Travis Pike for TTAG
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No, the IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun doesn’t cycle mini shells, it’s a semi-auto shotgun designed for standard shotgun ammo. The mini shell thing is quickly becoming the “Does it take GLOCK mags,” meme for smoothbores.

Now that’s out of the way, and we can get on with what has been the hardest gun I’ve had to review in a long time, the Tavor TS12.

I love shotguns. The majority of my articles for TTAG are about shotguns in some way. I love the IWI TS12…but sometimes I don’t like it. I’ve been looking forward to the gun for a long time, and when it finally premiered, I did my best to grab one. 

The IWI Tavor TS12 is likely one of the most revolutionary designs in shotguns in a long time. It combines the qualities that make standard shotguns so great with a bullpup platform, excellent 15+1 capacity, and very good ergonomics.

It looks like it should be a gimmick, but in reality, it’s a well-designed gun. It’s just far from flawless. 

On Pins and Needles

I hate the idea that modern firearms should have a break-in period, but apparently some still do. The IWI Tavor TS12 is one of them. With such an unusual gun, I spent time reading the manual in which IWI suggest using loads over 1250 FPS.

Gotcha, easy to do. I had 125 rounds of 1330 FPS rounds and another 100 rounds of 1250 FPS birdshot on top of a pile of buckshot from various companies, with the majority easily exceeding 1250 FPS. 

I started with birdshot, and to my disappointment, the gun couldn’t get through a full tube without a failure. Even the hotter 1330 stuff would fail. In fact, it failed more than the Estate 1250 birdshot I had.

I plugged away through all 225 rounds and the gun was still continually choking. The 1330 Fiocchi loads were the worst, but the Estate wasn’t much better. 

IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun
(Travis Pike for TTAG)

After that, I went out and bought more birdshot. The manual says to find a load it likes and stick with it. I purchased more Estate, Federal, and Winchester sport birdshot loads, and I let them rip.

I climbed up to 400 rounds at a frustratingly slow pace. But the gun slowly got a little better, and failure rates dropped to about once per 15 rounds with the Estate birdshot. 

The Federal ammunition would occasionally fail to feed from the tube to the chamber, so I wrote it off. That was the only load that did this. Finally I took the gun apart, cleaned it, and gave myself a break. 

Buckshot Time

The next day I went out with Winchester Olin military grade buckshot, Federal Tactical, Hornady Black, Suprema, Rio, and a mixed bag of shells that have accumulated in an ammo can. The gun remained picky throughout the day. 

Honestly, the Suprema is junk ammo, and I didn’t give it much thought. I just wanted to shoot it as cheap fodder to help break the gun in. The Olin Company and Federal Tactical worked the best. 

IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun
(Travis Pike for TTAG)

It still jammed, but now I could get through an entire 15 rounds without a failure. Oddly enough, the velocity rating of the shells seemed not to matter when it came to reliability.

The reduced recoil Federal loads are only 1145 FPS and functioned just as well as the Olin mil spec. I had ten rounds of Hornady Black 12 gauge with a 1,600 FPS second rating that ran perfectly, but Winchester Razorback slugs are also 1,600 FPS and wouldn’t reliably cycle. 

I gave up on the Rio buckshot because it’s out of spec, and you can only fit four of the supposed 2¾ inch shells into the tube. They are longer than advertised, and I got annoyed at them. They cycled okay-ish with a roughly 10 percent failure to eject rate.

So What Works?

Oddly enough, a friend wanted to shoot this gun, and he brought over some Rio birdshot. The blue box basic light game load at 1,280 FPS ran the best of all the birdshot loads with four failures in 100 rounds. Other than that, the Olin Company mil-spec buck and the Federal Tactical reduced recoil flight control loads work the best. 

IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun
(Travis Pike for TTAG)

These buckshot loads mostly always work, but within a hundred rounds, you’ll get a failure to extract or two. 

Because of that, this isn’t a gun that I’d use for home defense duty use yet, which is a shame because the rest of the gun is brilliant.

