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Review

Ares Tavor Review
  • Manufacturer 
     Ares
  • Model 
     Tavor TAR 21
  • Capacity 
     120 rds
  • Weight 
     
  • Power 
     330 fps
  • Motor 
     Ares Motor
  • Hop-up 
     Adjustable
  • Battery 
     9.6v Mini
  • Shooting Mode 
     Safe, Semi, Auto
  • Construction 
     Aluminum, ABS and Fiber Reinforced Polymer

Pros

+ Sturdy build
+ Nice ambidextrous design
+ Great air seal due to hop-up design
+ Compact and accurate
+ Great range
+ Rate of fire
+ Battery housing (9.6v mini + 11.1v lipo)
+ Full Trademarks
+ Realistic weight and finish
 

Cons

- Not easy to access the gearbox
- MARS sight not perfect
- Gearbox is unique, uncharted territory for some users
- Accessing motor requires gearbox disassembly
 

Verdict

A compact yet accurate AEG with realistic feel and looks. Versatile weapon system to use due to its ambidextrous design and takes STANAG mags which are readily available. Can easily change the MARS sight into other aiming devices of your choice without any heavy modifications.

 

Background:

The Tavor rifle, aka TAR21 (Tavor automatic rifle for the 21st century) originates from Israel made by IMI (now privately owned by IWI) and has been a standard issue rifle for Givati and Golanibrigades in the IDF since 2006 and 2008 respectively. It is designed to eventually replace the long serving M16, AR15 and the Galilrifles in Israel. The general aesthetics of this gun is instantly recognized by its modern looks, sharing all of its modern features, which has proven to be useful in previous designs like the French FAMAS, Croatian VHS, Austrian AUG, British SA80 and many others.

Due to its bullpup layout, lightweight polymer housing, integral MARS sight, compatibility with STANAG magazines,backup iron sights as well as its completely modular design allowing several different configurations. This gives this Tavor rifle the versatility that would benefit the soldier on the battlefields today from a compact CTAR version with a shorter barrel for close encounters, the STAR version for the designated marksman and various others that suit the various roles of an infantry. Its design also enables left and right handed users to use the rifle since the charging handle, ejection port, fire selector as well as the magazine release latch are fully ambidextrous. Although some require partial disassembly in order to convert the working mechanism on the opposite side, this conversion does not require a trip to your gunsmith to resolve.

With such versatility without sacrificing functionality, it's no surprise that this rifle has proved to be popular amongst the Israeli forces as well as various other countries too. So far, 12 countries are known to have already purchased or in the process of having the addition of the Tavorin their arsenal.

The Tavor comes in a plain box but is held securely with foam.
The Tavor's trademarks are fully licensed.
Each gun comes with a unique serial number.

Initial impressions.

The ARES Tar21 comes in a box, no surprises there. Although it's nice to see a laser logo on the box stating it's an officially licensed product by IWI and ARES has paid its license duty with Cybergun, adds a nice touch. The box also has an integral carry handle so if you still need to acquire a gun bag or case, the box can temporarily serve as your gun case for now but please remember your local laws with regards to publically displaying articles that may be suspicious. In this case, the various Tavor pictures printed all around the box.

Upon opening the box, you will see your AEG nicely packed into the foam padding firmly securing the AEG, the magazine and loading rod in its own cavities. This drastically minimizes the chance of angry postal workers from damaging your gun. You will also notice a tag attached to the Tavor, it has a manufacturer's tag stating it has been tested, showing the average muzzle velocity, ambient temperature and the date of testing. Although ARES has previously been testing these products before dispatching, ARES has definitely stepped up the game and paid attention to detail and attaching individual tested tags on each AEG they dispatch.

The mold line is visible but it is also present on the real one.
the receiver is one piece making the construction very sturdy.
The upper reciver is secured by two screws and a pin.

The construction and finish on the AEG in general is also of a fine quality where the mold lines are not any worse than the real steel version and where there are joints or areas for its modular platforms, you cannot see any gaps or dimensional mismatch on the joints. Due to its one piece receiver design, it also offers a sturdy platform and definitely feels sturdy to hold, making no creaking noises or wobbles on any parts. Although if you were to compare the finish of the ARES with a real steel Tavor, you will notice that the finish on the real steel equivalent is not as matte as the ARES version. Nonetheless, ARES still replicates this finish pretty well as the materials used on the ARES also replicates the parts seen on the real steel version, so what you see on the real steel that is metal will also be metal on the ARES version. With official licensing from IWI, it is no surprise that it will also have the IWI logo and trademarks on the receiver and to top that off, ARES has also given its unique serial number to every Tavor rifles they produce. So you?re guaranteed the serial number you get is only on the one you own, making your own Tavor that much more special. If you look closely however, you will find on the laser activation switch will have "Forever good int'l ltd tel:85226909441" imprinted on the surface of the switch. Although this is not likely to be noticed at all unless you specifically look into the small parts, this is probably the markings the manufacturer for that specific micro switch has added.

