New Tavor Picatinny Handguard Rail

tavor-accessory-rail

The Israeli Tavor TAR-21 bullpup is the hot new rifle these days. Most reviews of the Tavor have been pretty favorable so far with rifles selling just as fast as they’re being produced. Like with any popular firearms, there’s sure to be an influx of accessories from the aftermarket industry. Israeli accessory retailer Zahal recently started selling a new aluminum Picatinny bottom handguard rail for the TAR-21 Tavor from Fab Defense. It’s made from 6061 T6 aluminium and compensates for the Tavor’s handguard angle to allow you to mount accessories parallel to the rifle’s barrel. It does require some drilling of the handguard to work, but according to this how-to it doesn’t look too difficult. It retails for $60 at Zahal.org. Can we expect Magpul to jump on the Tavor bandwagon next?

zahal-tavor-rail.


Ray I.

Ray is an online marketer who got his start in the auto industry taking pictures and writing about cars. A long time gun enthusiast and blogger, his daily firearms musings can be found over at his gun blog ArmoryBlog.com.


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  • Dickington

    Just out of curiosity, if anybody can answer it, why the Tavor popularity over the AUG?
    Is it just because it’s the new kid on the block, or does it have features even the time-tested AUG can’t match?

    • TC

      Magazine versatility (95% of AR on market work), two different barrel lengths, conversions (5.45 and 9mm) will be available here soon. It is military use proven with 15+ countries in use, most notable Isreal where it was developed and the biggie, timing. Steyr has just missed the boat when it comes to marketing and attracting new customers. Tavor came about to the US market when a lot of new people were looking at weapons that weren’t before due to political climate.

      • Tim U

        They also are exploring a .300 BLK barrel within the next year.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Excellent point about market timing, TC. History is rife with otherwise outstanding designs that never made it beyond the prototype, pre-production or limited production stages due to this factor, even if said designs were actually superior in many ways to the existing standards of the time.

        A variation on the market timing theme is the inadequate exposure, presentation, financial backing and proofing of a new but otherwise first-rate weapons system to potential users ( who more often than not are pre-disposed towards an already-established weapons system — human beings being creatures of habit who often don’t like change and prefer to stick to what they already know ). Examples of this are the AR-18 5.56mm assault rifle ( which was everything the M-16 should have been, and then some ), the Ultimax 100 5.56mm LMG ( an outstanding weapon by any standards that never gained true recognition due to poor market timing vis-a-vis the FN Minimi / M249 SAW ), and the Singapore Technologies Kinetics SAR-21 5.56mm bullpup rifle, which is probably every bit as good as the Tavor but does not have the latter’s name recognition and publicity.

    • Jon R.

      Simpler field strip, ability to swap barrels/calibers quickly, easier to convert for left handed shooters, uses STANAG magazines as opposed to the AUG proprietary magazines, and arguably better ergonomics. Why the AUG is more popular than the FN S2000 I will never understand though.

      • DougE

        The AUG came onto the scene in the late 70’s, so it’s had much more time on the market. I don’t quite understand it either though.

        • Cymond

          I’ve heard the FS2000 has reliability problems, and that clearing a double-feed is a nightmare. However, it could easily be internet rumors.

          • Brandon Montville

            The only times an FS2000 will have reliability issues are:
            1) When using steel-cased ammo.
            2) When the gas system is not properly maintained.

      • runandgun

        Well I have all of these and frankly the AUG is much more refined. You can swap barrels on the AUG is 10 seconds…as far as field stripping they are about the same. But when handling the weapon and firing the AUG seems much more petite that he Tavor and certainly the FS2000 which seems a bit fat at the stock area. The FS2000 is very complicated inside with MANY parts…the AUG and Tavor both seem simpler designs

    • gallan

      Main reasons are probably weight and rail friendliness. Steyr has failed to upgrade the steyr over the years which has resulted in an even heavier railed version.

      Saying that, Australia has developed their own version of the Aug called the EF88. It weighs the same as the Tavor and has the requisite rail space. It’s also got a very well integrated grenade launcher. It’s so good Steyr has actually adopted the weapon improvements for the next version of the steyr.

