Tavor TAR-21: Israel assault rifle

Creation and development of Tavor TAR-21

The history of the Tavor Assault Rifle-21 assault rifle, or TAR-21 for short, began in 1993, when the Israel Defense Forces Command (IDF) decided to replace the outdated Galil machine with something more relevant to modern tactical conditions. Initially, they simply wanted to replace all units of firearms with M16s in the US, but the timely initiative of the Israel Military Industries concern to develop automatic weapons with a caliber of 5.56 × 45 mm forced the top military leadership to change their mind. True, not quite – the American machines were still purchased, but now the emphasis was not only on them. Among the advantages of TAR-21, by the way, Tavor is a mountain in the north of Israel, which was mentioned in the Old Testament, and 21 is the century in which they planned to use these weapons, and included what they did from scratch, that is, they developed absolutely new design. But numerous difficulties were also connected with this.

At the beginning of the two thousandth, the TAR-21 prototype was tested for combat, which revealed a number of significant flaws in the original design, namely: low reliability, difficulty replacing the magazine, poor sight, and uncomfortable grip. All this was promptly corrected, and already in 2004, the modified TAR-21 entered service with some army units. But the final assault rifle “polished” only by 2009.

Layout Tavor TAR-21

Assault rifle “Tavor” is made according to the “bullpup” scheme. “Linear” scheme (the butt is on the same axis with the barrel) provides weapons high shooting accuracy, However, this approach also has a disadvantage – it is required to place aiming devices slightly higher. The basis of automation is the removal of powder gases from the barrel bore through the vapor assembly located above the barrel and hidden by the weapon body. The gas piston rigidly fixed on the slide frame has a long working stroke.

The barrel is locked by turning the bolt on 7 lugs. On both sides receiver box there are windows for ejection of spent cartridges, since there are variants of closures (with ejector and reflectors fixed on them) with ejection of spent cartridges both on the right and on the left (for left-handed users). At the same time, the unused window is closed with a cap. Receiver Made of composite materials, light in weight, waterproof, minimal gaps and holes prevent sand and dirt from entering the mechanism, which increases reliability. Cutouts for the charging handle are made on both sides, the handle is nominally located on the left. The charging handle itself is not rigidly connected to the slide frame and remains fixed during firing.

USM – hammer type, placed in the butt. Fuse-translator shooting modes located above the pistol grip (displayed on the left side with the ability to install it on the right), allows you to fire single shots and continuous bursts. Trigger guard performed the entire length of the pistol grip whole with the body (like the handle itself). Above the pistol grip in the body of the machine there are 4 large openings on each side for air cooling of the barrel. Weapon case Made of high strength polymers and light alloys, and in some places reinforced with inserts of steel. This achieves one of the advantages Tar-21 – Its relatively low weight. The design of the bull-pap allowed to shift the center of gravity of the weapon closer to the shooter’s shoulder, which had a positive effect on the shooting accuracy.

The barrel is rigidly connected to the top Pickatin bar, on which the sight is mounted. On the right side is a lock, with which you can change the barrel of the machine.

On the top and side of the machine installed Picatini planks, on which you can install optical and collimator sights, tactical lights and laser sights. The standard diopter sight of later models retracts directly into Picatini bar.

Tar-21 uses standard M16 machine shops for 20/30 rounds. This ensures the unification of equipment for different types of small arms in Israel Defense Forces. To extract the store, grab the magazine at the base and press the trigger type latch located in front of the store.

In the machine is present slide lag. The shutter lag button is located behind the store bottom.

Incomplete disassembly can be performed in the field without using any tools, for which it is sufficient to push out the connecting rod located in the upper rear part of the butt using a cartridge. Then the butt plate on the hinge leans back and down, and the slide frame assembly is removed to the outside.

The weapon is characterized by high maneuverability and convenience when shooting offhand, but it has a disadvantage in front of the M16 in the form of a high cost – $ 1000, while the American machine guns on the program of financial assistance to Israel are sold almost 10 times cheaper.

