The Jericho 941 is a double action/single action semi-automatic pistol developed by Israel Weapon Industries and introduced to the market in 1990 as the Jericho 941. It was first imported into the US in 1990 by K.B.I., Inc. of Harrisburg, PA. It was later imported by O.F. Mossberg & Sons and named the Uzi Eagle and by Magnum Research, Inc. as the Baby Eagle until the end of 2008. Some pistols from Magnum Research are marked Desert Eagle Pistol. Despite these names being used in the US market, the Jericho 941 is not related to the IMI Desert Eagle other than its manufacture and design by IMI, and bears only a slight cosmetic resemblance to the larger pistol. Beginning January 1, 2009 until they ceased business on January 29, 2010, K.B.I., Inc. (which also imported Charles Daly firearms) resumed importation of the handgun as the Jericho. Magnum Research, now a division of Kahr Arms, announced a renewed importation of the Jericho.
Design and Features
The original Jericho 941 was based on the well-respected CZ-75 pistol designed and produced by Česká zbrojovka (CZ) of the Czech Republic and built using parts supplied by the Italian arms house Tanfoglio, which had been making their own CZ-75 clones. Using a well-tested design allowed IMI to avoid the teething problems most new pistol designs experience, and subcontracting much of the basic fabrication work to Tanfoglio allowed IMI to quickly and economically put into production a pistol that would have enough Israeli content to satisfy government contract requirements.
While the R-versions of Jericho 941 feature a combined safety/decocker, which on safe also decocks the pistol, the decocker version of CZ-75 (CZ-75BD) features only a simple de-cocker. The barrel of the CZ-75 is traditionally rifled, while the Jericho 941 features a polygonal barrel, furthermore the Jericho 941 is substantially heavier. These differences translate into substantial differences in the condition in which the gun is carried, and in preference. The two guns are far from identical. Magazines for the CZ-75 and Tanfoglio T95 will function in the Jericho 941.
The single most significant innovation attempted by IMI was offering a new, much "hotter" cartridge, the .41 Action Express (see below) to go along with the Jericho 941. The difference between 9MM and .41 AE is the same as .44 magnum and .50 AE. The AE bullets have rebated rims which are the same diameter as the less powerful rounds, but the casing is wider providing more power. This allows these pairs of calibers to be used in the same firearm with only a change of barrel, recoil spring and magazine.
The .41 AE was even less successful in gaining traction in the marketplace than the 10 mm, and was soon discontinued. Experience with heavily loaded rounds gave IMI a considerable lead, however, in chambering for the soon-to-be successful .40 S&W and also allowed the Jericho to "up-chamber" to the very popular .45 ACP. Firearm enthusiasts praise the accuracy of the Jericho/Baby Eagle, its reliability, and its pricing. It is generally considered to be a very slim design for a large caliber pistol with a double-stack magazine, with "natural" pointing due to grip angle. The Jericho 941 design has been modified to include accessory rails on the frame for mounting lasers or flashlights, a feature found on many current-generation semi-automatic handguns.
941 F/R (Steel)
941 FL/RL (Polymer)
941 FS/RS (Steel)
941 FB/RB (Steel)
941 SL/RSL (Polymer)
941 FBL/RBL (Polymer)
The introduction of the Jericho 941 also introduced a new caliber to the market, the .41 Action Express (or .41 AE), which was developed in 1986. The .41 AE was a unique rebated rim cartridge designed to use .410 inch (10.25 mm) bullets and duplicate a reduced power police loading of the .41 Magnum. The Jericho originally shipped with two barrels, one for 9x19mm Parabellum and the other for .41 AE. Since the .41 AE was designed with a rebated rim the same dimensions as that of the 9 mm, the extractor and ejector worked equally well for either cartridge.
Soon after its commercial introduction, the .40 S&W was introduced to the market. Ballistically, the .40 S&W was nearly identical to moderate .41 AE loads (the reloading manuals that list the .41 AE generally say to use .40 S&W data), although commercial loadings of .41 AE were somewhat more powerful than the .40 S&W. With the stronger backing of major American firearms and ammunition manufacturers, the .40 S&W quickly pushed the .41 AE out of the market. The Jericho 941 was only on the market for 1 year before the dual 9 mm/.41 AE chambering was dropped, and the pistol was sold as either 9 mm or .40 S&W. Some shooters like the Baby Eagle in .40 S&W for its extra reserve of strength, since the Baby Eagle was originally designed for a more potent cartridge (the .41 AE), which is the reverse of some makers who dropped .40 S&W barrels into pistols previously spec`d for the milder 9 mm cartridge and had subsequent barrel and cartridge case failures.
