The missing link - Those SA issued Romy Type II's

South African R-Series Bayonets
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Brian
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The missing link - Those SA issued Romy Type II's

Post by Brian » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:38 pm

We know in theory that SA bought a bunch of those 3 rnd burst AK74's from Romanian at the end of the 1980's. And that those guns had Axxx serials, and that the bayonets have very seldom, but occasionally leaked out of Special Forces and appeared on the market.
But what I have been trying for many, many years is to get concrete, 100% confirmation that Special Forces bought those rifles, and that those are the bayonets for them.

So last Friday, I went to the annual AAD (Military Airshow and African Arms show) to browse a bit as usual, and see which international companies were showing what. And in the one hanger, there was small stalls of various SA army units.
And since every SF person I have ever asked about the rifles has pleaded dumb about them, I asked someone "where are the AK74's" since SA doesn't use a 74, and technically we don't issue or use them.
So he replies "around the corner" with a smile that says he doesn't really know what I am talking about. Bear in mind, our current army is not like the old one in the 1980's and 90's.

Anyways, I walk around the corner, and there is a looong table filled with all the goodies I have ever wanted to play with. They were various weapons that Special Forces uses to train with. Lovely stuff, like MP5SD, Silenced Sterling SMG, Ingram Mac 10, various H&K's, M79 Blooper, M16's, RPK, RPG, RPD etc etc etc....I was drooling all over the table.

And then I get to the end of the table, and see about 5 AK's. Various ones....Russian AKM and AK47 and Bulgarian and the usual Romy with vertical grip, and even some mounted professionally with M203 launchers. But I'm almost at the end of the table, and no Romy AK74. And just as I am about to sigh in defeat...I spot it. A folding stock AK with that familiar wire stock. And I pick it up..and hear Angels singing.
Yes...finally. One of the legendary Romy AK74's. Marked clearly 1988, and although very worn....serial A1059. Right in the bayo serial range.
No bayonet fitted of course. The guy at the stand knows nothing about the bayonets. But he confirmed which base they have the rifles at, and although would not guess how many rifles they have, he said "A Lot!" maybe the bayonets have been destroyed. Maybe they are in storage somewhere. But the rifles are still around, and being used in training.

Hmm...so one step closer. I think some of the rifles went to all the various SF bases to use for training. And he said they have plenty of ammo.
It was kinda cool to be holding one of the rifles from the batch almost 30 years ago, and the source of these rare bayonets.

So for your viewing pleasure...
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Brian
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Mr. B.
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Re: The missing link - Those SA issued Romy Type II's

Post by Mr. B. » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:06 pm

Lucky you! :hail: Great info and pics! Thanks for sharing! I have faith that those bayonets are still around, unused and will somehow find their way into our collections! Mike

pwcosol
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Re: The missing link - Those SA issued Romy Type II's

Post by pwcosol » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:17 pm

Brian:

Excellent detective work...I like how you "sniffed out" that table full of goodies "around the corner". I have attended a number of collector shows over the years and sometimes can almost sense a deal is nearby! Now, if you can only sidle up to these guys by sharing your knowledge and expertise, who knows...you might even get an invite some time to pull the trigger one of these days. Back in the 1980s I contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department concerning transfer of a Soviet PTRS41 anti-tank rifle I was buying. Because this was something of a unique situation for them, I was invited to their station in downtown Los Angeles. I followed up and had a real nice time talking to the deputies there and looking over their outstanding arms collection. I noticed they had a Soviet PPsH 43 but it had no magazine. The lieutenant in charge said unfortunately it came without one, so they could not shoot it but one round at a time. I offered to contact a Class III dealer/collector friend whom had some, and he was kind enough to send them a magazine gratis. The Lieutenant called to thank me for locating a magazine for them, and said I was welcome to come and shoot it during their next outing to the police firing range! They helped me with my transfer of the PTRS41, but I never followed through on the invite, which in retrospect I regret not doing.

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furtium
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Re: The missing link - Those SA issued Romy Type II's

Post by furtium » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:55 pm

Yes, terrific pics and always hopeful more of these bayonets show up.

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