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Shooting the IWI Carmel Proved the Total Package

When was the last time you shot a firearm that genuinely excited you? One you didn’t want to put down, and when you finally had to, you looked forward to shooting again. For me, that gun is the IWI Carmel. While I’m used to direct impingement rifles, getting my hands on a piston system rifle was a breath of fresh air. Not to mention, this gun was made to shoot with suppressors. I know many folks say that, but this gun shoots lights out with a suppressor and looks damn good with one too. This release from IWI is long-awaited but well worth it. What makes it so unique? Glad you asked…

IWI Carmel

Ambidextrous Everything!

Talk about total control for both right-handed and left-handed shooters! The IWI Carmel features an ambidextrous safety lever, magazine release, and bolt catch. The non-reciprocating charging handle can be moved to the other side to set it up for the shooter. Lock the bolt carrier group to the rear, slide the charging handle to the squared slot, and push it through to the other side of the gun, and you’re all set! Being that it’s 2024, it’s nice to see the bolt release on the right side as a right-handed shooter so you can operate everything you need to without bringing your support hand into play. These ambidextrous controls alone make this gun ten times more fun to operate and shoot.

Foldy Boi

I’m a big fan of folding stocks. As of late, I’ve been playing around with folding stocks and working on more carbine mechanics, especially with my home defense rifle. The Carmel fits many markets, from law enforcement to home defense needs, and has already been run in competitions. The overall length of the IWI Carmel with the stock collapsed is 33 ¾ inches. With the stock folded, it turns into 26 ¾ inches in overall length. With the barrel being 16 inches, you don’t have to worry about SBR’ing the gun with a tax stamp, so you get the benefit of a more compact rifle without having to do all the paperwork. The stock easily folds by pressing the button on the side and locks back into place by pushing the stock back out.

No More Fitment Issues!

The biggest complaint I hear from shooters, even with their own firearm, is how the gun isn’t set up for them. I see shooters struggle a lot with the stock height in relation to their scope. I have seen many people fight with their length of pull, either not being able to reach their grip and, in turn, their trigger or crowding their grip and needing more length to their stock. Additionally, I have seen people use everything from adhesive cheek pads to literal duct tape with some foam wrapped around their stock to set their gun up to their cheek height. The problem with these two examples is there’s no quick modification to be made for someone else to shoot the gun, and these quick fixes can wear down over time and lose their adhesive properties.

The IWI Carmel has taken every excuse away from shooters when it comes to perfecting the cheek weld and length of pull. There are six length of pull positions and three cheek weld heights. I have yet to see a rifle have as many options as the Carmel. To adjust the cheek weld, push both side buttons and raise or lower it to the desired height. To adjust the length of pull, there is a button in the rear of the stock you press and hold down until you get the stock into the position you desire and then let go of the button to lock it into place.

The SilencerCro Harvester Evo suppressor mated well to the rifle.

Every Girl Loves Her Accessories

The second I got the Carmel sent to me, I immediately attached everything I could to the rifle. If I had had more accessories, I would’ve tried to see how many I could attach before running out of space! I immediately mounted the EOTech Vudu 1-8 scope, the Holosun 407C offset red dot, a Magpul M-Lok Picatinny rail for my Warne Scope Mounts Precision Bipod and attached the MS1 QDM Sling from Magpul. I topped the gun off with the SilencerCo Harvester EVO suppressor. And don’t you worry, a rifle light is already on its way.

The IWI Carmel has M-LOK accessory rails for all your mounting needs at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. IWI also includes a Magpul M-Lok QD Sling Mount attachment for the gun’s secondary forward sling point, which I used for the Magpul Sling. Two QD mounts are built into the gun before the folding stock on either side.

The Perfect Suppressor Host

The Carmel was built to shoot suppressed. Yes, it’s accurate without a suppressor, but this gun is a dream to shoot with a suppressor mounted on it, both from an accuracy standpoint and sound suppression level. Because you have the two-position gas regulator, you can easily swap from regular to suppressor, and the gun functions flawlessly. You can use a punch, a bullet tip, or a small tool to easily rotate the gas regulator from regular to suppressor in a microsecond. There’s no need to force it to move, and there’s plenty of clearance near the end of the handguard to change the position.

One note on attaching a suppressor to this rifle: ensure you use a jam nut in between the barrel and the suppressor if you use a direct thread method. The thread pitch is 1/2×28, and this is important to know if you plan to use a QD mount, or the popular KeyMo adapter, or any other muzzle attachment device for a suppressor. 

The Carmel barrel profile follows similar manufacturing techniques as other Israeli offerings (X95, Tavor, Galil), so there is no traditional shoulder as seen on M4s or AR15s. In addition, the 1/2×28 threads are also longer than most common barrels. The rifle comes with a muzzle device already installed with the jam nut. The jam nut is precision machined and allows for a shoulder to properly mount any muzzle device.

The rifle shot sub-MOA with several types of ammo.

Accuracy Expectations Blown Away!

The Carmel from IWI is an accurate beast. This weapon platform, even with a suppressor, shoots tiny groups. However, I ran some high-quality ammunition through this rifle because if I’m going to rock the Carmel and attach thousands of dollars of quality gear to it, I will surely not skimp out on the ammunition. About five of us were on the range when I was chronographing this rifle, and everyone who shot it was stacking rounds on top of each other. We shot from a bench rest, prone off the bipod, and offhand freestyling at some steel targets. It outshot our abilities, and performed better than I expected.

