I wanted a CZ-97, but finding one of those is like finding a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's Factory. I was talking to the gun dealer by me and he said he had seen exactly 3 CZ-97's in the last 5 or 6 years. For those who aren't familiar with the CZ-97, it is the larger cousin to the iconic CZ-75, and it is chambered in .45 ACP. Well I looked for a while, and then finally said this is a fucking waste of my time. Bud's Gun Shop has them occasionally, but fuck them (a story for another time).
I had heard rumblings that many manufacturers were copying the design of the CZ's over the years because of how solid the gun was. Think the Czech version of the 1911, or the Browning Hi Power, copied because it gets something right and the design stands the test of time! The thing the CZ's are really known for is the slide riding INSIDE the frame as opposed to the outside of the frame. Makes for a really solid shooting platform because of its stiffness and low bore axis.
Well, one company that makes a CZ clone is IWI (Israeli Weapons Industries) formerly IMI (Israeli Military Industries). Say what you want about the Israeli's, these people know how to make a gun. The country has produced a number of legendary firearms, including the Uzi, Galil, Tavor, and the Jericho 941 (stay tuned). They also make some damn fine magazines for the Tavor that are completely compatible with the AR-15 platform (I have a bunch for my M4, some high quality shit).
The aforementioned Jericho 941 is the pistol we'll be focusing on. It is the clone of the CZ-75, originally chambered in a round developed by IMI called the .41 AE. That round never caught on and the .40 S&W went on to become the bridge between the 9mm and the .45 ACP. IWI makes the Jericho in 9mm, .40, and .45. Magnum Research simply imports the gun from IWI in Israel. Many companies have been the importer of this gun including KBI and Mossberg. This is the second time Magnum Research has been the importer (after stopping for a few years), and they only started again after they were purchased by Kahr Arms.
The dumb fucks at Magnum Research rebrand the pistol the "Baby Desert Eagle" even though it has absolutely nothing in common with the Desert Eagle. The markings on the gun all indicate that it was manufactured in Israel by IWI, including a large IWI logo on the grips. The pistol was not always offered in .45 cal and once I saw that it was I snapped one up. Apparently, its a pretty popular gun because the gun shop by me had 8 on Friday and by the following Wednesday they were all gone. The gun retails for about $550 and is all steel construction. The model I have is what they classify as Semi Compact (SC) and came with a safety/decocker. Below are some stats:
|Weight w/ Empty Mag||39.8 oz, Empty mag.: 3.2 oz|
|Construction||High quality carbon steel frame and slide|
|Finish||Black oxide finish|
|Trigger||Double Action/Single Action (DA/SA)|
|Trigger Pull||12 - 13 lbs (DA), 4.5 - 5 lbs (SA)|
|Rifling||6 Right Hand grooves, conventional|
|Safety||Slide mounted safety and decocker, ambidextrous|
|Firing Pin Block||Yes|
|Sights||Combat type, white three dot, fixed|
|Magazines||2 - 10 Round|
Below are some pictures of my particular weapon:
|The nice plastic case included with the weapon.|
|The gun came with 2 magazines, a brass and nylon brush, as well as a plastic bore rod for the brushes.|
|Here you can easily see how the slide rides inside the frame, very obvious when the slide is retracted.|
|Here is the weapon in all of its glory.|
Overall, I am quite happy with my purchase. I think this will be one I don't regret getting, and boy have I had a few of those. I should also give a shout to Hickory Ridge Firearms in Medino, OH. I bought the gun there and they were great, they got their distributor to ship it in like 2 days and the whole process was quite painless, they do a brisk Internet business so I would say give them some love if they have a weapon you are looking for.
That is all...