Ballistics by the inch

My new (bull)puppy.

Last August, I got to shoot a new IWI Tavor TS12 shotgun. You can find the full review here, but here was my conclusion:

Final thoughts: it’s a hell of a package. I’m not sure I’d use it for “sport shooting”, but for fun at the range or as a home defense gun, yeah, it’d be fantastic, though a little pricey.

Well, after thinking about it for a few months, I decided to go ahead and get one. Here it is:

I put a Crimson Trace CT-1000 optic on it:

And took it out to the range this morning to break it in.

IWI recommends minimum shot weight and velocity for the gun, for it to operate properly. I started out with some standard target loads of 2.75″ #8 shot, 1.125oz, 1200fps. I set the gas regulator to the “L” (light) setting for these light loads. The first couple of test loads operated correctly. So I loaded all three tubes to capacity, just to run through them as quickly as I could. Everything was flawless.

Time to try some heavier loads. I went to full-power 00Buckshot. These were 2.75″ 9 pellet 1325fps loads. I kept the gas regulator on the “L” setting, since some reviewers suggested this was a good idea for the initial break-in. But the gun cycled too quickly, and caught the spent cases in the mechanism. I reset the gas regulator to “H” (heavy) and tried again. All the subsequent 00Buck and slug rounds fired & cycled perfectly.

To this point I was just getting a feel for how the gun felt, operated, etc. Because while I had tried my friend’s gun previously, it was just with half a dozen rounds in a “what’s this weird thing like to shoot” go. Now I wanted to see what it would take to become proficient with my own gun.

My initial thoughts were, in no particular order:

  • The trigger was mushy. To be expected with a bullpup.
  • Recoil was mild, if the gas regulator was set correctly.
  • Getting down behind the optic took some practice, and I was happy for the riser on the CT-1000.
  • Getting used to the paddle-catch to change tubes took a bit of practice.
  • But damn, that’s a quick way to burn through ammo.

I set up some cardboard (about 18×18″) and a sheet of 11×17″ paper at 25 yards to see how well the optic would indicate where the pellets hit from 00Buck. I had the “Improved Cylinder” choke in the gun, and was getting patterns of about 14″.

Next I put up a larger piece of cardboard (24×48″) at 50 yards to see how well the optic would do with basic Brenneke slugs. These are some old Remington 2.75″ 1oz 1560fps rounds I had. I hadn’t done anything yet with the optic other than just mount it and turn it on, so this was just a test.

Here were the first three shots, shot freehand while standing:

That’s a 4″ group. Out of a brand new gun, with a brand new optic, the first time I’d shot slugs out of it. Since 50 yards is about twice the distance I would ever imagine using this gun for, I’ll take it.

Next up: 00Buckshot at the same 50 yards. Here’s that result:

I didn’t run back and forth, just fired 5 rounds with the optic at the same position I had used for the slugs. At 9 pellets each, about half were on the cardboard, and notably most were on the lower half of the board. But once again, this is about twice the range I would ever really envisage this gun would be used at, even for hunting, and about 4x the range I might use it for home defense. Again, acceptable.

Lastly, I reset the gas regulator to “L”, and loaded it full with the target loads. I figured it was time to see what fun I could have at speed on the falling plates on my range. Here’s a run at 15 yards:

That little foot shuffle I do at the start? I was standing on the wire rope that sets the plates, so they weren’t falling. I had to get off it in order to knock them down.

I’m sure I’ll get much faster with it, with practice. But as you can see, even being completely new to the gun, it’s easy to achieve a surprising amount of speed with it. You can definitely go through a lot of ammo with one of these guns, there’s no doubt about it.

Overall, I’m very happy with the Tavor TS12. Altogether I ran about 75 shells through it in an hour, half the light target loads, the other half full-power, high-brass slugs and 00Buck. It’s been decades since I shot a 12 gauge that much in that short a period of time, and my shoulder isn’t the slightest bit sore.

Yeah, the TS12 is a keeper. And I really like the Crimson Trace optic.

Jim Downey

March 3, 2021 Posted by | Discussion., Shotgun ballistics | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments