The IMI Uzi (officially cased as UZI) is an Israeli-made submachine gun chambered for the 9×19mm Parabellum, .22 LR, .45 ACP, .41 AE and 9×21mm IMI cartridges. Although the original design is classed as a submachine gun, subsequent compact variants are considered to be machine pistols. The Uzi was one of the first weapons to use a telescoping bolt design, allowing the magazine to be housed in the pistol grip for a shorter overall weapon. The first Uzi submachine gun was designed by Major Uziel Gal in the late 1940s, and was subsequently issued to the IDF. The Uzi has been exported to over 90 countries; from the 1960s through to the 1980s, more Uzi submachine guns were sold to more military, law enforcement and security markets than any other submachine gun ever made.


The Uzi uses an open-bolt, blowback-operated design quite similar to the Jaroslav Holeček-designed Czech ZK 476 (prototype only)[3] and the production Sa 23, Sa 24, Sa 25, and Sa 26 series of submachineguns, from 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.[4] 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.[4] The Uzi features a bayonet lug.[5]

Notable Users

El Scorpio armed himself with two customized two-tone Micro Uzis (a scaled down version of the Uzi, introduced in 1986) with nickel-plated parts during a shootout with the LAPD. A full-size Uzi was among the weapons glimpsed in the Colombian Scorpions' armory. 

Brian was playing with a toy Uzi when he encountered the City Hunter in a cemetery.

John Pulnick used several Uzis, including long-barrel versions fitted with scopes and even a paintball-firing gun.





  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named miller2001
  2. Popenker, Max R.. "UZI / Mini UZI / Micro UZI submachine gun (Israel)". World Guns: Modern Firearms & Ammunition. Retrieved on 6 January 2011.
  3. Mulcahy, Paul. "IMI Uzi". Retrieved on 25 November 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ian V. Hogg. Guns and How They Work, p. 157 (1979), Everest House.
  5. Jack Lewis, David E. Steele. The Gun Digest Book of Assault Weapons, p. 222 (2000), Krause Publications.
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