If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re familiar with the versatile AR15. Chances are even good that you have shot an AR15 or own one as part of your personal arsenal. You probably also know that here at Warrior Poet, we are big proponents of the ArmaLite standard; however, this post is not about the standard issue AR15. Today we’re going to focus on the pros and cons of the Israeli Weapons Industry (IWI) X95 Tavor.
The IWI X95 Overall
The IWI X95 offers flexibility and combat durability similar to that of the AR15 with some added maneuverability more commonly available on short-barrelled rifles (but without the hassle and waiting period of an NFA tax stamp). But, before I get into the main pros and cons of this Tavor, there are a few highlights I want to point out.
Its ammo versatility is a plus. You can order it according to standard rounds you probably already have lying around (.300 blackout, 5.56 and 9mm) and it accepts standard AR15 magazines. Also, with the .300 blackout model, you can adjust the gas regulator for super or sub-sonic ammo.
I hated the trigger before I loved it. The X95 has a six-pound trigger pull weight that took some getting used to mostly because I’m so accustomed to the lighter trigger pull of most rifles. However, once I realized the trigger operates like a pistol, I felt like a stud. Now I LOVE the heavier trigger!
There are so many great things about this gun. It was a fun weapon to take to the range. It has tons of features that commend it for in-home defense and other lifesaving and tactical settings.
PROs and CONs
There are so many other features we liked, and some engineering tradeoffs worth mentioning. So, here is a list of the pros and cons we felt worth sharing with our audience.
Lightweight, Rear Weighted and Strong
PRO. The Tavor’s reinforced polymer body combined with a cold hammer-forged chrome-lined barrel and chamber provide the end user with a lightweight but very strong tactical tool. In addition, the Tavor’s weight rests in the rear, which with practice can offer some added stability and speed when changing magazines, and with the mass situated close to your body, there is less fatigue when the gun is in a ready position.
CON. I personally like to carry a gun like a suitcase. So, although not a big deal, during this relaxed carry (especially if unslinged) the rear-weighted quality can cause the butt of the gun to awkwardly swing slightly forward.
Ambidextrous and Adjustable
PRO. The Tavor is fairly symmetrical and has an ambidextrous magazine release, which is useful for obvious reasons. This can be a nice feature regardless of hand dominance, as it makes maneuverability when working around structures and other obstacles in close-quarters combat (CQC) scenarios more effective. For even more fine tuning, the polymer handguards on either side of the gun are also adjustable and removable.
CON. The left-side charging handle, if it comes in contact with a barricade or anything of the liking, has the potential to cause the gun to disengage (this happened to me), making it inoperable until you give it a quick reset.
Close-Quarters Combat Compact
PRO. Because most of the 16.5-inch barrel, which also comes in 13” and 18”, is drawn into the body of the gun, you’ve got short-barreled tactical maneuverability for close-quarters combat, combined with the longer range and matching muzzle velocity of a full-length rifle. This is amazing to have when working in and around structures or vehicles.
CON. With the barrel inside the body, it’s a tad easier to singe a finger if an ungloved hand slips past a handguard.
It Fits (Most) Accessories
PRO. The Tavor’s rail system allows you to easily add your optics and lights (SureFire Scoutlight Pro LINK) to its compact frame, and its threaded barrel is suppressor-ready. Then, when you’re ready to simplify down to iron sights, the X95 comes equipped with a built-in pair.
CON. The gun’s compact body cuts down on the number of accessories that can usefully be added. The iron sights, for instance, would need to be obstructed if I wanted to add a laser site to the mix. So if you like lots of accessories, this is something to consider.
Again, That Trigger
PRO. Although the Tavor trigger took some getting used to, once I figured out it’s a pistol trigger, it made all the difference! If you’re at all familiar with our Pistol 1 and Pistol 2 classes (or Rifle 1, Rifle 2), you know there are pretty significant differences in trigger techniques. Once I treated it the way it deserved to be treated (Prep. Stop. Ease Off and On.), it rewarded me with speed and accuracy. I could see a real positive in a combat rifle-pistol transition.
CON. It takes a shift in thinking and adjustment of muscle memory to get used to this heavier pistol-style pull weight.
Whatever your weapon of choice for concealed carry, home defense, or tactical use, your effectiveness is only as good as your training. On-going proper technique in a variety of settings and circumstances will train muscle memory and tactical mindset – two qualities of resiliency that’ll combat stupidity under duress. Our tactical training courses provide repetition of the right habits. We’ll help you increase your levels of competency, confidence, and the wisdom required in life and death situations.