XB16

By Louis K. Bonham

As I indicated in my initial review of the TAVOR X95, I tested it using an EOTech holographic sight, and it handled and functioned very well. However, from prone and supported kneeling positions, I was getting about 4-5 MOA groups with inexpensive range ammo. That was, of course, well within “minute of bad guy” performance, but before making a call on its accuracy I wanted to do a deeper dive and see what it could do under more ideal conditions and with better optics.

Equipped with a selection of match-grade .223/5.56 NATO ammunition and my 6.8 SPC pig gun as a control, my colleague Peter Schechter and I put the X95 on the bench at Best of the West.

Using a front rest and rear bags, we started by shooting “control” groups with my pig gun, which sports the same SWFA SS HD 1-6 x 24 scope on a LaRue mount that Tyler had reviewed. As expected, with decent factory ammo (Hornaday 110gr V-MAX), both Peter and I were shooting 1-1.5 MOA groups with it at 100 yards. We then removed the scope/mount from the control gun and put it on the X95. We then shot about 100 rounds of range ammo to get the scope zeroed and get acclimated to the trigger and feel of the X95.

During this warmup, the inexpensive range ammo (55g PBR Value Line and PMC Bronze) was giving us about 4 MOA groups, which was comparable to what I’d seen in my earlier outings. Peter’s groups were consistently a bit better than mine, so I made him the designated shooter for that day’s actual test.

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We tested different types of match grade ammo, shooting at least three groups of five. As you’ll see from the chart below, while some match ammo performed better than others, none of them grouped better than about 2 MOA. Often, there would be a very tight group of 3 or so and one or two fliers that would blow the grouping.

These results were comparable to what other online reviewers had been reporting, but to try to definitively rule out operator error I also asked TTAG’s resident warrior Jon Wayne Taylor to see what he could wring out of it. Shooting it from a lead sled with sandbags, he was able to get one 1.5 MOA group with IWI match ammo (which was consistently the flavor the X95 liked best), but his average for that ammo was 1.75 MOA. His groups with other match grade ammo were comparable to what Peter and I encountered: a bit over 2.5 or more MOA.

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Ergo, my findings are consistent with what others have been reporting: the X95 is well within the 4 MOA expected of a milspec rifle, but at least in its stock configuration it’s definitely not a precision rifle.

Why might this be? While the X95’s trigger is a huge improvement over the SAR, it’s nothing close to a premium AR trigger pack, and still has a longish pull (which JWT really didn’t like). I suspect installing an accurizing trigger pack would improve things.

I discovered another possibility by periodically ejecting and inspecting rounds that had been chambered by the weapon cycling (e.g., the fifth round in a magazine). Most of the time that inspection didn’t show anything remarkable. Occasionally (about a quarter of the time), however, I saw a scuff near the nose of the bullet, and in one instance it actually produced a gouge deep enough to raise a small burr.

I checked with TTAG’s Dyspeptic Gunsmith, who confirmed that something that is deforming the bullet or pushing it sideways in the case can indeed cause fliers, although he cautioned that there are all sorts of other things that could also be affecting accuracy – especially the shooter. I didn’t collect enough data on this to draw any definitive conclusions, but it may be worth investigating further.

Based on these results, here are my updated ratings for the X95:

Accuracy: * * *
If you’re looking for a match rifle, this isn’t it (at least not out of the box). Its accuracy is certainly more than adequate for its intended mission, but it’s not a tack driver.

Reliability: * * * * *
After several hundred more rounds downrange without any further problems at all, I’m thinking the initial hiccups were almost certainly magazine issues, and so I’ve upped the grade here.

Overall: * * * *
I’m sticking with my original rating here. It’s not a sub-MOA rifle, but it is a NFA-legal alternative to a SBR with great ergonomics and is built like a tank.

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29 Responses to Gun Review Update: Enhanced IWI TAVOR X95 Accuracy Testing

  1. Not a precision rifle, but still good enough for (1) fun shooting (2) home defense (3) civil defense. I’d like to pick one up, but I am limited by the following factors (1) I’m cheap and can’t see paying over $1000 for any firearm, and (2) My wife would really be pissed if I did. I guess I’ll have to make do with the AR/AK/SKS.

  2. Was this test conducted using the muffler pictured in the story or with whatever muzzle device comes standard?

    • The tests Peter and I conducted were both with and without the Sig suppressor (no real difference in accuracy). JWT confirmation testing was without a suppressor.

  3. Why not just get a Steyr Aug?
    I have no idea why the Tavor is selling so much more than the Aug
    I have shot both and the Steyr Aug will shoot 2 m o a with Pmc plinking ammo and better with match ammo
    It can take AR mags with the NATO stock version
    The Aug mags in the standard version are by far the best mag ever made and far superior to AK or AR mags
    Aug mags hold 32 or 42 and are clear to see round count and are indestructible
    There are also Aug P mags
    Aug can be converted to lefty with no tools in less that one minute by inserting a left bolt and moving the ejection port cover
    Tavor must be sent back to the factory for converting
    The prices are the same and the Tavor is blocky while the Steyr Aug is curvy and sexy and futuristic looking
    The white stocks make the Steyr Aug into an imperial blaster!

    • The bolt release and charging handle is always in the same place, which is not lefty friendly. Deal killer for me. If I am paying that much I want everything to be in the right place for me.

