Uzi submachine gun

Uzi submachine gun

Infobox Weapon

caption=The Uzi
type=Submachine gun
used_by=See "Users"
wars=Six-Day War, Yom Kippur War, Sri Lankan Civil War, Portuguese Colonial War, South African Border War, Rhodesian Bush War, anti-guerrilla operations in Colombia and the Philippines
designer=Uziel Gal
manufacturer=Israel Military Industries, FN Herstal, Norinco, Lyttleton Engineering Works (under Vector Arms), RH-ALAN, Ka Pa Sa State Factories
variants= See Variants
weight=kg to lb|3.5|sp=us|abbr=on|precision=2|wiki=yes
length=mm to in|650|abbr=on|precision=1|wiki=yes stock extended, convert|470|mm|abbr=on|1 stock collapsed
cartridge=9x19mm Parabellum, .22 LR, .45 ACP, .41 AE
rate=600 rounds/min
feed=10 (.22 and .41 AE), 16 (.45 ACP) 20, 32, 40 and 50-round box magazines
sights=Iron sights

The Uzi ( _he. עוזי) is a related family of submachine gun carbines. Smaller variants are considered machine pistols. The first Uzi submachine gun was designed by Uziel Gal in the late 1940s. The prototype was finished in 1950, and intial service issue began in 1954. Over its service lifetime, the Uzi was manufactured by Israel Military Industries, FN Herstal, and other manufacturers.



The Uzi uses an open-bolt, blowback-operated design. It and the Czechoslovakian series 23 to 26 were the first weapons to use a "telescoping" ("overhung") bolt design, in which the bolt wraps around the breech end of the barrel (Hogg 1979:157-158). This allows the barrel to be moved far back into the receiver and the magazine to be housed in the pistol grip, allowing for a heavier, slower-firing bolt in a shorter, better-balanced weapon.

The weapon is constructed primarily from stamped sheet metal, making it less expensive per unit to manufacture than an equivalent design machined from forgings. With relatively few moving parts, the Uzi is easy to strip for maintenance or repair. The magazine is housed within the pistol grip, allowing for intuitive and easy reloading in dark or difficult conditions, under the principle of 'hand finds hand'. The pistol grip is fitted with a grip safety, making it difficult to fire accidentally. However, the protruding vertical magazine also makes the gun awkward to fire when prone.

When the gun is decocked, the ejector port closes, preventing entry of dust and dirt. Though the Uzi's stamped-metal receiver is equipped with pressed reinforcement slots to accept accumulated dirt and sand, the weapon can still jam with heavy accumulations of sand in desert combat conditions when not cleaned regularly.

Design Drawbacks

The Uzi has been criticized for its open-bolt design. Open bolt, blowback firearms tend to have reduced accuracy, because as the trigger is pulled, the bolt slams forward and hits the breech, interfering with the shooter's aim. Since the bolt is held to the rear when cocked, the receiver is more susceptible to contamination from sand and dirt ingress. The open bolt design does expose the breech end of the barrel, and may improve cooling during periods of continuous fire.

Operational Use

The Uzi gun was designed by Major (Captain at the time) Uziel Gal of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The weapon was submitted to the Israeli army for evaluation and won out over more conventional designs due to its simplicity and economy of manufacture. Gal did not want the weapon to be named after him, but his request was ignored. The Uzi was officially adopted in 1951. First introduced to IDF special forces in 1954, the weapon was placed into general issue two years later. The first Uzis were equipped with a short, fixed wooden buttstock, and this is the version that initially saw combat during the 1956 Suez campaign. [Uzi Lore, "History of the Uzi Submachine Gun"] Later models would be equipped with a folding metal stock.

The Uzi was used as a personal defense weapon by rear-echelon troops, officers, artillery troops and tankers, as well as a frontline weapon by elite light infantry assault forces. The Uzi's compact size and firepower proved instrumental in clearing Syrian bunkers and Jordanian defensive positions during the 1967 Six-Day War. Though the weapon was phased out of frontline IDF service in the 1980s, some Uzis and Uzi variants were still used by a few IDF units until December 2003, when the IDF announced that it was retiring the Uzi from all IDF forces. [, "Israel's Army Phases out Uzi Submachine Gun"]

In general, the Uzi was a reliable weapon in military service. However, even the Uzi fell victim to extreme conditions of sand and dust. During the Sinai campaign of the Yom Kippur War, IDF army units reaching the Suez reported that of all their small arms, only the 7.62 Browning MAG machine gun was still in operation.

The Uzi proved especially useful for mechanized troops needing a compact weapon, and for infantry units clearing bunkers and other confined spaces. However, its limited range and accuracy in automatic fire (approximately 50 m) could be disconcerting when encountering enemy forces armed with longer-range small arms, and heavier support weapons could not always substitute for a longer-ranged individual weapon. These failings eventually caused the phaseout of the Uzi from IDF forces. [, "Israel's Army Phases out Uzi Submachine Gun"]

The Uzi was also used in various conflicts outside Israel and the Middle East during the 1960s and 1970s. Quantities of 9 mm Uzi submachine guns were used by Portuguese cavalry, police, and security forces during the Portuguese Colonial Wars in Africa.

