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Type U Machine Pistol
(IMI Mini-Uzi)


Review date: 03/29/2001
Model: Type U Machine Pistol (IMI Mini-Uzi)
Type: Full-Auto Gas Blow Back
Manufacturer: Maruzen
Retailer: Airsoft Atlanta

Summary: A nice, fun toy, but not a serious primary skirmishing weapon.

Why An Uzi?

Being a long time gun enthusiast, I've always had a fascination with the Uzi. Even it's staunchest supporters will tell you it's an ugly lump of low-tech, bullet-wasting, inaccurate junk, with the pistols especially looking more like a third-world-manufactured power drill than a firearm, but there's just something about the Uzi mystique that says "I am so bad I don't even have to aim, and you are going to die."

But in airsoft, one's life isn't on the line, and one's enemies aren't attacking from 200 yards away. (Or, at least, not the ones who expect to actually hit you.) So, few of the drawbacks of the real steel apply, and I knew I had to have this gun the minute I saw it sitting on the shelf that Athens Paintball loans out to Wombat of Airsoft Atlanta as a showroom. After all, how could I resist a product that says "TRY THIS ROWDY MACHINE PISTOL" right on the cover of the box?

So What's It Like?

Other reviewers have commented negatively on the appearance of this gun, citing the seams visible from the front and back as evidence of shoddy worksmanship. In my opinion, however, they don't look that bad. From any distance at all you won't see them, and the gun is going to be viewed from the side more often than the front or back anyway. So yes, there are seams, and yes, they could conceivably have been fitted better, but I don't think the added expense would have contributed much to this gun.

The plastic finish is a matte black, and while not of the quality of, say, a Marui AEG, it's certainly more than good enough to pass for real from a few feet away; similar quality to the better realistic water guns that used to get people shot back in the late '80s. Don't wave this around in public, it's real enough to cause a panic. The finish is good, and eliminates all the "plastic shine", so the appearance is quite good overall.

There's very little metal, the external metal being only in the magazine release, the trigger, and the safety switch, as well as the magazine itself. Overall, this makes for a very light gun, less than half the weight of the real steel. However, the real steel weight includes the folding stock, which is not present in the Maruzen. The Micro Uzi you see in the movies is usually an Uzi Pistol, modified to full auto, and this is really a model of that more than of the actual Micro Uzi.

Maruzen is true to the real steel with the crappy, nearly-useless sights, but as with the real steel, who cares? You're shooting this thing at people less than 20 meters away, so the sights are only good for plinking at trees to show off before the big game, right? In any event, these sights are non-adjustable plastic, making them doubly useless.

So How Does It Shoot?

Operation of the gun is very true to the real steel, including the open-bolt operation. Pull back the cocking lever on the top and release it, and you'll see the internal bolt pull back to reveal the top of the magazine, back of the barrel, and front of the "inserter" and air nozzle. (Ok, maybe it's not the "inserter", but it's the opposite of an extractor, so what would you call it?)

As with the real steel, rate of fire is VERY high, and it will clean out the 50-round magazine in a couple of seconds. Since it's gas, I recommend you don't just hose away the whole mag, as it can freeze up. Three equal bursts seems to be plenty to come through with no freezing.

As this is a Japanese gun, it is intended for use with HFC 134 gas, and use of the more powerful green gas is not recommended. So, of course, I immediately loaded it up with 50 .20 gram Excel BBs and a shot of green gas. It chronos between 305 and 315 fps with green gas, I have not yet chronoed it with HFC. With green gas, the blowback was awesome, and made bursts a necessity if I wanted to hit anything. Range is excellent, it slightly outranges my stock Marui M16A2, which is what you'd expect with this fps rating.

You can definitely feel the open bolt slamming home, and it definitely contributes to the wobbling motion this will take in your hand, so don't expect to hose a target at long range and keep 'em all in the paper. Accuracy for short bursts, however, was excellent; more than good enough for CQB-range combat.

I took it into combat at Code: Warpath in Athens this month, and my results were mixed; although it was accurate enough and long-ranged enough to compete with the AEGs, the 50 rounds were gone in a flash and I was left high and dry, having purchased no spare clips. Spares are on the expensive side, so I ran back to base and started the reloading process.

This brings me to a pet peeve I have with many GBB manufacturers, which is at it's worst with this gun; in order to load it, you have to pull a little tab WAY down to compress the spring, then manually shove in BBs, making sure they "stagger" properly. In a gun with 22 shots, this is annoying; in a gun with 50, it's interminable, and damaging to the thumbnail. At least Maruzen made this magazine so the BBs don't have to be forced in, they can drop right in the hole. I experienced no feed failures that I'm aware of, even loading a full 50 BBs, but of course the rate of fire is so high, I wouldn't have noticed an occasional interruption.

The 50-round clip is very long, and will need to go into an assault-rifle or SMG-mag pouch, pistol mag pouches won't cut it.

Conclusion

All in all, I'm glad I purchased this gun, and if you're an Uzi fan it's a must-have backup for your Marui SMG. However, the cost of clips and difficulty of reloading make it a poor choice for a primary weapon, even for CQB. Buy one if you want a nice toy for the occasional break from reality, or a smartass response when going into a pistols-only game with a lot of Glock 18 carriers, but stick with your AEG as your primary.

Statistics:

IMI Micro Uzi Maruzen Type U
Weight (loaded): 2035g 840g
Length: 267mm 250mm (does not include folding stock)
Caliber: 9x19mm 6mm BB
Bullet speed: 1106fps 230 fps (HFC 134, mfgr.), 310fps (green gas, measured)
Rate of fire: 1250rpm 850-1000rpm (according to mfgr.)

Review by: FA-GHOST.

 


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© Copyright 2004 by Lance Eppley & Joey Araniego