Gun Review: IWI TAVOR SAR

 

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We’ve already gone over the basics of IWI’s newly released (in the United States, at least) TAVOR SAR rifle. So with the tech specs out of the way, let’s talk about how the rifle actually functions in the real world, and how it stacks up against the competition.

The Good

The TAVOR SAR (hereafter referred to as simply “the TAVOR”) is exceedingly compact. It fits in places where only an SBR could previously go, including small trunks and briefcases. Which makes it much easier to sneak the gun in and out of your apartment building without getting the stink-eye from the neighbor with the Obama/Biden ’12 sticker. It also makes the gun more maneuverable, an especially prized feature for close quarters-style fighting. In fact, for that reason alone, this might have sprung straight to the top of my recommendation list for home defense rifles.

I have to admit to spending a good half hour clearing my apartment with the rifle over and over again, and compared to my previous rifle of choice (300 BLK AR-15) it was delightfully sleek and unobtrusive. Having all the weight of the gun behind the pistol grip allowed me to free my support hand to open doors or hold a flashlight without ever really losing control of the rifle. For the first time, this gun allowed me to open a  door and keep the rifle shouldered and ready to fire at the same time. I loved it.

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The rifle’s design, with its easy disassembly and modularity, is excellent in theory as well as practice.

Field stripping the gun for cleaning is easy as pie. One pin and the whole bolt and piston assembly slides free, opening the gun up for maintenance. It’s a welcome change from the complicated dance of the AR-15 and its charging handle, which has thrown many a newbie for a loop when tearing the gun down for the first time. Definitely something that new and experienced shooters alike will appreciate.

With the push of a couple pins and the turn of a couple keys, the gun will readily convert from the current 5.56 NATO configuration to any other caliber that can fit in an AR-15 magazine well. According to the IWI reps, a .300 AAC Blackout conversion kit will be available within the year and a 9mm and 5.45×39 kit are already in production. It’s nice to see a rifle that can be changed so radically with such little work. By comparison, the AR-15 requires specialized tools and more to get the barrels changed out. It’s so daunting a task that I prefer to buy a new complete upper than to swap a barrel myself.

Moving forward on the gun, there are two things I want to point out as particularly excellent.

First, the forward-mounted charging handle. Not only is it non-reciprocating (averting the only complaint about the SCAR I have) so you don’t bash your knuckles, but it falls readily to hand and is easy to operate. In short, it just works.

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The other thing I really liked about the gun was that it comes with a set of iron sights that fold away so neatly into the full length rail that most people don’t even know that they exist. It’s a great touch, especially on a gun that’s meant to be fired using a red dot or similar low power optic. It’s high enough to cowitness with the optic, then goes away until needed again.

Speaking of “there when you need it,” the thing just refuses to die. I used the worst ammunition I could find, the worst magazines I could muster (including some experimental models), and tried everything I could think of to make this gun jam. But no matter what I did, the TAVOR fired reliably every single time.

The Bad

I. Hate. This. Trigger.

I thought the trigger on the KRISS carbine was bad, but the TAVOR’s is quite possibly the worst trigger I’ve ever felt. Not only is it creepier than an uninvited clown at a 12-year-old’s birthday party, it’s exceedingly heavy. My trigger finger was too tired to keep pulling after about 20 rapid fire rounds, sooner than any other firearm I’ve ever tested.

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That trigger translates to terrible accuracy downrange. I took the rifle to the Best of the West range and tried my best to get a good 5 round group at 50 yards, but this was the tightest I had all day. Mil spec calls for a 4 MoA or better spread. This rifle, in my hands, could only muster an 8 MoA spread. For me, if I was going to drop TWO THOUSAND dollars on a new rifle, I would expect at least 2 MoA or better.

Don’t get me wrong, this is fine if you’re expecting “minute of bad guy” accuracy. But it severely limits the usefulness of the gun.

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Long range shooting? Forget it. I could hit the gong at 250 yards most of the time, but the gun was dancing all around the 500 yard steel target. The crappy trigger, combined with the short overall length, means that this rifle is most definitely not intended to leave the realm of the red dot.

Competition shooting? While the gun is maneuverable, the crappy trigger and the short overall length are the gun’s downfall. While 3-gun rifles have been getting progressively shorter, there’s a reason that not a single shooter in the pro series uses a bullpup configuration rifle. The longer overall length allows for more leverage to be placed on the gun to keep it stable, and that’s not possible with the TAVOR.

Hunting? While the 5.56 round is more than adequate for most critters here in Texas (and .300 BLK even more so), the less than stellar accuracy of the rifle makes me hesitant to recommend it. The small size does make it ideal for getting in and out of vehicles to hunt and convenient to carry around, but for the same reasons that it doesn’t do well as a competition rifle I wouldn’t recommend this as a hunting rifle either.

Even with simply firing the gun, it has some issues. The gun uses a combination of direct impingement esque gas tubes and a gas piston to cycle the action, and the point at which they meet is conveniently right next to your face. Which means that after about five rounds, you get as much gas in your face as if you were shooting a suppressed full auto M4 with a 7 inch barrel. For those who have never had the pleasure of asphyxiating on firearms exhaust while shooting before, I can tell you it is not a good time. Add a silencer into the mix on this gun and the blowback would be more than I would find comfortable.

The Ugly (Truth)

At the end of the day, what we have here is a one trick pony. It’s amazing for home defense and will top my list for that purpose from now on, but for everything else you would want to do with a firearm (other than having it as a range toy) it falls short.

Despite the many, many drawbacks, the gun is still fun to shoot. So if you’re looking for a range toy and can drop 2 grand without blinking an eye, then I think you’ll like this gun. But if you’re looking for a gun that will do more than satisfy your craving for a trendy niche gun, this is not the firearm you are looking for.

