BREAKING: IWI Recalls Galil ACE Pistols Due To Full Auto Receivers

IWI USA has issued a recall for their newly released Galil ACE pistols due to the presence of a pin hole for a full auto sear. AKs with this pin hole have long been considered by the ATF to be machine guns, making this a major mistake on the part of IWI that runs afoul of the National Firearms Act. An IWI letter released to their distributors is replicated below:

To whom it may concern:

 Following our email of yesterday, we are instituting a recall of all GAP39 pistols.

 Please pack up and return all GAP39 firearms in your inventory to IWI US. You can ship freight collect (YRC preferred).

 Additionally, we will need you to provide us with the names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of all FFL Dealers and/or individuals that you sold to. We will contact them with instructions on returning guns in their inventory to IWI US along with enlisting their support in contacting all consumers for return of the guns to IWI US.

 Full credit will be given for your returns while dealers and consumers will receive a full refund with submission of receipt copies.

 It would be in everyone’s best interest to contact these dealers ASAP.

 FYI, this is not a safety related recall, but a possible NFA violation that must be corrected.

 We appreciate your support and understanding in assisting us with all facets of this recall.

TFBTV Director Alex C sent along some pictures of the new Galil pistols, showing the full auto sear pivot pin hole:


The red arrow indicates the pivot pin for the full auto sear. The guns shipped do not have full auto sears installed, but the presence of the pivot pin hole in the receiver has long been diagnostic for the ATF definition of a “machine gun”.


The Galil ACE, which was originally slated to come to the US market in early/mid-2015, was delayed in August with the release date pushed back to late 2015. Unfortunately, it seems that despite this extra time before release, for whatever reason IWI has still run afoul of the NFA. Why that happened – whether the ATF OK’d the cam pin hole location and then reneged on it, or IWI inadvertently made production changes before release that resulted in full auto receivers being shipped to the US – is unclear at this time.


Thanks to Daniel for the tip!

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • USMC03Vet

    Owners are gonna be pissed. The Galil was significantly delayed and way overpriced and now owners are out of a gun.

    • BearSlayer338

      What gun?

  • SP mclaughlin

    What Galil Ace pistol?
    Nothing to see here, move along

    • Marco Antonio Gonzalez

      That is not the Galil Ace you´re looking for

  • Jose

    They’re mentioning only the GAP39 pistols, but, what about the GAR1639 rifles? Will those be recalled as well? Confirm this, please.

    • I don’t know.

    • The rifles were never released, so they’re not recalled.

    • Patriotic USVeteran1776

      I guess this will push the Galil Ace 7.62x39mm rifle back about another year? Or is there something else going on here?

  • This sucks.
    A lot.

  • Just Sayin’

    Can’t really blame IWI, blame the ATF for all of their stupid & arbitrary rulings on stuff like this, i.e. a sear the the difference between an AR-15 and a M-16. Receivers can be the same.

    • abecido

      It may be an arbitrary ruling but it’s been the case for 20 years that the third axis pin makes an AK variant a “machine gun”, and there’s no excuse for anyone intending to manufacture, trade in, or own AKs or variants not to know by now.

    • Ian Thorne

      I blame IWI US and IWI proper. It’s a stupid rule, but it’s been in place for nearly 30 freaking years. There is no excuse for this slipping past so many people and them potentially creating felons of us.

  • mosinman

    if i had one i would really think about turning it back in

    • Old Fart

      I’d say the burden of proof lies with the ATF. Until then they can suck it. ‘Shall not be infringed’. House searchings for that matter will be in violation of the 4th and 5th Amendments. The ATF has no case, period. What is happening right now is simply Obama and his goon squad at their best.

      • nadnerbus

        ‘Cause the ATF never enforced laws in their little fiefdom before the current president was in office.

        Laying every bad or controversial thing that happens at President Obama’s feet is just as stupid as Bush derangement syndrome was when the left was foaming at the mouth for his head.

