Zero Training African Park Rangers, array of small arms

Due to increasing poaching efforts over the years, an number of national and private parks in Africa have become increasingly vigilant in their efforts to combat poachers. As poacher tactics have become more sophisticated, so have many of the park Rangers guarding the animals that live in these parks. Unfortunately this has lead to some deaths on the Good Guy side of things.

Unlike militaries or police forces, many of these parks have to find other means to arm themselves. This has lead to an interesting array of small arms in use by many of these Rangers. FALs, G3s, Kalashnikovs, and even some AUGs are just a few of the rifles represented in the fight against poachers. In some cases the Rangers are even getting Hi-Tech, with night image intensifiers, and drones being used to curb poaching efforts. Even 40x46mm Milkor Grenade Launchers have been fielded in the Ranger efforts.

Instructor Zero in collaboration with Funker Tactical has just wrapped up a series of training evolutions, working with Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa. Here we see a rare side of Zero in that much of his online content is focused on individual actions and marksmanship. But in South Africa Zero is not only teaching those skill sets, but in addition to incorporating it into team and squad maneuvers, convoy security, etc…

These photos are from the Pro Track Anti Poaching Unit in South Africa. It appears they are issuing out a variant of the AKS75U with Bulgarian compensators, in addition to an array of 9x19mm Berettas and Hi Powers.

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This is from a cache of weapons seized from poachers in Kenya. The abundance of automatic rifles necessitates the change in tactics in fighting against the poachers.


Also in Kenya, guarding the White Rhino population. Interesting addition of an AK front sight assembly and a telescoping AR stock on the shotgun.


In Zimbabwe we have this G3A3, with some crazy height over bore going on!

rhino1The Hemmersbach Rhino Force is another interesting organization, based in Germany but protecting Rhinos in South Africa. They seem to be cutting the horns off of Rhinos so that poachers can’t even get to them to begin with. The same Bulgarian Krinks appear to be present.

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Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I think id be a little concerned stand that close to a rhino with anything less than an RPG.

    • iksnilol

      RPG wouldn’t work so close. Arming distance is a thing, y’know? For your “safety”, whimpy Russians.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I meant that id pull the trigger then hop on and get the hell out of there.

        • iksnilol

          I just reckon you’d a need to run away about ‘a 25 meters and then fire before running like from perdition itself.

        • Tassiebush

          Playing fetch with Rocksteady

      • valorius

        An RPG would work better if it didn’t explode at that range. 😀

      • Flounder

        RPGs are primer tipped aren’t they? Its the American 40mm’s that need to spin a certain number of times before they arm. Idk about other NATO countries’ 40mm

      • Joe Moore

        Yeah RPGs don’t have an arming distance, they can donate in the tube if their fuse is pressed.

        • iksnilol

          Not the rockets I’ve seen, was sometihng about a safety, needed to fly 5.15 or so meters before allowing to detonate.

      • Paul White

        If it’s too dangerous for the Russians, I’m out!

    • .45

      With my extensive Far Cry 4 training, I would shoot all rhinos with RPGs as soon as I saw them.

  • Jake

    i take it ‘zero training’ isnt what it sounds like?

    • hallan

      They are using a super advanced technique passed down from Tibetan monk warlords fighting for independence from china, it’s called ‘zeroing your rifle’ Amazing stuff.

  • Peter Nokeo

    Those Berettas are probably Vektor Z88 which was licensed produced in South Africa.

  • Gary Kirk

    No mention of the M1 carbine?

    • The_Champ

      Yeah, that carbine needs some props.

  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    AKS75U? You mean 74?

  • gusto

    We should protect endagered species for sure.

    one solution would be to legalize farming of said rhinos FOR their horns

    It is a sad situation that american/european good meaning people risk their lifes to protect rhinos and whatnot but…

    I get a sad taste in my mouth that the ones ending up dead are only the lowest in the totempole, poor africans that are forced into poaching…

    Send those reangers into china to go after the ones really earning money on this trade

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      That would make for a cool movie.

    • noob

      Biotech startup Pembient is making cloned rhino horn that they 3d print to shape. it has the same genetics as natural grown rhino horn.

      • KestrelBike

        If true, that’s awesome. Superstitious idiots.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Traveling around Asia it was weird to see how many “THIS IS NOT MEDICINE” ads there were with pictures of Rhinos or other animals.

          At least part of it is apparently education.

          • gusto

            but how could it?

            it is so expensive I reckon that only the rich (and probably educated) can afford it

          • JumpIf NotZero

            There are no foolish rich people?

      • Tassiebush

        Seems a very feasible solution

      • rjackparis

        or, it’s real horn, and they’re just saying it’s fake.

        • iksnilol

          Couldn’t afford to sell real horn that cheap.

      • Blake

        interesting idea. However, probably not coming to market, because probably not very effective:

      • n0truscotsman


        If that takes off, I hope to see whale oil on the market again.

  • gusto

    and even with an automatic I’d feel undergunend walking amongst buffalos, hippos, elephants and rhinos

  • valorius

    I wonder if modern instructors have any idea that they’re such walking, talking stereotypes. Beard, check!Rad sunglasses, check! Moving hands in front of chest when talking, check!

  • Jambo

    South Africa hired a guy who couldn’t sign to do the job at Mandela’s funeral. It’s only logical that they hired this clown to train their park rangers.

    • Derrick Delgado

      What happened at Mandela’s funeral?

      • Tassiebush

        There was an imposter just making up jibberish sign language

  • Reef Blastbody

    The one ranger guarding the white rhino with the pump action shotgun is carrying an FN TPS – Tactical Police Shotgun. It’s an 18″ barrel with M16 sights, based on the Winchester 1200 action. There’s a small section of Picatinny rail on top of the receiver, and some models came from the factory with a C-More red dot sight as well.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      That thing is a Cadillac compared to the shotguns I saw the guards carrying in ZA.

      One shotgun per two guards, 1950-1960s mostly, mud in the bore because the routinely set them muzzle down in the brush, no extra ammo besides the 3-4 in the gun.

      It was a little rough. I remember thinking that a single poacher with a rifle could easily drop one of these guys… And that happened exactly where I was about a month later.

  • John

    Old guns are fine, but the team leaders and instructors need to worry about logistics. Issue an AK, or a FAL, and stick with that gun. If you want a pistol, stick with one pistol. It makes supply relatively easier, it makes training much easier, and it makes your team respond in ways you know they can handle.

    If you can’t obtain necessary gear, make it. Just one day ago TFB showed a guy who made a chest rig for his magazines out of a plastic IKEA bag. Yes, make MORE slings out of shoelaces. Make MORE holsters out of broken plastic or boot leather. Make shoes and kneepads from old tires. Wrap a rope around a plastic water bottle with a cap; volia, you’ve got a canteen. Want better sights on your rifle? Take white paint and draw three squares or lines or dots on your existing sights! I’ll bet the park rangers magically improve their accuracy because they can now see what they’re aiming at. IT CAN BE DONE.

    You’re park rangers fighting a desperate battle. Improvise, adapt, modify, evolve. Because you have to win.

  • Joel

    Is that officer in the beret carrying a French 1935a?

  • yukon cornelius

    Bet that carbine has some stories to tell!

  • idahoguy101

    No body armor or helmets:

    • 22winmag

      Heatstroke and headshots!

      • Squirreltakular

        How the the hell would body armor and helmets “attract headshots?”

        • .45

          In a country where many think guns are “white man magic” and have no idea what the doodads on top of them are, I’m not sure my own self.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            You have super duper clearly never been to Africa at all, let alone ZA.

          • .45

            Nope, that would be too much work, when I can just read stuff on the internet and it is 100% true and reliable.

          • .45

            My linked comment is awaiting moderation, but I was thinking of Y-man’s article on the subject in West Africa.

  • idahoguy101

    No ballistic body armor or helmets?

    • 22winmag

      Body armor is for stateside cops kicking down doors at the local methlab and facing Saturday-night specials. Body armor is hellishly hot and heavy in the bush, rather ineffective vs. rifle rounds, and only serves to attract head shots anyway.

      • CommonSense23

        Where are you coming up with this crap. Body armor can stop rifle rifle rounds with ease. And it doesn’t attract headshots.

        • Anton Gray Basson

          Define rifle because these poachers run with old automatic weapons and big bore rifles like 416 Rigby, 458 lott and 500 Jeff.

          • CommonSense23

            Most of these poachers are using AKs or whatever they Can find. These aren’t guys on safari. They are not worried about ethical shots.
            Plates are more than capable of stopping what they are using.

          • Anton Gray Basson

            No mate, most of them carry AKs or whatever is at hand but there have been and continue to be a significant number large bore rifles recovered from poachers, some of whom are vets ,phs and game ranchers.

    • Anton Gray Basson

      Apart from the fact that its very expensive in this part of the world it’s very hot and heavy.

  • DataMatters

    We ought to be cycling anti-poaching “tourists” through there like crazy.

  • The_Champ

    For one of his most difficult missions yet, Zero assembled a crack team of the world’s most elite videographers and film editors to ensure he looked ‘totally bad ass’ and ‘super cool’ in the final production.

  • kskskskdk

    #African animals lives matter too – Mr Hippo

  • Lindsay Smith

    The South African Army uses the Vector R4 a Galil Derivative.

  • Maurizio Fulignati


  • Rnasser Rnasser

    Vende humo…

  • Joe

    Time to replace “Whale Wars” with “Poaching Poachers”.

  • bakks

    No doubt it pays alot better to protect rhinos than people there.

  • Igniz


  • Alexandru Ianu

    The exact model of AK is the 5.56mm AR-M14SF from Arsenal Bulgaria

  • Cymond

    His rear sight blends in with the camo really well.