IWI Tavor “The Hammer”

tavor1

I wouldn’t hesitate at all in saying the Tavor is one of the most anticipated guns to come down the pike in a good while. We have had a pretty good wait before they finally arrived on the market but as I write this distributors are beginning to get them in quantity.

Ever since I saw my first Tavor I’ve been anxious to get my hands on one. During SHOT back in January I finally was able to get some trigger time with the Tavor SAR. By the way in Israel the Tavor is known as the “Hammer”. The IWI booth was the first stop I made on Media Day at the range. There was a line of us waiting to get some range time in. When it was finally my turn I got the usual manual of arms brief and loaded up with a standard AR type magazine. Steel targets were placed at 25 yards, 50 yards, 100 yards and 250 yards. The Tavor I was shooting had a Meprolight M-21 reflex sight mounted on the Picatinny rail.

Phil-with-Tavor copy

I started shooting from the 25 out to the 250 yard line then worked my way back in to the 25. In short the Tavor shot like a dream. It felt well balanced, quick on target with a solid shoulder weld. I had no problem hitting the torso sized steel target at 250 yards. It’s hard to describe but the Tavor just felt natural to shoot. After firing 90 rounds all I wanted to do was keep shooting it but then the line was getting longer behind me and I had to move on. As soon as I stepped off the line I asked Michael Kassnar of IWI for a T&E Tavor when they started leaving the factory in Harrisburg,Pa.

Six weeks ago I got one of the first Tavors to leave the new factory in Harrisburg. When I got home the first thing I did was give it the once over and disassemble it. Takedown is simple and straightforward. At the rear of the stock body is a rubber butt plate. At the top is a large pin you push out. As soon as that’s done you just pull the top of the butt plate and lower it. The bottom is hinged so once you lower the butt pad you simply reach in and pull out the firing mechanism and piston gas system all in one unit.. That’s it your ready to clean it. It doesn’t get any faster or easier than that. The charging handle is on the left front. Pull it to the rear and release. The safety is just above the shooters thumb. The magwell is just in front of my elbow with the bolt release right behind that. It sounds awkward but it’s a simple matter to roll the gun to the right a small amount to drop or insert a new mag or if needed release the bolt. I prefer to release the bolt by using the charging handle. Two CAA mags are supplied as part of the package. The mag release is just in front of the mag and looks like a small trigger you depress to drop the magazine.

bolt

TAR Variant

Stats:

           Bullpup configuration; short rifle convenience with long rifle accuracy

  • Mil-Spec , chrome lined, cold-hammer forged CrMoV barrel, 6 groove 1:7 RH twist
  • Optional 9mm Parabellum conversion kit with CHF barrel, 1:10 twist, CrMoV steel
  • Optional 5.45x39mm conversion kit with CHF CrMoV barrel, 1:7½ twist, chrome lined
  • 100% ambidextrous configuration and operation with optional left hand bolts for 5.56 NATO and 5.45x39mm
  • Integral folding adjustable backup iron sights with Tritium front post (flat top models only)
  • Integral ambidextrous front and rear quick detachable sling swivel receptacles
  • Simple field stripping into easily serviceable subassemblies
  • Mil-Std 100% interchangeability of all TAVOR® SAR parts
  • Mil-Std bayonet lug on 18″ barreled models
  • Uses standard AR-15/M16 magazines
  • Last round hold open on empty magazine
  • All metal parts are treated for corrosion resistance
  • Integral rubber recoil pad
  • Assembled in the US from Israeli and US manufactured parts
  • Optimized ergonomic design for increased comfort and ease of use
  • Clean, long stroke piston operation
  • Body constructed of high-strength impact modified polymer

While there are several models the SAR uses a straight rail any optic can be mounted on. The first time user needs to look close or you’ll miss the BUIS front and rear. The front and rear sights are hinged and fit flush within the rail. The user just pulls each spring-loaded sight up. These are fast and more importantly fitting into the rail once set the sights won’t lose zero.  They also co-witness with my EoTech 516. This is the sight I used throughout the test. There is also a Picatinny rail mounted on the right at the 2 o’clock position. The front grip has an included rail that can be attached allowing the user to use a vertical grip.

20130404_161131_zpsee724291

During my range sessions I remained impressed with the accuracy, speed of movement and the overall length even with a 16.5 inch barrel. The Tavor is also ambidextrous. Yep lefties you have another carbine you can use normally. While I didn’t convert this SAR for left hand use my coach at SHOT told me it can be changed from right hand to left hand use in under five minutes with some practice.

