Converting the UZI Pistol
Let a new weapon, suitable for select fire conversion, hit the market and there seems to be an unseen race to see who can make it rock-n-roll first. When the new UZI Pistol became available a few months ago we couldn’t wait to head for the drawing board to lay out a possible design or two.
At first sight, this new pistol resembles the Mini-UZI submachine gun. However, a closer look will reveal that, which there is that UZI look, the pistol stands alone as a weapon unto itself. Being a pistol, there's no folding stock, nor is there a provision for one. The right angle through the grip and magazine well makes for a low pointing characteristic which IMI tried to overcome with grips made extra large toward the heel of the hand. This pistol doesn't look or feel like a pistol, so we decided to give it a more suitable existence as a submachine gun.
The trigger housing, with a
few exceptions, is identical to that of the bigger UZI carbine. Basically, any
conversion technique used on the carbine trigger housing would work here. The
potential use of such devices as a "Kicker" (see the article on converting the
UZI carbine on page 60) has been defeated by IMI's use of a stepped block which
is welded in front of the housing. Of course, this step could be milled off to
use The Kicker and it would still allow normal functioning with the original
select lever. Unlike the carbine, the slot where the select lever projects
outside the housing must be elongated 1/4 inch to the front.
Everything seemed relatively easy until we examined the receiver and bolt. This brought into sharp focus the fact that any semi-automatic weapon which existed first in a select fire version is usually easier to convert to that configuration than a weapon which was born a semi-auto. The UZI carbine is a good example. Due to the length of the receiver, bolt stroke, and position of the sear, all that's needed is a properly made, open firing bolt. Not so with the pistol.
When the same techniques were tried with the pistol, the bolt position, when cocked, was just behind the top round in the magazine. The results: not enough energy to strip, chamber and detonate the round. Back to the drawing board.
The next step was to examine closed bolt firing. A secondary sear was designed. The only place in the trigger housing to put it was occupied by the grip safety. Since the practicality of the UZI's grip safety has always been subject to question, we felt no remorse in removing it. The secondary sear assembly is attached to the housing by a screw-clamp arrangement. A flat spring was fashioned in such a manner as to both activate the secondary sear and also retain the sear and trigger pins that had previously been retained by the grip safety.
The new sear assembly has a trip lever that senses when the bolt is nearly in battery by following a new camming surface ground on the bottom rail of the bolt. The secondary sear restrains the firing pin/striker assembly by engaging a new sear surface that has been welded on the rail of the striker. Anyone who tries to follow us in this conversion is advised to allow for a little "fine tuning" of this entire setup.
The selector functions the
same as on the “grown up” UZI submachine guns. Semi-auto and “safe” function
normally. Forget any accurate full auto fire while shooting the Micro UZI as a
machine pistol. The cyclic rate (1200 rpm) and the capital T geometry
necessitate the addition of a stock for anything even approaching accurate fire.
An examination of the Choate MAC 10 SAP folder from Quartermaster Sales revealed that it could be adapted. We used a method of attaching it that is similar to the one IMI uses to attach the UZI carbine stock. An adaptor block was machined to mount the Choate stock in the proper configuration. When extended, it can be fired from the shoulder or clamped under the arm. Folded, it makes a convenient front hand hold. The only problem with this forward hand hold is the proximity of the hand to the muzzle. To overcome this, a muzzle extender was attached to the barrel with two set screws.
The finished product is pictured in this article and the complete conversion book (No. FP-9), Micro UZI Machine Pistol, is available from Firepower Publications. This is not an easy conversion and unless you are a skilled machinist with proper tools, my advice is not to attempt it. If you "farm out" the machining you'll spend a fortune. Now, I'll admit that this sounds like a contradiction - we write a book about it, then tantalize you with this article, only to finish by telling you not to do it! Not exactly - we just want you to be fully aware of the difficulty of the conversion and not to blame us if you botch up a $600 pistol!
Originally published in the September, 1984 issue of Firepower Magazine.
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