Just got an email in my inbox that DSA has released the “DSA SA58 FAL 21″ Israeli Light Barrel Rifle – Officer Grade Hebrew War Hammer” for $1500. Looks like they got a shipment of IDF “light/regular” FN FAL kits, and these are the builds on the nicest of those kits. Presumably, they will have some cheaper guns on the less nice kits, or we’ll see those pop up at Apex or Sarco. They’ve got IDF markings on the receiver, which is a nice touch.
I’ve previously reviewed the heavy barrel IDF FN FALO. Nice rifle for its time, but overly heavy. This model shouldn’t be quite as bad due to the barrel profile and the lack of bipod, but it’ll still be a heavy beast compared to an AR-308 or HK91.
On their Facebook page, IWI has posted an image of an X95 chambered in 7.62×51. We’ve heard rumors about the development of this rifle, but this is the first image I’ve seen of it. It appears to use SR-25 magazines, and is an interesting cross between a Tavor and an X95. The charging handle and pistol grip seem to be of the X95 type, where as the rear of the gun and the handguard seem to be from the origina Tavor. In my opinion, it’s a lot prettier than the 5.56×45 X95, and I’m looking forward to it!
UPDATE: it’s called the Tavor 7. Specs from IWI-US’ Facebook page after the jump.
I saw on Facebook that IWI-US is now shipping the 7.62×51 Galil ACE rifle to dealers. Their website currently only lists the GAR 1651 model, which comes with a 16″ barrel and takes SR25 magazines. Curiously, there is no mention of the 18″, 20″, or pistol variants. I would have expected the pistol variant to have beat the rifle out the gate due to import restrictions.
I suspect that the 7.62×51 version of the rifle is going to meet with much more success than the 7.62×39 version. The 7.62×39 version suffered quite a lot from comparisons to cheap Zastava and slightly-less expensive Arsenal AK rifles, and was somewhat overshadowed by the PSA KS-47 and CMMG Mutant Mk-47 rifles. Other than the VEPR-308 and Zastava PAP M77 rifles, there’s not a whole lot of competition in the 7.62×51 AK rifle market, and there’s certainly nothing that takes SR25 magazines. I also think that the market for higher-end 7.62×51 rifles is somewhat more robust (as evinced by the SCAR-17’s continued sales at $2600). If the street price lands at $1700-$1750, it will be competitive with higher-end 7.62×51 modern sporting rifles.
Personally speaking, it’s certainly the most appealing ACE to me, but I’d prefer it with a 20″ barrel.
As all of you know, we have been seriously delayed in bringing the Galil ACE to market. Suffice to say that we believe it is better to delay deliveries if a problem is discovered, rather than bring the product to market prematurely. (Most of the issues encountered were in converting full auto to semi-auto configuration.) In any case, here is our revised delivery schedule (which could still be modified if necessary):
Galil ACE pistol in 7.62 NATO – January, 2016
Galil ACE pistol w/Stabilizing Brace, 7.62 NATO – February, 2016
Galil ACE rifle, 7.62 NATO – March, 2016
Galil ACE 5.56 NATO – 2nd Quarter 2016
We apologize for these delays, but again, we want to make sure that what we bring to market meets our standards and your expectations.
I am not surprised, given the delays the Tavor and Uzi Pro had. I am also slightly skeptical of the reasons given, too – converting AK platforms to semi-auto is a well-known problem that is easily solved by widely-available parts. The parts diagram of the Galil ACE that I’ve seen doesn’t really seem to suggest that the FCG is any different than the Galil’s, either. Personally, I would theorize some sort of import-related issue, especially with the suggested uncertainty of even this revised delivery schedule.
On the other hand, this is good news in the sense that the pistol version is going to be out in 2-3 months, in time for the holiday buying season. That should be good news for the IWI-US bottom line.
While I would probably take any review from a national defense industry publication with a grain of salt, I just found an older article from Israel Defense that reviewed the new-ish 7.62×51 Negev NG7. Spoiler alert: they liked it a lot.
But, in fairness, the NG7 sounds like a hell of a gun. The NG7 is lighter than an M249 SAW, while packing a significantly bigger punch (7.62×51, instead of 5.56×45) and being far more comfortable to carry and hold.