That said, I still want one. No one ever said that every rifle in your collection needs to have a purpose . . .

Specifications:

Caliber: 5.56×45 / .223 (chamber is 5.56). Conversion kits available for 5.45×39 and 9×19
Barrel Length: Available in 16.5” and 18” versions
Rate of Twist: 1:7
Overall Length: 26 1/8” (16.5” bbl) or 27 5/8” (18” bbl)
Length of Pull: 15.75”
Weight: 7.9 lbs
Trigger Pull Weight: 11.5 lbs
Operation: long stroke gas piston, locking bolt (right or left ejection specific)
Capacity: Accepts AR-15 magazines
Finish: Polymer body available in Black or Flat Dark Earth. All metal parts treated for corrosion resistance
MSRP: $1,999 either color or barrel length. $2,599 in IDF version with Mepro-21 Reflex Sight affixed to barrel (note: this version does not have a full picatinny upper rail)

Ergonomics (Handling): * * * *
When moving around, especially in tight places, the gun excels. But if you’re trying to take a precision shot, good luck trying to get anything close to a stable shooting position.

Ergonomics (Firing): * * *
I had a nightmare about that trigger. No, seriously. A guy was coming at me, and no matter how hard I pulled on the trigger it wouldn’t fire. It just kept creeping backwards and getting harder to pull, until he caught me. And then I woke up. Recoil, however, is extremely well managed and feels much lighter than an AR-15.

Reliability: * * * * *
No issues whatsoever, despite my attempts to the contrary.

Customize This: * * * * *
Switch sides for all the components with ease, change barrels, add gadgets… whatever you want to do, the TAVOR will let you do it. Like taking the “Barbie for men” idea to the next level. The only thing that might make it more customizable is if it were made out of Lego bricks.

Overall: * * *
An amazingly fun range toy that works fantastically well in home defense scenarios, but that’s it. And for $2,000, I was expecting more.

avatar

About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

90 Responses to Gun Review: IWI TAVOR SAR

  1. avatarMike Crognale says:

    I bought an FNH PS90 when I saw the P90 on a television show. I love it. Accurate out to 100 yards even with the ghost sight, great trigger and heavy enough so that the recoil is tamed but light enough to carry in a neck sling without it becoming a cement sack. The Tavor is way more expensive that the PS90 so I’ll stick with mine. Thanks for a great review.

    • avatarWA_2A says:

      I dream of a day there will be cheap, plentiful 5.7×28 ammo so I can finally jump on that bandwagon…

      • avatarMike Crognale says:

        Yes, let’s hope. The prices, even on Gunbroker are down a bit. new PS90s are around $1500. I paid a lot more than that when I bought mine back in ’04 or ’05. OEM mags are even cheaper. I paid $75 for an additional 50 round mag back then but they are going for about $35 to $50 as of today. Ammo is on there in bulk today but it is a bit pricey.

  2. I’ve heard of Tavor face. I haven’t had that problem personally but there’s already a replacement ejection port cover that’s supposed to stop it!

    I haven’t had as much trouble with the trigger as you seem to have had. That being said I’ve seen people write similar things, so YMMV I guess. For what it is worth, my trigger doesn’t have any creep. Its heavy as all get out, but its very smooth and has a very clean break, also has a very clear reset. Overall I like it but I wouldn’t mind it being a few pounds lighter.

    Speaking of which there are some guys on the bullpup forum who are already disassembling their trigger packs looking for ways to improve them. I think we’ll see an aftermarket trigger by the end of the year.

    Also, I believe you have a slight mistake when talking about conversion kits. 5.45×39 and 9mm are coming out first. .300blk has been confirmed by IWI but they haven’t given a specific date yet.

    I need to find a range that doesn’t limit me to 200 yards so I can do some proper accuracy testing. I know guys claiming they can hit silhouette targets out to 500 yards with the Tavor.

    Overall great write up!

  3. avatarDarkstar says:

    I had a chance to handle one of these a while ago and could not agree more about the trigger. Flat out horrible.

    • avatarJeremy S. says:

      I was able to very quickly and easily drop the trigger weight from 11.5 lbs to 8 lbs. Also fully reversible: youtube.com/watch?v=pd5abMIUdAQ

  4. avatarcwp says:

    Nick, if by chance you’ve also fired an FS2000, I’d be interested to read your thoughts on the pros and cons of each. If you haven’t … well, surely FNH would be happy to send you one for evaluation purposes, right? :)

    • avatarChris Dumm says:

      I haven’t played with Nick’s test Tavor yet, but I can speak briefly to the FS200′s handling. They’re really nice in many areas, but the trigger sucks, (although not as badly as the Tavor’s apparently does) and the stock and rear receiver are blocky and awkward.

      It’s short and handy and it looks cooler than penguin balls, but IMHO it’s just another short-range rifle with no target or hunting applications. I wanted one badly when I saw them, but shooting them really cooled my lust.

    • avatarWA_2A says:

      Because he’s on the FNH 3-gun team he is strictly forbidden from reviewing their products, if I remember right…

    • I have fondled an FS2000 at FN’s R&D facility and I was… unimpressed. Nifty from an engineering perspective, but downright awful in every other aspect.

  5. avatarAccur81 says:

    I have a friend at work who says ARs are obsolete, and that “once you go bullpup, you’ll never go back.” I happen to like the ergos of the AR better, having the mag changes where an AR puts them, and the length of the AR platform. Bullpups can certainly be awesome, but the mag change is in a weird location and all the action from the action is literally right up in your face. I also don’t like trying to take long distance shots with a sub 30″ platform. With that being said, a good bullpup could definitely be the ultimate CQB self defense rifle.

    It’s just a damn shame that the trigger is horrible on this one.

    Thanks for the review.

