The Uzi (Hebrew: עוזי, officially cased as UZI) /ˈuːzi/ (listen) is a family of Israeli open-bolt, blowback-operated submachine guns. Smaller variants are often considered to be machine pistols. The Uzi was one of the first weapons to use a telescoping bolt design which allows the magazine to be housed in the pistol grip for a shorter weapon.
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal in the late 1940s shortly after the establishment of the State of Israel. The prototype was finished in 1950. First introduced to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) special forces in 1954, the weapon was placed into general issue two years later. The Uzi has found use as a personal defense weapon by rear-echelon troops, officers, artillery troops and tankers, as well as a frontline weapon by elite light infantry assault forces.
The Uzi has been exported to over 90 countries. Over its service lifetime, it has been manufactured by Israel Military Industries, FN Herstal, and other manufacturers. From the 1960s through the 1980s, more Uzi submachine guns were sold to more military, law enforcement and security markets than any other submachine gun ever made.