IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup Review [2020]: Legit or a Dud?

In this Tavor TS12 Bullpup Shotgun review we’ll be covering the Tavor TS12 and its specifications.

We’ll also check out how the TS12 shapes up against other Bullpup Shotguns that are out there.

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IWI TAVOR TS12 BULLPUP SHOTGUN

TAVOR TS12 BACKGROUND

Israeli 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.

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.

TAVOR TS12 SPECS

Barrel Length

18.5″

Caliber

12 Gauge

Sights

Rail Mounted

Action

Semi-Automatic

Overall Length

28.34″

Shotguns have always had capacity limitations. The TS12 by IWI aims to help solve this.

Shotguns usually have tubular magazines under the barrel – this means that shotgun shells are held in the magazine front to end, in a line longways. Therefore, if you wanted high capacity in a shotgun (8 rounds is generally high capacity), then you need a long shotgun. For example. 8 2-3/4″ shogun shells add up to 22″ in length! Adding some extra room for hardware, compressed spring, and follower, this means that the shotgun barrel needs to be about 24″ long – too long for defensive/combat use in small quarters.

Some shotguns are now using detachable box magazines that hold the shotgun shells above each other like standard rifle or pistol magazines. However, these are not always reliable and have similar capacity limitations – an 8 round magazine is still very large.

Not only does IWI’s TS12 Bullpup design allow for a shorter overall length, the TS12 also has a very novel concept: a rotating tubular magazine. This not only triples magazine capacity, it also allows the shooter to select between 3 different types of shotgun shells (e.g. slugs vs 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

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1 Bull Pup 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.

TAVOR TS12 REVIEW – OUR TAKE

We have really started to like bull pup firearms. At first, they seemed a bit..well…awkward because we are so used to standard firearms.

However the Tavor X95 really started to change our mind – that rifle by IWI is absolutely incredible.

So, what would we think about their new bull pup shotgun? We love it!

It might look a bit clunky, but it took us some time playing with it to see its beauty.

Having a shotgun with 15+1 round of ammunition in that short of a package is unheard of! If you want high capacity in a short package for a shotgun, this IWI TS12 is BY FAR your best option.

 

THINGS WE REALLY LIKE ABOUT IT:

Easy to Manage Recoil

The shotgun shoots very well – fast follow-up shots are a breeze!

Easy to Manage Ammo

15+1 rounds is awesome. However, it is even cooler to be able to segregate the ammo into groups of 5. This way, you can have two magazine tube full of 10 rounds of buckshot total and one filled with slugs. You can then easily switch magazine tubes to change ammo types while you shoot! Even better, when the bolt holds open after the last round from a tube is fired, rotating the cylinder to a full tube automatically loads and closes the bolt! That is such a cool feature, I wouldn’t have even though to ask for it.

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

 

NEGATIVE SIDE TO THE TS12 REVIEW

While there are many things to like about the TS12, not everything is perfect.

While I personally love the three barrels that allow for a capacity of of 15+1, there is a bit of a problem. I found it hard to remember which barrel had what type of shell in it.

In an ideal world, we’d remember which one of the three carried slugs or buckshot. However, that usually isn’t the case when it’s a ‘oh sh*t’ moment. So, how does one get around this?

After shooting the TS12 at Shot Show, I’ve placed an order for one. When I get mine, thanks to my FFL, I intend to add sandpaper tape to the barrel where my left hand will go in order to feel which tube will have the slugs. This way, in the dark or in duress, I can ‘feel’ the tube and know with certainty which type of shell I have loaded. I’d recommend the same tactic for others until Tavor figures out how to better indicate this.

Still, I loved it so much I bought my own personal unit.

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

RELIABILITY

Like all IWI firearms we’ve had our hands on, the TS12 is super reliable!

A+
ACCURACY

As accurate as a shotgun can be.

A
CUSTOMIZATION

Easily changes from Right to Left hand configuration and a full length picatinny rail makes it easy to add accessories.

A
ERGONOMICS

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

A+
VALUE

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

A
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FINAL GRADE : A+

The Tavor TS-12 is one of our absolute favorites here at Gun University. But that doesn’t mean it comes with everything you’re gonna need. There are some basic must-haves every gun owner should get alongside any new firearm.

Normally, we’d have the best magazines or extensions up on this list. However, the Tavor TS-12’s unique design rotating, triple-tube magazine kinda has that covered. Aside from that, let’s look at some cool toys for your TS-12.

Best Sights for the TAvor TS-12

The IWI Tavor TS-12 comes with a full-length Picatinny top rail. And there’s nothing better to mount on one than a premium set of optics. Now, a good sight can set you back a penny. But you’re gonna want to get something nice for this. If not, it’s like putting a cheap set of plastic rims on a Rolls Royce.

Leupold DeltaPoint Pro RDS GUn University

Leupold DeltaPoint Pro RDS

Our Editor’s Choice for Optics on the Tavor TS-12 goes to the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro. Leupold’s got a heck of a reputation for making quality sights, and this is no exception. The DeltaPoint Pro comes with a wide field of vision with classic red dot targeting. But what really does it is the Auto Brightness adjust tech and the Motion Sensor Activation. This really brings your weapon into the 21st century making for an enjoyable shooting experience for both novice and masters alike. CHECK PRICE 

If you’re looking to get a big time sight advantage while maintaining the tactility of your bullpup shotgun, the Trijicon RMR might just be the sight for you. It gives you an optimal field of vision with a 3.25 MOA adjustable LED and eight different brightness settings. CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON

Trijicon Sight Gun University

Best Lights for the Tavor TS-12

It really seems like the TS-12 can do it all. And that fact is extended to its use of its top rails.  You can use this to add on many things, but we will focus on  lights here. The TS-12 can fit top rail lights but not underbody lights because of the triple barrel. 

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Surefire X300 Ultra

Truth be told I am not usually a fan of lights because I think it is a little Hollywood and overrated.  However, with that said I can get on board with lights more with Shotguns like the Tavor TS-12,  then handguns. This particular model, has good lighting with 1000 lumens., and it’s relatively easy to mount directly on to your Tavor TS-12 top rail. CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON

After the hype we just gave Surefire, it only makes sense to have another option as a recommended choice. The Surefire M600 is similar to the X300 but with some key differences. First, it’s much better at producing a softer surrounding light illuminating spaces at shorter-to-mid-range level. Next, it’s a bit more ruggedly designed so you’re always ready for battle.  CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON

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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.

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

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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 

Keltec-KSG

How To Care 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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Average rating 4.5 / 5. Vote count: 2

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