Frequently Asked Questions
|Can I legally own a full auto UZI?||Why are the Vector Receivers marked "Group Industries"?|
|Can I put a quick detach wood stock on my UZI?||Should I get a Group Industries or IMI receiver when I order a semi-auto Vector UZI?|
|Can I put a short barrel on my semi-auto UZI?|
|What are the legal length requirements for my UZI?|
|Do I have to mark my gun if I SBR it?|
|Manufacturing:||Shooting Your UZI:|
|Can I make a full auto firearm?||What kind of ammo should I use in my UZI?|
|What is involved in becoming a machinegun manufacturer or dealer?||How accurate is a semi-auto UZI with a 16" barrel?|
|Can I make a semi-auto UZI myself?|
|Can I make a semi UZI from a parts kit?|
|Where can I get a barrel for my SBR UZI?||Parts:|
|Can I use an SMG top cover on my semi-auto UZI?|
(Note: the opinions expressed here are not legal opinions. You should consult the BATF and/or a lawyer for definitive answers to these questions.)
Can I legally own a full auto UZI?
Generally, yes. The federal government classified machineguns as Title II weapons in 1934 and has imposed restrictions on civilian ownership since that time, but they allow ownership within those restrictions. However, several states have passed additional restrictions up to and including a complete ban. Be sure to understand your state restrictions before purchasing a machinegun. Also, even though your state may legally permit the purchase the purchase, the chief Law Enforcement Officer in your area might not be willing to sign your transfer forms. He's not required to. If you live in an area that won't restrict your rights to purchase a full auto UZI, then it's time for you to start shopping. For details on the paperwork involved in transferring a registered machine gun, check the Overiew of the process to buy an NFA weapon.
What are the legal issues regarding barrel lengths and stock options for my UZI?
UZIs may be registered as one of five classifications of
firearm. These are: Machine Gun, Rifle/Carbine, Short Barreled Rifle (SBR), Any
Other Weapon (AOW) or Pistol. Each of these classifications has different legal
requirements for barrel length and overall length (OAL). The status of a rifle
may be changed to (SBR) with an approved ATF form 1. In addition, the state you
reside in may have different legal requirements for barrel lengths and may not
allow some configurations.
Machine Gun: ref. NFA Title II, sec 5845 (b) Any barrel length and stock configuration is legal. $200.00 Transfer Tax
Rifle/Carbine Title I firearms: 16 inch minimum length barrel as measured from the end of the barrel or permanently attached accessory, to the bolt face and a minimum overall length (OAL) of 26 inches with the permanently attached stock extended. For a semi-auto UZI with a metal folding stock, that means the OAL is measured with the stock open. It can also have a permanently attached wood stock. If it has a quick-detach wood stock, it must meet the OAL requirement with the stock off. Note that some states are more restrictive then these federal regulations.
Short Barreled Rifle (SBR): ref. GCA of 1968 Title I, Chapter 44,921 (7), (8) Any rifle or Carbine having a barrel less than 16 inches long and an overall length less than 26 inches with the permanently attached stock, extended. $200.00 Transfer Tax.
Any Other Weapon (AOW): ref NFA, Title II, sec 5845 (e). Firearms with a rifled barrel length less than 16 inches or less than 18 inches shotgun, without a buttstock. This classification allows the use of a vertical forward grip but prohibits the installation of a buttstock. $5.00 Transfer Tax.
Pistol (Title I): Barrel length 16 inches or less without a buttstock. The pistol must have been originally assembled as a pistol and not a conversion of a rifle or carbine. A Pistol cannot have a vertical foregrip.
Can I put a short barrel on my semi-auto UZI?
No, unless you file a Form 1 to make your rifle into a "Short Barreled Rifle" (SBR). From the Gun Control Act of 1934 a standard rifle must have at least a 16" barrel and an overall length of at least 26"(with the stock extended.) If it is undersize it is called an SBR and without approved SBR paperwork, it's illegal. Some states do require a 26" minimum length with the stock folded (if a folding stock). That is why some have an 18" barrel. Check local laws. To file the Form 1 you need to have 2 copies signed by your local sheriff, 2 sets of fingerprint cards (usually filled out at the sheriff's office), a citizens compliance certificate, and a check for $200. This needs to be sent in to the ATF and when it comes back approved, you need to engrave your name, city and state on the rifle because you are considered the manufacturer of the SBR. The engraving must meet ATF regulations for location, size and depth. Once all this is done, you can put a short barrel on the UZI. If the rifle is ever to be sold it must be transferred in a similar way on a Form 4 and the new individual must also pay the $200 tax.
