Shot show Media Day at the range—The IWI Tavor

The SHOT show started out with a bang. Media Day at the range was held with a very large number of vendors and media attendees including The Firearm Blog team.

When I say a bang it’s because the morning temps were an all time record low with high winds and plenty of sand blowing around. In fact I saw more than one pistol jam from too much dust and sand. We hing in there and saw all of the weapons we intended to shoot and let you readers know about.

What I want to pass along is a weapon we have had much discussion about and that’s the soon to be imported IWI Tavor!Now this is just my idea of how things will go. Eventually they will be made here in the US by IWI.There might be a good reason to bring some in before production is up and running. We were all impressed with this fine bullpup in 5.56.

The Tavor is able to switch from right handed shooters to left handed shooters in three minutes or less from an experienced user. The controls are very well placed for easy manipulation. The charging handle is located on the left side front, which allows the shooter to charge the rifle with less effort than is usual for most weapons. The colors available are black and desert tan.

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I was able to shoot one and I was surprised at the accuracy with a 16.5 inch barrel shooting steel torso targets from fifty to two hundred fifty yards.

Mounted with an optic that has an orange dot and small circle around the dot made acquiring the target pretty fast. The rifle just feels good and handles well indeed. I fired sixty rounds most of which were at the longer ranges. I had one miss on the half size target at two hundred fifty yards. The Tavor is also used by the Israeli military as a general-purpose weapon as well as a marksman rifle in Israel or designated marksman rifle as they say here in the US.

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When they are imported this is a rifle you’ll want to try!



Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • TangledThorns

    Any word from IWI on how soon they’ll hit the market?

    • It’s a good question. They still plan on importation but we have to see what happens with the proposed gun control issue. They believe it will turn out well.
      Right now the only rifles are those at SHOT today. I do know it will be several months yet. When I get more information I will surely let you know.

  • Joe Schmoe

    “The Tavor is also used by the Israeli military as a general-purpose weapon as well as a sniper rifle.”

    I think you meant as a marksman rifle, not a sniper rifle.

    • No they actually they use it as a sniper rifle with a longer barrel. Of course it will be for the shorter ranges out to about 300 yards. The big guns takeover then.

      • Joe Schmoe

        Phil, as a serving sniper in the IDF, I respectfully disagree.

        The only serving variants of the Tavor in the IDF are:

        X95 series (Micro-Tavor) – Now general issue and replacing the regular Tavor.

        CTAR-21 (was general issued)

        TAR-21 (was used for the marksman)

        STAR-21 (longest barrel, was given to the grenadiers for their M203)

        Though I think we are speaking past each other here. I think your interpretation of a “sniper” is our interpretation of a “marksman”.

        • I suspect you’re right. I think the US Army calls it a “designated marksman” role or something similar.

          • Jesse true that’s the term for a soldier operating within a squad size unit.

          • Here’s a video you all may enjoy.

          • Joe Schmoe

            Mitkan Adam base 🙂

            I trained in those very ranges to become a sniper.

            Mikey Hartmann is probably one of the most eccentric figures in the IDF.

        • That very well could be Joe. I don’t believe you use the term designated marksman do you? I don’t mind changing it to the Israeli definition. That may avoid some confusion since we have an international audience. Sound good:-)

          • Joe Schmoe

            Designated marksman it is. 🙂

            A brief trip over to Wiki shows it to be correct:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designated_marksman

            Changing the language into Hebrew comes up with the Hebrew word for a marksman.

            In that case, it was the TAR-21 version that was used for the designated marksman (along with a 4X ACOG and bipod).

          • Thanks Joe sometimes those terms do mean one thing in one country and another here. I did change it and explain it briefly.

          • Joe Schmoe

            No problem, glad we cleared that up. Designated Marksman it is, or “kala sa’ar” in Hebrew (though usually just referred to as “Kala”, or “marksman”).

            By the way, I’m sure you will be interested in this picture showing the current Micro-Tavor family as in use today with the IDF:
            http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/7093/microp.jpg

          • I like that photo! Thanks for sending it:-) Since you have used them you probably understand better than most how shocked I was with it’s accuracy!

          • matt

            Micro Tavor with a bipod is one of the silliest things out there. It ranks up there with Rugers 10/22 pistol on a bipod.

          • Joe Schmoe

            Well the arrangement you saw in my picture has started to be phased out. The new arrangement is a Foregrip Bipod (I’m pretty sure by CAA, don’t quote me on that) which is much more ergonomic.

  • jagersmith

    Not going to be imported, they will be made here in the US. They have just started up a US factory.

    • I’m thinking they may bring in some before the factory is running. We’ll have to wait and see. But yes they will be made here when everything is set and ready to go.

    • I went ahead and modified that part so there’s no misunderstanding. There could be a very good reason to bring in some if possible.

    • They’re going to be making them in Harrisburg, PA and I will be getting down there to tour the facility at point in the near future as it’s located pretty close to where I live.

      I can’t argue that the Tavor didn’t shoot pretty well with decent accuracy at longer distances and quick followup shots on closer targets, but I’m just not a fan of the ergonomics of bullpups. Also, locking the bolt back is quite an interesting chore and extremely non-intuitive as you need both hands to be doing things that make holding and supporting the weapon virtually impossible. The comment from the guy at the booth was “you’re supposed to be shooting the gun” which was a bit less than helpful!

  • TooBad

    Too bad we will not be able to get one before the next democrat assault weapons ban…hope there is a sunset on this ban too or that brighter minds will repeal it later.

  • johnny larue

    I want to get one before they are sold out or banned.

    • I understand that! None are in country now but should they bring them in before the issue is resolved on “assault” weapons I’m sure they will sell quickly!

      • TooBad

        I’m sure with the current buying frenzy the price tag to the consumer will be in the $5000 range. So if they get here before being banned I’m sure only the fortunate few will be able to afford one.

  • kalashnikev

    “…optic that has an orange dot and small circle around the dot”

    Srsly?

    Mepro 21.

  • North Polar

    Per Mr. Kasanar (The US IWI Rep) the factory is up and running and the Tavor will be 100% US made. MSRP is $2000 and set to release (barring complications) end of next month. Preorders are already sold out country wide btw.

  • North Polar

    Btw there is a 100+ page thread on all this in arfcom’s bullpup section.

  • JavaDuke

    And, of course, there’s no legal CA version. As expected. Oh well…

  • TV-PressPass

    I’ve had a Tavor for the past two years and love it. Here is my review of the platform: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6eG_xuQDcg

  • Jason

    Anyone have good ideas on the best place to put in an order for one of these once it’s possible to do so?

    • I would go to the IWI website. I’m sure they information there or you might try and call the contact number on the website.

  • Nicholas Chen

    Phil, you should have tried it in 9mm!! OMG way too much fun haha.