South African R2 With Updated Furniture

Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons just released a video of the South African Defence Forces R2 rifle with its modified furniture. The R2 was originally a Portuguese made G-3 rifle purchased by the SADF for use by second-line troops and the South West Africa Territorial Force.

South West Africa is the former name for the modern country of Namibia. The country was a South African “protectorate” under a League of Nations mandate after World War One. This mandate was abolished in 1966 by the United Nations but the South Africans held on in whole or in part until 1990.

Getting back to the R2, there were problems with the handguards due to the climate of the region. Ian writes this about it.

The Portuguese hand guards and buttstocks were found to be unsatisfactory, however. In the heat and harsh ultraviolet radiation of South West Africa (now Namibia) in particular, the plastic would shrink and lose its fit, leading to the guns being called “rattlers” by the SADF troops. The fix this, the American firm of Choate Machine & Tool was contracted to make new hand guards based on the H&K export pattern – wider and longer and with fittings for a bipod. New stocks were also made, duplicating the shape of the R1/FAL stock.

Given the similarities of the G-3 and R2 with the currently produced PTR-91, it would be very interesting to see if you could find some of these Choate Machine handguards and stocks to use on a PTR-91. I like the looks of the Choate handguards and stocks better than the originals. While I don’t own a PTR-91, I do own a boatload of magazines for it because they were a dollar or less at the time. One of these days I’ll finally get around to obtaining a rifle to use with those magazines!

As always, Ian has produced an informative and interesting short video.

PTR-32 Shootout Test

The guys at the AK Operators Union tested out the PTR Industries PTR-32 KFR Gen 2 rifle. This rifle has a delayed blowback roller-lock system and comes in 7.62×39. Think of it as an HK-91 but in 7.62×39.

My nephew and I had an opportunity to test fire a prototype of this rifle back in the summer of 2014 when we visited the PTR Industries factory in Aynor, South Carolina. What impressed me about the rifle was that the designers at PTR were working to make it take any AK magazine. According to the comments here, they pretty much succeeded with their Gen 2 version.

PTR Industries Moving To The Beach

It is a study in contrasts.

On the one hand you have Horry County, South Carolina and on the other is the state of Connecticut. The former offers a warm welcome, tax incentives, a nice climate, great beaches nearby, and a political community including Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) who not only are pro-gun but actually want you and your products in their state.

The latter has passed laws that has outlawed the sale of your only product in that state, has cold and dreary winters, a higher cost of living, and has a governor in Daniel Molloy (D-CT) who considers you the devil incarnate.

Given this, it is isn’t surprising that PTR Industries has chosen Horry County over Connecticut. It was announced yesterday at a meeting of the Horry County Council that they would be moving to the town of Aynor.

From the Hartford Courant:

The company — which said two months ago that it would be relocating once it found a suitable location “friendly to the industry” — will move to Aynor, S.C., near Myrtle Beach, said John McNamara, vice president of sales at PTR.

The gun manufacturer, with about 45 employees, was the first firm to announce its exit from the state following recent gun control legislation. Many of PTR’s employees agreed to the move and even held an informal vote choosing South Carolina over other states.

PTR currently has 45 employees at its plant in Bristol, Connecticut. They estimate that 24 of those employees will make the move to South Carolina. According to the Myrtle Beach Sun News, PTR has committed to increase their workforce to 80 by the end of the first year and to 145 employees by the end of 2016. This means the majority of the company’s employees will come from the local Horry County workforce.

According to my conversations with PTR representatives at the NRA Annual Meeting, they have been growing rapidly. Their current workforce is double what is was a year ago.

Some details of the agreement between Horry County and PTR Industries still remain undecided, including the amount of a fee in lieu of taxes the county will agree to and the millage rate at which the company’s equipment and other personal property will be taxed.

Those details will be included in actions Horry County Council must now take to solidify the agreement. The council will have to take three votes on the agreement, one of which will include a public hearing.

The county, state and Horry Electric Cooperative will fund upgrades to the shell building where the company will move, but those costs will be repaid by the company during the first two years of its lease of the building. It will pay the county $300,000 annually for the next nine years to lease the building, after which the county will deed it to PTR.

Lofton said the company wants a building that can be expanded. The shell building now has 58,000 square feet but can be expanded to 100,000 square feet, he said.

