IWI Galil Sniper Rifle

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Overview


IMI (now IWI) Galil Sniper Rifle (known as "Galil T'zalaphim" or "GALAT'Z" in Hebrew) is the Galil family sniping variant. The weapon was first introduced in the mid 1980's as a potential replacement to the IDF standard issue SWS at the time – the M14. However, in the tests conducted, the GALAT'Z didn't demonstrated major performance improvements over the M14, which would justify the cost of mass replacement, and eventually the M14 remained in service for another decade until it was replaced by the M24 in 1997.

Based on the Galil AR 7.62mm platform, the GALAT'Z maintains most of key characteristics of the Galil family plus add several new features:

  • Heavy 58.4 cm barrel

  • Redesigned flash hider

  • New stock including a butt stock and a cheek piece

  • Standard day optic is the El-Op 6X40

As a weapon, the GALAT'Z possesses the advantages and the disadvantages of the Galil platform it is based on. It has excellent reliability in harsh conditions and a folding stock, which assist in carrying and concealing the weapon. However, its accuracy is lower than other dedicated semi-auto sniper rifles.

GALAT'Z fitted with a 25 rounds magazine (left) and a 10 rounds magazine (right).

 

99SR


In the late 1990's, IMI unveiled a modernized version of the GALAT'Z, referred to as the 99 Sniper Rifle (99SR). Most of the 99SR new features were ergonomics in nature, including a pistol grip with a hand stop rest and a fully adjustable carbon fiber folding stock with a cheek piece, a butt plate and a rear support leg.

The standard day optic of the 99SR remained the El-Op Nimrod 6x40, same as with the GALAT'Z, but it was also offered with the Leopold M4. The 99SR new lightweight carbon fiber stock was responsible for its primary advantage over the GALAT'Z – a considerable weight reeducation. Combat ready, with a loaded 25 rounds magazine, it weighted just 6.9 kg compared with 8.2 kg of the original GALAT'Z. Length measures were the same as the GALAT'Z. The 99SR barrel was similar to the GALAT'Z but featured a redesigned muzzle break acting as a compensator, which improved rapid-fire precision during follow-up shots.

99SR - left view, right view and its original brochure.

In the years that follow, IWI abandoned the 99SR designation and insteated offered its features as optional ad-ons for the original GALAT'Z platform. Today, the GALAT'Z can be ordered with numerous modifications according to the client's requirements, such as various stocks, optics, bipods, pistol grips, Picatinny rails interfaces, etc, including those originally featured in the 99SR.

 

Israeli Usage


While the GALAT'Z was never mass-procured by the IDF, few hundreds rifles were purchased by SF units, including both military and Law Enforcement units, and were used from the late 1980's until they were replaced by the SR25 in the early 2000's.

Interestingly, when the bolt-action M24 SWS replaced the semi-auto M14 in 1997, the GALAT'Z was available to fill the need for a semi-auto weapon. It witnessed a resurrection in its usage, was pulled out of storage and extensively deployed by many SF units as a Designated Marksman rifle until the introduction of the SR25 few years later.

Left - modern GALAT'Z fitted with a fully adjustable light weight stock, pistol grip with hand stop rest, bipod and rails; right - same weapon fitted with an Aquila X6 and a sound suppressor.

 

The GALAT'Z original soft carrying case containing two 25 rounds magazines, anti glare plastic scope cover (seen under the magazine well) and a cleaning kit.

 

The GALAT'Z flash hider including threads for the mounting of a sound suppressor.

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