Uziel Gal Rifle

    The Galil rifle has become famous as the rugged but heavy Israeli Kalashnikov (by way of Finland). Less well known is the Galil’s competitor designed by Uziel Gal, who lent his name to the famous Uzi submachinegun he also designed. The Gal rifle was a clean-sheet design, similar to the Kalashnikov in that it shamelessly borrowed what its designer thought were the best parts of existing designs. Mechanically, it is a 5.56mm or 7.62mm, five-lug rotary bolt locked, cutoff expanding gas operated rifle with a sheet steel upper receiver and a quick-detach barrel with an AR-15 style extension. It feeds from 30 round detachable box magazines of its own pattern. The gas system is taken almost directly from the M14 rifle (early pistons were in fact modified M14 pistons), and the five-lug bolt features a novel anti pre-engagement mechanism, reducing friction during feeding.

    Beyond this, the Gal rifle has a few interesting features. One is the chamfered bolt lugs, apparently intended to provide extra room for dirt and grime. Another is the triangular connecting rod cross-section, which provided the best resistance to deformation during striking. A detailed field strip, explanation of function, and even some prototype parts that were scrapped during the rifle’s development is available for viewing in GunsGearNGrub’s videos below:

    GunsGearNGrub reckons the Gal rifle would have been superior to the Galil that was eventually adopted for service. It’s difficult to tell whether that would have been true, but the rifle certainly had a lot of potential, and some of its design elements were apparently re-integrated into the IWI Tavor’s design.

    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. He can be reached via email at [email protected]