Double taps at 25 yards were easy with the balance and handling the Tavor has. Firing from 100 yards I could mount my Leupold AR Mod 1 scope on both guns and outshoot my AR almost every time. I was always doubtful when I heard the Tavor, with a longer barrel, could be used as a shorter-range sniper platform. Our term would be designated marksman I believe. I know if you do your part 1 MOA is pretty much what you get at 100 yards.

20130404_160938_zpse2a9ab62

After firing all 500 rounds through the Tavor I can only say that as a shooter who has never been enamored with bullpup designs I’m very much sold on this one. Seriously, if I were given the choice of trading say my only AR for a Tavor I’d do it.  I’m that impressed with it. Now some may say I’m advertising because of how positive I am in presenting the Tavor. I can tell you far from it I’m honestly that impressed by the SAR model Tavor! That being said I do have one gripe. The trigger is a bit on the heavy side. The one at SHOT had a good trigger but it had been fired a good deal. Perhaps my sample just needed some additional use.

20130404_160952_zps8d38f470

From the IWI Tavor website:

 

“At the end of the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War arose an understanding that the modern battlefield had changed. One of the conclusions from the war, particularly relevant to the small arms industry, was that the battle had moved from open field conflicts to close-quarters engagements – and there was a need for a seamless transition from daylight to nighttime capability on a single mission. Out of this understanding, and after more than a decade of collaboration and

 testing with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) – the TAVOR® rifle was born. Just as race car technology trickles down to consumer automobiles, so do these time and battle-tested firearms now become a modern sporting rifle platform for civilian gun enthusiasts.”

 20130404_161019_zpsb869e1ce

 


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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  • http://www.facebook.com/GreenPlease Cornelius Carroll

    Wish I could get my hands on one but they’re sold out everywhere :/

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I was afraid of that. It may be that way for some time.

      • http://www.facebook.com/scott.sanborn.129 Scott Sanborn

        Thinking about selling the AR for one. The only one I have seen in stock locally is currently at $2,500. That said, my AR will probably go for 2K the way things have been going. Thanks for the review. Is the flash hider threaded or pinned?

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          The flash hider is pinned—–

          I have to say I did think about doing the same thing. As much as I would have been pleased to sell my AR for the bucks needed to buy the Tavor I thought that in the long run it might be a good idea to keep the AR for the huge number of parts available. Of course then I thought heck there’s not much of anything to break on the Tavor.

          I may still do it:-)

          • Landbarger

            Makes sense that the flash hider is pinned on the 16.5″, but what about the 18″ barrel? There’s no OAL consideration on that one to be concerned with. It’d be easier to pin it (same process for both barrels) but it’d be nicer to have it threaded.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            It’s probably also pinned but I haven’t taken a real close look at the 18 inch barrel model.

    • ST4

      Just be patient, my pal ordered one not a week ago and landed one. Picking it up in a day actually. Keep bugging your favorite dealer to check with their distributors often.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        I can tell you that this new IWI factory has the latest equipment and they are turning out as many as possible. They plan on being in business here for a long time.

  • Joe Schmoe

    I’m probably going to be upgraded from the M4A1 to the Micro-Tavor sometime in the next two years. I’ll try and have a review (army censorship allowing) up then. :)

    But yeah, the Tavor is a heck of a lot of fun to shoot.

    P.S. – For anyone wondering why there seems to be a “button” on the front handguard, it is there for the MARS sight. The MARS sight has an integrated Laser and the Tavor was specifically designed with this sight in mind. The laser is activated by a push button (pressure switch), of which is supposed to inserted in that slot.

    http://arniesairsoft.co.uk/news2/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/si-mars-01a.jpg
    http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/4/4c/IMI_CTAR-21_Tavor.jpg/500px-IMI_CTAR-21_Tavor.jpg

    • Joe Schmoe

      One more note, I’ve never heard the Tavor being called “the Hammer” here in Israel; I’ve heard it referred to as “the space gun” and stuff like that. The only thing called “the Hammer” here in Israel is the Hummer, and I think it’s a joke to do with how your back feels after a ride in them.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        I actually got that name from a now retired IDF spec ops guy. Then I had a good friend with close ties to the IDF who also passed along that name. Maybe it’s a term popular with the military?

