AskDefine | Define Uzi

Dictionary Definition

Uzi n : a type of submachine gun that is designed and manufactured in Israel; "the Uzi is used throughout the world as a police and special forces firearm"

User Contributed Dictionary



From Uziel Gal, the Israeli army officer who designed it.


  1. A type of compact submachine gun, having a caliber of 9 millimeters.



eo-verb uz
  1. to use




Extensive Definition

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 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.
It is made mostly of stamped sheet metal and has relatively few parts, making it easy to strip for maintenance and making it less expensive per unit to manufacture than an equivalent design machined from forgings. The magazine being housed within the pistol grip allows for intuitive and easy reloading in dark or difficult conditions, as the operator simply brings his hands together; but the high grip also makes the gun awkward to fire when prone.
It has a grip safety, making it difficult to fire accidentally.
When the gun is decocked, the ejector port closes, preventing entry of dust and dirt. Though the Uzi's receiver is equipped with pressed reinforcing ridges to accept accumulated dirt and sand, the weapon may jam with heavy accumulations of sand in desert combat conditions when not cleaned regularly.
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.


The Uzi has been criticized for its open-bolt design. Firstly, it reduces the accuracy of the weapon, because as the trigger is pulled, the bolt slides forward and hits the breech, thus interfering with the aim acquired by the shooter. Even though this particular SMG was designed to break the primer prior to the impact, this didn't address the problem entirely. Instead, a lighter bolt could be used, reducing total weight of the weapon. In addition, because during automatic operation slide spends most of its time in the rearward position, receiver is more susceptible to contamination. In reality this gun was not meant to be accurate; instead it's meant for close quarters combat.
Nevertheless, recent models of Mini-Uzi and Micro-Uzi (full-size Uzis are no longer manufactured) are fitted with the closed-type bolts.

Cartridge and magazine options

The most common variant fires 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.
The grip-mounted magazine gives the Uzi a highly distinctive, instantly-recognizable profile, and it is often seen in TV shows, movies, and video games. In such portrayals, it is often fired one-handed (especially the Mini- and Micro-Uzis) and in some cases as two guns, one in each hand.


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 submachine gun 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. Advanced and smaller Uzi variations were used by the Israeli special forces until recently, when in December 2003, the Israeli military announced that it was completely phasing the Uzi out of use by its forces but would continue to manufacture the weapon for both domestic use and export.
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 (18 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 the 1990's. 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


Uzi in Czech: Uzi
Uzi in Danish: Uzi
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Uzi in Persian: یوزی
Uzi in French: Uzi
Uzi in Korean: 우지 기관단총
Uzi in Hebrew: עוזי
Uzi in Italian: Mitragliatore Uzi
Uzi in Dutch: Uzi-pistoolmitrailleur
Uzi in Japanese: ウージー
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Uzi in Norwegian Nynorsk: Uzi
Uzi in Polish: Pistolet maszynowy Uzi
Uzi in Portuguese: Uzi
Uzi in Russian: Узи (оружие)
Uzi in Slovak: Uzi
Uzi in Finnish: Uzi
Uzi in Swedish: Uzi
Uzi in Turkish: Uzi
Uzi in Simple English: Uzi
Uzi in Chinese: 烏茲衝鋒槍
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