I was poking around on Gunbroker and noticed that McKay Enterprises has imported the Silver Shadow Gilboa M43 rifle to the US, and it is now available for sale at an MSRP of $1749. The Gilboa M43 is an AR-15-style rifle that takes AK mags, much like the CMMG Mk47 or RRA LAR-47. To my knowledge, this is the first AR-15 rifle ever imported from Israel to the United States. I am not sure how they deal with the 922r parts count – presumably the stock. pistol grip, and muzzle device are US made, and maybe the FCG (given that the magazine in the picture looks foreign).
The price, unfortunately, is going to be a real hindrance to sales. When I did a quick check online, the CMMG Mk47 was going for $1200, and the Mk47 has a very good reputation for the smart engineering behind it (like using the AR-308 platform as a base to enable a much beefier bolt). There’s also some stiff competition at the $1600 price range from the IWI Galil ACE 32. Without a serious price drop to $1200 to match the Mk47, I just don’t think the M43 is going to sell in any significant numbers. Good if you want a collector’s item, but probably not what Silver Shadow and McKay Enterprises are hoping for.
One of the really neat things about collecting Israeli firearms and accessories is that the Israelis surplused tons of neat stuff. While I haven’t seen any surplus Israeli reflex sights come on the market yet, there are a bunch of Eyal and Nimrod scopes floating around out there. I was recently able to get my hands on an El-Op Eyal scope. The Eyal is a “M16 carry handle”-style scope of the type that was popularized by the old Colt 3x and 4x scopes.
I’d like to share my thoughts about it!
Continue reading The El-Op Eyal Scope
When I discovered that my Elbit Falcon MkII optical sight was incompatible with the M4 handguard I had on my IDF Colt Commando clone build, I decided that it would be easiest to simply buy a new CAR-15-style handguard. As this is a blog devoted to Israeli small arms and accessories, my first thought was “let’s see how the FAB Defense handguard works”. It was cheap-ish (about $25), and I liked the idea of using a handguard that an IDF soldier might think of replacing a broken handguard with. So, I bought one.
The FAB Defense HG-S carbine-length handguard is well-constructed, and has top and bottom heat shields. It looks remarkably similar to a USGI CAR-15 handguard, Unfortunately, and this will be the shortest review I’ve ever done on this blog, they didn’t actually fit on my gun. The total length of the handguard was too long, and the delta ring simply would not slide down far enough to accommodate it. Keep in mind, the upper on this gun is a genuine Colt LE6933 upper which has never had handguard fitment issues before (M4, CAR-15, Magpul MOE, etc.). I could theoretically have sanded the handguard ends down to make it fit, but bluntly, this is not acceptable as a solution. So, here’s my review: don’t buy the FAB Defense HG-S. It looks nice, but will probably have trouble fitting in-spec AR-15s.
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.
Continue reading IWI-US teases 7.62×51 X95 (UPDATE: Tavor 7!)
Backup sights are a controversial issue these days. There are an increasing number of shooters who feel that the current crop of military-grade reflex and prism sights (Aimpoints, Trijicon ACOGs, etc.) are tough enough and reliable enough that backup sights are no longer useful – that is to say, any event that’s traumatic enough to destroy an ACOG is probably not going to leave behind an intact rifle.
To my knowledge, most militaries still embrace backup sights as an essential. About the only first-rate military I’ve ever seen field optics without backup iron sights is the IDF – you can find plenty of pictures online of optics deployed on flat-top M16s without a rear backup sight..
Therefore, I assume FAB Defense developed the FBS / RBS backup sights for export. I have a 9mm AR-15 that needed some backup sights, and the FBS / RBS seemed like an interesting option. How did I like it? More after the break.
Continue reading FAB Defense FBS / RBS Backup Sights
The reflex sight is arguably one of the most important recent developments in small arms technology. I’ve read assertions that first round hit probability is tremendously increased with the proper use of reflex sights, especially on moving targets, and I’m certainly inclined to agree. Aimpoint was the first manufacturer to create such sights, but a company that followed closely behind them was Elbit Systems of Israel, who created the Falcon optical gunsight.
I was able to acquire a Falcon reflex sight recently, and had a chance to put it through its paces. More after the break!
Continue reading The Elbit Falcon Optical Gunsight MkII
Yes, that’s an actual unfired, mint-condition IMI Compact 945 (which I’ve previously erroneously called the 945 Compact) you see in the picture. You’ll recall this pistol from the article I wrote on it previously. The Compact 945 did make it into the wild, at least in a limited way.
Before I go any further, I want to acknowledge reader “Patrick from Belgium”, with the photos and manual you see in this article, not to mention some other contextual information that’s probably at least as important. The good stuff is after the break!
Continue reading The IMI Compact 945