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:
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.
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.
As mentioned in my VMHT AR-15 Uzi magazine adapter review, I am a big fan of re-using magazines that I already own. I was able to find a way to use my unmodified Uzi mags in my AR-15, but what other guns could take them?
I did find one… the Nite Scout A3. More after the break.
Continue reading More Fun with Uzi Mags: Nite Scout A3 Review
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.
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!)
The least-known handgun made by IMI/IWI is probably the Barak. It was imported ever so briefly by Magnum Research as the SP-21, and then dumped after poor sales. Eventually, it was also removed from the IWI sales catalog as well.
I think this is a tragedy, because the Barak is one of the best polymer hammer-fired handguns ever made.
Continue reading The IMI/IWI Barak
I was recently able to procure two Barak handguns – one an early IMI model, and the other a later IWI model. I have been working on the assumption that the IWI model is a redesign of the IMI model, and not some sort of parallel variant that no one has ever heard of.
I’ve field-stripped both in an effort to determine what differences are between them.
Continue reading Comparing the IMI Barak and the IWI Barak