Paramax: Final Iteration of the LDP Kommando

The Kommando semiauto carbine was designed in 1975 by Alexis du Plessis in Rhodesia, and went on the be manufactured in South Africa a few years later by the Maxim Parabellum company. The final iteration of the design came in 1980/81 with this, the Paramax. The molded lower housing of the Kommando was replaced with a bent square steel housing, the folding stock was replaced with a collapsing one, and a number of other internal changes were made. Apparently the Paramax was intended for international export, but this does not appear to have ever actually happened, and they are very scarce guns today in South Africa.



  1. “Maxim Parabellum”
    I am wondering about that name source. Anyway if you compare this thing with Maxim machine gun or Parabellum Pistole it looks outrageously cheaply made…

  2. (Not related to topic.)

    Couple of numbers back we ran thru .22 cal. conversions for 5.56mm standard issue rifles. Here is article describing exactly that for 7.62mm AK rifle(s), as long as they are furnished with sheet metal receiver.
    One detail which got my attention is the barrel insert. when I do quick offhand count on wall thickness, it looks to me it ends up at about 0.09″ (2mm). Is this a joke?

    I do not mean so much its resistance against the pressure, but its durability thru repeated use.

    • Regarding .22 rim-fire converters for 7,62-mm weapons you might find interesting Blum machine gun:
      Initially it was supposed to be fitted into Maxim machine gun, but later it was dropped in favor of “parasite” layout (c.f. photo in link). It was used both as add-on, and as stand-alone weapon with various furniture depending on weapon emulate, see drawings here: http://alex—

      • “Better not to use those systems chambering that increase the likelihood of repatronage, and quite a lot of them. That the designer of all these difficulties had been overcome”

        The designer of “Google translate” (I assume) has difficulties to overcome, in translating Russian. Repatronage?

        Anyway thanks for the link.


          Not related so ignore etc…

          The bolt doesn’t spring forward, the carrier moves backwards… Which rotates the bolt, the bolt is locked prior; the carrier moves rearwards and this movement rotates the bolt… If the gas just hit the bolt it would do the same thing wouldn’t it, albeit perhaps less effectively via gas loss etc.

          Unless I have got this totally wrong after, like… Years. The bolt can’t move forward it is inside the barrel, honestly translate it to Russian via Google.

          • Because the bolt needs to rotate… Unlike the tilty bolt direct impingements.

            I’m directly impinging on this South African guns topic.

          • If the bolt moves forward my Nitinol actuating idea is well up shite creek.

            As you might say in Sud Afrika.

          • Gas comes down the tube as a bullet passes the port in the barrel, the gas is directed into the bolt carriers cavity behind the bolt; the gas can’t go forward, because the bolt can’t its front is against the chambers outer… So the gas pushes the carrier back, this turns the bolt because of the cam stud that sits in the bolt via a cam track in the carrier.

            If you blocked… Ok the carrier is forward when the bolt is locked, so its back, when the bolt rotates to unlock… So you could direct impinge on say a blocked “gas pipe accepting thing on the carrier*” the stud is what rotates the bolt which is the lock I.e. A rotary bolt. The bolt can’t move forward, I don’t understand.

            Surely the gas goes into the carrier because it just needs more gas and thus it takes longer; because of the rotation lark, if locking wasn’t achieved by rotation; a blocked thing as above = * would do what gas impingement does.

            So the bolt is a piston but the system is still gas impingement.

          • The system needs more gas to impinge, compared to the French system; because of the rotary bolt.

          • In an AR18 the carrier moves via a gas tappet I.e. It is physically impinged upon by a metal gas rod. But the carrier just rotates the bolt by moving back; so the gas just moves it back in an AR15 as per but more efficently, as is needed for reliable rotation. The French rifle has a tilting bolt, the lock is what counts. Or am I wrong.

          • If the standard AR bolt had twin Ak style lugs, the amount of rotation so gas required would be further increased (you’d need a bigger chamber/gas pipe accepting thing) which to me explains the 7 lugs; less surface area, so less rotation required. I think i’ve said something similar before in regards the Johnson rifles bolts rotation; because it bumped the cocking handle/stud up a ramp on the ejection port which you wouldn’t want to be steep to avoid jams.

          • I.e. If it had AK style lugs it, said ramp would need to be steep; to aquire the required rotation in regards the increased surface area of the lugs.

