By Dave Workman
When somebody says the Gilboa Snake rifle speaks with a “forked tongue,” it’s not an insult, but an accurate description of what happens when the dual triggers are pressed on this double barrel 5.56mm NATO semi-auto rifle.
For sure, the Snake spits out two rounds for every single round fired from a traditional AR-type semi-auto rifle. Described as a “concept weapon” when it was first introduced at Eurosatory 2012 in the Israel Pavilion, it will cause AR shooters to do a double take, but they are not seeing double.
When it’s fired, it ejects spent cases from ports on both sides, and feeds from two magazines. The barrels are spaced 3 cm apart from the bore center, so both bullets, fired almost simultaneously, will hit the target. I said “almost” simultaneously. According to company literature, two bullets can be fired with the difference being just about imperceptible.
There is a good reason for this. The bullets fly one after the other so there is no chance one might somehow collide with the other in flight.
The Snake has two mechanisms working together, and for a soldier, lawman, private security officer or armed citizen, it offers a distinct advantage.
The Gilboa Snake operates with an impingement gas system. The U.S. version of this rifle has 16-inch barrels, while the Israeli version many people may have read about has shorter barrels (14.5 or 11.5 inches).
Also manufactured in the U.S., the Gilboa M43 in 7.62x39mm also has a 16-inch barrel and there is a pistol and pistol-plus-brace version with a 7 ½-inch barrel.
It has an ergonomic grip and features a single central Picatinny rail on top for mounting optical sights, lasers or other tactical accessories. Fire controls are right where they should be, and there is a single magazine release for both magazines.
The lower and stock assembly is made from composite materials, so it is a fairly lightweight unit despite the double barrels and receivers.
Produced by Silver Shadow Advanced Security Systems, Ltd., the Gilboa Snake is a unique firearm. It weighs a bit over 9.9 pounds. Overall length is slightly over 31 inches with the fixed stock, and it’s a bit over 3 ½-inches wide (92 mm).
Manufactured in Israel and the U.S., the Gilboa Snake is just one member of the Gilboa series. Also included are the Gilboa Carbine, the Commando, Shorty, DMR and a couple of other models.
For more info: www.gunsmagazine.com/company/silver-shadow, (800) 809-2188