This year IWI US is expanding its offerings to include the Galil ACE line of rifles and pistols and the Jericho series of pistols.
The Galil ACE is a modernized version of the classic Galil rifle, which served as the Israel Defense Forces’ service rifle beginning in the 1970s until the adoption of the M4 and M16. Like its predecessor, the Galil ACE utilizes a refined and reliable Kalashnikov-pattern, long-stroke gas piston.
The Galil ACE rifles and pistols feature a number of enhancements that give them an edge on traditional AKs. The charging handle has been moved to the left side of the receiver from the right, making reloads much easier to perform for right-handed shooters. All ACEs also feature an easily manipulated safety lever on the left-hand side of the receiver above the pistol grip. The safety can also be manipulated using a lever on the right-hand side of the receiver in the typical Kalashnikov position.
Tri-rail polymer handguards are present on all Galil ACE models. The rail sections are revealed by removing sliding covers that slide on and off with the push of a button. A long, two-piece Picatinny rail runs the top length of the gun. The rail mounted to the top of the dust cover secures to the rail above the gas tube via a solid dovetail interface. The rear iron sight is located at the rear of the dust cover, offering an extended sight radius compared to a standard AK.
The rifle-length Galil ACEs feature a folding, telescoping buttstock similar to M4-style stocks. Cheek risers will also be available for the stock.
IWI US plans on releasing three Galil ACE models in 7.62x39mm in spring 2015: a 16-inch-barreled rifle, an 8.3-inch-barreled pistol, and an 8.3-inch-barreled pistol with a stabilizing brace. All of the 7.62x39mm models will use standard AK magazines. The MSRP of the pistol is $1,749, while the rifle is $1,899. The pistol with stabilizing brace will list for $1,849.
I shot the 7.62x39mm ACE rifle at Media Day, and it was one of my favorite guns of the event. The trigger felt great for a “combat” rifle and the action was smoother than almost any other AK I’ve shot, and having the charging handle on the left-hand side was a welcome change. The M16-style iron sights were also quick to pick up and offer a greatly improved sight picture over AK irons. I’m interested to see how well an optic mounted to the top receiver rail holds zero over time.
Models chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO are planned for late summer 2015 and include 11.8-inch-barreled pistols and 16- and 20-inch-barreled rifles. The 7.62×51 Galils will utilize SR-25-pattern magazines. The 7.62×51 rifles’ MSRP is $2,099, while the pistol with stabilizing brace will sell for $2,049.
ACEs in 5.56 that are compatible with AR magazines are planned for 2016.
IWI US will also be distributing the Jericho 941 line of pistols in 2015. The Jericho utilizes a short recoil action based off the CZ 75. Full-sized steel frame and polymer frame pistols with 4.4-inch barrels will be offered in 9x19mm and .40 S&W with a 16- and 12-round capacity, respectively. Mid-sized steel frame and polymer frame pistols with 3.8-inch barrels will be chambered in 9x19mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. The mid-sized guns will have capacities of 16, 12, and 10 rounds, respectively. MSRP for all polymer Jerichos is $559, while the steel pistols will retail for $655. Restricted-capacity models will also be available.
I’ve had extensive trigger time with a CZ P-07, which the Jericho 941 can readily be compared to. I found the steel-framed pistols felt balanced and comfortable in my hands, though I was not as fond of the feel of the polymer handguns.
The first Jerichos should be shipping within the next few months.