So, some interesting news from Full30: IWI-US has quietly sent a letter to dealers asking them to send back their Galil ACE pistols, and to give them information on who they sold them to:
To whom it may concern:
Following our email of yesterday, we are instituting a recall of all GAP39 pistols.
Please pack up and return all GAP39 firearms in your inventory to IWI US. You can ship freight collect (YRC preferred).
Additionally, we will need you to provide us with the names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of all FFL Dealers and/or individuals that you sold to. We will contact them with instructions on returning guns in their inventory to IWI US along with enlisting their support in contacting all consumers for return of the guns to IWI US.
Full credit will be given for your returns while dealers and consumers will receive a full refund with submission of receipt copies.
It would be in everyone’s best interest to contact these dealers ASAP.
FYI, this is not a safety related recall, but a possible NFA violation that must be corrected.
We appreciate your support and understanding in assisting us with all facets of this recall.
EDIT: official consumer-level recall notice here. Still doesn’t say it’s a BATFE required recall.
A bit more discussion after the break…
This whole thing is rather unusual in a few ways.
First, Full30 alleges that IWI-US left a third pin hole in the gun, but didn’t cut the receiver rails for an auto-sear. That’s a stunningly bad mistake. Everyone knows that third pin holes have been verboten on AKs and ARs since pretty much forever. Mike Kassnar would have (should have?) known better. This is not a fixable problem, which explains why IWI-US is handing out refunds. (Like everyone else, I saw that third hole and assumed it was for something else. Guess not?)
But, that leads me to point two… which is that the BATFE should have caught this if it was a true problem. There’s no way the BATFE didn’t examine the guns for legality before they were imported en masse – remember my previous post about IWI-US’ reason for the delays – and a third pin hole sticks out like a sore thumb. What changed, if anything?
And, now, my final point: IWI-US appears to be over-stepping the bounds of propriety with regards to privacy. FFLs have no business whatsoever giving end-customer information to anyone without a BATFE-mandated recall. Certainly, I’d encourage the dealers and distributors in question to notify their customers of the issue, but it’s really a breach of privacy to demand this information without certain legal necessity. If this is the real-deal, they need to spell out the problem and have documentation from the BATFE that it’s a real problem.
This whole situation is really rather disastrous for a new product line… it brings to mind the Caracal drop-safety debacle a couple years ago. This is the second big miss that IWI-US has had in a row (the Uzi Pro Pistol being the first), and that’s a worrisome trend. The only good news here is that I doubt very many ACE pistols were sold to begin with, so the recall should not be overly taxing… cold comfort to IWI-US. But I think if I were planning on seeing the Galil ACE 7.62×51 before Q3 or Q4 next year, I’d revise my plans.