New IWI-US Catalog for 2015

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.

SHOT SHOW 2015: no Israeli surprises

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.

New MagLULA Product: 30-round AR15 / M4 universal heavy-duty Range BenchLoader

maglula

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?)

The Mysterious Jericho-B

jerichob

One of the least-known modern pistols made by IWI is the Jericho-B, announced in 2010, discontinued in 2012. The Jericho-B appears to be an updated version of the IMI Barak pistol, the main difference being an updated slide design, removing the Barak’s characteristic (and unflattering) “rear sight hump” and making the slide more rectangular rather than cylindrical.

Want to know more? After the break!

Continue reading The Mysterious Jericho-B

Speaking of the Galil… the GAL Assault Rifle

Top to bottom: GAL assault rifle in 7.62x51, GAL in 5.56x45, Balashnikov (Galil prototype), Galil ARM
Top to bottom: GAL assault rifle in 7.62×51, GAL in 5.56×45, Balashnikov (Galil prototype), Galil ARM

Hot on the heels of my “Why the Galil Failed” post, The Firearm Blog has linked to a pair of videos showing the GAL assault rifle in some detail. I am blown away at the excellent condition of the GAL being shown at what appears to be Silver Shadow, and it’s really reinforcing my desire to take a research trip out there sometime soon. If you’re interested in more information on the GAL, the book “The World’s Assault Rifles” has a section on it.

It’s tempting to think that the GAL would have succeeded where the Galil failed, but I believe that would be a mistake. The GAL weighed about as much as the Galil, and shared its inadequacy in the areas of being an LMG/SAW and a DMR. There’s also no reason to think that the IDF would have adopted it in a lighter configuration.

Why the Galil failed

IMG_0597

The Galil is generally considered to be one of the best AK variants ever created, standing right up there with the Finnish Rk95. It was adopted by a number of Central/South American militaries, and South Africa. It even came rather close to becoming Sweden’s service rifle instead of the FNC. Yet, with regards to Israeli military service, it’s the equivalent of the US experience with the M14: phased in, and then phased out in rapid succession.

What happened? I’ve been shooting the Galil for a couple years now, and I have some thoughts on the subject…

Continue reading Why the Galil failed

Upcoming Content

I know it’s been a little sparse around here lately, but I’ve got plenty of content in the pipeline:

  • Review of the IMI Barak
  • Review of the IWI Jericho-B
  • Review of the BUL Storm
  • Thoughts on the Israeli 98k Mauser
  • Thoughts on the Galil
  • The versatility of the Uzi magazine
  • More accessory reviews
  • Interviews with Israeli firearms and accessory manufacturers

I’ve bought the handguns, but they haven’t been transferred to me yet due to hassles with the MD handgun roster. This is kind of a shame, given how little US coverage that the Barak has gotten.