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IMI Uzi
Uzi 1
The IMI Uzi submachine gun.
Type Submachine Gun
Place of origin Israel
Service history
Used by See Users
Wars Suez Crisis
Six-Day War
Vietnam War
Yom Kippur War
Colombian internal conflict
Sri Lankan Civil War
Portuguese Colonial War
Falklands War
South African Border War
Rhodesian Bush War
Somali Civil War
Mexican Drug War
Production history
Designer Uziel Gal[1]
Designed 1948
Manufacturer Israel Military Industries
FN Herstal
Norinco
Lyttleton Engineering Works (under Vektor Arms)
RH-ALAN
Produced 1950–present
Number built 10,000,000+[2]
Variants See Variants
Specifications
Weight 3.5 kg (Script error lb)[1]
Length
  • 640 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in) stock extended[1]
  • 470 mm (Script error in) stock collapsed
Barrel length 260 mm (Script error in)[1]

Cartridge 9x19mm Parabellum
.22 LR
.45 ACP
.41 AE
Action Blowback,[1] Open bolt
Rate of fire 600 rounds/min[1]
Muzzle velocity 400 m/s[3]
Effective range 200 m[4]
Feed system 10 (.22 and .41 AE)
16 (.45 ACP)
20,25,32,40,50 (9MM) magazines
Sights Iron sights

The Uzi (Hebrew: עוזי‎, officially cased as UZI) is a family of Israeli open bolt, blowback-operated submachine guns. Smaller variants are considered to be machine pistols. The Uzi was one of the first weapons to use a telescoping bolt design which allows for the magazine to be housed in the pistol grip for a shorter weapon.

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed by Major Uziel Gal in the late 1940s. The prototype was finished in 1950; first introduced to IDF special forces in 1954, the weapon was placed into general issue two years later. The Uzi has found use 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 has been exported to over 90 countries.[2] Over its service lifetime, it has been manufactured by Israel Military Industries, FN Herstal, and other manufacturers. From the 1960s through the 1980s, Uzi submachine guns were sold to more military and police markets than any other submachine gun ever made.[5]

Design Edit

The Uzi uses an open bolt, blowback-operated design, a design not seen since the Type II machine pistol. The open bolt design exposes the breech end of the barrel, and improves cooling during periods of continuous fire; however, it means that since the bolt is held to the rear when cocked, the receiver is more susceptible to contamination from sand and dirt ingress. It and the Czechoslovak series 23 to 26 were the first weapons to use a telescoping bolt design, in which the bolt wraps around the breech end of the barrel.[6] 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.[5]

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 makes the gun awkward to fire when prone.[6] The Uzi features a bayonet lug.[7]

When the gun is de-cocked, 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.[8]

Operational use Edit

 A soldier with an Uzi next to a road sign reading "ISMAILIA 36"

An Israeli soldier with an Uzi during the Yom Kippur War

IDF parade 1958

Israeli soldiers armed with Uzis at Independence Day

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. Later models would be equipped with a folding metal stock.[8]

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.[9] It was subsequently replaced by the fully automatic Micro Tavor.

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 mm FN MAG machine gun was still in operation.[10]

The Uzi proved especially useful for mechanized infantry 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.[9]

The Uzi has been 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.[8]

Worldwide arms sales Edit

Reagan assassination attempt 4 crop

Secret Service agents cover President Ronald Reagan during the assassination attempt by John Hinckley, Jr. on March 30, 1981. Notice the Secret Service agent holding the Uzi in case of further attack.

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.[5]

  • 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 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.
  • Sri Lanka ordered a few thousand Mini Uzi and Uzi Carbines in 1990s. Currently those are deployed with Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy Elite Forces and Sri Lanka Police Special Task Force as their primary weapon when providing security for VIPs.
  • The United States Secret Service used the Uzi as their standard submachine gun from the 1960s until the early 1990s, when it was phased out and replaced with the Heckler & Koch MP5 and FN P90. When President Ronald Reagan was shot on March 30, 1981 outside of the Washington Hilton Hotel by John Hinckley Jr., Secret Service Special Agent Robert Wanko 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.[5]
  • All merchant mariners of the Zim Integrated Shipping line are trained in the use of, and issued, the Uzi.[11]

