Israeli Police Approve Pistol Conversion Kits

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The Israeli Police has approved the use of pistol to carbine conversion kits for security organizations like transport and campus security.

FAB Defense KPOS Glock carbine kit. Photo by Double Tapper.

Israeli Defense reports

The Israeli Police has recently approved for entities guided by the police to use kits that convert pistols into carbines as part of their security layouts. The entities in question are public entities such as various educational institutes, the Israeli Electric Corporation, the Israeli water company Mekorot, Egged Israel transportation and more. They are guided by the security division of the Israeli Police and must meet certain security criteria based on the types of weapons they utilize, their training layout, instruction and more.
The police has now decided to qualify the use of these platforms, which include kits such as the RONI, produced by CAA Tactical, or the K-POS produced by FAB Defense. The kits enable the conversion of a handgun into a long weapon, which can also be easily concealed, while maintaining a fast fire rate and precision for relatively long ranges.

“This was under examination, and the process has now matured. It will significantly improve security capabilities, with regards to range, speed, precision and quality of fire,” says Yotam Gal, of CAA Tactical. “These systems are already serving quite a few security bodies around the world, in countries such as Italy, France, in South America and more.”

Pistol ownership in Israel is onerous and they do not allow people to own more than one. Rifle ownership is severely curtailed and few people outside the military or local militia are allowed to possess them. Carbine kits allow Israelis some of the benefits of having a rifle.

The reader who emailed in this tip said he saw freshly issued CAA Roni kits being used by train station security yesterday in Israel.

[ Many thanks to Joe for the tip. ]


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Sean

    You would think of all the ethnic groups in the world that would encourage civilian gun ownership, Jews would be at the top of that list.

    • Roy Rapoport

      Well, first of all, it’s worth noting that there’s a significant difference between “jews” (who live in various places in the world) and “Israelis” (those folks who live in Israel).

      I was born and raised (until I was 14) in Israel; I still speak Hebrew with my parents.

      Gun ownership in Israel is severely restricted, true; it’s generally not seen a s a self-defense factor when thinking of terrorist attacks because there are already so many guns in the population for that purpose — soldiers on leave (and remember, soldiers basically leave many weekends — that’s one of the advantage of the front being a few kilometers away from home) are required to carry their rifles with them; some of my fondest childhood memories were of multi-day class field trips where my dad would act as a chaperone and be issued a rifle and ammo by the local police department (slightly different set of duties for chaperones in Israel :) ).

      At the same time, at least at the time that I left, the concept of Jews using firearms against other Jews was almost unimaginable to us — guns were for either target practice or to use against terrorists.

      So basically: There’s practically no hunting; the self-defense angle in general is covered by other means (and if you have some sort of specific requirement, you can get a pistol — my dad had one because some of his business was in the territories; my grandfather had one because as a judge he had managed to piss some people off). It’s just not the same context as what we have here (in the US).

      (To be clear: I’m not making a value judgment or saying this is the way it should / should not be; I’m just saying this is my experience)

  • John Doe

    Why do most pistol to carbine conversion kits have to be so damn bulky though?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      They have to enclose the slide, so they are going to have to be bulkly. There are Glock stocks that are not bulky, but they don’t have all the optic and accessory rails.

      • Marc

        You can mount an optics rail directly to the pistol, like the FAB USM.

  • KarlJ

    When I worked in Israel 2003-2004 I saw several security guards around Jerusalem using glock17c with the Mako stock.

    Israel is a police state by US standards in many ways, but maybe security state is a better title. They face different threats than we do, and so maybe their restrictions actually have a value in keeping some bad actor from being able to break into one house to steal multiple weapons for later use.

  • bbmg

    Adding a stock does nothing to the ballistic performance of the pistol, it’s just a pistol with a stock. At the very least lengthen the barrel to increase muzzle velocity, and if you want a compact carbine drop it into a P90 style bullpup stock.

