by David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
May 6, 2003
Several months ago, DefRev attended the AUSA 2003 Winter Symposium (Feb. 26-28). During the show, we ran into the fine people at IMI (Israel Military Industries), and got a chance to handle their Tavor assault rifle variants, the Tavor TAR-21 Commando Carbine (shortened version of the Tavor assault rifle, a.k.a. TAR-21 Assault Rifle) and Tavor-2 Subcarbine/SBR (Short-Barreled Rifle). The IMI Tavor TAR-21 Commando carbine and Tavor-2 subcarbine are both compact versions of the standard bullpup assault rifle/carbine and part of a family of weapons slated to replace all the M16's and M4 Carbines currently in service with the Israeli army. Every weapon utilizes a lightweight polymer receiver.
The guns we handled at the show handled well. All the controls seemed well placed and the guns' respective ergonomics appeared to be excellent for bullpup carbines/subcarbines. The guns felt good in the hands. That said, bullpups are not really this author's personal favorite configuration. DefRev did not get a chance to actually fire the weapons, but we've got some video of one of the IMI executives explaning the weapon along with the MARS optical gunsight.
Frankly, I'm not educated enough on the topic to render an opinion about the advantages/disadvantages of having the optical gunsight mounted directly to the barrel, but it seemed to make sense as it was explained to me. The IMI representative explained that you can mount a night vision monocular/scope behind the MARS and not have to re-zero (or was it just plain "zero"?). You can see and hear this in the video. Apparently, once you attach the NOD (Night Observation Device), it's automatically zeroed since the rear mounting area is on the same plane as the MARS mount. I did like the idea of having a visible targeting laser and flip-up back-up iron sights that are both co-witnessed with the MARS optical gunsight's red dot reticle. I also appreciated the relatively light weight of both guns.
Towards the end of the video is footage of yours truly, DefRev's humble editor-in-chief (David Crane) handling both of the Tavor assault rifle variants–the TAR-21/Tavor Commando Carbine and Tavor-2 Subcarbine–at AUSA Winter Symposium 2003. Before you download the video, you should know that it's a fairly large file, as the video has a running time of several minutes. Only people with internet connections at the same speed of ADSL or Cable Modem and faster (T1 and T3) should attempt to download the video.
By the way, we're very interested in your feedback. Please email us and let us know what you think about the video. We'd like to keep making them for our members and readers.
Very Important Instructions for Downloading and Playing Video(s): If you’d like to see the Tavor TAR-21 Commando Carbine/Tavor-2 Subcarbine video DefRev recently shot at the AUSA 2003 Winter Symposium, please follow these steps, to the letter : 1) Right-click on the link to the video (below). 2) Left-click on "Save Target As…" inside the box that pops open to save the video to your "Desktop" or area of choice. 3) Once download is complete and the video file is sitting on your desktop, right-click on the file icon and then left-click on "Play" inside the box that's opened up. This should automatically launch your Microsoft Windows Media player so you can watch the video you've downloaded(at this time, we’re not sure that Apple users will be able to view it). The video is in MPEG II format, so you will need an MPEG II decoder on your system. Currently, you cannot view these videos using Quicktime or RealVideo. Remember, you must right-click on one of the links below to download the video you've chosen properly and then you must right-click again on the file icon once you've saved it to your "Desktop" or chosen area, in order to view it using your Microsoft Windows Media Player. This process is different from using the standard clicking method, where you click using the left side of your mouse.
Right-click here to download and view the Tavor TAR-21 Commando Carbine/Tavor-2 Subcarbine video.