Review: Tavor IWI 21 Carbine

October 10, 2016

Review: Tavor IWI 21 Carbine

Today we're going to review the IWI Tavor 21, or what everyone calls The Tavor.

The Tavor has a special place in the Canadian firearms scene, simply because it's non-restricted. A brief explanation for you Americans; in Canada firearms are divided into two main categories, restricted and non-restricted. There's a third category, prohibited, but lets ignore those.

All handguns, and rifles that looks too much like an AR15, are restricted. Everything else, like hunting rifles and shotguns are Non-restricted. If a firearm is classified as restricted, it's covered by tigher laws. It has to be carefully stored, and can only be fired at a certified shooting range. You can't hunt with a restricted, and no matter how big a piece of property you live on, you can't shoot it there.

Here's where the Tavor comes in. Because it doesn't look like an AR15, it's not restricted, so you can take it anywhere. 556 calibre is not permitted for hunting, but you are allowed to shoot varmints with it, meaning coyotes and gophers. You can also go target shooting on certain public land, so-called crown land, or if you've got an couple hundred acres out back you can set up a few tactical barriers and some targets and practice clearing rooms on the weekends!

The Tavor has it's pros and cons. Let's start with the good stuff.

Tavor's are reliable, and well-constructed. They have a solid feel, and you can knock it around a fair bit without worry. Also, they are chambered for 556, and they take AR15 mags, which is pretty handy. With some practice and a couple of YouTube videos you'll be able to make sense of the controls, and learn to run the gun quickly and efficiently.

There are few challenges with the Tavor. Because it's a bullpup design, with the magazine and action behind the trigger, the trigger connector is extremely long, and it feels like a flexy plastic piece of junk. Even worse, the pull is about 12 pounds. There are aftermarket options available, but I haven't tried them, and reviews are mixed about their benefits.

Second, the weight and balance of the rifle seem wrong to me. It feels heavy, and the weight seems to be in the wrong place. If you think you're going to run and gun with the Tavor, perhaps use it in 3gun competition, you should find a way to swing one around a bit before buying it.

Finally on the negative side is the competition. For about the same money you can buy a Robinson Arms XCR-L. It's also non-restricted and takes AR magazines, and the XCR feels better to hold and to shoot. I've got a couple of XCRs, so check back and we'll review those rifles soon. In the meantime, I'll see you at the range!