The IWI Jericho: A Comprehensive Guide

iwi jericho


The IWI Jericho is a renowned family of semi-automatic pistols produced by Israel Weapon Industries (IWI). Known for its durability, reliability, and robust design, the Jericho has earned a significant place in both civilian and professional shooting communities. This comprehensive guide aims to delve deep into the history, design, performance, and various applications of the IWI Jericho, providing an extensive resource for enthusiasts and prospective buyers alike.

The IWI Jericho series, often recognized by its distinctive appearance and exceptional build quality, has a storied history that contributes to its popularity. Whether used for self-defense, law enforcement, or recreational shooting, the Jericho pistols offer versatility and performance that meet the demands of a wide range of users.

This article will cover the following aspects of the IWI Jericho:

  • The historical background and development of the series
  • Detailed design and features
  • Variants and their specific characteristics
  • Performance metrics and user experiences
  • Applications in various fields
  • Comparisons with other popular firearms
  • Legal considerations for ownership and use
  • Accessories and customization options
  • Maintenance and care tips
  • A comprehensive buying guide

By the end of this guide, readers will have a thorough understanding of the IWI Jericho and its place in the world of firearms.

History of the IWI Jericho

Origins and Development

The IWI Jericho series traces its roots back to the late 1980s when Israel Weapon Industries (then known as Israel Military Industries, or IMI) sought to develop a new semi-automatic pistol. The goal was to create a firearm that combined the reliability and robustness required for military and law enforcement use with the accuracy and ergonomics appreciated by civilian shooters.

The initial design of the Jericho was heavily influenced by the CZ 75, a renowned Czech pistol known for its excellent ergonomics and reliability. IMI acquired the rights to use the CZ 75’s design, which allowed them to build upon a proven platform. This decision laid the foundation for what would become one of the most iconic pistols in the firearms industry.

Evolution Over the Years

Early Models

The first Jericho pistols, introduced in 1990, were known as the Jericho 941. The “941” designation referred to the dual-caliber capability of the pistol, which could chamber both 9mm and .41 Action Express (AE) rounds. This versatility was a key selling point, offering users the option to switch between calibers with a simple barrel and magazine change.

The early models featured a steel frame, which provided a solid and durable foundation, albeit at the cost of increased weight. These pistols quickly gained a reputation for their accuracy, reliability, and robust construction, making them popular among law enforcement agencies and civilian shooters alike.

Modern Variants

Over the years, the Jericho series has undergone several iterations and improvements. Modern variants include the Jericho Enhanced, Jericho F, and various polymer-framed models. These updates have introduced numerous enhancements, such as improved ergonomics, lighter frames, and accessory rails, while maintaining the core attributes that made the original Jericho 941 a success.

The Jericho Enhanced, for instance, features a redesigned frame with a more ergonomic grip, front and rear slide serrations for easier manipulation, and an accessory rail for mounting lights and lasers. These improvements cater to the needs of contemporary shooters without compromising the pistol’s reliability and performance.

Design and Features

General Design and Ergonomics

The IWI Jericho is known for its distinctive design, which combines aesthetic appeal with functional ergonomics. The pistol’s frame, available in both steel and polymer variants, provides a solid foundation that enhances durability and stability during shooting. The grip is designed to fit comfortably in the hand, allowing for a secure and natural hold that aids in accuracy and control.

Technical Specifications

Caliber Options

The Jericho series is available in multiple calibers to suit different preferences and applications. The most common calibers include:

  • 9mm Luger: Popular for its balance of recoil, capacity, and availability
  • .40 S&W: Offers a stronger stopping power while maintaining manageable recoil
  • .45 ACP: Preferred for its significant stopping power, often used in self-defense situations

Barrel Length and Weight

The Jericho series offers various barrel lengths to accommodate different uses:

Full-size models: Typically feature a barrel length of around 4.4 inches, providing a balance of accuracy and concealability
Compact models: Feature shorter barrels, usually around 3.8 inches, for enhanced portability and ease of concealment
The weight of the Jericho pistols varies depending on the frame material and model, with steel-framed models being heavier and more robust, while polymer-framed models are lighter and easier to carry for extended periods.