Worldwide Arms Sales

Total sales of the weapon to date (end 2001) has netted IMI over $2 billion (US), with over 90 countries using the weapons either for their armed forces or in law enforcement.
* The German Bundeswehr used the Uzi since 1959 under the name MP2 (especially for tank crews) and is now changing to the Heckler & Koch MP7.
* The Irish Gardaí Emergency Response Unit (ERU) are replacing the Uzi with the HK MP7.
* In Rhodesia in the late 1970s the Uzi was produced under license, from Israeli-supplied, and later made in Rhodesia, components. It was commonly called the "Rhuzi" (although the title was also applied to some indigenous submachine gun designs).
* Sri Lanka ordered a few thousand Mini Uzi and Uzi Carbines in 1990s. Currently those are deployed with Sri Lanka Army special forces regiment and Sri Lanka Police Special Task Force as their primary weapon when providing security for VIPs.
* The United States Secret Service, the agency that guards the President of the United States, have used the Uzi to provide covering fire while agents evacuated the President out of an area. When President Ronald Reagan was shot on March 30, 1981 outside of the Washington Hilton Hotel by John Hinckley Jr., a Secret Service Special Agent pulled an Uzi out of a briefcase and covered the rear of the presidential limousine as it sped to safety with the wounded president inside. []


There are several smaller variants of the Uzi SMG:

* Mini Uzi, Basically a scaled-down version of the Uzi, first introduced in 1980. The Mini Uzi is 600 mm (23.62 inches) long or 360 mm (14.17 inches) long with the stock folded. Its barrel length is 197 mm (7.76 inches) and its muzzle velocity is 375 m/s (1230 f/s).
* Carbine, with a longer 450mm (16 inch) barrel to meet minimum legal rifle overall length requirements for civilian sales in the United States when the stock is folded.
* Micro Uzi, An even further scaled down version of the uzi, introduced in 1982. The Micro Uzi is 436 mm (19.13 inches) long or 240 mm (9.45 inches) long with the stock folded its barrel length is 134 mm (5.28 inches) and its muzzle velocity is 350 m/s (1148 f/s).
* Micro Uzi Para
* Micro Uzi Pro

Recent models of Mini-Uzi and Micro-Uzi are fitted with closed-type bolts. [cite web |url= |title= Mini-Uzi and Micro-Uzi specifications |publisher=Twenty-First Century's Small Arms, MBI Publishing |accessdate=2008-04-02]

Caliber Variants

Most Uzis fire the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, though some fire .22 LR, .41 AE, or .45 ACP. Caliber conversions exist in .40 S&W and 10 mm auto [] .

Available magazines include 20-, 25-, 32-, 40-, and 50-round magazines (9x19mm Parabellum), 10-round magazines (.41 and .22 LR), and 16-round magazines (.45 ACP). All of the above are manufactured by IMI. Other high-capacity magazines exist (e.g. 50-round magazines and 100-round drums in 9 mm) which are manufactured by companies such as "Vector Arms".


*flag|Bangladesh - Used by RAB.
*flag|Belgium - Made under license by Fabrique Nationale. Phased-out by the federal police. Still in use by the navy, but replacement planned.
*flag|Chile - Used by Carabineros de Chile (Chilean Police Forces).
*flag|Democratic Republic of the Congo
*flag|PRC - Clones produced by Norinco as the Norinco 320.
*flag|El Salvador - Was used by military police during the El Salvador Civil War.
*flag|Estonia - Uses the Mini Uzi variant. [ [ Eesti Kaitsevägi - Tehnika - Püstolkuulipilduja Mini UZI ] ]
*flag|Germany - Being phased out by the Heckler & Koch MP7.
*flag|Greece - Police, navy.
*flag|Indonesia - Used by Kopassus and Tontaipur.
*flag|Iran - Imperial Iranian Army obtain the gun before Islamic Revolution and it was extensively used during Iran Iraq war.
*flag|Ireland - Used by the Garda Síochána ERU and Special Branch. To be replaced by the Heckler & Koch MP7.
*flag|Israel - Production ceased; still produces parts.
*flag|Mexico- Used by police against drug cartels and drug transporters.
*flag|Myanmar - Built under license by Ka Pa Sa factories as the BA-94.
*flag|Netherlands - The Dutch version allowed a bayonet to be fixed.
*flag|Peru - Micro Uzi used by the army, air force, navy, and special forces.
*flag|Portugal - Portuguese Army, formerly used by Polícia de Segurança Pública during Portuguese Colonial War
*flag|South Africa
*flag|Sri Lanka
*flag|Taiwan - Used by ROCMC Special Service Company units.
*flag|Turkey - Special forces, police.
*flag|United Kingdom

*flag|Vietnam - Used by Dac Cong

Former Users

*flag|Poland - Special unit GROM
*flag|United States - Used by the Secret Service


cite book
last = Hogg
first = Ian V.
authorlink = Ian V. Hogg
title = Guns and How They Work
publisher = Everest House
location = New York
pages = pp. 157-158
id = ISBN 0-89696-023-4

ee also

*List of submachine guns
*CZ Model 25
*FMK-3 submachine gun
*Vigneron (submachine gun)
*Ruger MP9
*Socimi Type 821

External links

* [ Israel Weapon Industries (IWI): Mini Uzi & Micro Uzi]
* [ The Official Uzi Website]
* [ Uzi History, Reference Material, Parts, Discussion Forum]
* [ Uzi in Parts] (in German)
* [ Video of suppressed Uzi being fired]

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