    • avatarJeffR says:

      I do not think bullpups will ever take over the market for the simple reason that their triggers are almost universally bad. It’s not just the Tavor. From my understanding, it is inherent in the way bullpups are currently made. Perhaps someone with more expertise in the actual design and build of bullpups can provide more details, but it seems there would have to be a truly revolutionary bullpup design that addresses the trigger issue before they would make any rifle system obsolete.

      • avatarBrian S says:

        Sort of surprised we haven’t seen a bullpup try to use some sort of electronic trigger to get around all the crappiness of long trigger linkage

        are there laws against it? I know paintball guns have had them for quite some time.

        • avatarSemper Why says:

          Not as such, no. There are a few Olympic rifles that use electronic triggers and a guy over at the Rimfire Forum is selling an electronic trigger pack. He has a few posts describing the discussions he had with the ATF before building his product and it was illuminating.

          Basically, it boils down to “If you can’t readily convert it to full auto, then it doesn’t matter how you translate a trigger pull into a fired round.” I agree, it sounds like an electronic trigger would be a great match for a bullpup.

          My FS2000 trigger isn’t great. The one modification I made improved it, but it’s still not great. I was hoping the TAVOR would come up with a decent solution to the classic problem, but I guess not.

          The only bullpup I know of that supposedly has an awesome trigger is the line of products from Desert Tactical Arms. But you’re talking $4000+ rifles.

      • avatarJordan says:

        Problem with bullpup triggers is that unlike in a traditional rifle (read m4/m16/ar15), the trigger of a bullpup is on the other end of the rifle than what it controls, i.e. the hammer. Transferring the motion of the trigger to make for a meaningful reaction at the hammer-end of the rifle which is about a foot (give or take) behind the trigger is easier said than done, and is what gives bullpups that inherently bad trigger pull.

    • avatarSouthern Cross says:

      “once you go bullpup, you’ll never go back.” I’ll challenge that after experience with the Steyr AUG (F88). The trigger had to be the WORST trigger I have ever experienced. To the point I thought the trigger on my SKS was an improvement. With all the weight at the rear of the firearm, the muzzle flip was quite pronounced. Much more than I would have expected with a 5.56 weighing at about 8-9 lbs. And the sights? The ring in the optic was about the size of the 3-ring on our 4-foot target at 200 metres. That means the ring is covering an area about 2.5-3 feet across. Accurate point-shooting? Forget it. My SKS at the time had a Lyman peep site fitted and that was much more precise.

      Given a choice between a bullpup and a M4, I’ll take the M4. Preferably with a HK416 upper and moreso if in 6.8 SPC.

  6. avatardwb says:

    need a new ratings category: FU to gun ban lists.

    As i understand it, someone will correct me, but this is cash and carry in maryland**. bwaaaaaahahahahahahaha

    just remember, its illegal to BUY the magazine in maryland.

    • avatardwb says:

      … with a muzzle brake or something that brings it to 29″ overall length.

    • avatarChainsawWieldingManiac says:

      It’s banned post-10/1 in MD, since it fails the OAL test. It’s definitely cash and carry right now.

  7. avatarEd says:

    I heard there were problems with certain mag’s and the damaging the last round hold open. I take it you saw nothing?

    As I live in CO I need all my future mags sorted out by the end of the month!

    http://tar21.com/tavor-tar-21-and-magpul-pmags-issues-with-the-bolt-hold-open-device/

    • Important to note that that is the TAR-21, not the SAR. I’ve seen no problems with my gen2 PMAGS in the SAR. There’s much more detailed discussion about mag compatibility on the bullpup forum.

      • avatarXoliswa says:

        wd,Thanks for posting again. Your thohguts and comments generate discussion on a topic important to many.I agree with Richard, having a patrol rifle is not SWAT equipped. Simply having a tool in the vehicle does not make it a SWAT response. And simply having a rifle in a patrol car does not mean the officer has a SWAT mentality. If an officer gets his rifle out on ordinary calls, his Chief/Sheriff should be called and a complaint made. I’m fairly confident that those Chief Executives will remedy that situation quickly. If, however, an officer gets his rifle out to deal with an armed offender, or similar situation, we should be thankful that the officer has a tool that will enable them to end a dangerous situation at greater distances than a pistol.I would like to point out that a patrol rifle is NOT a new concept, it is actually a return to an old concept. Over 100 years ago law enforcement often carried a Winchester repeating rifle or shotgun to increase their firepower. In the 1920 s and 1930 s law enforcement responded to the Mafia and roving criminal gangs with Thompson sub-machine guns, Browning Automatic Rifles, and other rifles and shotguns.If the rifle is needed, it needs to be in the patrol car not locked up in an armory at the station where it will not be able to be used to end a massacre.

  8. avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Triggers that are actuated with long connecting bars will almost always be horrible, and I mean a level of indstrial-grade suck that you cannot fix with a set of stones and a jig.

    This is what you’ll get when you move the trigger forward of the action/striker, or the action/striker to the rear of the trigger (depending on your perspective) and then try to connect the trigger where your finger is to the “real trigger” waaaaaay back over there.

    When you have these sorts of triggers, you’re often left with a trade-off between length of trigger pull and trigger pull weight. If you want a 4lb. trigger, you’ll need to have a long throw, and if you want a short, crisp trigger, you’ll likely have absurd pull weights.

    And either way, you’ll have a creepy, “bouncy” trigger due to the pivot joints and flexibility in the bar connecting the trigger where your finger is to the trip under the sear.

    This is one of the many reasons why I’ve never been impressed with bullpups. When I pick up a rifle, my first issue is the trigger. If the trigger is bad, the rest of the rifle could be beautiful, or it could be powerful, or it could be innovative… but none of that matters. I want nothing to do with rifles that have bad triggers. If a rifle has a great trigger, but it’s “cosmetically challenged,” hey, I can fix that. That’s my job. BTW, there are poor trigger pulls on good trigger designs. Those can be easily fixed too.

