All posts by Jew with a Gun

IWI releases version 3 of the polymer Jericho

TFB has a great blurb on the new version of the polymer Jericho that IWI just released. It apparently has an improved grip texture, no finger grooves, upgraded accessory rail, and a replaceable backstrap. None of that is revolutionary, but the replaceable backstrap is actually somewhat uncommon on CZ-75 derivatives. I assume IWI-US will be importing this new Jericho version in the future.

Speaking of IWI-US, they announced last month that the Galil ACE in 5.56 was shipping to their distributors. Fascinatingly, I have not seen any on Gunbroker, which makes me wonder exactly what happened there.

(Sorry for not having posted for a while – new job, less range time, kids, Passover, etc. I have some great content lined up, and just need to get it up online.)

X95 SBR Parts Now Available

If you’re in a state that allows SBRs AND you’re an X95 owner, your ship has come in.

IWI-US has announced on Facebook that the X95 short foregrip and thin buttplate are now available. The 13.5″ barrel is still on the way, but a 3″ chop from 16.5″ is unlikely to require much in the way of gas system changes. The resulting gun will not look exactly like a mil-spec X95, but it’ll definitely be a lot closer. Be warned that putting the thin buttplate on a stock 16.5″ X95 will turn it into an SBR, as it will no longer make the 26″ OAL limit.

Now, where’s the Galil ACE and Uzi Pro SBR kits? 🙂

IWI DAN at SHOT 2017

IWI-DAN.jpg

Yes, it’s true: IWI is releasing the DAN in 338 Lapua this year, and it’ll be featured at SHOT 2017. The DAN was designed by Nehemiah Sirkis, who I like to think of as the Gene Stoner of Israel.

The press release makes it clear that IWI is offering is a premium package, coming with everything shown above besides the optic. It will be expensive: to put it in perspective, the Remington M2010 has an MSRP of $17,000 sans scope and suppressor. Street price is considerably lower, though; I’ve seen them as low as $8k on Gunbroker. The DAN doesn’t have much in the way of operational history, so I don’t think IWI will try to price it as high… still, expect street prices to be pretty stunning, and probably around $7k-$10k. It’s a beast of a gun, and weighs in at 15lbs naked, so the civilian market for this is probably pretty small, even without considering the price.

EDIT (3/10/2017): MSRP is $9,000. If street price is 82.5% of that, expect to pay about $7,500 for the rifle. With that pricing, I’m not sure who they’re going to sell to besides collectors – police snipers don’t need 338 LM performance, and the military is unlikely to use this when the Remington M2010 is already in the system. This is unfortunately going to be one of those rifles that sits new-in-box in a vault, waiting for the day it gets sold for some absurd multiple of its retail value due to rarity. Still, kudos to IWI-US for even making this available at all.

Some Industry News

Sorry for my absence – my interests lately have run to 3D printing (yes, including firearms!), which is a bit off the topic of this blog. I also have not had much time to go shooting with the kids’ school year picking up. Rest assured that I still plan on posting, perhaps with less frequency.

As shown on Facebook (h/t to the TheFirearmBlog for reminding me to post), Recover Tactical is developing Browning High Power grips. Presumably, these will fit guns with curved trigger guards like true BHPs, Kareen Mk1s, and FEGs, but probably not the guns with square trigger guards like the Kareen MkII/III, KA-III, and the Arcus guns. Next in line are apparently Makarov grips, which strikes me as a bit nonsensical – FAB Defense has a good solution already, and how much of a market is there? IMHO, there’s a huge opportunity in producing TA-90 and CZ-75 grips, given how many beat-up old guns are on the surplus market now.

IWI-US released a statement on Facebook that the .300AAC conversion kits for the X95 and SAR are being released soon. Complete 300AAC X95s will be coming out in “end of February, early March”. X95 conversion kits will be available in “end of march, early April”. And, finally, we’ll see SAR conversion kits at “end of April”.

Unfortunately, there’s some bad news coming along with this. The conversion kits are going to be pricey since they include a barrel, bolt, gas regulator, rail with gas regulator cut-out, new recoil springs, and a new case deflector. Much like the 9mm conversion, this is a bit of a situation where buying a new gun seems rather cheaper than converting your old gun. (Or, perhaps, converting your AR-15 instead of your Tavor.)

Finally, the CAA Micro RONI has been released, and, shockingly, it’s really rather reasonably priced at $250 for the base model. Jim Grant has a review, and he seems to like it – with the usual caveat of “your Glock isn’t a rifle even in a chassis”.

7.62×39 Galil ACE “GAP-II” pistol now shipping

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…

7.62×51 Galil ACE rifle now shipping

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.

More Photos of the CAA Alfa

The Firearm Blog has a great post with some pictures of the latest prototype of the CAA Alfa. These were taken by Konstantin Lazarev, who’s got some more photos on his Facebook page. It is unclear whether this is a functional prototype, but at least it’s not 3D printed like the last one we saw.

As before, I’m a little skeptical about this gun. “AK in a shell” has been tried by many folks, and none of them have found much success. Couple this with CAA’s lack of gun design history (the RONI doesn’t count) and being late to market compared to the IWI ACE 3X… I suspect LE and US civilian sales are what they’re counting on to make this worthwhile.

The “AK in a shell” concept is rather flawed anyways. The AK receiver and trunions basically MUST be steel due to the way the gun functions. Once you’ve gone down that route, the extra plastic is just extra weight. In my opinion, IWI had the right idea by reducing weight in all the other places, and making strategic ergonomic changes.