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.

  6. Rhodesia was getting junk cast offs from Portugal’s overstock of seconds and defects the South Africans either refused to take or refused to pay for. They didn’t exactly have the industry to retrofit tropic specific furniture on these things- especially since the trouble with them was heating up after auto fire- the most heat resistant modern treated hand guard would have done what? Given the soldier a few more seconds before he knew his gun was likely melting apart? Honestly dissuading these white idiots and their wannabe Rambo foreign fascist volunteers from using the G3s/Cetmes at full auto likely saved limited ammo, limited battle rifles and probably forced these dipshits in short shorts to take better shots. It’s amazing to think that people would fight and die for the right to maintain a racist government that only allowed less than 5% of the population to have any say in anything, own anything, profit anything from the land or participate in civic life at all. Rhodesians didn’t even let the native population in to the cities unless they were coming in to wet nurse a white baby or do some type of menial labor.
    At least their pals the Afrikaner’s could hang on to the stupid fact that they’d been there for over 300 years-long before the vast majority of Black South Africans ancestors had been there. Most white rhodesians weren’t even born there and those that were- predominantly held dual citizenship and were almost entirely second generation “Rhodies”.
    It’s too bad most of ‘‘em had shown how loyal and patriotic and connected to the land and the country they were by packing up and leaving for Johannesburg, London, or Ottawa. Mugabe didn’t even start encouraging land distribution until well into his mental decline. He never nationalized their stupid shit- he never lived up to his earlier pronouncements to rid Zimbabwe of its settler class. He never pulled a Mao Tse Tung emulation party like his pal Pol Pot did. The collective farms and mass murder of anyone who wasn’t a dirt farmer or peasant never happened.
    Granted- Mugabe was a worse choice for Zimbabwe than his Moscow propped opponents- but he was more agreeable to the west and whites in general. He at least viewed his people’s struggle as a race war- unlike his Russian supported rivals in the united decolonization movement- At least he wasn’t uppity and offensive in insisting that he was fighting for the economic and political rights of EVERY one in Zimbabwe including white settlers who had as much right to work for the betterment of their families and countrymen as any other Zimbabwean.

    But all the white Rhodies proved Mugabe and his Maoists right and the Leninists and SACP and ANC wrong. It was a race war against an unnatural exploitive settler class- that had no ties at all to anything in the country except the economic enslavemebt of the native population until such a time that they could empty the place of all its natural resources- the white farmers would make enough money with fertile land and slave labor to work for a bit- raise some racist kids- and retire back in the civilized world as soon as they could afford to get out of that terrible place. On second thought- maybe Mugabe was right not to want fo share his country with a bunch of racist assholes who didn’t give a shit about anything except making sure no darkie ever told him what to do.

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