IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup Review: Gimmick or Legit?

by Dave Chesson

March 15, 2024



I’ve been a fan of IWI firearms since they became popular in 1933, so naturally, I’ve been keeping an eye on their latest releases. So, when I heard about their Tavor Bullpup, I knew I had to check it out. Having spent a lot of time with this gun, I want to share my thoughts on it in this IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup review. We’ll also see how it compares to other Bullpup shotguns.

Now, I first reviewed the TS12 in 2022. Since then, I’ve used it extensively, firing off hundreds of rounds. This extra time using it has really helped me understand and appreciate this firearm better. So, read on to find out what I now think about the Tavor TS12.

Tavor TS12 Specs

  • Barrel Length 18.5″
  • Caliber 12 Gauge
  • Capacity 15+1
  • Sights Rail Mounted
  • Action Semi-Automatic
  • Overall Length 28.34″
  • Weight 8 lbs

IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup Review – Background of Tavor TS12

Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) has earned respect in both the civilian and military firearms communities. IWI is known for making robust and reliable weapons suitable for combat in harsh conditions. Having served as a former Navy officer for the U.S military with a speciality in international arms dealing, I can vouch for the reliability of IWI’s weapons.

Although they make modern versions of some classic firearms like the Galil and the Uzi, IWI is most known for their bull-pup firearms in their Tavor line.

They first came out with the Tavor SAR rifle in 5.56mm NATO, then the Tavor X95 rifle with improved ergonomics, then the Tavor 7 in 308 Win, and now the Tavor TS12 shotgun.

With the TS12, IWI aims to address the capacity limitations that had long been associated with shotguns through its innovative design.

Shotguns usually have tubular magazines underneath the barrel, storing shells in a line lengthwise. To achieve high capacity (around 8 rounds), a longer shotgun is needed. For example, 8 standard 2-3/4″ shells add up to about 22″ in length. Considering extra room for hardware, compressed springs, and follower, the shotgun barrel needs to be approximately 24″ long—too long for close-quarters defensive or combat use.

Some shotguns now use detachable box magazines, stacking shells like rifle or pistol magazines. However, these aren’t always reliable and still have capacity limits— an 8-round magazine is still quite large.

IWI’s TS12 Bullpup design features a shorter length and an innovative rotating tubular magazine. This triples magazine capacity and allows shooters to choose between three types of shotgun shells, like slugs or buckshot.

If you’re thinking of making the TS12 your next bullpup shotgun purchase we’ve discovered a few things you’ll definitely want to know first. So read on to get the full unbiased Gun University take on the Tavor TS12 bullpup shotgun.

Tavor TS12 Features

1 Bullpup Design

Moving the action to the butttock saves considerable size and length. This is a huge benefit for a shotgun where compact size and capacity are typically trade-offs.

2 High Capacity/Rotating Magazine Tubes

15 round capacity in a shotgun is amazing enough. But, adding the ability to rotate and change between magazine tubes is a big benefit.

3 Full Length Picatinny Top Rail

Tactical shotguns often have picatinny rails on top of receivers but they are only the length of the receiver. The TS12 has a full-length rail that allows the forward mounting of accessories and sights.

IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup Review – Our Take

First off, I’ve really started to like bullpup firearms. At first, they seemed a bit…well…awkward because I’ve been so used to standard firearms.

However, the Tavor X95 really started to change my mind – that rifle by IWI is absolutely incredible and has become one of my favorite rifles. Don’t believe me, check out my author bio on Gun University where each of our authors list their favorites.

So, what do I think of the TS12? Well, let’s start by truly understanding what it is and its purpose. IWI started the TS12 project with the idea of creating a 15+1 semi automatic 12 gauge shotgun in a tight package. With that in mind, I think they knocked it out of the park. I mean, this really is the only way to get 16 shells into this size of a shotgun…and, with how it operates, it’s excellent.

However, that being said, it’s not without some issues. Let’s start with some of the positives I ran across while test firing this both in the rain, and in better conditions.