        • sanchanim

          We always called it the Tavor. Hebrew for hammer would be pateesh, but then again groups pick up on nicknames all the time. All I know is once you hold and fire one you will go home and ask your wife for forgiveness for cheating on her. Yeah it is really that good!

          • Joe Schmoe

            Yay, a tsnef is here. :)

            But yeah, it could just be a nickname his unit used for it.

            By the way Phil, what did you think of the CAA magazines?

          • sanchanim

            Yup it is a local thing lol I actually got the play with the one with a real giggle switch. Of course it was Alpha phase. Mikey had just moved away form the sniper school in Jerusalem to do more weapons development. I am south paw so for me it is an added bonus. Working on it like the author mentioned makes an AR like rocket science. It is sooo easy.

          • Joe Schmoe

            I remember shooting an early version in training, back when it was a Givati only weapon (without the later modifications).

            Everyone just had to go Schwarzenegger and fire it from the hip with the laser on, it was quite controllable during that surprisingly.

          • sanchanim

            I was Givati, Plugat Sheked.. :-)

          • Joe Schmoe

            So why the heck do you go by “sanchanim”!?

          • sanchanim

            Father in law was Sanchanim. Bother in law was doovdoovan.

          • Joe Schmoe

            I worked so much with Duvdevan back when. Poor bastards are so bored these days (thank heavens).

          • sanchanim

            Yeah good and bad, ok I officially can’t spell Hebrew word phonetically lol

          • sanchanim

            Never has a chance to go to giboosh, or I probably would have.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            That it is. When I took it apart for the first time my first thought was I missed something. No kidding you can strip it in under 10 seconds without a big rush. That and cleaning it takes about one quarter the time it takes to clean an AR.

          • Tom Z.

            Ah, Mikey – The man who brought Israeli sniping to the 21st Century… had a decked out .357 back then. Amazing guy.

          • Joe Schmoe

            Still batshit crazy :) .

            Plus the nonsense that happened with the new Barak rifle really dents his reputation.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            I heard that but not the reason why:-)

          • Joe Schmoe

            I may have mentioned some details, but I would rather if they don’t become too public for the moment until they are fully rectified.

            But yeah, it was a royal fuckup of a program that had no reason not to go smoothly.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            Gotcha and I do understand

          • j.morosa

            I bought a Tavor a couple of months ago. I went from a Vortex red dot, which is supposed to be one of the best. . .to a Bushnell 1-4x on a Burris mount with a Burris backup red dot.

            My Saiga AKs as well as my Colt AR as well as my Romanian AKs ALL shoot 1 to 2 MOA angle of accuracy with Russian amo as well as Rusian red dots (Kobras). The Tavor with ALL the aforementioned sights shoot All OVER THE PLACE!!!!

            This is not in keeping with all you have written about the gun. WHY????? I have cranked ALL the screws down with blue locktite and torque screwdrivers. STILL NO Accuracy ( 8 MOA or worse with constantly wandering POI!!!!).

            Please tell me what I am doing wrong?? PLEASE help!

            J. Morosa

          • j.morosa

            I bought a Tavor 18″ barrel a couple of months ago (yes, that’s suppposed to be the designated marksman rifle). I went from a Vortex red dot, which is supposed to be one of the best. . .to a Bushnell 1-4x on a Burris mount with a Burris backup red dot.

            My Saiga AKs as well as my Colt ARs as well as my Romanian AKs (All merely 16″ barrel guns). ALL shoot 1 to 2 MOA angle of accuracy with Russian ammo as well as Russian red dots (Kobras). The Tavor with ALL the aforementioned sights shoot All OVER THE PLACE!!!!

            This is not in keeping with all you have written about the gun. WHY????? I have cranked ALL the screws down with blue locktite and torque screwdrivers. STILL NO Accuracy ( 8 MOA or worse with constantly wandering POI!!!!).

            Please tell me what I am doing wrong?? PLEASE help!

            Also. . .since you don’t want to address my questions regarding accuracy, I will also add something regarding the trigger comments. . .I sent mine back to the IWI USA folks and they gave me a wonderful trigger pull of about 5 lbs. I couldn’t be happier with that. My problem is with the wandering POI, as I stated earlier. Can someone address that, please?

            J. Morosa

          • sanchanim

            Crazy like a fox.. No other way to be!

          • Tom Z.

            God, that’s an ugly pistol…

          • Tom Z.

