Introducing the Micro UZI
The first submachineguns were relatively large, and were as heavy as the infantry rifles of the time. Even today some SMG’s which are considered state-of-the-art weigh as much as a rifle. The trend, however, has been toward SMG’s of reduced size, and if smaller is, in some cases, better, then UZI is moving towards the front of the pack.
The original UZI 9mm
submachinegun was introduced nearly thirty-five years ago. It is considered the
first such successful, mass-produced weapon to use the telescoping bolt, and it
put Israel on the map as one of the world’s most promising small arms producers.
The telescoping bolt surrounds the barrel instead of riding behind it, and acts
much like the slide of the Browning type auto pistol. This changes the balance,
and makes for a much shorter weapon. Where concealment is a factor, the latter
feature is important, but so is weight, and the original UZI tips the scales at
almost 9 pounds. Thirty years after the original ("maxi") UZI, an offshoot the
Mini-UZI, was designed. The Mini uses many of the same parts as the full sized
UZI including the magazine. It is shorter by almost 4 inches, and weighs just 6
pounds. It has an efficient folding stock, and incorporates slots in the barrel
to form an integral compensator to help control the weapon on automatic fire
(see CH April. 1984). However, Israeli Military Industries, maker of the UZI,
did not stop there.
Soon after the Mini-UZI SMG, UZI introduced a semi-auto only pistol for the U.S. market. While the pistol is based on the Mini-UZI SMG, it is even smaller. Called simply the "UZI Pistol", the weapon falls into the category of the "Assault Pistol", or a semi-auto only SMG-like weapon with no shoulder stock, and fires from a closed bolt. While the UZI Pistol is of high quality, like most weapons of this new breed, it is somewhat less of a pistol than a pistol-for-most-purposes. As one salesman once jokingly told us, "we were the first company to successfully combine a handgun with a Black & Decker drill." Jokes notwithstanding, however, a selective fire UZI Pistol with a shoulder stock would have merit in VIP protection roles and forced building entries where over-penetration is a problem, and this is exactly the weapon UZ1 has now produced to complete its family of SMG's. The new gun is called the "Micro-UZl."
The "littlest" UZ1 is indeed
essentially that company’s pistol with selective fire capabilities, and a
folding stock which is similar to that on the Mini-UZI. This stock is not unlike
the one used on the U.S. M1A1 (paratroop) Carbine, in that it operates on a
pivoting spring loaded hinge, but the UZI stocks swing to the right which is
more desirable mode for this type of mechanism. The butt is rigid, and the stock
itself is of a strong steel tube construction, and is padded for comfort. It
locks in either position under strong spring pressure, and is simply swung open
Like all the UZI's, the Micro uses high quality stampings wherever possible, while other parts like the bolt and barrel are machined forgings. The grips are of high impact plastic. All metal parts are zinc phosphated, over which is applied a tough molecular finish such as is found on most European military firearms. An optional barrel is slotted like that of the Mini-UZI, to form an integral compensator which assists in controlling the weapon during automatic fire. These slots are on a bias to divert gases up and to the right so as to push the gun down and to the left. When the gun is fired on one's right side, this helps to keep it on target. A left handed shooter, however, would be at a disadvantage. We noticed an increase in control with the slotted barrel.
Fires From Closed Bolt
Unique about the Micro among
UZI SMG's is that this one fires from a closed bolt. This is accomplished by the
same means used with the UZ1 Carbine and UZ1 Pistol. In these weapons, the bolt
has actually become a two piece affair, the rear half amounting to a heavy
striker assembly. When chambering a round, the cocking knob is pulled to the
rear and released at which time it springs forward, stripping a round from the
magazine and chambering it. The striker assembly, however, is caught by the
sear, and stays to the rear until the trigger is pulled, where it too jumps
forward powered by a separate spring, and drives the firing pin into the primer.
Blowback momentum then drives both the bolt and striker assembly to the rear,
and the cycle repeats itself. If the weapon is set on semi-auto, the sear
disconnects from the trigger, and rises to catch the striker assembly as the
bolt continues forward. If the gun is in the full auto mode, and the trigger
remains pulled, the bolt and the striker move forward together, firing the round
as it is chambered.
