IMI or not?
That's the question that everyone asks. As it turns out, it's not an easy question to answer. IMI never manufactured their own magazines. Never. They never had their own equipment for manufacturing magazines and always subcontracted this out with various suppliers. At any given time, IMI typically had 4-5 suppliers producing magazines for them, and those suppliers changed over time. Some of the subcontractors were Israeli companies, some were not. There's no way to identify the specific subcontractor that manufactured a given magazine, but there's really no need to since they were all manufactured to meet IMI specifications.
All magazines that were issues to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) were marked with a star. (Note: it's just a star, not the Star of David.) Magazines that IMI sold for commercial use were stamped with "IMI". The real problem that confuses the issue is that IMI also sold magazines (produced by their standard subcontractors) without any markings on them at all. Some IMI customers preferred not to have Israeli marking on the products they were buying and IMI was more than happy to fulfill their requests. As a result, the star and "IMI" stampings guarantee that the magazine meets IMI specifications, but the absence of the markings does not confirm that the magazine doesn't meet IMI specs.
There are basically two styles of manufacture for UZI magazines. The original style had a folded and spot welded seam on the back of the magazine. This style was the easiest to manufacture with the equipment that existed in the earlier days of production. Virtually all magazines with the folded seam were manufactured by an IMI subcontractor, regardless of whether they are stamped or not.
In later years, the availability of robotic plasma welders led to a new magazine design. The new magazines had a flush seam (usually on the front of the magazine) that was welded at the top and bottom. It has been claimed that this new design was driven by the need for more space for subsonic rounds with a longer overall length. By eliminating the folded seam, the inside dimensions of the magazine (front to back) could be increased.
Both of the manufactures licensed by IMI to produce UZIs (Fabrique Nationale in Belgium and Lyttleton in South Africa) made their own magazines - or at least had their own subcontractors - and had their own identifying marks. Their magazines were made to IMI specs. The FN magazines are stamped with a single digit surrounded by a diamond, and the Lyttleton (a division of Denel in South Africa) magazines either have an "S" tool mark ("S2", "S3",...,"S8") or they have a bird or prey inside a triangle. IMI used FN and Lyttleton as magazine subcontractors and would sometimes add their star or "IMI" mark to the existing FN or Lyttleton mark. This can be seen by looking at the magazines sold by Action Arms in the United States. The magazines came from IMI but some of them have Lyttleton marks on them. You can even see them on one of the Action Arms brochure covers.
One final way to help identify UZI magazines is by their finish. Magazines made by IMI, FN or Lyttelton subcontractors either had a parkerized finish (for military use) or a painted finish (for commercial use.) No 9mm IMI magazines were produced with a blued finish, however the IMI .41AE and .45ACP magazines were blued..
A variety of original and after market magazine accessories are available.
|Specific Magazine Identification|
|FN & Lytteton|
|41 & .45|
Tool Mark Identification
|Star marked are IMI military issue.|
|"IMI" marked are contracted by IMI for commercial use. Typically found on 32 round magazines and sometimes on 25 round magazines. Usually they have a painted finish.|
|The "IMI" logo can also be found inside an oval. Typically found on 32 round magazines with a painted finish.|
|Some magazines will have both a star and an "IMI" mark. Presumably they were military issue and then remarked for commercial release.|
|Mecgar magazines are made in Italy and are sometimes marked with "I.M.I" running vertically on the side.|
|Fabrique Nationale (FN) magazines are marked with a single digit inside a diamond.|
|Some FN magazines also have the IMI star on them.|
|Lyttleton (South African) magazines are marked with an "S" followed by a single digit. They are typically 25 round magazines.|
|South African magazines can also be found with both the Lyttleton mark and the "IMI" mark. They typically have a painted finish.|
|Group Industries imported some magazines manufactured by Lyttleton. They are marked with a bird of prey inside a triangle. They are 40 round magazines and reportedly 25 and 32 round versions exist as well.|
|Some of the Chinese made magazines for the Norinco UZI are stamped on the floor plate.|
|South African Defense Force acceptance mark.|
Return to the UZI Talk Index
Copyright © 2002-2006, UZITalk.com
International copyright laws DO apply to Internet Web Sites!
All Rights Reserved.
Last Modified: August 12, 2006