Magazine Capacity

The magazine capacity of the Jericho pistols varies based on the caliber and model. Common capacities include:

  • 9mm models: Typically hold 15 to 17 rounds
  • .40 S&W models: Usually hold 12 to 14 rounds
  • .45 ACP models: Generally hold 10 to 12 rounds
  • These capacities provide ample ammunition for self-defense, law enforcement, and recreational shooting, balancing firepower with the need for a manageable grip size.

Unique Features

The IWI Jericho series boasts several unique features that set it apart from other pistols in its class:

Safety Mechanisms

The Jericho pistols incorporate a range of safety features to ensure reliable and secure operation. These include:

  • Manual safety: Allows the user to engage or disengage the safety manually, preventing accidental discharge
  • Firing pin block: Prevents the firing pin from moving unless the trigger is fully pulled, enhancing safety if the pistol is dropped
  • Decocker: Available on some models, allowing the user to safely lower the hammer without discharging the firearm

Rail Systems

Many modern Jericho models feature accessory rails, typically located on the frame’s dust cover. These rails allow users to attach a variety of accessories, such as tactical lights, lasers, and other aiming aids, enhancing the pistol’s versatility for different applications.

Variants and Models

Jericho 941

The Jericho 941 is the original model that started the series. Known for its dual-caliber capability, it allowed users to switch between 9mm and .41 AE with a simple barrel and magazine change. The steel frame provided a robust and durable platform, making it a favorite among law enforcement and civilian shooters.

Jericho Enhanced

The Jericho Enhanced represents a modern iteration of the original design, incorporating numerous improvements to meet contemporary needs. Key features include:

  • Ergonomic grip: Redesigned to fit more comfortably in the hand
  • Slide serrations: Front and rear serrations for easier slide manipulation
  • Accessory rail: Integrated rail for mounting lights, lasers, and other accessories

Jericho F

The Jericho F variant is designed with a focus on tactical applications. Distinguishing characteristics include:

  • Frame-mounted safety: Allows for “cocked and locked” carry, preferred by some tactical users
  • Extended slide release: Facilitates faster and more intuitive slide manipulations

Comparison of Models

When comparing the various Jericho models, key differences and similarities become apparent:

  • Frame material: Steel vs. polymer, affecting weight and durability
  • Caliber options: Availability in different calibers to suit various needs
  • Ergonomic improvements: Modern models feature enhanced grips and controls

These comparisons help potential buyers choose the model that best fits their intended use and personal preferences.

Performance and Reliability

Accuracy and Precision

The IWI Jericho series is renowned for its accuracy and precision. Factors contributing to its performance include:

  • Barrel quality: High-quality barrels ensure consistent and reliable bullet trajectory
  • Trigger mechanism: Smooth and consistent trigger pull aids in maintaining accuracy
  • Ergonomics: Comfortable grip and balanced weight distribution enhance control during shooting

User reviews and expert opinions often highlight the Jericho’s ability to deliver tight groupings and consistent performance, making it a trusted choice for both professional and recreational shooters.

Durability and Maintenance

The Jericho pistols are built to withstand rigorous use, thanks to their robust construction and high-quality materials. Steel-framed models offer exceptional durability, while polymer-framed variants provide a lighter option without compromising strength.

Maintenance Practices

To ensure optimal performance and longevity, regular maintenance is essential. Recommended practices include:

  • Cleaning: Regular cleaning after use to remove residue and prevent corrosion
  • Lubrication: Proper lubrication of moving parts to reduce friction and wear
  • Inspection: Routine inspection for signs of wear or damage, with timely replacement of worn components

By adhering to these maintenance practices, users can ensure their Jericho pistols remain reliable and functional for years to come.


Law Enforcement and Military Use

The IWI Jericho has been adopted by numerous law enforcement agencies and military units worldwide. Its reliability, accuracy, and robust construction make it well-suited for the demanding requirements of professional use.

Adoption by Agencies

Many police forces and military units have chosen the Jericho for its proven performance in the field. Its ability to withstand harsh conditions and deliver consistent accuracy makes it a trusted sidearm for officers and soldiers alike.