I’ve written to IWI and explained the issue. They were quite responsive, and I’m looking to send the gun back and see what they think. It seems to be getting better, but I’ve put this review off for a bit because I do love the gun’s design and wanted it to work. 

Tavor TS12 Ergonomics

The TS12 looks like it could be a mess ergonomically, but it’s not. The gun is easy to load, unlike other bullpup tube-fed shotguns. The TS12 has three rotating magazine tubes, two of which are exposed at all times. You can load the two exposed tubes as you shoot the gun.

Shoot a few rounds from a tube, and you can rotate it and keep loading. The old shoot two, load two, comes into effect with the TS12. 

It’s also compatible with a variety of shotgun gear designed for standard shotguns. This includes bandoliers, the 5.11 Tactical VTAC shotgun ammo pouch, the AmmoPal, and more. 

IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun
Loading a tube while in the firing position (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Swapping from tube to tube is easy to do, and the large pad that is set forward of the trigger makes it simple to swap tubes on the fly. Hit the button, rotate the tube, and boom, you are rocking and rolling.

If you’ve fired the first tube till it’s empty, the bolt will lock to the rear. Once you rotate a fresh tube, the TS12 will automatically load a fresh round from the new tube. It’s quick and easy. 

I rotate the tubes counter-clockwise (you can do it either way), and this leaves the empty tubes to my left-hand side. This makes it easy for my off-hand to load the tube and for me to stay on target. You could effectively keep each tube loaded as you shoot and move. This allows you to keep your weapon loaded nearly infinitely effectively. 

IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun
Push button release to rotate the cylinders (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The trigger safety is a cross-bolt design that is easy to push in place with the trigger finger. It’s easy to switch off and get the gun into action.

The charging handle is placed on the left-hand side for easy accessibility for right-handed shooters. The weapon can be swapped out for left-handed use, but you have to send it back to IWI to do so. 

Ergonomically the gun is very sound and well designed. As I said before, it keeps the best parts of a shotgun with the best parts of a bullpup. It’s short and sweet, but easy to load and utilize.

The overall length is only 28.3 inches, making it just two inches longer than a Mossberg Shockwave, but the TS12 gives you get a stock and three times the ammo (at about three times the price). 

IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun
Lever to unload the shell (Travis Pike for TTAG)

You can also unload the gun without having to cycle the action 15 times. Where the non-feeding tubes align on the side of the weapon, there are two levers that allow you to manually eject one round at a time. This could be done to safely unload the gun, or to pop a round out and load a slug for the next shot. 

Range Time With the Tavor TS12

We already covered the reliability issues I have had with the gun, so this will be all the other range impressions. 

The gun comes without sights, and the comb of the stock is straight like an AR-15, so for comfort reasons, you need an AR-height optic. I went with the SIG Romeo5 XDR. It’s simple and well suited for shotguns.

The TS12 has a landing strip-length Picatinny rail on top that makes it easy to pick and choose wherever you want to mount an optic. 

IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun
(Travis Pike for TTAG)

The TS12 is a gas piston gun, and recoil is quite soft and very manageable. The gas piston has two settings. One is light, and the other is for heavier loads. On the heavy setting, the recoil would be reduced for heavy loads.

With my reliability issues, I only swapped it to the heavy setting a time or two. It works, but I needed to maximize gas flow for reliability. For recoil management, I pulled the gun tightly into my shoulder. My normal stretch method felt a little risky for such a short semi-auto gun, and I didn’t want to get “KSG hand.”

The trigger is not good, but it’s a shotgun, so it’s not a huge concern. It’s that standard bullpup trigger with lots of mush to it, but a loaded and tactile break. The gun also cycles very fast, and speed is most certainly a big part of close quarters combat. 

IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun
(Travis Pike for TTAG)

With that in mind, the short nature of the gun makes it quick to shoulder and easy to transition from target to target. Have you ever overshot your target when swinging your gun from one direction to another? That’s hard to do with the Tavor TS12. 

It’s short and compact and gets on target quickly, and allows you to transition from target to target fast. It’s also an accurate gun, and with my favor FliteControl load, I was reliably dinging my gong over and over from 35 yards. It’ll get the shotgun job done and do it well. 

IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun
(Travis Pike for TTAG)

If only it ran as well as it was designed, then the IWI Tavor TS12 would be the ultimate combat shotgun. MAC seemed to have some issues with his gun and getting it broken in, too. I plan to dial into his channel and watch his video once more to see if I can take anything from it to break this gun in before I send it back to IWI for inspection. 

If I get it running as reliably as I’d like, TTAG will be the first to know. 

Specifications: IWI Tavor TS12 Shotgun 

Caliber: 12 Gauge
Operating System: Short Stroke Gas Piston
Capacity: 15 + 1 rounds
Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
Overall Length: 28.34 inches
Weight: 8 pounds
Chokes: Mobil
MSRP: $1,399 (about $1,280 retail)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Ergonomics * * * * *
The TS12 could be an ergonomic mess, but in reality, it’s well thought and very well designed. You can alternate tubes with ease, load single shells when needed, and the controls are laid out for quick and easy use. 

Accuracy * * * *
Within shotgun range, it does the job and does it well. The mushy bullpup trigger isn’t great, but the gun does well in the accuracy department. 

Reliability * * 1/2
I’m pretty hard on a gun’s reliability when it’s made for defensive or tactical use. I expect little to no failures. The Tavor TS12 had a rough breaking in period, and while it’s improved, it still isn’t up to the point where I’d trust it for defensive use over my Benelli or even my 930. 

Overall * * * 
The IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun is such a well-designed firearm. I’d love for this to be the Benelli M4 killer, but until it runs without failure, it’s just not there yet. 


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  1. Rio and Fiochhi are practice loads only for me. They are not top quality, for sure.

    But you know what gun doesn’t worry about break in periods or ammo quality? Get yourself a good pump gun and call it a day. If all you want is a home defense weapon.

    • Exactly. “This is a great gun! Too bad it can barely go through a single load without malfunction.” doesn’t inspire confidence for the gun nor the reviewer.
      Get a different example from manufacturer, test it again and then write. If it works, hey everyone makes a lemon every now and then. If it chokes every 20 rounds too, there is probably something wrong with the design or production.

      • It does have good features. I won’t just say the ergonomics suck because reliability sucks. That’s foolish.

    • I still get a laugh at that line. A typical lightbulb has more than 40 Watts. The emerging real world laser weapons have more than 100,000 Watts of power output. The Strategic Defense Initiative was contemplating building lasers with power outputs measured in tens of Megawatts. Don’t get me started on the issue of diffraction limitations which require relatively large aperture optics to get decent beam columination. On the bright side, DARPA is actually developing PHased Array laSERs which can optically link multiple emitter elements tonbfocus and aim a laser beam. The United States next generation fighter will probably have Megawatt class PHASERs embedded in its structure.

      • A 10w LED can put out more light than a 40w light bulb from 40 years ago. Just think of what 40w will get you in the distant post apocalypse times to come…… In 2001 I took PanAm to the moon, and when 2015 rolled around I got my car retrofitted for a Mr Fusion and hover wheels. I can’t wait for the far off future of 2029 when I can get rid of my legacy projectile guns and get that 40w plasma rifle.

    • My Rem 870 has been all business since day one, without a single malfunction. I’ll stick with it and let others play with the exotics. I know someone who has one of those Kel-Tec shotties and let me have a go with it. Poor ergonomics.

      • I had an 870 with bad timing that would occasionally lift the feed ramp before dropping the shell out of the mag tube, dumpping the shell out of the loading port. Oddest damn thing. I’d say it was on par, relaibility-wise, with that tavor 12….. I didn’t trust that 870 with my life either but it was great for training.

      • 870s are hit and miss these days for high round count shooters. I had 3 in the past 5 years. One old police model, 1 newer marine and 1 newer express. The police model was fine. The marine and the express models’ extractors started ripping through spent shell rims on both newer models. I bought/used a chamber hone and they never gave me another problem. That said, I don’t give newer 870s a “shoot out of the box” rating.

