As a long time Tavor shooter, nothing makes me happier than seeing new aftermarket parts and accessories being released now that the IWI US plant is up and running.
Small and interesting parts have been trickling out since last year’s Shot Show. Replacement handguards, sling swivels, etc, but for many shooters the biggest problem with the rifle remains unaddressed.
The Tavor’s factory trigger is a heavy beast. Anywhere from 10-15lbs depending on who you believe, with plenty of creep. The US rifles are a marked improvement from the first Tavor trigger I pulled back in 2007, but even now owners will take apart their trigger packs. They remove springs and smooth surfaces in an effort to lighten the pull.
Shot Show 2014 saw the first SAR-21 replacement trigger packs being advertised, and I had the good fortune to try three different variants while on the show floor.
The Timney Trigger will be the first available (March 2014) and from my experience it had the lightest pull. The Timney is a vast improvement over what I am accustomed to. It is a solid 2 stage trigger with a little bit of travel and a crisp break. Timney advertises their trigger as a true 4.5lb pull, and it feels like it.
Midway through the show, Geissele also had their prototype Tavor trigger available on the floor. Although this was not a production model, it certainly reflected the lineage of their AR-15 triggers. I found this trigger to have a marginally longer reset, but still an huge improvement over the factory trigger. Weight wise I would put it right next to the Timney Tigger, although its possible that the prototype was a 1/2 pound heavier.
The third trigger I tried came from Shooting Sight, which had been almost ready for production. However designer Art Neergaard is changing a few things after spending time with IWI’s Israeli team.
The version that I handled was a great option for those looking to improve the Tavor without shifting to an ultra-light competition trigger. With a 6lb pull, the Shooting Sight trigger uses AR pin spacing to accommodate spring setups. I found the Shooting Sight trigger had the shortest travel distance of the three, and quite liked it, but we’ll have to see if that setup continues into the next revision.
None of the replacement packs have finalized pricing yet, but Timney and Geissele are both estimating around the $350 mark. Shooting Sight is hoping to come in under $300, but part of that depends on volume and casting a new hammer.
I of course have to address the local question: will these SAR-21 triggers fit into an Israeli TAR-21 rifle?
The American Tavor’s have a narrower trigger pack than the Israeli models, which effectively prevent an IDF select-fire trigger pack from being inserted. But because the SAR-21 pack is smaller, it should (and I emphasize should. When I know for certain so will you) drop into the TAR-21 well with only a little extra space. The pins that hold the trigger pack in place are identical, although in theory a spacer could also be installed on a TAR-21 to mirror the SAR-21′s compartment.
No matter how you look at it: further support for this exotic bullpup is a great thing for current owners, and is encouraging for future expansion of the line.