Israeli 7.62x39mm Gilboa M43 coming to U.S. market
The 7.62x39mm Gilboa M43 rifle will soon be coming to the U.S. civilian market, and the American company manufacturing it is currently take pre-orders through McKay Industries. The Gilboa M43 is a 7.62x39mm AR, very similar to the CMMG Mk47 Mutant but with a number of differences. Visually there is a magazine well present on the M43 that isn’t on the Mk47, in addition the M43 has a shorter rail system that connects to the large gas block. There is also a short barrel version of the M43 that would most doubtably be their SBR if it were brought to the U.S.. However currently only the 37 inch length rifle will be introduced. The designation M43 probably comes from the original Soviet designation of the 7.62x39mm M43 cartridge when it was first introduced.
There are currently two well put together reviews of the rifle as it is coming to the U.S. market, one from RangeHot and another from Sootch00-
RangeHot has what appears to be a well written conclusion statement-
It is a smart move to own a rifle in 7.62×39. Not only is it a solid mid range performer, it is one of the most popular cartridges on the planet. Though the costs have gone up on that round, it can still be had for cheap as compared to most all other rifle cartridges. There are a few options for rifles in that caliber but the vast majority are AK or SKS pattern rifles. Though there is nothing wrong with either of those platforms, many prefer the AR style rifles. Now your options begin to narrow, enter the Gilboa M43. The M43 is an Israeli military designed American built combat rifle, so out of the gate it has a nice pedigree. My first test was to compare it directly to the CMMG Mutant, by including the expertise of a retired Sergeant Major from the USMC, a man who knows a bit about combat rifles.
The M43 definitely felt lighter and shouldered easier with the smaller handguard. The biggest advantage of the M43 Gilboa was the drastic angle cut of the magazine well, making it much easier to seat the AK magazines. If you make a mistake with the CMMG and get the rear magazine lug locked and not the front, the gun is tied up. With the drastic cut on the M43 it was more intuitive and smoother to lock the magazine in. The M43 handguards do not wrap over the gas block, which helps keep the handguard smaller and easier to get a solid grip on. So, if you run an aggressive forward grip on your support hand you have to be mindful to keep your fingers off the gas block during extended shooting as it does warm up.
The gas block is fixed with threaded fasteners but has provisions to drill and pin it if you so desire. Through the 350+ rounds downrange the Gilboa did not give any trouble and accuracy was acceptable at 100 yards using iron sights and cheap steel cased ammunition. All in all, I am satisfied with how this rifle ran and with a few minor things I did not care for none were deal breakers. These things being my opinion and others they may not be an issue. All of the parts are military standard compliant and undergo strict quality control inspections.
You might also be familiar with the Gilboa name as the Israeli manufacturer of AR15 rifles, in addition to the Corner Shot system, and the infamous Gilboa double barreled AR. The Gilboa name is sort of a misnomer because it is a registered trademark of the company. However, another Israeli company, Silver Shadow does the actual manufacturing of their products. Welcome the M43, and Silver Shadow has partnered with Mckay Industries out of Minnesota to have it manufactured here in the United States. This probably means only a few of the import compliant parts are being made in Minnesota while the other parts that don’t need to be compliant are shipped over from Israel.