Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • There's few weapons more instantly recognizable  than the Uzi submachine gun- but even the most  

  • devout Uzi fans may be surprised by these  facts you might not know about the IMI Uzi.

  • 20. A weapon of necessity

  • In 1948, Israel declared itself a country,  

  • and immediately prompted an invasion  by its Arab neighbors. At the time,  

  • Israel's military was largely a group of  ragtag militias, loosely organized together  

  • into a standing army. With just 200 machine  guns, 10,000 rifles, and 3,600 submachine  

  • guns- all of them World War II leftoversIsrael gained victory over the Arab assault.

  • As the Israel Defense Forces became a professional  military force, it required standardization and  

  • new equipment. In 1948 its weapons consisted  of a hodge podge of surplus Axis equipment,  

  • British small arms, and random civilian  rifles and shotguns. But as a new nation,  

  • with very troubled international relationsIsrael could not easily acquire weapons to  

  • standardize its forces. So Israel turned  inwards, to its highly educated citizenship,  

  • to look for solutions- thus the Uzi was  born out of desperation and necessity.

  • 19. A weapon by a soldier for soldiers

  • In 1952 Uziel Gal patented  his new machine gun design,  

  • a short and compact weapon that featured high  rates of fire, and was exceptional for use in  

  • urban fighting. Inspired by the difficulties faced  in the often urban fighting of Israel's first war,  

  • the Uzi was meant to allow soldiers to shoot  and maneuver comfortably in tight quarters.  

  • The weapon featured a firing rate of 600 roundsminute, and a magazine that could hold either 25  

  • or 32 rounds. A collapsible metal stock could  increase accuracy, and allow for ease of use  

  • in tight quarters- though the weapon still  topped out at a maximum range of 200 yards.

  • 18. Easy to use, easy to produce

  • Compared to contemporary weapons, the  Uzi featured very few moving parts,  

  • making it extremely reliable and easy to clean  or fix in the field. More importantly though,  

  • the weapon was made of stamped parts, which made  it easy to manufacture for a young Israel with  

  • practically no domestic arms industry to speak  of. The machinery required to create an uzi was  

  • easy to operate and easy to design, perfect fornation that desperately needed to arm itself in a  

  • hurry. It also made the Uzi a reliable weapon  even in case of war, as new factories could be  

  • easily and quickly set up for mass production. With such a large conscript force though,  

  • the Uzi was perfect for yet another reason. 17. Perfect for inexperienced troops

  • The Uzi's 600 rounds a minute firing rate  may be slow by machine gun standards,  

  • but its compact size and ease of use made  it the perfect choice for a young army full  

  • of inexperienced conscripts. Its rate of fire  allowed new shooters to put out an impressive  

  • volume of suppressive fire, and with three  safety mechanisms- a manual lever safety,  

  • a grip safety, and a bolt safety- the  weapon was easy and safe to train with.

  • 16. It was never standard issue

  • The tie between the Uzi and the  IDF is so close, that most people  

  • assume that the Uzi was the standard issue  weapon for the Israeli Defense Forces upon  

  • its adoption in the mid 1950s. Howeverthe weapon was never widely adopted,  

  • as its relatively short range made it extremely  unsuitable for use on the large swathes of open  

  • desert that Israel would fight most of its wars  on. Instead, the IDF carried the Belgian FN-FAL  

  • rifle, but the Uzi would be very popular  amongst other segments of the IDF military.

  • 15. The right weapon for the right job

  • While its short range and lack of long-range  accuracy made it a poor choice for line and file  

  • infantry, the Uzi immediately found a home amongst  segments of the IDF which faced more specialized  

  • fighting conditions. Its well-balanced designlight weight, small size, and ferocious volume of  

  • fire was perfect for Israeli special forces, who  often found themselves fighting in close quarters.  

  • Israeli paratroopers also adopted the Uzi  thanks to its low weight and small size.  

  • Similarly, tank and armored vehicle crews  were issued Uzis- as if their vehicles were  

  • ever disabled and they were forced to fight  outside of them, odds were strong they were  

  • already in very close contact with the enemy. The Uzi would almost immediately help Israel  

  • achieve battlefield victory. 14. Baptism by fire

  • Few weapons have met with an immediate baptism by  fire the way the Uzi did. In 1954 the IDF put in  

  • its first orders for the Uzi, and two years later  the weapon would see action in the Suez Crisis.