Civilian Use

The Jericho series is also popular among civilian shooters for various applications, including self-defense, recreational shooting, and competition.


For self-defense purposes, the Jericho’s reliability, ease of use, and stopping power make it an excellent choice. Key features that appeal to self-defense users include:

  • Ergonomic design: Ensures a secure and comfortable grip for quick and accurate shooting under stress
  • Safety mechanisms: Provide peace of mind and prevent accidental discharge
  • Caliber options: Allow users to choose the level of stopping power that best fits their needs

Recreational Shooting

Recreational shooters appreciate the Jericho for its accuracy, reliability, and overall shooting experience. Whether plinking at the range or participating in shooting sports, the Jericho offers:

  • Precision: High-quality barrels and smooth triggers contribute to enjoyable and rewarding shooting sessions
  • Versatility: Multiple calibers and configurations cater to different preferences and shooting styles

Competitive Shooting

In the realm of competitive shooting, the Jericho’s accuracy and ergonomics come to the forefront. Features that make it suitable for competition include:

  • Adjustable sights: Allow for fine-tuning to achieve optimal accuracy
  • Accessory rails: Enable the attachment of performance-enhancing accessories like red dot sights and compensators
  • Customizability: The Jericho can be easily customized to meet the specific needs of competitive shooters

Comparisons with Other Firearms

CZ 75

Given that the Jericho’s design is heavily influenced by the CZ 75, comparing the two is inevitable. Both pistols share several similarities, such as their overall design and ergonomics. However, there are distinct differences:

  • Frame material: The CZ 75 traditionally uses an all-steel frame, while the Jericho offers both steel and polymer options
  • Safety features: The Jericho often includes additional safety mechanisms like the decocker, which is not standard on all CZ 75 models

Glock Series

Comparing the Jericho to the Glock series highlights differences in design philosophy:

  • Trigger system: The Glock features a striker-fired mechanism, while the Jericho uses a traditional hammer-fired system
  • Ergonomics: The Jericho’s grip design is often considered more ergonomic by some shooters, while others prefer the Glock’s simpler, more modular grip
  • Frame material: The Glock is known for its polymer frame, which contributes to its lightweight nature, whereas the Jericho offers both polymer and steel options

Sig Sauer P226

The Sig Sauer P226 is another popular pistol often compared to the Jericho. Key points of comparison include:

  • Build quality: Both pistols are known for their exceptional build quality and reliability
  • Ergonomics: While both offer comfortable grips, personal preference will determine which feels better in the hand
  • Features: The P226 often includes a decocking lever and is available in various configurations, similar to the Jericho’s versatile lineup

Legal Considerations for Ownership and Use

United States

In the United States, firearm ownership is subject to federal, state, and local regulations. Key considerations include:

  • Background checks: Required for all firearm purchases from licensed dealers
  • Permit requirements: Some states require permits for concealed or open carry
  • Assault weapons bans: Some jurisdictions have restrictions on magazine capacity and features that may apply to certain Jericho models

International Regulations

Internationally, the legal landscape for firearm ownership varies significantly:

  • Europe: Many European countries have stringent regulations on handgun ownership, often requiring thorough background checks and justifiable reasons for ownership
  • Asia: Ownership of firearms is heavily restricted in many Asian countries, with some allowing only limited access to handguns for sport shooting or self-defense
  • Africa and Latin America: Regulations vary widely, with some countries having more permissive laws and others imposing strict controls

Transport and Storage

Proper transport and storage of firearms are crucial for legal compliance and safety:

  • Transport: Firearms should be transported unloaded, in a locked container, and separate from ammunition
  • Storage: Safe storage practices include using gun safes or lockable cabinets to prevent unauthorized access

Accessories and Customization Options

Sights and Optics

Upgrading the sights on the Jericho can significantly enhance its accuracy and usability:

  • Night sights: Improve visibility in low-light conditions
  • Red dot sights: Offer faster target acquisition and improved accuracy for competitive and tactical use

