IWI Developing A 7.62mm Tavor X95 Rifle

The IDF and IWI are developing a version of the Tavor X95 rifle chambered in 7.62mm. YNet reports (Translated into English by Joe) …

In addition to Tavor, the IDF continued attempts to improve it. This is what the micro version, which used by the fighters and includes Elite units. In addition, there will be an experiment to improve the level of lethality by the bullets by replacing the regular 5.56mm to 7.62mm, the same bullet in the MAG that is currently used – and the weapons will become more lethal.

“One of the main things the U.S. Army learned from the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, is that the 5.56mm is not lethal enough, and sometimes not at all,” he explained to Ynet from the army. “Second Lebanon War, we also increased the need for increased lethality. If the experiments are successful, the change over to 7.62mm and putting them in the magazines [of the soldiers in the field] will be fast. Nowadays, DMR infantry can get with 5.56,, an effective damage range of 300 meters, with 7.62mm he could reach -450-400 meters and can be deadly enough  to neutralize the goal

Many thanks to Joe 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.


  • jrt

    Think they will create a new mag or go with a SR25, M1a or G3 mag?

    • I would guess they’ll use the current Galil sniper magazines, since this is basically a replacement for that system. Using the current stock of magazines isn’t a small concern, and I’m not aware of them fielding significant numbers of any of the guns the magazines you mention belong to.

    • Gidge

      They could run with Galil 7.62 mags which hold either 25 rounds in standard form or there’s a short fat 20 round version for sniper rifles

    • Joel

      Seeing as how they fielded the FN FAL for a long time, metric FAL magazines would be the most likely guess if they use an old design.

  • Esh325

    Since the Israeli’s use the SS109, it’s no surprise they have problems.

    • David

      Interesting point and I agree with it. All of the ballistic data I have seen is that the SS109 (M855) is a terrible performer. Up to 200m the 55 grain M193 has considerably better lethality than the 62 grain SS109, and past 200m the 75grain TAP or the 77 grain Mk.262 has much better lethality. The SS109 has the perfect blend of weight and construction to make it an ineffective man stopper, but it’s what is issued. Also, Its steel core construction make it great for penetrating light barriers such as helmets and walls, but it is terrible at putting a man down. It’s this odd worst of both worlds load.

      Oh well.

    • Chatterbot

      Do they? We’ve seen quite a lot of IMI M193 exported to US.

      • Joe Schmoe

        They use an interesting combination of both.

        M193 for the regular soldiers, and SS109 for the DMR’s and Negev’s.

  • Krenshaw

    I would think that a infantry DMR should be expected to do better than hit at 400m…

    • Gidge

      You’re assuming they’re talking about a DMR and not the X95

  • Gidge

    My reading of the article seems to indicate they’re looking into it for all models, not just the X95.

    7.62 Nato bulpups are virtually unheard of. I’ve only herd of one military rifle (some highly specialized Israeli sniper rifle that’s a restocked M14). Frankly I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already, bulpups ergonomics and recoil characteristics would make 7.62 Nato significantly more controllable.

    Something as light and compact as the X95 in 7.62 would certainly be exciting. Potentially it could become the ideal CQB weapon for dealing with body armor.

    • Ripley

      7.62(x51) is not good for CQB since it shoots right through brick walls and creates collateral damage. You could end up shooting you own troops next room over or have civilian casualties. Penetrating cover could also be useful in some situations of course.

  • Erik Ordway

    I read that a trying something like 300AAC which would just require swapping the barrel and not replace the cartridge case.

    • Anonymoose

      Yeah, but it’s still a fairly new cartridge, and no one outside the US has even tested it. The US government has even put new cartridge designs (aside from maybe LSAT) on the back burner.

  • I think it will be the first bullpup rifle chambered in 7.62x51mm

    • ohlookcake

      Don’t forget about the Keltec RFB

    • Black_Viper

      Keltec – RFB? Desert Tactical Arms – Bolt Rifle Bullpup SRS? M1A with the Juggernaut Stock coversion?

    • Burst

      Not to mention the Iranian G3 bullpup, from long ago.