        This recall is entirely consistent with what the BATFE would do regardless of who is in the Oval Office. It doesn’t even rank in the top 100 on the list of asinine things they have done.

        • mosinman

          Regardless i think it’s high time we took a stand against the ATF and it’s stupidity, they’ll continue to be a cancer against us no matter who is in the Oval Office

      • Bill

        There’s this thing called a “search warrant.”

  • LV-426


  • HSR47

    You can probably get your money back from BATFE, but it is unlikely to be quick.

    If the receiver on your Galil has the pin hole as shown above, I’d recommend getting it out of your possession ASAP: Either go through the gun store you purchased it from, or deal directly with IWI; I’m not sure which would be better.

    THEN, and only then, get in touch with BATFE. Their phone number is (304-616-4500). You will likely also have to send them a letter laying out the issue.

    • Ian Thorne

      I know I can and it takes about 4-6 months. Plus it’s only 200 bucks so it’s not a matter of the money really.

      It does have the pin holes and getting rid of it won’t matter. I was the first person to submit one, so they contacted me and had me send in more info and pictures of the gun, so I have provided the ATF with photographic evidence of my possession already. No getting out of it.

      I have already contacted IWI and the ATF about it. It’s not like they wouldn’t know I have it anyway.

      My bigger issue for me is I am in a non-CLEO friendly place, so once 41p goes into effect soon I won’t be able to get it again in the SBR form I want it. So the ACE is off my list for good, or at least until I move.

  • Tim did a video on it:

    • BDUB

      I had no idea that the AK auto-sear won’t even fit inside the receiver – that makes the ridiculousness of this scenario even worse.

      • Jeffro

        But the ATF declaired that if the whole is drilled for the pin to be installed to hold the sear there, it is a machine gun. Even if you weld the whole closed, it is still somehow a machine gun. Once a machine gun, always a machine gun in the eyes of the ATF.

        • Aric Forse

          Atf reasoning is worse than diane Feinsteins when it comes to what should be okay and what shouldnt

  • ColonelColt

    What exactly does that pin do on the pistols as they currently are? Is it just a filler pin?

    • Old Fart


    • jcitizen

      Good grief! They realty did foul up then! I was a big fan of IWI until now!

  • Old Fart

    Will the Marine Corps please be so kind to get rid of the current resident of the White House already, and deliver this DOMESTIC ENEMY to the people for us to determine his fate? I’ve had enough of this gun grabbing bs. We are ‘this’ close to having an insurrection. Tyrants must be dealt with. He’s pushing it too far now.

    • BryanS

      This gun grabbing BS happened in the 30’s, again in the 60’s and then got finalized under Ronald Reagan’s signature.

      Backed by the NRA.

      • elconquistidor

        It’s happening again, so join in or get lost.

        • BryanS

          Yeah, thats the battle cry I hear form the NRA over and over. I know how they work, because I worked the political lines along side them on a state level, and they screw us over every time. My membership money only amounts to a hat and a cushy job for someone who got there by nepotism, and promoting idiots (or possible pedophiles if you will) like Ted Nugent.

      • Standard Velocity

        This is actual history without spin or hyperbole. Thank you for adding to a discussion rather than fanning the flames of pop-rhetoric. The president is as directly responsible for the day-to-day minutiae of ATF enforcement as the CEO of AT&T is for your bill being incorrect.

        • troof

          You like Obama? You think promoting filthy homosexuality is good?

          • BryanS

            You like trolling on gun blogs with your 8th century backwater thinking?

      • Anon. E Maus

        Parts of it.
        Originally, handguns were intended to be part of the 1934 National Firearms Act, but the NRA stepped in at the last minute and got it removed.

        The NRA haven’t been the best of friends at all times, but they haven’t always been the same at all times, they’ve changed many times, and sometimes they have been of help.

        • gregge

          Late 20th century the NRA had an article on their website about how the NRA helped write Washington D.C. gun control laws. I sent an e-mail to Wayne La Pierre asking how the NRA could betray us like that. The NRA’s only response was removing the article.

