AR-15 for a Pistol Guy?
I’m a handgun enthusiast, as many of you are. I’m probably considered a bit of a “prepper” too, by those close to me, but I’m not burying food (or ammo)… yet. I’ve noticed the last few years there’s been a craze for building one’s own AR-15. I’ve listened to the pundits argue the merits of the AK-47 over the AR-15, and gas impingement vs. piston actions on these rifles. But I’m a pistol guy! I shoot and reload 9mm. I go to the Indoor Range and shoot my GLOCKs and my SIGs, all in 9mm. I can’t see getting involved with building an AR-15 and getting all worked up about slam-firing pistol grips and weird optics. Don’t even talk about thermal imaging or night-vision! I have a grandchildren and grow vegetables in the backyard. I don’t need night vision goggles or AR-15 parts.
This summer I read that the NRA’s 2013 Rifle Of The Year was the Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Tavor. It’s a 5.56mm NATO bullpup. It’s the semi-automatic version of the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) primary battle rifle, adopted in 2003, and in use by infantry brigades and special forces throughout Israel. There was a complete review in the June 2013 issue of American Rifleman.
For a guy who loves the “ugliness” of the GLOCK, this firearm really looks bizarre! Bullpups have the chamber, magazine and action behind the trigger. The stock is filled with all this goodness, instead of being normally spread across the length of the rifle. This makes the muzzle very light and easy to swing about. Not unlike my GLOCK, the Tavor is mostly made of polymer with the action and barrel in steel. All the pins that hold the rifle together are captured and can be pushed open with a 5.56mm cartridge or punch. The trigger housing is in a little self-contained box. Cleaning is a snap and the rifle stays pretty clean, since the gas is handled by a piston and not blown back into the chamber.
When the average “Joe” mounts a shotgun or rifle to his or her shoulder, there are normally four points of contact; support hand on the forearm, firing hand on the stock, a good cheek weld, and of course the firing shoulder against the butt of the firearm. The Tavor boasts six points of contact with the shooter, adding the shooter’s forearm against the magazine and the support forearm along the foregrip. This rifle is completely ambidextrous, too. The bolt and charging handle can be flipped, along with the ejection port and safety. The magazine release is at the bottom, behind the trigger, so it’s already ambi. With a short 16 1/2″ hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel, this little puppy is very fun to shoot!
Yes. I. bought. it.
Turns out they’ve got a 9mm conversion kit. Who’s the bees knees now? Did I mention that my 9mm suppressor fits beautifully on the Tavor? When I was attached to the Airborne Infantry, our motto was, “Land Soft, Kill Quiet.”
Now it’s a reality. 🙂