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Firearm Infobox
Name, Image, type, origin
Name R4
Image
Type Assault rifle
Place of origin Flag of South Africa South Africa
Service history
In service 1980s-present
Used by Haitian Police, South African National Defence Force, South African Police Service
Wars South African Border War, Haitian Civil War
Production history
Designer
Designed
Manufacturer Lyttleton Engineering Works
Produced 1980 - Present
Number
Variants R5, R6, LM4, LM5, LM6
Specifications
Weight 4.3 kg
Length 740 mm (stock folded)
Width {{{width}}}
Height {{{height}}}
Barrel length 460 mm
Diameter {{{diameter}}}
Crew
Cartridge 5.56x45mm NATO
Caliber
Action Gas operated, Rotating bolt
Muzzle velocity 980 m/s
Effective range 500 m
Maximum range
Other identifying characteristics
Wood parts (Y/N) {{{wood}}}
Common color {{{color}}}
Imprint {{{imprint}}}

The R4 is a South African assault rifle developed in 1980 for the South African Defence Force to replace the R1, which was a variant of the FN FAL. The R4 was first issued during the early 1980s, and is partly based on the Israeli Galil which in turn was based on the Finnish Rk 62. The Rk 62 was derived from the AK-47.

It was manufactured by Lyttleton Engineering Works (LIW) and now, Vektor Arms, a division of Denel.

PerformanceEdit

It performs well as an assault and a police rifle.[original research?]

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The R4's effective range of 500 metres is more than sufficient, as standard soldiers rarely engage targets over 400 meters away. The R4 uses the smaller 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge rather than the R1's 7.62x51mm NATO. Current military practice in much of the world is to use the large cartridges only in light machine guns and sniper rifles. The R1, like all other light-barrel FN FAL variants, was almost uncontrollable in full automatic fire (See FN FAL article.)

The front plastic hard-guard of the R4 was known to melt because of heat emitted from the barrel after sustained fully-automatic firing.

ServiceEdit

The R4 was initially in all the branches of the then South African Defence Force, which used the R4 in Namibia (then South West Africa), and raids into Angola and other neighbouring southern African countries, mostly during the Angolan Civil War. As part of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), personnel of the SACMP (and also the Military Police Agency) are usually issued with the R4 Assault rifle. Other rifles the SANDF uses include the R5 and R6, which are shorter versions of the R4 rifle.

VariantsEdit

R5Edit

A shortened version with shorted barrel and no bipod. It is favoured by police units, because of its more compact size. This version is similar to the shortened version of the Galil, called the SAR

R6Edit

An uncommon and even shorter version than the already shortened R5. This version is similar to the shortest version of the Galil, called the MAR (for micro assault rifle).

LM4Edit

Semi-automatic only version of the R-4 assault rifle, otherwise identical to the original. It was offered on the civilian market as a sporting weapon, and as a self-loading police patrol rifle.

LM5Edit

Semi-automatic only version of the R-5 shortened assault rifle, otherwise identical to the original. It was offered on the civilian market as a sporting weapon, and as a self-loading police patrol carbine. New-manufacture models include a top Weaver rail for optics.

LM6Edit

Semi-automatic only version of the R-6 shortened assault carbine, otherwise identical to the original. It was offered on the civilian market as a sporting weapon, and as a selfloading police patrol carbine. New-manufacture models include a top Weaver rail for optics.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Jane's Guns Recognition Guide
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