    When I see a eye-catching rifle with a trigger that sucks because of fundamental design issues, it is akin to meeting a beautiful woman… who you find out has the personality of a warthog: you start out thinking “Wow! I’m really interested in this…” and when you feel the trigger pull (or find out that she’s got a PhD in women’s “studies”), you think “Eh… no, not really.” And if you bought that rifle (or were stupid enough to go on a second date), it starts to dawn on you that you’ve been had.

    • avatarmiserylovescompany says:

      I’ve followed the Tavor with great interest and would like to get one, despite the general consensus regarding that trigger. You would think that the Israelis would, after 10+ years developing this rifle, ought to have found a solution. But evidently not, so I thought of one myself.

      From what I gather, the Tavor has a trigger bar headed towards the rear that is pulled to release the hammer/striker. And the AUG, et. al. have trigger bars that are pushed.

      Why not do away with a solid linkage altogether and use a cable? Might the coefficient of friction be less, by chance? Reliability? Size? Durability? All interesting questions, but by no means out of the realm of possibility.

      Whaddya think DPG?

      Tom

      • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        From my experience, probably not.

        Than again, I’m a trigger snob. I’ve had my finger on some very, very good triggers.

        Let’s put it this way: A Geissele trigger is “nice.” Not “great.” Just “nice.” It is far, far better than any stock AR trigger, but to me, it’s only “nice.”

    • avatarJeremy S. says:

      “you’ll have a creepy, “bouncy” trigger due to the pivot joints and flexibility in the bar connecting the trigger where your finger is to the trip under the sear.”

      I don’t think flexibility of the bar is an issue in this case. As mentioned above, the TAVOR pulls on a bar rather than pushes it. I also don’t agree that it’s the worst trigger ever. I think it’s okay. Not good, but not bad unless you have a problem with a trigger being heavy. It has a fairly short travel and just a small amount of creep (at least mine… I know the review here says the opposite but I don’t fully agree with it or maybe it’s a touch of hyperbole). There’s some takeup, but I think the actual creep is minor. Then the break is pretty crisp and the reset it short. It was fairly smooth when new with just a bit of grit, and now that I have ~300 rnds through it, it feels better. I’m sure it will smooth out a bit more.

      I also dropped it down to 8 lbs, not that I really take issue w/ a heavier trigger for ‘combat’ use. youtube.com/watch?v=pd5abMIUdAQ

      • avatarFriendly Neighborhood Gunsmith says:

        Jeremy,

        You’re correct regarding the trigger bar. It has no flex to it, because it’s a solid steel bar and properly heat treated. The takeup stems from designed-in bar movement and the “peg” of the trigger bar being smaller than the U-shaped notch in the sear connector. Once these two parts make contact, the sear system is pretty conventional and the letoff is crisp. My two examples here have very close to zero creep, or at least so little it’s not noticeable to most people. It would be very doable to pre-stage the trigger bar somewhat and/or shim the connector to reduce that first stage feeling funky. Consider the trigger bar’s slop like tightening up a loose 1911 trigger bow.

        A primary culprit for the weight is the sear connector primary return spring, which is very stiff 0.050″ spring wire. There are two return springs, and the small Glock-esque coil spring can be safely removed to decrease overall pull weight slightly. The hammer spring is also much stronger than we’ve become accustomed to on AR-15s, so something like a JP spring kit for the Tavor would make a tremendous difference at little to no cost to reliability for civilian shooters.

        Additionally the hammer comes relatively rough from factory, likely because of the odd shape and difficulty in polishing that surface in production. It’s not far fetched to expect a trigger under 5 pounds with these modifications.

        • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Allow me to take off my gunsmith’s hat and put on my engineer’s hat for a moment:

          The hardness of steel has no appreciable effect on the Young’s Modulus (aka elastic modulus) of steel. Young’s or elastic modulus is an intrinsic property of the material, while the hardness is an engineered property of of the material.

        • avatarJeremy S. says:

          “A primary culprit for the weight is the sear connector primary return spring, which is very stiff 0.050″ spring wire.”

          Yeah, removing that dropped my trigger weight from 11.5 to 8 lbs. I may take apart my trigger pack and polish things up in there.

          “the “peg” of the trigger bar [is] smaller than the U-shaped notch in the sear connector”

          I assume that’s because of how you insert the trigger pack up into the chassis without being able to see or adjust the trigger bar for perfect alignment. That oversized sear connector notch ensures that they interface properly.

          Dyspeptic — whether the bar can flex or not under compression really doesn’t come into play here anyway. The trigger pulls on the bar. It stays straight and there is no way in hell that it stretches. Like FNG said, it’s a solid steel bar and it’s only being pulled with a few lbs of tension. I mean, sure, maybe you could measure some stretch on a micro level, but there’s just no way it’s an amount that any human could feel through a trigger.

        • avatarDavid B. Walker says:

          Yes! Your analysis is the best so far. One must first understand that the concept of the SAR Tavor is closely patterned after the ‘real’ Israeli weapon. At this date, it has been in use by the Israel army for some time & they like what it was designed for – a lot. In the past, there were issues of reliability on the battlefield as well, addressed to some degree by their own Galil. The M4 didn’t cut it because of the high maintenance required for reliability. (uh.. please don’t shoot me until I oil my bolt). The Tavor has the advantage of good CQB maneuverability & range attributes similar to the 16″ M4. I know that you ‘shooting range lizards’ enjoy those nice cushy trigger pulls, but in combat, would you really want a squad mate with a full auto weapon & touchy trigger behind you? The Tavor is a military weapon, not an easy chair, get over it. If you had to head for the hills & live like an animal for a while, you would be damn glad to have it, while everyone else’s proprietary AR-15′s broke or quit working. Back to the trigger: The Tavor trigger is a different rig than the FS2000 or AUG, so don’t even begin to compare them. Otherwise, the pre-staging and sear polishing is a very good idea. Also, changing to a lighter sear spring might help, I’d personally like to know what may work. These are simple fixes, not worth the $350.00 for a Timney or Gieselle trigger. It does gripe me however, that the Harrisburg plant hadn’t already addressed American trigger tastes, making them more comparable to AR-pulls!