    • Standard Velocity

      You literally know nothing about anything and the Internet is dumber for your existence. Please remove the keys from your keyboard. You have been banned from discourse by humanity.

    • DonDrapersAcidTrip


    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      Yes, what the US really need is a military coup. I mean, Fck the electorate and the constitution, that is what you are saying right?


    • Brocus

      At this point it’s more likely you’ll be removed to a Federal prison for very thinly veiled threats against the president of the United States.

      • Roger V. Tranfaglia

        the way THEY look at it….Just commenting on this blog (or any gun blog) is a thinly veiled threat against you know who AND his administration…..

      • TLDR

        Actually since he involved the military it’s a completely different offense it’s conspiring to enact a coup that’s high treason a capital offense under federal law 🙂

  • imachinegunstuff

    You know if someone never heard about this recall, would they face charges for violating the NFA? I’m genuinely curious, I remember a story about a guy who found his grandfathers old ‘bike’ rifle that was considered an SBR and the big hubub that is was never registered

    • marathag

      the deadly Quackenbush assault rifle.

    • John

      Yes. They would. Much like simple possession of illegal drugs or child pornography is a felony.

      • imachinegunstuff

        Possession of drugs or child porn is an apples to oranges comparison. You had to break the law to acquire child porn and drugs, but f you bought this pistol from a local FFL how would you ever receive the recall?

        • Cory C

          His point is still valid. If you get busted with an illegal item, how you acquired it may very well be part of your defense, but you’re going to get a free ride to jail first.

          (Also, sorry if I double posted. My login had to be reset or some such thing)

          • MacK

            There hasnt been a ruling yet anyway so moot point. Until the febs say its still perfectly legal to own and shoot. IWI is trying to avoid any trouble to being proactive. But hopefully they got a few senior congressmen in their pocket. Ask FN… it helps.

          • Ian Thorne

            Not true at all. Plenty of people buy stolen guns from pawn shops and used guns stores and never get charged with a crime. Sure, they could, but they never do, let’s be realistic. If the cops know you didn’t know, such as in this case, they will never go after the person unless they that person is up to something else.

          • Eddie J Vest

            You have obviously never dealt with the ATF. They will charge you for anything, it will be your burden to prove that you are innocent.

          • Cory C

            I mean this in the nicest way possible, but that is simply wrong. What you’re describing is the discretion of an officer to choose not to arrest you, but it’s not really discretion if he can only go one way with it. Discretion, by its very nature, allows for both possibilities. As such, some officers will listen to your explanation and choose not to arrest you in the first place, but other cops will say, “Tell it to the judge.” If what you’re saying is true, then one could steal a gun, get busted with it some time later, and then just tell the cop that it’s all a big misunderstanding and get off the hook, on the spot. No, clearly most (or at least plenty) cops who learn that you are in possession of stolen property are going to arrest you.

        • Cymond

          I guess you’ve never heard of Traci Lords?

    • M

      Based on what has happened in the past with things like PSLs with the machine gun receivers or the ‘third hole’ maadi, they usually do a forward trace (i.e. look up the 4473s and track down the addresses) of everyone who bought one and come knocking on doors to surrender the gun, AFAIK without any consequence.

      However, third hole maadis still crop up here and there over time, How the ATF deals with those is anyone’s call.

      • Random Disabled Person

        Which the ironic thing about the “Third Hole” on the PSL / Romak- 3 III / Dragunova/ every other imported name,

        was the fact there was never a machine gun version in the first place. So once a machine gun never machine gun was a problem but that didn’t stand in the way of the good ol’ BATFE.

        The rifle never was made in an automatic model but that did not matter to the BATFE and their witch hunt for those rifles and the Inter Ordnance (aka I.O. Inc ) for their possession and the selling of them.