Man holding a IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup

Things I Really Like About It:


I really liked the ergonomics of the IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup, and a couple of things really stand out to me.

First, the trigger pull was incredibly smooth and consistent. It felt so comfortable and really eased the strain on my trigger finger, especially during those long shooting sessions. This made it a lot easier to stay accurate and in control, even when I was firing rapidly.

But what really blew me away was the strategically located loading port. It was positioned perfectly for quick and efficient reloading, allowing me to keep my focus on the target without any distractions. This made shooting with the TS12 a truly enjoyable experience and helped me maintain a high level of accuracy session after session.

Easy to Manage Recoil

The shotgun shoots very well with fast follow-up shots being a breeze. I think a lot of this is due to the overall weight of the gun, and it’s pivot point due to the location of the barrel being comparatively lower than most shotguns. For 12-gauge shotgun, this has the best recoil management I’ve experienced. I even had my wife test it as well, and she was able to handle it better than any other 12-gauge – although the weight was still a little much for her. Furthermore, with its pistol grip, it is very easy to handle.

Easy to Manage Ammo

The fresh tube design of the TS12 was a standout feature for me. With its rotating tubular magazine system, reloading was quick and effortless. I liked being able to segregate the ammo into groups of 5, so I could have two magazine tubes filled with 10 rounds of buckshot and one filled with slugs. This setup made switching between ammo types seamless. Plus, when the bolt held open after the last round from a tube was fired, rotating the cylinder to a full tube automatically loaded and closed the bolt! It’s a cool feature I wouldn’t have even thought to ask for.

Shell Ejection Capability

IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup shell ejection

With most shotguns, you have to cycle through all the shells to get them out. But with the TS12, I can choose any tube, press the bolt release button, and it’ll eject and catch the shells. This made the ejection process easy. Plus, I could manually eject the shells too. It’s that simple and efficient.

Material and Extra Features

Just about everything on this shotgun, except for one thing, which I’ll bring up later, is extremely sturdy and well made. It feels durable, and wasn’t cheaply put together. Also, the inclusion of QD sling swivels is a great addition and I wish more companies would do that.

Small size, reliability, high capacity, ammo management, and shootability. What’s not to like? The Tavor TS12 gets an A+ from us!

Things I Didn’t Like About It

Reliability Issues

Right out of the box without any extra care, we tested this out in the field on a rainy day. We basically experienced a 1 out of 25 issue with the shell catching in the ejection port. However, after cleaning it and taking it out again and again, it has fired much better with a ~2 out of 100 catching, which I think is much more acceptable for a semi-automatic shotgun firing at the rate I do, and at this price. I’ve recently updated this article since I’ve now had it for over 2 years, and it has performed even better over time. I therefore, think this needs good cleaning and lube in order to get in working order. Now you might say that this could be an isolated incident, but I’ve talked to a couple of other TS12 owners and they have said the same thing.

Rotation Lever Material

I’m only going to point this out because it just doesn’t feel right. The rotation lever you press to rotate the magazine tube feels a bit chintzy. However, after all my use, I haven’t had a problem with it. It’s in a great place and allows me to easily rotate tubes. I only point it out because it was a bit surprising. It’s more like a quality of a part you’d expect to find on a Kel-Tec and for all you Kel-Tec lovers out there, you know exactly what I mean by that.

My Final Thoughts on the IWI Tavor TS12

Originally, we requested IWI send us one to try out for this review and ensured we’d return in immediately upon finishing up our tests. However, I loved this shotgun so much that I requested to personally pay them for it so I could keep it and add it to my collection.

I’ll admit, I don’t exactly have a purpose for it. I could use it as my home-defense shotgun due to its capacity and size. Also, as it goes for 12-gauge home-defense shotguns, it’s a good fit for my wife since it has great control and recoil, plus she loves the look and size of it. But that doesn’t mean it’s a perfect “home-defense” shotgun for most others…and my wife is a bit different than most.

However, the real reason I wanted this is because of how fun it is to shoot, and the wow factor it gets. Whether it’s with others at the range, or my shooting buddies, it’s been a novel gun that many have enjoyed, as well as myself. There’s no denying it turns heads at the range.

