Gear Review: Gear Head Works TAVOR Parts

Way back in 2013 I picked up a couple of parts from Gear Head Works for my TAVOR. The TMF, or Tavor Modular Forearm, was definitely something I’d wanted. I loved the idea of integrally mounting a flashlight instead of slapping it on a rail somewhere. The FLEx, or Fulcrum Located Extra swivel, had less appeal to me and I wasn’t going to buy it until Paul, owner of GHW,  convinced me that I would definitely notice a difference in gas blowback to the face even if I wasn’t planning on using it as a sling attachment point. Okay, okay, I picked it up and am now ready to voice my opinion . . .

Yes, this is a blog so ostensibly I’m here to write and you’re here to read (not that I don’t also read TTAG incessantly). But, sometimes it’s just easier to watch, eh? Here’s the dish in video form:

 

If you’re still with me, let’s start with the TMF:

The TMF’s internal mount allows the use of basically any 1″ diameter flashlight. A couple lights, like the SureFire M951 style, will bolt directly to the inside bottom. Slots in the TMF allow for the mounting of Magpul MOE accessories — I’m using the Illumination Kit to mount the pressure pad — and for additional cooling compared to the factory forend. The machined front cap makes for a really nice, clean look.

Actually if there’s a cleaner aftermarket way to mount a flashlight on a rifle, I’m not aware of it. There are a couple other companies selling integral-tactical-light TAVOR forearms, but I chose Gear Head Works’ offering due to its mounting system. It seems to have the sturdiest, widest part that clamps to the flashlight and that mount itself is also very sturdily mounted to the forearm. Not that I expect this to be a high impact part for my uses, but at least one of the other options caused me a little concern for long-term durability.

The machining, fitment, and Cerakote finish were all flawless. I appreciate the small details like non-permanent thread lock compound pre-applied to the bolts along with the included allen wrenches of the appropriate size.

Included instructions were clear, even if the install is simple enough that you shouldn’t need them. That said, don’t forget to route your extra pressure pad cord under the light or otherwise out of the way so it doesn’t come in contact with the hot barrel!

Two thumbs up from me on the Tavor Modular Forearm. I don’t think I would change a thing about it. It does what I want it to do, it looks good doing it… what more can you ask for?  [EDIT: I should mention that the Primary Arms 420 lumen weapon light w/ tape switch is proving to be really great so far, definitely works perfectly in this mount, and is priced right]

The FLEx:

GHW’s Fulcrum Located Extra swivel serves two functions: it adds an additional QD swivel attachment point and it seals up the ejection port better than the factory plastic piece. I believe the “fulcrum” term comes from the fact that the QD point ends up closer to the center of balance on the rifle than either of the factory points, which makes it better for running a single point sling.

Although 2-point is my preference, especially on the TAVOR, I did find that going to single point was significantly better with the FLEx than with the factory rear QD socket. Moving the mount ‘down’ the gun meant raising the gun up on my body without having to further cinch in the sling. It brought it to a more comfortable, more accessible location. If you want to go single point, I think this might just be the only way to fly.

I’m also starting to get used to using the FLEx as the rear point in a 2-point sling setup. Instead of the rifle being held almost vertically, it moves it to more of an angle. This gets the muzzle farther out of the way when I’m walking, which is really only an issue when I have the suppressor adding to the barrel length but is still welcome. I’ll keep experimenting here, but I should probably give another shout out to Sandstorm Custom Rifle Slings since I continue to be extremely happy with the versatility of my sling — the ability to easily adjust length and transition from single- to 2-point, plus the great looks and excellent comfort were again noticed here when I changed the location of the attachment point and the sling was able to accommodate.

P1020226

The “secondary” benefit of the FLEx, and the one that made me say “what the heck, I’ll give it a shot,” is that it better seals the ejection port from escaping gasses. Although I never experienced “Tavor Face,” which is apparently soot on your cheek and glasses, etc, from all of the gas hitting you in the face, I did notice that my eyes would burn and I would sometimes cough a bit when shooting suppressed (especially with dirtier-burning reloads). I thought it was just a general increase in gas coming back through the gas block and chamber and such, or maybe cleaning solvents burning off my suppressor, but then I shot it with the FLEx installed.

In the slow-mo part of the video above, you can actually see how much gas leaks out of all sides of the factory ejection port cover. You can also see how much less comes out around the FLEx. There’s definitely a bit of a concentrated jet at the back — as opposed to the all-around cloud from the OEM part — but I think I can seal that up by moving the FLEx back a touch. Even as-is, that jet goes back behind my head and absolutely is not noticeable in any way when shooting, and represents a teeny fraction of the total gas that escaped before.

