The Galil has seen decades of hard and effective service with both military and law enforcement since its original introduction into the Israeli military in the 1970s. But it’s the Galil ACE that really brought it into the 21st century.

Still based on the battle-tested Galil, the ACE shed some fat off the original and modernized the design. Thanks to Pennsylvania-based IWI US,  the vault door to Galil ownership was kicked open more for the American civilian market. We caught up with them at the Red Oktober Kalashnikov Championship in Las Vegas, which is a fitting place to see the gun given its Kalashnikov AK-47 roots. 

The gun’s pedigree has always been impressive, having been based on the highly respected Finnish RK 62, which was itself an improved version of the already well-known AK-47. Now, civilian versions of the modernized IWI Galil ACE can be had in the U.S., with IWI having also launched some second-generation upgrades.

Jeremy Gresham, director of sales and marketing at IWI US, walked us through some of the first and second-generation Galil ACEs, which range from pistols and rifles to the non-civilian kosher full-auto variants with the happy switch. 

The IWI Galil ACE Gen II, top, has a few improvements over the original, but both have the same trusted operating system and internals. (Photo: Ben Phillipi/

The Gen II ACEs boast a free-float system, shortened safety throws, and M4-style stocks instead of the previous propriety ones. Other than that, the heart of the gun remains the same as the tried and true original. Based on the guns’ warm reception at Red Oktober, these modern children of the now semi-vintage original Kalashnikov are a welcome addition for AK lovers. Luckily, we also happen to have quite a few of them on hand at if you’re itching to pull the trigger on your own Galil.

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