  • In 1956 Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal Companywhich stripped the British and French of control  

  • of the Suez Canal and placed it in Egyptian  control. As one of the world's most important  

  • waterways, not only was control of the canal  lucrative for the British and French, but also of  

  • great strategic importance. Secretly, Britain and  France conspired with Israel to regain control,  

  • and Israel soon invaded the Sinai PeninsulaShortly after, British and French forces joined in  

  • the assault before being stopped by international  pressure from both the United States and the USSR.

  • The Uzi first saw action as Israeli paratroopers  assaulted the Mitla Pass in the Sinai. Facing  

  • off against Sudanese and Egyptian forces dug into  trenches and caves, the light-weight and compact  

  • Uzi allowed Israeli troops to readily outgun and  outmaneuver the defenders, helping the IDF achieve  

  • victory. As the war expanded, the Uzi would also  see service in the West Bank and Golan Heights.

  • 13. The beginning of the end

  • It wouldn't be long however before the Uzi began  to meet its match. Thanks to the proliferation of  

  • the world's most famous assault rifle- the AK-47,  the Uzi was gradually phased out of service. With  

  • Israel's neighbors arming themselves with AK  variants, the Uzi was soon out gunned. The AK  

  • featured a comparable rate of fire, superior  range, and a larger, rifle caliber round,  

  • while the Uzi was still limited to a 200 yard  range with a pistol caliber round. Slowly,  

  • the IDF began to transition to the M16 and  the Galil assault rifle, though the Uzi  

  • remained popular with special forces units  which often operated at very close ranges.

  • 12. Global appeal

  • Even as the Uzi lost favor with the IDF, the  weapon exploded in popularity around the world.  

  • Its compact size and high rate of fire combined  with ease of manufacturing, the wide availability  

  • of 9mm ammunition, and low cost all served to make  it extremely popular with smaller militaries and  

  • criminal groups. In Africa the Uzi becamemainstay amongst various armies and militias,  

  • who often used it against each other. It also  made its way across the Atlantic to trouble  

  • spots in central and South America. In the US the  Uzi became the new Tommy Gun, with criminal gangs  

  • popularizing it in culture though widespread use. The Uzi would even help change  

  • American minds on law enforcement. 11. It even helped change US police policy

  • The proliferation of Uzis and similar firearms  throughout the criminal networks of the United  

  • States quickly led to American police forces  being woefully outmatched by criminal firepower.  

  • This led to the upgrading of many  American police's service weapons,  

  • many of which were still using revolversAs a crime wave overtook the United States,  

  • fueled in part by the Uzi, American police  departments began to set up specialized heavily  

  • armed squads to deal with the worst of the worst  violent criminals, birthing modern SWAT forces.

  • 10. Reluctantly world-famous

  • Uziel Gal may have developed one of the most  iconic firearms in all of human history,  

  • but he would have liked it better  if his name had been left out of  

  • it. Upon adoption of the weapon, Israel  decided to name the weapon after him,  

  • shortening it to 'Uzi'- however Uziel  opposed the decision vehemently. Israel,  

  • a young nation in need of heroes, ignored his  opposition and went ahead with the naming anyways.

  • 9. An award winning design

  • Ask the IDF soldiers tasked with fighting  in the trenches and caves of the Sinai,  

  • and the Uzi deserved every accolade it receivedOther than being praised for his invention by  

  • the troops though, in 1958 Uziel Gal became the  first person to receive the Israel Security Award,  

  • given in honor of his work on the Uzi. Easy  to use, reliable, and easy to manufacture,  

  • the Uzi was a desperately needed lifeline  for Israel in its early history until it  

  • could develop a native arms industry and negotiate  internationally for weapons. In a very real sense,  

  • Gal may have helped ensure the independence  of his country with his submachine gun

  • Not all of Uziel's inventions would  be met with such accolades however

  • 8. The Uzi upgrade

  • In 1975 Gal retired from the IDF, and shortly  thereafter moved to the United States so his  

  • daughter, suffering from brain damage, could  receive better medical care. While in the US,  

  • Gal continued his work as a gun designerthis time working with manufacturer Sturm,  

  • Ruger & Co. His talents would lead to the creation  of the MP9 submachine gun, a modernized version  

  • of the Uzi- who's rights Sturm, Ruger & Co. had  bought. The MP9 however would be poorly received.