Sight and accessories

The original version was quite expensive. sight ITL MARS, which was combined with a laser designator. Moreover, the design was arranged so that the sight was switched on automatically when the shutter was distorted, and when the weapon was discharged, respectively, it turned off. It could also be turned on manually using a button located in the forearm of the assault rifle. The basic equipment was also supplied with a sight consisting of a folding front sight and an adjustable rear sight, as well as a special collimator sight. Subsequently layout Tar-21 simplified – collimator and base sights left, and ITL MARS replaced by cheaper Meprolight, which did not provide for the use of LCC.

On assault rifle Tar-21 You can also install a silencer, folding bipod, night vision device (ITL Mini N / SEAS) and rifle grenade launcher M203

Features Tavor TAR-21

As a result of comparative tests in conditions as close as possible to those in battle, the following facts were revealed:

  • Tar-21 possesses the increased crash-worthiness.
  • Tar-21 Both right-handed and left-handed can equally well be used.
  • Aiming system Tar-21, Attached directly to the trunk is an extremely successful solution.
  • Efficiency of anti-corrosion coating Tar-21 proven in practice.
  • Tar-21 can be used in almost any conditions and without prior preparation.
  • Tar-21 It is characterized by excellent ergonomics, ensuring ease of wearing and use in any conditions.
  • Center of gravity offset Tar-21 closer to the grip allowed to increase the effectiveness of aiming in motion and the reliability of holding the weapon when firing.

Current status

After completing the main development phase, several units Tar-21 were transferred to operating units Israeli Defense Forces for final combat trials. In this case, two platoons armed By Tavor, and two – in service at that time M16. All of them were given the same tasks and almost identical conditions were created. As a result Tar-21 in fact, he proved his advantage, in particular – a higher accuracy of shooting in a stationary position and in motion.

But the tests did not end there – in 2002 Tar-21 entered the service of several companies of the Givati ​​Brigade, which was actively involved in the special operation “The Protective Wall”. Efficiency and reliability were again confirmed, so in July 2002, the commander of the troops, Iftah, Ron-Tal, announced Tar-21 into service IDF. Officially, the assault rifle became the official weapon of the Israeli army and special forces a little later – on March 31, 2004.

Originally Tar-21 mainly special forces were equipped, but by 2006 it began to take on arms and units of army infantry. for example in 2008 Tar-21 were issued to recruits from the Golani brigade, thus completing the first phase of the transition of the Israeli army from M16 and M4 more efficient and modern Tavor.

However, in 2010 Tar-21 was replaced by a shortened version – MTAR-21, which was much easier to wear and use directly in a combat situation.

