IDF Reserve Units Switching From M16 To Tavor

The Ma’ariv newspaper reports that the The Israel Defense Force has begun transitioning their reserve units from the old M16 rifle to the Tavor, the standing army’s primary service rifle. The transition will take a number of years because the reserve units have a limited number of training days.

Israel is notorious for keeping gun in service and the M16 will likely be retired to rear echelon service units, police, militia and for other miscellaneous security purposes. M1 Carbines are still issued by the Israeli Police to licensed tour guides, school teachers and Civil Guards.

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.


  • So?

    Whatever happened to the Galil?

    • Esh325

      The Galil got mostly superseded by the M16 I believe because they got many of them for free.

    • Gabriel M

      The Galil was pretty much abandoned when the USA started giving Israel thousands of shipping containers of M16s. Nothing wrong with it, but the M16 is a lot more modular and the parts are more plentiful than the heavily modified 5.56 AK. I’m sure some units still use the Galil but the M16 is a lot more economical considering that Israel gets millions of them from us

    • Joe Schmoe

      The Galil was phased out in favor of the M-16/M-4.

      It was then pushed back into a few reserve units, tankers and artillery personnel. Afterwards it finally completely dropped out and is only optional in use to a few SF units and is used for OPFOR training (in place of an AK-47 since you can use 5.56mm blanks).

    • Mike Knox

      Galils are heavier and less accurate than the M16. Crucial factors for high mobility tactics the IDF use all the time..

      • Esh325

        I would say cost had more to do with it. The Israelis tested AK-47,Stoner 63, and M16 and found the AK-47 to be the best. They then tested AK-47’s converted to 5.56×45 and again found the AK-47 to be the best.

  • Sig

    My issue weapon in the WA Army National Guard is an M-16A2. In theater, I usually told people that we had just traded in our muskets prior to the deployment.

    • jdun1911

      What’s wrong with the M16A2? Is the M16A2 somehow obsolete?

      • JoeBob

        No top rail for mounting optics is a pain in combat. Other than that its a fine rifle.

      • Nicks87

        Nothing wrong with the M16A2. I carried an FN made A2 for 4 years and I thought it was more accurate than the Colt M4 that replaced it.

        Only until we got issued M-68s did I really start to prefer the M4.

      • Esh325

        You could perhaps consider it obsolete. The prevailing thought seems to be that it’s too long for the type of combat today. Not to mention there’s no detachable carry handle on it. The army has regulated the A2’s and A4’s to mostly non combat roles, with the intention of some day arming everybody with M4’s.

    • W

      i liked the M16A2 but like the A4 far better. I wish the army would have taken the route of equipping it with a collapsable buttstock before they jumped on the M4 bandwagon. it appears canada is taking that very step.

  • D

    Tavor’s always look like they just fell off a space ship.

  • Gidge

    You don’t see too many M1 Carbines there any more. They’re getting too old and too knocked about.

    Most tour guides and security guards carry pistols now, sometimes with shoulder stocks and carbine conversions.

  • Wei

    It seems to me that the Tavor’s line of sight is a bit too high, specifically the vertical distance from which to the barrel. Wonder if any military guys here feel the same way.

  • Steve, I am afraid you’re wrong. The X95 is a standard Israeli army assault rifle, not the Tavor TAR-21 (like CTAR-21 shown at your picture).

    • Joe Schmoe

      It hasn’t been announced yet whether the Reserves are getting the Tavor or the Micro-Tavor (X95) yet. But judging by the fact that soldiers coming off service are going to be used to the Micro-Tavor, it is most likely that one which will be issued.

      The main reasons for this is to reduce the logistical footprint and because some of the younger soldiers now entering the reserves were very unfamiliar with the M-4/M-16 (and vice versa for the older soldiers).

  • Roy Rapoport

    Heh. I remember, as recently as 1982, my dad being issued an M1 Garand when he would chaperone us on field trips. I’m guessing parents will maybe start getting M16s instead.

  • Leonard

    Most soldiers I saw in Israel this summer (and I saw loads of them) had an M16 or some variant thereof, but I also saw a few Tavors. I guess that is because most of them must have been reservists, as the front-line troops are probably in their barracks or, as their name suggests, on the front, guarding Israel’s borders.

    On a side note, I was astonished on how fast you can get used to a society where assault rifles are carried around like handbags are in other countries. A sharp contrast to my native gun-hating Germany, yet I never felt threatened. On the contrary, I felt quite safe knowing that many well-trained and armed people were always around me in the streets, able to fend off possible attacks within moments…

  • Lance

    Saw alot of talk about going to the Tavor but most active and reserve units in the news during the last war had M-16s. Thingk hype is overcoming reality a bit online.

