Okay, already. I
confess! So sue me. I have a love relationship with Israeli guns. I
mean, how many ways can you say, "I
will kill you, blow you up"
in Hebrew? From the way
cool Uzi to that .22 full-auto machinegun that punched holes through
CMU block - allowing Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to walk through
walls at Entebbe - they're all
good. Unless you're on the receiving end of all that lead. But
there's an easy formula for avoiding Israel's wrath. Don't lob
rockets on kibbutzim or Israeli cities. It was the summer of 1978.
It was balmy night, as I sat placidly on a grassy knoll in northern
Israel, Kibbutz Gonen, chatting it up with kids from every continent,
nary a problem in the world, at the end of a long backpack trip. We
were enjoying our chat and Gonen's hospitality, as I commented on the
lightning flashes and booming thunder in the northern sky. The
kibbutzniks, great kids, chuckled.
"That's Lebanon," they chided. "So,"
I replied? "In Texas, we'd call that a real frog-strangler."
"No, you don't get it," one cute, curly
haired Jewess continued. "That's not rain, it's artillery!"
Six years before, in
the employ of Uncle Sam, I had trained alongside the IDF in the
deserts of the United States Southwest - one of those preparatory
exercises to get U.S. armor ready - just
There in the heat and sand, I came face to face - for
the first time - with Israeli grit and resolve.
Man, they're good - everything they're chalked up
to be. Reminds me of ROK troops.
I would rather step on a 6-foot rattler or a grizzly
bear than piss off an IDF or ROK soldier.
But back to Israeli guns - namely the Israeli
Military Industries (IMI), Ltd. Galil assault rifle.
Yisrael Galili and Yaacov Lior designed this rifle
about the time I was training in the desert.
This gas-operated, rotating bolt gun drew inspiration
from the AK-47 and the M1 Garand, great bloodlines. It is chambered
for both 5.56x45mm NATO and 7.62x51mm NATO. Precisely why, working on
the kibbutz in 1978, I ran across rounds everywhere, in drawers I
opened - .223 and .308. When asked, my settler-soldier pals
explained, "In case of an attack, we might have to reload."
Terrorists take note: Don't attack Israeli settlements.
Despite their calm appearance, they're well defended. And it's just
not nice to shoot up all those innocent men, women and children.
With its tubular metal stock extended, the Galil
(Standard Assault Rifle, 5.56mm version) measures roughly 38 inches,
29 inches with its stock folded. It weighs slightly more than 8 1/2
pounds. And it packs a wallop at upwards of 750 rounds per minute at
about 3,000 fps muzzle velocity.
The Galil is good to go out to 500 meters, using a
hooded post front and flip-up rear sights.
And with spare magazines - the Galil (SAR in
5.56mm) 35-round, 50-round detachable box magazine or the 7.62mm
version's 25-round mags, it's not likely the IDF is going to run out