IMI Galil [Automatic Rifle]:

The Galil has been the Israelis main combat rifle since its acceptance in 1972 although in the future it may be replaced by the Tavor bulpup rifle. It was designed with many lessons from the 1967 Six Day War. The Isrealis forces were largely eqipped with FN FAL rifles and had problems with the NATO rifles under desert conditions. The AK-47 was found to withstand desert conditions far better than the NATO rifles.

The Galil uses features of many different combat rifles with heavy influances of the Russian Kalashnikov rifle. This can be seen at first glance although there are a great number of changes from the Russian design which are not apparent. Instead of being stamped and riveted, the reciever is heavy mill forged. Many other feature changes include a smaller gas hole, does not have an adjustable gas regulator, and does not use the Russian Rifles heavy extractor claw. The Galil is most similar to the Finnish Valmet M62 rifle and early Galil prototypes were fabricated using M62 receivers made in Helsinki. The Galil cannot use Kalishnikov parts although maintance for both rifles is similar. The sighting system is a combination of Valmet and M16 features. The Galil uses the M-7 bayonet from the M-16.

The Galil is a realively heavy rifle with the concern behind switching to the 5.56 NATO caliber being due to ammo weight. Some have critisized the weight of the rifle and it is almost the same weight as the United States M-14. The 5.56mm NATO Galils all have six-groove barrels with a right-hand 1:12-inch twist for the M193 ball projectile. The Rifle was extensively tested to work in arid conditions and outperformed in those conditions the M-16, Stoner 63, the AK-47, the HK 33, and a design by Uziel Gal.

There are five basic configurations of the Galil, with three available in both 5.56mm NATO or 7.62mm NATO calibers. The ARM version is equipped with a bipod, wooden handguard and carrying handle. The ARM is intended for use as both an assault rifle and squad automatic weapon. One weakness compared to other SAW type weapons is that the weapon does not posses quick-change barrel, adjustable gas regulator and belt-feed potential. The U.S. M 249, for example, possesses all of these features. The AR version is equipped with a high-impact plastic handguard without a bipod or carrying handle. The barrel length in both the ARM and AR are the same. In caliber 5.56mm NATO the barrel is 18.5 inches with the flash suppressor and is 21.0 inches for the 7.62mm NATO models. The SAR is a short-barreled version of the AR model. It has a barrel length of only 13.5 inches in 5.56mm and 15.8 inches in the 7.62mm version. The SAR has a gas tube and piston that are 1 1/8 inches shorter than the other models. The MAR has an even shorter barrel than the SAR but is available in only 5.56 caliber. The MAR, otherwise know as the Micro Galil, has a barrel length of only 7.7 inches. The SNIPER version of the rifle has a barrel length of 21.0 inches and is only available in 7.62 caliber.

There are civilian models of the Galil avaliable but have a long barrel and have a non folding stock.

The Galil in 5.56 uses 35 and 50 round magazines standard and has a special 12 round magazine for the firing of blanks for rifle grenades. The Galil does not use the same magazine as the M-16 although the semi automatic version of the Galil can be fitted with an adaptor to use M-16 style magazines. The curve in the M-16 magazine prevents it from being used in the selective fire version. Valmet 5.56mm NATO magazines will also fit into the semiautomatic Galil, but cannot be used in the selective-fire version. South African R4 magazines are identical to their Israeli counterparts and can be inserted into all versions of the Galil. The 7.62 version of the Galil uses 25 round magazines.

Weight:ARM: 9.6 lbs (4.35 kg) empty, AR: 8.7 lbs (3.95 kg) empty, SAR: 8.3 lbs (3.75 kg) empty, MAR: 6.6 lbs (2.98 kg) empty, and SNIPER: 13.2 lbs (6.0 kg) empty.
Caliber:ARM, AR, & SAR: 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 Remington) and 7.62 NATO (.308 Winchester), MAR: 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 Remington) only, and SNIPER: 7.62 NATO (.308 Winchester) only.
Barrel Length:ARM: 18.1 inches (46 cm) in 5.56 caliber and 20 inches (50.8 cm) in 7.62 Caliber, AR: 13.1 inches (33.2 cm) in 5.56 caliber and 20 inches (50.8 cm) in 7.62 Caliber, SAR: 18.1 inches (46 cm) in 5.56 caliber and 15.7 inches (40.0 cm) in 7.62 Caliber, MAR: 7.7 inches (19.5 cm) in 5.56 caliber, and SNIPER: 20 inches (50.8 cm) in 7.62 Caliber.
Overall Length:ARM: 38.5 inches (97.8 cm) in 5.56 caliber [With stock folded: 29.2 inches / 74.2 cm] and 40.4 inches (102.6 cm) in 7.62 Caliber [With stock folded: 31.1 inches / 7.9 cm], AR: 38.5 inches (97.8 cm) in 5.56 caliber [With stock folded: 29.2 inches / 74.2 cm] and 40.4 inches (102.6 cm) in 7.62 Caliber [With stock folded: 31.1 inches / 7.9 cm], SAR: 33.5 inches (85.0 cm) in 5.56 caliber [With stock folded: 24.2 inches / 61.4 cm] and 36.1 inches (91.8 cm) in 7.62 Caliber [With stock folded: 26.9 inches / 6.82 cm], MAR: 28.0 inches (71.0 cm) in 5.56 caliber [With stock folded: 18.1 inches / 46.0 cm], and SNIPER: 43.8 inches (111.2 cm) in 7.62 Caliber[With stock folded: 33.3 inches / 84.5 cm].
Action:Gas Operated, Rotating Bolt.
Mode of Fire: Semi and Fully Automatic. (Civilian Models Semi Automatic Only)
Range:5.56 NATO: 1000 feet (300 meters). 7.62 NATO: 1800 feet (539 meters).
Magazine:5.56 NATO: 35 and 50 round magazine (Semi Automatic versions can use adaptor for M-16 and Valmet Magazines). 7.62 NATO: 25 Round Magazines.
Cost: $1500.
Made in:Israel.
Special: High quality manufacturing, can take extreme conditions, easy maintenance, and has built in night sights.

[ IMI, TAR-21, Galil, M-16, H&K, and Valmet are copyright of their respective owners. ]

Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa ) and by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2001, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.