Israeli 7.62x39mm Gilboa M43 coming to U.S. market

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The 7.62x39mm Gilboa M43 rifle will soon be coming to the U.S. civilian market, and the American company manufacturing it is currently take pre-orders through McKay Industries. The Gilboa M43 is a 7.62x39mm AR, very similar to the CMMG Mk47 Mutant but with a number of differences. Visually there is a magazine well present on the M43 that isn’t on the Mk47, in addition the M43 has a shorter rail system that connects to the large gas block. There is also a short barrel version of the M43 that would most doubtably be their SBR if it were brought to the U.S.. However currently only the 37 inch length rifle will be introduced. The designation M43 probably comes from the original Soviet designation of the 7.62x39mm M43 cartridge when it was first introduced.

There are currently two well put together reviews of the rifle as it is coming to the U.S. market, one from RangeHot and another from Sootch00-

RangeHot has what appears to be a well written conclusion statement-

It is a smart move to own a rifle in 7.62×39. Not only is it a solid mid range performer, it is one of the most popular cartridges on the planet. Though the costs have gone up on that round, it can still be had for cheap as compared to most all other rifle cartridges. There are a few options for rifles in that caliber but the vast majority are AK or SKS pattern rifles. Though there is nothing wrong with either of those platforms, many prefer the AR style rifles. Now your options begin to narrow, enter the Gilboa M43. The M43 is an Israeli military designed American built combat rifle, so out of the gate it has a nice pedigree. My first test was to compare it directly to the CMMG Mutant, by including the expertise of a retired Sergeant Major from the USMC, a man who knows a bit about combat rifles. The M43 definitely felt lighter and shouldered easier with the smaller handguard. The biggest advantage of the M43 Gilboa was the drastic angle cut of the magazine well, making it much easier to seat the AK magazines. If you make a mistake with the CMMG and get the rear magazine lug locked and not the front, the gun is tied up. With the drastic cut on the M43 it was more intuitive and smoother to lock the magazine in. The M43 handguards do not wrap over the gas block, which helps keep the handguard smaller and easier to get a solid grip on. So, if you run an aggressive forward grip on your support hand you have to be mindful to keep your fingers off the gas block during extended shooting as it does warm up. The gas block is fixed with threaded fasteners but has provisions to drill and pin it if you so desire. Through the 350+ rounds downrange the Gilboa did not give any trouble and accuracy was acceptable at 100 yards using iron sights and cheap steel cased ammunition. All in all, I am satisfied with how this rifle ran and with a few minor things I did not care for none were deal breakers. These things being my opinion and others they may not be an issue.  All of the parts are military standard compliant and undergo strict quality control inspections.

You might also be familiar with the Gilboa name as the Israeli manufacturer of AR15 rifles, in addition to the Corner Shot system, and the infamous Gilboa double barreled AR. The Gilboa name is sort of a misnomer because it is a registered trademark of the company. However, another Israeli company, Silver Shadow does the actual manufacturing of their products. Welcome the M43, and Silver Shadow has partnered with Mckay Industries out of Minnesota to have it manufactured here in the United States. This probably means only a few of the import compliant parts are being made in Minnesota while the other parts that don’t need to be compliant are shipped over from Israel.



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • DW

    Twin barrel version when?

  • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    Where’s the bottle opener?

    • Major Tom

      Hidden inside the stock. Probably.

    • Phillip Cooper

      It comes out of the barrel at something around 2200FPS

    • Okruch.pl

      With AK47 mags, you don’t need the bottle opener – you can use the feed lips of the magazine;)

  • Devil_Doc

    …”that would most doubtably be their SBR”.. What is the meaning of this sentence? Was the author going for “no doubt”?

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I like the look of this rifle. Have they figured out how to make an AR15 Bolt last long term?

    I really like the idea of 7.62×39 in an AR15 but the bolt issue keeps scaring me.

    • Drew Coleman

      The CMMG uses a larger bolt, so it shouldn’t have any issues. Not sure about the Gilboa though.

      • Redfoot

        Nutnfancy had some serious issues with the mutant x 2. Love him or hate him, he gave them a change to fix the product and it still failed.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        I really like the CMMG but I keep hearing very mixed results on it. No problems or complete lemon.

    • Reef Blastbody

      The Gilboa uses a heavier, and proprietary bolt carrier and bolt, at least from what they said in the sootch video.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        Really glad to hear that. I like 7.62×39 but the AK just doesn’t do it for my like the AR.

      • ROBARTIST

        Sootch said a beefier carrier. I dont think he said anything about the bolt.