        While I’m not a Mossy fan, I have to say they win the pump contest with the 590A1. Low price, heavy barrel that can take a beating and double extractors.

  2. Wow 1300 bucks for a shottie that doesn’t run right😩How could you give 2.5 stars for reliability dude?!?

  3. MAC’s ran just fine by the end of the video and was cycling the loads that were problematic at the beginning of the video properly.

    I very much wanted to get one of these, as well as a Tavor 7, before the VA legislature bans them. Unfortunately, my wife doesnt understand things and wont let me drop 3k to do so.

      • Prepare for any situation with the iwi tavor ts12. This unique shotgun is perfect for home defense and sporting activities. Its compact size makes it easy to transport, while its 12-gage rounds provide serious stopping power. With its durable construction and user-friendly design, the tavor ts12 is the perfect choice for any shooter.

    • If it is your money then I don’t see why you couldn’t just make the purchase. And if your wife gets angry about it, just ignore her and go drive around. SO WHAT if she gets mad about YOU spending YOUR money YOU WORKED FOR??? Why does she have the ultimate decision in how money can be spent?

      I am not trying to be rude, but is this the first woman you have ever been with? Are you so emotionally charged with happiness at her mere presence that your ability to think rationally is severely compromised?

      BUY THE SHOTGUN, a real man wouldn’t seek permission from his wife to spend his own money that he had to go out and work for.

      • Our finances are combined and we both work for it. It’s not just my money. Lol @ “a real man blah blah blah.” You sound like a total boomer tool and unpleasant to live with. I feel sorry for all of your ex wives.

        It’s about dropping that much at one time when we are saving for a house, among other things. It wouldn’t be an issue of buying one at a time spread out but the current laws that are likely to pass in VA fucks my time table up.

        • You are OK, man. Don’t listen to the “macho man” chatter of fools. It is your life, your wife, and your family’s money. Cooperation and consideration in a marriage is a good part of what makes a marriage work over the long haul. As a 79 year old guy who has done a whole lot of “man” stuff in life, but who also has been happily married to the same woman for 53 years, I will tell you from experience that you are doing the right thing. The older you get, the more apparent that will become.

          As for the TS12, it is intriguing, but I think I will wait until they wring out the bugs, if they ever do so.

          Thank you, Mr. Pike for the very good and honest review. I look forward to your final thoughts after your shotgun is wrung out.

      • I have a Tavor TS12, and last time I checked it didn’t have a vagina. Since my wife and I have separate finances it wasn’t an issue for me, but I understand our Virginian friend for considering his wife’s feelings.

    • I love my Tavor and will start saving up for the Tavor 7. But this TS12, if it’s not reliable the IDF isn’t going to use it. And why is it so huge?
      Great review BTW, thanks!

    • My thought is that if your wife spends her money (or yours!) any way she wants to, then she doesn’t have a thing to say about the way you spend your own money. (I despise Control Freak Shit.)

  4. Part of the problem here is that Ammo needs to evolve. We are still using ammo that predates semi-auto firearms like 12 gauge and .22LR and trying to design a gun that works arround the ammo. They need to design ammo for the gun. This is why 5.56, 9mm, .45 ect….. Work so much more reliably.

    • I believe in WWI and maybe WWII the U.S. military used brass shotshells for water tightness in the trenches. Sporting loads back then were paper hulled and didn’t work so well when wet. Magtech makes brass shells for all the different gauges. Of course, you have to reload them yourself. I don’t think there are too many companies that sell loaded ammo such as this. These could be your reliable loads that you use for self defense.

      • All brass shotgun ammo would cost a lot, I think the Magtech brass hulls are 80 cents a piece, add powder, shot, wads, and some sort of cover crimped in to hold it together and you’re looking at prices near $1.50 a shell. That would cost $25 to fully load the TS12.

        Dunno about you, but that’s a lot of money on top of a pricey gun when I could get a KSG that’s a lot smaller and holds near as much ammo for half the price.

        • $25 is a bargain for one AR mag loaded with quality ammo. If this is meant to be a performance shotgun, then I wonder how it eats high end ammo.

