My IWI Tavor x95 experience

Thegeek

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Jan 20, 2013
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Still haven't shot it, but my first day with it was frustrating. I'm a lefty shooter, so bought a left handed bolt and barrel kit. The barrel itself isn't left handed, but is factory headspaced with the bolt. A bit more expensive, but such is life. Looking at the design of the barrel, it appears that setting headspace requires some special tools. Just looking at it, it's obvious it's not all one piece and only one has flats. Not something I'm going to dig into, but found it interesting.

Barrel and bolt kit were delivered the same day I took possession, so before I even fired it, I did the swap. Should be a pretty easy swap. From the factory, the rifle came with the newest style of charging handle. This included a barrel band. The new barrel didn't have this band. The new barrel came with a bayonet lug, which wasn't present on the factory configuration. Next is the bolt itself. From the factory, it came with the two ejector bolt. The new bolt is only a single ejector. They obviously came up with the dual for a reason, so why do they continue to sell the single? I'm not concerned about it since I don't know why and the AR platform has been running single for decades. So until it becomes a problem, I don't care. The kit did however come with the barrel wrench, so that was nice.

Break the rifle down and then remove the rail. Muzzle devices off both, band off one, lug off the other. The lug was a pain in the ass. After swapping the band over, I put the lug back on and the muzzle device. Got the rail swapped and barrel installed the receiver. Oops. The bayonet lug prevents the installation of the foregrip. Decision time. Do I just remove the lug, or remove it, install the foregrip, then reinstall the lug? I don't have a bayonet, so I just left it off for now. Install the rail, and the barrel assembly is back in the receiver.

Now we come to the carrier. There are two pins. One called the "general pin", and the other is the "rear pin". The general pin just blocks the cocking bar from seating into the carrier properly. So if you're cocking bar is setup for right handed, a left handed carrier won't even chamber a round. Essentially, you can't accidently put a carrier setup for lefty into a receiver setup for righty. For me, that's not a danger, so in the trash goes the "general pin". Kinda dumb I think. Sure they want you to use it a certain way, but what if I'm shooting left handed because I don't have a right hand? Which side the cocking handle is on is irrelevant to which side you're shooting from. In reality, if you have it on the side they want you to, and you rack it while it's shouldered, there's a chance you're going to punch yourself in the face if your hand slips off the handle. And since you're supposed to just let it fly.... I rack my AR with my left hand, so I might end up switching it to the "wrong" way. Need to think about this one.

Now we come to the rear pin. You can't install a lefty bolt into a carrier that was setup for a righty bolt without swapping this pin to the other side. What I don't know is if this pin is also just there to prevent a mistake on the armorer's bench, or if it serves as a stop/register for the bolt. So I did a little experiment. Take the firing pin and spring out, then install the bolt and guide pin. If the bolt indexes on the rear pin, the guide pin should have no pressure on it when I'm holding the bolt in. The bolt does in fact register on the rear pin. After seeing it, my theory is that it prevents the guide pin from getting excessive wear by acting as the stop when it slams home. That or the tolerances aren't super tight for this hole. Either way, since I don't know, it's going back in.

Last thing is swapping the safety selector and pointer. For an "ambi" rifle, I don't get why they don't have levers on both sides and call it good. I'm probably just going to buy another lever for the other side. While we're on the "ambi" topic, the gun has 5 swivel points. The odd number means one is only one one side. You can swap it pretty easy, but WTF is the point of this? I can't even begin to think of a reason why it isn't just open on both sides. It is on the rear most point and the front most, so why is the mid point different.

For now, the gripes are probably things I just don't understand and only the product designers could answer. The optic I want is on backorder, so there's a 50/50 chance I go to the range this coming Sunday to sight in the factory irons. Will definitely add more to this thread as I go with this one.
 

Thegeek

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Jan 20, 2013
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Still no range time with it. It's been too cold. I won't go to Point Blank on principle, and Indy Arms Co. says "All centerfire rifle ammunition MUST be purchased from Indy Arms Company." No way in hell I'm buying ammo right now. The only other indoor range I know that I can shoot is Parabellum, which is a bit of a drive from New Pal. At least they allow you to bring ammo.

Ok, so enough of the bellyaching about not being able to shoot it yet....

Got my scope and mount from A&A Optics early this week. Vortex Strike Eagle (1x-6x). This is my 4th Vortex product and to no surprise it's pretty nice. To be completely honest, I didn't pay too close of attention to the specs before I bought it and it's probably 25% larger than I had imagined. It's seriously like having a paper towel tube on top. Not a big deal. If I end up not liking it, there are other guns it will sit nicely on. About the only thing that I wish I would have gotten is a quick release mount.