Again, I wasn’t going to buy this part because I didn’t intend to use the QD socket and I didn’t think this part alone would actually affect how much gas got to the shooter’s face (plus I didn’t think I had a problem with this anyway). Turns out the FLEx completely eliminated the burning eyes and lungs I was getting when shooting suppressed. It now seems even better in this regard than my piston AR-15 (except with the AR’s gas block in “off” mode). On top of that, I may actually like it as a swivel point better than the factory one as well. For both 2-point and single-point.

Like the forearm, the machining, fit, finish, and instructions are great. Tools and thread locker included. Install was easy. Two more thumbs up.

Specifications:

Materials: Machined aluminum

Finish: Cerakote on TMF, anodizing on FLEx

MSRP TMF: $125 shipped

MSRP FLEx: $55 shipped

Ratings (out of five stars):

Overall  * * * * *  They’re great. They do the trick. No suggested changes come to mind. I could see the FLEx having an even tighter fitment for an even better seal, but for all I know this is as tight as it can get and still reliably fit w/out having to tinker with your rifle.

50 Responses to Gear Review: Gear Head Works TAVOR Parts

  1. avatarPhoenixNFA says:

    Nick, I’m wondering if the Flex would solve your gas in the face problem with the tavor.

  2. avatarg says:

    Nice review!

    Now I just need a TAVOR…

    • avatarSteve in MD says:

      Must be nice to be in Free America.

      Banned in MD.

      • avatarTheBear says:

        I suggest you move, my friend.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          Yeah, VA and PA are just a short hop away. Virginia needs more people like you. Just don’t waste your vote in NVA.

          Heh… I say the craziest things sometimes. “Waste your vote” LOL.

        • avatarSteve in MD says:

          Been checking out places in VA ever since I found out the Tavor was going to be on the ban list. Just need to pay off some student loans first.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          Student loans need to be forgiven; I can’t imagine a bigger drain on the economy. Other than the Pentagon, I mean.

      • avatarScott P says:

        They are technically not banned. You just need a muzzle device to bring it up to the 29″ OAL minimum requirement now. Plenty of places in Maryland doing that now.

        However I am glad I was able to get mine before the 1st so I am not affected by the dumb regulation on mine.

      • avatarO-Hebi says:

        I am looking at the “ban” list now and I dont see either the Tavor or the company that makes them on the list. How did you hear that they are banned? If you have information that I don’t have I would appreciate the share.

  3. avatarPatriot says:

    I would think having a lithium battery right next to a very hot barrel would be a bad thing, probably will void your warranty as well.

    • avatarMurrDog says:

      It really isn’t that much closer than lights already are to hot barrels. Other weapons like the mp5 have integral mounts for lights and they stand up fine.

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      I’ve seen tests where they rapid fire hundreds of rounds and get the barrel screaming hot — enough that even the trigger starts getting hot and the bolts that hold the forend on are crazy hot — and the light still works fine. There’s an inch of airspace in there between the barrel and the light body (+1 to what MurrDog said), and this forearm has vents for airflow. I’d say your concern probably IS warranted in an extreme case, but I’ll never ever approach that sort of risk with the volume I shoot. Not sure anyone would, really. The battery itself would have to get to about 230 degrees before it started venting gasses, and that’s in the worst case with the lithium construction most likely to do this. Newer electrode materials are even safer and can handle higher temps before starting to break down.

  4. avatarVhyrus says:

    omg that forend has given me new purpose in life.

  5. avatarTheBear says:

    Very good stuff!

    I want a Tavor badly but I just can’t rationalize it right now since I already have the Aug and I just built my AR pistol.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      You have an AUG? DAMN! I handled one once at a gun show, and NOTHING ever felt more perfect in my hands – yes, not even that!

      I always wondered where “The Governor” in THE WALKING DEAD got his AUG; but then I’ve found myself wondering what he did before the ZA, too…

      • avatarTheBear says:

        Heh – Well, mine is technically an MSAR E4 but I like it a lot. Takes Nato mags and I store an extra bolt an spare parts in the stock.

        My bolt takes AR-15 parts too.

  6. avatarSpeleoFool says:

    Last I checked the TMF didn’t work on the 18″ Tavor because of the bayonet lug. I am running the FLEX, though, and it’s pretty sweet.

    Nice to see Gear Head Works stuff reviewed here. It’s quality stuff. I’ve been impressed with the aftermarket options for the Tavor. Looking forward to the drop-in trigger packs that are in development….