  9. avatarTTACer says:

    I like how all the other reviews say the trigger pulls rather than pushes, so it is better than the AUG, but they don’t actually say if it is any good.

    • Its sorta a subjective thing. I’ve shot both the AUG A3 and the Tavor and I like the Tavor’s trigger much better. Like I said above mine has no creep, the AUG’s did.

      That being said, aside from the weight of the pull, I’m hearing lots of conflicting reports on the Tavor’s trigger. I don’t know if its just different people with different tolerances or if IWI has a QC issue, but I like my Tavor’s trigger. Its heavy but its smooth with a very clean break and a great reset.

      • avatarTTACer says:

        What I mean is that it may or may not be better than the AUG, but is it any good in its own right? Compared to an out of the box low end AR or halfway decent AK? Those groups look like something that a Mini would put up.

        • avatarJeremy S. says:

          “Compared to an out of the box low end AR”

          I like it slightly better than that. It’s heavier! But mine was smoother and had less creep. I agree w/ Platypus that there is not much creep in the TAVOR trigger. There is some takeup, but only a tiny bit of creep that I can tell before a nice break. It’s a fairly short (in stroke) trigger and the reset is short and very very strong (audible and tactile to the max).

          …just can’t agree with this review that it’s horrible and crazy creepy. I find it heavy, but otherwise okay. It’s not great, it’s not bad. I think on the other technical and subjective ways of what makes a trigger good or bad, that it’s better than a mil-spec AR trigger (mainly because I find those grittier and creepier with softer resets).

  10. avatarTom in Oregon says:

    “Creepier than an uninvited clown”
    I think I shat myself laughing.
    Great write up as usual, Thanks Nick

  11. avatarDaniel Silverman says:

    Nick I would contact their customer service. Trigger pull was heavy on the ones I used, but never had creep, and their release point was predictable.

  12. avataroz says:

    This gun has already been popular up here in Canada – although the numbers are small and they average around $2700 a pop (they come direct from Israel), they sell out really fast whenever they come in.

    Can’t wait for IWI U.S. to make some non-restricted 18.5 inchers for us! I’ve been considering one for my future home defense setup, and it’d be nice to pay a few hundred dollars less for it.

  13. avatarBrian says:

    Remember Remington’s ill-fated experiment with electronic primer ignition? I wonder if bullpups are the use case where something like that makes sense.

    • avatarChainsawWieldingManiac says:

      They might be, but I’m pretty sure the BATFE has very serious “easily convertible to machinegun” issues with those.

      • avatarSemper Why says:

        They do, but there are ways to design the trigger so that it isn’t “easily convertible”. The design I saw over at the Rimfire forum would require changing out the timing chip and replacing a couple of capacitors at the least. At that point you’ve moved beyond easy and are approaching “new engineering”.

  14. avatarAnon in CT says:

    Sadly, I won’t have one unless CCDL’s lawsuit somehow winds at teh USSC in 5 or so years. If they had only released them a few months earlier . . .

    • avatarQuantumZen says:

      Sadly I’m with you, Anon. Also very interested in the new Beretta ARX-160 or whatever they’re calling it now.

  15. avatarFug says:

    So would there be any way to improve the trigger? I imagine it is more complicated with a bullpup, if it is possible at all.

    • avatarJeremy S. says:

      Yes. See some of the comments above. First, I don’t agree w/ Nick’s statements about creep and just a horrible trigger in general. It’s heavy but is otherwise perfectly fine. I dropped it from 11.5 lbs to 8 just by removing a spring (totally reversible), which you can see in this video: youtube.com/watch?v=pd5abMIUdAQ

      But in comments above, Friendly Neighborhood Gunsmith has some ideas. Most comments here also confirm my experience about the trigger, which is very little-to-no actual creep and short travel, really good reset, fairly smooth, etc. It’s an okay trigger. Average, I’d say, except for the reset, which is great. It’s just a heavy trigger. That doesn’t = bad for me.

      • There is already a few guys on the bullpup forum who are working on replacement trigger packs.

        That being said I’ve seen many examples of excellent groups with the Tavor. Lots of people are getting that 2MOA accuracy that Nick wanted using the stock trigger.

  16. avatarComrade X says:

    I own both the FN 2000 & Tavor, and previously a MSTAR; of the group the Tavor is my favorite, I am a bullpup fan BTW if you have not guessed.

    The first key to accuracy with the Tavor (as with all guns IMHO) is the grip choice, the Israeli Grip if mastered will increase MOA, if you grip it like an AR; MOA will suffer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJWXZwmFkfw

    As with anything and everything, it is all about what you feel comfortable with; accuracy is related to confidence and physically being relaxed, if not your accuracy will suffer no matter what trigger you might be pulling!

    I feel that with a Tavor I can get the job done just as the Israeli’s have been getting the job done now for almost a decade with it!

  17. avatarST says:

    Not to be a negative Nelly,but IMO long range shooting is overrated,especially for a short range combat bullpup.

    Don’t get me wrong.I’d love to shoot at 300 yard targets.There’s just the minor detail of there being no range that large within driving distance.The furthest I’ve ever shot was a rough 100 yards away at a farm;and the longest rifle range out here is 200 yards.I can’t even imagine how you’d go about shooting long range in a city.A 50 yard shooting tube was as good as it got in suburban Chicago-no rapid fire,please.

    • avatarJeffR says:

      GAT in East Dundee now has a 75-yard indoor rifle range . . . for when you really want to stretch things out. I need to move.

