The UZI Carbine Blues

A giant in gun culture– the UZI was used on-screen by everyone from Charlie Bronson to Wesley Snipes– the compact Israeli arm is a solid classic and is instantly recognizable worldwide. However, it shot to prominence in the U.S. when a member of President Ronald Reagan’s Secret Service team produced one from under a suit coat like magic during the Gipper’s 1981 assassination attempt.

Two scenes, seconds apart, from outside the Hilton Hotel in Washington DC, March 30, 1981. (Photos: White House Photographic Collection/NARA)

While select-fire FN-made UZI variants were imported into the U.S. in the 1960s, the growing popularity of the gun sparked a ready-made consumer market for semi-auto sporting carbine versions which transferred with much less red tape.

Meet the old Action Arms-imported IMI UZI Model B Carbine of the 1980s

Does it GET any more 80s?

More on that 40-year saga in my column over at

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