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South African Kommando: The “Rhuzi”

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The Kommando was a semiauto SMG-type carbine designed by Alex du Plessis in Salisbury Rhodesia in the late 1970s. It was manufactured by a company called Lacoste Engineering, and financed by a man named Hubert Ponter – and those initials were the name of the initial production version of the gun; LDP. The gun is a quite simple design, a tube-receiver, open bolt gun with a fixed firing pin and an Uzi-type bolt which telescopes forward over the barrel. It uses unmodified Uzi magazines, and that along with it’s Uzi-like construction and styling led to one of its nicknames, the Rhuzi (the others were alternate interpretations of the LDP initials; Land Defense Pistol and Lots of Dead People).

About one thousand LDP carbines were made in Rhodesia, and were also sold in neighboring South Africa. This led to an arrangement with a company called Maxim Parabellum to produce it in South Africa under the name Kommando. Eventually a total of about 10,000 were made between the two countries, making this one of the most common guns of its type made in that time and place. The South African government required the addition of an extra safety device to prevent runaway firing with underpowered ammunition, and a number of details evolved through production, most notably the stock locking system.

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