IWI Tavor Worth It or Not?

| November 10, 2013 | 6 Comments

So I’ve had my left-handed Tavor for a few months now, and wanted to share my impressions of the rifle with y’all. It took me about 6 months to get a hold of a Lefty Tavor and set me back about $1900, so I hope I can help somebody else decide if the rifle is worth the effort to get.

In the Box:
The Tavor came packaged in a cardboard box with a cleaning kit, two QD attachments, a manual and a 30 round CAA magazine. The cleaning kit was a nice touch, though I’ve managed to already break the bore brush that came with and the little bottle leaks, badly. I was surprised by the stock magazine, since most of my experiences with CAA products haven’t been positive, but I gotta say I’m a fan. It has fed reliably and seems to be as sturdy as my other polymer magazines. the QD points work, and the manual is pretty comprehensive.

Ergonomics and Functionality:
The Tavor balances very well, I’m pretty sure I could keep it shouldered longer than any other rifle I’ve held. It’s a bit portly, coming in around 8 pounds bare, but since most of the weight sits at the rear of the weapon, I really don’t notice. It also points quite well. I like the short overall length, especially since I probably will never be able to own an SBR, and fills that niche in my mind. The length of pull on the stock is comfortable enough for me, though I am 6′, so considerably taller or shorter people might have a bit of a problem. I’ve tried the whole “six points of contact” shooting stance, and it does seem to work well enough, but feels unnatural to me and I have been defaulting to a more traditional stance as of late. I really would prefer a more closed trigger guard, but I doubt the long guard will cause problems in the long run. Recoil seems non-existent, with the inch thick rubber butt plate and the off hand sitting so close to the end of the barrel. I know that 5.56 rifles generally are all soft shooters, but the Tavor takes the cake in my mind.

The internals of the Tavor remind me a lot of an AK, with the piston and bolt carrier set-up (pictured below),


This thing really is a completely different beast. Break down for the carrier is incredibly simple, just pull the recoil spring/guide rod away from the carrier, push out the cam pin and the bolt will fall out along with the firing pin. All you need is a loose round to completely field-strip the rifle, and unlike my AR-15, I haven’t found any carbon build-up on any of the internals, with only a little finish wear.

The trigger pack is also pretty simple to remove, push two pins and it’ll fall right into your hand. However, be mindful of the bolt catch, as the only things holding it in place is one of the trigger pack’s retaining pins, pressure from the trigger pack and small grooves at the top of the bolt hold. If it becomes dislodged during the removal of the trigger pack, it can be a bit of a headache putting it back. As for the iron sights, I love them and I wish every other rifle came with a set like them. They lay flat with the rail, and even come standard with a front tritium sight post. If you intend to swap out the stock muzzle device, the threading is the same as a 5.56 AR, but don’t bother with crush washers (the barrel’s shoulder isn’t like an AR’s), just use the locking nut that comes with the rifle.

There is no getting around it; the trigger is heavy, heavier than any other trigger I’ve used. Most of my guns’ trigger pulls are around 5-7 pounds, with my AR-15’s being a 4-pound break. The Tavor’s is around 11 pounds. I feel like I’m a slower shooter with the Tavor than my AR, and really have to pay attention to my fundamentals to hit what I’m aiming at. I’ve found lubing the trigger pack, as per the manual, helps a bit though. I have not personally tried it, but other Tavor owners have been removing one of the reset springs from the trigger pack, supposedly dropping the pull weight to 7 pounds. I’ve also heard that Timney and Geissele are working on after-market triggers, so owners will have some options soon. That being said, I haven’t really been having trouble with the trigger. I honestly don’t know if my trigger finger is getting stronger or if the trigger components are just breaking in, but I’m not having as much trouble with the trigger as I did when I just got the rifle. I won’t be removing the reset spring in the trigger pack, and I’m on the fence about whether I will invest in an aftermarket pack, since in my mind reliability may be affected.

Accuracy and Reliability:
I’ve shot approximately 700 rounds through the Tavor using multiple magazines with zero issues. I’ve shot Wolf, PMC Bronze, Federal M855, Hornady TAP, American Eagle XM193, and PMC XTAC with no problems. I’ve also used the stock CAA magazine, Gen2 PMAGs, and Troy Battlemags without a hiccup. The 3 shot groupings pictured are with the Hornady 75 grain TAP ammo, with the best grouping being a little over one MOA. I shot these during my final sight in while leaning on the hood of my SUV, using a simple block under the hand guard and a Leupold AR MOD 1 1.5-4 at about 100 yards. I also think the high flyers are shooter’s error, with how close the other rounds were to one another but I honestly can’t say. So accuracy with good quality ammo seems excellent. My groupings with the 55 grain weight ammo was about 2.5 MOA on average, 2 MOA with XTAC 62 grain LAP while the M855 was a little worse than the XTAC. So at least my rifle likes the heavier weight projectiles.

Ending Thoughts:
I really like my Tavor, a lot. I wish I could have gotten a FDE, 18 inch barreled Tavor instead of the 16.5 black rifle that I have, but I honestly love having a true left-handed Bullpup, even if it isn’t my favorite color. I have learned to live with the trigger. I’ll admit it could be improved, but I will continue to exercise my trigger finger and see what happens. I’m also cautiously waiting for a Geissele two stage trigger pack. I like the compact package with a full-length barrel, and have replaced my AR with the Tavor for HD situations. I also swapped out the A2 birdcage flash hider with a Troy Medieval, which works quite well with the rifle in my opinion. Hope you’ve enjoyed my first review on Dayattherange, feel free to ask me any questions that I might have missed. Thanks for reading!

So what do you think worth it? Of course it is.

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6 Comments on "IWI Tavor Worth It or Not?"

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  1. bsdguy says:

    I thought they were fully ambi, and user convertible. Why the need for a lefty model?

  2. BlackSheep says:

    The only hand-specific part you need is the bolt, and all other parts can be swapped from the left side of the gun to the right or vice versa. But, this requires the barrel to be removed, something IWI decided needed to be done in-house because the barrel needs to be headspaced and the Tavor’s chamber is a little different than the standard 5.56 NATO chamber. So, if I purchased a right handed rifle, I’d need to buy a left handed bolt and ship my rifle to IWI, wait for a week or two, then be able to go shoot it. Too much cost, especially when I could simply buy the rifle stock Left handed. I guess a better way of describing the Tavor is ambi capable instead of ambidextrous. Hope this helps.

  3. razors33 says:

    Why would you prefer an 18″ barrel over a 16″?
    As a side note I’ve noticed that the 18″ version comes with a bayonet lug that the 16″ lacks, but I’ve also read that the IDF doesn’t use bayonets.

  4. Robert says:

    The black gun pictured is a righthand version.

  5. Bill says:

    I have a FDE 16inch. I got the Geissele and it is awesome. The reset is non existent. The only minor thing I’d recommend is numbering the rail on top so you always get the same position for optics. Easily can do it for yourself. I also got the 9mm conversion kit, again, awesome and so much fun to shoot.

  6. ROLF says:

    I own a Tavor in 16 inch and am extremely pleased with the rifle. I have owned mine for three months and have gotten several friends to convert from the AR platform to the Tavor. They all love the long list of positives that we all enjoy as owners. Accurate, fast to the ready position, fires all the time. durable, well designed.

    I love it

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