IWI-US has announced the release of the Galil ACE Gen II guns. For now, it seems like the 7.62×51 ACE isn’t being upgraded, but the 5.45×39 version is getting a bump to full-production status.
As you can see from the picture, there’s been some changes:
The buttstock is AR compatible.
The trigger has supposedly been upgraded.
The handguard is MLOK, and free-floated. It also looks moderately longer, but that may be a scaling trick.
No more built-in iron sights.
Upgraded safety lever.
My personal take is that this was probably a manufacturing optimization as much as an upgrade, but it is an upgrade nonetheless. Keen readers would be advised to keep their eyes open for closeout Gen I ACEs at the usual suspects.
On a similar note, IWI also recently released a minor update to the Uzi Pro, giving it a threaded barrel.
IWI announced a limited edition release of the Galil ACE in 5.45×39, with 16″ rifle and 8.3″ pistol variants. This is pretty cool, as there are not a lot of new 5.45×39 guns coming on the market these days, and even fewer that AK-74 magazines. They are being directly sold through IWI. There are supposedly only 545 of each model being made, so there is some scarcity involved.
Unfortunately, it’s $1850 (pistol) and $1900 (rifle), which is a little too rich for my taste as an impulse buy, even if they would ship the rifle to MD. On the plus side, 500+ of each means that some will eventually wind up on the secondary market, so maybe I’ll get another bite at the apple…
According to IWI-US on Facebook, the second-generation 7.62×39 Galil ACE pistol (aka, “GAP-II”) is now shipping to dealers in both standard and “brace” versions. Presumably, this model won’t have the “third pin” feature that got IWI in so much trouble last time. No word on the pistol version of the 7.62×51 ACE yet.
IWI-US has consistently promised that the ACE stock assemblies will be made available to the public by the end of the year, so your chance to build that sweet, sweet Galil ACE SBR may be coming up soon.
Speaking of upcoming releases, IWI-US also promised in the comments that we’d be seeing the 5.56×45 ACEs in early 2017. These could be a big hit, albeit the Zastava M90NP is pretty popular in the market right now…
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.
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.
The Galil ACE 32 pistol was recently released into the wild, with the sort of reviews you’d expect in conjunction with a 6lb rifle-caliber pistol. I am going to guess sales have not been brisk, because I’m already seeing them advertised in the ~$1425 range – which is pretty much as low as I think they’ll go without IWI reducing the MSRP. This street price is relatively competitive with the Arsenal SAM7K – the Arsenal is somewhat cheaper, but the Galil ACE 32 is a much better value when you consider the whole package.
The point here is not “go out and buy a Galil ACE 32 pistol”. I mean, sure, if you’re in the market for one, go buy one. They’ll eventually be a good SBR platform, and the price isn’t going to fall much further soon. But it also means that my guess about Galil ACE 32 rifles being around $1550 on the street is looking pretty solid. I imagine the rifles will be more popular than the pistols, but the competition is so heavy now (M+M M10X, Sig 556xi, PTR-32 Gen II, the various Zastava rifles, etc.) that I think they’ll need those heavy discounts to sell.
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.
The IWI-US website has been updated with the new Galil ACE, Uzi Pro pistol, and Jericho pistol models. No surprises as far as I can see.
The law enforcement section has listings for the Negev LMG (including short barrel config) and the Uzi Pro SMG, because, as you know, law enforcement really needs access to light machineguns. Again, nothing new, albeit the Uzi Pro section does a nice job of showing it off.
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?