  7. avatarWilliam Burke says:

    Wait, is “forearm” pronounced “forum”? REALLY?

    But she’s pretty, ain’t she? Sigh…

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      I dunno man… like 1:39 into the video it sounds like “forearm” to me? Keep in mind it was below freezing out (it was snowing while I was driving to the woods) and my face was cold :-). Or maybe it’s leftover from my early childhood in Boston. I like calling these “forends” but GHW says “forearm” so I was pushed WAY outside of my comfort zone obviously hahaha

      That said, I happily admit that I suck at making videos and am NOT a good narrator nor TV personality. I speak mostly in fluent mumble hahaha

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        Ah, modesty. It’s top-quality video, my friend. Better than 90% of the YT gun videos. For true!

  8. I don’t understand why anyone would want to mount the rear of the sling mid-gun. Getting the sling point as far forward and back as possible makes it much easier to get the rifle tightly snugged down with an adjustable sling when transitioning to a handgun or just lugging it around in a training class, etc.

    Of course there may be people out there who enjoy running a one point sling getting a shot to the “sensitive parts” when transitioning. It’s always fun to watch that happen.

    • avatarTheBear says:

      You’re old. You don’t get it. It’s ok.

      I even run a single point sling on the AR pistol:

      http://i44.tinypic.com/2uom891.jpg

      As for getting shot in “sensitive parts”, I carried IWB at 2 o’clock for 6 years. That’s what a safety or good holster is for. :)

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        I resent the implication that folks can’t “get it” because they’re old. I’m old. I get it.
        He’s old. HE doesn’t get it.

        • avatarTheBear says:

          I stand corrected! I humbly apologize to all the older folks who don’t disapprove of everything invented after 1965.

        • avatarMOG says:

          I’m old, ain’t got none lately either. Whatever that is.

      • You don’t “get it” do you and obviously have not a single clue what you are talking about when it comes to running a two point adjustable sling on a long gun when transitioning to your side arm.

        I enjoy watching the one point morons out there take a shot to the nuts when running transition drills.

        They have to learn that lesson the hard way, I guess.

      • AR pistols…..

        So much fail.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          I cannot for the life of me understand the reason for such a thing. But hey, all kinds.

        • avatarSpeleoFool says:

          Well, there is the whole NFA angle. You can build an AR pistol, customize it, tune it and shoot it all you want with no wait and no tax stamp. When you get it all set up the way you like, file a Form 1 and wait for the paperwork to process, then just throw a stock on it. Beats the snot out of paying for a pre-built SBR and letting it collect dust in your FFL’s closet for however many months.

        • A guy on the HK Pro forum was telling us how is going the “pistol” route with his HK MR556 so he “doesn’t have to wait” for the “paperwork” to go through on his SBR, etc.

          He was very plainly told that he runs the considerable risk of committing a felony and being hauled in by the ATF if his intention is to use it as a SBR without properly licensing.

        • avatarSpeleoFool says:

          Um, OK. I appreciate the fear-mongering, but let me try that again.

          There is a legal path to convert an AR pistol to an NFA item. Furthermore, simply building an AR pistol does not require the immediate commitment of time and money that a Form 4 transfer does; you do not have to decide right away whether to do the conversion; in fact, you’re not committed to ever doing it. Plus you have a (somewhat unwieldy, but kind of novel / interesting) firearm to mess around with while you wait even if you do decide to do the conversion. The fact that you have access to your pistol as a pistol allows you to do whatever you want to it to make it your own, provided it remains a pistol.

          So, in contrast to being “full of fail,” an AR pistol affords a handful of interesting possibilities including a legal conversion to an NFA item that would be “full of win.” I suppose if you already own an SBR or are not interested in owning one, that might diminish how interesting an AR pistol is to you, but as a matter of general observation these are some reasons that an AR pistol might be interesting to someone else. Just sayin’….

        • avatarTheBear says:

          It’s ok guys.

          Paul is an older guy who happens to be a Fudd and a hardline conservative. I don’t believe he’s ever served. (Apologies if I am wrong about this, but it’s the impression I get.)

          I am a relatively young combat veteran with 4 years of tactical training who believes in freedom for all.

          We pretty much have nothing in common. I expect us to disagree at this point.

          As for the relevancy of AR pistols, I get softball sized groups at 100 yards and I can break mine down into pieces small enough to fit in a lunch box.

          http://i39.tinypic.com/r2pxsz.jpg

          Fudds as a rule are about 20 years behinds current firearms technology.

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      “Of course there may be people out there who enjoy running a one point sling getting a shot to the “sensitive parts” when transitioning.”

