Honduras to Buy Tavor TAR-21 Assault Rifles

The Honduran Armed Forces have announced plans to purchase Tavor TAR-21 assault rifles from Israel Weapon Industries.

Guatemalan Navy Special Forces with Tavor TAR-21 (Marksman configuration).

The IWI sales team are superstars. They sell Tavors like Saudi Arabia sells oil.

[ Many thanks to Danny for emailing me the link. ]



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Lance

    That’s not new news Steve Guatemala and Honduras have bought these weapons for there special Forces since a few years ago. These are for special forces regular Honduran army uses old M-16A1s still.

  • Benjamin

    Why do they wear desert camouflage hats with woodland uniforms?

    • Geodkyt

      Answer: “Looks cool”.

  • Ted

    This has very little to do of how good IWI’s sales team is, the reason why so many 2nd world and 3rd world countries with questionable human rights records select the Tavor is primarily because of the long export clearance process for small arms in Europe and the U.S. for this category of defense equipment compared to helos, tanks, artillery which are easier to export in the West. And most importantly the Israeli’s can bribe freely without consequences unlike American or European manufactures who run a risk when they do, both out of legal concern and proliferation. I guarantee you, we will very soon see Mexican drug cartel hitmen armed with Tavor’s that got leaked out of Guatemala for extra pay(has happened it the past).

    • Comments that that are not constructive.

    • W

      A bunch of drivel anyways. Honduras…bfd. I’m more concerned with sophisticated surface to air missile defense systems sold to Iran by Russia or US M16’s being sold to the iraqi and afghan government.

      Why would cartel hitmen buy tavors when they can steal or buy US and German manufactured weapons from the mexican police and military?

      seems like a more approachable, common sense solution for any small arms deficiencies anyways…

  • tarkan

    Ted has a point,why wrongs are OK for some?…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XJmgziU1kc

  • Tinkerer

    So, IWI’s marketing department is very good at selling Tavors?

    Why can’t the Tavor just be a good rifle that gets the job done for a price that buyers find appealing?

    • Ted

      Because the reality of defense contracts is often dependent on politics like getting export approval/political and alliance patronage, and plain old providing of “extra incentive” for the people responsible for procurement, if you can get away with that sort of thing. Every government/corporation does it in some form or another.

    • Sadly guns are rarely chosen for the right reasons.

      That is not to say the Tavor is not a great rifle, just that adoption by a country does not make it so.

    • Tinkerer

      Ted, Steve, until someone can provide positive evidence that the Tavor has been adopted because of politics/bribery/etc. and that the gun is unsuitable, I don’t have a reason to not believe that it was bought just because it is a good gun. Maybe politics have a hand on the selection -nobody wants to have a nanny country looking over your shoulder and deciding to just pull any support on your recently-bought weapon system just because the nanny country doesn’t agree with your local politics, but there are several other rifles out there that could’ve been chosen and still won’t have the shadow of embargo above them -G36, AUG, chinese made clones of familiar NATO rifles, or even abandon the NATO route altogether and buy from Russia, Ukraine, or China.

      Maybe the Honduran government decided that the Tavor had the right combination of cost, accuracy, reliability, and availability from a neutral country -neutral from their standing-. Frankly, it would look much more suspiscious if they had chosen an AK or an AR-15 -the two most lobbied-and-bribed-for rifles everywhere.

  • Lance

    The same article states the TAR-21s are for Police units anyway. The article states the Honduran army is planning on buying newer M-16A2s and M-16A4s for regular infantry units to replace worn out 80s era M-16A1s.

    Steve can agree to that.

    • W

      That is a good choice. The M16A2 and A4 are more ergonomic than the tavor anyways…

      • Joe Schmoe

        Having used the M4A1 my entire career in the Israeli army, I did manage to shoot the TAR-21 on several occasions and I can say that it is infinitely more ergonomic than the AR-15 family.

        The only thing I didn’t like (probably due to my familiarity with M4) is the bullpup having the magazine in back. But I did side by side drills with guys who were trained from the start on the Tavor and they were able to keep up in nearly any situation or go even faster (loading a round ,etc).

      • noob

        Joe, I’m curious,

        Is it easy to swap out the barrel group in a tavor and change calibers? I heard something about needing a hammer, a barrel wrench, a punch, an allen key and loctite.

        I’m told that they have a 9mm kit, and that makes me want to ring the .300 BLK bell again…

      • Joe Schmoe

        RE: Noob –

        Being that I wasn’t issued with the Tavor I couldn’t tell you about the STAR-21 or CTAR-21 variants, but the MTAR Tavor (Micro-Tavor) does have a quick change kit from 5.56mm to 9mm that is actually in service.

