Something I’ve been mulling over for the past week or so were Tim Chandler’s comments on shotgun selection at the class I took with him. The advice he gave about avoiding detachable box mags seemed hard to understand to me at the time. Like, I get that you need a reliable gun, but people run guns with mags all the time for defense, so it had to be more than that. I think I now see where he’s coming from… and I think it stems from not really understanding that, much like a rifle, expecting one shotgun to do it all is not reasonable or viable.
I’ve been enjoying quite a lot of high quality training this year, but have wanted to see what the other quality instructors in the area have been offering. One thing I’ve never done before is take a shotgun class, so I was very interested in the Home Defense Shotgun class that Tim Chandler and FPF Training offer. Tim has been on the Primary and Secondary podcast, and enjoys an amazing reputation for his courses.
I was fortunate enough to be able to get in to it, and have an AAR for you… more after the break!
As mentioned in my last AAR, I’ve been trying to really push myself in training this year… the goal has been one class a month, which requires a bit of fiscal and time management. But it’s really worth it. Dry-firing every day can get you fast, but having someone experienced to give you immediate feedback on your technique is SO helpful.
With that in mind, I’m very pleased to give my readers another AAR on a Green Ops class: the defensive pistol I clinic. I’m typing this the morning after; a bit sore, but happy with the class and what it taught me. I always like to say this up front, so… this is an excellent class, and if you’re in the DC area, it’s absolutely worth taking. At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, Green Ops delivers every time.
Interesting news from IWI on Facebook:
I suspect they’re sensitive to accuracy after the related concerns with the X95. Still, this gives us a nice picture of what’s presumably an almost-production rifle in black… not a fan of the brake, but looks great otherwise!
So, I have been less active posting to the blog because I’ve been buying less and doing more. This is not a bad state of affairs, but can admittedly be on the boring side of things if you’re the reader of an Israeli firearms blog! (It also didn’t help that IWI hasn’t released any of their new guns yet… so much for release dates.)
One of the things I’ve been doing more of is training. Training is a tough commitment, but I’m in a place in my life where I’m finally in condition to do more of it, and I’ve been trying to make a priority of it. Finding good trainers is hard – most of them seem content to do CCW courses and “your first gun!” classes. There’s nothing wrong with those, but when you want more advanced training, you’re either looking harder or traveling.
I am very pleased to say that Green Ops in northern Virginia is one of those real-deal advanced training providers, and they’re worth every penny you throw their way. I’ve taken a number of courses with them, and this after-action review is for their Defensive Carbine Clinic.
IWI-US posted an update to their website today about the release dates for the Tavor 7 rifle, TS-12 shotgun, and Masada handgun:
TAVOR® 7 – Shipping to retailers beginning mid-July, with full-production quantities coming within 60-90 days. Initial offering will be limited to T716B (Black) with T716FDE (Flat-dark Earth) and T716ODG (OD-Green) coming in 2019.
TAVOR® TS12 Shotgun – Shipping to retailers beginning mid-fourth quarter. Initial offering will be limited to TS12B (Black) with TS12FDE (Flat-dark Earth) and TS12ODG (OD-Green) coming in 2019.
MASADAPistol – Full-production quantities to begin shipping to US retailers beginning in January 2019.
So, basically, we’ll see a bit of the Tavor 7 in a month, the TS12 around Thanksgiving, and everything else in 2019. This is not surprising, but it is still disappointing. Keep saving those shekels, I suppose.
I had the opportunity to take a carbine class with Green Ops recently, and because I am an iconoclast and easily influenced by my friends, I ran it with my stock Tavor. (Not to worry, I had my IDF-style Colt Commando in my trunk as a backup.) This was the first time I had ever really run the Tavor hard, and I’ve got some new feelings about the platform. Optic, for reference, was the Mepro RDS, which worked great and I have no complaints about.
The only big issue I had with the Tavor in class is reloading speed. I’d argue that the problem is not really getting the old magazine out (I’m a mag ripper by temperament), but rather getting the bolt back into battery. The bolt release is just in a really awkward place, so you either wind up hitting it (which is slow and awkward) or racking the CH (which is a touch-slower but less awkward). The X95 seems to have a better design on this front, but it’s still not that hot due to the bolt release being roughly the same concept (albeit moderately improved). I am going to shake down a buddy of mine with an X95 to see how I feel about it.
The factory trigger is also not great for first-round precision due to how heavy it is, but has a really great reset. If I wanted to spend the money on a Geissele pack, this would be a non-issue IMHO. As it is, you’ve got to be a touch slower and more deliberate to make the trigger do what you need it to do. But important thing here: it can do the job.
Switching shoulders during a barricade drill was not a problem due to the case deflector. Yeah, brass flying in front of your face is a theoretically bit unsettling, but if it doesn’t hit you, who cares? I was so totally focused on the drill I barely even noticed.
I did not love the full-length trigger guard. My rifle was slung a little too low, and I could not see the pistol grip. Ordinarily, this would not be a big problem, but I had to be exceedingly careful to not accidentally grab the trigger. In a gun with a traditional trigger guard, I would not have had this concern quite as much.
Finally, I did not love the sling situation on the Tavor. I prefer running the Magpul single point slings when I need to shoot dynamically, and the Tavor is not set up for that out of the box. The GHW Flex Swivel apparently does a reasonable job of providing a way to do this, but they were out of stock everywhere when I was looking for it last month.
Now, all of this said, the gun ran with utter reliability, on a diet of cheap steel-cased ammo to boot. No failures, no stoppages, no failures to lock back, etc. This was true of the other Tavor in the class as well. Really, the only problem was that I ran slower, and I think further practice doing reloads would have alleviated that to some degree. The problem, of course, is that practicing reloads on traditional-format guns that take AR mags makes me faster on all those guns… practicing on a Tavor just makes me faster on a Tavor. Not a problem if you’re a grunt in the IDF, but if you’re an enthusiast in the US, it’s something of a conundrum.