      Well, as mentioned in the review, that’s actually what I’ve been finding as the main benefit to using the FLEx as a sling mount instead of using the factory rear point. Due maybe to the rear-heavy balance of the Tavor, the gun is more vertical in 2-point config when using the factory rear point and it’s at more of an angle across my body when I use the FLEx. This angle makes it a lot less likely to peg me in the man parts or hit my leg while I’m moving. The gun’s also slightly closer to ‘ready’ position at that angle vs. being more vertical. I don’t find a difference in how well I can use the sling to brace the rifle while shooting. In single-point config, the gun is held higher up and this also means it hits me in the legs less. Plus the more-centered attachment point (both physically front-to-rear and weight balance) allows the gun to sort of pivot against the sling pulling on it, which seems to make it shoulder more easily and makes it more maneuverable vs. having 100% of the gun out in front of the sling. Overall I think the short length and unique balance point of the Tavor means this sling location works better than you might expect.

      • I’ll have to give it a try. I’ve had no problems with the sling points on my TAVOR running a two point sling.

        • avatarJeremy S says:

          Agreed. That’s why I wasn’t going to buy this part to begin with. I’m glad I did, though, mostly for the gas blocking. The jury is still out as to whether I make it my rear sling attachment point or not. I need to spend more time wandering through the woods with it each way.

        • avatarTheBear says:

          I am shocked you have a Tavor. …honestly speechless.

        • avatarTheBear says:

          I suppose I have to retract the Fudd comment now. -sigh-

  9. avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    Sweet, no more Gas Face!

  10. avatarMOG says:

    Sort of reminds me of that Volkswagen “Thing”. That light would definitely serve a purpose, if it is shining in your eyes, you are holding the rifle wrong.

  11. avatarValleyForge77 says:

    Good video. Thanks. Man, that sure is a wicked mean brake you got on that puppy. Hate to catch that thing in the pie-hole with a muzzle strike.

    I’ve managed to stave off Tavor-itis to this point, but we’ll see about long term… Love the compactness of a ‘pup, and Tavor sure feels nice shouldered, but I guess I never got over the trigger thing. I’ve been able to use that and ‘Tavor-face’ as mental barriers to save me a few K jumping into a new platform – so please don’t tell me the trigger doesn’t suck (even if it doesn’t ;) )

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      Hahaha. But it DOESN’T. Really, it doesn’t suck at all. It’s just heavy and lots and lots of shooters equate heavy trigger with bad trigger. Now I did personally do the secondary reset spring removal “mod” and dropped my trigger pull weight down to 8 lbs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd5abMIUdAQ). I like it and have not had one single failure to reset, despite having never cleaned my trigger pack in almost 1k rounds now and shooting many rounds suppressed, which dirties up the insides much faster, and shooting in temps down to 10 degrees F.

      That said, Timney is going to be releasing a drop-in trigger pack this year with 4 to 4.5 lb trigger that I’m sure is absolutely, positively amazing. I’ve heard that a couple other companies are going to release replacement triggers as well, but Timney has officially confirmed theirs for 2014.

      And I’ve seen Tavors selling brand new for as low as $1,650 (Grab A Gun xmas specials) now.

      The brake is a Rainier Arms mini comp. I dig it :-). The nice, short length helped the Tavor fit more easily into that Blackhawk Diversion Racquet bag that you see in the video.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        “And I’ve seen Tavors selling brand new for as low as $1,650 (Grab A Gun xmas specials) now.”

        I saw that; still was in no position to bite, though I longed to. I’m p*ssed no January contest is up, yet. I really wanted to win that Sig AR!

      • avatarValleyForge77 says:

        Oh man, I was hopin’ you’d have mercy on a brother! ;) hahaha.

        Seriously though, yeah… I heard about the Timney trigger too and was thinking; ‘oh damn, I’m not going to stave it off, am I’.

        Had one on my shoulder at my LGS last week and it was a bit over $1650, but not much. Sure did feel nice shouldered too :)

        The 3k number is more reflective of personal experience I guess… by the time I mod and kit up a new rifle, add an optic worthy of such a fine firearm, sling, case, etc – I usually end up in the 3k range. Always seems to happen. Damndest thing. Also going to take some range time (ammo, ugh) to get used to such a change, but heck.. that’s half the fun. Ahhh well, I guess it’s only a matter of time before it gets me. Thanks man /friendly sarc.