Grips and Ergonomics

Custom grips can enhance the comfort and control of the Jericho:

  • Rubber grips: Provide additional comfort and reduce recoil
  • Customizable panels: Allow users to tailor the grip size and texture to their preference

Tactical Accessories

The accessory rail on many Jericho models allows for the attachment of various tactical accessories:

  • Flashlights: Essential for low-light shooting and self-defense situations
  • Lasers: Aid in quick target acquisition and improved accuracy

Holsters and Carry Options

Selecting the right holster is crucial for both comfort and accessibility. There are several types of holsters available for the Jericho series:

  • Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) Holsters: Popular for concealed carry, these holsters tuck inside the waistband, offering discreet carry options.
  • Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) Holsters: Often used for open carry or range use, these holsters attach to the belt outside the waistband.
  • Shoulder Holsters: Provide an alternative carry method, distributing the weight across the shoulders.
  • Appendix Carry Holsters: Positioned in front of the body for quick access and concealment.
  • Pocket Holsters: Designed for smaller models, these holsters fit within a pocket for deep concealment.

Magazine Upgrades

Improving magazine performance and capacity can enhance the overall functionality of the Jericho:

  • Extended Magazines: Offer higher round capacity, useful for competition or extended shooting sessions.
  • Magazine Release Extensions: Facilitate quicker and easier magazine changes.
  • Magazine Springs and Followers: Upgrading these components can improve reliability and feeding performance.

Triggers and Internal Components

Customizing the trigger and internal components can tailor the Jericho’s performance to specific needs:

  • Trigger Kits: Aftermarket trigger kits can reduce trigger pull weight and improve smoothness, enhancing accuracy and control.
  • Recoil Springs: Different weight recoil springs can be used to adjust the handling characteristics and manage recoil better.
  • Slide Releases and Safety Levers: Upgraded or extended controls can improve ergonomics and ease of use.

Community and Support

Online Forums and Communities

Joining online forums and communities dedicated to Jericho pistols can provide valuable insights, support, and resources:

  • Jericho-Specific Forums: Communities focused specifically on Jericho pistols, where users share experiences, tips, and modifications.
  • General Firearm Forums: Broader firearm forums often have sections or threads dedicated to the Jericho, offering diverse perspectives and advice.

Training and Courses

Proper training is essential for safe and effective use of the Jericho pistol:

  • Basic Firearms Training: Covers fundamental safety, handling, and shooting techniques.
  • Advanced Defensive Courses: Focus on defensive tactics, situational awareness, and advanced shooting skills.
  • Competition Training: Offers specialized instruction for competitive shooting disciplines, such as IPSC or IDPA.

Manufacturer Support and Warranty

IWI provides robust support for Jericho owners, including:

  • Warranty Services: Covering defects in materials and workmanship, typically for a specified period.
  • Customer Service: Offering assistance with repairs, parts, and technical support.
  • Authorized Service Centers: Providing professional maintenance and repair services.


The IWI Jericho series of pistols stands out for its blend of reliability, accuracy, and versatility. Whether for law enforcement, military, self-defense, or recreational shooting, the Jericho offers a range of models and features to meet diverse needs. With proper maintenance, training, and customization, the Jericho can serve as a dependable firearm for years to come.

Summary of Key Points

  • Design and Features: The Jericho’s robust design, safety features, and ergonomic enhancements make it a reliable choice.
  • Variants and Models: Multiple models cater to different preferences and applications.
  • Performance and Reliability: Known for accuracy, durability, and ease of maintenance.
  • Applications: Suitable for law enforcement, military, self-defense, recreational shooting, and competition.
  • Comparisons: It stands up well against other popular firearms like the CZ 75, Glock series, and Sig Sauer P226.
  • Legal Considerations: Compliance with regulations is crucial for ownership and use.
  • Customization Options: Extensive aftermarket support allows for personalization and performance enhancements.
  • Community and Support: Rich resources and support networks are available for Jericho owners.

By understanding these aspects, potential buyers and current owners can make the most of their IWI Jericho pistols, ensuring they remain a trusted and effective tool for their intended purposes.

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