        • I have a ksg. It’s the same capacity but it’s not semi auto so it’s not really an apt comparison. You can for sure get a ksg for much cheaper. Many times under $700.

    • SOOO nice to see someone who can see possibilities beyond the concrete reality in front of their face. Yes, shotgun ammo could stand some evolution, for sure. It was initially designed for breech-loading guns and, while the guts have seen innovation, the exterior form factor has not. I respect and am even fond of tradition in many respects, but the gun industry has a surplus of it … to the detriment of innovation. Look at the HK P7 — people got hung up on the cost, the weight, the gas system, even the finish for crying out loud and ignored the brilliant concept at its heart — the squeeze cocker which acted as cocker, safety, and even slide release. The P7 was THE solution to the SA versus SA/DA versus DA-only dilemma years before Glock went the other way and built everything into the trigger (which is still stupid compared to building those features into the grip like the P7). Aftermarket products aside, it’s only in the last few years that the Ruger LCP II, Sig 365, and especially the Walther PPQ have produced DA-only triggers that can be considered good. As another example, look at the Chiappa Rhino. Firing a revolver from the bottom chamber rather than the top is an inherently better way to build a revolver. But people get hung up on the trigger, the build, the this, and the that of the Chiappa since it’s the only current implementation of the concept. If Colt, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, and made their revolvers to fire from the bottom chamber rather than the top, they would be better guns than they are now. “But that’s not the way it’s been since the 1800s!” cry dipshit traditionalists, so we’re stuck with revolvers with much greater felt recoil and muzzle flip than is necessary. And here we see it again with the IWI. A bullpup design is an inherently better way to build a long gun. Period. What the hell good is all that space between the buttstock and trigger doing on every non-bullpup design? None. It’s JUST THERE TO LITERALLY TAKE UP SPACE. Why not make use of that space to do something useful? You can get a longer barrel in a shorter overall length … no matter what the purpose of the gun or the desired barrel length. Want a 30″ barrel for hunting or sport shooting? How would you like that in a package that’s a foot shorter than what you have now? Or, if you’d rather keep the overall length the same, how about a barrel that’s a foot longer than it is now? But again people get hung up on current implementations and thus dismiss the concept. “The triggers aren’t very good on bullpups” is something I’ve heard many times. Really? Is that a necessary side effect of the bullpup design or just the characteristics of the few bullpups in existence? Is there any valid engineering reason that a bullpup CAN’T be built with an excellent trigger or has it just not been done yet? Whether or not this IWI is a success, it’s nice that some people in the industry don’t just mindlessly follow tradition but look for ways to create better and more innovative firearms … and ammo. We could use more of that mindset.

      • When you manufacture a car, a firearm, or near any commercial machine, you don’t just need to make the product, you also need to provide support for it in the form of servicing and spare parts. Innovators often get in trouble in this regard, jumping from new idea to new idea and effectively turning their early adopters into unpaid beta testers, who can be left holding the bag when trying to find parts for their abruptly discontinued models. SiG in particular can be bad about this.

  5. Well done, thorough review. Thanks for your efforts and the posting about this new arrival. I’ve handled other similar shotguns and have found all of them lacking in some capacity or another for my uses. I can see by your review that this one is in the same category as the others (for me) and with an asinine price tag to boot.

    Too bad really, it looks very Starship Troopers like but shoots with the quality of the third installment of the movie. Ah well.

    As others have said, I’ll stick to my pump shotguns for now.

  6. So I wonder how long it will be before the “shotgun fed from a revolving cylinder” feature,
    which is a feature of so many proposed weapon bans, is applied to shotguns with
    this and similar feeding systems ?

    • It’s already happening. The current ban bill, SB16, that’s prefiled in VA specifically lists revolving tube fed shotguns as “assault shotguns.”

    • The Striker-12 and Street Sweeper revolving shotguns were redefined as NFA destructive devices in 1994. Since the bore is > .5″, they had to be “sporting” to avoid the DD determination.