Weapon Series Tavor TAR-21

  • Tar-21 – basic version.
  • GTAR-21 – Basic version plus grenade launcher.
  • Tar-OICW – High-tech version of the basic version, which added a ballistic computer, data transmission lines, a laser rangefinder and various electronic sighting devices.
  • CTAR-21 (Commando TAR) – differs from the basic version with reduced weight and shortened barrel. Intended for employees of special forces.
  • STAR-21 (Sharpshooter TAR) – basic version plus bipod and telescopic sight (ACOG fourfold).
  • T.C.-21 (Tavor Carbine) – a special variety for the civilian market – self-loading and slightly shortened.
  • MTAR-21 (Micro TAR) – the most compact option. Differences from the basic version (for model X95):
  • Barrel length 330 mm, option X95l – 419 mm and in the version with built-in silencer X95s – 275 mm.
  • Changed the shape of the forearm, increased the diameter of the girth across to better cool the barrel and protect the hands of the shooter from overheating;
  • Picatinny Planks top and bottom handguards as standard. The ability to install additional strips – on the side of the forearm and on the side of the receiver;
  • Collimator sight “Mafrolayt” in the basic configuration. It works without third-party batteries, accumulating light during daylight hours from the sun and spending at night (when the collimator sight was removed, it was possible to use the standard aiming device “front sight”);
  • The shutter handle is shifted behind the forearm. Thus, problems with safe entry to closed premises are eliminated (when using TAR-21 of old models – the shutter handle located in the front part of the forearm – clung to door jambs and window openings, which caused the possibility of misfiring due to underloading);
  • Full grip trigger Tar-21 replaced with the usual one (coverage of the trigger only) – in order to facilitate the construction, change the weight of the weapon with the center of gravity backward;
  • The rubberized backplate of the butt was removed; only a plastic cover was left – in order to facilitate and reduce the design;
  • Removed the possibility of firing bursts (position of the fire interpreter – only “fuse / single”) – in order to increase the effectiveness of firing and reduce the dynamic loads on the weapon and the shooter when firing with bursts of light weapons.
  • Weight without ammunition and sight – 2.95 kg;
  • Effective range: on the head target – up to 100 m, on the chest target – up to 150 meters, on the full height target – up to 300 m.
  • Used as a self-defense weapon (Personal Defense Weapon according to Western terminology) of vehicle crews
  • Can be converted into a submachine gun of 9 mm or .40 S&W by replacing the barrel, bolt group and installing a special adapter in the receiver for stores.
  • MTAR-21 model X95R – option chambered for 5.45? 39 mm. Differs relatively elongated barrel length 330 mm.
  • MTAR-21 “Zittara” – a micro-Tavor Indian production, specially adapted for the Indian cartridge 5.56? 30mm MINSAS (Eng.).
  • MTAR-21 X95 7.62 – the same micro-Tavor, only adapted to NATO caliber 7.62? 51 mm. This change was reported by the IWI staff in March 2013, citing the change by the fact that increased lethality and increased effective range are important for current combat operations.


Tavor TAR-21

Assault rifle Tavor TAR-21

Tavor TAR-21 assault rifle shooting

  • Caliber: 5.56 × 45 (.223 Remington)
  • Weapon length: 725 mm
  • Barrel length: 460 mm
  • Weapon height: 220 mm
  • Mass without cartridges: 3.28 kg.
  • Rate of fire: 700-1000 shots / min
  • Magazine capacity: 30 rounds

Tavor CTAR-21

An assault rifle is intended for employees of Israeli special forces units. Tavor CTAR-21 (Commando), which is additionally equipped with a tactical flashlight, two types of sights (optical and collimator), and also supplied with a special front handle.

  • Caliber: 5.56 × 45 (.223 Remington)
  • Weapon length: 640 mm
  • Barrel length: 380 mm
  • Weapon height: 220 mm
  • Mass without cartridges: 3.18 kg.
  • Rate of fire: 700-1000 shots / min
  • Magazine capacity: 30 rounds

Tavor STAR-21

This kind of assault rifle is designed for sniper combat, the poet is equipped with high-precision telescopic sight and adjustable bipod. Tavor STAR-21 widespread among most special forces IDF.

  • Caliber: 5.56 × 45 (.223 Remington)
  • Weapon length: 725 mm
  • Barrel length: 460 mm
  • Mass without cartridges: 3.4 kg.
  • Firing Rate: 750-900 shots / min
  • Magazine capacity: 30 rounds

Tavor MTAR-21 (Mini Tavor)

Tavor MTAR-21 assault rifle (Mini Tavor)

Tavor MTAR-21 It is characterized by increased compactness and invisibility, therefore it is a regular weapon for law enforcement officers and military special forces.

  • Caliber: 5.56 × 45 (.223 Remington)
  • Weapon length: 590 mm
  • Barrel length: 330 mm
  • Mass without cartridges: 3 kg.
  • Firing Rate: 750-900 shots / min
  • Magazine capacity: 30 rounds

Video about the amazing reliability of Tavor TAR-21


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