        Logic and military value sniper question, “An automatic ten round marksman rifle?” There is no logic and it would defeat its purpose of design. Yet we are stuck with regulations imposed by people who know if they let a precedence get set or anything that shows fallacy, they’ll loose or at least undermine their stance in court for “Past sets Precedence……” So jackbooted enforcement and crucifying innocents is the name of the game and if you win and after the coasts and fear, you don’t have the resources to go after them in civil court. It is easy from the arm chair/keyboard to say someone should fight the battle but when their life and future is on line their hard line attitude becomes a fetal position with cries of leave me alone please I do what ever you want….

        If that PSL receiver hole with no version of machine gun made(minus secret research one offs or BATFE labs work of fabricating evidence for use at a trial…..) that is known about, doesn’t help illustrate the absurdity of the stupidity and the over reaching actions of the BATFE against gun importers and and gun owners. I don’t know what will.

        Time and time again we feel our rights are violated but where is the army of citizens standing up and challenging these agencies in courts? perhaps we need to have gun owner “civil” rights along with Constitutional rights. It saddens me to think we have reached that need but at least it is short of revolution, which according to some are needed every 200 years…..

        • Cymond

          This is my first time hearing about the third-hole PSL. Why were they manufactured with the extra hole?

          • M

            Originally, the third hole was used for the safety sear, which ensures the hammer doesn’t fall unless the carrier is forward and the bolt. It prevents an out of battery ignition. which is another safety measure. However, the ATF considers having the third hole a machine gun.

            Originally what happened with the Machine gun PSL receivers were that the Romanians tried to cover it up by welding up the hole before exporting it to Century.

            The ATF basically says that once a machine gun, always a machine gun unless you torch cut/demill the receiver, completely destroy the gun before building it up. Modding it like welding in the hole is a no-go

          • TLDR

            A safety sear is a chopped down auto-sear it acts the same with the exception of not having a longer 2nd arm for the trigger to snag on until relase.
            The auto-sear acts like a safety sear in semi and in auto the “safety sear” part of it is used to ensure that the hammer wont follow the bolt home and will only be released when its in battery.
            Both sears look also almost identical with the “safety seer” having one side being slightly shorter and lacking the hook for the trigger.

    • Ralph Brooks

      Technically the person could, but to my knowledge no person accidentally in possession of the ‘3rd Hole’ Norinco MAK’s ever got into or would get into any trouble short of surrendering the weapon and losing their investment. I’ve had a few of them come across my view in the past years, and a couple of the owners turned them over with no negative recourse to themselves. A couple chose to demil the gun and only provide the receiver even.

      Contrary to popular belief, BATFE isn’t too worried about the average individual, even those of us with significant collections.

  • Patriotic USVeteran1776

    I really wonder how this will affected the delivery of Galil Ace 7.62X39mm rifle that was supposed to have been shipped out sometime in October 2015, butckeeps getting it’s delivery date puush back? Is it possible that they will never be allowed to enter the USA, or maybe a deal to keep them out?

  • Devin

    If the presence of the hole is the problem, what if it was to be plug welded? At that point there’s no longer a hole.

    • Emir Parkreiner

      Once an MG always an MG, even accidentally.

  • Yes, but I don’t think any rifles have shipped yet; just pistols.

    • RCM

      I got mine Friday and do NOT want to give it back. Damn, it’s such a nice little gun! 18″ total length and built like a tank. This is total BS

  • K R

    Oops I sold it to some random guy at a gun show a while back…. Or was it a girl?

    • nadnerbus

      Your gendered pronouns reflect a lack of respect for gender fluidity. Maybe it was a non cis-gendered trans person. They have that check box on the form 4473, right?

      • Nicks87

        Lol, damn you SJWs!

      • Squirreltakular

        I might change my gender status to something like that just to mess with the feds. Should I check both boxes, none, or just draw in a third?

        • Alex

          just write in Neutered or Spayed…lol

      • mosinman

        one must use every advantage in the fight against the Patriarchy

  • steveday72

    At the molecular level all AKs have a hole at that position – Does this mean every AK is a machine-gun per ATF?

    • jeff

      Send in an evaluation letter to the ATF, wait a few months and they will probably say yes.