While I haven’t been able to run the Carmel in competition since I’ve only shot it at the factory and once at home, my friends out west have already taken it for a test drive. With a similar setup, suppressed, with a bipod, good scope, and shooting good quality ammunition, the Carmel has stretched out to 400 yards in competition with no problem. With the correct data and knowing your scope holds, this gun will easily perform at distance.

A Testament to the Team

IWI doesn’t just believe in making good-looking guns; they must serve a purpose and perform at a high level. In fact, most of the folks who work at IWI get out and compete in 3-Gun, 2-Gun, AK, Carbine, USPSA, and other style matches, including their very own IWI Gas Gun Series matches. Not many companies can say that their staff shoots competitively, runs their guns in matches across the country, and has proved their firearms perform in extreme cold, extreme heat, dusty, rainy, or wet environments, and everything in between. These are the same people you see traveling to events, sponsoring matches, tabling at tradeshows, and having tens of thousands of rounds shot through their guns repeatedly with no issues. IWI does a lot to support our Second Amendment rights and gives back to our gun community, so supporting them is an even bigger win in my book!

Several types of .223 performed well through testing.

Final Shots

Without saying this was my favorite gun review in a while, this was my favorite gun review in a while. It was pure joy to shoot this gun, suppressed and unsuppressed. I was lucky enough to tour the IWI Factory when I was in Pennsylvania and shoot this gun before it started shipping. You cannot ask for a better setup when it comes to mounting accessories, customizing the fit of the gun to your line of sight, and being a total tack driver when it comes to shooting accurately with different types of ammunition. The IWI Carmel has risen to the top of my list of favorite firearms!

For more info, visit iwi.us.

SilencerCo Harvester EVO

The Harvester EVO from SilencerCo has one of the most impressive sound reductions for the 5.56/.223 caliber. Not only does it suppress sound well, but it is also built to be durable and is a lightweight suppressor at just 10.8 ounces. The overall length is just 6.235 inches. It is semi-auto-rated and doesn’t affect the accuracy of the gun whatsoever. I used the direct thread method on the Carmel, but there are many SilencerCo mounting accessory options, muzzle brakes, and flash hider attachments. (silencerco.com)

EOTech Vudu 1-8

It’s hard to beat an EOTech optic, especially their Vudu line of scopes. The 1-8×24 is a second focal plane scope with a 30mm tube diameter and clocks in at 20.8 ounces. The HC3 quad-level BDC reticle is extremely simple to use, especially on a gun built for hunting, plinking at the range, or only stretching out a few hundred yards. There is a precise 0.5-MOA illuminated center dot and 2-, 5-, 8.5- and 12.5-MOA subtensions on the vertical axis (at 8X power). The battery source is the common CR2032, and EOTech includes the throw lever that screws in for quickly adjusting magnification. (eotechinc.com)

The IWI Carmel as tested was quite the package.

Magpul D-60

Yes, the Carmel comes with a 30-round magazine, but 60 is better. The Magpul D-60 just makes life fun and shooting rifles even easier. I hate reloading, and with the D-60, you may never have to! I run these in all my shooting competitions that include a carbine that is compatible, and I have yet to have to reload on any stage, thanks to Magpul! (magpul.com)

Warne Scope Mounts Precision Bipod

Warne Scope Mounts makes their Precision Bipod in Picatinny and ARCA rail interfaces. I love this bipod because it is easy to deploy and, more importantly, how simple it is to adjust on the fly. The legs rapidly deploy by pulling down on the feet until you get your desired height. If you pull too far, you push on the lever to click down one position until you get it back to your desired height. To deploy the legs forward at a specific angle or to move them out of your way entirely, there is a knob you pull down on while manipulating the legs forward until you get the angle you desire. You have cant and pan that is all adjustable while in a shooting position so you can level out the gun quickly. The whole bipod weighs 16.5 ounces. (warnescopemounts.com)

Shooting the Carmel with the Magpul D-60 magazine.

IWI Carmel Specifications

  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16 inches, Free-Floating, Chrome Lined, Cold Hammer Forged
  • Rifling: 1:7 inches twist, 6 right-hand grooves
  • Operating System: 2 Position Gas Regulator (regular, suppressor), Rotating Locking Bolt
  • Overall Length: 26 ¾ inches stock folded, 33 ¾ inches stock collapsed, 37 ¼ inches stock extended
  • Weight: 8 pounds and 2 ounces without a magazine
  • Ambidextrous Controls: safety lever, magazine release, bolt catch, non-reciprocating charging handle
  • Compatibility: MLOK accessory rails at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions
  • MSRP: $1,799

Accuracy Results

Ammunition Velocity Accuracy
PPU 75-grain  2,542 FPS 0.25 inches
Atlanta Arms 77-grain 2,679 FPS 0.30 inches
Black Hills 77-grain 2,661 FPS 0.25 inches
Super Vel 62-grain 2,826 FPS 0.25 inches
Velocity average from five rounds chronographed using a LabRadar Chrono. Accuracy tabulated from best five-shot groups at 50 yards.

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