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Cherokee

BUL Cherokee Detailed Review w/pics

Formerly known as the "Impact", this quality offering comes from BUL. It is no longer being imported by Legacy Sports so grab one while you can.

BUL Cherokee Detailed Review w/pics

Postby wickersham » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:42 am

During the course of my futile attempts to locate a Jericho full-size in steel, I ran across the Israeli BUL Cherokee compact pistol at a local gun shop a few months back. Although I did not know about them at the time, it being Israeli made intrigued me and I went ahead and bought it.

It was imported by Legacy Sports International – according to the rep I talked to on the phone, they are no longer importing them so what it is out there now is basically it. (It stinks that all these cool Israeli weapons are falling by the wayside at the same time). Anyway, this is my detailed review (I will attempt to make comparisons to the Jericho where applicable):

First impressions:
The pistol came in the same el-cheapo box used for the Jerichos. Also included were (2) mags, a cleaning kit and a small book with little information. Mine is the compact variety, and the barrel length is actually about .25 inch longer than in my Jericho compact .40. They also make them in standard size which has a 4.5” barrel (and much harder to find).

The magazines hold 17rds and have the Tanfoglio markings. I wonder why the Jericho 9mm mags hold only 16 as they appear to be the same? This pistol will take the following mags: CZ, EAA, Tanfoglio (Jericho).
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I personally love the look (appears to be the offspring of an HK and Jericho mating):

pkg.jpg

isrel.jpg

lsi.jpg


It is actually the "next" generation of the BUL “Impact”, seen here:

bul_impact.jpg


Overall fit and finish:
Let me start off by saying that this weapon feels better in the hand than any pistol I have ever owned. The grip feels perfect, balance is excellent. The frame is a sturdy polymer much like the Jericho, it has the standard tac-rail, and frame mounted safety (which DOES NOT act as a decocker).

The slide looks almost identical to the Jericho in styling, but has semi-gloss finish that so far has held up very well and superior to the very fragile coating IWI puts on their line. In case you have not noticed yet, this is another Tanfoglio-based design that shares much if its platform with the EAA Polymer witness:

http://www.eaacorp.com/handguns-witness ... ct-EI.html

Internals:
The Cherokee breaks down just like the beloved Jericho and looks very similar inside. Notice that the recoil spring is not a dual setup like on the compact and midsize Jerichos. see pics:

brkdown.jpg
extract.jpg
slideint.jpg
int2.jpg
int1.jpg


Sights:
The front sight is actually machined on the slide, so there can be no replacing it. The rear sight is made of polymer and has a hex-screw that tightens it down. Supposedly it is adjustable to right or left, but not by much. Fortunately, mine needed no adjustment. The sights are a disappointment as it leaves no options whatsoever for replacement due to the front sight.

rearsight.jpg
frsight.jpg
sights1.jpg


Shooting impressions and potential problem:The trigger reminds me a lot of the old HK USP I used to have, except that it is a little gritty in double action mode, in SA it is much better (although still not as sweet as the Jericho).

Normally, when I get a new gun I expect the rounds from the first few mags to be all over the place while adapting to a new platform, grip angle, etc. Not so with this one. At 10 yds, my first round hit dead center bullseye. At first I thought this was just a lucky shot, but the second, third, and fourth hit the exact same spot. Needless to say I was impressed and very happy, but then my first problem occurred.

I had a failure to feed, or more specifically, the round was jamming up into the top portion of the chamber instead of feeding in. I cleared it and started firing again, after 4 more rounds, another jam. This went on for about 60 rounds with the gun jamming every 4-5 rounds and eclipsed my happiness with its accuracy. This was using 124gr FMJ, which is all I shoot in 9mm (115gr may have fed better since its shorter).

When I arrived home and disassembled, I noticed that the feedramp had very rough machining marks and burs in it (I could not get it clean because the residue from firing was stuck in these grooves). Feedramp wasn't as bad as lug shown here in pic, but you get the idea - very rough.

machinemarks.jpg


Although I probably should have taken it to a professional, I decided to work on it myself. Using different grades of sandpaper (400, 800, 1000, 2000) and some oil, I worked out all the imperfections on the feedramp and then buffed it to a mirror shine. (sorry, don’t have the “before” pictures):

feedramp.jpg


Took it back to the range and put 200 flawless rounds through it in one session with not a single FTF problem that I experienced before, so the feedramp polishing worked in this case (disclaimer: this is not to advocate this will fix problems with other guns).

Final thoughts:
For those of you who like the Jerichos, I would suggest you give this pistol a try, if for nothing else than its “Made in Israel” moniker. In summary, the gun is a great shooter, has good looks, and feels wonderful in the hand. On the negative side, I wish the sights were a little better thought out and they had put more final attention into the barrel finishing so it functioned perfectly out of the box.
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אוי אל רשע! זה יהיה חולה איתו: עבור גמול של ידיו תינתן לו.
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wickersham
 
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