So, in the end I think IWI nailed it with what they intended to create. Whether I have a purpose or not for the gun – that could be argued, but

IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup Review – Video

Tavor TS12 Pros and Cons

  • Bull-pup Design
  • High Capacity
  • Full-length Picatinny Rail
  • Ability to Change Between 3 Different Mags
  • Available Benellie/Beretta Chokes
  • Semi-Auto
  • Easy to change Ambidextrous
  • Heavy
  • Pricey
  • Short, but Large
  • No Markings to Differentiate Mag Tubes

Report Card


Rapid fire is a breeze with low recoil


Right out of the box, we had some issues, however, since cleaning it and testing it, it’s been great.


The bullpup design and the ability to change magazine tubes make this shotgun super easy to use


As accurate as a shotgun can be.


It is pricey, but you are getting a TON for the money


Our Grade


Reviewed by Dave Chesson

Reader’s Grade


Based on 43 Reviews

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Ammo for the Range

Remington Gun Club 12 Gauge

Remington Gun Club

Cost Per Round
Sportsmans Guide $0.31
Palmetto State Armory $0.51

Ammo for Defense

S&B 12 gauge Buckshot

S&B 12 Gauge Buckshot

Cost Per Round
Sportsman’s Guide $0.61
Brownells $0.75

IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup Review – FAQS

What is the capacity of the magazine tubes on the IWI Tavor TS12?

Each magazine tube on the IWI Tavor TS12 has a capacity of 5 rounds, allowing for a total capacity of 15+1 rounds. This generous capacity ensures you have plenty of firepower on hand for various shooting situations.

Is the IWI Tavor TS12 suitable for left-handed use?

Yes, the IWI Tavor TS12 is designed to be ambidextrous, so it’s suitable for both left-handed and right-handed shooters.

Does the IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun use a gas piston system?

Yes, the IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun uses a gas piston system. It’s pretty neat because it helps keep things running smoothly and reduces recoil for you.

How can I manually eject shells from the IWI Tavor TS12?

Manual shell ejection with the IWI Tavor TS12 is simple. All you have to do is select the magazine tube you want to eject shells from, press the bolt release button, and watch as the shells are smoothly ejected.


If you’ve decided to pick up a Tavor TS-12, or found another firearm suits your needs, there are some bare essentials you’re going to need to pick up in order to maximize its potential and your safety regardless of if it’s your first firearm or not.

Best Accessories for the Tavor TS-12

With the QD points, picatinny rail and other aspects, there are some things you can and should consider adding to your IWI TS12 shotgun.

Best Accessories for the Tavor TS-12

  • Reliable & Durable
  • Water Resistant
Check Price
Leupold Deltapoint Pro
  • Lightweight aluminum housing
  • Wide Field-of-view
  • Auto-Brightness sensor
Check Price
SureFire X300U Weapon Light
  • 1,000 lumens
  • Attaches securely to both Universal and Picatinny
  • CR123A Batteries
Check Amazon
Magpul QD Sling Swivels
  • Push-button quick-detach sling swivel for 1-1/4 in webbing
  • Manganese-phosphate finished steel
  • Compatible with QD sling attachment points
Check Price
VTAC Wide Padded Quick Adjust Sling
  • High-quality, Battle proven gear
  • 100% polyester
  • Adaptable and Comfortable
Check Amazon

I’ve become a bit of a fan of the EOTech holographic sites for things like shotguns with picatinny rails. If find that with the general lack of pinpoint accuracy with a shotgun, the larger holographic sight really works well. Plus with the adjustable intensity and other features, I think the EOTech 512 is a good choice.

If you’re thinking of using this as a home-defense shotgun, then you might want to consider a light. However, I think this is a bit overkill and I’m not exactly sold as this being a home-defense shotgun since there are better defense shotguns out there for that purpose.

