This review is from forum member Esquire form over on Lightfighter. It was brought to our attention via guest writer Josh Berry.
Thanks to Esquire for his work and permission to allow us to reprint it here and also thanks to Josh for making it happen.
Esquire has given us this wonderful review on the X95. Esquire is issued the IWI X95 so this is a rare and unique opportunity for us to have someone with hands on experience with this rifle to offer a great in depth review.
This is his experience with the rifle and he will also have another review coming soon that will be hosted here about a new configuration he carries so stay tuned for that.
I have wanted to write this post for quite some time and am finally just getting around to it. I was very excited last year when I began to see the IWI Tavor make it to the US, I have always been interested in new weapons technology and was excited to get some hands on time with the weapon that has been phasing out the M4/M16 family rifles in Israel in the IDF. Fast forward 1 year, and I currently am carrying the X95 micro Tavor as my issued weapon and never got a chance to even get my hands on the full size counter part in the US before leaving for the middle east but . Now for the review.
Comfort and Ergonomics: 2/10
Overal rating: 4/10
Reliability: I have found that GENERALLY for the most part my Tavor will go bang when I need it to. However, it gets really really dirty, really really fast. The design of the bolt carrier group I think is a absolute failure and that there are a lot of areas that seem to accumulate lots of carbon during fairly short range visits and are almost impossible to clean appropriately. I have found that my Tavor with various ammunition is extremely sensitive to fouling and will begin to malfunction very quickly. After about 200 rounds or so I will begin to experience failures multiple times per magazine ranging from double feeds to failure to extract and culminating in short stroking. This is a HUGE negative and something that even with almost daily cleaning has left me skeptical of my weapon. I was unable to take any internal photos at this time but will post some later to highlight the areas I am the most concerned with.
Comfort and Ergonomics: I have found the X95 to be very uncomfortable to carry daily. I eat, sleep, and shower with this weapon and am not very pleased with my sling mounting options, I have to resort to the Israeli method of tying paracord loops through the different holes and mounting points molded into the body. My only real option is a two point sling mounted through the hole in the stock portion of the body and a sling mount on the left side. What bothers me the most about this set up is even with my sling tightened as far down as it will go I find it too long for my liking and it seems that in hands free maneuvers my barrel will no matter what find its way to getting stuck inside my knee pad making it impossible for me to run due to the height it hangs at. The second negative is the sling loop is plastic and I have seem a very large number of them break clean off the weapon after very little abuse. I found the X95 to be rather uncomfortable to shoot in the prone, I really miss having the adjustable stock of an M4 and just can’t seem to get comfortable. The extremely short front end leaves no room for your hands and the charging handle will end up in the center of your palm unless you use a palm up supporting position (which the Israelis do teach) but if you are one that is used to a thumb over bore grip or a more aggressive grip you will find the X95 extremely uncomfortable. I also have found that the positioning of the bolt catch on the bottom of the gun to the rear renders it useless in the prone as you essentially have to rest your hand on it causing it to not function. In the standing position the rifle shoulders fine and didn’t seem to bother me too much but I will say that in day to day use it is noticeably more heavy than my previous M4 with a similar optic. The last item on my comfort list is the trigger, it is a very heavy and awkward trigger pull leaving much to be desired.
Craftsmanship: I will be brief and just say that I am simply disappointed in the final product from IWI. The back up irons are plastic (depending on variation the rear may be metal) and not only is my front sight snapped clean off (plastic with no kind of metal internal support or strengthening) but the front BUIS also does not seem to lay truly flat with the rail when folded if present. The bottom rail of the hand guard is not very stable and with a vertical grip mounted to it play in the rail and bottom of the weapon are very noticeable.
Accuracy: In zeroing this rifle on a 25m target I was getting sub 1 CM 5 shot groups and have been able to comfortably touch at 300 meters so I will say I was quite surprised with what I was able to achieve with the 13″ bbl.
Final thoughts, I really wish I carried an M4 but shall make the best of my time with the X95 and hope to see in the future IWI re think some of their design features and improve this system to better equip the IDF soldiers carrying and working with it daily. Below are a few pics I snapped quickly of my weapon to highlight some of what I wrote about.