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Thread: Review of the Semi-auto UZI from Velocity Firearms

  1. #1
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    Review of the Semi-auto UZI from Velocity Firearms

    I was happy to learn recently that there’s a new semi-auto UZI carbine on the market. The gun is manufactured by Velocity Firearms in Duluth, Minnesota and is being sold by Atlantic Firearms. The manufacturer may also sell them directly in the future. I just received one of the guns and here’s my review.

    (IMI on top, Velocity Fireams on the bottom)


    Inspection

    The gun is built from new parts supplied by McKay Enterprises combined with parts from surplus parts kits. The receiver and bolt assembly are manufactured by McKay, with the receiver being fully welded and ready for finish and assembly before being delivered to Velocity. The barrel also comes from McKay, but I suspect it’s a Green Mountain barrel. The remainder of the parts come from surplus parts kits. Velocity is using Israeli kits so they have Hebrew markings on the selector switch instead of the more common DES markings from German parts kits. Personally I like the Hebrew markings because it gives the gun a more traditional look. The gun arrived in a long, plastic Plano rifle case that’s easily big enough to hold two UZIs. It came with one IMI surplus 25-round magazine and no instruction manual, though that’s easy enough to get most anywhere.

    The McKay receiver and bolt are specifically made to accept surplus parts, which make the build process easier for Velocity. The hole for the grip frame takedown pin accepts the 8mm SMG-sized pin, so the surplus grip frame and pin can be used without modification. Also, the bolt is bored to accept the longer SMG recoil spring rather than a standard semi-auto recoil spring.

    Velocity does the few modifications needed on the surplus parts. The ratchet pawl is removed from the top cover to work with the shorter throw of the semi-auto bolt. Three changes were made to the fire control parts. The first is to just simply remove the bolt safety since it doesn’t apply to a semi-auto closed bolt. Second, a block is welded into the grip frame to prevent the selector from going to full auto. Finally, the sear locking lugs are recut to have the proper angle for a closed bolt. I’ve seen Vector guns in the past that had horribly recut sears but the work was well done by Velocity.

    It took considerable effort to get the barrel nut off. I literally had to put a strap wrench on it to get it loose. The chamfering around the chamber is typical of many aftermarket barrels and is distinctly different than an original IMI barrel. The most surprising thing about the barrel is that the barrel band is oversized. An original IMI semi-auto barrel trunnion has an 18mm inside diameter. The barrel band on an IMI barrel runs about 17.97mm so it will snuggly fit in the hole. The band on the Velocity barrel is 18.13mm, so it can’t be used in an original IMI gun. In fact, it won’t even fit in an older McKay receiver I have. I don’t know why the aftermarket barrel and trunnion manufacturers have messed around with these dimensions, but be aware that there are compatibility problems if you start switching parts around.

    The biggest concern I ran into when examining the gun was the top cover fit. The cover fits super tight because the top of the McKay receiver is too wide. I measured the wide part of the receiver, just before it narrows down around the barrel trunnion, and found it was .045” wider than an IMI receiver I checked. I had similar results on an older McKay receiver so it’s not a one-off problem with this particular gun. Taking the top cover off a couple times is already wearing the paint off because of the fit. The tight fit also causes a cantilever effect that makes the back of the top cover point up instead lying flat against the receiver. It takes considerable force to push the back of the top cover down to get it to latch. The upward pressure on the back of the top cover then makes it hard to press the release button to get the top cover off. Putting the top edge of the receiver in a vise with padded jaws and giving it a little squeeze easily solved the fit problem. (It takes very little pressure, so don’t over do it.) I checked the top cover gap and found it was way too tight, so I gave the back of the top cover a little bend and the gap was in spec. Five minutes total at the vise and the top cover fit perfectly

    Because the parkerized finish on the various new and old parts don’t match, Velocity applies a black Teflon painted finish over the entire gun, giving it a consistent, black color. The color is similar to the color of the IMI finish, but it’s duller and rougher. An IMI painted finish is smooth and on the verge of being a little glossy. The finish on the Velocity gun is a dull matte finish with a lot of texture to it. Running your finger over the receiver feels like running your finger over 600-grit sandpaper. Whether you like the color and feel of the finish is a matter of personal preference, but no other parts (painted or parkerized) are going to match exactly if you start swapping parts. That’s also a problem with guns that ship with a parkerized finish. It’s hard to get replacement parts to match. Velocity highlights the selector switch markings in white, which looks very nice against the fresh black finish on the gun.

