Upgrading the BUL M-5

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I recently reviewed a gen 1 BUL M5 in 9mm, and suffice it to say, I think it’s one of the best double-stack 1911 options on the market if you can find magazines for it (which I did, finally).

But, mine was a stock gun, and I’ve never really owned a proper race gun. So, I decided that I could take a chance on a handgun I paid $400 for (not to mention it being a bit of a mutt with a Springfield-marked frame), and decided to do some modifications to it to bring it up to competition standards. It was an adventure, and I have some tips to share.

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Deal Alert: BUL Storm Compact on Gunbroker

A relatively new seller on Gunbroker has offered up a pair of BUL Storm Compact handguns. I bought one of them, but there’s still at least one more up for sale. The seller appears to be affiliated with Century in some fashion. (Pro-tip: if you see Fairfax, VT as the seller’s location on Gunbroker, the seller is probably some sort of Century Arms affiliate).

There were supposedly only 300 of these guns made, and it is even less clear how many made it to the USA, since they appear to have been imported piecemeal by Century Arms. The Storm Compact is essentially a TA-90 “Combat Compact” clone (technically, it’s just “Compact”, but I add “Combat” because it has a frame safety). This gets you a small frame and a 3.75″ barrel – about the same as a compact Jericho, but a quarter inch longer. This is nothing terribly special from a design standpoint, but the rarity factor makes it worthy of consideration. (Remember that the Mossad Compact was not made in Israel!)

I assume the BUL Storm Compact will have the same magazine incompatibility issues that plagued the BUL Storm that I reviewed, but I’ll keep you posted once I’ve had a chance to look over mine.

Using AR-15 mags in the Galil

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One of the big advantages of the upcoming Galil ACE line from IWI is the ability to take standard magazines. While I have no particular problem with Galil mags, they’re pretty much proprietary to the Galil (well, and the SiGalil). Being able to use AK, AR-15, and SR-25 (“DPMS-style”) magazines is a big step forward for the Galil platform.

One lesser-known feature of the Galil, though, is that with some work and an adapter, you can get it running AR-15 magazines.

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Nice write-up with pictures on IDF 10/22 usage

I was alerted to a very nice write-up on Rugertalk about the suppressed IDF 10/22 variant. No pictures of any with the new FAB Defense stock, but I’m sure they’re coming as the situation in Israel heats up.

Several of the comments I’ve seen on the IDF 10/22 gripe about the “Maglite suppressor”. My theory is that the rifle used an integral suppression system like the Great Lakes Tactical system (but cruder), and that the knurled part of the suppressor/barrel is actually to give the soldier some grip to unscrew the suppressor covering for cleaning the rifle. The similarity to a Maglite is unfortunate, but makes sense.

I am finally getting to the end of Jewish holidays, but real life continues to be “exciting” (but not bad!). I recently won a rare BUL Storm Compact off Gunbroker for a very reasonable price, so I am eager to see how that turns out.

X95 Preview @ TFB

Sorry that content has been a bit sparse lately – a combination of high holidays and IRL zaniness has been conspiring against me. I have a few posts in the hopper that just need photographs to finish.

Still, I wanted to point out a new preview of the IWI X95 that was posted up by The Firearm Blog. Miles apparently got to use it at the recent bullpup shoot, and had some thoughts.

On the whole, I liked the article, but had some real quibbles with some of his criticism:

  • There’s nothing wrong with polymer rails on the sides and bottom if they work correctly. The main complaints about polymer rails are that they tend to break when used with a VFG, and they can have zero shift issues on the top when the gun heats up. The former doesn’t sound like an issue on the X95, and, as for the latter, the X95 doesn’t have a polymer top rail.
  • The constant complaints about plastic components. The AUG made these work quite well back in the 70’s. When are we going to accept that maybe materials science has advanced since Bakelite was invented?
  • The complaints about the barrel length. If this were a PCC, yes, I’d agree that the extra barrel length is useless. I always chop my PCCs! But you get somewhat improved ballistics in 5.56×45, enough so that the “extra” barrel length can be justified.
  • It’s hard to argue that the Tavor’s bolt release is not in a somewhat weird place. But the problem in actual usage is pretty minimal. In terms of reloads, you just rack the charging handle, which is conveniently located right above your support hand. And if your gun has failed badly enough you need to lock the bolt back, you’re not going to be shouldering it, and thus have two hands free for the manipulation. I suppose it’s annoying on the one-way range when you constantly need to show a clear chamber while the range is cold… but that’s not a high priority for me.

The BUL Storm

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Historically, BUL Transmark’s third pistol line was the BUL Storm. Arguably, it’s the least known line of their pistols in the US, excepting perhaps the new SAS line (which hasn’t gotten very much play in the US yet). The Storm is a straight-out Tanfoglio TZ-75 clone, which is a slightly modified clone of the CZ-75.

Clever readers will note that this is pretty much the same situation as the Jericho, which is a clone of the Tanfoglio as well. What do I think of the Storm versus the Jericho? Read on.

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Mounting Optics to the Galil

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One of the key deficiencies of the Galil series of rifles is optics mounting capability (or lack thereof).  In all fairness, the Galil’s service rifle competitors at the time of its design weren’t barn-burners in this area, either. You could make a reasonable argument that the M14 wasn’t a bad platform for optics, but pretty much everything else under the sun (FAL, AK, G3, M16A1, etc.) had serious issues. It wasn’t until the mid-90’s and the introduction of the flat-top M4 carbine that shooters got more comfortable options on black rifles.

However, due to the Galil’s popularity as a sexy retro rifle, modern shooters often want a way to get some optics on it. What are the options? Read on.

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BUL M-5 Mags and Parts Source

A recurrent “theme” (read: whine) I’ve had about BUL handguns is that the magazine and parts situation is somewhat dire, especially on the 9mm side. On a tip, I did find someone who stocks BUL M-5 magazines and parts. Ask for Lou at All America Sales (870-544-2809). He was able to source some stuff for me that I had a lot of difficulty finding otherwise, and his prices were quite reasonable (to the point where I was wondering if he wasn’t getting out of sourcing these parts to begin with).

I am in the process of upgrading my M-5 using those parts, and should have an article on that process soon.