. Next year at the navy festival I am going to the special forces tent and taking a picture with the R6, and all the pretty H&K gear they have!

  19. #1079
    Registered User lcastillo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruski5181 View Post
    That is an interesting theory on the ammo Lou, PMP who stamp out the state ammunition as well stopped supplying to most forces after 1993 after government ordered them to slow down on production. We didn't see stamped state ammo again until 2010 when the massive amount of money that was set aside for world cup included new ammo for all forces just in case. Everything before 2010 has a uniform colour casing, the new heat treated look ones have only appeared since 2010. it is possible as the army did massive refurbs to their weapon supplies at this time as well, loads of weapons went in for clean up, and our police guns all went in for barcoding and engraving.
    I am not a person in the know, but ill ask around.

    R in the R7 would dictate government only, no civvie ownership. I have never seen a heavy barrel R7, but, I have only ever seen 2 R6's in person, so who knows. Next year at the navy festival I am going to the special forces tent and taking a picture with the R6, and all the pretty H&K gear they have!
    Ruski, So I looked into the why cases look like they are heat treated and this is what I came up with. The discoloration on the casing is where the ammunition manufacturer heats the bottleneck of the brass case so it is more malleable to work with. This process is called "Annealing". It further explains that annealing brass prolongs the life of the casing for reloading purposes. So depending on the manufacturer annealing can be an extra step in the manufacturing process or a step they just skip. So from what I read military and NATO ammunition require annealing (I included pictures of some M855 & Tracer ammunition I had as an example) as part of the contract. So the manufacturers are required to show proof of the annealing and that's why they leave the brass discolored as proof it was done. Other ammunition manufacturers take an extra step to polish/tumble the annealed case for uniform color.

    So it is guess that back in the 1980's Denel Land Systems did not anneal their brass cases because the embargo did not allow them to import ammunition for any foreign sales. I also think South Africa not being part of NATO had something to do with it also? So at some point SA ammunition started annealing the ammunition for SADF use (around 2010 as you pointed out). I suspect that annealing ammunition would open doors to importing or foreign military contracts for Denel Land Systems. Again this is all wild speculation on my part

    What does the "R" in the R-Series represent? I know has to be some meaning behind it.

    well I hope when you make it to the Navy festival tent you take lots of pictures! Make sure you get some good close ups of the R6 or any other weapons you see. We want to see pictures for sure

    One more thing! Do you remember awhile back I was trying to explain to you about the U.S. ammunition on stripper-clips and how they worked? Well I took some pictures today in hopes of showing you how this stripper-clip system works (and when I refer to strippers its not the two-legged type). I will create a new thread since it is kinda off topic from R-Series. The thread will be called "Stripper Clip 101" just for you Ruski.

    Cheers

    P.s. here is a video that explains how to anneal cases http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgD5D0Wzu-c
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  20. #1080
    Registered User ruski5181's Avatar
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    Wow lou, you really hit the nail on the head there! That's it exactly, and after having ammo production shut down for so long, what better way to get back in than to conform to international standards and sell to everyone!

    The R in the R series i'm afraid from what I have learnt and heard is very boring... Its for Rifle.... creating a problem when wanting to make a civilian version, the LM was created for Lyttleton Manufacturing... a little boring I know

    Penetrators and Tracers.... sigh (insert dancing man) SO very nice!

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