    • KarlJ

      The problem in gunfights is not bullet effectiveness, it’s hitting in the first place. The typical Israeli security guard gunfight is pistol v AK and starts at about 70yds. The tactics and equipment the Israelis have developed make perfect sense in their milieu.

      Adding a stock and optics increases the hit probability and effective range of the pistol dramatically, even if it doesn’t impact the bullet’s effects at all. An SMG sized shoulder arm is a very effective fighting tool within its range.

      • bbmg

        Even if it’s purely for the sake of accuracy, boosting muzzle velocity will flatten the trajectory and increase effective range.

        Let’s say doubling the barrel length in the Glock illustrated gives you a realistic 200 fps boost for a 115 grain bullet, going from 1200 fps to 1400 fps. The muzzle energy jumps from 368 ft lbs to 500 ft lbs, a 36% increase which would be silly to forgo given the fact that the carbine kit has already added the extra inches to the overall length.

      • Nicks87

        bbmg,

        I would have to agree with you, even an AR-15 pistol or an MP5 has more of an advantage then a pistol with a stock.

        The only way I see these conversion kits being effective is with the hi-power pistol calibers like 10mm and 357 sig. Putting a stock on a Glock 17 doesnt accomplish much. You still are carrying a 9mm with a 4″ barrel.

        KarlJ,

        70 yards with a pistol is not impossible. With moderate training an average marksman can hit a man sized target at 70 yards consistantly. However, like bbmg stated, even with a stock and optics you seriously lack velocity and energy to match up against an AK style rifle.

      • Joe Schmoe

        OK, time to clarify a few things people have been saying here:

        1)- This is going to be mainly issued to the security officers that guard railway stations and government buildings. The Israeli police and security guards also are issued M-16’s if they are in an area that requires it (West Bank, etc).

        2)- The last thing you need is for people to be firing M-16’s in addition to whatever the terrorist is firing in a closed public area filled to the brim with civilians; you are going to have a greater chance of the bullet going through stuff and hitting more innocent people than the terrorist himself.

        This is what a real gun battle looks like:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtuC2ahlqOk

        3)- As some here have correctly guessed, this is mainly issued for ergonomic reasons. Previously these same security officers carried the pistol with a FAB stock attached.

        4)- It is nearly impossible to get a firearms license in Israel if your job or area doesn’t require it, and even harder to hold unto it. For example, even if you manage to get a civilian pistol license, you have to go to the range every 6 weeks and each year you have to pay around ~$500 for the license.

        5)- There is little need for a pistol license in the first place if you live in a location like Central Israel. You have soldiers on leave with their pistols, carbines and Tavors. You have the security guards at each major public building who are armed with a pistol (malls, office buildings, post office, etc). And finally, you have the police.

    • Avery

      The stock brings another point of stability to the weapon, making it more accurate. I know, at least in the States, a stocked pistol is considered a Short Barreled Rifle.

    • Partizan1942

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqeUDC-c79k&feature=player_embedded

      As you can see in the video the kit does not effectively elongate the barrel but it does a lot of things for the operator.

      1.: It enables the person operating the gun a high amount of control over the weapon Note how the shooter can control the Glock 18 while emptying the mag in full auto. So having a grips and a stock actually does go a long way to increase ones accuracy and control of the weapon (note how easy it was for the operator to charge the weapon while keeping the muzzle down range.

      2.: With the rails one actually has a much larger choice in what optics and flashlights one would use because on a lot of weapons that this conversion kit can be used there is no way you can put optics or a big/bright enough flashlight.

      3.: Reload speed can be significantly reduced by the fact that there is a place for an extra mag on the stock. It is a lot easier/quicker changing mags from there (one does not have to wrestle with one’s clothing or pocket etc.)

      4.: One can use a brass catcher for the pistol. Ideal for close quarters combat when one does not want to fall on the ass from slipping on the spent cases lying all around the place. And also ideal for not leaving brass with your fingerprints/DNA at the scene (could be important for people in the intelligence community and/or criminals).

