TAVOR review , Fast and dirty

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Today I got to handle one of the much hyped and anticipated TAVOR  Israeli rifles.  I have not been excited about them because I am not much of a bullpup kind of guy.  I don’t hate all of them, but the AUG was about the only one I like.   Ever since the thing was first shown, people have been wanting a legal version for the civilian market, and hype has just increased over the last months. A lot of gun rags have called it the next evolution in the 5.56 rifle or something to replace the M4.  And of course there are those that believe with their entire heart that anything from IMI is  the best.

If you have been waiting  like a 9 year old kid at christmas for the TAVOR to come here so you can toss out all your M4s and AKs, I got some bad news for you.

After being handed the piece I was immediately shocked at how terrible it felt. The balance is so bad. It is not like an AUG or even the absurd FS2000.  I hate the  FN 2000 but I would be happy to take it if my only choice was between it and the Tavor.

The manual of arms for the thing is a major problem in my opinion and the other party there with me.  It is very awkward. I am sure it can be developed and some one with an airsoft version will probably be ready to show me a video of how fast then can reload it, but airsoft is not real life and this gun suffers from bad control placement and it hurts your ability to run the gun.

Here is a picture demonstrating the contortionist position used to lock  the bolt back.

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Yes, he had to brace then gun against his hip, push up and hold in the bolt release and take his  firing hand and reach over and pull the bolt back.   Neither one of us has spent days or hours training on the weapon, but its pretty evident how strange these controls are.

A reload is not as bad as it would seem. It may be easier to get to the mag during a combat reload then the AUG and some others.

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As you can see, you could  dump a empty and insert a fresh mag without removing the gun from the shoulder after some practice.

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Above is a view from both sides of the weapon when shouldered for firing.  It is not a natural feeling due to the odd balance of the gun. After looking at the barrel without taking the gun apart, it appeared to have a barrel profile that if not a HBAR, it is very close to being a HBAR profile.

Now, on to some of the other features that really stood out to me.

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The top rail.   Have you ever had any experience with the Weaver scope and ring bases?   The ones for mounting mediocre optics to mediocre ( or less) rifles using mediocre rings.  They feel like cheap aluminum painted a shiny black and can be easily damaged or cracked. Well, that is what the rail made me think of as soon as I saw it and handled it.  It is a shiny black and looks like it is painted on.  I have no idea what type of aluminum the rail is made form, but it sure as hell is not the same quality as a KAC rail, or DD or upper on a flat top AR15 or most other weapons meant for fighting that any of us would take seriously.  I was honestly surprised by this. It has TAPCO reek coming off it so much I would have thought it was a TAPCO  product if I did not know better.

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Next up are these high quality iron sights.  Hey, no BS, these things are a joke. I don’t care how bad you want one of these or love it, ( or at least think you do) this is a terrible set of iron sights.   On the bright side, they do fold down inside the “rail” and hide away nicely and are easy enough to pop up. But that is about all the good I can say about them..

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The barrel is marked that it is made in Israel on one side and it is  CHF with  a1/7 twist on the other.  That will soothe a lot of nerves I guess.  I have never understood why CHF is somehow now “the best.”  When I first started shooting years ago, CHF was known to be a way to make cheap barrels fast and save a lot of money.   Marketing is like coke, It’s a helluva drug… But I digress..

You do get a CHF barrel in the proper twist rate for a 556 if you really think you may need it for fighting.  At least they did not pull a bushmaster ACR move and send the thing out with a 1/9 twist.

One of the worst things on the gun was the infernal trigger.  I am not the kind of guy who will complain about milspec triggers not feeling like a National Match bolt gun trigger, nor do I think that there is anything wrong with military triggers. They are often the safest and best bet for a gun meant to fight with.  But,  wow. This things trigger was the strangest thing I have ever seen. I pulled and pulled as it ..moved..?  And then it seemed to want to hang up, then it snapped. I really do not know how to exactly explain it to you.  It would take a long time and serious training to be able to do fast accurate work with this guns trigger.

The magazine the Tavor comes with is not a Pmag….

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But it sure is trying to be.  It has CAA or Mako quality written all over it.  You can draw your own conclusions on that.  It did drop free from the weapon though, so thats a good thing. The follower to feel smooth as well.  Not having tested it, it did not appear to be a terrible mag. After all it is a pretty close copy of everyone’s favorite mag, so it may work fine.  But it is still not a Pmag or Lancer.

One thing to impress me and that was the well thought out , complete cleaning kit that can be stored in the gun.

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I comes with chamber brushes, bore brush, tiny soft hair barber type brush, a small bottle for oil or solvent . the rod and that giant white nylon brush I have no idea what it is for other then to maybe choke yourself to death with after you feel how bad the trigger is on the gun you just bought.  I keed I keed..   It comes in a nice little pouch that holds everything nice and snug with velcro.  It really is very nice. I would buy this kit  on its own if they offered it.  It is a lot like the kit I would put together for my rifles for the field.  I really liked it.

