Tavor®: The Weapon of the Future is Here
Years in the making, the Tavor® is here to stay
The 1982 Israeli Lebanon war opened the eyes of the Israeli military. It became clear that a replacement for the M16/M4 platform was needed and that the nature of modern warfare had changed. The enemy was no longer engaged only from a distance and war was often up close and personal, being fought from house-to-house and room-to-room. The new rifle would need to be as accurate as a sniper rifle, have the firepower of an M16, the reliability of an AK-47 and be short and maneuverable enough to operate inside of vehicles and in close quarters.
Enter the Tavor®. In 1995, under the direction of gun designer Zalmen Shebs, the project to develop the Israel military’s weapon of the future began. It was named after Mt. Tabor, an ancient Israelite stronghold where the armies of Israel unleashed the wrath of the Almighty and annihilated the Canaanites when they were attacked by their hordes thousands of years ago.
The project team selected a bullpup design which would allow for a short, ergonomic rifle that thrived in close quarters combat while keeping the accuracy and ability to engage from a distance that a long barrel provides. The rifle’s internal mechanism was built around a long stroke piston system that is similar to the famous AK-47, making the Tavor®’s extraction and chambering more forceful and increasing its reliability. The team made the rifle fully waterproof and sealed the internal mechanism from the outside elements so that it could operate in the most extreme environments. Housed in a high-impact polymer body, the Tavor® was designed to be as light as possible yet as indestructible as the mighty mountain that is its namesake. The team chambered the rifle in 5.56 NATO allowing it to use standard AR-15 magazines. The Tavor® was also designed to be fully ambidextrous allowing use by both right- and left-handed soldiers.
After its initial design the Tavor® was tested against the M4 in reliability, ergonomics during long marches, ease-of-maintenance and speed and accuracy of sighting in daytime and nighttime. It was found that the Tavor® bested the M4 in every area. The Tavor® then went through 10 years of grueling testing and refinement in the battlefields of Israel. It endured long weeks in extreme conditions, rugged terrain, sand, grit, mud, being dropped and battered and encountering just about every abuse and misuse known to man. It was continually refined and improved until in 2008, after its use in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) found that there was “nothing more to improve.” The Tavor® was finally ready and Israel’s weapon of the future was here.
In 2013 the Tavor® emigrated from its battle tested homeland of Israel and became a U.S. citizen and the semi-automatic Tavor® SAR was made available to all civilians living in the land of the free. Its arrival in the United States has been met with universal acclaim. In 2013, it won the The Truth About Guns Reader’s Choice Award and in 2014 it won American Rifleman’s prestigious Golden Bullseye Award which proclaimed it the “Rifle of the Year.” This last year it was even featured in Hollywood’s latest installment of the Hunger Games series, “Mockingjay.”
After being born out of necessity, tested and improved in the fire and hell of battle, the Tavor®’s almighty wrath has been unleashed.
The future is here. The future is now.