    The plastic grip panels and foregrips are from the surplus parts kit and as such, they show some wear. I didn’t find the condition to be offensive and I rather like the authentic look it gives the gun. Some people might not like the look on a brand new gun.

    I did run into one functional failure while looking the gun over. The gun arrived with the folding stock extended. I pushed the button to unlock the stock and the plunger that sits under the button stuck when it was depressed. As a result, the stock no longer locks open because the plunger won’t pop out. It looks like the stocks are painted when fully assembled, so maybe some paint is lodged in the plunger hole. I need to play around with it to get the plunger unstuck, though the plunger is not easy to disassemble so I might have to contact Velocity to have the stock exchanged.


    Range Report



    I brought the Velocity UZI and an IMI model A UZI to the range to compare the guns. I ran about 100 rounds of Winchester white box ammo through the Velocity UZI with 100% success. All rounds fed just fine, and ejection was strong and reliable. No break-in period required. I also tried some of my reloads that I run in my full auto UZI and they ran fine. Reliability was good wither I squeezed off rounds slowly or cranked them off as fast as I could.

    Accuracy was excellent, which is usually the case with most UZI carbines with their long 16-inch barrels. At 25 yards I could cut one ragged hole in a target. Picking off sticks and bits of broken clay pigeons on the berm could be done quickly and easily.


    Conclusions

    I like the UZI carbine from Velocity Firearms and recommend it. A fully welded receiver from McKay Enterprises is a good base to start a build from and using surplus IMI parts to finish the gun is a reliable combination. I did run into a couple of issues with the gun (top cover fit and the non-functional stock release button), but I’ll write those off to this being a new product for the company. With just a little bit of additional QA, they can avoid these issues and have a very reliable gun. I hope they do that quickly so these simple build issues don’t tarnish the gun’s reputation. I wish the painted finish was smoother like an IMI gun, but I do like the black paint better than the parkerized finish on a Vector or Century gun. At half the price of an original IMI gun, the Velocity Firearms UZI is a fair deal for a fun little plinker. Keep in mind though that it still doesn’t live up to the original. There are some parts interchangeability issues such as the barrel I mentioned above. I found that not all wood stocks would mount properly on the gun because the back plate welds are not dressed properly. Also, the Tri-rail forearm from FAB Defense will slide on an IMI gun but won’t fit on these McKay receivers without modification to the rail. Still, these receivers are much better than the Group Industries receivers that Vector and Century used. If I wanted to add a semi-auto UZI to my collection but didn’t want to pay full price for an IMI, I would probably go with one of these guns from Velocity Firearms.
    Looking for the definitive reference book on UZI history and technical information? Check out my book The UZI Submachine Gun Examined. Details to order a copy are here.

  2. #2
    Registered User sniperdoc's Avatar
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    The Top Cover looks TIGHT,for sure, but at least they added a Front Sling Swivel!

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    Registered User MikeUSAF462's Avatar
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    Thank's, that's a good review.

    Would you consider this gun to be a good candidate for an SBR build or would it be wiser to spend the extra money and get an IMI firearm?
    Last edited by MikeUSAF462; 09-17-2017 at 08:10 PM.

  4. #4
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    Hope they build a Mini!!

    (I can dream!)
    Stay Safe,
    Glockdude1.........................

    "If War is HELL, Take a better Pitchfork than the DEVIL!!!"

  5. #5
    Registered User serendipitist's Avatar
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    RoverDave does not disappoint. I am printing this review and sticking it in the back of the book!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeUSAF462 View Post
    Thank's, that's a good review.

    Would you consider this gun to be a good candidate for an SBR build or would it be wiser to spend the extra money and get an IMI firearm?
    It depends on what you want to do with the SBR. It seems like a quality gun so I wouldn't be concerned about that. But if you want to dress up your SBR with a quick detach stock, rails, foregrips or other stuff, you might get frustrated by some of the small inconsistencies in the McKay receiver. They could all be worked around all of them, but they won't necessarily be drop in.
    Looking for the definitive reference book on UZI history and technical information? Check out my book The UZI Submachine Gun Examined. Details to order a copy are here.

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    Registered User sniperdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeUSAF462 View Post
    Thank's, that's a good review.

    Would you consider this gun to be a good candidate for an SBR build or would it be wiser to spend the extra money and get an IMI firearm?
    If you SBR an IMI, May I suggest marking the barrel vs the receiver?

