Shotguns have long been held in high regard and quite rightly so. At close to short range, they can have a devastating effect. These smoothbore shoulder weapons are designed to fire pellets or ‘shot.’ This type of ammunition spreads in a diverging pattern once they leave the muzzle.
However, by their very design and nature, standard-sized shotguns can be long and at times, unwieldy. This is where bullpup shotguns come into their own. And any shooter who is looking for a shorter sized shotgun should be considering a bullpup shotgun.
And, in this IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup Shotgun review, we will see what this powerful weapon has to offer…
So, What Exactly, Is a Bullpup?
It is a type of firearm that has been manufactured with its action and magazine located behind the trigger. This design does not sacrifice accuracy, but allows bullpup rifles and shotguns to be made shorter than traditionally styled firearms that have an equal barrel length.
It is a style of weapon which has been adopted by various military and police forces across the globe. This fact alone should tell you how effective bullpups can be.
Two noteworthy examples of this include Israeli Defence Forces, which have adopted the Tavor bullpup X95 rifles for their troops. And some United States Law Enforcement agencies have already adopted bullpup firearms, with more expected to follow suit over the next few years.
Advantages & Disadvantages of a Bullpup Shotgun
It is only right that our IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup Shotgun review points out that there are advantages as well as disadvantages of using this type of weapon. You will also note that one of these points could be classed as either. So, let’s highlight these…
More effective at close quarters
As mentioned, bullpup firearms are, in the main, shorter than other firearms that have the same length of barrel. This makes them much more maneuverable and is seen as a great advantage when used in close quarter situations.
An example of shotgun minimum overall and barrel lengths shows how bullpup shotguns push federal law to the limit. The current minimum shotgun overall length is 26” and shotgun barrel minimum length is 18” (barrel length for rifles are a minimum 16”).
The IWI Tavor TS12 bullpup shotgun comes in at 28.34” in overall length with a barrel length of 18.5 inches.
Bullpup shotguns are back-heavy
This can be seen as both an advantage as well as a disadvantage – Here’s the benefit – Being back-heavy they afford better balance. This means they are less tiring when shooting for prolonged periods. Weaker shooters will also find them easier to use than ‘standard’ length shotguns.
Faster shoulder to shoot action
Hand positioning while in a lowered position is more efficient. The bullpups grip typically makes them faster when it comes to shouldering, aiming, and shooting.
Cool and then some!
There is no doubt that the bullpup design lends itself to looking very cool. Producing one at the range will certainly turn other shooters heads in admiration (and perhaps envy!).
Many feel the trigger is inferior to standard rifles and shotguns. This is because the design of these weapons use linkages that connect the trigger.
More prone to breakage
Some shooters feel that due to the slightly more complex design of bullpup weapons, they are more prone to breakage. It should be said that in terms of the latest quality manufactured bullpups weapons; this is not really proven.
Very unlikely but should be mentioned
In the highly unlikely event that a shooter using a bullpup weapon has a catastrophic malfunction, they are at greater risk. This is because the action of the weapon is closer to their head and body.
As mentioned above, this is a factor that can be classed as an advantage but is also seen as a potential disadvantage. This back heaviness can cause increased muzzle rise. Some shooters claim that this gives a knock-on effect. They state that after the initial shot, subsequent shots can slow a shooter down and make them less accurate. This point is certainly open to debate.
IWI US – TAVOR TS12 12 GAUGE 18.5″ 15+1
Before we get into the details of our IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup Shotgun review, let’s take a quick look at the impact IWI has had since entering the US market.
IWI (Israeli Weapons Industries) have long had a stellar name in the design and manufacture of small firearms systems. They first began life in 1933 as IMI (Israeli Military Industries). As such, the company has a long history of collaboration and cooperation with the Israeli Defence Force.
However, the company has not restricted itself to ‘domestic’ firearms sales. Thanks to the high standards in the manufacturing and design of their weapon range, they are seen as major weapons exporters. Down the years, their weapons have been adopted by the armed forces of many countries.
IWI was born in 2006. This was when the Israeli government took the decision to spin off and privatize IMI’s small arms division. As for IWI US, Inc., they first established operations in 2013. Shortly afterward, they introduced the first commercial versions of the Tavor SAR to the US market. This was met with immediate success.
Their Law Enforcement (LE) Division was launched in 2014, and this resulted in the first wave of US LE agencies adopting the Tavor SAR and Tavor X95 models for use.
