JOHANNESBURG – In 2012, the year he made history as the first double-amputee Olympic runner, Oscar Pistorius bought six guns for what he planned to be a collection of U.S. and South African-manufactured firearms, according to the gun collectors' club he joined last April. Here is a brief look at the firearms South African police say he applied to have licensed:
Smith & Wesson 500: The Springfield, Massachusetts, manufacturer calls this "the most powerful production revolver in the world." It fires .500-caliber shells and holds five rounds. Smith & Wesson says it is "a hunting handgun for any game animal walking." The company makes various barrel lengths for the 500. Its suggested retail price is US$1,249 for the version with an 8.38-inch (21.3-centimeter) barrel.
Smith & Wesson .38-caliber: Another revolver. Holds either five or six rounds, depending on the model. Most .38-caliber models from Smith & Wesson have short barrels, just 1.875 inches (4.7 centimeters) long, giving them a snub-nose appearance.
Three shotguns: South African police says Pistorius applied for licenses for models from Mossberg, Maverick and Winchester, all American makes.
Vektor .223-caliber rifle: A civilian version of the R-series assault rifle used by South Africa's military. Its innards are modified to make it only semi-automatic for civilian use. The Vektor was developed for sports shooters, security firms, farmers and collectors, said Carvel Webb, chairman of the National Arms and Ammunition Collectors Confederation of South Africa. For civilian collectors, "it is the closest thing to being able to get an original R5" that South African soldiers use.
Production was discontinued more than a decade ago. "It is rather scarce as not many were made and it has become a sought-after collector's item if in original good condition for those who are qualified to collect it," Webb said.