The news has arrived as expected: IWI-US is now importing the Jericho 941 to the US. You can read their press release and my analysis after the break:
I have no idea how I missed this, but the Forgotten Weapons blog has an excellent post up about the FFV-890C. The FFV-890C was the Galil variant submitted for the Swedish service rifle trials in the latter part of the 1970’s, which the FNC eventually wound up winning.
Most of the modifications are nothing terribly special, but the case deflector on the dust cover was a clever idea. The cross-bar safety on model 2 is just flat-out weird, though… seems like they should have just gone to the drawing board and redesigned the entire selector system.
Speaking of which, there’s one other Galil variant out there that doesn’t get a lot of discussion: the Bernardelli Mod.378 VB-SR. This was license manufactured by Bernadelli in Italy. The only major user is the Italian national police SWAT force, NOCS, although I’ve also read that the Italian Army also uses it for M203-equipped soldiers/grenadiers. The major improvement is that it was sometimes manufactured to use standard AR-15 mags. I’ve heard rumor that other things may have been changed, but I’ve never seen a list or any solid info.
IWI-US just posted up pictures (on their Facebook page) of the Jericho 941FS (steel-frame, frame-safety, compact) in .45ACP and Jericho 941PSL (polymer-frame, frame-safety, compact) in 9mm, with promises of a press release tomorrow. You don’t need to be a genius to figure out that this is probably going to be an announcement that IWI-US is taking over the imports of the Jericho from Magnum Research. Given how badly Magnum Research has done at marketing the Jericho (“Baby Eagle” – seriously?), this is a big step in the right direction.
In my opinion, pricing is really going to be the make-or-break on the Jericho’s success. We’ve seen an influx of high-quality pistols from Turkey and Slovakia lately, and it’s becoming less and less clear that the > $600 price point is really sustainable on a gun that’s essentially an already-widely-available Tanfoglio. They’d be well-advised to think about offering models with threaded barrels and night sights at a minimum.
If you want the full run-down on the Jericho 941 models, you should look at the IWI brochure (PDF).
Now, here’s the real question: what’s Magnum Research going to do? If it were me, I’d be looking at importing BUL Cherokees, given their existing relationship with BUL (the “Desert Eagle” 1911s are supposedly BUL guns). But those lack the cachet that the Jericho has… this should be interesting.
12/16 update: the Baby Eagle line has completely vanished from Magnum Research’s front page. The Baby Eagle is still listed in the catalog, but I think MR’s relationship with IWI is coming to a close…
When I was reading “Weapon Tests and Evaluations: The Best of Soldier of Fortune” (don’t judge me, I was trapped in my hotel room), I noticed that the author, in an article that was written something like 25-30 years ago, was proclaiming the death of submachineguns. Short-barreled rifles in real rifle calibers will rule the world, and why would you ever shoot something that weighs the same in a far less effective caliber? It’s a fair point, and a point that it seems like most of the world’s militaries have taken to heart.
Yet, here we are in 2014 (almost 2015!), and pistol caliber carbines (PCCs) are still pretty hot amongst American firearms enthusiasts. This includes the Uzi, probably the most iconic of PCCs alongside the H&K MP5. IMI Uzis have been banned from import for quite a long time, but Vector is still manufacturing Uzis and Mini Uzis.
Ignoring the heavy weight of the Uzi for the moment, I think it’s a platform that can be modernized more effectively than some people think…
The Jericho 941 has the distinction of having been the Israeli Police’s service pistol until it was replaced by the Glock 19. While I’m sure that part of the reason it was chosen was that it was indigenously-manufactured, it’s difficult to deny that Jericho is an excellent handgun strictly on its own merits. Over the years, the Jericho 941 has been imported to the US by KBI/Charles Daly (defunct), Mossberg (“Uzi Eagle”), and Magnum Research (“Baby Eagle”). But, there’s a catch: only the slide safety/decocker model has been imported in great numbers. The frame safety model is very difficult to find as a result.
Through the power of Gunbroker, though, I was able to acquire a Jericho 941F – with no import markings or “Baby Eagle” rollmark. What do I think about it? Read on.
When I first got my Saiga 12, I took it in its pristine, unconverted form down to the range to get some shooting. The ranges that were available to me were 1) indoors and 2) only allowed slugs. Thus, I was to experience the Saiga 12 in its purest form: shooting high-powered slug loads.
This was unpleasant. The Saiga 12 doesn’t kick as badly as a pump-action shotgun, but it still does quite a number on your shoulder. I knew I needed something better when I converted it… and I think I found it.
In the Israeli war of independence, the Haganah was using whatever weaponry it could get its hands on – Kar98ks, Sten guns, SMLEs, etc. But after the establishment of the state, the new IDF needed more of a standard service rifle – and that rifle needed to be modern and capable. Hence, the FN FAL rifle and FN FALO squad automatic weapon were purchased and, later, domestically manufactured. As is common with the FAL, these Israeli variants have their own peculiarities.
I happen to own a semi-auto build of an Israeli pattern FN FALO built on an Entreprise receiver. Some thoughts after the jump.