The 2017 Association of the US Army annual meeting was the public debut of Israel’s new full caliber bullpup rifle, the Tavor 7. Announced in late June via IWI’s Facebook page, the Tavor 7 is a 7.62mm / .308 Winchester caliber semiautomatic bullpup rifle patterned after the Tavor family of 5.56mm (etc.) caliber bullpups.
The Tavor 7 hybridizes features of both the TAR-21 and the Micro Tavor/X95, as well as incorporating some brand new features like a toolless ejection port switching procedure and front MLOK slots on the Tavor-like handguard.
Unlike the original Tavor, the Tavor 7’s ejection swapping procedure is very quick and simple, as partially demonstrated in the video above. To complete the procedure, it is also necessary to remove the bolt and rotate about its axis, then replace it. The charging handle can also be swapped right to left via an even simpler process using just a bullet tip, without weapon disassembly.
It would be, strictly speaking, inaccurate to say that the Tavor 7 is, well, a Tavor, as it deviates from the original design significantly. Where the Tavor family has previously used a Desert Eagle-style bolt profile with non-axisymmetrical lugs, the Tavor 7 utilizes a Stoner-type bolt, similar to an AR-15 or AR-10:
My initial impression over the Tavor 7 is that its design is an improvement over that of the Tavor’s. Notably, the rifle clocks in at a very modest 8.6 pounds, which is scarcely heavier than the original Tavor itself, despite being designed for a much larger caliber, and sporting a substantially beefier barrel. Having said that, I’m increasingly of the opinion that .308-class bullpups are just not a great idea. They have annoying balance due to their massive rear-mounted receivers, and bring the considerable muzzle blast and volume of noise of the full-power round much closer to your face than their conventional counterparts. The latter is particularly exacerbated by the fact that most lightweight .308 semiautomatics beg for a muzzle brake (which the Tavor 7 already has), making the experience that much more unpleasant. The Tavor 7 is certainly not an exception to the former, either, with its point of balance being behind the hand (roughly below the round barrel removal access point), and the whole rifle having that a very chunky and piggish feeling.
Having said that, I bet IWI will sell a truckload.
IWI USA representatives told me that the Tavor 7 will be available in .308/7.62 only to start, with the possibility for other calibers down the line. They said that if a 5.56mm-class version of the Tavor 7 is introduced, it will not be very soon. The Tavor 7 takes SR-25 magazines.