Britain's biggest-selling airgun magazine
John Milewski finally gets his hands on the long-awaited Mini Uzi from Umarex
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Personally speaking, I have been waiting impatiently for this air pistol to arrive ever since Umarex showed it off at trade shows earlier in the year. Now that it’s here, we’ll see if the wait has been worthwhile shortly, but first, let’s have a brief look at the Uzi’s history.
You may know that the Uzi takes its name from its designer, Israeli army officer Uziel Gal, but did you know that was not his real name? Born Gothard Glas, the inventor served two years in jail for illegal gun possession, before settling in the new state of Israel and entering a competition to design what was to become the country’s first independently designed firearm.
The Uzi’s first conflict was the Suez crisis of 1956, when Israel fought with her British and French allies against Egypt before international pressure placed an end to the conflict. The Uzi sub-machine gun went on to become a legend and has been used by many countries, including Germany, Holland, Peru, Rhodesia and the U.S. Secret Service. Immortalised in film, the Uzi was also notorious as a favourite with many 1980s and ‘90s gangsters.
Umarex have an envious reputation for producing not just CO2, but also springpowered airgun clones of classic firearms, such as the M4 carbine and MP7. The Uzi has now joined this prestigious line-up, and I was lucky enough to obtain one of the first that hit U.K. shops in August.
In essence, the Umarex Mini Uzi is a breakbarrel air pistol wearing a moulded synthetic coat, which is designed to look like the classic firearm.
Based on the Mini Uzi introduced in 1980, the Umarex clone weighs in at 5lbs 2oz (2.3 kilos), which compares consistently with the firearm’s 5.85 kilos. The magazine that can be seen protruding from the pistol grip is a moulded dummy, but the side-folding stock is metal, and so is the body of the air pistol, as you would expect.
Initially, I thought the side-folding stock was a little short because the firearm is a couple of inches longer, but the reach from centre of the butt to the trigger is just over 14½ inches, which is above average and suits my large frame admirably. The Umarex is classified as an air pistol and the extended side-folding stock braces you against the frame, thereby increasing accuracy potential. Power is a very consistent 553fps with .177 Excite Flats, which equates to a healthy 4.8 ft.lbs.
The Umarex Mini Uzi is so realistic that it goes without saying the pistol must not be brandished around where it can be mistaken for the firearm. It is small enough to fit into a rucksack, and if you walk to your shooting club/range or use public transport, I would carry a receipt and/or the pistol’s manual just in case a police officer challenges you.
The muzzle of the firearm stops a couple of inches in front of the front sight, but Umarex have cleverly hidden the barrel within a fake silencer shroud, which is used to break the barrel for loading and cocking. The fire selector works in a similar manner to an original, but the ‘safe’ and ‘fire’ positions are reversed when compared with the firearm. The S and F (for Safe and Fire) markings have not been highlighted, but you can do this yourself if you wish. I was pleased to see licensed IWI (Israel Weapon Industries) logos on the pistol, and the complete absence of the white safety markings that I detest and which adorn many an airgun replica.
A section of Picatinny rail is included and can be fitted to the top of the pistol’s receiver, but the dummy cocking handle needs to be removed in order to do so. Whilst there are variations of Mini Uzi that have a rail on top, they also include a side cocking bolt, which the Umarex does not have. I wanted mine to resemble the classic Mini Uzi, so the rail stayed in the box.
The rear sight has two apertures, offering a choice of elevation settings, and the sight can be adjusted laterally, too, so I was able to zero the pistol centrally at six yards. The trigger takes some getting used to because it has a very long and creepy pull that I measured at 6lbs 8oz. This meant keeping the pistol on aim for longer than I would normally, and doing my best to maintain a consistent sight picture whilst pressing on the trigger. I’d have preferred a crisper shorter pull, but as with all things, you can get used to it.
The Mini Uzi perforated baked bean cans at 15 yards and makes an excellent plinker as well as a head-turner at the club. This has been a very much a review of first impressions and written within days of acquiring the pistol. I like first impressions with a new gun because that is when you are at your most excited, and I found it hard not to become over excited with the mini Uzi, when handling and using it. I predict these will sell like hot cakes!
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