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Old 01-18-2012, 22:53   #1
Roddy
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First real black rifle: IWI Tavor (a quick review)

Today I recieved my new to me IWI Tavor TAR-21 rifle. It's my first real black rifle although I have an M-14 and a dressed up Vz58 I don't think those really count. It will also be the first bull pup rifle I have ever fired. The rifle is marked .223 but is actually manufactured for 5.56. This one has around 3000 rounds through it according to the previous owner but I got a great deal on it and he included a bunch of goodies (I love firearms related goodies ) It also sports an integrated Mepro M21 reflex sight.

The rifle is just over 29" overall with an 18.9" barrel made specifically for the Canadian market as rifle barrels over 18.5" on rifles that are at least 26" overall are considered "non-restricted" here and can be used for small game hunting, bushwhacking, boondocking, or whatever. Also aftermarket bullpup stocks are prohibited but rifles built bullpup from the ground up are not. This one fits the niche nicely and people pay extra for that here in Canada. 10 round AR mags just became legal here so that's a bonus, or not really as in some parts of the world you can just buy any magazines.

I will be taking it to the range tomorrow but here are my first impressions haveing just handled it. I have picked up a Tavor before (WARNING: Don't pick up other people's black rifles! It will lead to you buying more black rifles!) and looked through a Mepro sight but never had the two put together.

The Mepro sits low on the gun and you really need to get your head down to get a good sight picture. The red dot is by no means super bright but in bright conditions it picks up light and is easier to see. This system doesn't work too well when the area you are looking at is brighter than the area around the sight, like when your in the shade shooting into a sunny area. I can see why some people don't like this sight but it goes for $600 new so I'm glad I got one with it.

Sorry my pictures always suck
Black Rifle Forum

The rifle has built in backup iron sights. They seem decent, the front one hides in the handguard when not in use and they cowitness nicely with the Mepro. I also got a picatinny rail that I can swap out the Mepro for. I want to get a magnifier for the Mepro but the "optical accessories base" as it's called won't accept any North American mount and the Mepro has to come off or get new mount to go on the picatinny rail.

Here it is with my new 12.5" barrelled shotgun
Black Rifle Forum

The sling (Israeli Defense Force issue) is an old seatbelt with some black paracord tied to it. I don't really what they were thinking with that thing. It works but I think tying accessories on with bits of string doesn't really go with this rifles overall high tech look and feel. On the foreend at 1:30 there is a plastic picatinny rail. I got a Laser Lite laser with it that I put on for fun as well as a Streamlight TLR1.

The magazines eject sharply and the bolt hold/release catch is beside the mag well so you can hit it after you slap a fresh mag in. There is a hole in the bottom of the handguard for a bipod but you need to buy or make an adapter for it. Field stripping this thing is easy. You push a pin out, let the buttplate fall open, and then all the guts come out in one easy to keep together piece.

For those of you who play video games here it is with Tactical Flashlight attachment, Laser attachment, and Red Dot sight (still waiting on Bipod attachment and Extended Magazine attachment)
Black Rifle Forum

Overall the rifle is very well balanced. While differant, the bullpup layout is very user friendly. Pmags must be opened up a bit at the back other with they will push on the bolt release like on some other rifles. I picked up 3400 rounds of .223 but they are almost all 55 grain. I hear this rifle prefers heavier rounds but i will see how it goes. I will post tomorrow with a range report.
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Last edited by Roddy; 01-18-2012 at 22:58..
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Old 01-18-2012, 23:06   #2
Nine Shooter
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Cool rifle! I forgot they sell these in Canada... looking forward to when they come out here.
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Old 01-18-2012, 23:13   #3
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Very cool. Many in the U.S. are very envious of you.

If it's a 1:7 twist, 55gr will be fine (though you may notice a small accuracy difference with heavier stuff if you're a very good shot).

Supposedly they are coming to the U.S. sometime soon, though the price point will be unknown. So I do have to ask what you paid for it.

Also if you don't mind, could you post some pictures of stripping it? I've always been curious to see the mechanism that makes these so desirable. I figured it was mostly a "you can't have it here so it must be really cool" syndrome. Bullpups aren't my thing though (I've owned an AUG clone and was overall underwhelmed). They do maintain an exotic air of "coolness" though.

