Piece of Trijicon History: IDF 3x Magnifier

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I’ve been a Tavor shooter for longer than I’ve been an AR shooter, and the collector in me loves to snap up little peices of militaria related to the rifle. This summer one special unit caught my eye, and I thought I’d share it with you.

What you see in this gallery is a 3x Magnifier issued to the IDF in August 2006. It’s designed specifically for the Gen 1 CTAR Tavor that was issued to the Givanti brigade, and uses the proprietary post & twist mount. It looks to be labeled “טלסקופ x3 לתבור” or 3X telescope for Tavor. But you’ll notice it doesn’t have any Meprolight markings on it like most IDF optics.

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That’s because this little baby is actually a Trijicon retrofit. From what I can tell, it began its life as a TA-33 3×30 ACOG, before having the reticle, fiber optic, and turrets removed. Now it’s just a tough as nails tube with some nice clear glass to look through. From what I’ve gathered this was issued to officers and recon units for use with the MARs laser & red dot system. I use mine with the IDF standard Mepro 21, and find it to be an excellent magnifier, even when used with a colour tinting fiber optic like the Mepro 21.

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It’s worth noting that the post and twist mount is part of the gas tube, and would not hold zero. So converting regular ACOGs to the post & twist would not have worked. That mount designed for magnifiers and night vision devices to be used with the primary optic which is mated to the barrel. It’s not as fast or sexy as a flip to the side mount, but the IDF 3x Magnifier is a tool-less quick detach. This magnifier sits high enough to clear the rear BUIS, but does not allow the rear sight to be flipped up.

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I’ve heard that a portion of the US aid to Israel has to go back into US companies. That my explain some of the reasoning behind taking the aiming solution out of a perfectly good optic. It looks like the fiber optic illumination has been literally ground off and coated over, so I don’t think these were a factory solution built on the TA-33 chassis. You can clearly still see the original ACOG mount too.

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Even if its not a sharp finished product you’d buy off the shelf, I like this little piece of history and the oddness of military procurement it represents.

If anyone else knows more about how these were built and issued, I’d love to hear from you!

Fun side note: in it’s current setup, my rifle sports a reflex sight, BUIS, magnifier, and bipod without a single inch of picatinny rail on it. I don’t know why that makes me happy, but it does.

-Special thanks to the “Other Eddie” for his service and assistance with the history behind this little beastie.

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Edward O

Edward is a Canadian gun owner and target shooter with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Crawling over mountains with tactical gear is his idea of fun. He blogs at TV-Presspass and tweets @TV_PressPass.


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  • Dracon1201

    I like that Tavor. Looks lighter and even “Spacier”

    • Anonymoose

      I still like the toprail on the current models. Also, why go with this setup instead of just using a 3x ACOG?

      • Dracon1201

        Agreed. A single optic is worth so much more in my opinion. Probably cooler because the magnifier is such a unique piece.

      • Joe Schmoe

        Probably was a lot cheaper to be honest. There’s a million and one Mepro 21’s floating around the IDF inventory; and the IDF is very hesitant on changing stuff when it comes to small arms. This was probably the easiest way to get more magnified sights out to the soldiers without paying for full on ACOGs.

  • Lance

    Get ride of the Metro Reflex site get a regular ACOG 4x is better than no power in your scope. AND more accurate past 100 yards.

  • Joe Schmoe

    I personally never saw this particular magnifier in use in the IDF, very cool.

  • Nicholas Chen

    Cool piece of kit!

  • Bj

    Nice, I’ll stick with my Vortex on my IDF.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    Look closer. That’s a purpose-built magnifier where the body started out as a standard trijicon/acog forging. Nothing’s been “removed” from the body like the turrets. It never had turrets to begin with. The raw forging bosses are still there for the turrets but they were never machined to accept the turrets themselves.

    • Purpose built with grinder marks along the illumination band? How strange!

      • Tierlieb

        Grind lines are typical for removing flash from a forging.

  • Kivaari

    Interesting. I’d like to see it configured with the odd IDF mounting system to the M1913.
    I don’t like that little bipod. Other than that it’s nice looking rifle. I wonder how many are in service in Israel v. the M16s so common there.

  • Mike

    “I’ve been a Tavor shooter for longer than I’ve been an AR shooter”

    After reading this my first thought was… noob.

    Ed has showed in other articles that he is an inexperienced gun guy. Remember his article where he blamed an optic company for him not using loctite on the optic (screams noob). I just didn’t know he was this inexperienced. Nothing against him personally but it just bothers me that a noobie is a journalist for a gun blog. Maybe its just me but I would rather have an experienced gun guy be an inexperienced journalist.

    Oh well, hopefully Ed will grow.

    • Perhaps you’ve forgotten sir, that we’ve had the Tavor in Canada since 2008.

      I’m not sure how more experience would effect 3 electronic failures in 3 separate optics.

    • myndbender

      I don’t care how much of a “noob” he may or may not be, the ACOG magnifier setup he’s running is very interesting and I, for one, enjoye hisd informative article on it’s history! I’d take a “noob” any day over a jackass gun snob!

  • Core

    Cool bit of kit. I remember fondling the preproduction ACRs thinking I’d rather hold the standard polymer forend all watch rather then the railed enhanced version. Not being a vert foregrip fan it didn’t feel accomodating. The added weight was also a downer that made it feel front end heavy versus my perfectly balanced M4. But I shouldn’t be too critical because my M4 is all rails but it still feels balanced and has less felt recoil.

  • CavScout

    “I’ve been a Tavor shooter for longer than I’ve been an AR shooter”
    Seriously, you’re that new? Did you get on board during the 2012/13 scare or something? Or do you just dislike practical, modular platforms (which many, including myself, would argue the AR is the best in – all things considered).

    • CavScout

      Oh, you’re Canadian. That MIGHT explain that away…. but still.