The Uzi Pro submachine gun is exactly as advertised: a modernized Uzi, but an Uzi nonetheless. Firearms manufacturer Israeli Weapon Industries (IWI) is best known as the creator of the Uzi, a compact submachine gun designed for urban and close-quarters use. Enshrined in popular culture through such classics as Scarface and used in over 90 countries since its introduction in the mid-1950’s, the Uzi remains one of the most recognized guns in the world. But the original Uzi saw a steep decline in the following decades– especially with the proliferation of AK-pattern weapons in third and second-world conflicts– and is now nearly extinct as a military service firearm. Over 50 years later, IWI set out to design a modernized successor variant that retained the Uzi’s iconic frame whilst offering performance in line with “the technological standards of the 21st century”: the Uzi Pro submachine gun (SMG). Did IWI succeed in resurrecting the Uzi brand? Here is how the Pro, introduced in 2012, stacks up against the original. “It just works,” exclaimed a short promotional video in which an Uzi Pro was successfully fired after being buried in mud. This is a somewhat curious advertising angle to pursue, given that the original Uzi was never seen as having reliability issues– nevertheless, IWI wants to stress that the Uzi Pro will perform even under the most extreme conditions.
Several key changes are evident in the Uzi Pro’s design; most notably, IWI offers an optional side-folding, stabilizing arm brace for improved ergonomics. The charging handle has been moved from the top to the left side, allowing the integration of a full-length, non-removable picatinny rail. For those looking to mount a flashlight, another rail is attached beneath the barrel. The Pro retains the grip safety of its predecessor, adding two more: a thumb safety and firing pin block. Eschewing the caliber diversity of previous Uzi models, the Pro is only available in 9mm Parabellum. Partly to circumvent the ATF’s ban on open-bolt firearms, the Pro now sports a closed-bolt design. [full article]