        If you look through the pictures here you might find your answer:
        http://ontargetairsoft.com/store/images/AresTAR21AEG_pic3.jpg

        http://media.defenseindustrydaily.com/images/ORD_Tavor-Micro_9mm_lg.jpg

        (fourth picture here)
        http://www.military-today.com/firearms/tavor_tar21_images.htm

        Keep in mind that the Israeli’s are going to stick with the 5.56mm for the foreseeable future, so I don’t believe the TAR-21 has a quick change barrel mechanism; however, don’t take my words as gospel. The upside is that the barrel is directly connected to the top picatinny rail, so if you want to switch barrels (whatever the reason) you can leave the sight on or take it off and it will still stay zeroed to that barrel. The Tavors low handguard also has built in room for a push-button to activate lasers, flashlights etc with all the wiring internal (nothing to get caught on branches, etc).

        I hope this helps.

      • Tinkerer

        Doubletapper has a nice article of him field stripping a Commando version of the Tavor (16″ barrel and shorter than a M4) on his kitchen.

        http://doubletapper.blogspot.com/2008/06/iwi-tavor-returns-to-my-kitchen.html

        I like the hinged buttplate, which by removing only one pin, tilts down and gives you full access to bolt carrier group. That looks wonderful for cleaning and maintenance, and lets you change the 5.56×45 bolt group for a 9×19 in the blink of an eye.

        As for the barrel: I see some sort of access hole just in front of the ejection port, maybe you need to unscrew something in order to remove the barrel. Personally, I prefer the AUG’s solution: lock back the bolt, press a lever, remove barrel. Makes cleaning the barrel from the breech a pleasure, and beats down on the AR-15’s “modularity”: no need to change half of your gun if you only want to change your barrel. Hell, if someone out there decides to make an AUG-compatible barrel in .300 BLK, you would only need to buy the barrel and not a full upper like in AR-15s.

      • W

        who cares about changing barrels? honestly, it is a gucci feature not needed in a infantryman’s standard rifle. Anybody but armorers have no business messing with barrels anyways. Here’s a way to think outside the box: if you want a change in caliber or barrel length, just change the upper on a AR15. too easy. right?

        I would like to see a Tavor 21 go toe to toe with a Colt M4. Well see who reloads faster, who is more balanced, and who can manipulate the safety the fastest. Bullpups aren’t as evolutionary or fantastic as people think they are.

      • Tinkerer

        You just make my point, W. In an AR-15 rifle you need to change the whole upper half of your rifle just to change calibers or barrel lenght. Meaning: change the upper receiver, the bolt, and anything that’s screwed to the receiver. That can’t be cheaper and less cumbersome than changing just the barrel.

        Now, who needs quick barrel change? Mostly special forces, but having a common platform that can be adapted from SMG to carbine to standard issue rifle to DMR to LMG without the need of tools is a big thing logistically.

        Tavor vs M4? You seem to fall in a very common fallacy: you neglect to add the human factor. A soldier trained in his own rifle is bound to be very proficient with it. Which is more balanced? Depends if you prefer muzzle-heavy guns -a good point if your rifle climbs up, a bad point when you hold the rifle up for a long time: your arms get tired faster- or not-muzzle-heavy guns. I have held AUGs and they balance very naturally on the pistol grip, and when shouldered you barely feel the weight. On the other hand, I have held M4s and I tire faster when shouldering them. Manipulate the safety? Have you failed to notice the safety on the Tavor? It’s on the same place a sin an AR-15, only that you rotate it some 60º or less instead of 90º for each setting. I prefer less rotation. Changing the magazine? It’s a matter of combat perspective. Most armed forces I know teach to not discard the empty magazine, but grab it securely when replacing, saving it for later use, then insert full one. Again, I have changed mags in an AUG and in a M4, and for me the time has been the same.

        The bullpup isn’t as “fantastic” as people think? Well, Austria, Australia, Belgium, China, France, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and other countries beg to differ with you.

      • Joe Schmoe

        RE: W –

        I agree with you on the barrel part, and I have yet to meet a SF unit that actually cared about a quick barrel change for anyone other than for DMR.

        Here are some videos to show you that a person well trained on the Tavor can change magazines, etc. just as fast as a person on the M4:

        http://youtu.be/jGpQ1OJzFS4
        http://youtu.be/A_IUdsICXwI

        Bullpups are the future, there is no way of getting around that fact. The feature that you can stick a longer barrel into an even shorter package is invaluable. That, and the balance of the weapons are terrific; let’s face it, you don’t need a front heavy weapon for the 5.56mm. And this is coming from a person who used an M4A1 and loved it his entire service.

        RE: Tinkerer –

        Right on with every word. But I disagree about the barrel change part for the simple fact that on most weapons you would have to re-zero the sights when you change the barrel; rendering the option useless in the field. “W” is right when he says that barrel changes are going to remain the field of armorers for the foreseeable future.

