Ukraine Manufacturing Tavor in 5.45x39mm

Ukrainian state-owned firm RPC Fort (Research and Production Company Fort of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine) is manufacturing under license a variant of the IWI Tavor chambered in 5.45x39mm Russian.

Seen pictured with the South African Milkor UBGL (40mm Underbarreled Grenade Launcher)

The Armed Forces of Ukraine are still primarily armed with 5.45x39mm chambered firearms inherited from the Soviet Union. They have adopted a small number of RPC Fort-manufactured 5.56mm Tavors, presumably in use by special forces.

Don’t load the wrong cartridge! 5.45x39mm is marked in large white letters.

Israel manufactures the Tavor in 5.56x45mm and 9mm. It has been claimed that India is manufacturing it chambered in 5.56×30mm MINSAS but I have seen no evidence of this and am skeptical.

[ Many thanks to Danny for the tip. ]

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.


  • Gidge

    This doesn’t bode well for Izmash’s financial situation.

    Unless they can come up with something significantly better and more in line with customer demand they’re not going to have ANY customers left.

    • Esh325

      I don’t agree. Ukraine has always been trying to make an indigenous assault rifle like their failed attempts with the VEPR, so I don’t think they ever had any intentions to purchase or license anymore Russian weapons so they could support their own weapons industry and not rely on Russia, so it’s no fault on Izmash’s part, and I’m sure they’ll do fine without them.

    • Anonymoose

      Maybe for export, but plenty of countries despise the idea of a bullpup as a general-issue infantry rifle and will continue to use the AK-74 (although most countries using the AK platform have never given a damn about paying royalties to Izhmash).

    • W

      i dont think ukraine ever had any intentions on keeping inherited soviet-era small arms forever, especially with former warsaw pact states looking at EU and NATO membership.

      Yes, izmash will have to introduce a truly modern rifle to compete with the versatility, ergonomics, and accuracy of western counterparts. Perhaps the AK12 gives them a chance to do this.

  • mechamaster

    Rather than a big mark of 5,45x39mm caliber in the rifle body, it’s better to redesign the rifle or create a magazine adaptor to accept an AK-74 magazine, so there is no accidental loaded a 5,56 bullet into the rifle.

    • Bob Z Moose

      Need to check on this, but last I remember it’s pretty easy to feel the difference between the two. The Russians were pretty devious about making them totally incompatible.

    • Gidge

      The mag’s are quite possibly incomparable. These guns shown have probably had 5.45 x 39 marked on them more for display purposes than anything else.

  • Bob Z Moose

    Now I’ve seen everything.

  • Michael

    I once had a 5.45×39 get into a Mini 14. Very Difficult to get out of the chamber. Keep this caliber and 5.56 well apart.
    I am waiting for the Travor to appear in the US. I heard that Charles Daly are going to have them, any further news on his?

    • Kelly Harrison

      My understanding is that they’ll be made in the US by IWI. I think the Daly rumor was shot down some time ago.

  • Doug

    Any day now we should be hearing whether or not we get them here in the U.S. I’m excited about the possibility, however my funds won’t be ready anytime soon anyway.

    • Hking

      Well its a %99 certainty that we will be getting a US version of the Tavor in the near future as multiple have been in the hands of review bloggers, but I highly doubt it will be in 5.45×39.

      • Erwos

        I’d love it if we could import a 5.45×39 conversion kit for the Tavor from the Ukraine. We’ve got the mags, all we need are the bolt and barrel.

  • nick

    My favorite firearm has been born

  • Esh325

    I never thought I’d ever see a new 5.45×39 rifle being adopted by a military. Pretty cool. It would make more sense if they accepted AK-74 magazines imo. Perhaps they might convert them to 5.56×45 if they ever join NATO?

    • Bad Enough

      I think it makes sense given their location. I find it difficult to believe that they are that close to Russia and don’t have oodles of 5.45 stashed away.

  • bbmg

    Only a small step away from chambering it for the 9mm SP-6 round…

    Could be a tacticool alternative to the Groza:

    • Nick

      Just warning those who want to click on the link. Be careful there is a good chance that a virus from the site might take down your computer like it did to me. Unless you use an Apple product.

      • bbmg

        If that is true I’m sure Max Popenker who owns that site and posts on this blog regularly would be very interested to hear the details.

      • MattyDienhoff

        I can corroborate Nick’s statement. My anti-virus software detected malware of some sort there on three separate occasions in the past (trojans, if I recall correctly, probably from the banner ads) but successfully blocked them.

        HOWEVER, bear in mind that this was about a year ago. I emailed Max with the details at that time. I’ve been there several more times since and haven’t had any more issues, so the issue has most likely been addressed.

  • I’ll stick with my .556 Tavor thanks! Its served me well over the past year and a half:

    • W

      damn you CANADIANS!!! 😉 (jk, i love you guys)

  • HEP-T

    I want mine in 7.92 x 33 Kurz.

    • Clodboy

      That might happen… probably around the time the oft-cancelled and delayed German-Israeli co-production of a Richard Wagner concert in Tel Aviv finally happens.

      Seriously though, the Israelis, as far as I know, are still in love with the .30 Carbine round for their police carbines. Their attempt at rechambering the Galil (called the “Magal”) was a collossal failure, but maybe they’ll try again with the Tavor.

  • Nmate

    I hope their STANAG-type 5.45 magazines work better than the ones available to us.

    • Erwos

      Um, what? I have a 5.45×39 AR-15, and all six magazines (50/50 split between C-Products and ASC) work perfectly fine. It is not rocket science to develop a working AR-15 magazine for a caliber that is extremely similar to 5.56×45.

  • Clodboy

    Head Engineer: “Darn it… the Vektor CR-21… the Russian Groza… the Polish Jantar… our own Ukrainian Vepr… all commercial failures. Why is it so hard to make the decidedly non-bullpup friendly AK action into a simple, ambidextrous 21st century bullpup assault rifle?”
    Engineer: “You know how our 5.45 round kind of looks like a 5.56mm?”
    Head Engineer: “Yeah. So?”
    Engineer: “Well, how about instead of making a complex bullpup conversion of the AK, we just take a working 5.56mm bullpup and rechamber it to 5.45mm?”
    Head Engineer: “*grumbles* you know, that might actually, err, completely solve our problems in the most efficient way possible… but no way this thing will look as slick as the Vektor. If you’ll excuse me for 112 minutes, I need to watch District 9.”

  • Lance

    The only Tavors received for import here in the US are 5.56mm. Not surprised Ukrainian special forces used Tavors for many years as well as the regular army’s AK-74. Both are good weapons for specific missions. I also point FORT makes Makarov and there own improved version the FORT 12 pistol. in 9x18mm.

  • Mike Knox

    What next? A nother one in .410?

    • 7.62x25FTW

      FUCK YES.

  • Tony

    I guess this means the Ukraine is tired of being regarded as: “weak” 🙂

  • Secundius

    I use to shoot the AK-74, because I like handling and accuracy far better then the AK-47. But now that I’m in a wheelchair, I find the standard AK-74. A wee be awkward to handle and shoot, because of how I have place or maneuver. Can anyone tell me about the handling characteristics and performance specifications on the Tavor Bullpup (5.45x39mm) design.