Do I have to mark my gun if I SBR it?
Yes. When you register a gun as a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR), you are considered the manufacturer and are required to mark the gun with your name, city and state just like any other manufacturer. The markings can be stamped, engraved or milled in the receiver. It must be in a spot visible without disassemble and the letters must be at least 1/16" tall and .003" deep. People commonly take the gun to a trophy shop or someplace that does custom engraving.
Can I make a full auto UZI?
For the typical unlicensed individual, the answer is no. An individual has not been able legally manufacture a full auto since May 19th, 1986. A person can become a machinegun manufacturer by obtaining a class II FFL and an SOT, however the title II weapons he makes can only be sold to other SOT holders, law enforcement and the military. It is illegal to become a licensed machinegun manufacturer just to build guns for your own personal use. It must be done as part of business with the intention of selling products for a profit.
What is involved in becoming a machinegun manufacturer or dealer?
If you want
to deal in NFA weapons, first, you need a FFL license a type 01 license. The
application fee is $200 and it's good for 3 years, it costs $90 to renew every
three years. You have to get fingerprinted, photographed and fill out the Form 7
package. A BATF compliance officer will pay you a visit and inspect your
business location. You have to meet all the local zoning requirements, have to
have an EIN number and a State Sales Tax ID number and be in business to make
money. Once your FFL is approved, it takes 90 days or so for the review process,
your will need to pay the SOT or Special Occupational Tax to deal in NFA
weapons, it is $500 EVERY YEAR, it is due on July 1st and it isn't prorated so
if you pay $500 in March, you'll pay $500 again in July. Once BATF cashes your
check, you can deal in NFA weapons, your EIN will become your NFA SOT number.
This is what is known as a Class 3 NFA dealer.
Now you can apply for a type 07 license, this is a license to manufacture weapons. It is $150 per 3 years, you will have to pay a similar SOT to manufacture NFA weapons, State Department fee ($700 per year), excise tax on each weapon made and one other fee if I recall. This is what is known as a Class 2 manufacturer. You can manufacturer machine guns at this point., however the Title II weapons you make can only be sold to other SOT holders, law enforcement and the military. It is illegal to become a licensed machinegun manufacturer just to build guns for your own personal use. It must be done as part of business with the intention of selling products for a profit. You will also need a address for your business. If it is the same address as your residence, your residence (or a portion of it) is open for the annual BATF inspections.
An excellent resource for anyone that wants to become a dealer or manufacturer is the Machine Gun Dealers Bible by Dan Shea. It's available from Small Arms Review (www.smallarmsreview.com).
Can I make a semi-auto UZI myself?
Yes, you can make a semi-auto UZI yourself, but the first question you should ask yourself is "Why?". At the moment Vector Arms is selling semi-auto UZIs for a very reasonable price and it's unlikely you could save much money building one yourself. The reason the build cost is high is that you must use proper semi-auto parts. The inexpensive UZI SMG parts kits are of little value to a semi-auto builder. If cost is the reason for building it yourself, you should re-evaluate your decision. However, if you want to build an UZI just for the enjoyment of doing it yourself, then you can legally do it subject to the standard BATF regulations on creating a firearm for your own personal use. Note that since an UZI is classified as a non-sporting arm, you cannot use more than 10 imported parts or it would be considered a foreign assault weapon, which were banned from import to the US in 1989. For information on parts counts, check the Norinco conversion article in the library here.
