• X95 grip
Updated May 2019 with information on selection of the right Tavor magazine.
IWI Tavor X95
Unlike the AR 15, the Tavor has not been historically known as a “Lego gun.” Changes have been made to previous versions, however, and this is no longer the case. IWI X95 accessories are not only more available, but the weapon’s capacity for modularity and customization has been dramatically increased.
As IWI describes it:
One of the only 4 caliber bullpups in the world, the X95 is a versatile weapon platform adaptable for highly diverse combat scenarios. Its simple, tool-free field stripping and 100% interchangeability make the X95 a low maintenance weapon with a significantly reduced total cost of ownership.
In this article, we’ll talk about how we set ours up, specifically addressing options directly available from IWI, but also addressing some of the other accouterments we used. As you’ll see, much of it is virtually identical to the AR 15 furniture you’re probably already familiar with.
Our Tavor X95 Accessories
Our original IWI Tavor X95 only came with a top rail on it. So vertical grips came later when aftermarket forends came out like the excellent one from RPM Tools. The X95, however, conceals some Picatinny rails hidden under removable covers. You just press the little button that pivots in and slide the cover plates forward to remove them. The side rails have QD sockets built into them at the front for attaching a sling to and the covers have a corresponding hole.
Speaking of QD sockets, the X95 has five of them on it to attach a sling in whatever matter you want. We have a Blue Force Gear Vickers Sling on ours. Once the panel is removed all of your normal accessories can attach. We used this area to attach an Arisaka 300 series light using a Haley Strategic mount.
On the bottom rail, we have a BCM Gun Fighter’s vertical grip short. While holding the grip it gives us good access to the light with our thumb. To cover the exposed rails that have nothing attached to them a couple of Magpul XTM rail panels were used making the grip a lot more comfortable. The olive drab color is a fairly close match to the olive drab of the X95.
Best Optic for Tavor
What is the best optic for Tavor? As with any important choice like this, that will be dependent on the individual and the individual mission. However, here is how we set up our Tavor sights and Tavor optic.
The IWI Tavor X95 has built-in flip-up iron sights, however, I like optics and only use irons when I have to, so the search for a scope and mount began. The first thing that was noticed from reading is that the area your cheek rests on the rifle is at the same height as the top rail. When normal height mounts were used you had to tilt your head awkwardly to get a proper sight picture.
Thankfully, ADM (American Defense Manufacturing) has two different mounts: the AD-RECON-H (as we used), and the AD-RECON-PB-H. They seem to be the perfect height to get a useful cheek weld. The other great thing about the scope mount is you can remove it using the QD levers if need be.
In the mount is a Primary Arms ACSS 1-6 Gen 3 Scope. This scope was picked due to the great ratings and the reticle makes ranging easy. Due to the height over bore when using a proper height scope mount the rifle is very susceptible to aiming issues if tilted. Due to this, you need to keep the rifle vertical for best results.
Now onto a few parts, you can get direct from IWI. The first of those being the thin buttpad. The one that comes with the X95 is fantastically padded but rather thick. In the States, this is for legal reasons apparently. In Canada that isn’t an issue so the short plate was ordered significantly reducing the length as you can see below. Let’s be honest this is a 5.56mm gun padding isn’t really needed.
Aftermarket Tavor Grip
The other major change comes in the form of the pistol grip of the X95. The previous version had the built-in guard along the entire front of the grip like the X95 come stock with. Those who are overly familiar with the AR-15 however just wanted a standard trigger guard on their grip. Thankfully this is a fairly cheap aftermarket option for the X95 called the Cutlass Style Pistol Grip. You can even change out the grip panels on it to a different color if you want to accessorize. I am still not sure which of the two I prefer however you now have options. If you are in Canada and want these check with your local dealer they can get them from North Sylva. North Sylva also carries the left-handed bolt and 9mm kit if you want those.
Tavor Trigger – original or aftermarket?
The current trigger is better by an order of magnitude than that of the original Tavor. That Tavor trigger was like a grip strength trainer. So, with the newer models, not a whole lot needs to be done. That said there are two options out that you can use if you want a much better trigger experience. We have used these in the original Tavor and will be getting one of them for the X95. The Geiselle Super Sabra Lightning Bow is a replacement trigger blade that removes the trigger slack. We are certainly getting the lightning bow as there is a lot of slack. The other part is the Super Sabra Trigger Pack which is apparently a marginal upgrade in the X95 as it already has a good pack installed however it will eek out a tiny bit more performance.
Best Tavor Upgrades – What’s Left?
The only other upgrades people tend to make to their IWI Tavor X95, at least that I’m aware of, include some basic modifications like adding a Manticore Arms gasketed ejection port cover for the opposite side if they are running suppressed. Some might change out the flash hider for a brake like the Maple Ridge Armoury Rock-Solid Brake.
Tavor magazine compatibility
Need a Tavor mag? Need 10? Gunmag Warehouse has a rundown on what mags work where. Here’s an excerpt.
Best and Worst Magazines for the IWI X95
The Tavor X95 takes AR15 style magazines, and while most of them will work in the gun, there are differing degrees of compatibility. Of the various makes of magazines I have on hand, only a few of them work the best. I have tested these magazines by inserting them fullly loaded, partially loaded and empty. The best magazine was the Lancer L5AWM 30 round magazine. They dropped free in any condition. The next best magazine was the Gen2 Magpul PMAG. The Gen3 did not drop free when empty and neither did my windowed Gen2 PMAG. My old first-generation PMAG actually worked better than my brand new Gen 3 PMAG. It drops free when empty and is easier to load with 30 rounds than the Gen3.
Troy Battlemags work rather well but needed to be pulled out when there were rounds in the magazine. By far the worst were the Hexmag and GI mags by Okay Industries. Both types saw a lot of friction between the mag well and the magazine bodies. Those magazines were difficult to insert and did not drop free at any stage of magazine capacity.
Read more in IWI X95: Magazine Compatability.
Where to buy Tavor upgrades
Best Bullpup Rifle?
Gunmag Warehouse weighs in on the question of the bullpup rifle as a category and looks at some specific breeds.
“People waited a long time for the X95 to hit the US Market. The original Israeli Tavor rifle was a big hit here as a modern bullpup platform that was widely available and not too expensive. Best of all is that is uses AR magazines. The X95 is the closest we can get to the actual Israeli service rifle and there is a distinct level of cool to that. The X95 suffered some accuracy issues early on, but it seems those have been ironed out these days. The X95 is also modular and can be rechambered with kits to make it a 300 Blackout or 9mm rifle.” [Read The Top 6 Bullpups]
IWI Tavor X95 accessories – reader’s choice
Did we miss anything here? Have you set up your rifle differently? Do you have a preference for a different optic, trigger, or another important accessory? If so, let us know in the comments.
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Gratuitous Gun PrØn: Tavor X95’s Sighted on Instagram.
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