The Norinco Model 320 UZI

 

 


The Norinco UZI's were unlicensed copies of the IMI UZI Model B and were manufactured in China in the the mid 1990's. Originally stamped "Police Model" on the left hand side of the receiver below the rear sight, the BATF required that the markings be milled off so there would be no confusion with the "Law Enforcement Only" markings found in the US. The Norincos were stamped with the importer information - "A.C.C.INT'L\INTRAC KNOXVILLE,TN" - and were distributed by Action Arms.

 

Comparison with the IMI Model B

There are four changes from the original IMI Model B design that were required before the guns could be sold in the United States:
    - The folding stock was replaced with a wooden thumbhole stock.
    - The barrel nut was spot welded in three places to prevent removal of the barrel.
    - The bayonet lug was removed.
    - The magazine was blocked so it would only hold ten rounds.

Aside from those four changes, the guns are mechanically the same, however fit and finish are significantly differently. While the IMI Model B has a smooth, black, painted finish, the Norinco has a gray phosphate finish that mars easily. Parts on the IMI have smooth edges and generally have a "finished" look but parts on the Norinco often times have sharp edges that reveal their low cost manufacturing process.

The Norinco has a number of parts that are serial numbered to match the gun: the receiver, bolt, firing pin carrier, top cover, grip frame and magazine as well as the box are all numbered. No other markings were found on any parts, suggesting that no surplus contract parts were used in the manufacture of the Norinco. The quality of the parts would also confirm that.

Here's a closer look at how the Norinco and IMI Model B parts compare:


The only real noticeable difference on the side of the receiver is the removal of the bayonet lug from the Norinco. The rear of the lug is left to attach the front grip panels. Welds (such as on the front sight) are much more noticeable on the Norinco.


The bottom of the Norinco receiver is mostly with same with the exception of two holes drilled towards the rear of the receiver for attaching the thumbhole stiock. Not all Norincos have these holes drilled.


The top view of the receivers look identical. The Norinco uses the same semi auto feed ramp with restrictor ring as the IMI. It also has the same Model B style ejector.


The Norinco uses the standard Model B style sights. No difference was noted in the trunion but measurements could not be made since the barrel can't be removed on the Norinco.


The Norinco has the same bolt blocking bar required on all semi automatic UZI's imported into the United States. It uses the standard IMI recoil buffer. The Norinco has Model B rear sights, although flipping the sight between 100 and 200 yards caused the windage screw to turn, while it remained in place on the IMI.


The Norinco top cover had two cosmetic differences. It did not have the IMI warnings stamped into the cover, but it did have the gun's serial number stamped on the rear of the cover.


The grip assemblies were mechanically identical but the difference in quality was apparent. The Norinco had a lot of sharp edges and visible welds. The grip assemblies were interchangeable between the guns and individual fire control parts should be as well. The Norinco grip frame had the gun's serial number stamped on the lower right side.


The bolts were almost identical, both having the Model B firing pin safety. The only difference was the different contour of the rear side of the ejection port. The Norinco bolt was stamped with the serial number of the gun.


The Norinco had a wider extractor, like you'd find on a full automatic. Other than that the bolt faces were identical.


Firing pin carriers were identical except that the Norinco carrier was stamped with the serial number of the gun.


The barrel nut is spot welded in three places. The BATF required this before the gun could be sold in the United States.


The thumbhole stock does not attach directly to the receiver. Instead, a bracket attaches to the receiver and the stock attaches to the bracket. The bracket slides under the folding stock catch (below the receiver) and has one bolt in the back like the folding stock does. It would not normally be removed from the receiver. With the bracket removed, an IMI folding stock would fit properly. That could be a useful fact if the current prohibition on post-ban folding stocks goes away.


The thumbhole stock gives approximately the same length of pull but does not have the same drop as the folding stock.


A stock only a mother could love. This thing is just plain ugly. It's made of very soft wood and crudely fashioned. It looks like a small amount of rough handling would break it easily. Also, you cannot take the grip frame off the receiver (for cleaning) without taking the stock off the gun.


The final insult - a "Made in China" sticker proudly plastered across the butt plate. Another sign of the poor construction is the stock finish that ran over the butt plate.


The grip panels are pretty much identical but again you can see the sloppy workmanship. The ribs on the IMI grip form a nice clean circle around the bolt holes but the ribs on the Norinco grip are more haphazard. It's a cosmetic issue but is indicative of the quality.


 

Packaging

The Norinco was packaged in a plain brown box and came with an owner's manual, a sling, a cleaning rod (with brush and patch jag), an oil bottle and a bottle of weapons lubricant. Action Arms attached a card to the pistol grip of each one of the Norinco's:


 

 

Removing the Norinco Thumbhole Stock

Many people ask if the thumbhole stock can be replaced with the standard UZI folding stock. The answer is yes - but subject to all the rules and regulations. First, it can only be done if the gun qualifies as US made rather than imported. A gun qualifies as imported if it has not more than 10 imported parts. According the the BATF's parts breakdown, the UZI has 15 parts and therefore you need at least 5 US made parts in a Norinco before it is no longer considered an import. If you replace parts and meet this qualification, you can then remove the thumbhole stock. However, it's important to keep in mind that the replacement stock cannot be a folder or a quick detach stock. A wooden IMI stock could be used as long as it was bolted on. An IMI metal folding stock could be used as long as the stock was welded in an open position.

Here's an example of converted and refinished Norinco. This one belongs to UZI Talk member kanewtervalve.


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