IWI – An AR-15 Challenger?

    Now don’t get me wrong. The AR-15 is an amazing platform and I own several. I love how ergonomic and modular the rifles are along with the availability of parts in the market. I have been trying to get away from the AR-15 control system and look at new options because it’s never bad to look at your options.

    The X95

    IWI’s newest generation of bullpup rifles has been out for a few years now, but they continue to make improvements and offer more modularity to the bullpup system. The X95 is a reworked system of the IWI Tavor which was the original version. The X95 has rail sections for accessories along with a different charging handle position. IWI moved the magazine release from the rear to the middle of the firearm right by the shooter’s hand. It’s one of the more streamlined models in the IWI bullpup line up and doesn’t have as large as a presence the Tavor did while shooting it.

    I really enjoy shooting the X95 and after becoming familiar with the system, its ergonomic and feels natural in the hand. I was a big fan of the Tavor when it debuted and the X95 is a more ergonomic version of the Tavor. One of my favorite parts of the X95 and bullpups, in general, is the fact you can get a longer barrel while shortening the overall length. It makes manipulations much easier and overall handling is improved.

    ACE Galil

    IWI’s updated Galil called the ACE Galil is another gun on the market that has ventured out to create its own ergonomic feel. IWI modernized the classic Galil design and brought it into the 21st century. It has a side charging handle with a paddle magazine release rather than a push button on the AR15.  They have developed their own system of how to be ergonomic and ambidextrous without taking things from AR controls.

    Another thing I like about the new Galil is being able to have different models in different calibers. I love the fact it can be chambered in 7.62×39 or 308 while looking exactly the same. I have had issues with AR’s being chambered in 7.62×39 where they wouldn’t cycle reliably. The only AR style rifle that has worked flawlessly in that caliber is Primary Weapon Systems MK116 MOD 2. Other than the PWS, it’s hard to find reliable AK alternatives that function reliably and the Galil is a fantastic AK alternative.

    Why it’s Something to Consider

    Like I said earlier, I absolutely love the AR-15 and its ergonomics as a system. It’s a great layout and has been more or less the same for almost 60 years. The AR market as a whole is saturated to its max right now and it’s never a bad idea to at least look at different companies who are trying new things and go their own way with design. I have respect for the guys over at IWI for creating new systems that feel ergonomic despite being a completely different system than the AR 15.

    If you’re the type of person who loves the controls of the AR, I say stay with it. I’m talking to the group of guys who are burned out on ARs and want to try something different. Variety is the spice of life, and although I love my ARs a ton, there’s always room to try new things and see what you like. Let me know what you guys think in the comments below. I’d love to hear about what you guys think on ARs in today’s market and other choices available. Stay safe out there.


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    I’m an avid shooter and love educating whether it’s at my job or in the shooting community. I’m an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.
    I’m active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.