            Oh… The Barak Rifle (I Misread).

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            Well you know I’ve heard good and bad but my two mags that were sent with the gun worked fine. I had no problems with them at all. I actually like them about as much as my PMags.
            One thing I did like was the way the ammo indicator works. It also has that button on the bottom you can feel that shows it’s a loaded mag.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            I couldn’t agree more it is that good! Heck I’ll probably end up buying one anyway at some point.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Thanks for adding that–

  • TV-PressPass

    They’re a popular rifle for sure. After 2 years I’m more comfortable with my Tavor than any of my AR-15s ever were. I’m pleased to see some previously “non-bullpup people” like Phil White and Travis Haley trying the Tavor out!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I tell you what if I had the bucks this one would have never gone back to the factory!

      I’m still amazed that a gun like the Tavor can be so darn fast on target and still deliver such accuracy when needed.

      • sanchanim

        Phil their MSRP is around $2k if I remember correctly. While not dirt cheap it is worth it in my opinion. It would be funny if the US military picked it up.

        • Joe Schmoe

          Not enough rails for the U.S. Army :) .

          • sanchanim

            Rails, who needs rails! lol Even on my CA compliant AR, I don’t have much of anything. Don’t need it lol

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          Yep it’s $1999 but some guys have emailed and told me they are selling for around $2300 most places. Price gouging at it’s finest.

          It is worth the price no doubt about that. Now wouldn’t that be interesting if we found out some spec ops guys were using them:-)

          • TV-PressPass

            For what its worth: the versions we got in Canada used to sell for $3200 and just came down to $2700 in the last year or so!

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            WOW now that’s a bunch!

          • FourString

            Ah, is that Canadian dollars or USD equivalent you’re listing there? If the latter, that’s not bad considering how high your taxes (and public framework, being fair) are compared to the USA. If the former, well, not bad at all, if I’m not mistaken. Plus, you guys have more ammo available right now in the form of milsurp, particularly 5.56x45mm, no?

          • schizuki

            The Canadian dollar is currently at par with the US dollar.

          • FourString

            Thanks good to know!

          • phamnuwen

            Since you brought it up, I’ll bite:

            If people are willing to pay $2300, why shouldn’t you charge that?

            (I did not thumb you down)

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            It just never seemed right to me. It’s almost like taking advantage of scared people that would darn near spend the families house payment to get one.

          • phamnuwen

            Of course that could be the case, but why should the seller make such decisions for the buyer? I think we have to assume that people are capable of deciding what is best for them. If not you’ll end up with the nanny state.

            And as the video points out, charging the market-clearing rate makes sure the goods go to those who value them the most and that no shortages occur.

          • asoro

            it’s principle dude,, they would not be charging this much if it where not for what Obama and hes goons are doing. a box of 9mm ammo would still be 8-9.95 a box, 223 6-7 box. we are paying for what the gov, is causing thats not right, ya some people will pay it because they can afford to pay it. some can’t
            thank god I saw this coming from a long time ago and today have 1000’s or rd’s of ammo of all kinds that I would not have other wise. I have been saving ammo from back when a box of 9′ was 5.95 a box 223- 5.00 AK-3.50/2.99 45-8.00 so on. this gun would be around 14-1500 if it was not this bull crap from our nice gov.

          • phamnuwen

            Yes “dude”, the principle is called “supply and demand”.

            If sellers aren’t allowed to set their own prices they won’t make any profit, and they’ll stop selling that product. Business owners cannot sell their products at cost or at a loss or they’ll go bankrupt.

            The result of the price fixing you propose is shortages.
            The Venezuelan government fixed the price of toilet paper a few months ago. As a result the country ran out of toilet paper. This is 100% predictable. It happens every time.

            It sucks that the federal and state governments imposes taxes and regulations that make things more expensive, but that problem is with the government, not the merchant.

          • asoro

            they dont have to gouge and they can still make a profit. right now the price of ammo and other items is out of line,
            you know I know it everyone knows it. thats what I am mad about. they
            can make there profit without killing us… the way your talking you must
            be a MERCHANT , or rich and dont care about what you pay for stuff, But I dont have that. Well at least you dont sound like a Liberal……

          • phamnuwen

            Suppose you have a gun to sell, and two interested buyers.
            Buyer 1 offers $2300.
            Buyer 2 offers $2200.
            Which do you sell to?