The company will invest $3 million in the building and has committed to an additional $5 million investment, including the cost of equipment, according to the agreement in the resolution.

If PTR doesn’t meet the benchmarks in the agreement, it will be responsible for the full amount of taxes, including that from state tax credits for job creation, that it would have paid without the agreement.

And it looks like PTR is not the only Connecticut firearms manufacturer looking at Horry County.  Both the Hartford Courant and the Myrtle Beach Sun News are reporting that Stag Arms is also being courted by the county. Mark Malkowski, CEO of Stag Arms, is scheduled to visit the area next week.

This report by FoxCT details some of the effort by South Carolina officials to persuade Connecticut companies to relocate.

The First Firearms Company Announces Departure From CT

PTR Industries, maker of the HK clone PTR-91, announced today that they will be leaving Bristol, Connecticut by the end of the year due to Bill No. 1160. They are still evaluating offers from other states who, in their good wisdom, want a company like PTR in their state.

In my speculation as to who would be leaving first, I should put them up higher on the list than Stag Arms or ASC. Given that all of PTR’s firearms will now be banned in the state, they were one of the strongest candidates.

From their release:


This past week an historic and highly controversial bill was passed by the State of Connecticut which will have far reaching consequences to the state, its citizens, and businesses. The bill we refer to is Bill No. 1160, AN ACT CONCERNING GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND CHILDRENS SAFETY. This bill purports to reduce gun violence by banning hardware responsible for less than 3% of homicides in 2011 ; and claims to increase children’s safety by restricting the ability of those most responsible for it – their parents – to defend them.

As a firearms manufacturing firm, our industrial roots reach deep in the State of CT. Along with other companies in the trade, we were deeply apprehensive at the hurried process to develop new gun laws and fearful that it would generate unintended consequences for our industry. On Thursday April 4th 2013, upon reading the full text of Bill 1160, our worst fears were confirmed. What emerged was a bill fraught with ambiguous definitions, insufficient considerations for the trade, conflicting mandates, and disastrous consequences for the fundamental rights of the people of CT.

The magnitude of the constitutional and economic importance of this bill is such that the disregard for public input (in the final version), and the haphazard production of the legislation should be insulting to any citizen or business in CT. It should be a shock to us all that such landmark legislation could be written in one week, and seen by no one (including the rank-and-file legislators) prior to its emergency certification. Having been present in the deliberations in both legislative chambers, it was clear that a majority of our legislators had not even read the bill – and those that had read it had only a cursory understanding.

The process with which this legislation proceeded, along with the language that resulted gives us no confidence that this will be the last violation of our rights in our beloved home state, and we only hope that this does not set a precedent at a national level.

The rights of the citizens of CT have been trampled upon. The safety of its children is at best questionably improved from the day of the tragedy that triggered the events that lead us here. Finally, due to an improperly drafted bill, manufacturing of modern sporting rifles in the State of CT has been effectively outlawed. With a heavy heart but a clear mind, we have been forced to decide that our business can no longer survive in Connecticut – the former Constitution state.

Furthermore, we feel that our industry as a whole will continue to be threatened so long as it remains in a state where its elected leaders have no regard for the rights of those who produce and manufacture its wealth. We are making a call to all involved in our industry to leave this state, close your doors and show our politicians the true consequences of their hasty and uninformed actions. We encourage those in our industry to abandon this state as its leaders have abandoned the proud heritage that forged our freedom.

Although PTR has not decided upon a specific relocation site at this time, over the coming weeks the company will be actively considering offers from states that are friendly to the industry. We hope to have a site identified within the next six weeks, and hope to have our move completed by the end of this year. We plan to keep our business partners informed on the status of our move throughout this process in order to affect a smooth transition.

We have extended the invitation to join us in the move to all of our employees, as well as all of our vendors. We are pleased to say that we currently have commitments to move from a majority of our employees, which includes ALL of our management personnel, engineering staff and skilled gunsmiths.

It is our hope and sincere belief that this move will represent a step forward for the company; and that by bringing our expertise and core personnel to combine with the business friendly policies, and a motivated local labor force from a state that respects industry and the second amendment that we can expand our operations and not only maintain – but increase the quality and reputation of our products.

Please direct any questions or inquiries to John McNamara, Vice President of Sales, at or at our main phone number.