One last thing is the manual that came with the gun.   The cover lists the manual working for the 5.56 Tavor and the 5.45 and 9mm models.  So maybe they plan on releasing some extras in the near future. I have no idea. I checker around and no one has any answers on it.

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I was not able to shoot then gun for you since it was going up for sell. I wish I could have , but, thats life.  It may be super accurate or not.  I can not give any details on accuracy or reliability either sorry to say. I know it is not a very satisfying review but I did everything I could with a gun I could not fire.    This was all my opini0n and impressions based on not shooting. It may shoot so well a lot of people can over look all the points I feel make the gun a dog.

I was indifferent over the TAVOR and had no opinion on it before looking this one over.  After handling it and studying its quirks, I just can not understand the hype and desire for the gun. It is like the people talking it up do not live in the same world as the one this Tavor exists in.   I know there are a lot of people out there that consider anything that is not made here or not a M4 better. Guys who want a SA80 for instance , would probably want one of these. And of course the IDF  fetishists out there will tell you it should replace everything else. But I do not see it.   Accuracy is not the only consideration for a fighting gun and I have no idea how accurate these may be.  But ergonomics and handling and manipulation added in, this thing is not anything I would  want to have to work with.  But that is just me.

If you want this gun, the gun store owner and my friend will have it up on gunbroker very shortly. I will add a link to the bottom of this post as soon as he has it up for bidding.   So you can check it out as soon as its ready.  I am not sure how common the FDE version is to find because I thought they only would come in black.    But, it will be up for anyone who has to have one or just wants to collect the tavor.

 

 

Not happy with my review?  Read the review of an end user IDF soldier  guest submitted here

 

http://looserounds.com/2013/09/25/tavor-x95-review/

 

be warned the IDF user does not think much more highly of it then I do.

23 thoughts on “TAVOR review , Fast and dirty”

  1. That is a CAA mag, the standard issue mag for all IDF forces, it was one of those made here so we chose it selections.

    30calbltkid(one of the few knowledgable ones on arf) had many negatives to say about the weapon system he used during his 6 months using it. I know broken bolts were common and reliability was less than acceptable, overall good review though.

  2. Thanks for the info. You really helped relieve my inexplicable desire to buy one of these. I’ll stick to my AR barbies.

  3. “Here I tested this car for you. I got a chance to look at the paintjob and the seat-covers, but didn’t actually get a chance to try out any of the things that make it a car. You know, like, how it drives and stuff.”

    1. sorry you got butthurt that I didnt like your pet gun. I dont need to shoot it to know the iron sites are shit and the top rail is shit. if it show 1/4 MOA. that would not change the fact the trigger sucks. the factory sights are absurd and the rail is something from TAPCO.

  4. I have read a lot of dumbass reviews in my day by people who obviously don’t know what the hell they are talking about but this one ranks with the best of the worst! First what makes you a tactical weapons expert? Second if you think that this rifle is not perfectly balanced then you need to hit the gym and take off your pink underwear. The Tavor is a game changer for CQB and while the trigger is a bit heavy it’s not a problem even at almost 9 lbs. of pull for a man anyway. I dumped 3 mags of ammo through one of these and then benched it on bags and put all 30 rounds through a quarter sized hole at 50 yards with the barrel smoking hot. Show me an M4 that can do that? The irons on the Tavor are back up sights and they work perfectly as is. The chances of you having a catastrophic failure of a good quality Mil Spec optic is slim to none so the irons are really only there for that type of emergency. I own a room full of AR’s and AK’s from every big name in the business and can say first hand that the Tavor will give most if not all a run for the money. The Tavor shoulders faster and pulls the bulk of it’s weight into the shoulder allowing for easier transitions and less carry fatigue, it can also be fired one handed much easier than it’s competitors. I used mags from Magpul, Troy, Mil. Surplus and the IWI without a single FTF. The ammo was a mix of 5.56 and 223 in weights from 55 grain to 70 and again not one FTF with or without a suppressor. Note: I am not a Jew but they make a fine fighting weapon.

    1. I have read a lot of butthurt reviews from people that do not understand that others have opinions that differ from their own, But your ranks at number 1 !! I’m sorry you took my opinion of a over hyped bull pup that does not really do anything better then others, as a personal slur against your man hood. Then again, your launch into personal attacks clearly shows the kind of person making the comments. I am glad your TAVOR suits your needs. For those of us not into Call of Duty, there are better choices for a rifle meant for serious use and costs a lot less then a TAVOR

    2. The Tavor does not suppress. If you try it will fail consistantly, I have used a friends Tavor and it was a poor suppressed weapon.

      The Tavor does have an accurate barrel, but no more so than my 14.5″ SOCOM barrel on my AR-15. With good ammo the Tavor is capable of 1.5MOA or so in a 5 round group, that is what I get out of my AR-15 as well.

      The trigger on the Tavor is crap compared to a proper trigger like a Geissele SSA or even a good Mil trigger.