          • asoro

            Did I set a price to start? if I did than it would at that price. if its an auction thats different your setting it up to get as much as possible, But I would not jack up a price if I set it someplace

          • phamnuwen

            So you can only set the price once and then never change it?

          • gunslinger

            there is no such thing as gouging. it’s an emotional response to a perceived worth of goods. (ok, yes there are legal definitions towards gouging, but they are usually specific to necessities during a disaster)

            here’s the funny thing. the IWI is not in the business to promote the 2A, they are in the business of making money. where it comes into play is if the consumer base (all consumers) decide if $2300 is a fair price for the Tavor. It sounds like it is, because they are selling. if they were sitting on shelves, you’d see the price start to fall. i mean, they aren’t holding a gun to your head forcing you to buy. I want a Tavor. i don’t want to spend 2300 on it. guess what i’m doing? not buying.

            so i ask, why is this wrong? where does it say they need to be nice and let their goods go for less?

          • asoro

            Because we support the gun Industry, So why should they F-us
            do that to the Gov, not to us

          • phamnuwen

            If the buyer accepts the price, how is he getting “F-ed”?

          • sanchanim

            Yeah I want one but IWI doesn’t plan on making a CA compliant version. Course I have magazine locks and the rest of the bull that goes along with it. I do know folks who are FLL with class III. hhmm

    • FourString

      Yeah, I’m planning to get a Tavor eventually. It’s one of those to-get rifles. Everything seems superb about it so far.

  • Tim Underbakke

    This has seriously been my dream gun for years, but I always believed we’d never see them on our shores.

    Now that they are here…. I wish I had the money.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Bank loan–second mortgage:-)

  • allannon

    While I have no interest in selling my AR, or the lower I’m planning to use for a new build, I also intend to earmark some fun money for one of these. I’ve heard very little bad about them, aside from grousing from the “no bullpups!” crowd, and quite a lot of good.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      As I said I was one of those “no bullpup” guys and I was pretty adamant about. Unitl now :-)

  • MOG

    If praying for one don’t work, I might try stealing one, and then praying for forgiveness. (Yes, I stole that joke too). Looks a lot cleaner than the techno cool AR/M16 clones as well.

  • CJR

    Phil,

    Could you share with us some of the drills and tests you ran with the Tavor, and how the times and scores compared with your AR? I’ve heard good things elsewhere about the Tavor, but it would be nice to see some hard data.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I didn’t run any timed test in order to give you guys a hard and fast time between the two guns. Rather I just made observations based on group sizes and just knowing I was faster or slower with the Tavor than with the AR.
      That being said I can change a mag faster with the AR. I don’t think the amount of time I’ve spent with the AR made much difference. I can’t say there was a great difference but yes the mag change on the AR was slightly faster. I used my left hand to reach up and slap the mag release after taking a fresh mag from my belt. The slight difference comes from my choosing to use the charging handle to release the bolt rather than use the release right behind the magwell. I’m fairly certain with practice it would be faster for most people to insert the mag then slap the bolt release right behind the magwell which is about even with my elbow.
      The Tavor is much faster on target. I’m sure that’s because of two things—the weight toward the rear and a lightweight front end. The very short overall length. In some ways it feels like pointing a handgun since both hands are very close together. That provides a more secure grip reducing muzzle rise as well as applying more strength in a small area. With the AR you’re supporting the front of the rifle with one hand allowing more muzzle rise. It’s like I told one of the guys that commented look at that first pic from SHOT and the almost total lack of muzzle rise. You can see the brass just a few inches from the ejection port. Double taps are also faster for the same reason. In fact the guy from Israel who was familiarizing new shooters with the Tavor. After shooting one mag he told me to try a double tap at the 50 yard target. I’m thinking yea right a decent hit double tap at 50 yards. That was one of those ah moments because both rounds hit within about 5 or 6 inches from each other. I’m not ashamed to say I can’t do that with my AR.
      To sum it up outside of the fairly small difference in mag change time I was faster with the tavor in firing on multiple targets, double taps as well as moving from one point to another on the range and re-engaging a target. Again that comes from the overall short length.
      I hope this helps. Feel free to ask if you have additional questions. Next time I make a comparison between two guns I’ll take my timer:-)

      • Joe Schmoe

        By the way, there are several ways to reload with the Tavor I heard (note: not from personal experience).

        One way is to throw your thumb back to hit the mag release. The other is to use the fresh magazine sideways to hit the release and then slide it in.

