Good morning everyone and welcome back to another edition of TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, home of the Turbo K2. Last week we dove into an academic exercise regarding the normalization of suppressors by the government, industry and consumers alike. The comment section was lively, with most of us agreeing that the perception of silencers, the NFA process and NFA laws need to change. In case anyone is wondering, my stance on any bans is absolute – we should focus our efforts on criminal actions, not inanimate objects. This week we are back out on the range with a IWI Galil ACE suppressed with a SilencerCo Saker and outfitted with a KNS Precision AK Adjustable Gas Piston. Thank you to both IWI and KNS for loaning me the equipment for today’s Silencer Saturday evaluation.
So why the suppress the IWI Galil ACE? For one, I don’t own a 7.62x39mm semiautomatic firearm. A few years ago a decided to consolidate calibers into three staples: 5.56x45mm, 9mm and .22LR. But when I caught the 300BLK bug a few years ago, I decided that testing silencers requires a variety of platforms. Second, after watching TFBTV’s James Reeves gush all over the IWI ACE, I wanted to see for myself if he was full of shit. Sadly, he’s not: the ACE is a refined AK rifle with very few detractors. I didn’t expect to be this impressed.
But when it comes to suppression, the Galil ACE suffers from standard, AK-style gas regulation artifacts: cyclic rates, port gas, case ejection patterns can all change with a silencer mounted on the barrel. So when even IWI suggested I pick up a KNS AK Adjustable Gas Piston for the review, I was intrigued.
For those of you who’d rather I cut to the chase, I will. I’m a huge fan of both the Galil ACE and the KNS Adjustable Piston. The Galil ACE suppressed was impressively quiet, lacked any significant gas blowback and tamed ejection and cycling.
But first, the details.
The modernized Galil ACE is based upon the reliable mechanism of the original Galil rifle first developed by IMI in the late 1960’s. Drawing inspiration from the legendary Russian AK-47 and the Finnish Valmet RK 62, the IWI Galil ACE has been continuously improved over the last 40 years, resulting in today’s extremely reliable and highly accurate Galil ACE.
- Model Number(s): GAR1639
- Caliber: 7.62x39mm
- Action: Semi-auto
- Operating System: Closed rotating bolt, Long stroke gas piston
- Magazine Type: MAGPUL MOE AK/AKM PMAG
- Magazine Capacity: 30 Round
- Barrel Material: Chrome lined, Cold hammer forged, CrMoV
- Barrel Length: 16″
- Overall Length: 34.5″ (Buttstock Unfolded and Collapsed)
- Weight: 7.5 lbs w/out Magazine
- Rifling: 1:9.45 inch twist, Right hand
- Sights: Adjustable with Tritium front post and 2-dot Tritium rear aperture.
- MSRP: $1,899
- Weight: About 23 ounces
- Length: About 10 inches
- MSRP: $972 (current ASR version)
I picked the Saker for this testing because, while it performs great at reducing noise at the muzzle, it is informally known as a high back pressure silencer. This means that on some hosts, gasses can be forced back down the action, out the ejection port and into the shooters face. But it is a bombproof silencer that can take heavy punishment.
Introduction – The Galil ACE Suppressed – KNS Style
Installation of the KNS AK Adjustable Gas Piston requires field strip-level maintenance with a touch of armorer’s knowledge. While the installation is completely doable, you should read the ACE owner’s manual thoroughly and consider having a competent gunsmith perform the work. Don’t overextend your knowledge, skills or abilities. And remember to always follow the four rules of gun safety.
That being said, field stripping the Galil ACE is just like any other AK47-style rifle.
Features And Specs – The Galil ACE Suppressed – KNS Style
Let’s take a look at the new piston.
Finally, a drop-in solution for taming the notoriously-overgassed AK platform. The patent-pending KNS AK Adjustable Gas Piston is a replacement for the AK’s piston head that attaches to the bolt carrier in about 10 minutes with no major gunsmithing or permanent modification required. The user is granted an extremely wide range of gas adjustment for suppressed and unsuppressed use, as well as a variety of different kinds of ammunition.
A good rule of thumb to determine if our piston will be useful, is if your gun throws the brass over 15 feet. This can signify excess gas pushing the carrier back at a higher velocity and pressure, than is needed for effective operation. Most (but not all) AK’s are over-gassed. This causes more recoil, more wear and tear, and less controllability. Many users are surprised to feel the difference in how their gun shoots with our Adjustable Gas Piston System installed.