The features of this gun that makes this AEG truly special is towards the rear of the gun. Where you will notice the bolt release also functions as a spring tension release, prolonging the lifespan of your AEG spring as well as making dis assembly much more convenient. On that note, the gearbox also deserves a special mention. Not only can you access the back of the gearbox within the matter of seconds by removing one single pin on the butt plate, the motor alignment screw is right there for you to fine tune your motor alignment. Furthermore, the ARES Tavor has its own unique gearbox where it allows you to change your spring with a very short time only requiring access and slight dis assembly to the gun thanks to its quick release spring design.

The gearbox is not a version 6 as previously rumored but ARES' own unique design
The functioning boltstop is located right behind the magwell.
The buttplate swings open just like the real Tavor to reveal the gearbox and battery compartment.

Performance:

The ARES Tavor chronos consistently at 350fps as expected from the values the testing tag shows. This is most likely due to the integrated hop up unit to the gearbox giving it excellent air seal. Having the ability to house a mini 9.6v battery in the cavity, the rate of fire is pleasingly high without it being too high to destroy your gearbox. If you do decide to increase its rate of fire, this can easily be accomplished by installing a mini 11.1v lipo battery in its battery compartment, it will be a tight fit and modifying it to a deans type connector is recommended for space reduction and better contacts for higher voltage.
Please note: When a 11.1v lipo battery is used, this will significantly increase the wear on your gearbox parts so if you intend to use a 11.1v lipo battery for this, consult your local gunsmith for advice. The accuracy of this gun is decent as it can produce a 3inch grouping at 15metres straight out of the box using .20g Madbull BB.

The ARES Tavor comes with a tag that on the flip side, details the power and serial number of your gun.
Here's another shot of the gearbox, you can see the dummy bolt covering the upper gearbox.
The integrated hop-up chamber makes for a very good airseal on the bb.

Takedown:

Firstly, you need to ensure the AEG is cleared and safe. Fire off a few single shots with the magazine removed, put the AEG on safe and disconnect the battery from the AEG.

First remove the screw behind the MARS sight.
Then lift up the plate with the rear sight.
Remove the two bolts from the foregrip.

Remove the sling pin by unscrewing it and pulling it out.
then lift up and out the upper front receiver.
Be careful not to loose this shim here, it's rather important.

Remove the four screws behind the MARS sight, be careful, they are small and easy to loose.
Lift up the upper receiver by pulling up on the MARS sight.
Under the receiver you will find two screws, remove these to remove the MARS sight.

This is how the mount of the MARS sight looks like. The two holes allow for easy installation of a rail here.
Next we have to loosen the grub screws at the ends of the two silver rods seen here.
To make accessing the rods easier, remove this assembly by removing the two screws holding it down

The black block that connects to the safety comes out.
Remove the pins shown here.
Remove the bolt-stop. This may take a good tug.

In the magwell there are two screws, remove those.
Now the gearbox should come out with a tug. Do not pull too hard, if it doesn't come out you've forgotten a step.

Conclusion:

The Tavor in a nutshell, is a highly ergonomic and combat effective rifle featuring all the new revisions on an assault rifle that would benefit a soldier of today. The AEG performs outstandingly well straight out of the box conforming to most of the fps sites around the world. With its integrated hop unit on the gearbox, this adds to the compression efficiency on the whole system minimizing air leak, so power consistency and shot groupings are not an issue at all. This AEG features potential to be even better with just a few minor modifications and the choices of mods are endless. For example, mounting a RIS rail where the MARS mounting point is to change to another optic of your choice. Mounting a rail on the other side of the cocking handle for accessories or even quickly transforming your Tavor into a high rate of fire monster by just replacing the standard 9.6v mini battery with a 11.1v mini lipo battery.

It has to be said that at a price for this AEG, although the MARS sight and laser combo can be disappointing for some people. This is a unique design from ARES with so many features in one package as well as being able to be used in a skirmish field without the absolute need to use the MARS sight making this a skirmish-practical weapon that stands out different to the others. It's already outweighed the bad elements of this package, which is the MARS sight. Even if it was not to be used as a skirmish weapon, but a plinking weapon or for reenactment or even as a collector's piece or wall hanger, the realism and quality does not let you down as the construction as well as its performance is absolutely top notch on this AEG. You have to get one to see how nice these weapons are.