        Then again, you can always try it the Chinese way:

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          Now that guy is super fast! I wonder how many hours practice it took to get that good?
          You’re right though that is another way you could change mags. I have seen the magazine used sideways like that. I believe it was Sammy the Russian guy that runs that training school where he shot the guy inside the shoot house hanging targets.

          • Joe Schmoe

            :)

            Some guy posted a video above where Travis Haley happens to be doing the exact reload technique I mentioned.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            I saw that— I doubt I’ll ever be as fast as Haley changing mags! I did try that method of using the back of my hand or thumb to drop the mag. That works fine except my left hand is occupied getting a fresh mag so I have to break my grip in order to use that method. Now for those with large hands it would most likely work fine.

      • tomaso

        you made a point about the light weight front and weight toward the rear….this is why most “AR” guys fall on their faces with bullpups at first, they “over shoot” when transitioning to targets compared to what their use to…….its very different then the AR’s ergos and balance…iv said it for years that the bullpup is a better “jack of all trades” platform over the standard layout.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          In the case of the Tavor I agree 100%

  • noob

    Phil, what do you like better for cold weather: A mitten friendly whole-hand trigger guard, or a true triggerguard?

    and how does it feel when balancing the weapon on your strong hand while changing mags, vs the ar-15 platform? any rub points (not expecting any since the shelf thing on the pistol grip looks smooth)?

    Also, since the metal frame inside is the “firearm” and everything else is fair game, what accessories do you want magpul to make for this rifle specifically?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      In this case as a comparison between the AR and Tavor I’d opt for the Tavor since you can wear a warm glove that may be thicker than one you could use with the AR. One thing I can’t stand is having cold hands because the trigger guard is to small for heavier gloves.

      Changing mags with the Tavor feels much different. The main reason is the weight distribution. Since the center of gravity is farther back on the Tavor it feels lighter to manipulate and change mags. The center of gravity is just in front of the magazine. Most of the weight is supported by your shoulder. Using those much larger muscles it just feels lighter. There are no rough spots or rub points.

      You know I can’t think of much that Magpul would make for the Tavor. Since the PMag works as is that’s out. The current BUIS already work with it. Thinking about it further I can’t think of anything offhand that Magpul would make. Anything you might use already works with the Tavor.

      • noob

        :D thanks Phil!

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          Sure anytime at all—

          • noob

            hmm. on further thought – what would happen if you removed the plastic outer stock and magpul or someone would make one with the features of the HS produkt VHS-2

            * adjustable length of pull (for giants)

            * integral brass deflector for weakside shooting

            ?

            or how about stocks pretty much in classic Tavor form, but in various camo patterns – ACU, multicam, ATACs, realtree, muddy girl?

            Would that be interesting?

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            My first though is if that’s possible it won’t be cheap by any means. That’s also a product that would take a lot of development time.

  • JaredN

    I’ve ordered one. Can’t wait until it shows up.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Get plenty of ammo you’ll have a hard time putting it down–LOL!

  • burkefett

    Any word on the availability of the conversion kits? I’m interested in the 5.45 kit in particular..it’s getting pricey to plink and practice with 5.56 these days.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      You got that right not to mention standing in line at times. As far as the release of the conversion kits I heard a moderately reliable source say sometime in the next four to six weeks.

  • Friendly Neighborhood Gunsmith

    The Tavor is a fantastic rifle with a great lineage you can see in its design. I am very lucky to have been able to work with IWI directly and the folks there are a great group of people who are very passionate about their product and upholding the quality standards of the original Israeli designers. They support small FFLs such as myself and have been really open and easy to communicate with, which is something a lot of gun makers struggle with.

    I live only a hop, skip and a jump from Harrisburg and was able to get my hands on two of the first 18″ rifles to leave the factory directly from IWI themselves. I’ve greatly enjoyed analyzing the design and have a copy of the original IDF technical manual on hand as well. It’s fascinating to see some of the gun’s lineage under the hood; the sear system is heavily influenced by the M1 carbine and FN FAL, both were rifles that saw significant use in Israel. The M1 continues to serve in Israel in more than one form!

    Down inside of the trigger pack you can see the bomb-proofing that went into the design. The hammer is locked to its pivot pin with a small cross pin and the sear pin is clipped in place, meaning neither pin is able to walk out of the housing. The secondary trigger return spring was added later in development, and makes an easy an effortless mod to get a slightly better and lighter trigger pull for a civilian rifle that won’t be filled with sand on the battlefield. The springs are much heavier than we’ve grown used to in AR-15s!

