The Galil ACE, made by Israel Weapon Industries, is a contemporary classic that's seen continual action for more than 40 years, and it's still one that I love to shoot. I keep at least one of these in my personal arsenal and try to take it out occasionally to run some rounds through it and stay somewhat proficient on it. Here's my take on this versatile short-barreled tactical rifle.
Inspired by the Avtomat Kalashnikova (ie AK-47) family of rifles, the Galil ACE is a tried and true combat tool that comes chambered in the NATO 5.56 round. It's also built with some pretty useful features, such as iron sights with tritium dots, railing system for optics, a folding butt. It's younger, sleeker cousin, the IWI Tavor, is another of our favorites from this manufacturer.
The Galil Ace's Interface
As you probably know by now, I'm most accustomed to the interface of the AR-15 and can operate that rifle platform without even thinking. So I mention this as an observation: the bolt release on the Galil Ace is on the left-hand side of the gun. During an emergency reload, this caused me to have to stop and locate it, slowing me down. A number of rifles have similar placement of the bolt release, so not really a negative.
A couple of other observations:
The Positives of the Galil Ace
A long track record. It's been used for 40 years and is still in use today by several militaries. Shoots 5.56. It comes chambered in the highly versatile and available NATO round.
It's packable.Its butt stock folds down creating a compact unit that'll fit more easily in a vehicle, backpack, GO bag, etc.
Ambidextrous controls. Though the safety tended to be a little tricky at times, I think that's a matter of preference and whether you mind moving your hand off the trigger to take the safety off.
It's expensive.. At $1,600-$1,800, this is about twice as much as you might pay for an AR-15.
It's heavy. At 7.6 pounds, this gun has some heft to it–roughly 2 pounds heavier than a typical AR-15.
Field stripping was complicated. it's pretty tightly assembled and fairly difficult to disassemble for cleaning.
Limited accessorizing. Sling attachments and places for laser sights are somewhat limited on this rifle.
It's got a pistol trigger. If you really know how to properly work a pistol trigger, like something like a Glock or Shadow Systems War Poet, then you should be just fine, but don't expect the short, clean trigger pull of an AR-15.
While I do have some grievances with it, overall this gun is pretty darn cool. I like it's long history of reliability, the fact that I can fold and pack it into a bag or vehicle, and that it shoots a powerful, abundant round.
It's certainly staying in my arsenal and it could be a worthy consideration for yours.
Train Hard. Train Smart. Live Free.