Author Topic: Alternate .223 rifle No. 2, The Galil  (Read 6108 times)

Offline Lawyerman

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Alternate .223 rifle No. 2, The Galil
« on: November 18, 2008, 06:50:29 AM »
I made a post not long ago here about the Sig 556. It is a fine rifle and I highly recommend them. There is another rifle though that is quite good and very inexpensive. About two years ago or so Century Arms began building a .223 Galil rifle. They used surplus Israeli parts and new American receivers. As with anything made by the "angry beavers" at Century the rifles were suspect- yes, Century could screw up even a Galil......

However, if you were willing to be patient and physically inspect the rifles before buying them to be sure they were done right you could come away with a VERY capable and inexpensive rifle. I have a friend with an FFL who hits all the gunshows in the state of Texas. He ordered many of these rifles and I would look over every one he got in and finally ended up with two that I felt were almost perfect.

There are two primary advantages to these rifles. The first is their absolute, stone cold reliability. When put together right I don't know how you would get one to malfunction. They are really just an AK with some window dressing- and it shows in this area. The second advantage of these rifles was their relatively low cost. Wholesale was $600. That's less than any AR15 except maybe a homebuilt gun. It is MUCH less than the Sig and about the same as an Armalite AR180 or Mini 14- the Galil is battle tested- not so much the last two.

The rifles I have are reasonably accurate. Better than the average AK, not as accurate as my Sigs or Ar's. Typical 100 yard groups are 2.5-3.5 inches depending on ammo- acceptable for what they are.

The disadvantages are as follows in my experience- 1. Poor build quality- this is easily taken care of by personal inspection though 2. Weight- make no mistake about it, this is not a CAR15, these are heavy rifles (you CAN use them as a club though if need be!) 3. Magazine availability has been spotty- I prefer the Israeli 35 round steel mags- the Orlites I've never been impressed with and the 50 rounders are a joke- they're friggen huge. I have AR15 mag  adapters for my guns as well. 4. Parts availability is not great though in honesty- there's not much that will break on them.

In all, I recommend these rifles with the qualifications outlined above.

Offline earthling?

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Re: Alternate .223 rifle No. 2, The Galil
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2008, 05:03:45 PM »
I have thought of picking one up as my second alternate behind my AR and Mini-14. Every time I pick up the Golani I think to myself, "for about three times as much as this is, I could have a real, finely made IMI Galil", and then I end up sitting it back down. One day I'll buy it anyway, despite Century having assembled it.

kaiservontexas

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Re: Alternate .223 rifle No. 2, The Galil
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2008, 05:07:24 PM »
I have thought of picking one up as my second alternate behind my AR and Mini-14. Every time I pick up the Golani I think to myself, "for about three times as much as this is, I could have a real, finely made IMI Galil", and then I end up sitting it back down. One day I'll buy it anyway, despite Century having assembled it.

I've done that! A IMI/IWI Galil would be great. Maybe one day, but not today.

Offline Lawyerman

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Re: Alternate .223 rifle No. 2, The Galil
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2008, 07:04:40 AM »
When they get them right, the Century models are quite good. I have not had any trouble out of mine at all. I have run about 300 rounds through each of them. Not alot of rounds but enough to know if there were going to be problems.

You might go with a Saiga but you would have to do a conversion for high caps or go with the US made plastic mags and some other 922r work to be legal. The SAR guns were decent guns but magazines were always problematic, converted AK74 mags ended up in most of them from what I understand and while the Sars were good AK's they were not as accurate as my Galils have been. The AR180 is a decent rifle but has had some parts breakage (receiver) issues and they are not as cheap as they should be in my opinion. The Mini 14 is a good rifle, much better than alot of folks give it credit for being but until recently high capacity, factory, mags (the ones you want) were hard to get. Now they are easy to get but still expensive. Ruger is also a PITA about their spare parts and the price of Mini's has gone up quite a bit in the last few years. No, for the money the Galil is a real sleeper, you can do a whole lot worse in a .223 rifle.

Offline earthling?

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Re: Alternate .223 rifle No. 2, The Galil
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2008, 05:24:34 PM »
When they get them right, the Century models are quite good. I have not had any trouble out of mine at all. I have run about 300 rounds through each of them. Not alot of rounds but enough to know if there were going to be problems.

