Rifleman Q&A: Israel’s Convertible Jericho

by
posted on January 9, 2024
Jericho pistol

Q. As a young police officer in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, I saw firsthand the burgeoning mainstream transition by officers and agencies from revolvers to semi-automatic pistols. Suddenly, there was a slew of chambering choices for duty pistols, and there was buzz around a new pistol—the Jericho 941. It was produced in Israel for use globally as well as for the Israeli police and defense forces. It afforded a cartridge change, from 9 mm Luger to .41 Action Express. What happened to the Jericho and the .41 Action Express?


A. The Jericho pistol was introduced to the United States in 1990. It was developed by Israel Military Industries (IMI) and became Israel’s standard military pistol. Originally, its parts were sourced from Tanfoglio in Italy, which had been successful in creating a CZ 75 clone. The original U.S. importer was K.B.I. in Harrisburg, Pa., with the company marketing it as the Jericho. Later, it was imported by O.F. Mossberg, which named it the Uzi Eagle, then by Magnum Research as the Baby Eagle. Israel Military Industries is now Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) and is again offering the Jericho 941 in 9 mm Luger.

The .41 Action Express actually predates the Jericho by a few years, but the test bed had been a variation of the CZ 75. The objective of the chambering was to duplicate the performance of the .41 Magnum police load and offer the conversion of 9 mm pistols by simply changing the barrel. Jericho pistols were initially shipped to the United States with both 9 mm and .41 AE barrels, allowing the shooter the option of either cartridge.

Determining the reason for the .41 AE’s extinction is subjective, and there are a number of factors that came into play. First of all, the chambering was only available in an imported pistol, and the ammunition was available only from Samson, also in Israel. If American producers of firearms and ammo had bought-in, the results might have been different. Secondly, and perhaps of more significant consequence, was the introduction of the .40 S&W cartridge in domestic firearms. Performance was not significantly different between the two cartridges, and U.S. law enforcement bought the .40 S&W in huge numbers; basically any company that offered a 9 mm Luger was also offering a .40 S&W. In the end, the convertibility feature was more of a novelty than a serious consideration.

Latest

Silhouette Shooting
Silhouette Shooting

South Of The Border Turkey Shoot

Along the U.S.-Mexico border where the cultures of the two nations merge, a sport-shooting game has emerged—the Silhoueta Shoot. Authors Ben Avery and Gene B. Crum take a close look and report their findings.

New For 2024: Traditions Pro Series

Despite its name and extensive line of traditionally styled muzzloaders, Traditions Performance Firearms is at the cutting edge of modern muzzleloading and hunting firearms. New for 2024, Traditions is adding Pro Series models to its most popular firearm lines.

Preview: High Standard Firearms History | A Collector’s Guide

For lead author John Currie, High Standard Firearms History: 1932-1984 Connecticut, A Collector’s Guide has been a work more than 30 years in the making.

Gun Of The Week: Rossi Brawler

"Adaptable" and "handy" are key words that best describe Rossi’s modern single-shot handgun. A spinoff of the Tuffy shotgun series, the Brawler delivers .410 bore performance in a handgun-size platform.

The Armed Citizen® April 12, 2024

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Review: Tisas 1911 A1 ASF

A new Tisas take on an American military wartime classic is officially known to the public as the 1911 A1 ASF (Armed Services Family) pistol and is being brought to U.S. shores by SDS Imports.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.