UZI Pistol: An unsuccessful attempt to capitalize on the success of the UZI

Author: Eric Sof

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The Uzi pistol is an attempt to capitalize on the success of the Uzi submachine gun. It was designed and manufactured with only one goal: uncompromising performance and reliability on a robust design. The principle of the pistol follows the guidelines of the Uzi submachine gun and resembles Micro Uzi. It is a scaled-down version without a shoulder stock. The Uzi pistol fires only in semi-automatic mode.

Development

The Uzi pistol was introduced in 1984 as the pistol for the civilian market and various security agencies. Less than ten years later, in 1993, the manufacturer ceased production because of low interest. It is chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum round and works as an open bolt, blowback-operated pistol.

What blowback means is the recoil of the shot will force the bolt back and eject the spent round. In a machine gun or machine pistol, this repeats until either the magazine is empty or the trigger is released, at which point a bar connected to the trigger (called a sear) will raise and catch a notch in the bolt preventing it from moving forward.

Design

Like the case with the submachine gun, the Uzi pistol is simple in design technology. It is made primarily from stamped sheet metal. Also, it has relatively few moving parts. It can be easily disassembled for maintenance and repairs. The Uzi pistol is lighter than the Micro Uzi submachine gun. But is still heavy and bulky in comparison with modern pistols. On the positive side, this pistol generates less felt recoil due to its weight.

IMI Uzi pistol
IMI Uzi pistol (Photo: XY)

The UZI pistol work by the spring at the back of the gun, which is being released by an extension. The spring strikes the firing pin, which strikes the bullet. The explosion pushes the spring back again, and while it is being pushed back, the bullet’s casing ejects. And the empty space allows another round to be chambered while the spring is approaching the firing pin, then it goes off again, and the cycle continues until the magazine is empty.

Also, this weapon has a large magazine capacity. It uses 20-round magazines. In the mid-1980s, most pistols had much lower magazine capacity. Furthermore, it also accepts 25-, 32-, 40- and even 50-round capacity magazines of the Uzi submachine gun. Sometimes this weapon is referred to as an assault pistol due to its high magazine capacity. Magazine is housed in the pistol grip. Cocking handle is located on the top. So the weapon can be cocked with either hand.

The Uzi pistol has three safety mechanisms:

  • a conventional manual thumb safety,
  • a firing pin block
  • a proven grip safety that must be fully depressed before the gun can be cocked and fired.

The Uzi pistol has simple adjustable iron target sights.

Variants

The most recent variant is the highly anticipated Uzi PRO pistol. It is a semi-automatic only version of the Uzi PRO submachine gun. Like all the UZI family products, it is produced by Israel Weapon Industries. UZI Pro pistol is available chambered in 9×19 mm and .22 LR rounds. The Uzi PRO submachine gun is a redesigned and updated version of the original Uz with some new upgrades and incorporated features.

IWI UZI Pro Pistol with Threaded Barrel and Stabilizing Brace
IWI UZI Pro Pistol with Threaded Barrel and Stabilizing Brace (Photo: IWI)

Technical specifications

Country of origin:Israel
Manufacturer:Israel Military Industries (IMI) / now Israel Weapon Industries (IWI)
Developed:1984
Caliber:9×19 mm Parabellum
Weight:1.7 kg
Length:240 mm
Barrel length:115 mm
Muzzle velocity:345 m/s
Rate of fire:40 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity:20 rounds
Sighting range:50 m
Range of effective fire:50 m
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