So, today, I’ve got something VERY special for you. Courtesy of reader Marcin at POLARMS, I am pleased to show you pictures of a true unicorn: an IMI Magen-1. The Magen-1 has been a real mystery to me. There is a single reference to it online, with basically no useful information other than “it’s 9mm”. Well, now we’ve got pictures, and they tell a lot more of the story. More after the break!
Continue reading The IMI Magen-1
Yes, that’s an actual unfired, mint-condition IMI Compact 945 (which I’ve previously erroneously called the 945 Compact) you see in the picture. You’ll recall this pistol from the article I wrote on it previously. The Compact 945 did make it into the wild, at least in a limited way.
Before I go any further, I want to acknowledge reader “Patrick from Belgium”, with the photos and manual you see in this article, not to mention some other contextual information that’s probably at least as important. The good stuff is after the break!
Continue reading The IMI Compact 945
I was looking at a review of the new IWI-US imported Jericho over on LooseRounds, and noticed that the author had a very interesting comment about it:
… 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.
Fair criticism, of course. IMI apparently took this to heart when they designed the Barak, which has the large, easy-to-grab, and ugly rear sight “hump”.
But… this is also specifically a problem with the newest generation of Jerichos. The sights on the new imports are of the “snag-free” variety. However, if you look at the older IMI guns, they’ve got a much different design – very vertical, thick, and “snaggy”. The advantage is that the old style sights make the slide much easier to manipulate. You simply grab the top of the slide and push back against the rear sight.
Want to be a real operator and do a one-handed-against-the-table slide manipulation? The old-style sights were awesome for that. In fact, the old-style sights were pretty great in general, so I’m not sure why they changed them. Snag-free isn’t everything.
You may not be aware of this, but ammo has gotten pretty cheap these days – almost the cheapest I’ve seen it since 2008. You can get quality brass-cased 9mm ammo for 20c a round, and steel-cased 5.56×45 is not far behind. As long as you’re not into .22lr, this is a good time to be shooting.
Wideners has been selling IMI 115gr 9mm FMJ ammo for under 20c a round (edit: sold out now), and IMI 115gr 9mm EX-STAR JHP for 22c a round. While I’m not a purist about shooting Israeli ammo through my Israeli guns, I’m always down for some good ammo. I ordered a couple cases. Here’s what I found…
Continue reading IMI 115gr 9×19 FMJ and EX-STAR Ammo Review
One of the most maddening Israeli-made handguns to track down has been the “IMI Revolver 9mm”. There is simply very little reliable information about it floating around on the internet due to its age and lack of commercial imports.
There are conflicting accounts of what caliber the revolvers were chambered in (9×19, .38 Special, or 9×21), whether they were based on the S&W 1917 design or S&W Model 10 design, and whether they were ever produced in any real volume. (All sources agree that they used half-moon clips, which at is something, I guess.) Internet legend has it that the Israelis made them for the Palestinian Authority’s police units after favorably evaluating the 9mm S&W Model 547 (a different gun entirely), but the total lack of them in imported Israeli police seizure lots is baffling, if that is true. I have spent some time researching the issue, and I think I’ve got a better theory as to what’s going on.
Continue reading The Mystery of the IMI 9mm Revolver
The least-known handgun made by IMI/IWI is probably the Barak. It was imported ever so briefly by Magnum Research as the SP-21, and then dumped after poor sales. Eventually, it was also removed from the IWI sales catalog as well.
I think this is a tragedy, because the Barak is one of the best polymer hammer-fired handguns ever made.
Continue reading The IMI/IWI Barak
I was recently able to procure two Barak handguns – one an early IMI model, and the other a later IWI model. I have been working on the assumption that the IWI model is a redesign of the IMI model, and not some sort of parallel variant that no one has ever heard of.
I’ve field-stripped both in an effort to determine what differences are between them.
Continue reading Comparing the IMI Barak and the IWI Barak