Of course, "Black Rifle" refers to the AR-15 family of weapons, but we do occasionally let in other guns .
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Old 01-18-2012, 23:23   #4
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I'd love if some company made an L85A2 here in North America.
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Old 01-18-2012, 23:39   #5
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I'd love if some company made an L85A2 here in North America.
You mean the gun that even HK cannot make run properly?
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Old 01-18-2012, 23:52   #6
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Very nice. I hope the U.S. can get these soon. I like Bullpups, but I friggin hate the AUG "dong" foregrip.
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Old 01-18-2012, 23:54   #7
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Very nice!
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Old 01-19-2012, 00:14   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WayaX View Post
Very cool. Many in the U.S. are very envious of you.

If it's a 1:7 twist, 55gr will be fine (though you may notice a small accuracy difference with heavier stuff if you're a very good shot).

Supposedly they are coming to the U.S. sometime soon, though the price point will be unknown. So I do have to ask what you paid for it.

Also if you don't mind, could you post some pictures of stripping it? I've always been curious to see the mechanism that makes these so desirable. I figured it was mostly a "you can't have it here so it must be really cool" syndrome. Bullpups aren't my thing though (I've owned an AUG clone and was overall underwhelmed). They do maintain an exotic air of "coolness" though.

Of course, "Black Rifle" refers to the AR-15 family of weapons, but we do occasionally let in other guns .
Thanks for the ammo advice. Sorry about posting in the Black Rifles section, must be a cultural thing. Around here any modern western made weapon based on an assault rifle is called a black rifle. There are only six or so differant non-AR rifles that meet the criteria, including the Mini 14.

I paid $2500 for the gun, Mepro, two mags, six inch picatinny rail, sling, and K-15 laser. They are going for $2750 new not without the Mepro and a full length top rail so you don't have to deal with the weird Israeli mounting systems. But remember theses aren't party made in North America like they will be if they are sold in the U.S. and are being imported in relatively small numbersso I don't know how much that would change.

Here are some pics of "primary" and "secondary" disassembly as the manual calls it. The trigger mechanism is another two push pins. Takes fifteen or twenty seconds and all you need is a loose round, car key, or stick. The trigger mechanism shares a oush pin with the bolt hold/release (the wege looking piece. Taking the barrel off takes about a minute and you need an allen key. The armorer's manual is avalible online, the basic manual is really basic.

ETA: The spring for the firing pin was sent out after the first batch was sold in Canada. Apparantly because the firing pin was free floating and people were taking springs out of the trigger assembly to get a reduced pull and because of this the rifle could slam fire. I don't mind the trigger. Not the best but not the worst.

Black Rifle Forum

Black Rifle Forum

What I want to get is information about the Israeli manual of arms for this rifle, especially the sling use and mag changes. Your support hand has to do a bit more than on an AR for a tactical reload (by far the most useful reload IMHO) as you need to hit the mag release and drop the bolt with it. But keep in mind you don't have to move the gun at all and the mag change takes place literally three inches from your face, you can't screw it up. Also it handles very well one handed. You could definitely shoot it one handed if you had to.

Oh and here is the super wierd mounting system behind the reflex sight
Black Rifle Forum

Where are you supposed to find a mount compatible with that?
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Last edited by Roddy; 01-19-2012 at 00:55..
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Old 01-19-2012, 00:31   #9
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Wow... Very interesting. Congrats!
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:31   #10
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Great pictures. It looks like the mutant love child of an AUG, AK, and SCAR.

The deal of firing pin springs in non-military rifles tends to be a common trend now to prevent slam fires.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:40   #11
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Originally Posted by WayaX View Post
You mean the gun that even HK cannot make run properly?
I've been under the impression that the HK-rebuilt A2's had proven to be a significant improvement over the earlier models, and were actually pretty reliable.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:44   #12
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According to Shot Show news from yesterday Charles Daly has reorganized his bankrupt company and partnered with another company and unveiled the Tavor this week at SHOT. They are saying the U.S. version is already approved and should be available by this Fall.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:12   #13
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According to Shot Show news from yesterday Charles Daly has reorganized his bankrupt company and partnered with another company and unveiled the Tavor this week at SHOT. They are saying the U.S. version is already approved and should be available by this Fall.
Holy sheep.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:19   #14
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Very cool, and an excellent writeup.

