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Walther .22LR Uzi Copy – New Gun Review

Carl Walther IWI

You have to be careful with what you believe on the internet. That goes for gun reviews as much as anything else. I was shocked last week when a gun dealer friend of mine said that he had been unable to sell a really nice looking copy of the Uzi submachinegun in .22LR, made by Walther in Germany. He said that he read on the internet that it extremely picky with ammo, and that this was probably why it hadn’t sold. Hogwash! … I said to him. Walther isn’t some fly by night company that puts out guns that don’t work. They would never put a gun into the market that didn’t function flawlessly. The street price of the rifle version we were able to test is about $650, and the pistol version, which we didn’t test, is about $200 cheaper.

Upon firing this rifle version with a half a dozen different types of .22LR, I was in fact correct. Over more than 500 rounds we experienced only one stovepipe, and even that was suspect because our resident hunting guide Dwayne Powell shot the gun like a sissy. We can’t speak for the pistol version, which we again, we did not shoot, but this rifle version is extremely reliable and quite a handy little dandy. If you already own an Uzi that is too expensive to shoot, or if you have been thinking about a real Uzi but the price tag is too steep, this is an IWI licensed Uzi copy that is as close to the real thing as you are going to get, and it is an extremely well made and well put together firearm. Because it is is a Walther (imported by Umarex), this will be a price book catalogued gun, and it will have collector value, and it is also fun to shoot.

On the Walther website in Germany there is a PDF product announcement about this gun with both a short barrel and a shoulder stock, but I am unaware that such a thing exists in the USA market. If you don’t already know this, the “short barreled rifle” laws of National Firearms Act (the thing that banned machineguns back in 1986) are downright silly. You can’t have a rifle with a barrel under 16″ without a special federal permit application and a $200 fee. They are classified as “Short Barreled Rifle” under the NFA, and it is a Federal crime to violate the statute. What makes a rifle legally a rifle is that it has a shoulder stock, so if you flip the whole thing around, you come up with the law of the land, which is that any firearm with a shoulder stock must have a barrel over 16.” The rifle version that we reviewed has a very elaborate folding shoulder stock, so it comes with a long barrel disguised a short barrel with a fake suppressor (a suppressor would be an additional application and $200 tax under the NFA). Understandably, the pistol version of the gun, which we did not review, does not have the ability to add a shoulder stock.

At 7.7 pounds, this Uzi copy is not a casual .22LR rifle that you might buy instead of a more tried and true Ruger 10/22 or other semi-auto. The gun has a lot of beef that it doesn’t really need, and while this gun is nowhere near as egregious in that department as the STG-44 copy we recently reviewed, the overall construction of the Walther Uzi copy is far more sturdy and solid than it needs to be. It comes with one 20 round magazine that is easy to load due to a functional slider for the follower. The sights are AR-15 style with a windage adjustable rear and height adjustable front. Point of aim zero fell well within the range of adjustment at 50 yards, but my one big complaint on the gun is that the finish on the sights is far too easy to scratch. You can’t use an AR sight tool on the front sight without scratching the finish off, and even the rear sight lost some flakes of black with casual use. If you expect to retain the collector value on the gun, you will have to be extremely careful not to mar that finish.

We shot a total of six brands of .22LR ammo through our new Walther Uzi and the accuracy was fairly consistent across all the brands. It is a pure coincidence that we happen to be running Fiocchi Canned Heat ads at the same time that our tightest group with the Uzi came out to be Fiocchi Canned Heat .22LR. Fiocchi has been a constant performer over the years in our tests, but this gun head and shoulders liked it better.

In fairness to the noise floor out there, the gun does say .22LR HV on it, for “high velocity.” This could be the source of the ammo sensitivity reviews, which probably were not actual reviews from firing the gun, but speculation. Our worst group was with high velocity CCI Stingers, which is often the case in our tests. Velocity with a .22LR is more a product of bullet weight than actual power or recoil. A lighter projectile flies faster with the same amount of powder than would a heavier projectile, and that is why they label them “high velocity.” In larger caliber weapons a “high velocity” load might produce better function in a gas operated recoil system, but in a straight blowback .22LR there is no real effect in a gun this size. The ballistics of the Stingers, 32 grains traveling at 1640 fps, isn’t substantially different from a standard .22LR 40 grain bullet at 1300 fps. Even the Blazer .22LR, which is listed at 40 grains flying at 1235 fps. worked fine in the gun, except that one shot from Dwayne. He didn’t really shoot it like a sissy. Most likely he just didn’t tap the magazine after he loaded it, which is always a good idea.

