Law Enforcement and the UZI
Action Arms Ltd. has taken the feedback from users of theirs and other sub-guns and from this they have expanded their UZI line to fulfill the demands for a .45 caliber SMG, slower firing rates, and a supercompact, controllable full-auto 9mm pistol.
Without getting into caliber debates, it goes without saying there is a demand for a quality .45 sub-gun for both regular law enforcement and special government agencies. At the recent Soldier Of Fortune Combat Arms Exhibition we were immediately halted by the larger hole in the front of an UZI on display. Through conversation with the Action Arms staff we learned they had been listening to the needs of SMG users and have reacted by coming out with their new .45 full-size SMG. We arranged to test the new products from UZI at American Shooters Supply's state-of-the-art range in Las Vegas, Nevada.
CALIBER IN FULL
By the simple exchange of barrel, bolt, and magazine, the selective-fire open bolt models of the standard UZI can be converted to .45 caliber. Currently, Action Arms is selling only full-auto .45 conversion kits, but we were informed that in early '86 kits will be available for the semiauto carbines, too.
I found the .45 UZI conversion kit easy to install. The procedure is as simple as pulling the cover, removing the bolt, and unscrewing the barrel. The 9mm parts are replaced with the .45 bolt, barrel and reinstallation of the cover. As the .45 cartridge is much larger in diameter the conversion comes with .45 caliber magazines and due to the larger cartridge size, the .45 magazines hold only 16 rounds. In the near future larger capacity mags will be available.
Once we had the conversion, our next step was to fire the gun and I can say that the .45 is a joy to shoot. It's very controllable due to the weight of the UZI and the slower cyclic rate of the .45 (500 RPM). We found the accuracy in semiauto was excellent with body hits possible out to 200+ meters. If you have looked for a .45 caliber sub-gun, the UZI is the one to choose.
CHOICE OF FIRE RATES
FOR THE MINI-UZI
The popular Mini-UZI now
offers a choice of three firing rates simply by changing the bolt. The Mini
weighs 1 3/4 pounds less than the standard UZI and is roughly four inches
shorter with the stock folded. The shorter has the options of the standard open
bolt at a cyclic rate of 950 RPM, or by changing bolts, the new striker-fired
closed bolt will give increased accuracy on semiauto fire and a full-auto rate
of 900 RPM, or another optional bolt system, and our favorite, the new heavy
open bolt which gives a very controllable 750 RPM firing rate.
Our congratulations to Action Arms for some smart moves here, rather than getting tied up in the open vs. closed bolt debate, they have made both systems available and they can be interchanged in seconds. During some of our testing in fact, we changed from open to closed bolt firing, without even leaving our firing position, as a bolt change in an UZI merely requires removing the top cover and pulling the old bolt out and replacing it with a new one. No adjustments necessary, as the UZI uses a very simple and reliable blow back system of operation.
In our limited testing we found that the closed bolt system required a little hotter ammo to function flawlessly. We used 125-grain Remington FMC ammo and we had a few failures to eject. I feel this is due to the second spring required for the striker. We did not have any Samson 9mm +P carbine ammo or other hot submachine gun ammo, but I feel there would be no problems with any of the hotter ammos.
In blow back type weapons there are two main ways to control the rate of fire; one would be to change the recoil spring tension and the other the mass of the bolt. In simple terms, if you increase the weight of the bolt the rate of fire goes down. UZI has approached this concept in an interesting way as they have added weight to the bolt by using tungsten inserts. Tungsten is slightly more than twice as dense as steel, thereby adding a great deal of weight without making major changes in the basic weapon. By adding 12 ounces of tungsten, the rate of fire was reduced to 750 RPM from the standard 950 RPM.
We found controllability increased along with the benefit of more bursts per magazine. When comparing the closed and the open bolt to the heavy open bolt, it was evident that the closed bolt was more accurate on semiauto, but with the open heavy bolt the differences were small at reasonable ranges.
UZI's new Micro is awesome firepower in a 9.5-inch overall package. As you may know there has been a semiauto UZI pistol available for some time which was aimed at the civilian market. Now UZI engineers have modified the basic pistol design for full-auto, plus added a folding stock which is a needed addition when the little gun is fired full-auto. At just under four pounds, this compact weapon should find favor with Special Op groups and high risk security personnel.
From our testing, we were impresses with how controllable this little gun is. At 10 meters it was easy to put controlled bursts in any chosen area of the B27 target. The Micro Uzi requires the shooter to concentrate on what he is doing as this weapon is a small, powerful sub-gun and at 1200 RPM will empty the standard 32 round magazine in 1.6 seconds of fire. With a proper stance and trigger control, the Micro Uzi is a very effective weapon for close in, quick response in the hands of a properly trained operator.
As with all UZI's, the Micro is all-steel construction, designed for the most rugged use. One of the features that I have always appreciated on all UZI's is the grip safety. Some shooters with small hands or with limited strength in their grip may have some difficulty in keeping the grip safety depressed, but the grip safety goes a long way in reducing accidental discharge.
From what we observed UZI has been doing its homework to supply state-of-the-art in compact firepower for law enforcement and security agencies. From the original UZI design there have been changes and modifications that have produced the Mini UZI, and now added to that we have the Micro and replacement bolts for the Mini and conversion kit for the originals to .45 ACP. We believe that 1986 should be a good year for Action Arms, the exclusive importer in the U.S. of all UZI products.
Originally published in the February, 1986 issue of SWAT Magazine.
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