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An Israeli-Made Gun That’s Better Than Any Big Name Brands

Jericho gunIn the world of the modern combat handgun, there are some reigning big boys out there who go by names like Glock, Smith and Wesson, SIG Sauer and Beretta. These companies rule the market in civilian, law enforcement and military sales around the world. The simple fact of the matter is some great guns often go overlooked in the shadow of these giants.

One of these guns goes by many names. Perhaps that is the reason for its lack of success. You can’t have success without a recognizable brand name. The weapon has been called the Baby Desert Eagle, the Uzi Eagle and the Jericho 941. If you can’t tell by now, this is an Israeli-made weapon from Israeli Military Industries, the same company that produced the original Desert Eagle. The name Baby Desert Eagle was attached to the weapon due to the popularity of the full size Desert Eagle. In fact, the only relationship the Jericho has with the Desert eagle is some vague resemblance.

The Jericho was developed by a nation who has been constantly at war. The Israeli people have scrapped and duked it out with the Arab world for decades. The weapons they develop are built to function. In my opinion, Israeli weapons are second to only Russian weapons in reliability. However, Israeli weapons are much more refined, more user friendly, and more accurate.

The Jericho is what I know it by and I developed a small gun crush on it when I was younger. When you mix teenage rebellion with a love of guns, you don’t get violence—you get a teenager who wants a gun outside of the mainstream. I love the Jericho and it’s right up there with the Browning Hi Power on my list of wonder nines I love.

The Jericho is what I called it then and what I call it now, by the way. The Jericho comes chambered in the more popular calibers (9mm, 40 S&W, and the 45 ACP).  I own the 9mm variant and would love to get a .45 ACP variant. I have to mention the ill-fated .41 AE. The original Jericho had the number 941 attached because it was convertible from 9mm to the unique .41 AE.

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The .41 AE was an experiment in being the middle ground between the 9mm and the .45 ACP, with the intention of it combining the best of both worlds as a compromise. You would have increased lethality and stopping power like the .45 and increased capacity like the 9mm. Is this starting to sound familiar, kind of like the .40 S&W? The .41 AE was more powerful than the .40 S&W, with its ballistics falling between the .40 S&W and the full powered 10mm round.

Unfortunately for the .41 AE, more ammunition and gun manufacturers backed the .40 S&W and the .41 AE died a quick death. The conversions are quite collectible today, but the ammo is also pretty rare and very expensive.

The Jericho is based off the well-known and much renowned CZ-75 pistol. IMI chose a well-tested design to cut risk, time, and money when designing a firearm. The two major changes from the design were a safety and de-cocker combined, whereas the CZ only had a de-cocker. The rifling is also unique. It’s polygonal instead of a traditional right or left-handed twist. The polygonal rifling is said to improve accuracy, and provide tight and consistent groups.

The Jericho handles very well and features some comfortable ergonomics. The Jericho’s grip is quite slim for a double stack magazine and the weapon points very well. The grip is very comfortable and has an excellent grip angle. The newer models feature finger grooves that make the weapon even more comfortable. The grip angle and natural pointing is a competitor to even the 1911’s wonderful grip.  The pistol is very accurate, and this is aided by the large combat sights. The double-action trigger has a long pull and is designed for combat, not for competition. The single-action trigger is a delight, very light weight, with a distinct snap.

The Jericho continues to be the unique pistol that is offered in both steel frame and a polymer composite frame. As far as I know, they are the only gun and gun maker to offer this. You can literally please both crowds in the gun world. The polymer frame shaves off about four ounces from the full size 9mm variant with a steel frame.

It’s offered in three sizes—the full size with a 4.4 inch barrel, the semi-compact with a 3.8 inch barrel, and a compact with a 3.5 inch barrel. Now semi-compact may have caught your eye, and you’re probably thinking I meant sub-compact. Semi-compact is another curve ball the Jericho offers.

The semi-compact is a shorter barrel on a full-sized frame. This is a great cross between a more compact weapon, while at the same time, featuring the more ergonomic full-sized frame.  This is an interesting concept that is a best of both words kind of thing.

