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Subject: What is not to like with the Galil?
Yimmy    3/2/2007 10:43:06 AM
Just out of curiosity, why did the rifle not prove to be popular with Israel? The rifle is very closesly based on one of the finest Kalashnikov clones (the first Galils were produced on the machinery of the Finnish Valmet). There were no complaints that I know of concerning the Valmet, so whats wrong with the Galil? It has large 35 round magazines, must be reliable, uses 5.56mm... etc More to the point, South Africa used it for a fair while (still does?) under the guise of the R4, with success. The only account I have read of its use with South Africa, questioned its reliability a bit, but that was all (and I can't imagine M16A1's to be any more reliable). Was it just a matter of the small stature of the Israeli soldiers compared to South Africans?
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Horsesoldier       3/2/2007 10:59:15 AM
I think the basic story is that the Galil was heavier than the M16 and did not demonstrate any practical improvement in reliability and performance (Galil may have fared better in torture tests where the weapon was dumped in salt water and wet cement for a week and then fired or whatever, but IDF troops did not seem inclined to treat their weapons that badly).
It, ultimately, seems to be much more popular with critics of the M16/M4 than with the IDF -- the fact that Galil got pulled from their infantry and special operations unit, and just retained as a PDW kind of weapon for tank crews and such, says that it was not living up to its reputation among non-users as far as the real end users were concerned.
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Rasputin    Galil based on a reliable but inaccurate action   3/3/2007 10:06:36 AM
Could be the small statue, though some of them are not that small.

At the time of conception, the best rifles around were the FN FAL and the AK 47. Having used a hodge podge of FALS from spain to belgium, it was found that the AK 47 surpassed the FALs in reliability in the dusty desert envrionment, the M16 did not even come close, none the less Uzi Gaili  combined the AK upper receiver with a lower end that had some M16 ergonomics. Very robust and reliable weapon, certainly would have replaced the FNs, though it was heavier, the Israeli soldier would not complain about the extra kilogram, after all so many others have fought with heavier weapons in other wars accept that the United States provided so many free M16s, well since it is free........

The archilies heel about the Galil is that it is based upon the AK 47 action, as such it is not as accurate as the M16. And worse was the sniper to come, though in 7.62.

In hindsight, the Galil could have been a better success if it were based on the AR18 action ( a genius of an idea that Eugene Stoner treated as an unwanted bastard), as the current score or modern rifles are based upon.

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Horsesoldier       3/3/2007 10:29:10 AM
In fairness to the Galil, it does fix just about all the complaints I'd have about the AK -- the left-side safety/selector is superior to the big clunky AK safety (which the Galil also retains, if I remember right), much improved sight radius by putting the rear sight at the rear of the top cover, and chambered for a more efficient intermediate round (7.62x39 is pretty heavy for what it does). 
I think the mags do still rock into place, which is not my personal favorite, and, while the FAL-style folding stock is more solid than most other AK folders, I prefer a collapsible stock to adjust length of pull to a folder.
Concerning the Israeli FALs, my understanding is that they never implemented the sand cuts the British put on their SLRs, which makes me suspect that they were not interested in improving their FAL's performance post-1967 as they were in getting a true assault rifle, more compact and chambered for a cartridge more suitable for infantry combat than 7.62x51.
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Rasputin       3/3/2007 1:16:50 PM

In fairness to the Galil, it does fix just about all the complaints I'd have about the AK -- the left-side safety/selector is superior to the big clunky AK safety (which the Galil also retains, if I remember right), much improved sight radius by putting the rear sight at the rear of the top cover, and chambered for a more efficient intermediate round (7.62x39 is pretty heavy for what it does). 

I know about the double safety selector on both the left and right side of the Galil, but how does a rifle work with 2 safety selectors?