      5.: The best thing that I think this conversion kit offers, is that you can actually use a suppressor for your pistol even if you do not have threads on the barrel of your gun to attach the suppressor on to..

      So all in all: No. The kit does not really improve the ballistics of your gun but what it actually does is: improve the handling, versatility, accuracy, and applicability of the gun.
      And honestly? How much more ballistic performance were you looking for squeezing out of a 9mm or any other pistol round anyway?

      On a sidenote anyone know the ideal barrel length for a typical 9x19mm para load with typical threading of the barrel (what I mean is the barrel length below and above which the round would produce less speed and energy leaving the barrel)?

      • bbmg

        There clearly are benefits to having a carbine configuration as opposed to a handgun, I’m not arguing against that.

        My point was that once you’ve made the thing longer with the shroud anyway, why not increase the barrel length and add the equivalent of 22 rimfire muzzle energy to what the 9mm was already carrying from the pistol length barrel.

        Have a look at this chart of muzzle energy vs barrel length for various rounds: http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/megraphs/9mm.html

        Clearly you’re squeezing more than a couple of ft lbs from the round by increasing the barrel length.

      • Partizan1942

        @bbmg

        I get what you are saying, but one can’t have everything. If one could have everything than now I would not have to convert the chart you linked (thx by the way) to metric. :)

      • Partizan1942

        @ bbmg

        Having looked at the chart I really wonder what caused the spikes like you can see at Cor Bon 125 gr. JHP +P at 13″ and the Federal 115 gr. JHP at 12″ I am really interested to know their methodology (same type brand new barrel for each shot or did they do groups and averages etc.)

        Returning to your original premise two more things dawned on me:
        If one wants an elongated barrel one has to disassemble the pistol, change the barrel, assemble the gun, put it into the conversion kit. As you can see in the video it takes like 3-4 seconds to put the gun into this conversion kit (without messing with the barrel). That speed is a key thing if you are not at the range but in a real life situation. And the other is that with a 14″ long barrel you do get a lot better performance at the muzzle but also you cannot really use it in close quarters that effectively anymore.

      • bbmg

        methodology: http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/process.html

        odd data spikes, from the FAQ: “The data is as it was collected. There are glitches here and there. Might be due to a poor re-crowning. Might be due to a malfunctioning piece of equipment. Rather than fudge things to make the numbers all nice and tidy, we put the actual data out there, warts and all.”

        As to having to change between a long or short barrel, my understanding from this post is that the intention is to have the pistols permanently mounted in their carbine configuration, so this would likely not be an issue.

      • Partizan1942

        @ bbmg

        Well, you know, if you really think you see a hole in the market, get a loan, make a move. Who knows, you might be right. Just promise me that if you succeed with it you’ll name your longest barreled gun the: “Partizan!” ;)

      • bbmg

        There’s no hole in the market, plenty of barrels to chose from. What there is a lack of is a reluctance to look at actual numbers in preference for hype, hearsay and uncritical assumptions.

      • Partizan1942

        @ bbmg

        Don’t get depressed now, I still like you! :)

      • Tebow’d

        Partizan1942…You said, “The best thing that I think this conversion kit offers, is that you can actually use a suppressor for your pistol even if you do not have threads on the barrel of your gun to attach the suppressor on to..”

        This is not true however. The conversion kit has a large enough shroud opening (35.5mm) that most suppressors could fit inside of it, but the barrel must be threaded.

        There is no way to use a suppressor with the conversion kit unless the host firearm has a threaded barrel. Check that video you posted @ 1:01 to see him attach the suppressor and then at 1:11 – 1:15 you can tell that the suppressor is attached directly to the barrel because of how it flips with recoil.

      • bbmg

        @Partizan, thank you for illustrating the point :)

      • http://aurictech.wordpress.com AuricTech

        On a sidenote anyone know the ideal barrel length for a typical 9x19mm para load with typical threading of the barrel (what I mean is the barrel length below and above which the round would produce less speed and energy leaving the barrel)?

        For at least a partial answer, you could check the Ballistics by the Inch Web site.