A later compact version, the Jericho 941, was chambered in .45 ACP or 9 mm. It is not clear to what extent the Jericho original 41. AE/9 mm Jericho frame and slide were "built-up" to handle the .45 ACP`s much larger diameter; although the .45 ACP is a milder load running at much lower pressures than the .41 AE, the barrel opening for the .45 ACP is, of necessity, much larger. Desert Eagle does not permit the use of +P or +P+ loads per its website FAQ, although reviewers have shot and reported the ballistics on +P .45 ACP defensive loadings.
Initially Jericho pistols used barrels with polygonal rifling, which sometimes produces slightly higher velocity due to better bullet to barrel fit. IWI switched to conventional land and groove rifling from 2005 to 2007.
The Jericho 941 is issued in current service throughout the Israeli Security Forces, and Israel Weapon Industries Lost a 1.2 Billion Pesos bid for the Philippine National Police`s 60,000 handgun procurement on July 11, 2012.
The .41 AE cartridge
While the .41 AE and the easy caliber conversion it provided was a good idea, the timing was just not right. The .41 AE used the same bullet diameter as the never very popular .41 Magnum, and since the .41 Magnum was primarily a revolver cartridge (though IWI did offer it in the Desert Eagle for a brief time) not all .41 Magnum bullets were suited to an autoloading design. The powerful 10 mm Auto cartridge, which had been suffering from poor acceptance from its start in the early 1980s, was eventually accepted by the FBI in a reduced power, subsonic loading. Smith & Wesson then decided that the 10 mm Auto was too much cartridge for the reduced power loading, and that the .45 ACP sized guns that chambered it were too heavy and bulky; out of this came the .40 S&W, a shortened 10 mm Auto case, designed to fit in a 9 mm sized gun, with a reduced pressure loading that allowed a lighter, easier to shoot gun. The near identical ballistics of the .40 S&W and the .41 AE are a result of convergent evolution in engineering; the .40 S&W starting from 10 mm Auto and moving to a shorter 9 mm length case and matching the ballistics of a reduced 10 mm Auto loading, and the .41 AE starting with a 9 mm and moving to the .41 caliber diameter to match a reduced .41 Magnum load.
In 1988, IWI also developed a 9 mm Action Express, which was a .41 AE necked down to 9 mm. It offered a much larger case capacity than the standard 9 mm case, allowing velocities that matched that of the .357 Magnum when loaded with light bullets. This move anticipated the parallel development of the .357 SIG from the .40 S&W in 1994.
While the .41 AE was doomed by circumstance to obscurity, the concept of using a rebated rim to allow easy cartridge interchangeability was not lost. The .50 Action Express, developed by IWI for the Desert Eagle pistol, uses a similar rebated rim that is the same diameter as the .44 Magnum. This allows a caliber change with replacement of just the barrel and magazine. Bottlenecked pistol cartridges, which also allow caliber changes with just a barrel change, have also started become available; Sturm Ruger made a limited edition convertible P Series pistol in 9 mm/.30 Luger, Sig Sauer released the .357 SIG, based on the .40 S&W, and Cor-Bon released the .400 Corbon based on the .45 ACP.
- Chile: 9mm Semi-Compact Polymer BE model used by Policia De Investigaciones.
- Costa Rica
- Israel: Used by various police and security forces.
- Philippines: Used by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police.
Israel Weapon Industries
9mm Para, .40S&W, .45ACP, .41AE (discontinued)
(Unloaded) 920g (941g FS)
184 mm (7.2 in) to 207 mm (8.1 in)
89 mm (3.5 in) to 112 mm (4.4 in)
13/15/16 (9mm) or 10/12 (.40 S&W) or 10 (.45 ACP)
detachable box magazine
Fixed (Combat), or optional fully adjustable, or optional illuminated night sights.