Thanks to a GunBroker seller (Ed at Lear Firearms in NH) who unearthed a pair of Kareen Compacts and was kind enough to share detailed pictures with me, we have a lot more information on those guns now.
The Kareen Compact is a bit of a unicorn, and a mysterious one at that. Not quite as rare as the IMI 9mm Revolver or 945 Compact, but probably about as rare as the transitional Baraks, which is saying something. Until now, I had only seen one other. More info after the break!
Continue reading More Information on the Kareen Compact
Israel has always had an “interesting” history when it comes to arms deals. They are clearly a friend of the US, but have sometimes done deals with countries that may not have always had US interests foremost in their minds. They also have a bit of a history in not always abiding by arms embargoes… most famously in the case of South Africa during the apartheid era.
One gun that has that semi-checkered history is the KSN Golan, which is a copy of the CZ99 Compact-G.
Continue reading The KSN Golan
Most of this blog’s readers are probably familiar with IWI and IMI. Some may even be acquainted with BUL Transmark. But less known is another Israeli arms producer: Israel Arms / KSN Industries.
KSN Industries made the Kareen MkII/III line, the KSN Golan (on Yugoslavian equipment), and the KSN GAL. The KSN GAL 1911 is the subject of this blog post, as it appears to have the least available information on it.
Continue reading The KSN GAL (1911)
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.
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.