    • Mike Knox

      This coming from an internet urchin. The point of kits like these is adding one or two more control/contact surfaces/points/axies to a pistol. It improves performance at least a third more of the range and less of the time..

      • bbmg

        Again with the ad hominem arguments. It’s been years since I was a teenager and my experience with firearms is not restricted to video games, thank you.

        Since you have helpfully quantified the improvement in range as over 33%, could you be more specific? Do group sizes improve by that amount?

        I’m not saying adding a stock to a pistol doesn’t make it easier to shoot accurately, of course there’s a benefit. What I would argue is that if a simple handgun is not sufficient for your defense needs, a dedicated pistol calibre carbine or submachinegun that would add the benefits of a longer barrel, bigger magazine capacity and possibly automatic fire is probably a better solution than just fitting a stock to your exisiting handgun.

        As to lengthening the barrel, the carbine kit already adds a couple of inches to the front – since you’re already being inconvenienced by this, what fool would not want the barrel lengthened to match it to at least reap some benefit in return?

      • Mike Knox

        From how you’re putting it, you’re trying to talk like you know all about it while not saying how it is handled in person. It’s not that different from guessing.

        Something you don’t see much on the internet are the assortment of kits and set ups users came up with these. What you can’t google up is how far they’ve gone with it, even more than the statistics.

        Well tell me though, how’d it go when you’ve tried one?..

  • gusto

    I stayed in Israel for many months EVERYONE was carrying.
    Most off duty IDF all carried when I was there even in nightclubs and bars.

  • gunslinger

    yeah, putting a stock on a pistol won’t change any of the ballistics. it’ll change how the user can handle the weapon, but that’s it.

    but i wonder how complicated a design wold have to be to have the longer barrel for the pistol? i’m guessing because the barrel is a drop in, the longer carbine one can be replaced…

    • denny

      This is good idea and it may eventually get to what you are saying – drop-in longer barrel as part of kit. That would make real boost in performance plus already mentioned benefits. In sense of dynamics, typical Browning action has surplus of recoil energy, so heavier barrel is no problem.

    • Anonymoose

      Issuing a match-type full-size, or even a long-slide, sidearm to *uniformed* officers could help with that (i.e. G35s or P226 X-Fives instead of G23/G27s and P229s) with systems like the SIG ACP or that KPOS thing from the article, which are basically just an add-on stock and more rails. A lot of true carbine conversion systems (not things like the SIG ACP) do include replacement slide/receiver with a longer barrel to make it an actual carbine rather than just a pistol with a stock.

  • mac66

    When I was a firearms instructor for a police department we found that pistol caliber carbines were universally easier to shoot and more accurate than pistols at all distances by all officers. We issued one (a semi auto MP5 with short barrel) to each patrol car. This was before the concept of a patrol rifle became popular. That department now issues AR carbines but the idea was valid.

    Mech Tech makes a pistol caliber carbine with a 16″ bbl that you only have to insert the lower into it. I have one for a 1911 .45. It works well. I also built a semi auto Sten gun from a kit. It required that barrel shroud be welded onto the short Sten barrel to make it 16″.

    Looking at the conversion kit in the photo, why couldn’t a long barrel shroud be incorporated into one of those kits? If a 16″ shroud was permanently affixed to the frame of the conversion wouldn’t that make the pistol a legal rifle in the US without the SBR restriction? It wouldn’t increase muzzle velocity but would make the pistol easier to use.

    • Partizan1942

      Dude, read the article man… It is about Israel not the US. Different laws apply. Sheesh

      • mac66

        Yeah thanks Partizen1942, I get that the article was about Israel, but the conversation is about the validity and usefulness of pistol conversions. Point is that they are useful IMO and could be legal in the US without having to change the barrel.

      • SGT Fish

        Mac66. they are legal in the US. well at least in free states. it just costs some extra taxes and takes a little extra time. how about we change the barrel laws instead of adding ridiculous extensions onto the barrel

      • Sigivald

        SGT Fish asked: how about we change the barrel laws instead of adding ridiculous extensions onto the barrel

        Because the former will take probably a decade or more, and millions of dollars in lawsuits and/or lobbying and PR efforts, and is of doubtful outcome (not that we shouldn’t try!).