  • 7. A troubled big brother

  • The MP9 was meant to be a direct upgrade from the  Uzi, and thus used modern materials which further  

  • reduced its weight to an impressive 5.94 pounds  (2.68 kg) when unloaded. Its target customers  

  • would be American government agents who had a need  for a close quarters weapon with a high rate of  

  • fire and good reliability. The development  of polymer materials helped reduce weight,  

  • and Gal's focus on simplicity made  the weapon extremely reliable.

  • Unfortunately the weapon never gained  the attention of government agencies,  

  • and only 1500 were ever produced- making them  a rare item for a modern gun collector. The MP9  

  • would become a commercial failure, and Ruger  would never again develop a submachine gun.

  • 6. Still globally popular

  • Despite being regulated to reserve forces by  the IDF, the Uzi remains globally popular,  

  • with 90 countries around the world  still using the weapon in some capacity.  

  • The weapon was produced under license in  Belgium and Zimbabwe, though it was also  

  • illegally copied by China and Croatia. Some early Uzi features may have been  

  • surprising though. 5. Wood over metal

  • Despite the collapsible metal stock being  part of the iconic imagery of the Uzi,  

  • the first Uzis featured a collapsible wooden  stock. With Israel being low on both industry  

  • and strategic resources, and needing to get  weapons into the hands of soldiers quickly,  

  • wood was a cheap and fast alternative to  metal stocks- though eventually they would  

  • be phased out in preference of more  durable, lightweight metal stocks.

  • 4. Small, smaller, and smaller yet

  • With stock extended, the Uzi reaches 25 inches  (640mm) in length, or 17.5 (445mm) with stock  

  • collapsed. A small weapon with a big impacteven smaller variants of the Uzi were created.  

  • The Mini Uzi was first introduced in  1980, and is only 24 inches (600mm) or  

  • 14 inches (360mm) with stock collapsed. The  mini uzi however halves its effective range  

  • to 100 meters, but makes up for this with an  impressive 950 rounds per minute firing rate.

  • If that's not small enough though, the  Micro Uzi would enter service in 1986.  

  • This tiny terror would reach  19.1 inches (486 mm) in length,  

  • or 11.1 inches (282 mm) with stock collapsedWeighing in at just 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg), this  

  • midget mauler has a firing rate of  a whopping 1,200 rounds per minute.

  • 3. It's even a pistol

  • The Uzi pistol lacks the fully automatic  firing mode of the Uzi, but nonetheless  

  • is a popular choice for individuals in need ofhigh-capacity pistol for close quarters defense.  

  • Now discontinued in most places, the Uzi pistol  featured a 20, 25, or even 32 round magazine.  

  • 2,000,000 Uzi PRO pistols were manufacturedand today can be a prized collector's item

  • For American fans of the  Uzi though we have bad news… 

  • 2. Illegal for almost 50 years

  • The Uzi is most iconic for its fully  automatic firing mode- but if you're  

  • an American gun collector it's not just  illegal to possess a fully-auto Uzi, but  

  • difficult to even find an authentic fully-auto  Uzi. In 1968 the sale of fully automatic Uzis  

  • was made illegal with the 1968 Gun Control  Act, a desperate measure to curb rising gun  

  • violence. This makes Uzis imported before 1968  extremely rare- and valuable for gun collectors.

  • 1. A fading legend

  • While Chinese knockoffs produced illegally  for decades can often be found in domestic  

  • and national markets, original pre-1968  IMI Uzis are a dying breed. For American  

  • gun collectors, it's believed less than  100 original fully-automatic Uzis remain  

  • in the country. Thanks to their rugged  design and ease of maintenance though,  

  • these iconic weapons will continue to be  reliable for decades to come if taken care of.

  • Now go watch evolution of AK-47 rifleor click this other video instead!

There's few weapons more instantly recognizable  than the Uzi submachine gun- but even the most  

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 uzi israel weapon gun gal featured

20 Things You Didn't Know About The Uzi

  • 5 0
    Summer posted on 2021/11/07
Video vocabulary