Thursday, November 21, 2013

Range Trip With The Tavor

So yesterday I got all my work wrapped up early and it was a nice enough day to have a range trip in the late afternoon.

It was time to open this box.

The contents were very nicely packaged:

The first thing you notice about the IWI Tavor is how compact it is.

Here it is alongside a AR-15 with a 16 inch barrel, this particular Tavor's barrel is 16.5 inches.

It's even more apparent with the AR's stock fully extended:

So I packed the car and headed to the range for my first time shooting my IWI Tavor.

At the range, the Tavor sported an Urban ERT sling and A Vortex Viper PST 1-4x scope in a AR-PEPR QD Scope Mount.

While the trigger is not a perfect as a match tuned AR, I really don't see what people are fussing about. It is perfectly serviceable and not nearly as bad as it has been hyped up to be, and accurate shots were no problem to make.

The Urban ERT is quite perfect for the Tavor. It provides excellent carrying support, can act as a hasty sling and holds the Tavor rather excellently aligned on your body.

The Vortex with up to 4x magnification makes for a very nice scope. Since it is my first variable power magnifying scope, it's going to take a bit of getting used to. The Vortex has remarkably clear glass and is very intuitive to use. I do need to get it zeroed in, as it is currently low and left, but the first shots fired left nothing to be desired group wise:

The only downside to the Vortex is that it is a bit on the heavy side, and there is insufficient room to raise the backup iron sights with it mounted on the PEPR on the rifle.

Trying an Aimpoint PRO on the Tavor made it seem a lot lighter, and the Aimpoint's dot was dead on, and the backup iron sights that come standard on the Tavor come right up and co-witness rather perfectly. The PRO felt faster in acquiring targets when throwing the rifle up to the shoulder, but that's likely just because I'm more used to it than the Vortex.

Shooting the Tavor is a pleasant experience - no recoil to speak of and with the weight towards the back of the firearm, control-ability is great as it settles right into your shoulder and the rubber pad on the butt keeps it fixed there. So much so, you can keep the rifle nice and steady with the rifle snugged into your shoulder and only your firing hand on the grip with your offhand free and still hit right where you're aiming with no wavering.

The Tavor uses standard AR-15 type magazines, and magazine changes are quick and easy to do. The mag well is easy to reach with the rifle on the shoulder and the magazine goes right in while your firing hand remains on the grip. The bolt release is also right by the magazine well, so it is easy to drop out the current mag, reload and drive the bolt home with very few movements.

All brass was ejected forward and right of the Tavor with aplomb. Standing still it would place all the brass in a nice pile.

In addition to shooting the Tavor right handed as usual, I did test shooting it from the left shoulder and no brass came near my face, all of it consistently ejecting well forward. I should note that I completely sucked at shooting off the left shoulder. It felt very weird as I don't do it often, if ever, as I'm just not very awesomely tacti-cool and I've never had a need to do so. There is a left-handed bolt kit available but you don't really need it.

There were no stoppages or malfunctions of any kind with 55 gr Lake City, 62 gr Federal and even 55 gr Wolf all shot through without a hitch.

One quick note, the 150rd packages that Federal American Eagle is packing their bulk green tip packs in, while cute looking, quite simply suck.

Sealed only at the end, folding into the back at the other with no sealing at the sides and a pronounced crease in the middle, the box of 150 loose rounds turns into a partial box with most of the rounds rolling around your shooting bag. This also doesn't give much in the way of confidence that someone else hasn't lifted out a few rounds before you get the chance to buy it.

Aside from the leaking ammo box, there were no issues at the range.

The Tavor ate 200 rounds without a hiccup in a very comfortable manner. While the manual of arms is different from that of an AR-15, its pretty easy to use and adapt to very quickly, and the rifle fits like a glove. Hard to explain but it mounted and pointed very naturally and was a very comfy rifle indeed. Firing slow or rapidly was very easy and the rifle was completely controllable.

Cleaning the Tavor was very easy. The butt is held in place with a captive pin, and once you know the rifle is empty, you pop the pin and begin the take-down procedure, which is ridiculously simple.

The bolt, spring and carrier then come right out for cleaning and you then clean the barrel with a rod from the breach to the muzzle.

The trigger pack then comes out after two captive pins are pushed, but the pack wasn't dirty at all.

After cleaning you put the parts back in the rifle and you're ready to go, it is a very easy rifle to maintain.

In addition to the top rail, there's a side rail installed for mounting lights, and a bottom rail can be added for a forward grip or light/laser there if you wish. Everything seems well thought out for this rifle and it handles very well indeed.

IWI also has or will shortly have available 9mm, 5.45x39 and 300 Blackout conversion kits available for the Tavor, adding to its versatility.

Tavor Pros:

- Really compact form factor

- Reliable

- Easy to take down to clean

- Decent trigger, nice accuracy

- Excellent balance and ergonomics, both for carrying and shoot-ability

Tavor Cons:

- Costs more than a standard AR-15

- The US shooting community is pretty standardized on the AR-15.

- Not nearly as much aftermarket support as for an AR. While it doesn't seem to need much yet, nor is there any need to mess around with the Tavor, spare parts may become an issue.

- Trigger not as nice as a nice trigger on an AR.

In short, to me the pros way outweigh the cons and this may very well be my new favorite rifle.


Murphy's Law said...

Ooooh! Shiny!

Of course you know that this means that the arms race is back on again, dammit.

Old NFO said...

Thanks for the range report! And I'm not buying ANOTHER damn 5.56 rifle... :-D

Aaron said...

ML: Yes indeed, it is shiny and you're up next.

Old NFO: You're welcome. No need to worry, you can get it with a kit to turn it into 300 Blackout, 5.45x39 or 9mm so you don't have to keep it as a 5.56, so that's no excuse.

Scott said...

Hey Murph - you should get an AUG if you want to one-up him in the bullpup realm!

Unknown said...

Absolutely love mine!

Have you done the 2 second trigger job yet? (removing the redundant spring on the sear)

It does make a difference.

Unknown said...

BTW, Mine has a cup holder,,,

Aaron said...


No, I haven't altered it at all yet, I might try it but I think the trigger on mine is pretty decent even without removing the return spring.

Love the cup holder, that seriously rocks.