      But even this latest version of the Aug is still inferior to the Tavor for two reasons. Aug can cease to function if it’s submerged in water and it easily malfunctions if you fire it on the off shoulder, not so the Tavor.

      Also we shouldn’t forget that the Tavor has the israeli government behind it. Vastly superior service and future expandability of the weapon system compared to Steyr.

      In anycase the Tavor isn’t that popular, no really respectable military has adopted it yet.

      • Joe Schmoe

        The IDF isn’t a “respectable military”?

      • fakefrank0002

        The British has their own L85A2 bullpup rifle, the US is sticking to the m16 and same platform variants come hell or high water and getting the Russians to buy foreign will never happen. The Chinese could start using it, but it will be a knock off so that wont count. Is that all the respectable-ish military forces covered?

        • Anonymoose

          The Chinese already have their QBZ-95. I could totally see them improving it with features copied from the Tavor though.

      • Gusto

        I’ve fired the F88 on the off shoulder..the brass hit me in the face but it didn’t malfunction ….uncomfortable though.Someone can come up with a deflector of some sort I suppose.

        The IDF is also damn respectable.The only time I’ve ever used a Tavor is ….Battlefield 3 on PC..I think that’s as close as I’m going to get..I want one.

      • Tim U

        The only reason the “respectable” militaries in your mind haven’t adopted it is they all have domestic producers making something.

        The Tavor is gaining popularity in other countries besides Israel (and I would consider the IDF a “respectable” military)… Ukraine, India, Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, etc.

    • Michael Pham

      What “respectable military” are you waiting for them to convince? Major militaries (the top 10 on the global spending charts) will always, for nationalistic reasons, use a homegrown design, even if its inferior (cough FAMAS cough)

      • Michael Pham

        Whoops, meant that as a response to gallan.

      • gallan

        By respectable I mean a military that isn’t corrupt and that actually sees combat in wars.

    • Aaron

      Very accurate, and easy field strip, in addition to the common design that provides a great weight distribution. Plus the Tavor is about half the price of an AUG.

  • Anonymoose

    It looks like it still has a lot of barrel sticking out with that standard handguard. Magpul should do something about that.

    • Esh325

      Probably for a reason. Having the hand guard go all the way up to flash hider would probably mean more weight which could alter the balance of rifle. Also it’s more cost.

    • runandgun

      That appears to be the 20″ barrel version…

  • noob

    I’m told that the serialised “firearm” part of the Tavor is the metal frame under the plastic stock. Magpul could potentially sell a radically redesigned stock which slips over the metal frame…

    return of the PDR?

    • Esh325

      Good idea. Maybe they could make a collapsible stock for the Tavor, like the Croatians did with the VHS-2.

      • Cymond

        ATF measures overall length with the stock EXTENDED, so it is legal to have a rifle that is under 26″ when the stock is collapsed. An adjustable stock could conceivably shorten the LOP legally.

  • jamezb

    I realize that few others seem to object, but even though the Tavor seems very comfortable and functional, some deep-seated part of me insists the lack of a trigger guard within the hand guard is both an aesthetic and possibly safety issue that I cannot seem to get over. If the factory does not want to mold one in, an aftermarket manufacturer should seriously consider making one to fit. The aftermarket guard could either be attached with screws, like this rail, or even with an epoxy compound or permanent-type double sided tape. Were this modification available, I suspect it would be widely employed for the simple fact it would make the rifle more “complete” looking, not to mention adding an extra layer of safety protection by eliminating the trigger “hanging in the wind”, so to speak..

    • Anonymoose

      I’ve always wondered about that. Many bullpups have a handguard instead of a trigger guard and it just seems silly with normal TD practices.

      • Joe Schmoe

        TD?

        Anyways, the reason for a handguard over a trigger guard is twofold:

        1)- Since there is magazine in front of the hand, the handguard is introduced in order to protect the hand.

        2)- Additional point of contact and stability. With an M4 you you rest the magazine on the bottom of your forearm, with a Tavor your rest the handguard on there.

        Also, there is enough space within the Tavor handguard to have all five fingers resting comfortably away from the trigger area. The trigger itself is rather forward and has a notch below it to ward away itchy fingers.

