Uzi submachine gun

The Uzi is a family of guns that started with a compact, boxy, and lightweight submachine gun. Smaller and newer variants are considered machine pistols. The first Uzi submachine gun was designed by Uziel Gal in the late 1940s. It was manufactured by Israel Military Industries, FN Herstal, and others.The weapon was designed by Major (Captain at the time) Uziel Gal of the Israel Defense Forces following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The Uzi submachine gun 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 initial model was accepted in 1951 and was first used in battle in 1956 and gained huge success. It was soon developed into a number of better engineered variants.The Uzi is generally a highly effective weapon, and has been found especially useful for mechanized troops needing a compact weapon, and for infantry units clearing bunkers and other confined spaces.

Uzi submachine gun
Class Manportable
Type Machine Guns
Manufacturer Israel Military Industries
Origin Israel
Country Name Origin Year
Israel 1951
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Ceylon (Sri Lanka) 1983 2009 View
Colombia 1964 View
Egypt 1956 1956 View
Israel 1967 1967 View
Israel 1973 1973 View
Lebanon 1982 1985 View
Mexico 2006 View
Namibia 1966 1990 View
Portugal 1961 1974 View
Somalia 1988 View
Syria 2011 View
Vietnam 1955 1975 View
Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) 1964 1979 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Israel Military Industries 1950 View

The Uzi uses an open-bolt, blowback-operated design quite similar to the Jaroslav Holecek-designed Czech ZK 476 (prototype only) and the production Sa 23, Sa 24, Sa 25, and Sa 26 series of submachineguns, by which it was inspired. 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. It uses a telescoping bolt design, in which the bolt wraps around the breech end of the barrel. 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 makes the gun awkward to fire when prone. The Uzi features a bayonet lug.

The Uzi submachine gun was designed by Captain (later Major) 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.

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. 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 Canal reported that of all their small arms, only the 7.62 mm FN MAG machine gun was still in operation.

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 50m) 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 phasing out of the Uzi from IDF front-line assault units .

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.

Weight - 3.5kg (7.72lb)

Length - 650mm (25.6in) stock extended, 470mm (18.5in) stock collapsed

Barrel length - 260mm (10.2in)

Cartridge - 9x19mm Parabellum, .22 LR, .45 ACP, .41 AE

Action - Blowback

Rate of fire - 600 rounds/min

Muzzle velocity - 400m/s (1,312ft/s)

Feed system - 10 (.22 and .41 AE), 16 (.45 ACP) 20, 32, 40 and 50-round box magazines

Sights - Iron sights

End notes