IWI Galil ACE 7.62×39

While the IWI Galil resembles a traditional AK47, there are several improvements.

AR15s seem to get all the love.  But of course, there are always a few AK47 fanboys chanting “power over accuracy!”  But what if you could have an improved AK47 with the accuracy and some ergonomics of the AR15?  That’s what Israel started to design decades back, and what IWI gives us today with the Galil ACE.


The Galil is best compared to the AK47 since it shares the same closed rotating bolt, long stroke gas piston, trigger, and receiver design, and magazine.  But the Galil improves on several features that make it much more user-friendly.

The first and most used feature is the safety selector.  Instead of awkwardly breaking your firing grip on the rifle, the Galil has an ambidextrous safety.  The right side is somewhat like a miniature AK style, and the left works more like an AR15 thumb selector.

While the trigger is about 6.5-pounds, it is also two stage so it doesn’t feel that heavy. It has a little take-up and smooth press which makes me perfectly happy with it and not wishing to seek out an aftermarket trigger like I usually do.

The folding and adjustable stock is a huge bonus and it also allows for firing while folded.  It doesn’t lock in place while folded, but it doesn’t fall open on its own.

The folding stock is a nice bonus that would usually be $200 upgrade on other rifles.

The sights are fully adjustable yet came perfectly zeroed from the factory.  The front and rear sights also have tritium inserts for low light shooting.  Unlike the video states, the rear sight is easily removed by pushing a small detent under the receiver cover which would allow for scope mounting.

The chrome lined, cold hammer forged barrel is surprisingly accurate delivering 1.5″ groups from 100 yards with standard ammo.  The barrel is threaded concentric to bore allowing suppressors to be mounted without fearing baffle strikes like you would on an AK.

The ejected casings did throw very far with the standard factory piston, and with certain suppressors like the Silencer Co Saker the blowback caused the rifle to malfunction.  But this was easily remedied by installing a KNS Precision adjustable piston.

Mounting optics is easy due to the long factory rail, and surprisingly enough, like the video shows, zero was retained every time after removing and remounting the top rail.  The rifle even includes a cheek riser needed for using optics.

Proposed Upgrades

While the included handguard gets the job done, it’s rather thick and clunky.  The Midwest Industries rail was a great improvement, sleeker, and more aesthetically pleasing.  It was downright easy to install as well with only 2 screws.

The Midwest Industries rail was a great improvement offering more space and less “chunk” of the stock option.

The Galil ships and works great with Magpul AK magazines.  But some mags like the Tapcos or Xtech MAG47s won’t work due to the polymer shroud.  Many users cut this off right in front of the trigger guard and it is on my to-do list as well.

Finally – a QD sling swivel hole would be much appreciated on the buttstock.  But it does have a strap hole on the rear and a clip receiver at the stock hinge.

Wrap Up

The Galil is a top-notch, accurate, and soft shooting rifle.  I would feel plenty comfortable with it as my primary defense rifle and would choose it any day over a stock AK47.  It is also available in .223 and .308 versions.  Retail lists them at $1,899 but I’ve seen “blemished” versions for $999 at places like Get-a-Gun earlier this year.  BigDaddyUnlimited has them at $1,400 here. One thing is for sure, I never met an unsatisfied Galil Ace owner.