  7. I honestly cannot see the practicality of this. Sure capacity’s nice, but this thing looks unwieldy as fuck.

  8. Why would you give a non reliable gun 2.5 stars????????? It should be zero.

    With reliability zero, the gun is USELESS

  9. “ If only it ran as well as it was designed…”

    Ummm, I’m pretty sure it IS running exactly as well as it was designed.

  10. $1300?
    Paid $99 for my first Mossy.

    It jams some right out the box?
    Still own that first Mossy, clean it regular, works swell.

    And it doesn’t take Glock Mags?

    Not seeing the attraction here???

    PS: What? No bayonet?

  11. May have been a lucky fluke, but I bought a JTS-12 AK based shotgun from Academy 2 years back. It misfired twice and one of those was my fault for being sloppy. YMMV, but I’m impressed after over 600 rounds at a const of $400.

  12. I know there are negative comments but let me be one of the ones to say thanks for telling the TRUTH about the failures.

    • Agreed! I want the truth even if it’s not pretty. The negativity is towards what IWI has done not towards the author (I should hope)

  13. When it comes to guns I don’t want one that’s a picky eater. You never know when you might not be able to get the type of ammo the gun ‘likes.’

    • I bought a Vepr 12 semiauto a couple years ago before they put the squeeze on the Russian imports for about $850. I had an excellent smith replace the fore end and stock. All the feedback echoed the instructions, break it in with 200 rounds of high velocity stuff. I worked the action about 100 times a day for about 3 days, took it out with some of those Molot magazines and it ran everything, the cheap stuff, expensive, buck, slugs with a single hitch. First semiauto shotgun I ever had, took a chance on and it worked out beautifully. So I understand why people take a chance on something weird, there’s been a couple times I’ve done that an it turned out great.

      • Yep, different strokes etc. I also don’t buy cars when they’re first gen. Maybe it’s because I don’t have an extensive gun collection but I’m pretty conservative when it comes to what I get.

  14. My rule is any semi auto gun that requires a “break in” period is to work the slide or bolt, whatever action is under spring pressure, how ever many rounds the manufacturer recommends as the “break in” and multiply by 2. So if it’s 200 rounds, work the action 400 times, then go shooting. If still having issues, shoot the recommended amount. If after that break in there are still problems, send it back for warranty work.

    It really sucks how so many of the semi auto guns today need break in periods, but the days of getting something perfect out of box are over.

  15. Hmmm … cool new techno-military looking shotgun. Can carry lots of shells, and semi-automatic so you can just blast away – just right for defending one’s self from shuffling herds of zombies until it jams. Sounds like just the kind of gun to add tension and excitement to “The Walking Dead” series. Especially the part about unexpected jams at the most critical moment.

  16. I’ll be honest: I’m really disappointed. IWI has never made a turd in terms of reliability before. When I heard this was going to be a thing, I was stoked to pick one up.

    Then, after delays in r&d to “perfect” it, this is the finished product?

    I’m going to take a hard pass and just stick to what I have, even if it’s not a bullpup. Hopefully IWI gets a gen2 variant later that has the issues resolved because the concept is very cool. Just needs that reliability boost. This sounds worse than my Saiga (which is fun but took a lot of tinkering to get to run solid, and even then it is questionable with the lighter birdshot loads)

    • I dont think you read the review fully. It was cycling the problem ammo fine by the end. Check out MAC’s review on youtube. He had the same process.

      • I’m skeptical of any break in period firearms. I understand they got it to work but will it end up having issues again? That I am not sure of, and certainly not sold on.

  17. When you have problems like this it’s not just a gas issue. Some spring or some burr or something is not doing as it’s designed because “it should work”

  18. As a Tavor SAR owner, I was excited to hear they were coming out with a shotgun. I do not like the rotating tubes. It just seems like a great area to have a malfunction.

    I have has some bad luck with shotguns.

    Problem shotguns-
    Remington 870- POS, trigger group would fail. It would also puke shells onto the lifter locking up the shotgun. Ditched it.
    Mossberg 930 SPX- Jam-o-matic. Would also fail to load shells. Ditched it.
    Saiga-12-Jammed about 10% of the time even after break in. Ditched it. I would have kept it had I known a ban was coming.
    VEPR-12-Jam-o-matic even after a lot of buckshot for break in. Keeping it because it’s banned from import.