Because the gun is straight blowback, there is no gas system to clean. A simple spring release and one AR-style frame pin allow the gun to be taken down easily for cleaning without a complicated disassembly. You will want to clean it because regardless of the ammo, the gun runs dirty. pretty quick. Our trigger pull measurement came in at just over 6 1/2 pounds and it was surprisingly crisp, with not a lot of takeup or drag. It is overall a very pleasant gun to shoot, and the folding stock locks in tight with no play or jiggle at all. A neat feature on the gun are the sling swivels. They are the ball bearing, pushbutton type, so you can configure your sling for a side or front slung carry. It is built as a serious firearm, apparently for a cheap shooting alternative for a gun with the real weight and feel of the real thing that you can shoot cheaper (assuming we can ever by .22LR ammunition again).

Our accuracy tests were at 50 yards and the dispersal of the shots ranged from about three inches with the CCI Stingers to less than an inch with Fiocchi Canned Heat. Most of our testing was with bulk packed Winchester, Blazer and the Canned Heat, and the gun clearly preferred the Fiocchi, but performed pretty well with everything we put through it. Bulk rimfire ammunition can vary significantly batch to batch so the takeaway is more that that the gun is a fairly consistent shooter than any specific performance guarantees with any one type of ammo. Heating the gun up didn’t appear to effect it a great deal, probably because the barrel is sheathed with so much steel with that fake suppressor. This shooting was rested, but not careful. Umarex doesn’t market the Uzi copy as a tack driver and it shouldn’t be considered as such. What you can expect is a very sharply made firearm made by a stellar company in a classic Uzi look and feel. The nicest thing about these guns is that they actually currently available, so grab one while you still can.

You would think that this is a real, suppressed, 9mm Uzi submachinegun, but it is not. This is actually a .22LR copy of the Uzi made by Walther, licensed by the actual Israeli Weapon Industries (IWI) maker of the real Uzi, and imported by Umarex.
The guns are made by the real Carl Walther in Germany, and are not brought in by the same channels as the Walther pistols that until recently were being marketed by Smith & Wesson.
Both the rifle, which we shot, and the pistol, which we didn’t shoot, come with this 25 round magazine. It is easy to load with the side slider, and you should bounce the rounds on the spring to settle them for the gun to work properly all the time. .
The folding stock is nice and solid, but the finish is different from the gun (it is blued) so it looks a little odd. Folding it back in is a little tricky. You have to pinch the bars to collapse the rear section.
Walther chose to make the palm safety functional on this Uzi copy. It works, but from the shoulder with the buttstock extended, especially shooting prone, it is a little awkward to disengage.
The rear sight is drift adjustable and works well, but the finish is easy to scratch off. If you make the picture bigger you can see the scratches already in it from casual use.
The front sight can be adjusted up and down with an AR tool, but because of the finish you are better to use your fingers if possible.
This is the spring to release the top cover.
The bottom assembly comes apart with one AR style pin, and you can clean the gun easily with both top and bottom removed. As you can see, it gets quite dirty.
We shot the Umarex Walther made Uzi with six different types of ammunition, five of which are on this target. You shouldn’t consider this a close to MOA gun, but we did get great accuracy using Fiocchi Canned Heat .22LR.
The magazine is plastic on this Uzi, but everything else (except the grips of course) is nicely finished, very solid feeling metal, including the magazine release and safety.
The trigger was fairly consistent at about 6.5 pounds, and is pretty crisp for a replica rifle trigger.
This is the blued steel stock fully extended.
You can move the sling swivels to two different locations on the gun.
The suppressor is fake but the gun does have an actual 16″ rifle barrel, which is probably why we didn’t see stringing of the groups as the gun heated up.

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