There's so much to like about bullpups, but one thing I've never found is one with a good trigger. Being a trigger 'snob' has kept me from buying any bullpups (other than a Walther G22 I got super-cheap that is just a plinker.)

That Tavor is sweet looking, for sure. Glad you love it, OP.
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Old 01-19-2012, 15:17   #15
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Old 01-19-2012, 18:12   #16
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Just got back from the range. It was -13F outside so I went to an indoor range. The rifle shoots very well. I am not a very good shot but I was able to get around 2" groups at 40 yards unsupported from a bench. I am sure the rifle is capable of much better than that though. It is a bit noisy with your head close to the reciever but its not bad.

Lots of people at the range thought it was neat. I let a bunch of people have a go and everyone who tried it loved it. A target shot at by four people, maybe 30 rounds total, had about a 4" group so it's easy to pick up and use. One person looked at it and told me that "those are banned, you can't have that!" I know not every person is familiar with every single law but did he really think I would be so stupid as to bring a prohibited weapon to an indoor range? Next week it is supposed to warm up a bit and I might take it to my outdoor range.

In summary I am very happy with this rifle. That's awesome you guys are getting them in the U.S. soon. The model in that video is pretty much the standard one we get in Canada now, but with a slightly longer barrel. A 15" barrel is avalible here as well but that makes the rifle "restricted" and makes it less versatile.I laughed when the guy in the video said it's completely ambidextrous, you just need a new bolt. In a pinch you probably could fire this rifle left handed, and you definitely could if you jury rigged on a brass deflector. I read the reason the IDF discourages it is in case the chamber bursts.

ETA: Oh I noticed a few other little quirks at the range. Press checking is iffy as the bolt can stick open and there is no forward assist, although you can reach in the ejection port and push it with your finger. Checking the position of the top round in the magazine before and after cycling the action seems to be the best way to make sure a round is chambered. Also because of the way I tied the sling on if the paracord wraps under the butt it can disable the bolt hold open by pressing on it. I would like to see how the Israelis tie the sling on. I can't find any good pictures.
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Old 01-19-2012, 20:48   #17
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Oh I noticed a few other little quirks at the range. Press checking is iffy as the bolt can stick open and there is no forward assist, although you can reach in the ejection port and push it with your finger. Checking the position of the top round in the magazine before and after cycling the action seems to be the best way to make sure a round is chambered.
This is the preferred method for just about any rifle. Opening the action part-way is just begging to cause a failure.
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Old 01-19-2012, 21:08   #18
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This is the preferred method for just about any rifle. Opening the action part-way is just begging to cause a failure.
Well it may be a better way to check I do feel pretty stupid as after messing with it for a while I realize that the bolt operating handle can act as a forward assist. It is only disconnected when the bolt is locked open.

The bolt handle is differant. When the bolt is forward it pivots forward and locks into a detent. Cocking pulls it perpendicular again. This detent requires a bit of force for the bolt to close on to it, which is why press checking requires it to be pushed closed. When the bolt is locked open and the handle disconnected you can manually push the bolt handle into the detent so it doesn't slide back and forth.
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Old 01-19-2012, 21:46   #19
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Bullpups are great till you have to change magazines or clear a stoppage.

Cool to shoot suck to fight with.

I really like the looks of this one, congratulations.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:28   #20
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Well it may be a better way to check I do feel pretty stupid as after messing with it for a while I realize that the bolt operating handle can act as a forward assist. It is only disconnected when the bolt is locked open.

The bolt handle is differant. When the bolt is forward it pivots forward and locks into a detent. Cocking pulls it perpendicular again. This detent requires a bit of force for the bolt to close on to it, which is why press checking requires it to be pushed closed. When the bolt is locked open and the handle disconnected you can manually push the bolt handle into the detent so it doesn't slide back and forth.
I meant that checking the magazine is the preferred technique. Many rifles are picky when you open the bolt but not all the way. Pushing the bolt forward by the charging handle can be used as a "forward assist" in an emergency, but may damage the rifle (not always true, but a possibility).
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