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Rhodesian RA markings

Ant96

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Hello all,

New to the forums and I was wondering if anyone could give insight into helping me with a Rhodie FAL clone. Just got a ds arms fal and have paint for a rhodie build but was wondering what the best way to electro pencil the lower would be, was it done by hand or was the RA marking done on a machine? Also did all or most rhodie FALS get RA marked? Any insight would be appreciated and the best way to perhaps electropencil the fal would be
 

lew

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A steady hand on the electropencil would be preferred.

RA number on the lower on the right side just above the pistol grip and on the upper just below the ejection port. Neither were supposed to be painted over with camo paint, thought this most certainly happened.
 

Ant96

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A steady hand on the electropencil would be preferred.

RA number on the lower on the right side just above the pistol grip and on the upper just below the ejection port. Neither were supposed to be painted over with camo paint, thought this most certainly happened.
So they were hand done it seems…… I heard people say by hand or a machine but I’ve been researching and seeing lots of hand done examples. That’s interesting about the ejection port one
 

lew

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So they were hand done it seems…… I heard people say by hand or a machine but I’ve been researching and seeing lots of hand done examples. That’s interesting about the ejection port one
A lot of the ZA numbers were done by machine, but the majority of the RA numbers were done by hand.
 

Ant96

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Great to know… by chance did they mark the upper as well often? What I mean is I know of the lower one above the pistol grip and I see tons of bolt carriers are marked but was the upper reciever below the ejection port marked often too? Seems to be so many varieties on where they RA marked them with the common ones being bolt and the lower If that’s correct saying so
 

enbloc8

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Great to know… by chance did they mark the upper as well often? What I mean is I know of the lower one above the pistol grip and I see tons of bolt carriers are marked but was the upper reciever below the ejection port marked often too? Seems to be so many varieties on where they RA marked them with the common ones being bolt and the lower If that’s correct saying so
I'm not sure I've seen uppers marked below the ejection port.

Where I have seen them marked (on surviving original examples) is on the right side, above and slightly behind the locking shoulder, where the lightening cut radius turns down.

The underside of the bolt (visible through the mag well) was also RA-marked.
 

Ant96

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I just did a couple engravings to add authenticity to my build….. I saw that there are examples of 4-5 digit numbers for RA marks I tried to look at as many examples as possible….. how do you think I did? Tomorrow I plan on painting it as it’ll be nice out for a change
 

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enbloc8

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I just did a couple engravings to add authenticity to my build….. I saw that there are examples of 4-5 digit numbers for RA marks I tried to look at as many examples as possible….. how do you think I did? Tomorrow I plan on painting it as it’ll be nice out for a change
Not seeking to nitpick, but the RA number on the bolt carrier should be more or less centered in the ejection port when the bolt is closed.
 

Ant96

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Not seeking to nitpick, but the RA number on the bolt carrier should be more or less centered in the ejection port when the bolt is closed.
I sorta knew i messed up when it was done…. Should kept the bolt carrier in….. now is there a way to remedy? Has there been examples of marked out RA numbers that say have been redone etc. also would it be plausible something like that could have happened
 

enbloc8

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I sorta knew i messed up when it was done…. Should kept the bolt carrier in….. now is there a way to remedy? Has there been examples of marked out RA numbers that say have been redone etc. also would it be plausible something like that could have happened
As a former British colony, the Rhodesians followed standard Commonwealth armorer practice. Any serialized parts that were salvaged and re-used on another arm, once fitted and gauged, would have had their old serial number removed, either by drawfiling or use of a small hand grinder, and renumbered to match the "new" receiver. This would have been standard practice even without the sanctions.

The "mixmaster" condition of most Rhodie kits on the market had more to do with how they were transported from Africa to the importers.
 

Ant96

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As a former British colony, the Rhodesians followed standard Commonwealth armorer practice. Any serialized parts that were salvaged and re-used on another arm, once fitted and gauged, would have had their old serial number removed, either by drawfiling or use of a small hand grinder, and renumbered to match the "new" receiver. This would have been standard practice even without the sanctions.

The "mixmaster" condition of most Rhodie kits on the market had more to do with how they were transported from Africa to the importers.
Do you think I should leave the bolt carrier number alone or try and redo? Other than that…. I did this
 

lew

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I would leave the carrier as-is. Paint looks good. Wouldn't even go out of my way to get the grenade sight gas plug.
 

Ant96

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I would leave the carrier as-is. Paint looks good. Wouldn't even go out of my way to get the grenade sight gas plug.
Ooh thanks for that, good news is I finally got a plug coming slow boat for a decent price but yea…. I’m happy with the way it came out paint wise….: it’s still drying but the kits from Arizona Tactical Response as he makes rhodie paint kits and honestly it was fun to do
 

lew

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Ooh thanks for that, good news is I finally got a plug coming slow boat for a decent price but yea…. I’m happy with the way it came out paint wise….: it’s still drying but the kits from Arizona Tactical Response as he makes rhodie paint kits and honestly it was fun to do
I bought my own quarts of paint, and there's plenty left. The temptation to paint my truck is always in the back of my mind. Dangerous stuff, for sure.
 

Ant96

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You are not far off lol. I painted the mags and I’m thinking of doing the chest rig as I heard those in the RLI Did paint them but idk still trying to find enough evidence of that because if so…. It’ll get some rhodie paint lol
 

lew

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You are not far off lol. I painted the mags and I’m thinking of doing the chest rig as I heard those in the RLI Did paint them but idk still trying to find enough evidence of that because if so…. It’ll get some rhodie paint lol
Chest rigs were not uncommonly painted later in the war. I have two of those Indian-made repros, one painted, one not.
 

lew

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Oh so where like operation eland onwards when it got intense/ really heavy fighting?
Op Eland was Selous Scouts. All of (almost?) the small arms were AKs with chicom chest rigs. All the heavy weapons were PKMs and DSHKs (someone correct me if I'm wrong; my copy of Peter Stiff's book is in the basement and I am lazy.)

FN painting didn't start to take off until late 1976.

Op Dingo and beyond? Painted rigs were defo a thing.
 

Ant96

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Op Eland was Selous Scouts. All of (almost?) the small arms were AKs with chicom chest rigs. All the heavy weapons were PKMs and DSHKs (someone correct me if I'm wrong; my copy of Peter Stiff's book is in the basement and I am lazy.)

FN painting didn't start to take off until late 1976.

Op Dingo and beyond? Painted rigs were defo a thing.
Oh I’ll have to read this book then… I forgot the date of eland but i assumed FALs were used but due to the nature of the mission I can definitely see AKs. So really for the heavy missions from dingo onwards it sounds like they painted whatever they could…… I may have to be like you and buy a spare set that’ll remain untouched and have a camo one lol
 

lew

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So really for the heavy missions from dingo onwards it sounds like they painted whatever they could...
Not quite. It was still up to the individual when it came to gear beyond the standard FN. Most web gear was not painted, even up to the end.
 
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