    • A .22 Kits in an AK is probaly no worse than the H&K conversion kits for the G-1 (Bundeswehr FAL). These were also used in UK and Australia and were NOT supposed to be used with any ammo apart from “Standard Velocity”

      With the incredibly thin tube walls, running a few packets of Winchester “Laser” or such was apparently a good way to make the sub-cal tube a permanent fixture in your rifle.

      These conversions were intended for use on indoor, 10 to 25 yard. “gallery ranges, so HV was not required or even desirable. The really cool bit in the “up-market” galleries the the 16mm projector that showed the “scenario on the paper screeds. In a proper set-up, the projector could be synchronized to the paper feed and thus, with the aid of a back-lighting rig, could play back the “scenario / target sequence and the hits would show up as little points of light. There were TWO paper feeds: a white roll that was the projection screen and a brown “backing roll”, a bit like the backing papers used in some rifle and pistol competitions, to verify hits on target as against patches falling off, etc.. That, I believe, was the theory, however, being a bit “Heath Robinson” things could get out of sync, break down, etc.. These days, a lot of military systems have changed over to “laser-tag” with images provided by serious video projectors. The weapons are basically modified shells of real ones, with a laser mounted in the false barrel and special “dummy magazines and a compressed air supply that connects to the “weapon” and which drives the “recoil simulator” mechanism. Large loudspeakers above the “firing point” provide the synthetic audio of outgoing fire, but at non ear-threatening levels.

      A session in the “simulator shed” provided a pleasant interlude during days of “Infantry Minor Tactics” in the weeds, slaving over a bench in the workshop, or bleeding brakes on a bunch of trucks.

      Nice air-conditioned theatre; no ants crawling up your legs while you bake in the blazing sun (or freeze in the snow).

    • “Ugly”
      This is subjective. Also if you want sub-machine gun as cheap as possible you do not care about external look, as long as it works.

  3. Serial production wise, this is huge and primitive step back from the plastic lower.

    Even the newest pretty shitty “Uzi Pro” has plastic lower, the same was with Steyr mpi69, which is kinda like product improved and production and construction simplified Uzi.

    • I have similar view. However, we do not really know (unless I missed it along the way) who was intended customer. It is well known fact that customer drives the product – its features and quality level.

      My suspicion is this was intended for self-defence of white farmers (which may be mostly passe by now); unless I am completely off mark.

      • This is far fetched story, always about these “poor endangered farmers” (think of the chil, err, farmers!),
        but if thats really the case,
        with firearms of paramax quality and fashion, our dear farmers are pretty much doomed right from the start.

  4. Lot of features are plain borderline stupid, like repositioned mag catch that need modified magazines (best do it by 80 year old hand, that horrible looking hole in third mag), and that sling swivel on barrel nut.
    Then again, beforementioned steyr mpi69 had sling swivel on the cocking piece, so I guess this is silver medal in worst sling placements.
    I would not fancy that in sling manipulation you could theoretically unscrew the barrel nut.

    Of course that the stock latch is not working !
    Big fat grip in front of the trigger guard…just looks odd and ugly. Why not enclosed style grip around ParaSux lower, something like the 2 part one in Uzi?
    Or leave it out, Ingram style.

    Why is the rear sight so long, looks like almost friggin 3 inches !?

    Its kinda like somebody not extremely intelligent took original Kommando and tried to improve it, and in the end actually screwed almost every part he wanted to change.
    But good case study of design failure.

    • I think the idea was non factory production, incase…

      Well everyone dreamed of being a super trouper then, it was very unlikely to happen and computer games hadn’t been invented but it was for a good cause.

      Which again is hard to imagine now, like Playstations were then probably.


        Times just change.

        “Possibly slower in Russia” which may lead to problems; in which case we’ll just have to do our duty.

        In 200 years they’d likely suggest that was a bad idea, but then they probably won’t exist, which is new.

        • They do though don’t they, I meet Eastern Europeans all the time my age 40; all brought up in Warsaw pact countries, when we used to joke about Skodas… They never saw now, niether did I.

      • Bit of mop handle here and there; and it isn’t like… Nobody wanted to kill them, probably for “money” as oppose race though.

        But who knew.

      • “idea was non factory production”
        Then, I presume you do not care about any copyright/intellectual property issues, if so then copying Ingram sub-machine gun would give superior weapon I presume, at least ergonomic-wise, quality would depend on manufacturer.

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