    • X95 owner here. I loved the AUG as a kid growing up. After I saw it in Die Hard, it became my favorite gun, and I told myself that when I was older I’d buy one. Well I got older, and had the money to buy one, but after shooting it I was really turned off. It has a lot of quirks that I just can’t overlook. My biggest issue with it is the vertical grip. I don’t like vertical grips, and that’s the only way you can operate the rifle, unless you want to risk burning your hand on the barrel with the grip folded up. Second is the massive charging handle that is perfectly positioned to cause you to grind your knuckles on your optic every time you charge the weapon. And lastly, it can’t be suppressed due to the large amount of gas and flash that comes out of the gas tube every time you fire.

      The X95 has none of these problems. Really the only thing I don’t like about the X95 is the 4 MOA accuracy. However, the accuracy wasn’t a big enough deal to keep me from buying one.

  4. Bought one last month. Shot 1000 rounds with it. Despite that, I still could not find my comfort zone when shooting this rifle. My mind was so ingrained in the traditional ways of shooting a rifle and loading it. I got frustrated. Told my friend to just keep it for now. Have not shot it since the initial 1000. Maybe I’ll come back to it. However, as the distance between me and the rifle increases, my fondness for it decreases. I’ll probably end up selling it to my friend. Bought it as MIL/LE rifle, $1650.xx including tax.

  5. Went to the range Sunday with my SAR and a buddy’s X-95. While the X-95’s trigger may be an improvement over the stock SAR trigger, it is still Crap (with a capital “C”) compared to the Geisele in my SAR. We didn’t try the Geisele in the X-95 because he said he was happy enough with the factory trigger. (I think he just didn’t want to drop another three Benjamins and convinced himself it was acceptable.) Another $ 0.02, after looking at pictures while trying to convince him he didn’t make a mistake buying the X-95 in OD Green, I came to the conclusion that I prefer the SAR in black but the X-95 in ODG or FDE. Of course we all know what they say about opinions…

    Oh, and to Silverwarloc, I’ll give yours a loving home if you’re willing to take a small loss on the price!

    • I have a SAR in black which will become my girlfriends gun when I get my new FDE x95 next week. 2-3 moa is fine for me and I have seen tighter.

  6. My SAR in OD green is a 1.5 MOA gun, even with the crap trigger using the PA 1-6x scope. The ammo I was using is the Independence 55gr made in Israel. I’m not really seeing a reason to “upgrade” to the X95. To compare, my FS2000 also shoots 1.5MOA with the same ammo and that was using my Nikon P-223 3-9x scope.

    • My 18″ barreled SAR Tavor is like yours, a 1.5 MOA rifle with most M193 ammo that I have run through it. 5 shot groups at 100 yards with Federal XM193, Federal XM855, and Independence M193 have consistently run from just under 1.5″ to just over 1.5″. This with a 1x-4x Burris MTAC scope, which isn’t the best choice for trying to shoot tiny groups, so the rifle can probably do better than this with a higher magnification scope with cross hairs.

      I’ve been extremely happy with my Tavor, at least once I replace the trigger with a Geisele Super Sabra trigger. Accurate, utterly reliable, and a lot cleaner and easier to maintain than my AR’s……….

  7. I realize variety is the spice of life and everyone is entitled to spending their hard earned dollars on whatever gun makes them happy, but I can’t say enough about the SIG MCX. To me, it’s almost the perfect rifle out of the box. The only mods I made was adding a Hiperfire EDT trigger and putting an old Aimpoint on top.

    It feels lightweight, handy, and comfortable. I’m not the best rifle shooter, but I manage 2 MOA groupings at 100 yards easily.

    My opinion, if you’re in the market for a newer, innovative rifle north of $1k (picked mine up for $1,400), MCX is the better option. 300 BLK barrel conversions are even becoming common on GB.

  8. My biggest problem with IWI products is parts availability, you will wait year to replace something like bolt or barrel.

  9. I own an x95 and the practice loading rounds all show the tip denting you mention after cycling. I thought it was from ejection but I can confirm the denting if that ends up being an issue. I’m not a marksman, I see 3 to 2.5 moa using a front sand bag on bench with the irons. Haven’t tried my Meprolight Tru dot Xmas present to myself yet.

  10. Purchased an x95 three weeks ago have got just over 300 rounds through it, it had a very rocky start our relationship…..
    Could not hit nothing groups were at 25 yards were over 1 1/2 inch…..No pattern just all over the countryside….i have a 12 by 8 steel plate at 174 meters off my deck, could not hit the plate hardly at all. 1 or 2 out of 10…..Not good at all. Chamber was full of copper flakes, cycled three mags through rifle. Every single bullet not was gouged or scratched near tip.
    Started shooting some cheap steel cased barnaul through it to smooth out feed ramps. After a hundred no more copper and the rifle has started hitting steel. 10 out of 10…..
    Haven’t rechecked grouping size yet but I am happy with the performance of the rifle no longer for sale it is now a keeper.
    If you get one check the feed ramps.
    If they are sharp run some steel case through it.
    It likes 62 gr barnaul and 53 gr Hornady super varmint….

  11. Hmmm remember the phrase the gun is more accurate than the shooter? I tested the x95 @ 100 meters BUT USED a rifle stablizing vice. Taking all human interaction out got 1.5 MOA @ 100 meters about 109 yards

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