Double-barrel Gilboa Snake DBR assault rifle created for the Israeli special forces
PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – The Gilboa Snake double-barreled automatic rifle was created in Israel by Silver Shadow. The designer of this unusual sample of small arms was Amos Golan, who had already gained fame as the Cornershot system developer.
The main idea in developing a new machine gun was to increase the likelihood of hitting the enemy in the face of a strict time limit for opening fire by sending two bullets to the target at once. This concept was not new. This idea has previously tested in the United States under SPIW and the USSR, where Korobov designed a three-barreled machine gun. At the same time, none of the samples of multi-barreled machines has ever been mass-produced.
The Gilboa Snake assault rifle was presented to the general public at the Eurosatory-2012 arms exhibition in Paris. The Silver Shadow company introduced one of the most spectacular and unusual novelties at that exhibition – a pair of two 5.56×45 mm assault rifles. This development is part of the Gilboa rifle family, based on the American M16 / AR-15. This Israeli company’s solid reputation suggests that the presented model is not an ordinary publicity stunt to attract the attention of customers, but an exceptionally thoughtful development of small arms that can significantly increase the firepower of assault units and special forces.
The Israeli arms company Silver Shadow currently produces two families of small arms models: the Timna sniper weapon system [a product of deep modernization of the Galil sniper rifle] and the Gilboa assault rifle family. According to the Israeli tradition, the names of these weapons of weapons are associating with places from the Bible. So, Timna is the name of the valley in which the famous mines of King Solomon were located, and Gilboa is the name of the mountainous area, which was cursed by King David after a cruel defeat from the Philistines. During the British Mandate and the 1947-1949 war, the Gilboa Mountains were one of the main bases of Arab terrorists who carried out attacks on Jewish settlements. The name of the Gilboa assault rifle family is a tribute and reminder of many battles on the sacred land. The double-barreled “snake” retained this memory in its name.
Since 1967, the Israeli armed forces have been using the American M16 assault rifles and carbines created on their basis [originally the CAR-15, and then the M4]. Since 1992, the M16 became the foremost standard armament of the IDF infantry and special forces. And although the Israeli arms company IMI almost immediately began to create its own Israeli TAR-21 Tavor rifle. However, the refinement of this small arms model was delayed, the first samples started to enter the troops only in 2006, and the deliveries were carried out rather slowly. At the same time, the United States supplied Israel with its small arms under the FMS – US financial assistance – at reduced prices. The M16 automatic rifles and their variants will most likely be used for a long time by the Israeli army and the unique services of this country. That is why many companies in Israel specialize in modernization, tuning, the supply of spare parts and accessories for American rifles of the M16 / AR-15 family.
The Gilboa Snake automatic rifle uses 5.56×45 mm ammunition. The use of two 241 mm barrels makes the weapon, not the easiest but acceptable. Without magazines, the gun weighs 4.27 kg. A long Picatinny rail is installing on the Gilboa Snake receiver, which allows you to install a variety of “attachments” on the weapon, for example, optical, collimator, and night sights. Removable mechanical folding sighting devices can be installed on the same bar. The perforated plastic forend also has Picatinny rails on the bottom and sides. The manufacturer could equip Gilboa with an additional front handle, tactical lights, bipods, or laser designators. At the same time, the model has a telescopic adjustable butt, as well as an ergonomic pistol grip for fire control. The double-barreled machine is powered from standard double box magazines, each holding 30 rounds. The spent cartridges extract in both directions. The firing mechanism, automation, and locking, and other mechanisms and assemblies in general, do not differ much from different clones of the AR-15 rifle.
The Gilboa Snake double-barreled automatic rifle is based on a shortened version of the Gilboa Commando assault rifle. It is distinguished by the presence of an extended receiver, which is made of 7075-T6 aluminum alloy. This is a solid aviation alloy created by the Japanese before World War II and was used to create the famous Zero fighters. The receiver is connected to 2 barrels, which are located parallel to each other. The barrels’ distance is 30 mm—the Gilboa Snake automatic rifle fires from an open bolt.
Izrael presented the rifle in two versions – military and civil. In the military version, the trigger has one trigger, which allows firing two rounds – “doublet” [one shot from each barrel at the moment the trigger is pressed] or to fire automatically from two barrels simultaneously. In the civilian version, both barrels of the weapon are already wholly independent; each barrel has its trigger and gas vent mechanism. Simultaneously, the return springs of the bolts are located in the upper part of the receiver of the weapon, which makes it possible to use full-fledged folding butts on Gilboa Snake assault rifles.
A single USM [firing mechanism] controls fire from both barrels in the military version, which alternately ignites the cartridge primers in the barrel chambers. For this reason, the bullets leave the barrels of the machine not simultaneously but sequentially one after the other, but with a minimal, fixed time delay. Initially, the shot is carried out from the weapon’s left barrel, and only then from the right one. The machine uses a standard piston gas outlet system with two independent pistons. USM allows you to fire in volleys of 2 shots or fully in automatic mode.
The barrels of the Gilboa Snake received excellent muzzle brakes of the honeycomb type, which are necessary to absorb the weapon’s increased recoil. These devices are similar to those used on the long-barreled versions of the “Gilboa” and “Timna” rifle. The vending machine is powered by two stores connected in pairs. In general, the double-barreled gun could inherit all the family features of the primary family of automatic rifles “Gilboa,” as well as other modern AR-shaped automatic rifles [stock, controls, Picatinny rails, a set of tactical accessories, etc.].
In conclusion, I would like to talk about the possible areas of use of this exotic type of small arms. The automatic rifle “Gilboa Snake” was created by the Silver Shadow company by the Israeli special forces; it has never claimed to be the standard weapon for the Israeli infantry. The gun is initially highly specialized and corresponds to the modern concept, described by the phrase “choice of weapons according to the task.” The main possible scenarios for using this model of small arms, from the Israelis’ point of view, are mainly associated with assault operations, which often require relatively compact small components with high firepower. For example, the “Snake” can be used in those cases when it is needed to hit the enemy, who is in personal body armor, or behind a bulletproof glass barrier.
The realized method of firing “doublet” is suitable to solve such problems, when two bullets hit a metal plate or armored glass almost simultaneously, which significantly increases the probability of breaking through a protective barrier. Another example of the effective use of such weapons is firing at moving targets; here, the double-barreled automatic rifle also proves its effectiveness. To the possible tasks for such weapons, you can also add foot patrol, in which the lighter, but at the same time, high-density automatic rifle Gilboa Snake can become an alternative to light machine guns. Also, one should not wholly disregard the possible psychological effect that a doubled fire effect has on the enemy and just the appearance of a double-barreled machine gun.
The performance characteristics of the Gilboa Snake:
Manufacturer – Silver Shadow Advanced Security Systems Ltd, Israel;
Caliber – 5.56×45 mm.
Automation type – gas outlet.
Overall length [with stock extended] – 800 mm.
Overall length [stock removed] – 495 mm.
The width of the weapon is 59.2 mm.
Barrel length – 2×241 mm.
Magazine capacity – 2 x 30 rounds.
Weight without magazines – 4.27 kg.
Fire modes – automatic / semi-automatic.
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