  8. #8
    Registered User scottz63's Avatar
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    Nice review, thanks.

  9. #9
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    Good write up Dave.
    Nice to see velocity branching out from the MAC series they are known for.

    Rich

  10. #10
    Registered User MikeUSAF462's Avatar
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    Based on the reviews and feedback from RoverDave and Serendipitist I placed an order with Atlantic Firearms for one of these last Friday evening after I got home from work. The gun arrived at the gun shop yesterday and I have to say that I am happy with it. Atlantic Firearms was really well organized and shipped the gun out in an extremely timely manner.

    From the reviews and pictures I figured that I wouldn't be happy with the condition of the hand grips and foregrips so I ordered a new set and replaced them first thing. For an investment of under $40 it really made the gun look much nicer IMO.

    RoverDave, did your gun come with the sling swivel? Mine didn't and I would like to install one but can't seem to find much info on installing one.

  11. #11
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    I think they are making a good product and I think you'll like it. Just make sure the top cover fits properly, as I described above. It's easy to tweak if you need to. I got mind direct from Velocity Firearms to do an evaluation. They did not put sling swivels on the first batch that went to Atlantic but they put a swivel on the one they sent to me and they said they would start doing them in the future. I also explained the top cover issues to the owner of Velocity. He appreciated the feedback and said he would check those issues on guns they assemble in the future.
    Looking for the definitive reference book on UZI history and technical information? Check out my book The UZI Submachine Gun Examined. Details to order a copy are here.

  12. #12
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    More info please on the quoted section below. How do SMG vs. Semi barrels fit with these ?

    "The most surprising thing about the barrel is that the barrel band is oversized. An original IMI semi-auto barrel trunnion has an 18mm inside diameter. The barrel band on an IMI barrel runs about 17.97mm so it will snuggly fit in the hole. The band on the Velocity barrel is 18.13mm, so it can’t be used in an original IMI gun. In fact, it won’t even fit in an older McKay receiver I have. I don’t know why the aftermarket barrel and trunnion manufacturers have messed around with these dimensions, but be aware that there are compatibility problems if you start switching parts around."

  13. #13
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    It's pretty much as described. SMG barrels definitely won't fit. Semi-auto barrels should generally fit but they seem to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so there's always a chance that the barrel might need some trimming.
    Looking for the definitive reference book on UZI history and technical information? Check out my book The UZI Submachine Gun Examined. Details to order a copy are here.

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    I will probably grab one when I have the coin.

  15. #15
    Registered User MikeUSAF462's Avatar
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    Compared to my IWI Uzi pistol the top cover on the Velocity gun is a tight fit. Everything you touched on in your review is spot on with my gun right down to the barrel being a tight fit, the top cover being a tight fit and the grips being in used condition.

    The review that you wrote about your gun could have just as easily been written about the gun that I received because it sounds like they were made and assembled exactly the same. The only difference being that mine doesn't have a sling swivel and my folding stock works perfectly. A couple of the guys working in the gun store actually commented on how nice the folding stock was on the gun while I was doing the paperwork on it.

    I really hope that Velocity and Atlantic Firearms market these guns properly because I know that there is a pretty big market for them and people in the hobby will most likely buy them if they know that they exist and the quality is good. At $900 it isn't an inexpensive gun but judging from the response I saw from the people at the gun shop I had mine transferred to there is a strong market for this firearm and it generates a lot of interest in itself when people can see and hold it in person.

  16. #16
    Registered User MikeUSAF462's Avatar
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    Purely cosmetic but the new grips make the gun look 100% better IMO.
    Attached Images  

  17. #17
    Registered User serendipitist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeUSAF462 View Post
    did your gun come with the sling swivel? Mine didn't and I would like to install one but can't seem to find much info on installing one.
    For mine, I bought a Sling Swivel and Sling Swivel Rivet from BWE here:

    http://bweparts.com/Uzi-Sling-Swivel-UZI-SS.htm
    http://bweparts.com/Uzi-Sling-Swivel...RVT-IMI360.htm (other types of rivets are available, too).

    These come in the white and I plan to paint them a matte black to match. (Actually, they do look good as they are against the black receiver). I don't know much about installing them, either, but it looks to me like some loctite should do the trick.

  18. #18
    Registered User MikeUSAF462's Avatar
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    Thank's for the links and the info Serendipitist. I think that I'll order those also.

    Any idea on when you'll be installing yours?

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