Hands On with the X95 Micro-Tavor

    IWI US demoed a select fire version of their X95 Micro-Tavor at the Kentucky Bullpup Convention in September. I had the opportunity to put a few rounds down range and put together my first impressions…

    I like to describe my Tavor as rifle length function in a carbine length package. If that’s the case, then the X95 is carbine length function in a PDW sized package.

    Its interesting that the IDF is gradually moving away from the TAR-21 (and even more gradually moving away from the M4) in favour of the extremely compact X95.

    Even the X95 has seen substantial changes from its early deployment to the current flattop model with its quad rail handguard.

    The IDF training with their issued Micro-Tavors

    The IDF training with their issued Micro-Tavors

    The most recent variant of the X95. Photo by Benny Levin  of IWI Israel

    The most recent variant of the X95. Photo by Benny Levin of IWI Israel

    I’ve been keeping an eye on the X95 for years, so Kentucky was a great opportunity to finally get my hands on the rifle and put some rounds down range.

    This thing is tiny. If you’ve ever handled a full sized 18″ Tavor, then a 14″ CTAR, it feels like a big jump. This feels like the same kind of jump from a CTAR to an even smaller setup. Everything is folded into the shared vertical space.

    I’m not sure why IWI decided to demo this rifle to the public with an AAC flash hider on the end of it. It seemed to produce more jump than was really necessary for a .223 rifle.

    The forward mag release is a big improvement. There’s a decent amount of travel to it, so it’s unlikely you’re not going to bump it and drop a mag, but its easy to press with an index finger. Easier than I expected.

    The bolt release sticks out less than a regular Tavor, but is similarly sized. So now you’re less likely to accidentally hit your own bolt release (say with a sling. I’ve watched it happen!)

    A few things to be aware of: I could see a potential for some optics to be uncomfortably close to the new charging handle. I could also see some 3-gun style muzzle brakes being uncomfortable for the shooter. With a 13″ barrel inside a bullpup rifle, the shooter’s face is much closer to the muzzle than with other firearms.

    Of course the pressing question on everyone’s minds is when can I buy one for myself?”

    IWI reps gave no indication of plans for a civilian semi-only variant of the X95. I would hazard a guess and say that with the SAR-21 selling strongly and the Galil Ace about to be launched at Shot Show 2015, it will likely be a few years before IWI US diverts attention back to this little bullpup.

    Post Script: Bearing in mind the discussions around over-all length, barrel-length, pistol bracing and other things that might help this little guy become generally available, I’ve dug up a photo from the IDF of the X95 with an extended barrel. Current estimates peg this at 16 inches:


    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.