2016 saw the introduction of the “next generation” Tavor X95 bullpup rifle and their legendary Galil ACE (7.62X39mm and 7.62 NATO) weapons to the US commercial market. Since establishing their presence in the United States, IWI US, Inc. has made a name for themselves. This can be seen in the numerous prestigious awards their weapons have received.
It is very clear that IWI US, Inc. has a firm commitment to its business operations in the United States. This applies to both commercial and LE firearms markets. And all weapon systems produced and assembled by IWI are in compliance with the toughest military (MIL-STD) and ISO 9001.2008 standards.
Introduction of a Bullpup Shotgun To Be Reckoned With
The Tavor TS12 Bullpup Shotgun was released in 2021 and really is a weapon that needs to be taken very seriously. Our IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup Shotgun review will first give bullet-point specifications of this very well-received shotgun. From there, we will explain what this specially designed shotgun has to offer.
- Gauge – 12 Gauge / 3 inch chamber.
- Action – Semi Automatic.
- Capacity – 15+1-Round.
- Barrel length – 18.5 inches.
- Overall length – 28.34 inches.
- Weight – 8 lbs.
- Height – From pistol grip to the top is 10.23 inches.
- Muzzle – Threaded Choke.
- Choke – Accepts Beretta and Benelli.
- Magazine type – Fixed tubular magazine.
- Magazine capacity – 4 x 3 inch Shells – 5 x 2-¾ inch Shells per tube.
- Action type – Gas Operated.
- Operating system – 2 position gas regulator – Short stroke gas piston.
- Front sight – None.
- Rear sight – None.
- Stock material/type – Reinforced polymer – Bullpup configuration.
- Safety – Cross bolt.
- Note – The Tavor TS12 is NOTleft-hand convertible.
An Innovative Design
By its very nature, any bullpup weapon design is both futuristic looking and innovative. But the Tavor TS12 takes things a step further to emphasize this point. It is a 12 gauge, gas regulated bullpup shotgun that feeds from 1 of 3 (three) individual magazines. These can hold 4 x 3 inch shotgun shells or 5 x 2 ¾ inch shotgun shells each.
What does this mean in terms of magazine capacity?
Due to this design, it means your potential overall capacity from all 3 (three) of the individual magazines is 15-rounds + 1 additional round in the chamber.
How does this system work?
The Tavor TS12 achieves this action due to its unique rotary magazine system. This consists of three separate tubes. As mentioned, you have the ability to load 5 x 2 ¾ inch shells in each. When one of the tubes runs ‘dry,’ you can manually rotate the next full one into position.
Once this magazine tube is locked into place, the TS12 automatically feeds its first round into the chamber.
What else is on offer?
Coming with four sling attachment points, this highly reliable bullpup shotgun offers multiple carrying options. There are two QD cups on either side of the gun. These are located in front of the chamber as well as just in front of the stocks ‘toe’. This gives a wide choice of sling configuration options. It is highly likely you will find one to suit your style.
Want a more ‘tactical’ sling?
While standard slings will suffice for most shooters, there is an excellent accessory available from IWI US. This is the IWI/Savvy Sniper Sling QD (Quick Detach). The two companies have collaborated on a quick detach sniper sling. Coming in black, khaki – flat dark earth and red/black, it is made from high quality, strong yet soft nylon.
Weapon compatibility for this sling is the Tavor SAR, X95, 7, and TS12 weapon models.
There are two sewn-in heavy duty quick detachable push-button ball bearing sling swivels. These can be inserted into the sling swivel receptacles of any of the above-mentioned models. Once in place, you can quickly convert from single to two-point carry. This is thanks to the “Mount-N-Slot” QD swivel attachment plate/tri-glide.
Quick as a flash…
Sling length adjustment is quickly and easily modified. To achieve this, there is a quick adjustment slider handle. It should also be noted that ease of adjustment is possible while wearing gloves. As for comfortability, the shoulder Bungee gives just enough stretch when extra reach is needed. This feature also helps to reduce stress on your muscles when the rifle is slung and carried for long periods.
Serious tactical shooters will appreciate the quality and flexibility of this QD sling for their TS12 bullpup shotgun.
Adding any further accessories is easy
You also have M-LOK compatible rails and a continuous Picatinny rail on top. Any firearm enthusiast who is looking to add extras to the TR12 has a good set of options. We touch on this later in the piece.
Here’s more on what you actually get…
You also have a manually controlled gas regulation system. This allows shooters to adjust the gas flow depending upon whether they have a light or heavy load. As it is chambered to handle 3-inch shells, the 18.5-inch barrel is Benelli/Beretta choke tube compatible. And thanks to the fact that the TS12 is gas-operated, it will cushion recoil. This should make it much easier for shooters to control.
