The least-known handgun made by IMI/IWI is probably the Barak. It was imported ever so briefly by Magnum Research as the SP-21, and then dumped after poor sales. Eventually, it was also removed from the IWI sales catalog as well.
I think this is a tragedy, because the Barak is one of the best polymer hammer-fired handguns ever made.
Continue reading The IMI/IWI Barak
I was recently able to procure two Barak handguns – one an early IMI model, and the other a later IWI model. I have been working on the assumption that the IWI model is a redesign of the IMI model, and not some sort of parallel variant that no one has ever heard of.
I’ve field-stripped both in an effort to determine what differences are between them.
Continue reading Comparing the IMI Barak and the IWI Barak
I have spent some considerable time researching the “Israeli-made handguns” list, and have come to some new conclusions.
First, most of my research is based on this poster that IsraelDefense uploaded a few years ago. I have been accepting it as truth as to what guns were designed in Israel, but I no longer believe that is the case, as there are some glaring errors on it with regards to the handguns.
Continue reading Updates to the Israel handgun list
I was doing some research on some of the less-known Israeli handguns, and ran across a picture of the Sirkis SQP. This is from a scan of the “Guns Handgun Annual 1985” magazine.
As you can see, the SQP has a Walther PPK-esque profile, with the addition of a squeeze cocker ala the HK P7. It is certainly a somewhat prettier gun than the Sirkis SD-9, and might have made a decent carry piece if it wasn’t too heavy (which was the SD-9’s ultimate downfall). Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of the magazine to see what they said about it.
Nehemiah Sirkis is still alive (he designed the IWI Dan rifle), so it might be time to reach out to him and get some more details about some of his guns that we never quite saw.
TheFirearmBlog has a great post about the original prototype designs for the Tavor. Versia Military Design has designed a few clever items, including the Jericho B, and I recommend poking through their gallery and case studies if you’re interested in their work. Alas, no hidden gems – their redesign of the Tavor has been floating around for a while, and looks a bit impractical for full production.
Like most gun owners, I think of being able to share magazines between guns to be a Very Good Thing ™. Not only can new mags be expensive, but it simplifies storage when I can just dump a bunch of them in the same box. Plus, if you live in a mag-cap-limit state, it can be super convenient to be able to use what you’ve got grandfathered in, rather than hunt up 10rd mags.
Therefore, I was interested in finding new ways to use my unmodified Uzi magazines in places other than my Uzi. And, since I am a great lover of pistol caliber carbines and AR-15s, it seemed like a 9mm AR-15 would be just the ticket. There is a product that let me do this: the VM Hy Tech (VMHT) Uzi magazine adapter.
Continue reading VM Hy Tech AR-15 Uzi Mag Adapter Review
IWI-US has released the new 2015 catalog of their products. While there are no surprises in there, there are still some nice pictures to leaf through. I will admit to being mildly disturbed by the concept of trying to sell the Negev (a belt-fed light machinegun) to law enforcement, though.
If you want more Israeli gun porn, there’s also BUL Transmark’s catalog. Not quite as epic, but still some nice 1911s and Tanfoglios to look at.
I was somewhat disappointed with the Israeli presence at SHOT Show 2015. Not a lot of surprises.
No new releases from IWI-US, albeit they certainly had quite a lot of announcements last year. Short Barrel Shepherd has a nice write-up, but couldn’t get them to talk about factory stocks for SBRs. Also seemed like there was some pull-back on the braces, which is not surprising given recent BATFE actions.
UPDATE: Adipose at Uzitalk confirmed with them that alternate stocks will be offered, including the Vietnamese wire folder. The “I can’t deal with AR stocks on rifles not an AR” crowd should rejoice, I suppose – horrible cheek weld will be yours again.
Meprolight launched a pair of new handgun sight lines that use tritium and fiber optics for illumination. The FT line is interesting from the perspective that TruGlo’s TFO sights are regarded as having durability issues, so Meprolight may be able to provide a better alternative. The RE series doesn’t use fiber optics, but does have an innovative (gimmicky?) dot-in-crosshairs approach. I’d give them a try, I suppose.
There was also a camo-skinned M21 (“M21H”) introduced. I can literally not think of a market that the M21H would appeal to. Hunters use magnified optics. Modern sporting rifle owners will spray the current M21 to match their color scheme, or just go with black. Maybe Mepro will prove me wrong and sell a zillion of these things, but it feels like an ill-conceived product. The Mepro 4x is still missing in action, which is a shame – maybe they felt it couldn’t compete in the US market against the ACOG?
There were rumors that FAB Defense was going to introduce a polymer KPOS chassis, but nothing was shown.
I am really hoping things are bit more exciting next year, as I am planning on attending SHOT in person.
I got an email this morning from Guy Tal over at MagLULA announcing their newest Israeli-made product, the 30-round AR15 / M4 universal heavy-duty Range BenchLoader. It appears to be a polymer cost-reduced version of their existing AR15 / M16 / M4 BenchLoader. Given that this new version has a MSRP of $165 (versus $430 street for the older one), I think it has much more of a chance at succeeding in the market. You can see how it works in this video.
Personally, I’ve always been a little skeptical of the need for this product for individuals – I find that the stripLULA works wonderfully if you get your stripper clip infrastructure in place ahead of time. I would have a lot more use for a cost-reduced variant for AK and/or Galil mags, since neither of those can use stripper clips effectively. (And where is the AK-74 stripLULA?)
Sorry about the lack of content lately. My camera decided to give up the ghost, and I’m not able to finish up a couple posts about various things. I am still working on content, and am looking forward to hearing what goes on at SHOT this year. (Who knows… maybe I’ll attend next year!)