I have spent some considerable time researching the “Israeli-made handguns” list, and have come to some new conclusions.
First, most of my research is based on this poster that IsraelDefense uploaded a few years ago. I have been accepting it as truth as to what guns were designed in Israel, but I no longer believe that is the case, as there are some glaring errors on it with regards to the handguns.
First problem: the “Magen-1” listed is clearly just an early polymer Jericho with an odd rear sight assembly. I am guessing the year is a mistake, and it should be 1996. Further support for this claim would be that the polymer Jericho doesn’t seem to appear anywhere else. I would further theorize that “Magen-1” was the project name for the polymer Jericho line, and that they were experimenting with more robust rear sights (ala the original Barak) at the time.
Second problem: the “Pocket 9” shown is the Intratec CAT-9. The “Pocket 9” was an earlier Detonics gun with a more streamlined look and a slide safety. Both of these guns were designed by Sirkis, but I am unaware of them being designed or manufactured in Israel. Remember that Sirkis spent considerable time in the United States working for Kimber and others. Sirkis’ terrific design work is certainly within the scope of this blog, but I need to be clear about what was made and designed where.
Third problem: the BUL Impact and Storm handguns aren’t listed anywhere. I suppose there is the possibility that the Storm is a rebranded Tanfoglio-built gun, albeit that doesn’t really mesh with BUL’s known method of operating. The BUL Impact is unique enough that I can’t believe it’s anything other than a BUL creation.
Fourth problem: none of the KSN guns (Kareen, GAL, Golan) are listed. These weren’t really a big deal in terms of innovative design, but they were Israeli-built, and it seems like the KSN 1911 line did have some modifications from the norm in some variants.
Fifth problem: there’s no outside indication that the IMI AMI was really an Israeli design, or Israeli-manufactured. If they were doing some museum research, this makes sense, the Lahti was imported to Israel and used in small numbers. As a gun to clone, the Lahti seems like about the worst choice ever due to its complexity, hence my belief that IMI never did so.
There are also some minor clarifications and notes I’d like to make:
- The IMI revolver is just an American-made S&W Victory (Model 10) rechambered to 9mm. I’ve seen conflicting arguments as to whether they started with Lend-Lease guns or not. My understanding is that the 9mm conversions were technically difficult, so I guess they count as an Israeli design (much like the 22lr FAL and 98k).
- I am increasingly certain that the SQP and Black Horse never made it to production.
- They somewhat disingenuously list the steel Jericho a few different times. It’s interesting to see the evolution, but outside of a few design tweaks (captured recoil spring), they’re the same guns.