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IWI US Galil ACE Pistol: Rejuvenating an Israeli Classic

By Todd Burgreen, Photos by Ethan Burgreen

The IWI US Galil ACE pistol with stabilizing brace is now steadily arriving on dealers’ shelves after its introduction in 2015. IWI US had to overcome various manufacturing and BATF compliance issues to get this highly anticipated product into the hands of users. The Galil ACE joins other notable IWI US offerings making waves in the US market, such as the Tavor SAR/X95 and Uzi Pro.

The original Israeli Galil was choked out of the US market in the early 1990s due to federal import laws. IWI US is now not only making available the highly respected Israeli Galil, but has enhanced it in the form of the Galil ACE. This has been achieved by assembling the rifles from a combination of Israeli and US-manufactured components at their Harrisburg, PA facility. The Galil ACE is not merely a copy of the 1960s design. IWI took full advantage of the passage of time to improve/update the original Yisrael Galil and Yaacov Lior design. The pistol brace version reviewed herein was definitely not contemplated by the two original designers.

The current Galil ACE can be traced back to the Galil, which in turn was inspired by the Finnish Valmet Rk62. The Valmet Rk62 is itself an advanced AK derivative. Finland is a country of serious riflemen with a large, aggressive neighbor it has eyed warily for centuries … Russia or the Soviet Union. The Russian AK’s rugged reliability and ability to adapt to harsh operational environments earned begrudging respect from the Finns. The Valmet Rk62 sought to maintain AK reliability while improving accuracy. This was accomplished with the use of a quality barrel, increased iron sight radius, higher quality manufacturing techniques, and tweaks to the gas tube and long-stroke gas piston operation. Israel’s Galil followed the Valmet Rk62’s path, after IDF found the FAL wanting in terms of size, recoil and—more importantly—reliability. The Galil in 5.56mm was officially adopted by the IDF in 1972. However, the Galil immediately faced competition within the IDF from the large numbers...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N9 (November 2017)
and was posted online on September 22, 2017

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