Vektor H5: Pump Action Adaptation of the South African Galil

The H5 is a pump-action conversion of the South African R4/R5 Galil rifles, developed by Vektor in the early 1990s. It was fairly difficult at that time to get a permit for a semiautomatic rifle in South Africa, but manually operated rifles were much less strictly regulated – so the H5 was introduced to sell to the civilian market. It was found to be quite popular with private security firms, and so a second version was introduced for them, with a pistol grip, folding stock, and black furniture in place of the original wood. Three barrel lengths were offered between the two models, a long sporting barrel and two shorter ones equal to the R4 and R5 barrels.

The rifle is designed to keep as many standard Galil parts as possible for economic manufacture, but the whole gas system was omitted. This necessitated a new top cover, new safety, and obviously a new front handguard which would work as a pump handle. No iron sights were put on them, instead they have a scope rail fixed to the top cover and were shipped with 4×32 inexpensive scopes.

With the clarification of South African gun laws around 2000, semiautomatic rifle permits actually became substantially simpler to acquire, and the market for the H5 pretty much disappeared.

Many thanks to the private collector who provided me access to these two examples to bring to you!


  1. No iron sights? That’s a great way to not have your weapon zeroed if you can’t properly align a scope. But I could be wrong. And I assume you can’t slam fire this weapon.

  2. Troy makes an assortment of manually operated AR’s.
    I assume there’s enough demand for them in restricted states/countries, as there’s other companies making various manual conversions. I guess people will try to get around nonsense laws – like using bullet buttons & lever-release triggers.
    Troy’s pumps feature a bolt lock, but the H5’s auto trip lever seems to serve only as a disconnector.
    Some have expressed concern over this type of rifle’s extraction, but I’ve never heard anyone complain about the Remington 7600.

    • “Remington 7600”
      This weapon from very beginning was designed as pump-action. I do not know it well enough, but I suspect that it might have some leverage system inside i.e. velocity of movement of spent case is NOT equal to velocity of “pump”.
      In H5 case I presume these velocities are equal and thus when velocity of ejected is smaller than in true Galil (unless you pump 600 or so times per minute), so it might be true that Galil is more resistant to extreme conditions and while H5 less so, it is still good enough.

      • I understand the 7600 to be loosely based on their 870 shotguns. It does not appear to have an accelerator. The original 760 had interrupted thread bolt lugs & the newer 7600’s have slightly angled lugs as well.
        I would think the camming action of angled lugs would aid in initial extraction over the rearward movement of the pump just rotating the bolt and having to force the round out of the chamber.
        I’ve watched some videos on youtube about the Troy rifles since posting my comment. They seem to run fine, but have fluted chambers to ease extraction.

  3. Mr. Picky demands that I point out that the rail on that rifle isn’t a Picatinny; it’s a Weaver sight base. At the time they produced these, the Picatinny wasn’t even a standard.

    That sight base looks just like the standard Weaver we used to slap on top of just about every sporting rifle the family owned, and I’d bet money that’s precisely what it is–A Weaver product. Or, a South African copy of same.

    Looking at these, you have to wonder why something like this was never developed as an alternative to the bolt-action rifles of the late 19th-early 20th Centuries. Surely producing a rifle on these lines wasn’t impossible, and yet… They never did it. Hell, even if you turned it into a straight-pull action, and just let the spring do the work of returning the bolt to battery, you’d be half-way there.

    Seems like the Swiss K-31 or even the early K-11 could have benefited from a return spring. Was such a thing ever tried, I wonder?

    • And suppose someone were loading cartridges from a clip into the K31 magazine? The hypothetical return spring would get in the way unless there was a bolt-lock to hold the bolt back. Don’t give me the detachable magazine work-around, the Swiss magazines for the K31 are freakishly expensive and not considered disposable! By the way, changing magazines on a K31 takes more time than loading a clip. I could be wrong.

      • Yes, Swiss charger clip are really quick once you have practiced the thumb flick. Far quicker than changing mag.
        By the way, the magazine is serialized to the rifle.
        Even if K31 magazine follower do not allow the bolt to close when empty, some form of manual bolt release is needed if you value your fingers.
        But I doubt K31 action will close reliably from spring pressure. A vigourous push is required to fully close the bolt, otherwise a click will result.

        • You have certainly good point about saving one’s fingers during clip loading. This is unsuitable concept for K31, starting with the fact that you’d be opening action against force of spring. The extraction resistance is enough to handle.

  4. These would still have a market in Australia as pump action centrefire rifles are relatively easy to get, semi auto next to impossible.
    Sadly they are specifically banned for import here after around 20 were imported.The ones that made it in are legal, and sell for big money whenever one surfaces for sale.

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