When IWI US—Israel Weapon Industries—introduced its SAR bullpup carbine to the American market in 2013, it was a huge success, although the company’s engineering team didn’t rest on its laurels. Demand for the nimble 5.56 mm NATO, .300 Blackout and 9 mm NATO chambered firearms was heavy, but improvements were quickly in the works.
Rigorous testing and consumer feedback fueled the creation of the platform’s next generation, the Tavor X95. Unveiled in 2016 and claiming a prestigious NRA Publication’s Golden Bullseye award by the next year—the first in which it was eligible for the honor—sales soared.
The popularity spelled the demise of the original SAR. In September 2017, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for IWI US Michael Kassnar announced, “The market has spoken, and it prefers the Tavor X95. We will phase out the Tavor SAR production over the next few months and concentrate on our X95…”
Among the improvements were a redesigned fire-control pack, with a trigger let-off weight that measured between 5 and 6 pounds—rare figures in bullpups. The ambidextrous magazine release was moved to the traditional AR-15 position, there were fore-end Picatinny rails at the 3-, 6- and 9-o’clock positions with covers, the charging handle was relocated back toward a shooter’s center mass and more. MSRP was $1,999 for the base model, a price that remains unchanged to this day.
There are seven different models currently in the X95 family. Barrel lengths available in 5.56 mm NATO chambering include 16.5" and 18.5", with the SBR version wearing a 13" barrel. In .300 Blackout, the barrel measures 16.5", and the 9 mm NATO comes in at 17".
A long-stroke gas piston system runs the rifle-cartridge-chambered semi-automatics. The 9 mm NATOs are closed-bolt, blowback operated. There’s even a southpaw friendly 5.56 mm NATO wearing a 16.5" barrel with black polymer furniture. All others are available in black or flat dark earth patterns, with one OD green option (5.56 mm NATO with 16.5" barrel).
AR15-style magazines are used in all X95s, with the exception of the 9 mm NATO models where an IWI “Colt Style” version is employed. Barrels are cold-hammer forged, the guns’ overall lengths run from 26.125" to 28.125" (the SBR measures 22.8") and they tip the scales somewhere between 7.5 and 8 lbs.
MSRP across the entire line is $1,999 with the exceptions of the model designed for sale in more restrictive regions of the country and .300 Blackouts. They come in at $2,049.