SURE, AR15s ARE COOL. But everyone has one.
Or maybe you are an AK47 type guy. But AK47s can be a little lacking in the ergonomic, accessory mounting and accuracy department. IWI thought the same thing, and they decided to give us all an updated version of the classic Galil.
The Galil ACE is available in 5.56mm (.223 Remington), 7.62x39mm, and 7.62 NATO (7.62x51mm also rated for .308 Winchester). I tested out the 7.62x39mm rifle because I’m looking at this rifle as a perfected AK47. Turns out I was pretty accurate in that choice.
The 7.62x39mm Galil Ace accepts standard AK47 magazines and is shipped with the PMAG 30 AK/AKM Gen M3. But it also fed my old surplus steel magazines just fine. However the polymer lower magazine well isn’t compatible with thick-bodied magazines such as the Tapco or X-Tech mags. So many owners cut out this polymer well as I plan to in the future.
The upper receiver block is milled steel. There are no cheap, rattling stamped parts on this rifle. The barrel is chrome-lined and cold hammer-forged just like the IWI machine guns. The stock is adjustable like a standard AR15 carbine, but also folds to the right, shortening the 38-inch rifle to 28 inches. The ACE also includes a 1.25-inch cheek riser that is needed when mounting optics on any of the 15 inches of top rail space.
However, the adjustable iron sights also have tritium inserts so you might hold off on installing an optic on the rifle. But if you do end up mounting an optic, don’t worry about it shifting zero when you remove the rail. The tolerances were so snug I never found it shifting after removing and reinstalling the top cover.
If you desire more mounting space for accessories, the three hand guard rail covers slide off to expose four inches of picatinny rails. Some owners find the factory hand guards a bit bulky and opt to install Midwest Industries thinner M-LOK rails.
There are safety selector controls on both sides of the rifle bridging together the AK and AR world. The right side is somewhat like a miniature AK47-style lever, and the left side switch pushes forward somewhat like an AR15.
The safety must be disengaged to run the charging bolt on the left side of the receiver. A spring-loaded dust cover pivots its way downward upon cycling.
The trigger wasn’t as crisp as a custom AR15, but it wasn’t terrible. I’ve heard it called a two-stage Galil Sniper trigger, but I think it is a little too heavy to be awarded a “sniper” title. However, it was very shootable, with the first stage’s weight around 4.5 pounds, breaking just over six pounds.
The 16-inch barrel has standard 5/8×24 threads allowing any muzzle device or even a suppressor to be mounted against the jam nut. However don’t mistake the long stroke gas piston as suppressor-ready. My Silencer Co Saker caused the bolt to run too fast, not allowing it to feed reliably.
A KNS adjustable piston solved this issue and tamed the recoil a bit. With a suppressor, the stock piston ran the action so fast that spent casings flew a good 30 yards—impressive throw, but a bit too violent.
I was thoroughly impressed with the accuracy of the Galil Ace even with bulk steel-cased surplus ammunition such as Wolf and Tula. I usually shoot at steel targets but I did fire one four-shot group with Winchester FMJ range ammunition and it was sub-1.5 inches from 100 yards. I’m sure with a little more patience on my part, it could even beat that—downright impressive for an AK-styled rifle.
However, the Galil ACE is much more than a standard AK47, which is also why retail is a little over $2,000. Street price is around $1,500, with a few “blemished” models spotted for $999. You can find out more at www.iwi.us and check out fishgame.com for a video of it in action.
Email Dustin Ellermann at [email protected]