        So I thought the whole thing with bullpups was that because of the linkage/distance thing, they couldn’t really come up with a crisp trigger? I also don’t mind a little weight, as long as it breaks crisp with a reasonable reset…

        I guess I’ll be looking for reviews of that Timney when it comes out…

        and trying to keep my eyes off that sharp looking thing ya got there in the meantime… Phew, she sure is hot.

        • avatarJeremy S says:

          Most bullpups connect the trigger to the firing control group (hammer, sear, etc) with a linkage that is pushed by the trigger towards the FCG. Typically this introduces flex and slop that leads to a poor trigger feel and a longer travel. The Tavor has a simple ‘linkage’ that is simply a steel rod connected to the trigger on one end and the FCG on the other. The trigger PULLS on this rod instead of pushes on it, so there is no flex at all. There is some slack/pre-travel/takeup in the trigger (maybe 20% less than a Glock, disregarding the Glock’s trigger safety) and then you’re up hard against the sear. It creeps 1-2 millimeters (less than a Glock) and then it breaks very crisply. The reset is then short and has a very solid click that you can feel and hear. It is a good trigger. For a bullpup it’s a great trigger. I literally just grabbed an unmodified Glock out of my safe to feel back-to-back next to the Tavor for the comments above, and besides the Tavor’s trigger having a heavier pull weight (which isn’t necessarily a negative at all) it is a better trigger. It’s crisper with less takeup, less creep, and a better reset. Plus I like the shape and feel better.

  12. avatarLars says:

    Worst designed combat rifle ever. Hate bullpups. But I’m glad someone will be making accessories for you Tavorheads. Every firearm deserves a supportive accessory industry, even the Tavor.

    • avatarTheBear says:

      You’re entitled to your opinion… but how do you rationalize the fact that pretty much the whole world disagrees with you?

    • avatarJeremy S says:

      Certainly there will always be many folks who just hate bullpups and always will. I do think the Tavor is the best bullpup ever and, therefore, would at least say that it is most certainly NOT the “worst designed combat rifle ever,” as there are lots of other bullpups that are just bears to use. It took me no time at all to become as proficient with magazine changes, shot placement, failure drills, etc, with the Tavor as I was on an AR-15. The gun is extremely well thought-out and it does seem like things are where they should be. It’s ergonomic and easy to manipulate. It balances much better than an AR and I can hold it stable from standing better — really lock the thing in and make more accurate shots without support than I could with an AR. You have to love how short it is. Just barely over the Federal minimum overall length requirement.

      About half of the employees in the company I work for, and many of the executives, are ex IDF. All of the younger ones trained on the Tavor, and there were many in the age range that trained on both the M4/M16 and Tavor. Plenty of actual combat experience w/ both platforms. Anyway, I talked to a bunch of them about the Tavor when I first got mine, as I was looking for ‘dirt’ on it. You know, what are its problems, what do soldiers modify immediately upon being issued a new one, what to you know that Americans just getting their hands on one for the first time don’t know, etc? Pretty much crickets. The consensus was that it’s more reliable, easier to maintain, easier to carry, easier to shoot accurately… everybody likes them, nobody was failed by one, nobody modifies or screws with them. The only comment I got about reliability issues came from a couple of guys who mentioned that if you swap the forend for the one that allows mounting of a grenade launcher, it opens up the internals to sand/dust/mud and doesn’t really allow for a way for that stuff to get out. The only stoppages they saw were due to that. Still, they specifically mentioned that it would stop less than an M4.

      No matter what it’s just a matter of training. It’s not like somebody who sees an AR-15 for the first time ever will automatically know where all of the controls are and how to operate it. It takes muscle memory to know where that mag well is without having to look. You have to know where it is out in space in front of your strong hand while holding up all that weight that’s out ahead of the grip. For me the Tavor is better here — the mag well is next to my strong hand forearm instead of out in the distance, and if I told you to close your eyes and touch your elbow you’d have no issue doing that 100 times out of 100. In the same way I think finding the Tavor’s mag well is easy since it’s touching a part of my body and I can find that intuitively without looking. Then, with the weight so far back on the stock — center of gravity behind the pistol grip — it’s significantly easier to manipulate and hold with only your strong hand.

      I know bullpups are weird and different. But you’d have to try the Tavor for a while to make an opinion on it. It’s pretty well thought-out, IMHO.

  13. avatarB E Z says:

    Great review!

    I really want to snatch up that fore-end! I just have one reservation about it, and maybe you can help me out with it.

    With the TMF being straight as oppose to the original Tavor fore-end being shaped to fit your hand, how much is lost in comfort and control? I am particularly interested in wrist angle and sliding of hand. But any other notes you could add about the differences in the angle and control of TMF would be great!

    Thanks!

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