With anticipation growing exponentially, I check my email for shipping confirmation of my review sample Tavor 7. I knew IWI planned to send it shortly, and here at SHWAT™ we have a long love affair with bullpups.
Next, we upgraded the Tavor, first with a suite of accessories from Manticore Arms (along with a “Tavor Upgrades” video that now has more than 165,000 views). We followed up with the Tavor Gear Head Works Flex Swivel installation. After that, we installed a Tavor trigger from Timney and released the 28-second installation video (Yikes, our YouTube standards were lower then!).
First Impressions of the Tavor 7 vs. X95
I guess you might say our attraction to IWI guns borders on lust. Which brings me back to my elation when the Tavor 7 review rifle shipped. A couple of days I’m drooling over it while the hogs wait for my arrival at the farm. Given my familiarity with the Tavor family tree, I quickly pick up on a couple noticeable differences between the Tavor X95 and the 7.
First, the QD mount near the front of the rifle is gone. Not a huge deal, you just need to figure out what’s going to work best for you. IWI academy shows you different ways to set up your sling.
Second, the adjustable gas block is a little knob that protrudes from the receiver just above the barrel. There are 4 settings to choose: R-Regular, A-Adverse, S-Suppressor, and O-Off. To change settings, simply insert an object into the hole and turn. An unfired 308 round works well for this purpose.
Third, the Tavor 7 is a fully-ambidextrous rifle. The visible difference is that the channel that the charging handle resides in is on both sides of the receiver. You can swap the charging handle and the ejection port around making it ready for a southpaw.
Fourth, there are two MLOK slots on both sides of the forearm. While it is a subtle change, it is a nice upgrade. While it is not a new feature, the “hidden” picatinny rail can be found under the nine o’clock handguard. Whether you use MLOK or the picatinny rail, it is nice to have some mounting options for lights or IR devices.
The Big Difference – Size and Weight Compared to X95
Unless you have an X95 and Tavor 7 side by side, you won’t notice that the Tavor 7 is about half an inch longer than the X95 while utilizing the same length 16.5-inch barrel. After swapping out the mounts to accommodate my AAC SDN 6, the rifle with the suppressor is only 33.5 inches long. This is shorter than most 16-inch guns without the can! This is AWESOME! While compactness is not necessarily king, it is a very, very powerful prince. The Tavor 7 checks off my box for being compact.
It’s when I pick up the rifle that I notice the most substantial difference in handling: The Tavor 7 weighs 9 pounds (a little more than a pound heavier than the X95). That’s just the Tavor 7, not counting the added weight of an optic and suppressor.
It’s almost as if all piston-driven 308’s have to weigh 9 pounds (+/- a couple of ounces). As a bullpup, the Tavor 7 26.75 inch overall length keeps the weight closer to your body, a big win. Ultimately, bigger calibers require bigger and therefore heavier parts. No mystery here.
After sighting in the rifle at Texas Gun Experience, it’s time to take this Tavor 7 to the farm!
Tavor 7 Hog Hunting
I locate a sounder of 10 hogs with my Pulsar Helion at the CRP field. After shutting down the truck, I start my hog hunting fitness program with a 100-yard walk. With a new moon hanging in the sky and the wind in my favor, sneaking up to the unexpecting pigs is not a problem. I set up about 60 yards away.
The sound of the legs extending on my Primos Trigger Stick Tripod is amplified through my Howard Leight Impact Sport Muffs while preparing for my shot. After watching the sounder through my Pulsar Trail, I pick out a sow in the middle of the pigs. The 180gr Norma Bondstrike Extreme smacks the hog in the middle of the neck. It collapses like a house of cards.
The other nine hogs scatter. I send another round, striking a hog just before it crosses the property line to only expire in the neighboring field. Two shots, two kills! Let’s see what else I can do with this rifle!
Almost an hour later and down by the river, the Pulsar Helion shows me a sounder. Eighteen hogs line up for this Tavor 7 review segment. My first shot drops its target. My 2nd shot misses and the shooting stops. “Why didn’t I shoot more?” I ask myself.
I’d like to say I stopped because I was so shocked that I missed. That’s not likely as, sadly, I do miss some. Maybe because I am familiarizing myself with the Tavor 7? Maybe because I was distracted with thoughts of bacon? Honestly don’t know why. At this point, more than anything I am frustrated with myself for not throwing more lead downrange.
Thermal recon using the Helion shows me pigs out everywhere this night. Well, almost everywhere. My father in law would be glad to know the hogs seem intent on destroying neighboring fields, but not his at the moment.
About a mile east of the CRP, I run across a solo boar near the tank (‘tank’ is Texan for pond). Thanks to favorable winds and dark skies, the boar remains clueless to my presence. After stepping over the hotwire and deploying my tripod, I put the crosshair of the Pulsar Trail on the hog’s kill zone and pull the trigger.
The boar collapses in the wheat field just 45 yards from me. It’s amazing how close you can get to these animals if the wind and moon are right. Time to find more pigs…
At the Porcupine Egg Field, a sounder moves from east to west. Time is of the essence because they will exit the field soon. After hopping over the barbed wire fence where the short bullpup configuration of the Tavor 7 makes me smile, I make a beeline down the west side of the property toward the group.
This sounder will be in a hog sanctuary if it crosses the fence line. The speed walking causes my heart to accelerate and my breathing to intensify, all part of the nightly aerobics program. The decision to hustle pays off. The sounder is right in front of me, about to cross the fence line.
With the Tavor 7 steady on the Tripod, it’s only five seconds before the Norma Bondstrike slaps the lead sow. She appears to drop and my shot causes the rest of the pigs to run back into the middle of our field. Quickly, I turn my attention to the hogs scattering back to my left.
My 2nd shot misses but my 3rd and 4th shots result in two pigs barrel rolling. Still locked into the Pulsar Trail, I scan back to the right. The first sow is gone! So frustrating! I still don’t have more than two bodies in any single field, but that is about to change.
Returning to the house for the evening, I scan the field behind it. Lo and behold, there forty hogs wait, seemingly eager to be included in this Tavor 7 review and live media field test (okay, that’ just fun to say!). Now is the time for redemption.
While walking to meet the sounder, I remind myself, “Keep Shooting!” You may or may not have noticed, but I tend to be very conservative behind the trigger. I set up with the environmental conditions still in my favor, but my initial shooting position is a little further away than earlier.
The first shot hits and disables two pigs! Yes, a two for one special! The next two shots are near misses. Shot #4 connects with a running hog while shot #5 is another miss. Shots six through eleven are all hits! When the smoke of the farm battlefield clears, six hogs lay dead in the field. What a way to end the night!
Tavor 7 Conclusions
For your benefit, I planned to interview hogs about their impressions. So many had seemingly volunteered for this review. Alas, the only ones that stuck around remained silent on the subject. They will never again sack the family farm.
So you’re stuck with my own thoughts. The IWI Tavor 7 checks a lot of boxes for me: It is compact, more accurate than I am, reliable and effectively sends bullets bigger than my usual fare downrange, convincingly. Could this be the “Ultimate Hog Hunting Gun”? Let me know what you think in the comments below.