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Tavor and Desert Eagle; Separated at Birth?

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Some years ago I was goofing around with a tavor:




And a somewhat... less practical design as well:




Upon field stripping them, I noticed something interesting:




The desert eagle's bolt is on the left, and the tavor's is on the right.

They're surprisingly similar.

The cam surface for the bolt rotation is located on the bolt stem.  In most other rotating bolt designs the cam surfaces are located on the bolt carrier, not the bolt.

This is the TAR-21 bolt carrier:




You can see the hole where the cam pin sits (it's the big one you can see the wood grain through).  In most designs, like the AR-15, the cam pin is attached to the bolt and translates past the bolt carrier.  In the tavor it's the other way around.  Some older designs like the Lewis and its many progeny also work like this, but ever since the M1 garand the fashion has been to place the lug on the bolt and the cam on the carrier.

As you can see, the desert eagle works exactly the same way:




The cam pin is removed, and you can see the slot it sits in as well as the bolt cam surfaces just showing through.

The similarities do not end there:




In the above image you can see the bolt carrier group as it is removed from the stock for field stripping.  The rod under the return spring is a guide rod that prevents the bolt from rotating during feeding:




Once the bolt carrier runs all the way forward it overruns this rod, which allows the bolt to rotate:




 In an AR-15 the bolt is kept from prematurely rotating by having the cam pin drag against the upper left inner side of the receiver.  The tavor must have this system with the guide rod because the cam pin is stationary with respect to the bolt carrier. 

The desert eagle bolt is held forward in a very similar manner:






Rather curious, no?

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Was the design team the same?


No.  The desert eagle was originally an American design, and none of the people who originally designed it are named in any of the tavor patents.  They would have been working together at IMI, however, during the early design of the tavor.  Must have been some cross-pollination at that time.

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Art Miller patented the concept of milling the cam path into the bolt stem back in the late 1960s.

While Bernie White designed what became the Desert Eagle, it was IMI's Ilan Shalev that changed the bolt to its current configuration.  IWI's website credits Ilan Shalev as a member of the Negev's design team, but not the Tavor.

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You mean this one?  There are plenty of gas-operated rifles with the cam track on the bolt instead of the bolt carrier; the MKB-42(W) for instance, that predate 1960.


It's a logical design for the tavor, since using an AR-18 style setup with the cam pin on the 9 oclock portion of the bolt carrier would leave the cam surfaces exposed when the rifle was set up for left-handed ejection.  Also, it slightly improves the mass ratio of the carrier to the bolt.  TAR-21 has a bolt carrier to bolt mass ratio on the order of 10:1, which is the best I know of.



Why do you own a painted deagle?


Your lucky your such a valued poster, so im gonna let you off with a warning young man 





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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 month later...

The Uziel Gal rifle is on of my favorite might have beens as well.

Unfortunately after rage quitting the first in the series of two videos that are out there about it three times, I've basically accepted that I'll never really get to learn much more about it.

If they hadn't hired porky pig to be the video host, I could probably learn more about the guns.

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