Excellent barrel length – even better overall length
As seen in the specifications, the TS12 comes with an 18.5-inch barrel. But, the joy of the design is in its overall length. It comes in at just 28.34 inches total length.
Ambidextrous Features But Left-handed Shooters Need To Be Aware
The Tavor TS12 bullpup shotgun does offer ambidextrous features. The first is ambidextrous feeding. It has left and right-side loading ports. This means it can be fed and unloaded from either side of the weapon. In addition, the safety feature, charging handle, and ejection port can all be positioned on either side of this shotgun.
However, it needs reiterating that as standard, it comes for right hand use. Indeed the companies website states quite clearly that this weapon is not left-hand convertible. This contradicts the users manual of the TS12, which clearly states:
“The standard TS12 Shotgun is designed as a “bullpup” and, therefore, should be fired only when configured for the shooter’s hand preference.
Firing the standard TS12 Shotgun from the left shoulder or the TS12 Shotgun converted to left hand operation from the right shoulder will result in ejected cases striking the shooter in the face with considerable force. This may cause serious eye injury and other injuries.
Never shoot a right handed TS12 from the left shoulder and vice versa. Fire the shotgun only from the shoulder for which it is set up.”
This means those “lefties” out there should double check any implications and ‘conversion’ procedures before purchase.
IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup Shotgun Pros & Cons
- A futuristic bullpup design that is worthy of recognition.
- Semi-automatic shotgun.
- High capacity.
- Ability to change between the three different magazines.
- Compatible with all Benelli/Beretta chokes.
- Picatinny rail is full length.
- Some important ambidextrous features.
- For right handed shooters only.
- No markings to differentiate tube magazines.
- On the expensive side.
While the TS12 has a lot going for it, those who feel the need can add to it. This can be considered once your bank balance is back in the black after initial purchase!
Accessorizing the TS12 is fully achievable. As mentioned, this is thanks to the full-length Picatinny top rail and M-Lok slots positioned on the forward handguard. Check out our Best Shotgun Scopes review and our reviews of the Best Shotgun Lights currently available.
An anyone looking to mount a red-dot optic will have a good selection to choose from. Our Best Red Dot Sight For Shotguns reviews list our favorites. As for tactical shooters, they are sure to find accessories that will enhance their tactical abilities. Our Best Tactical Gunshot Sling reviews, as well as our Best AR 15 Slings review, should give you plenty of ideas.
Who will the Tavor TS12 Be Suitable For?
As our IWI Tavor TS12 Bullpup Shotgun review has hopefully made clear: This is a short, compact, easy to handle weapon. Yes, it needs handling differently to standard designs and ‘Yes’ again, when it comes to accuracy. Proficient use of the TS12 will mean you are getting at least the same and quite possibly better accuracy from it than from a standard length shotgun.
Anyone using the TS12 will need to hold this weapon closer to their body when aiming and shooting. In terms of becoming proficient and comfortable with its use; practice makes perfect!
Superb for confined spaces…
In terms of real-life tactical situations, the Tavor TS12 is certainly up for the job. This is particularly the case when the need arises to shoot in confined spaces. It is a great weapon for civilians who enjoy testing out their tactical skills. This can either be in a range setting or against others on enjoyable weekend exercises.
In terms of truck carrying, this bullpup shotgun is ideal. When in its case, it can easily be concealed in your truck and will be ready to go once you are.
As for home defense purposes?
The Tavor TS12 should be a serious consideration for those who want a shotgun around in order to defend their loved ones, home, and belongings.
When it comes to a compact, concealed firearm with significant firepower, this bullpup shotgun is an excellent choice to have around the house or in your RV.
Any shooter that is after an efficient, futuristic-looking bullpup shotgun will do well to consider the IWI Tavor TS12.
IWI has a long history and solid reputation in terms of weapon design, manufacture, and flexibility of use. The Tavor TS12 bullpup shotgun maintains this tradition. Ease of maneuverability is yours. Its layout and controls are intuitive, and ergonomically; it allows a shooters cheek to rest comfortably on the stock. The unique magazine configuration is also a feature many will appreciate.
Granted, it is not the cheapest bullpup shotgun out there, but through purchase, you really are investing in quality.
All-in-all, we have to recommend this weapon for anyone who is in the market for a bullpup shotgun. Why? Because the Tavor TS12 bullpup shotgun makes for a thoroughly enjoyable shooting experience.