  • myndbender

    In this MAC intro to the Galil ace, the rifle & SBR Tim uses both possess the evil THIRD pair of tiny holes that magically transform them into evil UNREGISTERED mg’s even though each trigger press resulted in the firing of one(1) bullet. A.K.A. the definition of a semi auto rifle. Ah…ATF, making the world a better place one technicality at a time!

  • mechamaster

    Oh man, IWI must be get a headache over this fiasco, but hey IWI… bring back the old Galil ARM model for ‘bridgegap’ measure..

  • Alan Feinstein

    I love the IWI line up, however
    I’m so tired, tired of waiting , tired of waiting for the Ace pistol.
    Obama is just doing the HORAH around the Oval Office because its an Israeli based company.
    If I was anticipating on the Ace pistol coming on to the market soon look somewhere else. Try the Sig MCX 300 blk pistol…. with a can, a can of gefilte fish…. <•{{{{}}}}}《

  • Brocus

    So no more IWI guns soon?

  • Justin Kase

    If the ATF decides they are not MGs, these will be rare. I would wait it out until the ATF rules. There is no real downside to waiting, but there is a potential upside.

    • law-abiding-citizen

      The downside is you are in violation of NFA regulations, & therefore now a felon who is prohibited from owning any firearms. As mentioned numerous times above, the ruling was made long ago, & has been ATF policy for quite some time.

      • Justin Kase

        You are trying to apply logic to ATF rulings. I understand that it is LIKELY that they will decide they are machine guns, but you never know. If you are honest you will admit that the ATF will not charge you for simply owning one of these Galil pistols for now. IF they rule against the pistols, then you send it back to IWI, real easy. By your logic any current owner should instantly destroy the guns instead of shipping an illegal machine gun…

  • whskee

    Ugh. Why can’t we as a community get some ‘Common Sense’ legislation. No firearm, used lawfully, should be restricted from ownership. How is that not common sense?

    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      Just gonna use my artillery, for lawful purposes, in my backyard. Better hit wallmart, to stack up on some 155mm…

      • Squirreltakular

        Damn straight.

      • mosinman

        heck i had to get there at 5am just to buy a crate of 105mm ammunition for my M60

        • DAN V.

          Looks like youre gonna need a crew.

          • mosinman

            yeah i do

        • davod

          Do you need a catalytic converter with that (The vehicle, not the ammunition)?

          • mosinman

            no 🙂

      • JohnnyCuredents

        How long do you think it will take liberals and other assorted gunphobes to turn to another topic for controlling their neighbors, big muscle cars for example. Can’t you hear them now? “There is simply no need to put that much power under a hood! We have to ban these excessively fast and powerful cars ….for the sake of the children!” Just as rape is not about sex but about violence, so the Bloomberg Syndrome is not about safety; it’s about control.

        • G0rdon_Fr33man

          I was really just pointing out the difficulties of legislating guns. Where to draw the line, so to speak.

          • JohnnyCuredents

            The problem is solved if there is no “legislating guns” at all. The notion that a bunch of pandering nobodies in Washington (or in any state capital) knows enough to make intelligent decisions concerning the matter is absurd. If my neighbor has the money and is crazy enough to own a tank, it’s his business; if and when he uses it to harm others, arrest and prosecute him.

    • But it’ll scare the sheeple..

    • Alex

      Do you know ANY Socio-Communist Liberal Democrat that really has any “Common-Sense”? I’ve yet to come across one. If you find one Let the folks At the “Guinness book of Records” know! They’ve been looking for one for Years.
      Them along with Diogenes walking the Halls of the Government looking for just one Honest Man! His lamp went out when passing by Dianne Feinstein’s office door!

  • Lee

    “I do not recall what happened to that firearm, i think i sold it at a gun show”.

  • Joel Michael Verdier

    It’s how amazing how scared gun owners are of the government and the ATF. That’s why if the government ever did overturn the 2nd amendment and banned guns, gun owners would just———— like they have on all the other infringements. Sounds like people shake in their boots with the mention of they might be in violation of the NFA. No wonder we lose more freedoms everyday and we the people don’t do a damn thing except bitch on the internet.

