• Build Notes
    • Bent Gas Tube
    • Damaged Charging Handle
    • Loose Rear Stock
    • Custom Extended Brake
    • Cut-down gas block
    • Receiver Mods
    • SAR Piston
    • SAR Barrel Profile
  • Barrel Notes
  • Parts and Info


Build Notes

My Galil build project and info.  I started with an ARM kit, which is the bipod model with a longer barrel.  Purchased the kit in late 2004.  Goal is to build it into a SAR configuration.

Current progress:

Remaining items:

Brake vent holes; gas tube bleed holes; piston ring vent slots; handguard; magazine retainer spring (old one worn out); paint job


The kit is pretty beat up, and has a surprising amount of gunk all over the parts, as if someone tried to preserve it with old engine oil and mud.  It took quite a bit of work to clean it up.  There was water and mud? in the tubes of the buttstock.



I am building it into a SAR profile, which is an ARM without the bipod and a shorter barrel... 13-13.5".  This will obviously need a short piston and an extended muzzle brake to ensure 16" barrel length.  I made a copy of the longer factory brake based on Buddy Hinton's collection pics... being a 3.25" brake, it will be permanently attached for a 16+" barrel length.  Actually measures to 16.25"

I've faced several challenges in this so far...

Bent Gas Tube

My tube had a dimple that caused the piston to hang.  I discovered a Craftsman 3/8" socket fits down the tube just enough to "hammer out" the dimple.  Fixed!


Damaged Charging Handle

The handle was beat up pretty bad, beyond repair.  They are silver soldered in place.  I removed the old one and made a new one using the same dimensions... I used a round hole vs square which was easier to build and took a little more silver solder to attach.  Just knurled a piece of a bolt shank, cut the outside to the proper shape, and drilled out the middle.


Loose Rear Stock

Mine wobbled really bad, in every position.  It had already been repaired once before!  The original repair was made in two parts - first by a bead spot welded onto the front of the stock, and next a spot weld onto the actual hinge mechanism itself where someone had let the spring move the hinge into the open position.  This "slap action" caused the hinge to wear on the corner, much like when you wrench slips off of a nut and galls the corner. 


I repeated the repair on the hinge by spot welding a bead onto the hinge so that it no longer wobbles when folded, nor does it smack the receiver. 

The mating locking tabs were loose, causing the stock to wobble when extended.  Almost as if someone had leaned hard on the buttstock, causing the lock to open up somewhat.  I had to bend the two lock pieces closer together to eliminate the wobble by using the 12-ton press to bend the pieces closer to each other.  The process was VERY risky since the pieces are made of such hard steel that I risked breaking the lugs and ruining the hinge.  If I had to do it again, I would probably heat the pieces to soften them were I to do this to someone else's parts. 

Here you can see the spot welds I made on the hinge itself.  If you look closely at the top left you can see where the original spot weld repair was made between the hinge block and the buttstock tube retainer:


Even after repair, the hinge pin is still too loose and there's still a slight amount of wobble.  Less than you'd see on an AR stock, but still there.  I can't feel it when I shoulder the rifle, I can only feel it when I set it down on the table and try to wiggle the parts.  I believe this was built loose on purpose to allow for operation in dirty conditions.  I may build a thicker hinge pin (as others have done on the Uzitalk forum) to take up this remaining slack.


Custom Extended Brake

Home-built extended SAR brake modelled after pics from Buddy Hinton's collection.  Not done yet - still need to drill the vent holes.  Since this will be permanently attached, I'm going to press it on and blind pin it in place... no need for threads on a permanently attached brake!  Made the entire process faster and easier!  Final length after blind pinning = 16.25"



Cut-down gas block

From AR to SAR format.  Just removed some off of the front.  There was no bayonet lug on my kit and I'm not planning to add one since certain SAR variations don't have them either.  Notably the S. African R5 variations often do not have a bayonet lug.  I drilled a new hole for the front retainer pin


Receiver Mods


Radius Cuts

Bullet Guide

Magazine Retainer

Trigger Guard


SAR Piston

Dimensions courtesy of a sticky on theakforum and from various posts on the Uzitalk Galil forum:  SAR piston 4.33" length from tip to start of threads; all other dimensions identical to AR/ARM piston


SAR Barrel Profile

The question here was where to start since I didn't have official dimensions?  The best approach I could map out was to start with the piston and build from there.  The location of the gas block depends directly on the piston length, and of course the barrel profile is altered for the relocated gas block as well as the gas tube.

Taking the original AR parts, and the fact that the piston dimensions are the same EXCEPT for length, I was able to eyeball the original location of the parts to get a reference.  The original location has these reference points on the piston:

     Location on the gas tube:

The piston reaches just slightly shorter than the start of the barrel journal.  "Up to 1mm but not more" was the best I could determine.

The basic location being known, I used the SAR piston to map the location of the journal to be approximately 1.192" shorter.  I cut it back 1.2" which gave me a little extra room to work:

By measuring with the SAR piston, the journal begins at 7.9125"

Journal size remains consistent with original.  After I took this photo, I cut the original journal area in front of the SAR gas block down an extra .001" smaller to make pressing the gas block easier. 


The gas port and gas tube was measured from there.  For the gas port I cut it vertical to avoid shaving the jackets.  I can clean it with a stiff wire no problem due to the large size of the hole in the gas block.

The gas tube can be cut with a pipe cutter or on the lathe, and the inside bevel (that mates to the gas block) can be cut with a dremel.  Just needs to be thinner to mate properly.  Of course the bleed holes are still the same dimensions as the original.



1. I started with a brand-new uncut IMI ARM barrel.  I quickly discovered the IMI barrel was not concentric in every section!  The front-most section between the gas block and the threads was NOT concentric with the rest of the barrel.  A word of caution - be aware of this and plan to chuck the CHAMBER end into the jaws of the lathe to ensure concentricity of the final cuts! 

2. A note - be sure to tighten the barrel into the receiver BEFORE making measurements!  Hand tight vs. wrench tight will move the barrel a surprising amount - for mine it was nearly from the 12:00 top dead center hand tight to nearly the 2:00 position wrench tight!  Thus, if you were to drill the gas port with a hand-tight barrel, it will NOT time correctly to 12:00 TDC! 

3. HEADSPACE BEFORE MAKING MEASUREMENTS!  Do this for the previously mentioned timing issue.  Nothing would be worse than making all the cuts only to find headspace is off. 



Parts and Info

AR magazine adapters.  These are available for about $50 last I heard.  If you look on some of the gun forums you can find them there.  Offhand, I'd say it would be awful easy to mill one out of a block of aluminum...



The one and only receiver stub I removed was set into place with loctite.  Note the way I protected the threads, and the cheater bar I used to finally get it to move:



Various pics of Galil and Galil variations:


Estonian soldier in Iraq    




13" barrel, shorter gas piston and tube, gas block with relocated bayonet lug to allow use with shorter barrel - not present on all models. 




       Sako RK-95 - 7.62x39:     

Scope Mount

Galil receiver has a recessed rail mount to fit a cantilevered dovetail for assorted scope options, the factory mounts allowing for STANAG scopes.



AR Magazine Adapter


South African Models - R4, R5 and R6



Prototype model (Swedish?)


Muzzle Brakes


Aftermarket US-built extended brake:     Valmet brake:




2-part safety (with forward-to-fire lever)

Note the dual-pin setup that allows the safety lever to work in this manner.


US-built furniture:

Galils in Mexico