You might go with a Saiga but you would have to do a conversion for high caps or go with the US made plastic mags and some other 922r work to be legal. The SAR guns were decent guns but magazines were always problematic, converted AK74 mags ended up in most of them from what I understand and while the Sars were good AK's they were not as accurate as my Galils have been. The AR180 is a decent rifle but has had some parts breakage (receiver) issues and they are not as cheap as they should be in my opinion. The Mini 14 is a good rifle, much better than alot of folks give it credit for being but until recently high capacity, factory, mags (the ones you want) were hard to get. Now they are easy to get but still expensive. Ruger is also a PITA about their spare parts and the price of Mini's has gone up quite a bit in the last few years. No, for the money the Galil is a real sleeper, you can do a whole lot worse in a .223 rifle.

Your are right about the price of mini 14s lately. I bought mine brand new back in 2000 for $380, and you can't find a well used one for that now days. Next time I see a Golani, I'll probably pick it up if they haven't gone too high. How are mag prices? Have you used the mag well adapter that let's you use AR mags?

Offline Hellboy

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Re: Alternate .223 rifle No. 2, The Galil
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2008, 06:01:40 PM »
Another VERY reliable option is the Saiga and can be had for around $300. These are true Russian mane rifles. They can be converted  to an AK config if desired. I have a number of AR's and AK's but am thinking about adding one of these to get AK reliability in .223.


kaiservontexas

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Re: Alternate .223 rifle No. 2, The Galil
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2008, 07:44:11 PM »
I wonder about getting a Saiga. I would not even convert it. To me it comes off like an SKS with detachable magazines that work! I know the gas systems between the AK and SKS are different, but both are reliable with one only taking 10 rounds. Ok, unless you get one of those after market crapco magazines or have a Chinese model that takes AK magazines. Anyway, I often think of the Saiga. Are the prices still holding or did they go up?

Offline JokersWild

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Re: Alternate .223 rifle No. 2, The Galil
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2008, 01:39:25 PM »
I wonder about getting a Saiga. I would not even convert it. To me it comes off like an SKS with detachable magazines that work! I know the gas systems between the AK and SKS are different, but both are reliable with one only taking 10 rounds. Ok, unless you get one of those after market crapco magazines or have a Chinese model that takes AK magazines. Anyway, I often think of the Saiga. Are the prices still holding or did they go up?

I have both a Sure Fire 30rd mag and a ProMag 30rd mag. I have to say that the Sure Fire is indeed the sturdier of the two but the Promag has yet to fail to perform at half the price.

Offline Lawyerman

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Re: Alternate .223 rifle No. 2, The Galil
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2008, 02:57:50 PM »
I paid $2o apiece for my Galil mags, I have no idea what they go for now. Who can say with anything these days? Yes, I have mag adaptors for both of my rifles for AR15 magazines. They work very well.

The Saiga is not a bad rifle. I use one in X39 to hunt pigs- has been excellent in all regards for this work. Shot two night before last with it in fact. The only reservations I would have is the cost of magazines. Last I saw they were $30 something apiece which in these times was not acceptable for high cap mags to my way of thinking though that has changed in just a few weeks....again, now who knows?

I would be careful with the Saiga of 922R issues. The mag alone may or may not be enough- check your parts count. Nobody wants to be a felon over a friggen magazine.

Offline RedneckFur

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Re: Alternate .223 rifle No. 2, The Galil
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2008, 08:11:09 PM »
A Saiga can be very easy to convert if you choose to go that route.  All you need is a dremel tool and an afternoon.

To be 922r compliant, you'll need 4 American parts.  A magazine counts as 3.  I use Hungarian 20rnd mags in mine, so I replaced the butstock, pistol grip and trigger group (2 parts) for my 4 parts.

Offline Lawyerman

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Re: Alternate .223 rifle No. 2, The Galil
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 09:18:07 AM »
Your Saiga rifle must be in X39 also?

In .223 the only hi cap mags I have seen for the Saiga are either the two American aftermarkets which are very expensive nad plastic or converted AK74 magazines which require some tweaking to get to run right.

It is a decent option but if you are not terribly handy it's not a good project to start on. By the time you are done you will have nearly as much in your Saiga as you would a "factory" Galil clone from Century.