Tavor Initial Impressions
Jan 22nd, 2014 by Ken Hagler

Tavor and G3

IWI Tavor SAR rifle with PTR-91 clone of H&K G3.

I took my new Tavor rifle to the range yes­ter­day and put 230 rounds through it. Over­all, I’m quite pleased with it. The Tavor is a bullpup rifle, which means the action is behind the trig­ger, mak­ing it much short­er than a con­ven­tion­al rifle. To empha­size just how impor­tant that is, I’ve includ­ed a com­par­i­son pho­to with the Tavor on top and a con­ven­tion­al design from the 1950s (the G3) on the bot­tom. Notice that the length of pull is almost iden­ti­cal even though the Tavor is much short­er. Many words have been writ­ten about how bullpups are bet­ter in close quar­ters, and I’ve found that it’s quite pos­si­ble to quick­ly turn around in a cramped apart­ment hall­way with the Tavor shoul­dered. Less often men­tioned is that a rifle like the Tavor is much eas­i­er to fire accu­rate­ly off­hand because you aren’t try­ing to keep a long heavy met­al object steady while held way out in front of you.

Tavors are some­times described as ambidex­trous, but they’re real­ly not. Two of the major con­trols (the mag­a­zine and bolt releas­es) are ambidex­trous, but the rifle ejects to the right (at least, in the right-handed mod­el I bought) and has a safe­ty lever on the left side. When fir­ing left-handed, I found that the Tavor’s case deflec­tor does an accept­able but not per­fect job–I had brass graze my chin, but not hard enough to hurt or throw off my aim. I actu­al­ly found that the way the safe­ty lever dug into my left hand was more of a nui­sance. Still, the design works fine for occa­sion­al off-hand fire as might be need­ed when fir­ing from cov­er.

The Tavor trig­ger is extreme­ly heavy. It’s well beyond my trig­ger gauge’s abil­i­ty to mea­sure, but I’ve seen a weight of eleven pounds men­tioned in var­i­ous places and that seems about right. Oth­er than the weight, it’s actu­al­ly not a bad trigger–there’s a slight amount of creep, but it’s not espe­cial­ly notice­able. It’s quite pos­si­ble to shoot accu­rate­ly, although fatigue will soon set in–the tip of my trig­ger fin­ger is actu­al­ly still numb 24 hours lat­er! Sev­er­al dif­fer­ent respect­ed man­u­fac­tur­ers are work­ing on after-market trig­ger pack replace­ments for around $350, and I intend to buy one after they’ve been out long enough for some review­ers to test them.

I got the Tavor hot enough to smoke, but the parts that the shoot­er is in con­tact with nev­er got more than slight­ly warm. I’d be com­fort­able using it in a train­ing class where I’d expect to be rapid fir­ing all day. I was feed­ing it with a vari­ety of magazines–mostly alu­minum STANAG mag­a­zines that I was rotat­ing from my plate car­ri­er, along three dif­fer­ent poly­mer mag­a­zines. One was the IWI-branded mag­a­zine that came with the rifle (actu­al­ly a CAA MAG17), the oth­ers being a Lancer L5AWM and a Mag­pul Gen3 PMAG. All mag­a­zines worked as expect­ed, although I liked the design of the Lancer mag­a­zine the best.

I was using an Aim­point CompM4s red dot sight, but I haven’t set­tled on this as the final optic for this Tavor. I have an order in for a Browe Com­bat Optic, but there’s no telling when it will actu­al­ly show up. I gen­er­al­ly pre­fer mag­ni­fied optics, but red dot sights like the Aim­point are much cheap­er to use with night vision–I just need to add a quick detach mount for my AN/PVS-14.

Quote of the Day
Jan 8th, 2014 by Ken Hagler

Kim Jung Un vs. Barack Oba­ma:
One has the high­est incar­cer­a­tion rate in the his­to­ry of the world, a civil­ian kill list, a nuclear weapon on stand­by, and has mur­dered over 4,000 inno­cent chil­dren… the oth­er is Kim Jung Un.

Quote of the Day
Jan 4th, 2014 by Ken Hagler

Evil men don’t get up in the morn­ing say­ing ‘I’m going to do evil’. They say: ‘I’m going to make the world a bet­ter place.’

Christo­pher Book­er

Quote of the Day
Jan 3rd, 2014 by Ken Hagler

The “bulk of the Amer­i­can cit­i­zen­ry,” [Stan­ford polit­i­cal sci­en­tist Mor­ris P.] Fio­r­i­na cheek­i­ly sug­gests, “is some­what in the posi­tion of the unfor­tu­nate cit­i­zens of some third-world coun­tries who try to stay out of the cross­fire while Maoist gueril­las and right-wing death squads shoot at each oth­er.” That’s a pret­ty good descrip­tion of chan­nel surf­ing between Rachel Mad­dow and Sean Han­ni­ty or flip­ping between a White House press­er and a John Boehn­er speech, isn’t it?

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