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The IWI Tavor TS12 is a gas-regulated bullpup 12 gauge shotgun. The innovative design feeds shells from three individual rotating magazines that hold four 3-inch shells each.
The unique design appears to be directly out of a science fiction movie.
So without further ado, let’s take a quick look at IWI, and then we will jump into the TS12!
Table of Contents
- History of Israel Weapons Industries (IWI)
- Tavor TS12 Ergonomics
- Tavor TS12 Configuration
History of Israel Weapons Industries (IWI)
Israel Weapons Industries dates back to 1933 when they started as Israel Military Weapons (IMI) and worked with the Israel Defense Force (IDF) to develop advanced small arms technology that focused on building weapons that worked in harsh urban areas environments.
The United States incorporated IWI in 2013 by bringing the first Tavor and SAR to the United States firearms market.
IWI is most known for its bullpup-style weapons. And the company continues to be a favorite in the growing US firearms market.
Tavor TS12 Ergonomics
The IWI Tavor TS12 is an interesting 12 gauge shotgun, to say the least. The bullpup design is largely a love-it-or-hate-it style design.
When you pick it up, the first thing you notice is the weight; it comes in at 8 pounds and 28 inches long. But the way the grip is centered on the gun really evenly distributes its weight.
Tavor TS12 Safety
The IWI TS12 safety is in a unique spot compared to most shotguns. It’s centered at the top of the grip of the shotgun. It features a square with one side having a red line indicating fire and the other side being empty, indicating safe.
Using the safety is actually much more natural than I thought mainly because when I first saw the safety, I immediately thought, “That’s odd.”
You can easily push the safety off with the middle of your pointer finger then return it to safety with the tip of your thumb.
Now for left-handed shooters, this would be reversed, but I can’t comment on the level of comfort this would be to shoot since I’m not wrong-handed. None of that really matters since a bullpup design will not work for a left-handed shorter due to the ejection port.
The pistol grip is one of the first things you’ll notice on the Tavor TS12. The grip is centered in the middle of the gun and is fixed to the shotgun.
The grip is fixed, so there’s no chance of changing it if you don’t like the angle, feel, or texture.
Unlike the CZ Scorpion grip angle, the angle is actually enjoyable and sits well in your hand, making shooting comfortable.
The only complaint I may have about the grip is the texture. It has a textured diamond pattern surface, but it is not very abrasive and does not provide much grip.
The Tavor TS12 and the KelTec CP33 share similar grip positions giving them both very space-age looks.
The Tavor TS12 doesn’t have the traditional “mag release;” however, it would probably make sense to call it the tube magazine release. This button is actually in the trigger well, directly in front of the trigger.
The wide design allows you to press it with your pointer finger quickly, then spin the magazine tube by hand to move on to the next loaded magazine.
The Tavor TS12 has three magazines that spin just under the barrel of the shotgun. This setup allows you to load all three tubes with shotgun shells and then quickly switch to the next tube to keep firing.
This design is unique even for a shotgun because it can hold five 2¾” shells in each tube or four 3″ shells in each tube. That brings the total capacity of all three of the magazine tubes to 15 rounds plus one in the chamber.
Bolt release/hold open
The bolt release and/or hold open sits at the very back of the gun under the shoulder pad/cheek rest.
It can be rather difficult to operate. But with time and practice, it’s relatively easy to use.
The ejection port is located on the right side of the stock portion of the gun.
This is a key design of bullpup-style weapons. For me, it’s one thing I’ve never been fond of, but that’s simply personal preference.
The charging handle is located on the left side of the gun above the fire control group, directly in the middle of the TS12.
The action is definitely not what I would call smooth, as it seems almost gritty when you pull back the charging handle. But I won’t beat up the action too much since it’s a shotgun and all.
Tavor TS12 Configuration
The stock on the Tavor TS12 is excellent and where most of the weight on this gun lives.
It doesn’t affect the balance of the gun due to the placement and angle of the grip.
To disassemble the gun, you start at the top of the baseplate of the stock and press the button on the back of the stock. Then slide the baseplate up to remove it.
One of the nice features of the TS12 is that you don’t need special tools for field stripping.
Gas Cylinder Adjustment
Another unique feature of the piston-driven design of the TS12 is the ability to control the gas setting.
Just under the 1913 top rail on the left side of the gun is an “H” and “L” switch. The “H” is for heavy gas and is suggested for shooting 3-inch shells. The “L” is for light gas and is recommended for 2 ¾-inch shells.
Spray and pray with the Tavor TS12!
However, if you don’t bring your own iron sights, that’s what you’ll be doing.
Granted, this is a shotgun, so unless you are shooting slugs, you’ll probably be okay. Still, I don’t recommend shooting without some sights or optics, though.
The TS12 features a 1913 Picatinny rail that starts midway of the gun and extends all the way to the muzzle.
The TS12 is the perfect shotgun to have a red dot sight slapped on top. Personally, I wouldn’t want to pick flip-ups or stationary irons over an optic for this gun.
Even if your optics battery were dead, you would still have a decent idea of your target. And again, if you aren’t shooting slugs, you’ll likely be on target.
As previously mentioned, the TS 12 has a 1913 Picatinny rail that runs nearly the full length of the top of the gun, so any rail-mounted accessory should be compatible here.
Tavor TS12 M-Lok Slots
The Tavor features 6 M-Lok slots on each side of the shotgun handguard. Four slots are at the 1 o’clock and 11 o’clock positions. Two slots are at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions.
These allow for nearly any M-Lok configuration, including flashlights, sling mounts, etc.
The TS 12 that I am running doesn’t currently have a light setup on it. But nearly any light you’d like could go on this gun.
I pretty much exclusively run Surefire and Streamlight lights, but the modlight has piqued my interest lately.
This shotgun features two QD mounts for quick and easy sling attachment.
The first one is directly behind the charging handle and is on both sides of the gun, making the QD mount ambidextrous.
The second QD sling mount is on the bottom of the buttstock’s side, making it an ambidextrous QD sling mount attachment.
The QD mounts’ two placements make me think they were set up for just single-point sling configurations.
However, you can probably get a two-point sling to work with these placements, but I did not test it to see how well it would work.
How the support hand grips the gun
If you prefer a c-clamp style grip on a weapon, then this gun could be problematic.
The aftermarket accessory market for the Tavor TS12 is rather lacking.
There’s not much you can do accessory-wise to this gun other than optics and flashlight.
I wouldn’t expect many aftermarket parts soon for this gun, given its low volume of production.
The gun is neat and looks spacey. There’s no doubt. But is it practical?
Not sure. It’s definitely a cool “hey, check this out” kind of gun, and there’s no doubt.
But as far as practicality, it lacks a true defined purpose.
Home protection? It could work, but not my first choice.
Truck gun? Nah, too many boxes; this gun doesn’t check for that.
Range toy? Yea, that’s probably more like it.
Either way, any gun enthusiast is going to have bundles of fun with this shotgun. If you are looking for something fun, maybe this is your go-to.
However, if you are looking for a serious defense or mission-specific gun, this one gets a pass for me for one of the many other options on the market.