Is the clunky AK safety only some sort of a dust cover? Or does it also function as a safety and follows the safety on the left?
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ya2       3/4/2007 8:45:36 PM
as an israeli - galil is just a big piece of heavy metal, more than 150% of weight compared to m-16.. the only good thing about it is that it has no plastic like the m-16 meaning it can be used for armor crew.. really last option weapon, can be throwing like a big metal piece in a tank and still wont break,. when i was in the army i saw how idiots show me the only way to break the galil - the guy dropped his galil under a m113 "mistakely" and he lowered a rank for that :)
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Rasputin       3/5/2007 2:40:11 AM
Hey thats a good story :)

I saw the advertisement for AKs that some soldier drops the AK from the 2nd Storey, a car runs over it and another picks it up to keep firing.

But for the M16

I was warned if you ever drop the M16 from a few stories up and if it still looks OK, better tell the truth about it and get the punishment. For some others who have lied and kept silent, they took their M16s to the range and upon firing, the M16 exploded in their faces!!!!??? No other elaboration, we got the message and no other questions were asked.

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mustavaris    When I served..   3/5/2007 3:40:17 AM
The whole unit still used the M-62 which is the original Finnish AK-clone. Very robust weapon, and I like the sights a lot more than those on AK-series. The Finnish army hsa very strict safety rules and regulations, but in my opinion it tells something that we did not have anything considering physical punishment of our beloved ones. We had an accident when one rifle was overrun by a medium truck (actually it was one guy´s whole combat gear) but the rifle survived... gas mask and some of other stuff were pretty broken though. We were told some scary stories about malfunctioning weapons but the M-62 never starred one..

In my opinion (uneducated guess) the AK structure which is not tight at all and has plenty of empty space can handle sort of a explosion better than some other weapons.. so if the barrel or other structures are screwed and the cartridge is still fired (sounds unlikely to happen with AK-derivatives), the explosion will not blow up the whole weapon as badly as it could do in some other weapon.

Regardless of that and lack of horror stories we had an accident in other platoon. I do not remember the reason nor the details anymore (happened in 1998), but it occured after 2 weeks of wintery field excercises when the 1st or 3rd platoon of our battery went to combat shooting range. Something happend and one weapon badly misfired (sorry for the lack of real words for the weapon´s parts), the "box" was torn open, lock and internal parts were damaged beyond repair and the barrel was cracked. The shooter got some pieces of metal to his face, nothing serious and got slight injuries to other hand.. I saw the rifle back in the garrison. One round was enough to do that, but the fact was that some of the weapons werent in good condition and for example the one I was given went to scrap yard when I got away. So... methinks that you can make AK-47 to blow up too.
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Yimmy       3/5/2007 10:14:13 AM
To me, that sounds like the barrel was blocked.
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mustavaris    Yimmy, you are right   3/5/2007 11:31:43 AM
I wrote that piece without too much of thinking in the morning while drinking coffee. Now when I bother my brain I do remember more. The reason was the fact that the dumb ass hadn´t cleaned his weapon for days and the barrel was stuck with ice.. that was the official conclusion and I do not doubt it. Some of the guys just do not pay attention to rules... and when the temperature varies between +3 and -30 it happens easily (never to mention being outdoors-in the tent-outdoors-in the tent and so forth).

Thank gods for the fact that those do not handle heavier weapons:P

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kirby1       3/20/2007 8:17:17 AM
As far as I'm concerned, The gas tube on the M-16 looks real shoddy and vulnerable to damage. The brittle plastic foregrips look perfect for breaking into little razor sharp shards, same for the aluminum heatguards underneath. 

Ie, I can reasonably imagine your gas tube getting pinched or blocked, resulting in higher pressure.  The tube ruptures, the resulting explosion shatters your foregrip and sprays  plastic shards from the foregrip up and possibly back into your face. Meanwhile, the ventholes in the bottom grip could result in you recieving some nasty burns to your palm. I've seen a rifle where something like that happened, except it wasn't the tube the blew, it was the main barrel. Some idiot at basic broke off part of a cleaning rod in thier barrel after qualifying, and just left it there for the next poor trainee to fire.
I have a real hatred for that gas tube. I don't trust anything I can't remove, clean, and inspect.
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