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Vektor CR21: South Africa's Futuristic Bullpup

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The CR-21 was a private effort to create a new rifle for the South African military in the 1990s. Bullpup designs were all the rage at the time (Austria has the AUG, France had the FAMAS, the UK had the SA80, etc), and so a company called Lyttelton Engineering Works (now part of Denel Land Systems) created a bullpup conversion design for the South African R4 (Galil). It was given a very fluid, futuristic look, and equipped with a fiber optic optic without any iron sights. The action and magazines remained original R4/Galil, however.

The weapon was promoted to the South African military as an economical upgrade package for the R4 rifles already in service, but was met with little interest. Further efforts to sell the weapon to South African police and international military or security customers similarly met with no success. In total, only 200 complete rifles were made, plus parts for another 200. They achieved some notoriety in fictional media because of their looks, including use in the film "District 9". As often happens, however, becoming popular in film or video games does not equate to commercial success.

Many thanks to the anonymous collector who let me take a look at this piece and bring you a video on it!