- Updated Mod 2 Collar
- Tool-Free Adjustment
- Reduces Recoil
- Tune almost any AK for suppressed use
- Decrease cyclic rate for full-auto fire
- US-made 922r Compliance Part
- Piston head assembly made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel
- All surface parts nitrided for durable, low-friction, & easily-cleaned operation
- Patent Number 10,330,480
- MSRP: $145-$160
My one real complaint with the KNS piston is actually with the instructions – I’d prefer them to be slightly more detailed, with pictures, and catered towards each piston version available for each AK make/model.
Like everything I do here at TFB, I’m not an expert on the AK platform. However let’s take a look at the parts of the piston that differentiates it from stock pistons. Above, the face of the piston has a a hole to allow gas to flow. The silver adjustment collar tightens and and loosens with measured clicks, exposing gas a port that will vary in size. All the way closed and it mimics a stock piston. All the way open and the gas porting (on the piston) is wide open, allowing for gas to pass through without impacting the action.
The KNS Adjustable Gas Piston comes with additional roll pins and a spare piston nut (I don’t know the actual name because it’s not spelled out in the instructions.
Installation – The Galil ACE Suppressed – KNS Style
The most important step before installation is to measure and compare the length of the KNS piston against the stock piston assembly. The face of the piston to the shoulder of the carrier should be a very close match with the stock piston assembly.
Above a roll pin keeps the stock piston from unscrewing from the carrier.
As you can see, the KNS piston comes in varying lengths and shapes. Make sure to buy and install the correct piston for your gun.
Using a roll pin punch and an armorers block, knock out the retaining pin and unscrew the piston from the carrier.
Screw in the KNS piston and install the new roll pin when the two holes line up perfectly.
While not required for installation, I removed the “piston nut” to take a closer look at the piston’s head.
Adjustments – The Galil ACE Suppressed – KNS Style
Adjusting the KNS piston is simple. Tightening the adjustment collar closes the adjustment port. Loosening the adjustment collar opens up the adjust port. Counting clicks will help remember the amount of adjustment you make to the gas system of your long stroke piston gun.
Above, the KNS piston in its fully opened state.
Above, the KNS piston in its fully closed state.
Above, the KNS piston in its fully opened state (installed with the gas tube removed).
Above, the KNS piston in its fully closed state (installed with the gas tube removed).
Fielding – The Galil ACE Suppressed – KNS Style
As the instructions state, I started with the the piston fully closed, mimicking the stock piston. Depending on your barrel length and silencer, your gun may be slightly or majorly over gased.
Start by loosening the adjustment collar by five clicks, reinstall and fire three to five rounds looking for ejection patterns, gas blowback, proper feeding and cycling of the action.
Eventually you’ll hit an adjustment point where the ACE no longer extracts/ejects/feeds cartridges. Adjust the piston one last time, closing the adjustment collar by two clicks and verify proper cycling.
My piston is open six clicks for perfect cycling. The chamber and gas tube gas ports are amazingly clean. The cycling of the action is soft and even compared to the stock setting that seemed jarring.
With supersonic ammunition, the Galil ACE was impressively quiet with the sound of the action audible even with ear protection.
The Galil ACE gas ports after three magazines.
The Galil ACE chamber after three magazines.
Unrelated, I did have one issue that I believe can be attributed to the Golden Tiger 7.62x39mm ammunition. My muzzle device was properly attached and tight, but around the 90th round I had a flier that took out my end cap.
Luckily only the end cap was damaged and not the baffles or the tube. As I have said in the past, if you shoot enough, bad things are going to happen. This incident is only going to cost me $70 – not a a new tax stamp and wait.
Conclusions: KNS Gas Piston and Galil ACE
Maybe my expectations were dialed down low, but I really did not expect the Galil ACE to perform as well as it did suppressed with the KNS Adjustable Gas Piston. A low back pressure suppressor or a barrel length change may require less adjustments.
Both the ACE and the KNS piston are worth a hard look.
Thanks for reading TFB’s Silencer Saturday. Be safe, have fun and we’ll see you here next week.
Additional resources: KNS Gas Piston and Galil ACE
Silencer Saturday is Sponsored by Yankee Hill Machine:
Buy YHM silencers and accessories at:
DEALERS: If you want your link to buy YHM suppressors included in future Silencer Saturday posts, email: [email protected]
NEW SILENCER SATURDAY 100 WINNERS:
Turbo K: James H. firstname.lastname@example.org
SIG SRD762: Gary V. ss******[email protected]
Dead Air Mask: Barret L. com******[email protected]
Silencer Shop Swag Pack: Jonathan K. email@example.com