Today we are looking at – and shooting – a one of a kind .22 rimfire conversion kit for the Galil developed by South African designer Tony Neophytou (better known for the Neostead shotgun, Neopup grenade launcher, and NTW-20 anti-material rifle). The idea here is to convert a standard R4 Galil service rifle to .22 Long Rifle for reduced training cost and easy use at small or indoor ranges. Most conversions like this are either simple blowback or a take on the Williams floating chamber idea, but Neophytou chose to use a little gas piston system instead.
The advantage of this design of conversion kit is that it retains the exact same handling as the parent rifle. The hammer and trigger are unchanged, so the trigger pull is identical. The original mainspring is used, and while the bolt carrier is replaced, the .22 version has a charging handle identical to the standard pattern. The magazines in .22 is simply a 10-round insert fitted into a regular Galil magazine.
What is particularly remarkable is looking at the frankly terrible design of .22 conversion that was ultimately adopted by the South African army…this design was rejected for political and bureaucratic reasons, and the one shown here is the only example ever made.