  18. avatarChainsawWieldingManiac says:

    Hard to argue with the review. There’s a ton of stuff to love about the Tavor, but that trigger is horribad compared to any AR I’ve shot. It’s not the worst ever – that distinction will go to my Kareen Hi-Power clone with the mag disconnect still in- but it does hurt. I am hoping that we’ll see a worthwhile trigger job emerge that gets this thing back down to sane territory (6.5lbs)… as someone else mentioned, removing the extra trigger return spring gets you to 8lbs, and a lighter hammer spring might finish the job.

    I’m also planning on working my contacts to see if I can hunt down an IDF armourer… maybe there are some tricks of the trade that haven’t made it west yet.

  19. avatarRonald Pottol says:

    Bad trigger? Try a Heckler&Koch VP-70. Ghastly, 18 pounds. To shoot a full 18 round magazine, I had to use both hands index fingers on the trigger. Some friends and I did a group buy in the early 1980s, after one trip to the range, we all sold them.

  20. avatarMrPotatoHead says:

    The RFB has a great trigger.

  21. avatarIan Thorne says:

    8MOA was all you could do? My first time out I was getting about 2.5-3 MOA at 100 and the better shooters over at Guns and Ammo got some sub MOA groups out of it. No offense, but it sounds like you are blaming bad shooting on a gun when it’s just you. I have never heard of anyone shooting the Tavor as bad as your best groups. Then you let your terrible shooting taint your entire review. This is easily the most disappointed I have ever been in a TTAG review.

    • avatarJeremy S. says:

      I’ve seen lots of targets, especially with 62 to 69 grain ammo, shooting right around 1 to 1.6 MOA. Next weekend I’m headed to a local range that stretches out to 1,000 yards, with steel gongs at various points. I will absolutely do a few 100-yard targets with a few types of ammo, but I intend to go for some steel up to maybe 600 yards if I’m capable of hitting the gongs up to that point…

  22. avatarLars says:

    Bullpups suck, kinda already knew that. But thanks for all the great work on reviews.

  23. avatarg says:

    Still want one… I have no doubt the trigger issues will be worked on in the long run by IWI or by an aftermarket kit.

    I mean, people still complain about the S&W’s M&P’s triggers, and hey look… Apex to the rescue! I’m sure if the demand is there, someone clever will come out with something for the Tavor.

  24. avatarMAC says:

    American’s have come to expect two things;

    1) All rifles must have 5lbs or less triggers. If it’s not an AR, it’s not worth owning. Meanwhile, the rest of the military world wants 8lbs triggers or more to prevent ND/AD’s by grunts. I prefer a heavier trigger because my shooting doesn’t include a bench, sandbag and magnified optics very often. I like military rifles because of their military type applications, not for shooting sub-MOA groups off a bench. If I want a bench rest rifle that shoots sub-MOA, I’ll buy a rifle for that application. The Tavor isn’t a bench rest rifle, it’s designed for the battlefield. What type of trigger does a military grade FAL have? Far from match quality. How about a military grade G3? Not bench rest grade by any means. AUG? Ick. You get the idea.

    2) Americans think every rifle should be sub-MOA capable. It goes back to most people shooting from the bench seeing how tiny they can make their groups for bragging rights. Military rifles rarely are capable of such accuracy. The AR in its military configuration is a 3″ group at 100 yards rifle with military ball in most cases. Sure, it can be souped up for bench rest shooting. The AR is pretty darn neat because of its diversity. But not every rifle needs to be an AR. The Tavor has a lot going for it and it makes a better CQB rifle than a M4 with a 16″ barrel. A lot of people agree with this including Travis Haley who I recently spoke with about the subject. If the Tavor is so inaccurate (as the article implies) then how did Travis win a 200 meter competition with my Tavor the first day he ever fired it (in the pouring rain with a crappy SRS sight) shooting against a guy with an AR? In this case it’s not the rifle at fault I don’t believe, I think it’s the loose nut behind the butt plate (I love ya Nick!). :)

    The bullpup isn’t for everyone. Heck, it wasn’t for me until the Tavor. I have owned several AUG’s (and still own one), I own the FS2000, I have a PS90 SBR, I have a RFB, and I have a Tavor. The Tavor was the first bullpup to make me go “humm, this actually works for me”.

    Oh, and the trigger can be reduced to a clean 8lbs by removing one small spring in about 10 seconds and the rifle still works fine. The Tavor’s trigger is light years ahead of the AUG and FS2000 because 1) the hammer and sear are metal not plastic and 2) it pulls the sear release vs. pushing it. That, and a couple of big name trigger makers are working on match triggers for it as I type this.

    • avatarJeremyS says:

      ^^^ 100% with you here.

      From a few comments up: “I also dropped it down to 8 lbs, not that I really take issue w/ a heavier trigger for ‘combat’ use. youtube.com/watch?v=pd5abMIUdAQ” <<< if you want to cite or respond to that video in one of your own at some point, I'll love you forever and ever ;-)

    • avatarTopgun12776 says:

      MAC,

      I watched your video about removing the spring, now I want one even more! Aftermarket triggers in the works you say? Hmmm…. Who am I kidding, I’d take the gun as is!!!

    • avatarPops says:

      Well my goal for my rifles is around 5 pounds, although there is much more to a trigger than weight. But you are right, I am mostly shooting from a bench, so that is what works for me. 8 pounds a bit heavy for me. I have a Giesselle in my Scar 17, a wonderful trigger, but it would be a bit light for combat. I have a 20/20 Precision all-metal two stage trigger pack for my MSAR, (fits AUGs too), from RatWorx, and now it shoots as good or better than an off the shelf AR. So I am sure by the time I write this, there will be aftermarket triggers for the Tavor

  25. avatarmike says:

    This is a golden opportunity for aftermarket triggers. I look at this rifle and see a lot of factors that make it near perfect. Reliable, mil spec, and adaptable. One flaw (while a major one) should be easily fixable. If companies start coming out with aftermarket triggers, than screw the AR-15 design, this is the rifle for me.

