Thursday, December 2, 2010

The New Uzi

Let me get this out of the way for all you "correctors" out there. I realize that the changes to the Micro Uzi we are looking at are relatively minor, and do not really represent a "new" weapon. It's just a title, keep your pants on.

This is the Uzi-Pro, a sort of re-issue of the Micro-Uzi, manufactured by IWI (Israel Weapon Industries Ltd, which is a privatized company that was originally the "Magen" 0r Small Arms Division of the state-owned Israel Military Industries). Like the older Micro-Uzi, the Uzi-Pro is a blowback operated, select fire machine pistol chambered in 9x19mm. It is fed through the same magazines of the rest of the Uzi family, although primarily from 25 round magazines these days. Muzzle velocity is listed at 1148 fps, pretty normal for a 9mm, although submachine guns sometimes use high pressure ammunition that imparts higher velocity and lockup times and is often not recommended for use in pistols. It retains the grip safety, which I personally found somewhat uncomfortable to operate on the full size Uzis I have fired.

The Uzi-Pro differs from the older model in that it fires from the closed bolt position, which imparts somewhat greater accuracy (at least for the first shot) and diminishes the amount of dust and dirt that can enter the action. It fires at approximately 1050 rounds per minute, which is pretty fast, but significantly less than the 1148 rpm listed for the Micro-Uzi. It is also less than most other machine pistols, this was likely done to increase the users' ability to control the weapon during full auto fire and perhaps to limit ammunition expenditure.

The lower receiver of the weapon has been redesigned to meet the needs of modern forces and is constructed of high impact polymers to save weight. Also added to the lower receiver is a foregrip, recognizing that two handed control is always the way to go if you want to hit the target. The trigger guard has been changed to the full hand-encompassing variety that IWI used on the Tavor series of rifles. No self respecting, high-speed/ low-drag, tier 1, OMGD3LTA! gun can be without Picatinny rails these days, and the Uzi-Pro has three, one one either side of the barrel for lights and lasers and one for sights on the top, above the ejection port. To facilitate this, they moved the cocking handle to the left side of the receiver. The Uzi-Pro is 486 mm long, reduced to 282 mm with the stock folded and its barrel length is 134 mm. The Uzi-Pro is listed as weighing 2.3 kilos as opposed to the Micro-Uzi at 1.5kg. This probably makes it a little easier to control during full auto fire as well.

I certainly wouldn't call these changes merely cosmetic, as they almost certainly result in a weapon that would perform better than the original. But they are certainly an attempt to make an older gun that has fallen out of favor in the world's military and police forces get a new lease on life. Whether or not it will enjoy good sales, we will have to wait and see.

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