  • big daddy

    I guess after studying the warfare they have been constantly in they made the similar conclusions that all modern armies have, like the US, Brits and so on. The 5.56mm just is too limited and does not have the range and destructive force needed in true combat engagements. You cannot have a one size fits all mentality so many armies like the US has had, it doesn’t work. You need in every form overlapping weapon systems, whether it’s rifles, anti-tank weapons, aircraft, ships, everything. The Russians always had a better understanding of this. By trying to save money the DOD has spent 100X more trying to find that one size fits all mirage. The strangest example of that is at one time the DOD was trying to produce a boot that could be worn by both left and right feet. I wonder how much money they wasted on that? So the Israelis need 7.62mm rifles probably within their infantry squad. They want something that will not look different as to bring attention to the troop carrying the weapon. Plus it’s easier to train if all your weapons have similarities ergonomically which reduces costs in every way. They realized the trade off (more weight/expense) is acceptable and a mix of 5.56mm and 7.62mm weapons is a necessity on the modern battlefield. I wonder if they tried the 6.8mm SPC?

  • Scotty

    Not sure if they are meaning the 7.62×51. It’s not specifically detailed as such in the article, only “7.62mm”. Maybe the 300 AAC Blackout (7.62x35mm)? Or 7.62×39? If it was x51mm then the lethality should be more than 400-450 meters, more like 800. The Blackout round would be easier to modify the rifle to/experiment with, just a barrel change instead of a whole new design.

    • Joe Schmoe

      It may have gotten lost in translation, but they are talking about the EFFECTIVE range.

      A 5.56mm DMR is expected to be able to hit a target at 300m a great percentage of the time, but he is also trained to hit targets out to about 500m (after that, the wind and gravity take the bullet to hell). So a 7.62mm DMR will be expected to hit a target at 400m-450m a great percentage of the time, but still be able to engage targets further than that.

    • -V-

      If they are just scaling up the Tavor to take 7.62×51 that’s logical, but if the are experimenting with something like 7.62×35, why not go for something like a 6.5 platform or even a 7mm-08/.276 Pederson type cartridge and get the best of both worlds.

    • bbmg

      “the same bullet in the MAG that is currently used”

      I’m guessing this refers to the FN MAG, therefore 7.62 x 51

      • Joe Schmoe

        As I mentioned to Steve, I think this might be a case of overzealous overreach on the part of the story’s author.

        I think that when he heard the caliber “7.62mm”, he automatically remember the 7.62mm in the army (which is the M240 MAG) and automatically assumed it is the same round without taking into account the length differences.

        Personally, I’m leaning more towards the .300 Blackout (or a similar round) for the following reasons:

        1)- The IDF just purchased a gigantic load of brand new magazines from CAA, the first new load in many years. I can’t see them having the budget to buy a new round, rechamber the Tavor and buy new magazine, vests to hold them, etc.

        2)- The IDF does not actively field the 7.62×39 round, and I don’t see the 7.62×51 being the average infantryman’s round (especially with the limited load). So that means that unlike certain army’s, it would be the same penalty going 7.62×39 or 7.62×35 since they will have to buy new stocks of ammunition in either case, but at least with the 7.62×35 they will be able to use existing magazines.

  • Dave

    “with 7.62mm he could reach -450-400 meters”

    These guys haven’t seen Art of the Precision Rifle…

    • Ian

      Real soldiers don’t watch fancy home movies.

    • Gidge

      With the short barrel on the X95 400-450 meters might be realistic. Don’t forget it’s a carbine designed to be reliable under extreme conditions using military volume production ammo, not some precision rifle using match grade ammo.

      A DMR model being fired from a rest using match grade ammo would be a very different story

    • -V-

      Also, hitting a stationary target at a known range is markedly different from hitting a combatant at the same range who is actively trying not to get shot.

  • Marc

    Will some military please finally adopt a true medium caliber with ballistically efficient projectiles? This whole switching back and forth between marginal range and oversized yet high drag projectiles is annoying.

    • big daddy

      Yes especially for the troops that have to go to war with the weapons we give them. The DOD can do better and should. No excuse for me to have to use a WWII artic sleeping bag in 1980. It was colder in the bag than outside, the stuffing for the bag was gone and I ended up with hypothermia in the mountains of Germany. I’m lucky to be alive today. No excuse for the USA to keep the 5.56mm round anymore. There is better now and has been since the 1950s. I get tired of reading the waste of billions of dollars on camo uniforms alone, trying to make a working 5.56mm round and the F-35. I hope Hagel stops some of the insanity.