    Good Shotguns-
    Winchester 1300 Defender-Works great!
    Beretta 1201FP-Works great with cheap birdshot and everything else.
    NEF .410 Single Shot-It works, every time as it should.

    • 930 is another hit and miss gun for out of the box. Saigas and their clones can work well, but the reports of the box magazine shotguns distorting/flattening the fronts the shells after sitting in the mag for a while and resulting in FTFs is concerning. 870s may need chamber work.

      My Nova and 590A1s never let me down. If you’re looking for an autoloader, however, consider a Versa Maxes. I absolutely love mine and neither one has ever had a malfunction. Its fired everything from old, crusty 2-3/4” shells to 3-1/2” turkey power loads. 100% reliable and the softest shotgun I’ve ever shouldered.

  19. MAC’s video review and this one both leave me with the impression that the reviewers took the new gun out of the box, loaded it, and went from there with their review. If true, then both made the same mistake that necessarily colored their reviews – they didn’t clean the new gun before shooting it. My experience is that there is a great deal of manufacturing residue in a newly purchased gun, and that the lubricants they use at the factory are to prevent rust rather than to assure the gun functions properly. Had they thoroughly cleaned the new gun and lubed it with quality lubricants, I am willing to bet that they both would have had more positive experiences with this firearm.

    • For automotive parts, it’s referred to as “mill scale”. It’s a protectant and rust preventative, but very much NOT a lubricant. If anything it makes moving parts stick and accumulate fouling more quickly. You clean it off and apply real assembly grease before you install.

  20. MAC’s ran 100% like a machine with all ammo after the first few lighter load failures. I wonder what’s different about your TS-12.

    • This. I just purchased one a week ago, and same thing….a few issues at first, but after going through different loads and stripping it down for a thorough cleaning….BOOM. The thing doesn’t stop.

      All these negative comments from a couple years ago are just the “oh yeah that’s right” BS pile on mentality. Everyone wants to clap their gums and nod their head in dullard affirmation.

  21. Where are you getting the information that this weapon can be swapped out for left handed use? On the IWI website in the product description it says “Note: Tavor TS12 is only available in BLACK, and is not left-hand convertible.” I really wanted to pick one of these up, but its a no go if I can’t get it left handed.

    • The Tavor 12 is Ambidexterous. Read the Instructions Manual. Both sides have Ejection ports, and charging handle slots. Attention to Detail, helps.

  22. I’ve put about 800 rounds through my TS12 and it’s definitely getting better. I’ve put through a lot of Remington 00 Buckshot and 4 Buckshot (at least 400 rounds) and I’ve had zero failures. I had some issues with 00 Fiocchi (low brass) early on, but that’s also getting better, but not perfect (1 failure in last 50 rounds). I’m beginning to trust this firearm for home defense.

    • I had one in my cart, ready to buy it but I couldn’t get the thought of feed failures out of my head. Plus at this price point I shouldn’t have to spend an extra $200 – $300 on shells to “break it in”. I will probably buy one eventually if they work out the feed issue. I am ready to be done with pump shotguns, but for now my 870 tactical will have to do…at least I know when I pump it and pull the trigger it will go bang.

  23. Why is everyone so concerned that this weapon doesn’t do well with birdshot ? Isn’t this supposed to be a CQC and home defense specialist? Anyway, I have read elsewhere that these semi auto shotguns — especially the box feds — have trouble with the ammo because the plastic crimps too easily. I concur with the gent who called for upgraded ammo design for these semi-autos.

    • Personally, on 2 levels, I believe it should:

      First, I believe a $1300 “defense” shotgun shouldn’t need special ammo. If it was a competition gun, I get it. HD/SD shouldn’t be so finicky with what it eats, though. Just my opinion on dollar value.

      Second (and more importantly), bird shot may be all that’s available or preferred by potential buyers. Birdshot is just as lethal as any other shot shell inside 10yds and some make an argument for it being better in urban environments due to liabilities.

