Romania Copies the Jericho: Cugir Models 95 & 98

By the end of communism in Romania in 1989, the standard service pistols for the army and police were still the old Tokarevs and the Cugir Model 74 “Carpați” Walther PP copy. These were obviously outdated, and as it moved more towards the West, the Romanian military wanted a modern handgun. In 1992 they assessed what was available, and decided to make a domestic copy of the IMI Jericho, with a few minor tweaks. The process of reverse engineering the design took until 1995, when production began on an order of 10,000 for the Army as the Model 95.

The guns performed well, but were considered too heavy. When the Romanian police decided to adopt the pistol in 1998 and placed an order themselves, they asked Cugir to reduce the weight. This was done by eliminating metal in several different places, most notably shorting the full-length frame dust cover and replacing the steel grip backstrap with a more skeletonized design covered by a wraparound grip. This shaved a few ounces off the gun, and 5,000 were made as the Model 98. In addition, a few manufacturing changes were made during this production run, most notably moving form chrome-lined barrels to hard nitrided barrels.

Production of the guns ceased in the mid 2000s, until the Army requested another small batch in 2021. By this time Romanian industry had moved form Russia material standards to Western ones, and much of the TDP had to be reworked to accommodate the materials now available. Once that was done, 1100 were produced – 1,000 for the Army and 100 as a commemorative batch for ANCA, the Romanian national arms collectors’ association. These remain the standard service pistol for Romanian army and police forces, although they have not entirely replaced the Model 74 today.

Thanks to Uzina Mecanica Cugir S.A. for giving me access to these pistols for filming, and to A.N.C.A., the Romanian national firearms collectors’ association, for organizing the trip that made this video possible!


  1. The CZ-75 family has to be one of the most copied/emulated pistols of the last half of the 20th Century… I can’t think of any other post-1950 design that’s experienced that sort of popularity, and what’s even more amazing is that the original wasn’t available in the US for years and years…

    Friend of mine managed to somehow get three of the damn things through the Rod and Gun up at Wildflecken, and then got the BATF to approve an individual importation on them. At the time, which was the late 1970s/early 1980s, the pistol was basically unknown here in the US. He got those three back here, and got offered a truly unGodly sum for the three by a collector, like in the tens of thousands of dollars. He turned it down, ‘cos he thought he’d never be able to get replacements if he’d sold them. He still had them a decade-plus later, when the Wall came down and they were suddenly bringing them in by the thousands…

    Gotta marvel at the ridiculousness of the firearms market, sometimes.

    • I’d be hard-pressed to name a single weapon out there that didn’t owe at least a fraction of its design to something earlier.

      • I think the craziest one was the 9 x 19mm “compact” version I saw twenty-some years ago. Butt was shortened so it only had a 10-shot magazine, and barrel was cut to 3.5″ including the chamber. It had a rounded trigger guard and a “burr” hammer, IOW was a completely normal CZ75 except for the shortened butt and having the slide and barrel cut off even with the front end of the frame dust cover.

        AFAIK it was a factory “compact”, but smaller than the CZ75D of today.

        I’m still wondering if it actually worked correctly.



        • Sounds like the CZ2075 “Rami”, I think…

          One of the ones that friend of mine had was supposedly a “compact” CZ-75, but I was never too clear on the details of it… Every time we went to the range, that was his “carry” gun, and it was in deep concealment. I want to say that it was more on the lines of a Glock 19 than a Glock 26, which is what that CZ2075 Rami looks like to me.

          There are a lot of one-off guns floating around. I swear I’ve seen some that just don’t add up, and which even I’ve got problems trying to identify. I suspect that a lot of the problem with them is that the average person just floats on by, oblivious to the anomalous details.

          That one AK-variant they recovered in Afghanistan still screws with my head. Damn thing had, I swear, the stamped receiver wrapped entirely around the front trunnion block, almost as if it was some sort of bizarre StG44/AK hybrid. If it wasn’t an actual Soviet factory product, then whoever did the work in Darra Adam Khel did one hell of a job making it look like it was…

          Either that, or it slipped in from some alternate universe where there was more input from the Germans into the AK than in ours. Whatever it was, it sure as hell did not look like any of the other early-pattern stamped AKs that I’ve seen.

        • “(…)craziest one was the 9 x 19mm “compact” version I saw twenty-some years ago. Butt was shortened so it only had a 10-shot magazine, and barrel was cut to 3.5″ including the chamber.(…)”
          Well, what you described sounds very similar to Compact Jericho 941 see 6th image from top it had 92 mm long barrel, it was available in 9×19 mm and has capacity 10.

          • Yes, it was about that size but it was definitely a CZ-75. The slide was the CZ type and it in fact was marked CZ75 in the “classic” way.

            It’s the only one like that I’ve ever seen, and it was at a private sale. I could have had it for $200, but I didn’t.



  2. Having a Jericho myself (in .40 S&W), I can clearly see the heritage in this model’s reverse engineering (ie the Model 95). Mine’s a bit newer (much more polymer material), but it’s functionally equivalent. Great shooting gun….

    • I should have begun with the Jericho, of course, I don’t know what was in my mind (probably, I had the impression that this is, practically, a Jericho). So:

      Is the Model 95/98 heavier than the Jericho, Tanfoglio, CZ 75 or Browning High-Power?

  3. You made a video about the Carpati Md. 74 and one about the Model 95/98. For having presented all the Romanian made pistols, except the Tokarev, it would be nice to have a video about the Carpati Md. 95.

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