Standard and original version of the Galil 7.62mm.
Standard and original version of the Galil 5.56mm.
This is the weapons that most soldiers who carry the Galil will spend their service with.
Galil Sniper Rifle GALAT'Z that introduced in the mid 1980's is the sniping modified version of the Galil 7.62 mm Assault Rifle.
Smallest member of the Galil Assault Rifle Family - the Micro Galil Assault rifle (MAR).
The experience, gained by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) during the Six Day War (1967), showed the deficiencies of the FN FAL rifles, which were the main armament of the IDF infantry. The FAL rifles were too sensitive to fine sand and dust of Arab deserts, and too long and bulky to carry and maneuver. On the other hand, the same war showed the advantages of the Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, used by Arab infantry with great success. After the end of this war IDF decided to develop a new assault rifle, which will eventually replace the FN FAL battle rifles and some of the UZI submachine guns. It was also decided that the new assault rifle should be built around the new American low-impulse cartridge, known as 5.56x45mm. During the late 1960s the IDF tested two rival designs, one of the Uziel Gal, and the other of the Israel Galili. The latter design, based on the Finnish Valmet Rk.62 assault rifle (a license-built AK-47 clone), eventually won the competition and was selected as a new IDF assault rifle in the 1973, but its actual adoption was delayed by the next Israeli-Arab Yom Kippur War (1973). The machinery and documentation package was bought from Valmet and transferred to the state owned Israel Military Industries (IMI) company. There are some rumors that the first production Galil rifles were built on the Valmet-made receivers. Although also produced in caliber 7.62mm to increase its sales on the world market, the Galil rifle as issued to the IDF is chambered for the 5.56mm.
There are three basic configurations of the 5.56mm Galil. The AR is equipped with a high-impact-plastic handguard without a bipod or carrying handle with the flash suppressor. The SAR is a short-barreled version of the AR model its gas tube and piston are shorter than the other models.
Israel Military Industries has by no means decided that their Galil is beyond modification or improvement. For example, they came to realize that, by nature of its length, the Galil was not well-suited for close quarters engagements. Of course, the 9mm Uzi functions well in this arena, but there is quite a disparity between the Uzi's inherent firepower and that of the 5.56mm Galil. One solution that IMI has advanced to reduce size without losing firepower is an ultra-compact version of the Galil.
While being a successful weapon, the Galil was not widely issued to the IDF during its lifetime, because during the late 1960s and early 1970s Israel received large shipments of the US M16 and CAR-15 assault rifles at the very low prices. M16 rifles became the major armament of the IDF, with the Galils mostly issued to the Armored corps, Artillery corps and some units of the Israeli Air Forces (Anti-Aircraft forces). The Galil rifles were exported to the various South American, African and Asian countries. Estonia also received some Galil rifles in the early 2000s. The slightly modified Galil rifle is manufactured by the South African Vektor company, a division of the DENEL. Those models included the R-4 (Galil AR), R-5 (Galil SAR) and R-6 (Galil MAR) assault rifles, and are used by the South African Military. Another offspring of the Galil is the Croatian APS-95 assault rifle. The semi-automatic only versions of the both 5.56mm and 7.62mm Galil AR rifles were widely sold to both domestic and foreign civilian and law enforcement markets.
As a combat weapon, the Galil is used today only in the Armored corps, Artillery corps, and some stationary elements in the Israel Air Force (Anti Aircraft). And the IDF already had enough Galil weapons to last it a lifetime.
The Galil is also intended for sporting purposes, that version being provided with a longer barrel, a fixed stock and is semi-automatic only.
Basically, the Galil assault rifle can be described as a modified Kalashnikov AK-47 design, and a detailed description of its functioning can be found in respective article at this site. The key differences between the Galil and the AK-47 are as follows. The Galil featured a machined steel receivers of the original AK-47 rifles, but of slightly different shape. The AK-47-style safety - selector switch at the right side of the gun is complemented by the additional smaller switch at the left side of the receiver, above the pistol handle. The cocking handle is bent upward, so it can be operated with either hand. The sights of the Galil featured a front hooded post, mounted on the gas block, with the rear diopter sight, mounted on the receiver top cover. Rear sight is of the flip-up type, with settings for 300 and 500 meters. Additional folding night sights with luminous inserts can be raised into position, which allows to aim the gun in the low light conditions at the ranges of up to 100 meters. The barrel and the flash hider can be used to launch the rifle grenades from the barrel, using the blanc or live cartridges (depending on the rifle grenade type). The Galil ARM also features a folding detachable bipods and a carrying handle. The bipod base incorporates a bottle opener and a wire cutter. The standard folding buttstock is patterned after FN FAL Para, folds to the right to save the space. Some of the late production Micro-Galil (MAR) rifles also are fitted with the Picatinny-type rail, which allows to mount various sighting devices. Standard AR and ARM rifles can be fitted with scope mounting rail on the left side of the receiver. All 5.56mm Galil rifles are fed using proprietary 35 or 50 rounds curved box magazines with AK-47 style locking. M16-type magazines can be used via the special adapter. 7.62mm Galil rifles are fed using proprietary 25 rounds box magazines. Civilian semi-automatic Galil variants sometimes are fitted with 10 rounds magazines to comply with local firearms laws.
Israel Military Industries (IMI) recently unveiled a new version of the youngest and smallest member of the Galil Assault Rifle (AR) Family - the Galil Micro Assault rifle (MAR), known as the MAR Tactical.
In addition to its standard Galil assault rifle, IMI is producing what is believed to be the shortest assault rifle in the world, the Micro-Galil. This 5.56mm rifle has attracted interest from European law enforcement agencies seeking longer-range weapons for key point protection in non-urban areas. As is the case with the Uzi, three different markets exist: military, law-enforcement and civilian.
The Micro Galil was supposed to have a bright future - it was due to enter the IDF at mass numbers, replacing the Galil Short Assault Rifle (SAR) as the IDF Armored and Artillery Corps new PDW. However, due to a serious flaw in the Galil MAR handguards design the handguards rapidly became hot during firing, to the point that it was impossible to hold the weapon.
Couple of years ago IMI did come with a much improved, redesigned version of Galil MAR, with a completely new, thicker and much better protecting hand guard, a coal-fibre and more ergonomically designed folded stock instead of a steel one, which made Galil MAR slightly lighter, and an extra standard rail, to mount an eventual extra equipment on the rifle. With this new redesigned Galil MAR, all old problems are gone.