Uzi submachine gun, a compact automatic weapon that is used throughout the world as a police and special-forces firearm.
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed by Major Uziel Gal in the late 1940s. The prototype was finished in 1950. First introduced to IDF (Israel Defense Forces) special forces in 1954, the weapon was placed into general issue two years later. The Uzi has found use as a personal defence weapon by rear-echelon troops, officers, artillery troops and tankers, as well as a frontline weapon by elite light infantry assault forces.
Gal based his weapon partly on earlier Czech designs, in which bullets were fed into the gun’s chamber from a box-shaped magazine inserted into the pistol grip. The bullets were fired by a hollowed-out bolt that slid around much of the barrel as it shot forward. Gal combined these features to produce a gun that was easy to load, of unprecedented compactness, reasonably stable and accurate even when fired automatically, and extremely well-tooled and durable. The weapon was phased out by the Israeli army in 2003.