Israel is a tiny country with a large impact on the world of small arms development. The Israeli government established Israeli Military Industries (IMI) specifically to provide its military, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), and police with the best equipment available. After using imported sidearms for decades, the military turned to IMI for a new service pistol, and the Jericho 941 fit the bill perfectly.
The CZ75 As a Foundation
In the early 1990s, IMI set out to make a modern 9mm semiautomatic pistol for both military and police customers. After reviewing the current handgun designs available, IMI landed on the Czech-made CZ75 9mm semiautomatic pistol as the perfect base for its new small arms.
The CZ75 was the perfect fit for this Middle Eastern nation as the CZ75 featured all-steel construction and contains a double-stack magazine making it famous for its reliability. But it wasn’t just reliability that the CZ75 was known for. The CZ75 was equally well known for its accuracy. This increased accuracy was a result of its slide riding inside the frame, unlike most pistols where the slide sat outside the frame. This internal slide design aided in the pistol's mechanical accuracy by making more contact with the frame. Also, since the barrel and slide both sat lower, there is less muzzle rise and felt recoil. Seeing an already excellent design, IMI decided to use the CZ75 as a basis for its new Jericho 941 pistol.
The IMI Jericho 941 Pistol
Many companies made CZ75 clones; however, the IMI Jericho 941 did more than just copy, it improved. While Tanfoglio made many of the pistol components, IMI made the Jericho 941's barrel. These barrels were cold hammer-forged, chrome-lined and featured polygonal rifling. The hammer forging process strengthened the barrel while the chrome lining aided in corrosion resistance. Polygonal rifling increased bullet velocity since the bullets fit tighter in the barrel. These upgrades to the barrel made the Jericho much more reliable in the harsh desert environment of the Middle East.
While IMI predominantly chambered the Jericho 941 in 9mm, it was also available in .45 ACP and .41 Action express. .41 Action Express emerged on the market around the same time as the similar .40 S&W. Using a 9mm sized case head, Jericho 941 pistols could be converted from 9mm to .41 Action Express with a simple barrel and recoil spring change. The preexisting and popular .40 S&W proved impossible to compete with, leaving .41 Action Express largely forgotten.
The IMI Jericho 941 in Service and Export
When IMI widely issued the Jericho 941 to the IDF and Israeli police, the soldiers and officers quickly fell in love. Although heavy due to all-steel construction, the IDF appreciated the rugged construction and near soldier-proof quality that the Jericho 941 offered.
In addition to equipping Israeli forces, IMI exported the Jericho to numerous foreign government entities and commercial customers. It was also prevalent in the American market, where it was called various names throughout its import history such as Baby Eagle and Uzi Eagle. IWI, the current privatized subsidiary of IMI, continues to make modernized Jericho pistols, now in both steel and polymer-framed versions with accessory rails.
We are now offering an excellent batch of surplus IMI Jericho 941F pistols in a satin nickel finish, which is a variant of the standard double-action Jericho 941. These pistols were formerly used by Israeli law enforcement and bear the Police Star engraving to prove their service. The Jericho 941F model features a frame-mounted manual safety with a single action trigger mechanism. Compared to many surplus handguns, the Jericho 941F is very modern and competes well with newer pistols in the same class.
If you love CZ75s and their derivatives, the Jericho 941 is a must for your collection. It offers a similar feel and functionality of a classic CZ75 with a distinctly Israeli flare that only comes from IDF use. The IMI Jericho is a beefy, durable pistol that is sure to outlast most shooters. Shop our surplus IMI Jericho 941F pistols or our wide variety of modern IWI pistols.