    • Kurt Akemann

      A 5-10 year prison sentence is no joke and I for one am not willing risk such a sentence fighting over a federal agency’s BS. Especially not on a 2 decade old-regulation while the Supreme Court is refusing to hear gun cases.

    • uisconfruzed

      Dumb laws? Yes.
      I still chose to pay for my tax stamps and be able to enjoy my NFA items instead of thinking about them and daylight for ten + years.

  • Ralph Brooks

    I’m shocked that any manufacturer can make a blunder like this after the infamous Norinco ‘3rd hole’ MAK’s that came in the early 90’s.

    Dumb ruling, but well well WELL known to even the common hobbyist. What an oversight.

  • Aric Forse

    Put some electrical tape over it

  • tarnishedcopper

    And the company’s solution is to provide a refund IF you have a receipt. The company should be replacing the firearm and shipping to your choice of FFL in my opinion. They could use the existing internal parts all except the receiver.

  • L. Roger Rich

    The ATF did the same thing when Norinco started to import AK’s back in the 1990’s. Some of the receivers had the hole still in the receiver.

  • Y K

    If I ever want / need a “machine gun” I can convert any of my AR’s to full auto w/ a file in less than 15 minutes – it’s quite easy.

  • Alex

    You have to Give the Russians a lot of Credit. They sure did design a damn good gun.
    I remember as a kid reading a book about WWII and how a Farmer used the PTO on his Tractor to make a Gatling gun to fight off the Germans in one town…That’s being Creative!
    I have to wonder if one might be available in John Deere Green?….lol

  • Brian Diffenderfer

    next they will be saying low-shelf AR lowers are illegal, because they can accept RDIAS

  • Intent / Design

    According to the ATF’s “logic,” if you put two hands on a “hand” gun, it becomes a rifle. Of course, they don’t go there…but their–fffft–“logic” does.

    • jcitizen

      I assume you meant two handles, but needless to say, you would still be right.

  • John

    What a joke….so there’s no full auto sear there, but it’s a machine gun!?!?
    But a trigger crank or bump stock doesn’t make it a machine gun….?

    It’s like an idiot that knows nothing about weapons has been put in charge of something they know nothing about…

    • jcitizen

      Remember when the banned strings? No joke, they tried to do that! Actually I’m not sure it still isn’t one of their stupid rules!

  • Donald Darr

    It would be nice if people would quit saying how “easy” it is to convert a semi-auto AR to full-auto when in fact there’s some “high tech” milling that needs to be done plus it’s completely illegal. The AR is already the evil black rifle so why scare people by saying there’s no problem making it full auto?! We are our own worst enemies when it comes to telling the public about firearms.

    • jcitizen

      I propose the opposite – tell the public how easy it is to make a machinegun of any kind – any idiot in his garage could do it. so why bother regulating something that is so easy to do no matter what? I would rather they simply made a law that committing any crime with said definable weapons added 20 to 30 years to the sentence of a crime. Much more effective, if you ask me, and then we could get rid of giant worthless bureaucracies that just waste tax payer money and employ worthless government bureacrats.

  • davod

    I am an infrequent reader of TFB, but an enthusiastic supporter of the Second Amendment. I am not up on all the definitions between weapons. What makes this weapon a pistol as opposed to a rifle?

    • jcitizen

      I’ll try – don’t know how accurate I’ll be –
      1.) Barrel shorter than 16″(don’t recall details of where it starts and ends in relation to chamber and possible flash hiders) –

      2.) Over all length below a certain standard(don’t remember what this measurement is) –

      3.) No shoulder stock.( on this one you can have one if you pay the tax and file a form with the BATF requesting a modification to SBR(short barreled rifle). All three of those conditions are federal only – your state could be entirely different.

      • davod


  • Justin

    You go right ahead and take one for the team then. We’ll send you care packages in prison.

  • uisconfruzed

    I never wanted an AK… until now.