Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 90

GUN LOCKER Gun Tests Product Reviews

Gilboa M43
When it comes to AR-pattern rifles
chambered in 7.62x39 mm and configured
to accept AK-pattern magazines, the M43
may be the best on the market.

On Target
Quite accurate for
7.62x39 mm

Off Target
Choose magazines carefully

Back when our current war heated up in the
Middle East, alternative chamberings for the AR-15/
M16 family on a mass-production scale were pretty
much a pipe dream. While trailblazers like JD Jones
(SSK Industries) were quietly developing functional
new AR cartridges for discreet customers, most
small-frame AR shooters were mired in making
.223 Rem./5.56 NATO work for all purposes. We live
in a far-different world today, as demand from
military, law enforcement and citizen shooters has
pushed the industry to offer a continually growing
number of AR chamberings and configurations.
The 7.62x39 mm chambering is one of the
alternative calibers that fits well into AR-15-size
firearms and continues to rise in popularity. The
cartridge is accurate in several factory expanding
and FMJ loads and enjoys an abundant supply of
ammunition in most places where sporting and
duty firearms exist. Silver Shadow of Israel-
licensing McKay Enterprises in Minnesota-
provides the newest 7.62x39-chambered AR to hit
our shores in the form of the Gilboa M43 carbine.
Magazine type has been one of the sticking
points with 7.62x39 mm in the AR platform-
purpose-built, AR-15-style mags in a standard AR
lower or AK-family magazines in a dedicated lower.
Each approach has its pros and cons, and examples
of both have trickled into the market. Considering
that Silver Shadow hails from a nation surrounded
on all sides by AK-toting hostiles trying to kill them
daily, the option of an AK-magazine compatible
lower receiver for the M43 is absolutely no surprise.
A 16-inch-barreled carbine is currently offered in
the U.S., but Silver Shadow's international website

90 | SHOOTINGILLUSTRATED.COM | 10.17

advertises 7-, 11- and 14.5-inch options, too. A 7-inch
pistol variant is scheduled to come to our shores
next, and the company also offers custom barrel
lengths. The chrome-lined, M4-contour barrel on
my test gun was set up with a carbine-length,
direct-impingement gas system. A beefy, railtopped, steel gas block is secured by two throughbolts. This attachment method is far more secure
than the tiny setscrews used in most low-profile AR
gas blocks today. The regulator sits in front of a
7.25-inch, KeyMod freefloat tube that has a keyslotted anti-rotation interface with the upper, HK416style. Another pair of through-bolts tightens the
fore-end around the barrel nut, with two setscrews
at 6-o'clock providing further incentive for the
fore-end to remain in place. It is a very secure setup.
The gun's muzzle is fronted with a ported brake
that has aggressive teeth on the front face. No sights
were included with my test gun, but the gas block's
1.9-inch top rail makes mounting steel or aluminum
sights an easy task. A full-length freefloat top rail
provides additional real estate for optics and/or
ancillary devices. The rest of the upper is standard
for a flattop, small-frame AR, but the lower departs
in a couple of key areas. The magazine well is cut at
a sharp angle for AK mags and there is no bolt
hold-open device on the left side of the rifle. A wide,
paddle-style ambidextrous magazine release is
located inside the front edge of an extended trigger
guard. The M43 uses standard AR furniture, so
finding what you like is easy. My test rifle was
outfitted with a mil-spec-diameter Magpul CTR
collapsible stock and MOE pistol grip.
A full-length bolt carrier resides inside the M43,
along with an H1 buffer and a barrel extension with
a single, wide feed ramp to aid feeding of the
stubby 7.62x39 mm cartridges. The trigger pull on
my test rifle measured a reasonable 5.75 pounds and


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Illustrated - October 2017

Contents
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - Cover1
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - Cover2
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 1
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - Contents
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 3
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 4
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 5
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 6
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 7
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 8
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 9
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 10
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 11
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 12
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 13
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 14
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 15
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 16
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 17
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 18
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 19
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 20
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 21
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 22
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 23
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 24
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 25
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 26
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 27
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 28
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Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 36
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 37
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 38
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Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 43
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Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 97
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - C1
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - C2
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - E1
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - E2
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - MW1
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - MW2
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - S1
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - S2
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - SW1
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - SW2
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - W1
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - W2
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 100
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 101
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 102
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 103
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 104
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 105
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Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 107
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - 108
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - Cover3
Shooting Illustrated - October 2017 - Cover4
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