CZ System, High Style, Made in… Israel?

Shawn at LooseRounds was kind enough to say some very nice things about this blog this week, but honest! That’s not why we’re cribbing part of a post from his site. We’re doing it because (1) it’s a really good post, and (2) it’s about a gun we were curious about, too — the Jericho 941, the latest version of the venerable Israeli Tanfoglio/CZ clone.

IWI Jericho from LooseRounds

The writer of this piece, Lothaen, is a Glock guy (we’ve read his other posts on optics) but his wife wanted steel. We are very, very fond of the CZ here, and the Jericho retains the CZ-75’s unusual DA/SA/non-decocker system, which as Lothaen notes requires you to carefully hand-decock to carry hammer down on a loaded chamber for a DA first shot, or use the 1911-style safety to carry cocked-and-locked. (Czech and Czechoslovak pistols have historically had slightly unusual , even peculiar, safety arrangements; the safeties on post-war Czechoslovak service pistols are unusual, and one of their designers offered a DAO pistol with no safety before World War One). But his thorough review fully satisfied our curiosity about the Jericho. A taste:

The Jericho 941 is steel meets steel. It’s a heavy, big service pistol. It’s the type of gun you would want to hit someone with after exhausting all your ammo. Clean lines, excellent (or rather, peerless) machine work give us a pistol with incredibly smooth contours and lines. There are no machining marks, or rough edges. I am really impressed by the work in this piece.

We were impressed to learn this. It is a beautiful gun in more of a modern Bauhaus or even Pop Art style than the 20th-Century upright and businesslike CZ — or “industrial” as Lothaen says.

Cocked and locked, but with a second-strike capability. Any CZ-75/85 (full size) mag fits.

Cocked and locked, but with a second-strike capability. Any CZ-75/85 (full size) mag fits.

After researching the Jericho 941 and ordering sight unseen… I was a wee bit worried. Not so much anymore. The action is based on the CZ75 with an Israeli twist. It bears a familial resemblance, but the lines of the Jericho are much more industrial and flat.

It’s not all aesthetics, as our Glockmeister quickly finds something where the CZ or Jericho gives up some user interface points to the blocky Austrian.

Like its relative, the action and slide of the Jericho sit tight inside the frame and as a side effect, reveal little of the slide itself for weapon manipulation. Unlike say, my square Glock which gives me lots of real estate for racking and manipulation, the Jericho gives much less purchase. Consider this a negative if forced to manipulate the weapon when wet or in slippery conditions. Oil carefully so that you don’t coat the slide in excessive slippery oil. Overall, the slide serrations work fine and once you have a normal grip on the pice, it slides back to the rear with little effort.

And, having done that, he has an epiphany:

Once you do get the slide back, you might also notice how smooth it is. Coming from the Tupperware generation of Glocks, I recall the first time I racked a Glock and was met by the scratchy, gritty feel of Gaston’s masterpiece. Once we got the Jericho home and I racked it back, I was jealous. The slide came back so buttery smooth that I instantly realized that IWI had quality in mind with the piece. There is no grit, no chrunch, just a smooth resistance until the barrel drops, which then is increased ever so slightly as the slide pushes the hammer down into the cocked position. Fantastic quality here folks, especially at $549 dollars.

via The Jericho 941: High Quality, With Quirks |

The post gets even better after this point, as he and his wife take the Jericho to the range and learn what it likes and what it doesn’t — and discover one annoying quirk.

His bottom line is that it’s a good gun for someone who likes a steel service pistol for (due to size and weight) OWB carry.

19 thoughts on “CZ System, High Style, Made in… Israel?

  1. Sixgunner

    I got to play with one briefly at the range a while back. Hotshot cop outfit was supposed to be qualifying that day and the guy in charge showed up early. He let me handle it and then gave me 3 rounds to shoot through it. First impression was tepid at best. Good quality build and all that, but it hung wrong in the good ol’ bullseye shooting stance. There were two poppers set up at about 15 yards, poppers being what they’d been made for but they were non-functional in the drop area. With three rounds in the piece I brought the pistol up and shot right, left, right. Clang, clang, clang. It’s not a bullseye pistol by a long shot, but it works exceedingly well at placing rounds on target quickly. Then I went and priced them at the Army store (only legal firearms outlet down here). Not in the budget by a LOOONG shot. Well over 6 times the retail up in the US of A and they’ve tightened up paperwork on evil bottom feeders to the point a mere civilian would have a hard time through the red tape. The Llama will have to continue on duty for the foreseeable future.

