Rhodesian-Production G3 Handguard

While the standard Rhodesian Army rifle was the FAL, their next most common rifle was the G3. These were mostly of Portugueses origin, and had the thing and narrow style of G3 handguards. In an effort to counteract the rapid heating of these handguards, a domestically designed and produced clamp-on insulator was made. Molded from resin, they are relatively fragile and were not made in large numbers.

Thanks to Bear Arms in Scottsdale AZ for loaning me use of their G3 and FAL for the video!


  1. Fragile insulation as the add-on? I wonder why nobody just asked for a redesign of the entire hand guard to fit the local climate needs. Local geography quirks also made for interesting developments like the Southern Pacific cab-forward steal locomotives, which were designed for running through long distances of mountain tunnels without choking the engine crews. I am not kidding about that problem.

    • Because it was not neccessary. I had a G3 in the German Army and it got hot(in the very cold Winters of 72/74), and I had one in the Rhodesian Security Forces 76-80 and it also got hot. The Rhodesian troopie was trained not to fire automatic….in a contact with CTs (who lasted normally only seconds, internal..external Mozambique,Zambia is another story) you fired with so called “doubletap” – 2 very quick shots – 3/4 doubletaps and rapidly advancing towards enemy position..after 1 minute every thing was over and “hopefully” 1/2/3 gooks culled,the other gaped it…not much chnace for the G 3 to heat up..

  2. I imagine the hot and humid climate of Africa is real testing ground for European small arms and their furniture in particular. When comes to synthetic materials perhaps the one (likely out of bakelite) we see in video might suit the best.

    • Don’t you have to mix some form of epoxy with the Bakelite to maintain a good surface that won’t easily chip away? I’ve had experience with pure Bakelite metallographic mounts that would not maintain good interface edge with a sampled cross-section, namely that I couldn’t discern the actual cross-section external surface edge once the Bakelite had chipped away during the polishing process.

  3. To maintain a non chip interface epoxy resin metallographic surface edge I recommend the Italian “Someforme “ Bakelite polishing process. I could be wrong.

  4. Necessitiy is the motehr of invention. And the tools avaiable limit the number of possible solutions. This is barely better than wearing a glove or using a pot cloth, but was all they could manufacture with the limited means that Rhodesia had.

  5. Like most thermal setting plastics, Bakelite (phenol formaldehyde resin) needed a fibrous filler material to give it fracture resistance.

    Sawdust was one of the more frequent fillers.

    Iirc, both phenols and aldehydes will catalyse epoxies to polymerise.

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