      • W

        “You just make my point, W. In an AR-15 rifle you need to change the whole upper half of your rifle just to change calibers or barrel lenght. Meaning: change the upper receiver, the bolt, and anything that’s screwed to the receiver. That can’t be cheaper and less cumbersome than changing just the barrel.”

        there are advantages of having the complete upper. The largest one is retaining the zero on that particular barrel. I would be willing to bet that quick change barrel weapons (at least from my experiences with the M249 and M240) will not retain their zero. That is a glaring disadvantage.

        I never bought into the quick change barrel idea. but that is a personal preference of mine. Perhaps, though, they are capable of serving their purpose.

        “you neglect to add the human factor.”

        I believe i have taken the human factor into effect. It is interesting how you don’t see competitions being won with bullpup rifles. That alone makes a significant impression on me. I believe their trigger pull is atrocious (and a little bit more complicated), reloading magazines is a physical effort, and they are unbalanced (in defense of them, they are more balanced with attachments). The fact that many are designed to be only fired right handed makes matters worse (so much for transitioning between strong and support side in a tactical environment).

        “The bullpup isn’t as “fantastic” as people think? Well, Austria, Australia, Belgium, China, France, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and other countries beg to differ with you.”

        -hmmmm….austria, where the AUG was designed
        -Australia, whose SASR is transitioning to the M4 and HK 416
        -Belgium, who still use the FNC (special forces use the F2000)
        -China, whose bullpup rifle hasn’t fired a shot in anger
        -France, who is looking to replace the FAMAS (apparently the G1 is abysmal)
        -Israel, who still hasn’t phased out all of its M4’s despite the highly favorable tavor.
        -new zealand, whose only combat units (the SAS) utilize the M4 and are testing the SCAR
        -Singapore, which hasn’t seen combat since WWII
        -the UK, whose soldiers have relentlessly criticized the SA80 as a inadequate weapon (whose SAS also use the C7)

        Given that the only adequate bullpup seems to be the Tavor, this is a pretty compelling case for conventional rifles…

    • Lance

      Unfortunately the order is just for 5.56mm version of the rifle so this conversion system wont be a factor here.

      • Lance

        Bullpups are NOT the future except the UK, Israel, and China no there major military power uses Bullpups. USA uses M-16/M-4s, Germany G-36s, Russia AK-74Ms, Canada C-7s (M-16s), Spain G-36, Belgium FNC, Norway HK 416, Turkey G-3, India is a massive mixture but not all units use Bullpups. Most Australian vets I know who shot both L1A1 and the Aug liked the L1A1 because of the reloading problems with Augs. Most men with Bullpups must keep there eyes on getting the mag in just right to lock. A M-4 or G-36 you can do it with eyes forward facing the enemy and remain tactically aware of whats going on.

        Even new weapons the USA and Russia tried and mostly failed to use SCAR and AN-94 are NOT bullpups either.

        Too much hype with bullpups.

      • Joe Schmoe

        RE: Lance –

        I respect your opinion but I must say that it is way off the mark.

        Here are just some of the countries that use a Bullpup:

        Austria, Australia, Belgium, China, France, India, Israel, Iran, Georgia, Honduras, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Philippines, Portugal, Thailand, Ukraine, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Suriname, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Venezuela, United Kingdom, Russia the United States and many more.

        In fact, you will be hard pressed to find a single country that doesn’t have a bullpup firearm in active service. In fact, more countries are adopting the bullpup design than the other way around.

        Face it, it is the future design for most armies.

      • Lance

        Sorry most of those countries DON’T use bullpups and most only have a few units or Police agency’s using said weapon. the fact is no future weapon the Army or USMC is going to will NOT be a Bullpup and fact Russia and other don’t use them either prove while viable Bullpups are not the future.

      • W

        bullpups aren’t being adopted in large numbers by those countries and the ones that have been mentioned aren’t exactly credible combat proven armies.

        Conventional assault rifles dominate use worldwide for a reason

    • Lance

      I agree with you W 100% on this.

    • Lance

      The fact is most Spec ops on the side of the US are using M-4s or C-7/8s. New Zealand has not opted for the SCAR and went to the HK 416 and China recently moved there elite troops (Airborne ant-terrorist forces) to the Type 03 instead of the Type 95, The Type 03 is a Type 81 with rails and cambered for 5.8 Commie ammo.

      The SAS and Australia SA and New Zealand SAS and Canada Spec Ops all use M-4s or C-7/8s like US SOCOM forces. France too has most Spec Ops using M-4s and G-36s for use over the FAMAS while the F1 failed some French Marines use G2 version which will stay in service longer since it fixed numerous problems the F1 had.

      I know Australian Vets who went from L1A1 to AUG and alot of complaints on reloading and long range shooting accord. the AUG is good but most solders preferred standard assault rifle set ups.

  • Alex-mac

    For second world special forces it’s a good weapon to increase overall shooting skills and it’s versatility saves costs in the long run.

    Still seems overpriced to be the standard infantry rifle though. A better choice now would be the FN FS2000.