    With relatively small mods I’ve taken the fairly heavy factory trigger weight down to a much nicer 5.5 pounds and there is significant room for tuning for us civvies. I would not be surprised to see a sizable aftermarket crop up for these rifles in the future. The first company to make a spring package that maintains reliability (in the vein of JP springs for AR-15s) will get a ton of business from Tavor owners, I suspect!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      It’s good to read about someone else who has had contact with IWI. Nice folks and very eager to help and answer questions. Like you mentioned I doubt small companies will have issues with them like you do with other larger companies.
      A trigger mod would be popular.

  • Marcus D.

    Something I would love to have, but it doesn’t look California compliant; too many “evil features”.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      That I haven’t heard an answer on yet.

  • fjkhoury01

    Sooo what does this design have over say an AUG or FS2K?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      It feels better in use than the AUG. As far as the FS2K the Tavor is somewhat smaller and less bulky. I’ve never shot the FS2K so as far as handling and firing I couldn’t say.
      Remember I didn’t like bullpups until the Tavor came along:-)

      • fjkhoury01

        Interesting so it feels good, got it.

        • ST4

          Here’s what I noticed after handling one…

          – Can use thicker, polymer AR mags without modifications

          – Drop free mag release

          – Bolt-hold open on empty

          – Easily accessible bolt-release

          – More positive fire selector switch – similar to AR15

          Phil’s words about it compared to other bullpup designs are ringing true among other well known instructors such as Travis Haley.

          • Joe Schmoe

          • fjkhoury01

            Your aware that the STANAG magazine is not exactly ideal, the very reason all new 556 rifles made in eastern Europe as well as the 550 have always used proprietary magazines to increase their durability and feeding reliablity. (BREN805, 550, G36, XM8)

            I don’t even own an AUG but ive never seen the use of the proprietary mag as any more than a logistical issue but its value added to the platform.

  • Nobody

    The IWI Tavor I saw was chambered for .223 REM on the side, which is a minus in my mind. I was hoping for 5.56 NATO chambering.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      The barrel is marked 5.56 made in Israel while the pic below says .223. I’m sure the chamber is 5.56.

      • Joe Schmoe

        The Israeli Tavors are 5.56mm NATO.

        The U.S. website of IWI shows that the U.S. Tavors are 5.56 NATO. It was probably a minor Metric–>Imperial conversion translation error. You might want to bring it up with them.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          I was thinking along those lines as well. I’ve already emailed Michael Kassnar about it.

    • Tim Underbakke

      It actually is a 5.56 chamber. It has been my experience that companies who have not been in America long do not realize that .223 REM is NOT the same as 5.56.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.mew.3 Nicholas Mew

    I prefer the A-91M.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Give the Tavor a try before you decide. I have to say it—that may be a very good gun but geez it’s ugly!

      • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.mew.3 Nicholas Mew

        At least this one ejects casing forward.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          The Tavor ejects to the side with .223. Now you put a mag of 5.56 in and it does eject forward.

  • WilliamC

    One of the options for the X95 is an alternate trigger guard, I wonder if that can be used on the Tavor as well?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      No the trigger guard if you want to call it that is part of the receiver.

      • WilliamC

        Thanks for the info, I wonder if future variants will allow it to be changed like on the X95.

        Usually I’m pretty good with my terminology, but what is the proper name for what I’m calling the trigger guard?

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          That’s close enough I did understand what you meant. It’s just the Tavor is unique. I don’t know if there is a term for that configuration.

          • Joe Schmoe

            I believe it may be called the “hand-guard” or “trigger-guard”.

            The idea behind it is to allow you to rest your forearm on there, creating an additional point of contact and stability.

  • Cuban Pete

    Some dude at The Nation’s Gun Show in Chantilly, VA, had one on display – no price. I went ahead asked him and he quoted me $3000.
    Yep, you heard me right, $3000. Price gouging? Just being a dick? I say both of them.
    Needless to say I informed the group of 25 of us that were at the gun show that day and unanimously we decided to boycott his table that show and on future shows. I also proceeded to inform everyone that I saw that such table ought to be avoided on general principles.

    • gunslinger

      for the umpteenth billion time… price gouging does not exist for items like this. PG is a law that states have enacted to “ensure” supply of critical items (such as gas/milk/water) is affordable to everyone in a disaster area.