        The latter would be cheap and effective right now this very second.

        It’s not a matter of “do this, not that”. Both can be done – and when SBRs are removed from the NFA list, you can just put on a short barrel.

    • mac66

      My state does not allow SBRs currently and no legislation is in the process to allow it. “Just move to another state” isn’t an option. Again, the point is pistol caliber carbine conversions have some value to those who own a handgun but want the handling and accuracy of a carbine. Personally I feel that if you car going to carry a carbine, carry on in a rifle caliber not a pistol caliber. However, as stated before, that is not always an option for some people.

  • Lance

    That sucks a Pistol Caliber carbine lacks knock down power and Hamas terrorist getting Egyptian Army body armor this may be too little too late. Be better for security to have ARs or tavors. I feel sad for Israelis they need guns every man should have a AR in his house thin that nation. Hate to say that the Brady campaign landed and successful invaded Israel.

    • Partizan1942

      I totally agree! I propose that every guy in Israel should be obligated to live their everyday lifes and do their everyday work with a 155mm howitzer in their pants so that they would have enough knockdown power in case they need it.

      • http://predatorwild.com Heath

        Apparently two people don’t understand sarcasm?

  • Mike Knox

    I don’ts really get teh point of wrap-around sidearm carbine kits. It’s a lot simpler just clapming a stock from it’s rail, less bulky that way..

  • Evan Jay

    It’s not an issue of civilians not being able to handle a rifle/carbine caliber. Nearly every Israeli serves in the IDF and is therefore more than familiar with the AR15 platform. The truth is, that in most public places you can see rifles strapped to the backs of on and off duty soldiers as far as the eye can see. Off duty soldiers are not allowed to carry their rifle loaded, hence the many magazine couples and other accessories on nearly every IDF soldiers weapon (at least in the m16 days)

    The Israeli government tends to be very seriously concerned about the security of the rifles in IDF soldiers hands. There is a very steep punishment for missing/stolen weapons, usually being around 10 years in military prison.

    I mostly just see this as a way to open the door for civilians to own a pistol caliber carbine, instead of just a pistol with the current firearm laws in Israel.

  • http://pc3c.org/ Gregory Markle

    I have shot Glock/RONI combinations in semiauto and with a “happy switch” installed and it’s actually does a great job at what it advertises. Engaging 6″ steel targets at 50 yards was effortless and follow up and target transition were much easier (for me) than using a pistol alone. While it is a tad bulky it handles well and was pretty cool to shoot using the “poor man’s Corner Shot” (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/03/29/shooting-around-corners-with-tactical-mirrors/#comment-91170)

    When talking with the CAA/EMA Tactical reps at SHOT, they pretty much stated that the design and development of this platform was directed towards the Israeli government…that we get to see it is an incidental side effect of that program, they really didn’t seem to think there was a huge US market for this product but felt that maybe a few small LE departments with some extra Glocks laying around might be interested.

  • Reg

    If you live in the USA, a Keltec Sub2000 is the same price or less and doesn’t require an SBR registration.

    Amazingly, the unit pictured is offered for sale by Amazon, but w/ no warning about the NFA status except in the reviews.

    • Noir

      Well, there are countries which does not regard it as a gun or gun part..

  • http://www.protectiveshieldsecurity.com los angeles security guard companies

    I think the approval of pistol conversion kits for the Israeli police is a good. We cannot predict when the civilians of Israel are being attacked by USA. At anytime they can be attacked. So, I believe it is beneficial for the police to be armed.

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  • http://Facebook Gil Millan

    Just want to get your own opinion Steve, does pistol to carbine conversion kit really helps? or improve the gun’s performance? or only its appearance or another gun cosmetics??? thanks and more power for 2013. By the way your site was visited by me thru share options….