Infantry: August 8, 2002


Israel has decided to re-equip its infantry with the new Tavor-21 rifle, but won't issue a formal contract for some time. The Tavor-21 is to replace those M-16s used by Israeli units. It is lighter and (being a bull-pup design with the action and magazine behind the trigger) shorter than the M-16. It fires the 5.56mm SS109 cartridge of the M-16A2. The weapon is made mostly from polymer materials, and is entirely ambidextrous. The charging handle can be flipped from right to left in the field by partially disassembling the rifle. Two variants, a shorter version for special forces and a longer version for snipers, will also be purchased. The trigger is inside a large hand guard that surrounds the pistol grip and has no trigger guard, allowing soldiers wearing mittens or NBC protection suits to use it.--Stephen V Cole


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