      PG in this context is more of “i’m butthurt because i think that price is to much”

      if i say, HEY a Tavor in my pocket for $3k? that’s a steal. then am I gouged? Or i could say? Heck 3k? um no. it’s only worth 1700. i can either buy or walk away. he’s not point a gun at me saying give him 3k.

      now you can say he’s being a tool for charging over MSRP. sure you can. I mean, if there’s 30 other booths selling at 2k, then yeah, that’s a bonehead move. because those other 30 guys are moving rifles and he’s still sitting on stock.

      but what’s the market conditions? it’ll even out

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      That’s just crazy. Lets see that would be a profit of around $1500 or so.

  • Tom Z.

    Great article – I’m actually extremely surprised of how positive industry professionals are talking about it.

    Funny thing is… I’m Israeli… And was in (Combat) service while they held field testing for the Tavor, but I was in a battalion testing the ‘Flattop’ M4’s (Which I loved dearly, besides my wife and pets there’s nothing I’ve cared for with such affection).

    As some of you know Israel has very strict gun control so shooting one here is not an option. When I do reserve service I get my old sweetheart back (M4), But I’d like to get a feel for the Tavor.

    I’ll be in Vegas soon (June) – Any chance there’s a gun range there for AR’s that will have one available for shooting?

    I’m Skeptical, but we’ll see.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Yes there is a range in Las Vegas that rents all kinds of guns including full auto. It’s called Machinegun Vegas.

      3501 Aldebaran Ave
      Las Vegas
      (702) 476-9228

      • Tom Z.

        Thanks a lot. Looking forward to it.

        • Joe Schmoe

          Just to let you know, the Reserves are going to be fully switched over to the Tavor (probably the Micro-Tavor (X95)) by 2017.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            Ah didn’t know that. That’s going to leave a lot of M-16’s in the armory.

          • Tom Z.

            2017?! I’m not that patient :-) Besides, after remembering Mikey’s ‘Spiel’ regarding the forearm point of contact thing I want to try the regular Tavor.

            He’s such a nice guy – I actually came up to him and asked about the Tavor he carried back in 2001 while in boot camp: I was expecting some form of reprimand but he took his time and explained the design. Gun nuts… I guess we recognize one another through the smell of gun oil :-)

          • Joe Schmoe

            I don’t know if you are aware of this, but he recently designed a new combat optic that can switch crosshairs by the use of a pressure switch to allow rapid situational aiming.

            http://www.mse-il.com/?page_id=377

            http://www.israeldefense.com/?CategoryID=485&ArticleID=1976

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          Sure I hope you enjoy it!

  • rychastings

    Do you find that the pistol grip is a bit thin? Maybe it just looks that way but it doesnt look as ergonomic as an AR-15 style pistol grip

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      No not at all. The grip has plenty of width. I’ll go so far as to say the grip feels better than my AR with a Magpul grip. The shape and varying thickness just makes it fit the hand better.

  • sb

    does the idf model come left handed too and will conversion options be available for it.ive also heard something about a micro version can anyone comment?

    • Joe Schmoe

      The Tavor is able to be switched from right to left handed in a few minutes at any armorer. This goes for the IDF as well.

      The IDF is also switching over to the “Micro-Tavor”, also known as the “X-95″, which is even more compact and lighter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maverick-Moore/778238975 Maverick Moore

    I’m surprised to see so many comments with none mentioning the trigger. Is this bullpup not plagued by the “mushy” trigger that so many before it have?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      No it’s not mushy at all. It could stand to be lightened a little but then most combat rifles have a fairly heavy trigger compared to civilian type rifles.

  • mig1nc

    I really want to wait until the X95 becomes available… But reviews like this make it hard!

  • Nathan

    That guy at shot show was throwing you some BS about being able to convert the tavor “in five minutes with practice.” Unless, of course, you can send the tavor back to IWI for conversion and receive it in five minutes. The rifle is advertised as needing little more than to flip a switch to make it lefty but almost never mentions needing a new bolt and to send it back to the factory costing shipping, transfer fees, $109 for the new bolt (if you can find one), and whatever labor will cost. The only part of the conversion that wasn’t a royal pain was the safety switch. I’m still sorta happy I bought one but until I can convert the tavor, it will be a $2000 dollar paper weight taking up space in my safe.