The Jericho is a fine pistol that has adapted with the times. The modern Jericho models feature a full length picatinny rail on the dust cover, in front of the trigger guard. The sights are large and adjustable on newer models and present a great sight picture.

I’ve mentioned more than once the reliability of the pistol. I’ve run thousands of rounds through my Jericho and have experienced failures with only reloads. Even with reloads that fail to fire, fail to feed, and fail to eject, incidents were rare. Factory rounds function flawlessly, with little lube required. I never suggest running a weapon dry, but the Jericho seems to function fine without it.

The Jericho is an excellent combat pistol, designed to be carried in some of the worst environments in the world. The weapons shoots straight and functions well, and at the end of the day, all we can do is pray to be as fortunate. The Jericho is a fighting weapon designed by a people used to fighting. If you’ve never fired or even held a Jericho, you are truly missing out.

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  1. I shoot the 941F (M1911 like safety) for almost 10 years now in IPSC. We had never had a malfunction even when Glocks failed with the dirty discount ammo we used in both.
    There is something to be said for the Jericho’s grip (compare it with a CZ75) especially when it comes to thick hands. Trigger is also better than the CZ.
    But I do have my complaints. Finish should be better/thicker especially on the frame where the oil & sweat from the hands end up. the satin chrome finish is good and lasting though.
    And that finger groove grip plates totally kill the original Jericho grip feel.

    • TO:GREEKPREPAREDNESS: , pls help me with match load for jericho 941. what is the best loading data? weight of bullet, powder & overall length to have a power factor of 128-130? thanks a lot – [email protected]

    • Many gun users say the guns they use are good based on their experiences in shooting competitions. As a former police officer in Philippines, with more than 20 firefight incidents against criminals which resulted to the death of 11 criminals and neutralization of two other criminals, I would say the caliber .45 Baby Desert Eagle is the best followed by S&W caliber .38 revolver. The guns that were issued to me were Squires Bingham caliber .38, Star 9mm pistol, 92F beretta pistol, cal .45 para ordnance hi-cap pistol, and Jericho (Baby Desert Eagle) cal .45 pistol. I never ambitioned to use Glock after witnessing a cal 45 and a 9mm pistol almost blew the slide when the bullet did not exit the muzzle when fired. The shooters used lead tip.

  2. I have a FEG P9M clone of a Browning hi-power every bit as good a handgun as you can find. At half the price. Look at any critique of this handgun and you will see that it stands with the best of them. 13 round mag, with a 20 round also available. Incase you were wondering, parts from a hi-power are interchangeable.

  3. What about Springfield pistols?

    I do notice Israel seems to copy a lot of its gun designs from CZ. They (CZ) also have come out with other impressive and rugged industrial designs of machinery. Impressed by their engineering.

  4. what are the smaller calibers Israel arms makes?

  5. I own the .45 steel semi compact (no polymer offerings in .45) a polymer semi compact .40 and a compact 9mm. Most accurate handguns I’ve ever shot and owned have a czp09 it is as accurate. These guns are my favorite and would take over a Sig or a Beretta or a Glock, even if it were a free firearm. These guns do what they are supposed to function and got the target in the sweet spot! You can’t go wrong. They are in America now from IWI USA in Pennsylvania. No more decocker but safety and on frame not slide, this will be my next purchase in full size 9mm polymer.

  6. james a mcbean

    How much this gun cost?

  7. Send me catalogs for purchasing

  8. Would you recommend semi compact or compact for IWB CCW?

  9. I once owned a Baby Eagle, as it was known, in 9mm. Traded it off for a smith & Wesson; while it was relatively accurate and never jammed it was extremely heavy for a sub compact and bulky due to the barrel shape, something not desired if you wish to conceal carry. In addition the striations to grip the upper receiver were shallow and did not provide a good grip, especially if your hands were sweaty or otherwise wet. The other defect I noted in the pistol was the recoil spring rod was starting wear a groove from where it sat in relation to the barrel, this was all after about shooting 6-7000 rounds through it. All in all I disagree with the author, it is not an ideal pistol, especially in a combat situation, which is why I traded it.

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