  • Big Daddy

    I’m very happy with my Mutant rifle and PSA KS-47 pistol so far. I might even build another KS-47 pistol. I don’t know how the long term use will affect the gun but the Mutant is a tank with a bolt that can take a lot more punishment that the 7.6×39 can dish out. I like the fact that they have the same manual of arms and some parts interchangeability with my AR15s.

    • Foxtrot2500

      Why not just slap the PSA AR47 upper on. I have one and very accurate and effective on hogs with Tula SPs. Down side is no AK mags but my ASCs and C Products run great after u open up the front of the mag just a little.
      Mine’ll shoot 1.5″ group at 100 yards.

      • Big Daddy

        Yup I tried it and it works great. Just in case for whatever reason I know it works and have a mag for it. I just like the AK mags and the way the gun handles better in it’s full layout. I think I’m going to get another one with the 7″ barrel. I’ll keep seeing what PSA has to offer. I’d like to run a few thousand rounds through it though before I invest. Right now I’m having a medical issue so my range time is limited. I did buy some of those pipe cleaners for the gas tube I think the ammo might be a little problem with a DI system, not sure. So far so good. I did have to sand the top of the magazines it’s tight in the KS-47 and the Tapco won’t run like it does in the Mutant. So I’m using surplus metal which I had to sand and polish a bit, the CAA and Magpuls. The Bulgarian 40 round smooth poly also needed a bit of massaging. My KS has OD green stuff on it and I was able to get some CAA ODG mags for it. I tried to dye a sand Magpul into ODG but it came out FDE go figure…LOL.

  • BillC

    $1600 MSRP? No thanks. I was expecting this to at least be one or two hundred cheaper than the Mutant.

  • Ak mag man

    What kinda mags are those?!? Are they new with gilboa. Never seen ak mags like that

  • Seems like they would face stiff competition from the Galil Ace as well as the Mutant.

  • FlaBoy

    Still would prefer the updated Galil from IWI – Galil ACE. I ended up getting an M&M M10X Elite when they came out. An updated version of the AK47, ala the Galil, but more affordable. The M10X is bit of a “mongrel”, but in a good way, incorporating features of the AK, the AR, and even the FAL, to make a new modern rifle. I’ve never had it misfire, failure to feed, jam or malfunction in any way and found it to be very accurate, as least partly due to it’s free floating barrel. Yes, I’m a “fanboy” now … it’s now my favorite “black rifle”. Sure, 7.62×39 ammo is still relatively cheap, but now that I have the M10X, I’m burning up a lot more of it. But also glad to see the Gilboa…as the author said, everyone needs a 7.62×39. (I think the US Mil will eventually replace the under powered pipsqueak 5.56/.223 with something better, like a 6.5mm. In the meantime, there is 7.62×39, with it’s “big boy” bullet.)

    • Aaron

      No. Just. No. 1st. NATO (of which many countries are a part of) uses the 5.56×45 as the standard cartridge for the bulk of combat troops rifles/carbines. As far as I know Turkey is the only NATO country that uses 7.62×51 NATO as their standard and that is because a bulk of their troop deployment is in regions that necessitate the reach to 600m with less training. 2nd. Many non-NATO allies use 5.56×45 as well. 3rd. JGSDF, IDF, and NZDF all use 5.56×45. 4th. China uses a 5.8, Russia uses 5.45 as their standard round. All of this goes to show that the popular opinion is that troops the world over make the best use of “small” caliber combat arms vs. the heavier and bulkier 7.62×39. If you take into account LEOs the world over that use patrol rifles again the so called “pipsqueak” is the most used.

      • DW

        That might still change if LSAT project ends up selecting 6.5CT.

  • DanGoodShot

    Well. If I wasn’t stuck in the freedom hating state of CT I’d probably pick one up. I really wish I could move out of this place.

  • David Harmon

    So I get to pay for something I already paid for again?

    You want my money, lift the stupid embargoes on Russia, and quit acting like faggots.

  • David G

    I feel like this could be uglier…

  • Sasquatch

    Ooo now this seems nice. Also the short barrel gun, why don’t they import as a handgun….. Just saying….

  • galil ace > this thing

  • Richard Lutz

    Great idea if only the production rifles are reliable. Don’t like the .300 AAC Blackout, not least the problem of mixing up magazines/ammo and blowing up 5.56mm ARs. Would prefer a standard carbine forend with a Picatinny rail as on the ‘FN 15 Military Collector M4’ with a 14.7″ barrel and a permanently attached A2 flash hider.