Military variants Edit

The Uzi Submachine Gun is a Standard Uzi with a 10-inch (Bad rounding hereScript error mm) barrel. It has a rate of automatic fire of 600 rounds per minute (rpm) when chambered in 9mm Parabellum; the .45 ACP model's rate of fire is slower at 500 rpm.[8]

The Mini-Uzi is a smaller version of the regular 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), its muzzle velocity is 375 m/s (1230 f/s) and its effective range is 100 m. It has a greater automatic rate of fire of 950 rounds per minute due to the shorter bolt.[8]

The Micro-Uzi is an even further scaled down version of the Uzi, introduced in 1986. The Micro-Uzi is 486 mm long, reduced to 282 mm with the stock folded and its barrel length is 117 mm.[12] Its muzzle velocity is 350 m/s (1148 f/s) and its cyclic rate of fire is 1,200 rpm.[8]

The Uzi-Pro is an improved variant of the Micro-Uzi has been launched in the year 2010 by Israel Weapon Industries Ltd. (I.W.I.), formerly the Magen ("Small Arms") division of Israel Military Industries. The Uzi-Pro is a blowback-operated, select-fire, closed-bolt submachine gun with a large lower portion, comprising grip and handguard, entirely made of polymer to reduce weight; the grip section has been redesigned to allow two-handed operation and facilitate control in full-automatic fire with such a small-sized firearm. The Uzi-Pro features three Picatinny rails, two at the sides of the barrel and one on the top for optics, having the cocking handle been moved on the left side.[13] The new weapon weighs 2.32 kg and has a length of 529 mm with an extended stock,[14] and 30 cm while collapsed. It has been purchased by the IDF in limited numbers for evaluation and it is yet to decide whether to order additional units for all of its special forces.[14][15]

Civilian variants Edit

The Uzi Carbine is similar in appearance to the Uzi submachine gun, the Uzi carbine is fitted with a 16-inch (Bad rounding hereScript error mm) barrel (400mm), to meet the minimum rifle barrel length requirement for civilian sales in the United States. It fires from a closed-bolt position in semi-automatic mode only and uses a floating firing pin as opposed to a fixed firing pin.[10] A small number of Uzi Carbines were produced with the standard length barrel for special markets. Uzi Carbines were available in calibers 9mm, .41 AE, and .45 ACP.

The Uzi Carbine had two main variants, the Model A (imported from 1980 to 1983) and the Model B (imported from 1983 until 1989). These two variants were imported and distributed by Action arms.[10]

Norinco of China manufactures an unlicensed copy of the Uzi model B with modifications made to avoid the US Assault Weapon Import Ban. The folding stock was replaced with a wooden thumbhole stock, the barrel nut was welded in place, and the bayonet lug was removed. The gun had a gray parkerized finish and was sold as the M320.[16]

The Mini-Uzi Carbine is similar in appearance to the Mini-Uzi submachine gun, the Mini-Uzi carbine is fitted with a 19.8 inch barrel, to meet the minimum rifle overall length requirement for civilian sales in the United States. It fires from a closed-bolt position in semi-automatic mode only.[10]

The Uzi Pistol is a semi-automatic, closed bolt, and blowback-operated pistol variant. Its muzzle velocity is 345 m/s. It is a Micro-Uzi with no shoulder stock or full-automatic firing capability. The intended users for the pistol were various security agencies in need of a high-capacity semi-automatic pistol, or civilian shooters that wanted a gun with those qualities and the familiarity of the Uzi style. It was introduced in 1984 and produced until 1993.[8]

A company known as Vector Arms has built and marketed "pistol versions" of the Uzi Carbine and the Mini-Uzi. These versions lack a shoulder stock and have a shorter barrel.[17]

Caliber variants Edit

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.[18]

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 were manufactured by companies such as Vector Arms.

Gallery Edit

References Edit

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  12. [1] Weapon.GE, retrieved on February 01, 2011.
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  16. Department oF the Treasury Study on the Sporting Suitability oF ModiFied Semiautomatic Assault RiFles (4-98)
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External links Edit

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