  26. avatarSID says:

    Nothing worse than spending $2k on something NEW and having to “Fix It” right off the bat or live with sub par quality. There also appears to be significant consistancy issues with eval of this trigger in some situations. Creep, “Crisp 11 pound pull” etc.
    Just saying…..this isn’t an SKS and yet it seems to shoot a lot like one.
    No Thanks.

  27. avatarJoe says:

    For anyone using a tavor steyr aug or fs2000, try shooting with your midde finger instead of your trigger finger, takes a little getting used to but reduces strain and increases accuracy…. At least for me.

  28. avatarSamM says:

    After reading review after review, I jumped all in and purchased a new IWI Tavor. Wow, am I glad I did! While I did find the trigger pull to be heavy and the initial take up (called creep) to be long, the trigger had a very clean, crisp break. Someone that wouldn’t be used to this might have a problem, but more seasoned shooters will just overcome the problem. I’m old and have been shooting since my father got me started at 6 years old with a Marlin Model 60. Either way, the trigger isn’t a deal breaker on the Tavor. If it is you have other mindset issues with it. After removing the reset spring, I couldn’t be more happy with my Tavor.

    The Tavor is an excellent weapon system. I have shot mine with both an Aimpoint T1 and my ELCAN SpecterDR 1x-4x dual role sight. Both of which I plan to use on the Tavor. My only additions so far have been: a Magpul MS4/VTAC hybrid sling of my own design, Gen 2 MBUS, and Magpul Gen3 M3 windowed PMAGs. The only future addition that I have planned is a PWS TTO muzzle device.

    To sum up, the Tavor has made me abandon the AR platform completely. It is now my ‘go to’ rifle. My LMT MRP has been given to my daughter and I currently have a Noveske N4 for sale. I fully expect the Tavor to out shoot my previous Steyr AUG-A3 which did have a horrible trigger. Once the aftermarket catches up the Tavor will easily be ‘the state of the art’ rifle to have. Watch the MAC videos for more on this great weapon. Many thanks to him for what he does for the gun community!

    Thanks!

    • avatarJMS says:

      Take up and creep are not the same thing.

      Take up is trigger movement that can be true slack or moving safety devices out of the way (firing pin blocks, trigger safeties, etc) or actually cocking a hammer or striker. Creep is the trigger movement necessary to actually trip the sear. Sometimes a gun will have, for instance, really tall hooks on the hammer and you can feel the sear sliding up the hooks before it slips off and the gun fires. Creep is the feeling of the sear moving on whatever it catches on. The best, creep-free trigger stops at that point where there is pressure on the sear, and the next micro mm of trigger movement trips it. There may or may not be take up travel before that.

  29. avatarDevin says:

    Couldn’t you just put in a better trigger assembly if it is so modular?

  30. avatarjohn of sparta says:

    +1 to Joe.
    my middle finger is my “go to” trigger finger.
    started when my daddy started me shooting.
    my index finger wouldn’t reach. middle would.
    when i want to “put it in the same hole”……….

  31. avatarSamM says:

    My ELCAN SpecterDR 1x-4x Dual Role Sight now sits on my black Tavor full time. I’ve added an ELCAN red dot accessory mount to the SpecterDR and a Docter red dot now sits in that mount. It was purchased from Botach Tactical for around $75. This gives me the option of a close up CQB sight. I don’t really find the ELCAN lacking at 1x but having the Docter on it is nice. The Docter is sighted in for 50 yards and I have the ELCAN sighted in at 100. The included SpecterDR backup iron sights are now offset to the right. The Tavor can be canted and fired with the backups and I’ve easily made hits with those out to 100 yards. The only time I would ever consider the factory Tavor backups, would be if everything else failed. Not likely!

    I previously mentioned abandoning the AR platform. That didn’t last long, as I recently purchased a new black LWRCI M6IC rifle. It now sits next to the Tavor in a Pelican 1720 hard case. The M6IC will be the perfect backup to the Tavor. This rifle represents the top of the line in AR weapons. Do yourself a favor and look into them. I’ve basically sold my collection and downsized to just a few very high quality rifles, that perform much better than my previous rifles ever could. The M6IC came fully equipped. My only additions have been a Geissele trigger and an Aimpoint T1 in a LaRue mount. The rifle needs nothing else.

    JMS, thanks for the explanation of creep. My Tavor exhibits no signs of creep whatsoever. It has a little take up and a crisp break after that. Very nice! I could not be happier with the Tavor.

  32. avatarbob says:

    I can hit 300+ all day long and have very tight groups at 100. Maybe you just have to get used to the rifle. Take the second reset spring out of the trigger pack or compress the spring for a couple days by wedging something between the metal and plastic (I used popsicle sticks) so the sear stays forward. I’ve done everything I described and cleaned the trigger pack thoroughly. The pull weight is about 5 pounds now and I’m sure it would go down if I did some polishing or more spring compression.

  33. avatarAcidarms says:

    Bought a Tavor on my last R&R sold all my AR15s to get. trigger sucked till i took the spring out (thanks military arms channel guy) accuarcy is ok. the whole rifle is solid like beat an MRAP to death solid. only complaint was trying to lock the bolt back with the paddle relsease in the back. it will even feed my 150 rd SAW drum Note: rifle has to be held sideways getto style for this. anyhow. as a go to 5.56 id really have to toss a coin between this and my SCAR16s.

  34. avatarAdam says:

    The favorite sidearm of alicorns, apparently:

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/06/daniel-zimmerman/obscure-object-of-desire-my-little-pony-iwb-holster/

    While they may be legal in Equestria, this is a Prohibited Weapon up here in Canada–too bad.

