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DECEMBER 2020

Lessons From Rhodesia: Self Defense Tools For Your Property

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Translated from VVSM blog

If you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself. When Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe) was engulfed in a war for independence, civilians had to invent self defense tools to protect their cars and homes. The more dire the reason, the more ingenious the solutions.

It all started with a Rhodesian named Ken Goosen building a DIY four-barrel single use shotgun to defend his homestead in Claremont (near Bulawayo). It was named Kill Quick.

Lessons From Rhodesia: Self Defense Tools For Your Property

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The device had four short 12 bore shotgun barrels lined up as a fan. While unarmed they were in a vertical position, and did not pose a threat to people farming. If unwanted intruders entered the premises, the owner would pull a rope connecting the device to somewhere inside the house, pulling out the safety pin. The Kill Quick would move to a horizontal position, striking a fixed anvil in the process, and firing out of all four barrels at the same time. While it fired at the bushes, the defenders had some time to hide, run away or call for reinforcements.

Soon enough this device with various modifications (using an actuator for striking the anvil, bumping up the number of barrels up to five and more, using longer and wider barrels and so on) was used at every remote homestead across Rhodesia

Farmers even equipped their cars with this “fan of barrels”. This did not help much with the mines, but it sure did surprise some road ambushers. Mounted on the front — and later on the sides — Kill Quick allowed the driver to clear out the nearby bushes in order to make a quick getaway. A device called Spider was on a whole new level — it fired simultaneously out of 24-36 barrels, covering the space around the car from 270 to 360 degrees. And you thought spiders in Australia were scary.

Lessons From Rhodesia: Self Defense Tools For Your Property

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One would think the military wouldn’t require such DIY solutions, as they were already armed to the teeth. That was not the case. Getting into firing position with a Fn-FAL took time. Quickly responding to an ambush with it was out of the question. In the end military engineers started mounting “sawed-off” assault rifles and machine guns on special turrets, installed in the driver’s door.

Lessons From Rhodesia: Self Defense Tools For Your Property

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Besides that, two Kalashnikov assault rifles were often installed in pickups behind the driver seat’s, firmly fixed in the body of the car. In case of ambush, the driver would speed up and trigger the guns using an actuator by pressing a button on the deck. Yes, it was single-use, but having 30 shots fire and clearing 150 ft of road was quite sufficient. Rhodesian special forces, the Selous Scouts, even used two RPD machine guns with 90 bullet snail drums instead of AKs.

Lessons From Rhodesia: Self Defense Tools For Your Property

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The civil war in Rhodesia was raging for 15 years without stop. These and other DIY weapons were sometimes the only chance to make it through and survive. Well, until the next ambush at least.

Lessons From Rhodesia: Self Defense Tools For Your Property

Click to see the full-size image

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