I got questioned by a friend why I didn't just put a red dot on it. His point was basically that the bullpup design is for close quarters. My position on the bullpup is that yes, the design makes it easy to handle. But, this thing has an 18" barrel and is capable of some range. So an LPVO just made sense. With the illuminated reticle, it's just as good as a red dot at 1x. At 6x with the BDC reticle, a 500-600yd target isn't too small of a target. The downside, is it's got some weight to it, and with the eye relief it has a significant influence on the CG of the system. Unloaded, the CG is right at the grip.

I did do some research about the Tavor accuracy before I purchased. It's not a sub-MOA rifle by any means. Most people claim it's a 3 MOA gun out of the box. 15" off target at 500yd is a miss, so once I test mine at the range, scope selection might change because there's nothing to gain for having a scope for 500yd if the rifle can't hit a target at that range. Still it's more compact than a carbine AR-15, more reliable, and has higher velocity. In reality, something like an ACOG with an RMR might be a better fit.

I was thinking really hard about going to Atterbury on Sunday but the forecast says it'll be 10 degrees when they open. Yeah, big nope. Anyone with a private range an a "shoot shed" want to help me break her in?
 

Dean Crail

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Aug 25, 2013
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Looking forward to the range report , it's the reason I don't own one honestly. I cannot justify spending that kind of money on a 3 MOA rifle when the same cash will get me a Sub MOA AR.
 

Thegeek

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Jan 20, 2013
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Woke up this morning and just couldn't stand it anymore, so I went to Parabellum for an hour.

Since I reload, and the Tavor is known for throwing brass forward, my first worry was a brass catcher. I've got one I made that's like a butterfly net, but I hate taking it to indoor ranges and especially for short sessions. I only spent 90 rounds today. So with my coffee, I did some research on what was available. Then I had an idea. My Caldwell AR brass catcher is already a little worse for wear, so what the heck. As long as you're not worried about jacking up the wire frame, you can flip it inside out and it works perfect on the Tavor. So, I'll probably buy a second one for my AR and do a little work on this one to make it a permanent "lefty".

First impression shooting it (I'm trying not to let the newness of it influence things) is that it's pleasant to shoot. The trigger is heavier than the AR, but the reset is fantastic. Short and very positive feeling. It's also quieter against your face than an AR if that makes any sense. No spring twang, but you can still hear the gun cycle. I saw an online review that said this gun really talks to you, and I have to agree 100%. There have been times with my AR that I try and pull the trigger on an open bolt. I don't think I'll ever have that problem with the Tavor. If I had to explain it, I'd say the AR it like you're wife talking to you and you say "huh, what dear?". You know she said something but it just didn't register. The Tavor is more like someone saying your name to get your attention before speaking.

It's also not as violent as I expected. Off the shelf ARs are notoriously over-gassed, and I'm sure that's part of my comparison. My SW M&P15 carbine doesn't really kick hard, but you know you shot it and there's enough recoil that it takes you a second to get back on target. I have the same muzzle device on my Tavor, but it only climbs and pulls to the left just a little. One thing I do with a new gun is I like to get it hot. My 2nd magazine was as fast as I could go with control. 30rd in under 20 seconds. At 25yd, all 30 were in a 10" circle. This was off the bipod still. She was smoking pretty good at the end. As far as gas is concerned, it's not fair to compare it against my AR since my AR is not left specific. All I can say is I didn't notice the gas at all. When I shot quickly, I could smell it of course, but it never felt like I was breathing it.

Before I get into accuracy, the Vortex Strike Eagle is pretty nice, but other than the center dot, the reticle is hard to see. The center is illuminated, but the rest of the BDC markings disappear pretty easy since they're such fine print. From the factory, it was just about 3MOA to the right. I had it zeroed in about 18 shots. Since Parabellum is only 25yd, my zero was a POI about 3" low. Should be close at 100yd. It's also very sensitive to eye relief with any magnification. If you move with the recoil, you will have to readjust. I really need more time with it to be completely fair, but I would say the Strike Eagle is not the right optic for a Tavor. More practice might change my mind, or it might reinforce that opinion.

As for accuracy, when I was zeroing and really trying to get tight groups, I was getting 4-5MOA. This was standing with a bipod. I know some of that lack of accuracy is because the butt of the rife was unsupported. I never could get a stable POA. A real accuracy test will have to wait until I can put it on the 100yd line and shoot off a bench. With my last magazine, I wanted to test myself with this rifle. No zoom, and standing without a sling I put 10 quick but aimed shots in each target. These are Hoppe's 25yd slow-fire pistol competition targets. These have a bullseye with rings 10-5 around it. For reference, bull is about 11/16" across. Outside of the 7 ring is about 5 3/8", and outside of the 5 ring is about 9 3/4". I tried to speed up as I went:

Target 1: 10.7MOA, 1 bull, 5 nine ring, 4 eight. Farthest from center 2.875"

Target 2: 14MOA, 1 bull, 3 ten, 4 nine, 1 seven, 1 six. Farthest from center 3.875".