      Not saying this platform won’t work for some individuals, but I’d guess that the consensus on HD/SD shotguns (that you are seeing here) is the majority of people believe they should be able to reliably shoot SAAMI spec shot shells.

  24. Alright guys I was skeptical of this gun too until I held it. Now I do have a tavor, one of the first SARS to hit my area and it’s been 100% since day one therefore I love iwi. But anyway this thing is waaaaaay smaller and compact than pictures make it seem, I took it out yesterday and put 175 rounds of buckshot, birdshot and wait for it……mini buckshot from Nobelsport (2.25”) through it. It ran everything I put in it perfectly. I fit 6 in each tube with the minis so I had 18+1! I’m sure it’s like every new design some people have issues and some don’t but man I’m telling u if u get one that’s runs 100% ur in for a real treat.

  25. Appreciate the review. I really wanted this to be a solid shotgun, I love the idea of it. I had the same experience with the Saiga-12. I spent a lot of money on it, had some pros work on it for even more money, and in the end I never trusted it. Only thing I miss is how it looked in my collection. If it isn’t reliable then its only a range toy to me, I would never trust my life to something that does not go bang every time I pull the trigger.

    If they can work out the bugs and its vetted by enough independent sources, count me in. I hope they are able and willing.

    • Agreed.

      Due to the construction of shotshells, I’ll only rely on tube-fed shotguns for HD/SD. This one met that criteria and I wanted to like it because of size and capacity, but there’s a lot of moving parts…..too much to go wrong. Personally, I subscribe to the belief that a gun isn’t considered for SD use until it gives 500 consecutive malfunction-free rounds. YMMV.

      Based on the review, its a range gun. Nothing wrong with that.

  26. I recently bought one of these. Took it to the range with low power target load, various 00 buck, various slugs, and 3″ turkey load. I fired 20 rounds of each load through it to see if there was any one that it didn’t like. To my surprise it cycled all of them 100% on low setting. I then switched it to the hi setting and it again cycle everything including the low power target load flawlessly. I’m not sure if IWI got their stuff together and made this right since this article posted or if I just got lucky but I figured I would share. On a side note, the TS12 does have more felt recoil than my 930 SPX. I’ve shot several 100 rounds through the 930 and have never had a malfunction on anything except for target load.

  27. TRAVIS P . . . It’s been 5 months since this informative & accurate review was written. Do you happen to know when you might have an update with regards to reliability issues???

    • I just bought a new one last month and have fired just about every type of ammo through it with zero malfunctions. I fired everything from 2.75″ super weak target load to 3″ magnum and everything in between. Everything cycled on both high and low settings. The only issue I had was with one of the mag tubes where the shells would bind up near the loading port. It would load the chamber and cycle fine but when I’d push thr unload button the shell wouldnt come out unless I pushed the shell in while pushing the shell release button. Again that was only one tube and iwi was quick to send me a return label to fix it.

  28. You seriously chose the worst shells you could get for the TS12 get some good ones like federal 2 3/4 inch 1 1/8 OZ 1200 fps for bird shot and pretty much any quality buckshot and you won’t have to worry about anything

  29. I am thinking those of us who bought later versions of the TS12 have you and other early reviewers to thank, as it seems IWI listened to your feedback and made some changes to help improve reliability. I bought mine earlier this year (2022), and through the first 240 or so rounds have had zero failures. I did clean and oil the gun when I first bought it, and did also feed it a diet of buckshot and slugs (mostly Freedom Munitions) for the first 150 or so rounds, but since then have put a variety of bird shot from Remington, Federal, and Winchester through it, and they all ran fine. The closest I came to failure was with the Winchester white box (and white casing) bird shot, which was slow to chamber the new round on a couple of occasions, even though the fired case ejected perfectly. This happened after 200+ round had run through the gun, so it is possible it just needs cleaning. Overall I was very impressed with the reliability and performance of the TS12. The trigger flat out sucks, but given the design there isn’t much you can do about that I guess. Everything else is outstanding in my experience.

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