    1. Hognose Post author

      You’re well armed with a Llama, Paul. We captured one of the little .32s down range. Surprised the living daylights out of us.

  2. Hammond Aikes

    “CZ-75’s unusual DA/SA/non-decocker system…”

    The CZ 75B has been offered in various configurations, including one with a decocker.

    Under it’s old “Baby Eagle” moniker, the Israeli pistol has been available the same way—my very early Magnum Research 9mm and my .45ACP Baby, for instance. (The location of the lever on the slide has been decried by people with tender thumbs.)

    Maybe I read the Jericho review carelessly, but I saw no mention of a polygonal bore. Has this feature been deleted?

    If so, it’s a shame.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Your comment made me check the IWI website, and their Jericho pages indicate only that it’s cold hammer forged. I think this is the version that Lothaen’s wife bought:

      Maneuver around the website and there are many other versions but there is no mention of how the barrel is rifled. Polygonal rifling would be no harder or costlier to make than angular rifling on a CHF barrel, it’s all in the manufacture of the mandrel. The very good accuracy everyone is reporting in IWI Jerichos suggests that whatever else they’re doing, they haven’t worn out the mandrel (maybe they have new mandrels).

      Here is an intro blog post with a video from Tim Harmsen’s Military Arms Channel.

      As far as the CZ75 goes, there are so many variations just from CZ that it boggles the mind. I tried to do a taxonomy and my graphic tool could not handle all the variations… Gotta get a bigger boat infographics app.

  3. SPEMack

    If Colonel Cooper was a fan and the IDF issued it then obviously it was a good piece of kit.

    I’ve got an itch for a full size steel 9mm. Have to wait until I pay off a ring, but it’s coming.

  4. Steve from Downtown Canada

    I just bought the IWI Jericho 9mm yesterday afternoon after work! I have to say its an impressive piece of work and seemed built for my hand.

  5. Christopher

    I had one of the older ones that had the Sig style de-cocker. Takeup was shorter than my old Sig P229. I was using it for IDPA and had some ejection problems, probably also ammo related. I liked that gun and wish I had it back now.


    I had a CZ-75 for a few years and it was a fine piece. The ergonomics are great. This is a nice looking variant and I wish I had the space in my safe to own one.

    FWIW…I picked up my Walther PPQ M2 5 inch last week and it’s a *fabulous* piece of kit. Perfect ergonomics, bullseye level accuracy and a sublime trigger. Anybody out there who shoots tupperware really should run down to the LGS and check them out.

  7. Daniel E. Watters

    On the early production Jericho 941, the only Israeli parts were the barrel and the night sights. Everything else was sourced from Tanfoglio. IMI’s inspectors were reportedly prowling up and down the Italian production line.

    It is pretty clear that IMI tweaked the outer appearance of the Tanfoglio so that it would look like their iconic Desert Eagle.

  8. redc1c4

    i wonder if it’s #Failifornia legal?

    i’m guessing not, but we have so many other things lined up to purchase that there’s no point in checking.

    1. Hognose Post author

      According to the website, IWI they have no plans to jump through the California or Massachusetts hoops. In both cases the tests are pretty arbitrary and are really aimed at this result.

  9. Keith

    I’m in North Carolina were it’s still not very hard to get a permit if your not bared for a legal reason. And compared to the price for Colt’s, Beretta’s, Browning’s and Springfield Armory that is a bargain for a quality made pistol like that. No money 🙁

  10. Docduracoat

    I love my CZ 75!

    I have had it over 10 years and it has never misfired over thousands of rounds.

    I put the crimson trace laser grips on it and now I can make hits from unusual shooting position and even while running away from the target