Target 4: 23.5MOA, 1 ten, 3 nine, 1 eight, 2 seven, 2 six, 1 miss. Farthest from center (not counting the miss) 3.5".

That miss was all me flinching and trying to speed up on the last 10.
 

Awaters1991

Plinker
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0   0   0
Feb 5, 2021
31
8
Westfield
Still haven't shot it, but my first day with it was frustrating. I'm a lefty shooter, so bought a left handed bolt and barrel kit. The barrel itself isn't left handed, but is factory headspaced with the bolt. A bit more expensive, but such is life. Looking at the design of the barrel, it appears that setting headspace requires some special tools. Just looking at it, it's obvious it's not all one piece and only one has flats. Not something I'm going to dig into, but found it interesting.

Barrel and bolt kit were delivered the same day I took possession, so before I even fired it, I did the swap. Should be a pretty easy swap. From the factory, the rifle came with the newest style of charging handle. This included a barrel band. The new barrel didn't have this band. The new barrel came with a bayonet lug, which wasn't present on the factory configuration. Next is the bolt itself. From the factory, it came with the two ejector bolt. The new bolt is only a single ejector. They obviously came up with the dual for a reason, so why do they continue to sell the single? I'm not concerned about it since I don't know why and the AR platform has been running single for decades. So until it becomes a problem, I don't care. The kit did however come with the barrel wrench, so that was nice.

Break the rifle down and then remove the rail. Muzzle devices off both, band off one, lug off the other. The lug was a pain in the ass. After swapping the band over, I put the lug back on and the muzzle device. Got the rail swapped and barrel installed the receiver. Oops. The bayonet lug prevents the installation of the foregrip. Decision time. Do I just remove the lug, or remove it, install the foregrip, then reinstall the lug? I don't have a bayonet, so I just left it off for now. Install the rail, and the barrel assembly is back in the receiver.

Now we come to the carrier. There are two pins. One called the "general pin", and the other is the "rear pin". The general pin just blocks the cocking bar from seating into the carrier properly. So if you're cocking bar is setup for right handed, a left handed carrier won't even chamber a round. Essentially, you can't accidently put a carrier setup for lefty into a receiver setup for righty. For me, that's not a danger, so in the trash goes the "general pin". Kinda dumb I think. Sure they want you to use it a certain way, but what if I'm shooting left handed because I don't have a right hand? Which side the cocking handle is on is irrelevant to which side you're shooting from. In reality, if you have it on the side they want you to, and you rack it while it's shouldered, there's a chance you're going to punch yourself in the face if your hand slips off the handle. And since you're supposed to just let it fly.... I rack my AR with my left hand, so I might end up switching it to the "wrong" way. Need to think about this one.

Now we come to the rear pin. You can't install a lefty bolt into a carrier that was setup for a righty bolt without swapping this pin to the other side. What I don't know is if this pin is also just there to prevent a mistake on the armorer's bench, or if it serves as a stop/register for the bolt. So I did a little experiment. Take the firing pin and spring out, then install the bolt and guide pin. If the bolt indexes on the rear pin, the guide pin should have no pressure on it when I'm holding the bolt in. The bolt does in fact register on the rear pin. After seeing it, my theory is that it prevents the guide pin from getting excessive wear by acting as the stop when it slams home. That or the tolerances aren't super tight for this hole. Either way, since I don't know, it's going back in.

Last thing is swapping the safety selector and pointer. For an "ambi" rifle, I don't get why they don't have levers on both sides and call it good. I'm probably just going to buy another lever for the other side. While we're on the "ambi" topic, the gun has 5 swivel points. The odd number means one is only one one side. You can swap it pretty easy, but WTF is the point of this? I can't even begin to think of a reason why it isn't just open on both sides. It is on the rear most point and the front most, so why is the mid point different.

For now, the gripes are probably things I just don't understand and only the product designers could answer. The optic I want is on backorder, so there's a 50/50 chance I go to the range this coming Sunday to sight in the factory irons. Will definitely add more to this thread as I go with this one.
I have really enjoyed mine, she can be temperamental. Looking forward to following your journey here as well.
 

russc2542

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Oct 24, 2015
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Columbus
the dual ejector is a mid-production change. It was added to mil rifles first then added to the civ market. I'm guessing they're working through inventory of LH single ejector bolts before shipping dual ejectors.

Mine's (RH) never so much as hiccupped but it has under 1000 rounds through it still lol (too many other toys and too few occasions to use it) brass, steel, whatever.


I hate to suggest failbook but there's an X95 group on there with a lot of good tips. some have gotten sub MOA without major gunsmithing but they do load for it and have some tweaks, and it's taken a while. Of course full rests and good glass too.
 

Thegeek

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Jan 20, 2013
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Most talk about removing the bushing up front to "float" the barrel. Seems silly when you see how the gas system and top rail all go together. I saw one guy actually bedded his barrel. It's not worth the effort really. This thing isn't for precision shooting.
 
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