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Old 03-15-2019, 09:02 PM   #1
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Default Galil Hebrew Markings & Translation


Finally got a Galil after years of wanting one and realized that through some of my research on the rifle I had neglected to translate / confirm the meanings of the various markings on the rifle.

There are some places you can find some of it, but no single location seems to have all the information together.Seeing that, I figured I'd go and compile everything I found/translated here in one post.

Please bear with me as I try to do transliteration for the Hebrew. I've got an Israeli friend on standby to double check everything.


I'm going to start with the selector simply because it's on both sides of the rifle. It also seems to be the bare minimum you'd get engraved on your rifle if having it built.

נצור (Natz-oor)

Hebrew letters Nun and Tsadik are used to indicate the safe position. They are an abbreviation for נָצוּר (Natz-oor) which can translate as an adjective to "safe" or "locked".

בודדת (Bo-ded-det)

The Hebrew letter Bet is used to indicate the semi-automatic position. It is an abbreviation for בּוֹדֵדת (Bo-ded-det) which translates as an adjective to "single".

אוטומטי (Auto-mati)

The Hebrew letter Alef is used to indicate the fully-automatic position. It is an abbreviation for אוֹטוֹמָטִי (Auto-mati) which translates as an adjective to, this is the easy one, "automatic".

Rifle Model Identification

The identification is, to me, the coolest marking. It's also the part that is causing some problems that I'll get into later.

The overall markings probably look something like this.
ר. ס. גליל
י5.56 מיימ

Breaking things down a bit further yields the following

ר. ס.
רובה סער (rōh-veh sa'ar)

The Hebrew letters Resh and Samekh serve to abbreviate the phrase רוֹבֶה סַעַר (rōh-veh sa'ar ) which translates as "assault rifle".


This is just the name of the rifle, which itself is named after the Galilee region in northern Israel.

י5.56 מיימ
5.56 מילימטר

The מיימ portion is the abbreviation for מִילִימֶטֶר, which is "millimeter" both phonetically and in meaning. It is the equivalent to writing "mm" in an Roman script.

The number that follows should match your barrel's chamber. If it doesn't, well something got screwed up someplace.
Also that extra ' is me trying to force the post to keep things in the correct order as it appears on the rifle.

תעשיות צבאיות

The Hebrew letters Tav and Tsadi serve to abbreviate the phrase תַּעֲשִׂיּוֹת צְבָאִיּוֹת (tas-yoot tse-vi-yott ), which translates to Military Industries. This most likely means IMI, which is Israeli Military Industries and the manufacturer of the Galil rifles. IMI broke off their small arms division in 2005, which became Israeli Weapon Industries, and their name changed to IMI Systems in about 2015.

Israeli Military Markings

In Israeli service, there were two main marks that I am aware of. These would be on the left side of the receiver, just in front of the stock.

The first is the large Hebrew letter Tsadik in a circle. This is referred to as the "Tzahal".

The second is the full IDF crest.

As their meanings are tied to each other, I'm just combining the explanation.

At the bottom of the IDF crest is a banner with the text "צבא הגנה לישראל" (Tsava ha-Hagana le-Yisra'el) which translates to "Army for the Defense of Israel". The more correct name for it is the Israeli Defense Force, aka the IDF.

Where the other mark comes into play is from the Hebrew acronym of the IDF: צה״ל. Phonetically, this is pronounced "Tzahal". That's where the first mark, the Hebrew letter Tsadik in a circle, gets its name.

Last edited by ZMan941; 03-16-2019 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Fixed some of the Hebrew
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:03 PM   #2
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Now for the elephant in the room. The troubling issues that I hate to bring up...

תַת (tatt)

The pair of Hebrew letter Tav's is a prefix. תַת (tätt) means "sub", and when you put it on the left side of your Galil's receiver you'll get "תת רובה סער", or "sub assault rifle".

Here's why this is a troubling issue.

"Sub assault rifle" isn't a poor translation of "submachine gun" or some other funky thing like assault rifle vs battle rifle or "Maschinenpistole" being used to describe submachine guns;
in Hebrew, submachine gun is תת מקלע (tätt mikla ).

Instead, I believe that תת is instead referring to the version of the Galil, specifically the length.

You Galil AR and ARM's would simply say "ר. ס. גליל" while your Galil SAR (also known as the "Galilon") would say "תת ר. ס. גליל". Basically, "Galil Assault Rifle" and "Short Galil Assault Rifle"

Here is an ARM without the "תת":

Here is a SAR with the "תת":

Not going to lie, when I stumbled upon this, looking at my new Hillbilly Galil ARM I felt my heart sink a bit. I just went off of what I saw the most pictures of, and sure enough looking back most of those were actually builds. My torch cut receiver doesn't have the "תת" and I have yet to find a picture of an original, IDF service, select-fire AR or ARM that has this prefix. I have found one picture of an SAR that does not have the prefix, and it is possible that there was a point where they just stopped caring about the prefix and put it on everything. I'd like to believe that because boy do I feel dumb for not researching this before sending a picture of what I wanted Jeff to engrave.

Here is the SAR I found that does not have the "תת":

-----Other Images------
Polymer ARM without תת
Wood ARM without תת
Same ARM proving it is an ARM
Deactivated ARM without תת
Deactivated SAR with תת
Literal pile of ARMs
Literal pile of SARs

As I am not 100% sure on this, I'd greatly appreciate input here. Ideally, I'd like to be proven wrong about the תת.

If you find any pictures of Israeli-built, select-fire rifles that disprove this, please share them.

Worst case: I'm correct and a lot of AR/ARM owners have technically incorrect markings. I'll just try my best to ignore it and enjoy shooting my rifle.

Last edited by ZMan941; 03-16-2019 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Fixed some of the Hebrew & Added SAR's Nickname
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:15 AM   #3
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I dont think your wrong about the תת. I actually agree with you 100%. Its something I was told a long time ago. I wouldnt fuss much about seeing it on ARMs or AR models.

Its my belief as time went on they just did away with the differentiation between the models, especially since many went into arsenal and came out with different varying parts.

I think you did a very nice job with your post and I am most impressed. Impressed enough I think this should be a sticky.

I am very glad you posted here and thanks!....Ron
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:50 AM   #4
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Excellent information!!
Thank you for sharing!
"Making the galil great again"
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:45 AM   #5
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Very helpful
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:42 PM   #6
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Awesome! Thank you!
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:30 PM   #7
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Thanks guys. I'm glad I was able to contribute something useful.

I just made some quick corrections to the Hebrew that my friend brought up to me. There may be some more but he was out and only had a chance to quickly glance at it.

I'll update it if there are any further corrections that need to be made.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:56 AM   #8
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Great info! I had tried to find the exact meaning of תת when I was etching my ARM receiver. I noticed my torch cut receiver didn’t have it but I put it on anyway, whoops.
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