      Bolt life is also on par with the AR-15. Expect to get 10,000-15,000 out of the bolt(this is according to IDF data). That is what the AR-15 bolt will also achiev for a rifle that has been run hard

      IMO the Tavor is probably the best bullpup system out there but will never compare or replace a standard layout weapon.

      1. Not at all true. I’ve got about 3k rounds through my Tavor, both in 5.56 and the 9mm kit, and I’ve almost exclusively run it suppressed. Works fantastic.

  5. You’re comparing a Toyota Tacoma to a Honda civic when placing the Tavor and M4 side by side. They both have great attributes, strengths and weaknesses. Opinions are simply that…not everyone shares the same views, thank goodness, on firearm particulars. Tavor was built for battle in close quarters as Israeli soldiers face daily. M4s are built for wide open shot placement, yet is adaptable to close quarters. If one so chooses he could clear a house with an M107A1 CQ 50BMG and shoot long distance with a M&P 15-22.

    1. I guess you are another person that doesnt understand that I give my opinions and people often have different opinions. And to add to that, opinions are not presented as fact please feel free to read the review of the Tavor by an IDF soldier who uses it daily on this website and reflects my opinions as well as talk about its other failings

  6. Shawn, I really appreciated your review, even though you did not fire the weapon. I started out with the AUG A3 and was really disappointed with it. I literally got chewed up by the bullpuppy fan boys when I posted issues I had with a piston system that coated itself in copper. Steyr did okay on warranty but said the barrel was in acceptable specs, the asked for replacement barrel was much better but still some melted copper in the system which is a bugger to clean. I thought the AUG was HEAVY and even family members went back to the M4 as it was so light in comparison. The piston also allows carbon to pass and get into the right side of the receiver. The rail is horrible in placement to the charging handle and one should be able to go over or underhand in the heat of varmint attacks. Next, the front sling mount is in a horrible spot. And, the rear sling mount that is also a take down pin, can be pushed a bit too far and the butt plate will fall off. I’m not even going to start into cosmetics … horrible, but this A3 was purchased during the crank ’em up buying spree. Did it hit the target, heck yes … bang bang (others said its a tool and hitting the mark is what counts). I was able to then handle the Tavor at a local shop, and that convinced me to make a switch and exported the AUG A3 out the door. I felt the weight distribution was better placed towards the body and the quality seemed much better than the AUG. Even my wife was impressed and said, your going to get one aren’t you. For myself, all the semi-autos I have shot and while in the military did not do the amount of copper fouling I found in the AUG on both barrels … but there were some that chimed in that was acceptable. Well, not for my experiences (AK, SKS, M1, M16, AR …) and I’m not looking to do more cleaning than I have to. I have a Tavor due next week, so who knows, may turn full circle back to the M4 in the end. So it may be another case of, ‘told you so’. Thanks again for the review …

    1. thanks. A lot of people have trouble understanding what opinion means and have gotten butthurt over the review. They get all worked up and tell me how great the tavor is and how dumb I am. And they ignore the review of the TVAOR by a IDF special ops soldier I published on this very website. And he thought less of it then I do. Marketing hype and the “Israeli has to be better” syndrome really causes people to lose their minds

      1. Shawn, you keep referencing the review from the IDF soldier, but you seem to be having trouble understanding that he’s not even reviewing the Tavor in question. He’s reviewing the Tavor x95, an entirely different “Micro” model of the Tavor.

      2. That would be like accepting the AR platform if only the 20″ M16 worked.

        Luckily the AR platform us adaptable and does nlt just work in one configuration.

        Oh and the X95 is issued in far far greater numbers than the overall rare Tavor.

        1. Apparently you can not read, or lost all cool past your own butthurt’ I stated it was a fast dirty review with me only playing with it and gave my opinion of it based off that only. I never stated it was some kind of test and full review. The ergos do suck and the iron sights are still absurd. Whether they work or not has nothing to do with they are shitty and not well made. and it is no secret IDF soldiers who use the Tavor and the 95 like neither. I had a good yuk over your claims of its stellar history, its not old enough to have the history of being so great you sort of imply. the IDF is still going right on using M16 pattern weapons even with the mighty tavor type bullpups.
          anyway, there will be no more time or space wasted on you making angry posts because you did not like my opinion, which was plainly given as such and clearly in no way meant as some kind of full review or scientific test. I have no idea why some people can not understand what an opinion is, and that is what the blog is all about. if you do not like when I give my opinion on something, leave, read another blog, write your own review and publish it some where,. Or just grow up and stop getting your balls in a twist over anther mans opinion, because you posted your last comment here wasting our time and space arguing over our opinions.

          if you dont like my opinion given only as such and at no time did I try to pass it off as more then that, then leave, stop reading. write your own review of the crappy ass gun if you are so enamored with it. or just grow up and not get your balls in a twist over another mans opinion.

    1. no I think. the ACR is a waste of money as well. but by all means waste your time on some other website if you cant deal with a different opinion,

  7. Wow, sounds like there is plenty of butt hurt on both sides of the isle. That being said, it’s nice to hear a contrasting view.

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