IWI US showed off several of their new 7.62 NATO Galil ACEs at last week’s Big 3 East event in Daytona Beach, Florida. It was the first large-scale display of the 7.62 NATO models to gun media.
The 7.62 NATO (7.62x51mm) models will be the first new-production Galil ACEs to hit the market following the shaky launch of the 7.62x39mm models. The Galil ACE is a modernized version of the legendary 5.56x45mm IMI Galil, the “Israeli Kalashnikov” that served with distinction in the Israel Defense Forces from 1972 onward.
The Galil ACE retains the Kalashnikov-style, long-stroke gas piston action of its progenitor but sports some 21st century features—namely, a full-length Picatinny top rail and a polymer handguard with removable panels that cover additional rail sections.
The 7.62 NATO Galil ACE feeds from SR-25-pattern magazines and features an AR-style magazine release (no bolt hold-open functionality was present, nor was a bolt release button).
Galil ACEs chambered in 7.62 NATO will be available as 16- and 20-inch-barreled rifles and 11.8-inch-barreled pistols. The rifle variants will come with side-folding stocks.
The entire 7.62 NATO line is slated for a summer release, with MSRPs for each model falling right around the $2,000 mark. I found every variant of the gun to be accurate and mild-recoiling in my limited range time at Big 3 East.
IWI US also shared that 7.62x39mm Galil ACEs were back on track for a late April/May re-release. Pistol models of 7.62x39mm ACE had to be recalled last year after it was discovered that their receivers had a “third pin hole,” a “feature” that the ATF has ruled makes any Kalashnikov-pattern receiver legally a machine gun. Nearly all pre-recall 7.62x39mm ACEs have been returned to IWI US for replacement.
Finally, IWI US announced that semiautomatic 5.56x45mm X95 rifles with black and flat dark earth furniture had begun arriving at distributors in the past week. The refined version of the Tavor SAR has an MSRP of $2,000.
All images by Matt Korovesis