  35. avatarEd says:

    Thank you VERY MUCH for this review. You saved me $2k. I was thinking about buying one for competition, so you told me just what I needed to know.

  36. avatarPman5kmO says:

    The actual IDF version has a bad trigger as well, then they improved on it, but it still sucks even compared to the stock M4A1 triggers still, and with the SSF trigger it sucks as much more now than with before improvements.

    I despise bullpup weapons with few exceptions. Seems the trigger is always horrid (not even going to go into the AUG select fire version) recoil while often comparable, they also tend to have more muzzle rise, in large part due to the balance (and leverage, etc.). The only other real weakness to bullpups, is the degree of movement in reloading operations necessary which means it will always take longer to load/reload, and clearing malfunctions. The charging handle way up front on the Tavor makes it a tad worse than some others I have played with. Besides, there is a reason you see high-speed low drag operators continually using the AR15 or other similar pattern conventional design weapons in operations, reload speed and move an eye as you turn and pull charging handle as opposed to moving the entire weapon out in front of your body…. when fractions of a second count, more movement kills

  37. avatarTHAT ONE GUY WHO PISSES YOU OFF says:

    A good friend of mine has this gun in his “collection” and allowed to test it out the trigger on his is actually too loose for me, way too easy to pull. maybe there is a way to tighten or loosen it easily?

  38. avatarZee Man says:

    Picked up a Tavor this week and put 200 rounds through it today. Trigger pull is hard but not grity. Maybe my trigger finger is getting stronger, maybe I’m getting use to the trigger or maybe, just maybe, it seemed to get a little easier. I do not have a trigger gauge but I think it is getting a wee bit better. This is a CQB. It doesn’t have a Geissele, Timiney or even a Rock River trigger, but I find the trigger OK and worth the trade off for the bullpup design.
    Using Wolf 62 gr FMJ, Centurian 55 gr FMJ and an AimPoint PRO, 8″ round plates at 100 yards was boringly accurate. At 200″ yards with the dot turned down low, and benching it, 12″ by 12″ rectangle plates were consistant. No problems with the gun at all.

    Would like to stretch it out to 300 and 400 yards but a 200 yard range is all I can get to.

  39. avatarrlc2 says:

    Hey Nick your friend MAC at MAC responded with any easy fix to lower trigger to 7 pds.

    http://www.thebangswitch.com/5-minute-tavor-trigger-job/

    Wonder if that would help your groups? 3 moa would work on a TX hog hunt right?

  40. avatarJohn Cramer says:

    I just purchased a Tavor. The only thing that surprised me was how much heavier it feels then my ARs. I’ve purchased a sling, so hopefully that will help with the weight. I’m using an Eotech reflex sight and I do have to really smash my face into the stock to get a good sighting picture. I need to look into the sight that is recommended for this rifle. I purchased this gun for several reasons… I wanted to try a bullpup and I’ve heard Israel has refined most of the bull pup issues out of this one, also Israel usually makes great firearms, so I was going a bit on reputation. I like it… I prefer my AR15 at this point but I need to get a little more comfortable with my Tavor to make a clear choice.

  41. avatarChris says:

    Funny you mentioned your nightmare about not being able to pull the trigger in your review. We must share the same nightmare, I have had that same nightmare where, as hard as I tried, I couldn’t pull the trigger.

    I hope that never happens in real life. I was thinking about going for a different tactical rifle than your standard AR, but after reading this review, I don’t think the Tavor is for me. I was hoping to find a cool .223/5.56 bull pup…

    I’m sure you’ve tried the Steyr AUG; I’ll have to read your review on that one.

    • avatarGreg says:

      The TAVOR is a great weapon. This review was not a very good one. The trigger is heavy but the break is crisp. Please remember that the TAVOR is an assault rifle designed for combat use. A soldier working on adrenaline won’t even notice the trigger. A person with a little practice will have no problems either. I own a TAVOR and couldn’t be happier. What a great rifle.

  42. avatarjoe shmoe says:

    Stop complaining about the trigger. Its really not that bad.

  43. avatarJimmy Drew says:

    Have the Tavor IDF and have the Colt M4A1 and love them both. Would like to know about the new block they have for the port on the Tavor though. The gas is not horrible but it is there. The trigger is not that bad on the Tavor. Joe is absolutely correct. I bought this gun for CQ defense not for long distance shooting. I will use my 17S for that. I actually like the trigger on the Tavor. I do hope they do make a conversion so you can change out the Meprolite and put a rail on if you wish. With that being said the Meprolite is awesome.. no battery.. and always ready to go. Again, if anyone knows about the port cover I would like to hear about it.. and thanks.

  44. avatarEd says:

    I have to disagree with the Mr. Leghorn’s assessment of the accuracy and the use of the stock trigger. I was able to hit four inch clay pigeons at 104 yard in a 4 mile an hour cross wind supported with the rifle zeroed center mass at 25 yards supported. Using a stock trigger. I believe adding a Timney trigger would improve its engagement distance. Even the M16A2 considers iron sites at 800 meters as an area target engagement range not a point on shooting device.

  45. avatarGreg says:

    It is frustrating listening to people complain about the trigger of the TAVOR. It is an assault rifle designed for combat use. It is not supposed to have a light trigger pull. If you want a light trigger then don’t buy an assault rifle. By the way, the break on the trigger is really nice and crisp. If you are really that hung up on the trigger then switch it out for a lighter one. The weapon is also pretty accurate. Before blaming the rifle you might want to check your shooting fundamentals. I own a TAVOR and it is an outstanding weapon. It certainly deserves more than a three star review.

  46. Pingback: Gun Review: IWI TAVOR SAR | The Truth About Guns | Aaron Walton

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