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Posted: 2/11/2007 8:46:22 PM EST
I've posted this elsewhere, but I thought this might be of interest to some of you.
My BIL, having run around with a Galil for a while and wanting to add it to his collection now, decided to go with a build route. He bought the Ohio Rapid Fire receiver, a kit from Military Gun Supply, trigger parts from Tapco and found a smith within an hour of his house. Last weekend we picked up my BIL's Galil from the smith. Here's the rundown of cost:
Ohio Rapid Fire receiver - $360 shipped
Century kit, bought from MGS - $290 shipped
Tapco AK trigger group (for compliance) - $42
Hickman Rifles build (included parkerizing) - $200
Total - $892.
Details: The kit looked pretty well used. Parts had barely any finish left of them and the only thing that looked decent was the barrel, which was new. The barrel, IIRC, is made by Green Mountain and came in the raw finish and without even the gas port drilled. It was, however threaded for a flash hider. The ORF receiver was also in the raw and looked well made when my BIL received it. The Tapco trigger group was purchased for parts compliance, besides, it's a very nice trigger.
Hickman Rifles in Colorado Springs did the build. One of the smiths there was building a Galil for himself as well, with the exact same parts. They cleaned up refinished the original parts the best they could. I wish I would've taken photos of the unfished kit, before we took it down to their shop. The finish nicely matches on the barrel, receiver and the original parts. The Israeli mags also fit perfectly - they go in easy, but once in are solid as a rock. The whole build, including test-firing afterwards, took two weeks for them to complete.

Here're the photos:

The whole rifle:

Typical AK right-side safety, improved charging handle, paddle mag release.

Left side of the weapon. Addition of the thumb safety, but for American shooters it's reversed, since thumbing it forward is "Safe", while pushing it backward is "Fire", but such is the AK mechanism.

Closeup of the receiver:

Range report:

Took the above rifle to the range on Saturday and test fired it with variety of ammo at 50 and 100 yards.
Ammo used: SA surplus, Brit surplus, commercial PMC 55gr, and Wolf polymer 55gr. Magazines used: Israeli manufactured steel mags that were made for the SA R4 contract. Malfunctions - ZERO*.
All ammo and all mags ran like perfectly and without any hicups. Accuracy was pretty good for an AK-type weapon, especially considering the fodder we fed it - about 2.0-2.5" @50 yards and about 3.5-4.0" @100 yards, all using iron sights. In all, we fired 350 rounds (ten mags), and as the weapon heated up, the POI remained the same and accuracy didn't really degrade, despite the thinner barrel.

*Note on reliability. Like already mentioned, the weapon was 100% with Galil mags. My BIL, in his wisdom decided to also buy an AR magazine adapter for it. It's basically a mag well within the mag well. The adapter is inserted like the AK mag and has the built in mag catch for the AR-type mag. In theory it works great and the adapter was inserted without a problem, but the problems came after we tried to run couple USGI mags through it. The first one was a Vietnam-era 20-round Colt mag, which runs perfectly in my AR. The mag apparently does not seat up far enough and the bolt failed to strip the top round out. With the D&H 30-rounder the result was identical. So, if any of you want to build or buy a Galil, stick with original magazines, plus the damn adapter looks GHEY!
Link Posted: 2/14/2007 3:35:33 AM EST
Looks great and you can't beat the price
Link Posted: 2/15/2007 7:35:41 AM EST
Looks good. Thanx for the info on the adapter as I was considering one. They may work well for others but I would rather just spend the extra $$$ for the proper mags and avoid any problems.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 6:59:57 AM EST
Thanks for the review. I was thinking of getting all the stuff together and having
someone local build it for me. It looks like Hickman Rifles did a good job. How
bcked up were they? Thats seems like a pretty quick turnaround time for getting
it built or was it just an opportune time when you had them do it?
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 9:40:38 AM EST
They were not really backed up. They've got a pretty decent sized shop. Originally, when we dropped off the parts, they said it would take under a month. My BIL got a call two weeks later that the rifle was ready to be picked up.
Link Posted: 2/17/2007 7:12:34 AM EST
Can you PM me a number for Hickman Rifles? I live in the Springs, and didn't know there was a local place that would build these up... you've rekindled a fire that's been burning for quite some tmie now.
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 10:36:41 AM EST
I just talked to ORF. I'm interested in one of their AR rifles.

They mentioned that the receiver was not made for the mag adapter. They are
making receivers that will fit it though.

I'm going to wait and see.
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