Can I make a semi-auto UZI from an SMG parts kit?Not really. There are very few parts from a parts kit that can be used in a semi-auto UZI. The barrel is too short unless you register your gun as a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR). The quick detach wood stock can't be used unless you get a barrel about 18" long or you swap the hardware on the stock so it's not quick detach. To use the grip assembly you'll need to weld a block in the front of it so the selector can't be moved to the full auto position. The full auto open bolt cannot be used without major work changing it to a closed bolt. It will also have to be slotted to match up with the blocking bar that has to be welded to the inside of the semi-auto receiver that you'll have to buy or manufacture. You also need to make sure you have the required number of American parts.
Where can I get a barrel for my SBR UZI?
Once you have an approved form 1, you can put a short barrel on your UZI. You have a few choices on where to obtain a short barrel. You can take the long barrel that came on your semi-auto and cut it down to the desired length. However, if you have an original IMI semi-auto, the barrel should be serial numbered to the receiver so you may want to leave that barrel original. You could buy another long carbine barrel and cut it down to the appropriate length. Or you could buy a 10.2" SMG barrel and modify it to work in your receiver. That will require you to turn down the raised band near the barrel flange so it fits in the smaller trunion of a semi-auto, and turn down the chamber end of the barrel so it fits inside the barrel restrictor ring. Anyone with a lathe could do this work, or you could find a vendor that does it commercially. The last option is to buy a short barrel already made to fit a semi-auto UZI. In the past, companies like SWD sold short barrels for people doing licensed conversions. Barrels like that are hard to find.
Why are the Vector Receivers marked "Group Industries"?
A company named Group Industries made semi-auto and registered full auto UZI receivers back in the 1980's Most of the receivers were not assembled into completed firearms before the company went bankrupt in the mid 1990's. Vector Arms purchased the receivers at auction and used them to build their own UZI's. Vector usually stamped their own name on the left side of the receiver in addition to the original Group Industries markings.
Should I get a Group Industries or IMI receiver when I order a semi-auto Vector UZI?
Vector Arms builds their semi-auto UZIs on either Group Industries or IMI receivers. The Group Industries receivers were made in the US during the 1980's. Vector heat treats the Group Industries receivers during the manufacturing process, which should increase their life expectancy. The downside is that the heat treating can warp the receivers, requiring some straightening during manufacture, and the receivers are harder to weld in the future if repairs are needed. The IMI receivers are original Israeli receivers made in the 1980's and are not heat treated. They have the original IMI stampings on the receiver, giving them a more authentic look. Which one is better? There really is no wrong choice. Both receivers are well made and should give a life time of shooting in a semi-auto.
Shooting your UZI:
What kind of ammo should I use in my UZI?
UZIs like hot ammo. It takes a fair amount of energy to move the heavy bolt and recoil spring in an UZI. +P and +P+ ammo work well and are safe to use. The UZI is a heavier, sturdier firearm than the 9mm pistols that most commercial ammo is designed for. One common option that people use is 115 grain FMJ Winchester White box that is sold in 100 round value packs at Wal-Mart stores around the US. Although it's not very hot ammo, it's hot enough and a cheap source of readily available ammo. Because of the powder used in the Winchester White box ammo, it is not recommended for use with a suppressor. (Unburned powder collects in the suppressor.) For best results with a suppressor, you'll want to use subsonic ammo, which typically uses 147 grain bullets or heavier in 9mm.
How accurate is a semi-auto UZI with a 16" barrel?
The 9mm cartridge isn't designed for long range use but people commonly ask how accurate an UZI is at 100 yards - especially a semi-auto UZI with a 16" barrel. The answer is: quite accurate! Shooting from a bench, UZI Talk members have reported 4" groups at 100 yards and regularly hitting a beer can at that range is a fun and very achievable challenge.
Can I use an SMG top cover on my semi-auto UZI?
Yes, but you have to modify the top cover slightly. Used top covers from UZI machine guns are plentiful and cheap, and people like to use them on semi-auto UZIs to keep their original top cover looking nice. The SMG top covers typically have a ratchet mechanism that works as a safety device on open bolt guns. The problem is that when you put the top cover on a closed bolt semi-auto UZI, you cannot pull the bolt back far enough to release the safety ratchet and therefore you can't cock the gun. The solution is to remove the ratchet pawl on the underside of the cover and disable the top cover safety, which is not needed on a closed bolt gun anyway.
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Last Modified: April 8, 2005