A submachinegun, or machine pistol, firing from a closed bolt means that the weapon will have a greater accuracy potential for the first shot, as the bolt does not make the jump forward to fire from the open bolt position, such as is the case with most SMG's. In addition, the Micro-UZI can be used to a greater advantage on semi-auto at distances out to 100 meters or so. With this weapon we then have an extremely small and concealable SMG firing between 1100 and 1400 rounds per minute which is effective for use in building entries and VIP protection roles, but which can double as a close range sharp-shooting weapon if called upon to do so. It will accept any UZ1 magazine, and disassembles in the same general manner as do all UZI’s
Available for the Micro, and other UZI's, is an excellent shoulder suspension rig. This holster is made of supple leather, and suspends the UZI, muzzle down, on the right side under the arm with two magazines hung on the left side. The UZI can be swung out and into action so quickly that it must be seen to be appreciated. From there the gun can be fired from a tuck-like position, or, unlocking a thumb-break snap, instantly frees the piece to have the stock extended and shouldered. This rig is suitable for plainclothes and uniformed carry alike.
Another accessory is a top cover mount for the Action Arms Mark V optical sight. While we did not have such a mount for the Micro-UZl, we did test it on a Mini-UZ1, and found it to provide sufficient accuracy to make semi-auto body hits at 100 meters, even using the Mini's open bolt system. A closed bolt such as is standard with the Micro-UZl would provide even greater accuracy. The new mount will also accept most other optical Sights.
Another accessory we were
allowed to test was a prototype vertical foregrip which attaches to the bayonet
lug of any UZI weapon. This grip slants forward like that of the Hungarian AKM,
and aids in control and fast maneuvering of the weapon. It may become a
standard UZI accessory. Beside the above, there is a vast array of UZI
accessories available with more on the drawing board.
We found the Micro-UZl to handle quite well for such a small SMG. Due to the shortness of the gun, the most feasible way to fire it on full auto is with the stock extended, in either the shoulder or the high tuck position depending upon range. The recommended way to hold the Micro is by using a modified Weaver type grip as there is nothing else to grip properly, and we found this hold to work best. In a pinch, such as when rappelling, the gun can be fired full auto using one hand, but with some loss of control.
With short full auto burst from the standard barrel we could easily keep most hits on a silhouette target at 30 feet. On semi-auto, the Micro neatly grouped 25 rounds into 5 inches at 25 yards from the standing position, and the entire 25 round magazine was fired in less than 30 seconds! In short, the Micro-UZI performed much better than we had expected, especially with the ported barrel, and it fed anything we put through it, including jacketed hollow points.
The Micro-UZl reminds us of the excellent Beretta 93R machine pistol (see FULL AUTO, 1984), but with the advantage of having a fully folding stock, and not being limited to a 3-shot burst mechanism, although the Beretta's is a good one. While it is less practical to fire the Micro UZI with the stock folded, especially on full auto, this feature makes for excellent concealment of the weapon. It can be easily hidden under a jacket or overcoat, and then quickly brought into action by simply swinging the stock to the open position, or it can be kept out of sight just as easily with the stock already extended.
We also fired the Micro-UZl with a suppressor designed especially for it, and the Mini-UZI, by Jonathan Arthur Ciener, Inc., 6850 Riveredge Dr., Titusville, FL 32780. For this test we fired several types of 9mm ammunition, including SAMPSON 9mm Carbine/SMG ONLY high velocity, Blazer 9mm JHP and special IMI blue tip Subsonic 9mm. The suppressor adds just a few inches to either SMG, and cuts the muzzle report dramatically even when using the high velocity black tipped SMG rounds, although the special subsonic ammo is noticeably quieter with barely more than a whisper and the operation of the bolt able to be heard. We also tested this suppressor on the Mini-UZI along with a brand new "heavy" bolt for that SMG, which cuts the rate of fire from 950 down to 750 RPM. There will also be a closed bolt available soon for the Mini-UZI which will operate exactly as does that of the Micro. Also available down the road will be .45 ACP/9mm conversion kits for all UZI SMG’s, and a .22 kit. Look for our test on it soon.
The Micro UZI typifies the high quality UZI has come to be known for the world over, as UZI products are in use in virtually every Freeworld country and probably all Comm-block countries as well. What is more, the Micro has taken UZI to a new level, a marriage of the utmost in concealability, reliability and effectiveness matched by few other weapons. With the addition of this new SMG there is now an UZI "for all seasons" where such a weapon is called for. The excellent magazine, and spare parts logistics are a high selling point for simplifying inventory, and the optical sight and .45 ACP conversion options will appeal to a great many users. For information, law enforcement agencies and dealers should contact Mr. Evan Whildin, Action Arms, Dcpt. CH, P.O. Box 19630, Philadelphia, PA 19124, 215-744-0100.
Originally published in the October, 1986 issue of Combat Handguns Magazine.
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