Now, thanks to the QD points, adding a sling is very easy – and this is something you really should consider because of the overall weight of the TS12. Because of that, I went with the extra padded VTAC Sling. I might be a bit biased, but I do think that VTAC makes some of the best rifle slings out there, and so do some of our other writers.

TS12 vs Kel Tec KSG: How do they Compare?

Anyone who’s looking at the IWI TS12 is probably thinking about the Kel Tec KSG as well…and rightfully so. They’re comparable in that they are both bullpup shotguns with larger magazine capacity. However, there are some major differences that tips one over the other.

IWI Tavor TS12

  • Final Grade : A
  • MSRP : $1,399.00
Gauge 12 GA
Weight 8 lbs
Overall Length 28.34″
Height 10.23″
Barrel Length 18.5″
Capacity 15+1
Check Price

Kel Tec KSG

  • Final Grade : C
  • MSRP : $720.00
Gauge 12 GA
Weight 6.9 lbs
Overall Length 26.1″
Height 10.48″
Barrel Length 18.5″
Capacity 14+1
Check Price

And while I intend to do a full side-by-side comparison later on in Gun University, I’ll give you a quick and dirty on what my take will be:

I love this bullpup shotgun more than the Kel-Tec KSG. It has better recoil, capacity, and there is no shell ejection directly into my arm – which really sucks. Plus the TS12 is semi-automatic shotgun, whereas the KSG is a pump action. Plus the TS12 is sturdier and made of better quality parts.

However, that being said, the KSG is about $600 cheaper, and 1 lb lighter, which can be significant for some. But all in all, I like the TS-12 better, and think it’s worth the extra money.

Other Bullpup Shotguns of its Class to Check Out

In our eyes, this is the best bullpup shotgun hands-down. As a matter of fact, it’s becoming one of our favorite shotguns period. However, there’s one major downside to the Tavor TS-12. And that’s the price. But if you’re still in the market for a bullpup shotgun, consider these two alternatives.

#1 EAA MKA 1923

EAA MKA 1923

The purpose behind the MKA 1923 was to bring the quality associated with MKA weaponry to a new bullpup shotgun packed with innovation and quality.

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  • Shootability B-
  • Reliability A
  • Ergonomics B
  • Accuracy A
  • Value A+

Our Grade


Reader’s Grade


Based on 4 Reviews

Your Grade

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If we had to choose another bullpup shotty instead of the TS-12, it’d have to be this one. It’s a solid choice and scores well in just about any criteria we’re looking for. Sure, it isn’t the best out there, but it’s far from the worst. Not to mention, it comes in at a price point much, much friendlier than that of the TS-12…READ MORE

#2 Kel Tec KSG

Kel Tec KSG

Sold at PalmettoStateArmory.comBrownells.comGuns.com

The KSG is Kel Tec’s first foray into the shotgun market. In fact, the gun is so significant to the company that KSG simply stands for Kel Tec Shotgun

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  • Shootability A
  • Reliability B
  • Ergonomics D
  • Accuracy A
  • Value A

Our Grade


Reader’s Grade


Based on 47 Reviews

Your Grade

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Success Your Grade Has Been
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KelTec fans, head’s up! If you haven’t gotten your hands on the KSG, you might want to give it a go. It’s a pretty solid choice as a bullpup shotgun. However, unlike the EAA and Tavor, it’s a pump action. But hey, that might just be right up your alley…READ MORE

How to Care for Your Tavor TS-12

With all the features the Tavor TS-12 has, you might expect taking down this weapon for maintenance to be relatively difficult. But in all reality, it’s a lot simpler than you think. Aside from the manual, the folks over at IWI US have put together a great instructional video showing you how to disassemble the weapon and get it back together.

We can’t stress this enough….The Tavor TS-12 is going to set the bar for future bullpup shotguns to come. So if you’re interested in learning more about this amazing weapon, check out our recommended reading list.


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About Dave Chesson

Dave Chesson is prior Navy with a specialty in international arms dealing for the US government across multiple countries. Having traveled the world and abided by ATF and ITAR, Roy has a unique background in legal as well as practical capabilities of weapons deployment and use.

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