    • Six8

      Hear hear!

      SSA 6.8 SPC II VLD Berger is the name of the game for carbine/rifle. 7.62×51 is the LMG/GPMG cartridge.

    • John184

      I say something in between 5.56 and 7.62, something between 7.62 and .338, something between .338 and .50 and something bigger than .50 (along the lines of 14.5mmR) should be the way to go. The first would be perfect for most carbines/rifles/machine guns, the second would be perfect for sniper rifles and machine guns, and something between the .338 and .50 would be good for very long ranges and limited AM use, while a 14.5mm equivalent would be for taking out light armor. Let’s all move towards something a bit bigger.

      • Anonymoose

        6.8SPC, .300LM/.300NM, .375 CheyTac, .416 Barrett are already out there. We just haven’t adopted any new caliber on a joint service-wide/NATO-wide scale in 30 years (besides many countries fielding P90s, Five-seveNs, MP7s, and various .338 rifles in relatively small quantities, and USSOCOM toying around with .40 and .45 pistols every so often) because drawing up STANAGs is a long and arduous process hampered by nationalistic politics and private interests.

  • Having shot my TAR21 for two years I would love to see a 7.62 variant of the X95. Hopefully with a slightly longer barrel length than the current iterations of the rifle.

    • the 18 inch barrel option—

      • 18.5″ That extra half inch is very important in Canada for keeping the rifle unregistered and free for hunting. As a DMR it would make sense to be built from the ground up as semi only wouldn’t it? #Hoping

  • Colin

    I think that its going to be either .300 blk or (less likely) their own design – 556 case with 150gr 762 bullet?

    • G

      Using the same 150 gr bullet a 7.62×51 weapon will have (about) 800 fps higher muzzle velocity than its 300 BLK counterpart.
      300BLK isn’t a replacement for 7.62×51.

      • And the muzzle flash, recoil, ineffective full auto fire and wasted energy of the 51 v 35 at typical combat ranges. I thing 6.8 SPC is better but .300 BLK solves lots of problems.

        • G

          You don’t pick a cartridge that is based on the case of 221 Remington Fireball if you want better long range performance than 223 Remington. Period.

  • Lance

    Well the IDF is on this in several front IWI may be looking into a MACRO tavor but IDF has everything from AR-10s M-24s and M-14s and FALs for DMRs. Overall think the Tavor and bullpups are a bad choice for a DMR. Shorter barrel less shooting comfort and overall a bloated Tavor would be heavy and ungainly for the job. More Gailis in 7.62mm would be better.

    • Joe Schmoe

      What the heck?

      The IDF never used the AR-10, only the SR-25. It also doesn’t use M-14’s or FAL’s for DMR’s, it uses M-4/M-16’s or Tavor’s for that. The M-24 is a full fledged sniper system and has nothing to do with a DMR.

      Also, a bullpup has a longer barrel than a equivalent length conventional rifle, so it is even better for a DMR.

      • DW

        You know something is wrong when someone says a polymer bullpup would be bigger and heavier than a Steel framed Galil… if the lack of punctuation didn’t tip you off earlier.

        • Lance

          Disagree most nations dont use Bullpups for DMRs and there will be a significant weight increase. Any advantage the Tavor has in 5.56mm is gone with these version.

          • DW

            most nations don’t use bullpup at all
            Maybe it will be a heavy gun compared to an AR but I don’t see how you can do worse than Galil 7.62

          • Brad

            7lbs for the tavor and the weight is in the rear close at the body giving it a more ergo feel. The tavor feels great in the hands and even one handed.

  • JDub

    C’mon…this platform is begging for the 6.5 grendel. With the 18″ barrel of a TAR-21, it would be effective and accurate well past 600m. Don’t even have to change the magwell…done and done!

  • Anonymoose

    MAG? What happened to the NG7?

  • Gunluvr

    Just what I need for deer season.

  • Joe

    If they come out with a 7.62 conversion system, can we just use the 7.62 barrel while leaving in the 5.56 bolt to fire 300 blackout?