Updates to the Kareen article

I’ve been doing some research and made some updates to the Kareen MkII article. For what I believe to be the first time on the Internet, I have detailed all six variants of the Kareen that made it to the United States.

I had been erroneously treating the “Kareen MkIII” and the “KA-MkIII” as the same gun. On detailed inspection of photos, it’s very clear that they have significant differences. The Kareen MkIII was an attempt to lower the manufacturing costs of the Kareen MkII. The KA-MkIII, on the other hand, looks exactly like an Arcus 94. I don’t want to claim I’ve solved the mystery, but I think my best guess now is that KSN was using rough Arcus frames and slides to produce the Mk II and Mk III, and then switched over to finished frames and slides for the KA-MkIII.

In other news, I have acquired a whole bunch of Israeli handguns, including a coupler rarer ones, and I hope to have some articles on them beginning in May.

Want a compact Israeli handgun? Buy soon.

While reviewing the product catalogs from Magnum Research and IWI-US, I noticed that neither of them are going to be importing the “compact” versions of either the BDE III or the Jericho. Perhaps they don’t feel these guns can compete in the concealed-carry marketplace? Assuming that Magnum Research drops the BDE II line, there will no longer be an option for a compact-size Jericho on the market.

Battle Ready International, however, did mention to me that they were trying to import the BUL M-5 Ultra-X, so there may be some hope in the future. The BUL M-5 Ultra-X will no doubt be expensive, but it is arguably the best choice out there for an “officer”-size double stack 9mm 1911.

Please note, though, that MR and IWI-US will both be releasing “semi-compact” guns that feature a shorter barrel/slide with the same-sized grip. These are perfectly fine guns, but many find them less usable for concealed carry due to the long(er) grip.

Magnum Research announces the Baby Desert Eagle III


Magnum Research has announced the new Baby Desert Eagle III line of pistols. It took me a few seconds to realize it, but this appears to be the BUL Cherokee with a full length dust cover and a slide safety. It’s not so obvious with the steel version pictured above, but take a look at these two guns:

polymer baby eagle III cherokee

There are clearly some changes to the frame and slide (probably to more closely mimic the old BDE II), but I’m unaware of any other existing Tanfoglio clone that has a similar frame. The steel version is also using a frame that looks suspiciously like that of the old BUL Storm.

UPDATE 4/3/2015: all4shooters confirmed a couple months ago at SHOT that the BDE III is being made by BUL Transmark. Given the changes over the Cherokee, which appear substantial, I think this qualifies as a completely new model of Israeli-manufactured handgun.

IWI-US website updated

The IWI-US website has been updated with the new Galil ACE, Uzi Pro pistol, and Jericho pistol models. No surprises as far as I can see.

The law enforcement section has listings for the Negev LMG (including short barrel config) and the Uzi Pro SMG, because, as you know, law enforcement really needs access to light machineguns. Again, nothing new, albeit the Uzi Pro section does a nice job of showing it off.

Deal Alert: KSN Golans for $320


Two of the more difficult-to-aquire Israeli-manufactured guns are the KSN Golan and GAL pistols. Neither were imported in numbers like the KSN Kareen, and the importer and manufacturer appear to be long out of business. The only way to get a Golan previously was to pay Century’s high $400 price tag. While I like the Golan, let’s be real: it’s a 25 year old pistol with nothing particularly special about it, other than the Israeli connection. You can get Zastava CZ99s for a lot less.

Therefore, I get excited when I see someone selling 50 KSN Golans on Gunbroker at $320 each ($355 shipped). The Golans are pictured in minty condition, and come with the original case and manual, which makes the slightly high pricing a lot more acceptable. It appears that Century Arms has finally liquidated their inventory of these guns. This is probably going to be the last time that you will be able to easily acquire a KSN Golan.

The Golan is a licensed copy of the CZ-99 Compact-G, and supposedly uses the same tooling as the Zastava (not Česká zbrojovka) CZ-99 Compact-G. The unofficial history at CZ-99.org posits that the licensing and tooling sale was because of sanctions against Yugoslavia and an existing trade relationship with Israel. This seems plausible, as there are a few CZ99 Compact pistols from Israeli police armories on Gunbroker.

Despite its appearance, the CZ99 is not a Sig P226 clone, but is a cross between the Sig P226 (externally) and the Walther P88 (internally). It is considered to be a high quality firearm and is the standard issue sidearm of the Serbian military and police. It has its own proprietary magazines, but they are relatively inexpensive.

New Israeli Rifle at IWA 2015


Looks like a new Israeli manufacturer is releasing their own AR-style rifle, as reported on at Israel Defense. Doesn’t look particularly interesting, except that the manufacturer claims they’re making all the metal bits for QC purposes.

I think it’s interesting to see Israeli manufacturers moving into AR-style guns as the IDF moves away from them and towards the Tavor and X95. Due to the rumored high cost of the Tavor and X95, it could be that these manufacturers think that either domestic police forces will be investing in new AR-style rifles to replace more obsolete weapons (M1 carbines!), or that the Tavor will not be issued to reserve forces and some other cheaper rifle (AR-15!) will be used instead. As a pure export play, I don’t really see the business plan – Colt, FN, etc. all have far more capacity for large contracts, and can probably do them cheaper, too.

(H/T to gun.fm!)