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Old August 22, 2019, 10:50   #1
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For those interested in ATI Galeo rifles

They are nice rifles - and run well with the supplied Tapco 30rd polymer Galil mags. But if you want to run surplus IMI 35rd steel Galil mags you may run into a problem or two. Here's my experience with a new ATI Galeo rifle.

I've had issues with surplus mags. I have some that will work. In all cases in the mags that work the bottom edge of the mag reinforcing plate on the side of the mag will be parallel with the contour of the receiver. The mags that won't work are at a slight angle (more of the plate is visible below the line of the receiver) - towards the back. So basically the backs of these mags are lower in the receiver and the bolt over rides the rounds. So I can basically tell visually which mags will work and which won't - by the degree to which the mag reinforcing side plates are parallel to the receiver.

I suspect that the problem lies with the cut of the ATI receiver on the back edge of the mag well - in that it may not be cut deep enough to allow the back edge of the surplus mag to swing up into the receiver far enough for the bolt to pick up a round. It seems that the radius cut in the back two corners of the magwell interferes with the back corners of the mag.

BEFORE I touch the receiver I tried to take a little metal off the back edge of one of the mags that sits too low - in order to see if I can get it to ride higher in the mag well.

I went into my shop area with one of the mags that wouldn't feed a round - where the bolt would over ride the cartridge - a mag whose bottom of the side plate on the mag was not parallel to the receiver on the ejection port side. I took a file - and worked the back side of the mag - above the locking lug. I took some material off the back and and rounded the back edge corners. In addition I filed some material off the TOP flat surface of the magazine's rear locking lug - the TOP. The more material you take off the TOP of the mag lug the higher the mag will ride (at the rear) into the mag well. The mag seemed to insert deeper into the mag well - the side plate was more parallel to the receiver than it had been - it was more like the other mags that I found that would cycle properly in the rifle. I loaded three dummy rounds in the mag and they all cycled and ejected properly. The proof the pudding of course will be to see if it works properly at the range - but that's for another day. So I basically took a surplus mag that would not cycle rounds and turned it around with a little filing - particularly on the TOP flat of the mags rear lug (the more you remove the higher the mag will insert). Make sure you are judicious in filing the lug - don't go off the deep end.

I think this confirms my opinion that the back edge of the mag well of the ATI receiver is not cut deep enough to allow surplus mags to swing back and in/up into the mag well. I will eventually "dress" the back radius cuts on the receivers magwell.

Day two of trying to figure this out.

Still experiencing some intermittent problems. Again the fundamental problem is that the rear of the mag is sitting too low in the magwell and the bolt is overriding the cartridges - sometimes crushing it at the shoulder.

So I stripped the rifle down and compared it to a factory IMI Galil that I have that runs perfectly. I also compared it to a cut IMI Galil receiver piece that I have in a parts kit (with the trigger guard and mag release assembly still attached). The one measurement that sticks out like a sore thumb is that on the Galil and the receiver piece from the parts kit the thickness of the receiver at the bottom rear of the magwell is 1/8" (4/32"). The thickness of the receiver on the Galeo is 5/32". The Galeo receiver in this area is 1/32" thicker (.03125"). So the net effect is that it is keeping mags lower (from the bolt) by at least 1/32" - because the rear lug on the mag keeps the rear of mag lower because of this extra thickness.

Day three of trying to figure this out.

At least with my rifle I have this figured out. I took two EXEC to LIKE NEW IMI 35rd surplus mags (that I bought from Numrich for $23 each) and modified the top of the mag's rear locking lug by filing (machining) 1/16" of the lug's thickness off. The measurement of the lug's thickness was done at the tip - which is a little tricky because of the lugs underside taper. But nominally a new mag's lug measures 1/8" (at the tip). So I reduced the lug's thickness in half (by filing from the top down).

So both of these mags now sit 1/16" higher into the mag well (because the top of the lug is not restricting it - the restriction has been reduced by 1/16". The mags fit looser (much like Tapco mags fit - a little loose at the back). They reliably dry cycle 5 dummy cartridges in a cycling sequencing. The rifle still needs to go to the range.

This is clearly an interim (although workable) fix for those of us who want to use IMI 35 rd steel surplus mags. However, the proper/correct fix would be to remove the mag catch assembly from the bottom of the receiver (removing the four rivets that hold it in place), machining material from the bottom of the receiver and then reattaching the mag catch assembly to the receiver with rivets or machine screws. This would have the effect of raising the back of the mag to the correct height - while retaining the proper relationship between the top of the mag catch lever and the underside of the mag lug. With this fix you would no longer need to file on the back of the mag lug in order to get IMI 35rd mags to work

So if you buy an ATI Galeo you may or may not encounter this problem - but at least (if you read this) you will be prepared for it

THE FIX: (After four days of fiddling with this) I even contacted Mark Graham with the idea of sending it to him. But after thinking about it I realized that I didn't want to go to that expense or trouble for what is basically a plinker/shooter. If I had the problem with a real Galil that would be another story. I just did not want to put another dime in this rifle.

So I mustered up the courage and went full bore this morning. I got out the one tool that BUBBA can't live without - the Dremel. And after summoning up the courage I cut a little notch in the underside of the receiver at the back of the mag well - the area where the rear mag lug engages the underside of the receiver. I went to work - and relieved the area. See the photo. I touched it up with a little cold blue - and voila! I can now insert surplus IMI 35rd steel mags - and get THEM to reliably dry cycle dummy rounds. I do not have to file down the top of the rear mag lugs. The tops of the mags are virtually touching the underside of the rails inside the receiver. The rifle now cycles dummy rounds reliably and without exception - with any comparable IMI mag inserted into the rifle - something that it RARELY did before I started out with a determination to find a solution.

Tapco mags function just as before - but now I have a pretty good expectation that surplus mags will function just fine when I get to the range. The bolt no longer over rides the mag!
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Last edited by ServiceRifle; August 23, 2019 at 11:16.
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Old August 22, 2019, 11:30   #2
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This is why I passed on picking one up. Thank you for the insight on your troubleshooting!

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Old August 23, 2019, 08:14   #3
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That is too bad that the manufacturer wasn't paying enough attention to a important detail. Being limited to a Tapco mag isn't exactly what most folks are interested in. Modifying standard mags isn't appealing. I don't see people wanting to hack up a 50 round mag either.
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Old August 23, 2019, 08:17   #4
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I assumed that there would be an issue or two with the ATI Galils when they were announced, unfortunately
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Old August 23, 2019, 08:21   #5
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In fitting a mag on an AK type, the rear of the mag should be in contact with underside of rails.

Then the mag catch is adjusted to allow no more than 0.5mm vertical movement of the mag when latched.

You are probably on the right track, that the mag well is not long enough. On a milled AK this is adjusted by the selector stop plate. Galil doesn't have one.
T. Mark Graham, Master Gunsmith
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Old August 26, 2019, 18:45   #6
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Much to Classic Firearms credit they posted my review of the ATI Galeo (un-edited and with photo)
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Old August 27, 2019, 09:19   #7
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I see these out of stock all over, Atlantic for instance seemed to sell out quickly. Hopefully ATI will take note of that issue with the surplus mags and correct the issue.
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Old September 05, 2019, 14:42   #8
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I am still trying to pick one of these up. I had one backorderd at Brownells for over two months and they never came in stock.

Everywhere on is showing out of stock as well.
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Old September 05, 2019, 18:23   #9
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These people say they're in stock.

But I wouldn't believe it till I spoke with some one over there.
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