        • jamezb

          I don’t have a problem with a hand guard, I just have a problem with the LACK OF a trigger guard. It looks like someone either forgot to put it on, or took a Dremel and removed it. I suggested it be offered as an aftermarket accessory for others who may feel the same way. I won’t force one on you by any means!
          TD, stands for “Trigger Discipline” in which the trigger finger points straight forward resting on the trigger guard until the target is acquired and the decision is made to fire. This method is familiar to most who got their firearms training through the military, LE, or the major shooter training programs.
          When you are used to having a trigger guard to use for this purpose, the lack of one may seem unsafe to you, as it does to me and Anonymoose here.

          • noob

            a work-around is to hold the finger out parallel to the body of the rifle, rather than resting on the rifle above the trigger. Aussies do that to keep twigs and sticks touching the trigger of a rifle in “instant” condition (condition 0) while walking through heavy brush (think east timor).

            you’re right though, an aftermarket bar that goes from the pistol grip to the handguard would make sense in every climate that you’re not wearing mittens in.

            When you have mittens on in the Austrian Alps (AUG) or up the side of Mt Hermon where it snows (Tavor), you’ll be grateful that you can fire the rifle without having your trigger finger in some kind of lobster claw mitten that makes your most important finger cold.

          • jamezb

            I understand some climates and cultures use mittens, but in the U.S. we primarily use gloves in the winter, and I was mainly considering a mod for the U;S. civilian market.. A trigger guard could be designed in an indented Magpul MOE AR-15 glove-friendly style that would serve well for those who desire one.

  • ClintTorres

    I hear the trigger pull on the Tavors is horrible. TTAG review stated 11lbs. Can anyone here confirm this?

    Also, no free-floating of the barrel.

    • ST4

      No bullpup trigger pull really holds a candle when you’re used to say the AR15. But, you can alter it to be more pleasant.

      • jamezb

        I love the claw hammer in this picture… “Just give ‘er a whack or two..”

      • Esh325

        A hammer and trigger group could lead to disaster for many people.

      • phamnuwen

        The firing system on the Kel-Tec RFB is supposedly arranged in such a way to make a good trigger pull possible. I think the hammer is connected to a bar that goes all the way to the trigger or sear, with the whole arrangement spring-loaded.
        I haven’t tried it though so I couldn’t say whether it works as advertised.

        I’m not convinced that MACs Tavor trigger job is all that clever. That spring is probably there for a reason. Removing it could potentially have unintended consequences like reduced drop safety (drop the rifle, inertia pulls the trigger bar forward and fires the round).

    • runandgun

      It is quite terrible….the trigger on my AUG, FS2000 or PS90 seem “crisp” in comparison.

      • Brandon Montville

        The trigger pull on the Tavor is infinitely “crisper” than the FS2000 and PS90. The Tavor has a noticeable break point, whereas the FS2000 and PS90 triggers have to be mashed all in one motion. Not to mention the FS2000 and Tavor have the same trigger pull weight. I own both rifles and speak from experience. However, neither of these rifle’s triggers affect their accuracy, as both are extremely accurate.

  • Mike F Di

    Love love LOOOVE this rifle and want one bad, and bigtime…
    first a trigger mod..now this??
    whoooot!!!!!

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    By the way, the folding foregrip in the photograph above is an FAB DefenseT-FL 7-position foregrip, one of the very best such grips available anywhere. It has an O-ring sealed water-tight compartment for storage of small spare items ( CR-123 batteries, etc.) and is extremely well-made. It locks into the chosen position(s) tightly with absolutely no longitudinal or lateral play, and is long enough to comfortably accommodate large hands while still being a little shorter and more compact than most of its competition. I have tried many different models of foregrips from different reputable manufacturers over the years, but the best long-term results ( from a functional and ergonomic standpoint ) I have personally experienced have been with a T-FL mounted on one of my vz.58 rifles.

  • random123

    its a good idea with the rail so you can equip more accessories on the weapon, but dont put to many accessories on it because it will lose alot of comfort then

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brandon-Simms/100000568018547 Brandon Simms

    I just wish I could find a short optic rail to attach to the barrel instead of the full length rail that comes with the rifle.

  • ABARMS

    American Built Arms Company just launched a vertical grip for the TAVOR. It’s called the A*B Arms T*Grip.