Thanks to a friend in South Africa, we have a chance today to take a look at one of the five prototypes of Tommy Steele’s TS V semiauto carbine. This thing is completely ambidextrous (including swappable ejection ports), has an abundance of safety mechanisms, and an integral suppressor complete with massive barrel venting to (in theory) reduce muzzle velocity on standard 115gr 9mm ammunition below the speed of sound.
Steele had begun his military career with the British Royal Marines, before moving to Rhodesia and joining the Rhodesian Army. In 1980 he left the country and emigrated to South Africa, where he joined the SADF, working as an armorer. He began work on this design in the mid 1980s, but the TS V guns were not actually produced until 1996 and 1997 in South Africa. He was unable to find a financial supporter for the design, and thus it never went into series production. All five existing prototypes vary in their details, and this the the first of them.