The Tavor TS12 semi-automatic shotgun was designed by Israeli Weapons Industries (IWI) Ltd and first unveiled in January 2018. Intended primarily as a home defense weapon, it contains several unusual features, some of them interesting and some questionable from a practical point of view.
The Tavor TS12 is a gas operated, semi-automatic shotgun with a bullpup layout. It features a polymer gun housing with ejection ports on both sides; conversion from right side ejection to left side or vice versa requires partial disassembly of the gun. It has 18-inch barrels with an interchangeable choke system, 3-inch chamber and a manual gas regulator which allows it to reliably cycle either full-power magnum loads or relatively mild standard loads. The manual safety switch is an ambidextrous cross-bolt button located above the pistol grip, and the charging handle can be set up on either side of the gun.
The most unusual feature of the Tavor TS12 shotgun is its feed system. It has three magazine tubes running parallel to the barrel and below it. All three tubes are assembled in one rotary unit with a central axis that also runs parallel to the bore. At any given time only one tube, which is located at the top of the rotary unit, is connected to the feed system of the gun. Until that tube is empty, the gun operates like any other semi-automatic tube-fed shotgun. Once the topmost tube is empty, it automatically locks the bolt in the open position, which is a signal to the user to rotate the next loaded tube to the topmost position. To do so, the user has to depress a lever inside the trigger guard, in front of the trigger, and manually rotate the magazine unit. Once the next loaded magazine tube is aligned in the feed position, it locks there automatically, and a new shell is immediately chambered, also automatically. This may sound like a good idea, but under the stress of a real home invasion or combat this would require some deliberate thinking or significant prior training (which is always a good idea). The magazine unit normally stays on the gun at all times; tubes at the bottom of the unit are reloaded via two loading ports, symmetrically located at both sides of the gun, to the rear of the pistol grip. In theory, users can top up two currently “unused’ bottom tubes while preserving some ready-to-use ammunition in the top tube. However, to reload or top-up the top tube, the magazine unit has to be manually unlocked and rotated. Bottom tubes can be unloaded directly via loading ports, without cycling the action (which is good from a safety point of view), thanks to specified shell release buttons, located near each loading port.
Other features include integral Picatinny rail on the top and M-LOK accessory mounting interface on the forend.
|Full text name||Tavor TS12 semi-automatic shotgun (Israel)|
|Caliber cartridge||12 gauge|
|Overall length, mm||720|
|Barrel length, mm||470|
|Weight empty, kg||3.6|
|Magazine capacity, rounds||15|