LAS VEGAS — Israel Weapon Industries will release an updated version of the Galil rifle in the U.S. market this spring, a company official said.

Hagai Katz, a weapons instructor at IWI, demonstrated the new semi-automatic rifle known as the Galil ACE this week at a gun range north of Las Vegas as part of the opening day of SHOT Show.

Based on the original Galil assault rifle developed in the 1960s, the updated version still draws inspiration from the Russian AK-47 and the Finnish Valmet RK 62, but is modernized with a lower receiver made out of a high-strength polymer to reduce weight, a 360-degree Picatinny rail for accessories, ambidextrous safety levers, adjustable buttstock and adjustable iron sights.

“The Galil ACE is actually a modernized Galil assault rifle,” Katz said. “We made it efficient and much more relevant for today’s modern warfare. Today’s modern battlefield includes [close quarter battle]. You need to be faster than the enemy. You need to be more efficient. You need to be accurate. That’s what you have in this rifle.”

The weapon features a 16-inch barrel and accepts any standard AK-47 magazine to shoot 7.62mm X 39mm ammunition — a noticeable trend among new rifles in the U.S. market.

Katz didn’t specify a retail price, but said the Galil ACE would begin shipping in the second quarter of 2015, or beginning around April.

“The Galil ACE is being introduced to the US market in stages. First up in the Spring of 2015 are three variations in 7.62mm x 39mm; a pistol configuration with an 8.3-inch barrel (GAP39), the pistol with 8.3-inch barrel configured with the new IWI side folding Stabilizing Brace (GAP39SB) and a full length rifle with side folding adjustable buttstock and a 16-inch barrel (GAR39). All accept standard AK-47 type magazines.”

“Coming in late summer 2015 will be several variations in 7.62 NATO; a pistol configuration with an 11.8-inch barrel (GAP51), the pistol configured with an 11.8-inch barrel and side folding Stabilizing Brace (GAP51SB) and full length rifles with side folding adjustable buttstock and your choice of 16-inch (GAR1639), 18-inch (GAR1851) or 20-inch barrel (GAR2051). All accept a standard SR-25 type magazine.”

“Look for similar configurations in 5.56 NATO in early 2016. These will accept a standard AR-15/M16/STANAG magazine.”

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