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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!
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Tucson, AZ 85754
At Forgotten Weapons I think the most interesting guns out there are the most obscure ones. I try to search out experimental and prototype weapons and show you how they work, in addition to more conventional guns that you may not have heard of before. You’re much more likely to find a video on the Cei Rigotti or Webley-Fosbery here than an AR or Glock. So, do you want to learn about something new today? Then stick around!