    • Esh325

      I see a different story. Most of the front line troops are carrying Tavors now.

    • Joe Schmoe

      In 2006, only one division (Givati) was deployed with the Tavor. As of 2013, most SF units and all of the Infantry besides the Paratroopers and Kfir are issued the Micro-Tavor.

  • CommoGunSlinger

    I think the Tavor will be a nice weapon to carry, as Urban Combat is always the hardest battle. The Bull-pup design is nice as it helps with the recoil and sholdering the weapon in tight areas. It also speeds up the re-flexive fireing once personel are trained and muscel memory is built. Sadly, as an OIF III Vet, I carried a M-4/203 the whole Carring handle Sight system is not an issue. The units now have better Optics and targeting systems. I had the Hand Rail A2 sights & Frount Sight post, and Leaf sight. The biggest bitch I had with the M-4 is I was trained on the M-16A1 and later mainly carried the M-60/240B. As a Soldier thier will come a time when all hell breaks loose and you will wish you had that option to Squeeze and hold and not let go to put mass fire power down as you hit Cover! The Down fall of the Nato 5.56 is the use of the Penitrator Rounds,… Yes they are nice for light body armor and light armored vehicals or civilian vehicals. But as an American Midwestern’er When I put a round in something out hunting I want it to drop! Since NATO and the Laws of Land Warfare do not allow for Hollow Points, Balstic Tips, or Soft Point. They really need to look at something with more Kenetic Impact and tearing force. Basicly the issue and reason why the US Marines are now Ditching the 92F Barretta for a newer 1911A1. 9mm is nice and does the job in head shots, But a .45 in the sholder, foot, or chest with out armor and that bad guy is not going to get up. Good Luck and Stay Safe to all those Down Range and those that will be! God Speed!

    • Rational

      CommoGunSlinger: A .45 round to the foot or shoulder and they’re not getting up? Really? Really? Seriously? Ball ammo is ball ammo out of a pistoll: Ineffective.

    • Esh325

      There’s no such thing as a magical one stop caliber, plenty of people have survived .45 acps and every caliber in exsistence. I’m not aware that most Marine units are ditching the Beretta, to my knowledge, most of them still use the Beretta. In general, it seems to be that most FMJ’s are poor performing compared to soft points or hollow points on unarmored targets.

      In this link below, it describes accounts of British soldiers in colonial wars talking about ineffectiveness of the early jacketed .303 bullet. So one could say that issues with the 5.56×45 are primarily because of the bullet design, not the cartridge and caliber itself. So NATO should probably standardized on a more effective 5.56×45 loading than the M885, a new caliber isn’t the answer I think.

    • Esh325
    • W

      there is a 1-200 joules of energy and .12″ difference between 9mm and 45, otherwise, very minimal differences in the big picture of killing a two legged predator. Therefore, it is more sensible to have 15 rounds of 9mm than 7 rounds of 45.

      the marines didnt ditch the beretta. the Colt M45s are intended to replace existing frames in service.

      and dont get bent out of shape over M855 green tip. there is a wide variety of open tip match and hollow point 5.56 available that is far more effective.

    • kagbalete

      Sure you were in the service? Don’t sound like it….

  • Mike Knox

    I remember someone saying this wouldn’t happen..

  • Geodkyt

    Although interestingly enough, IIRC the M16 came in second behind the AK47 in terms of reliability — and not that far a second place, compared to the FAL. The M16 also came in quite nicely in durability trials (again, not too far behind the AK) when fielded by the Golani Brigade, which were known at the time as a unit where the general run of the mill privates were able to break anvils by looking at them.

    Wasn’t aware they had significantly tested the Stoner, but given the issues when line troops (as opposed to special operations types) in the USMC and US Army tried out the Stoner, I would suspect it would come in somewhat behind the FAL in reliability: 1. TANSTAAFL still applies — the modualrity of the Stoner comes at a cost (not merely financial), and 2. the FAL of the late 1960s and early 1970s was a far more mature and debugged system than the Stoner EVER became (it just died too soon as a viable product to get the opportunity for that system maturity and debugging).

  • mica

    intresting how one of the coment,s was that he feel,s safe in a country where people carry auto,s rifle,s like handbag,s kinda tell,s you something when everybody is on the same page unlike in the usa don,t it ??? \ now if we could just start geting the tavor in this country just got a e mail from one of my cuz,s in alberta the sob got a tavor for christmas man im pissed