By Anthony Dee
Many excellent internet sites exist for the NFA enthusiast, but finding accurate information specific to the UZI and its variants proved difficult to locate. Armed with the idea of a “one-stop-shopping” information website, UZITalk.com was quietly launched December 24th, 2002. This small friendly board has steadily grown and currently boasts over 2,000 registered members. Freedom of expression is the corner-stone of UZI Talk and it’s been able to attract the type of members that any site would be proud to claim as their own without requiring heavy handed moderation common to other sites.
After a small but enthusiastic turn out for the first annual UZI Talk Convention & Match last March 2004, plans were made to ensure the second such event was scheduled and organized well in advance to allow even more interested parties time to make travel arrangements and file 5320.20s. This year’s attendance numbers were easily more than doubled from last year’s and the list of events and attractions was impressive and greatly expanded.
For those that arrived early enough, the fun began Friday afternoon, March 11, in a desert area just south of Las Vegas. A well defined firing line was established and the party was started. This day was a fun shoot with none of the competitive juices flowing; as those would be saved for the next day’s organized match. This was more of a time to greet old friends and meet new ones. This also allowed travelers a chance to function check the weapons that had just completed a long ride in the belly of an aircraft or trunk of a car. The weekend party had officially begun.
Saturday morning dawned very early for those that enjoyed a little too much of the nightlife Las Vegas is famous for and for the local crew that arrived at Desert Sportsman Rifle and Pistol Club to set up the course of fire for the day. Tony Dee, our match director, had obviously lost many hours of sleep as he had devilishly planned a course of fire that featured a variety of motorized moving, falling, turning, and stationary targets to be neutralized and way too many “good guy” no-shoot targets interspersed in close proximity to the bad guys. The course was challenging enough for the most seasoned subgunner, while still allowing first time match shooters a chance to enjoy some friendly competition among friends. Between courses of fire, the now hungry shooters were treated to a delicious BBQ lunch hosted by the local UZI Talk crew that was enjoyed by all.
After the subgun match was completed, a team event was held. The winning team was presented with a blue ribbon for their excellent showing. After the empty brass was picked up, Rex Merrill, co-owner of Vector Arms, gave a seminar on how to keep your UZI in good running order. He presented many interesting facts and technical tips on the UZI family and answered everyone’s questions in great detail. We all received a history lesson on the manufacturing process of the guns that was very insightful. The Vector staff had prepared written material detailing the proper care, maintenance and trouble shooting of UZIs for the attendees and everyone that attended walked away with more knowledge on this weapon than before. Many felt this detailed instruction presented by Vector was itself worth the trip to Las Vegas.
An awards banquet was given for the match participants later in the evening at the host hotel, and featured delicacies such as filet mignon, crab, shrimp, oysters, and a no host bar. As everyone finished eating, awards were presented to the winners of their respective classes from the match.
Match scoring was based on the Lewis method and this allowed the less experienced shooters to take home a plaque honoring their performance and giving them bragging rights for a year. A drawing was then held and everyone left with a T-shirt and a small gift; all generously provided by several local sponsors. This was a great way to end a fun packed day and we still had one more full day of shooting left.
SUNDAY’S DESERT BLAST SHOOT
A mid-morning start time was agreed on for Sunday, and casual shooting resumed at 10:00 a.m. after the safety meeting at the same location as the Friday shoot. A large variety of unusual and interesting weapons were on hand and the generosity that machine gun owners are known for was certainly evident this day. It was difficult to walk down the firing line without a gun of some type being placed in your hands along with a full magazine or belt and the simple instructions, “Here, shoot this!” Steel silhouettes, clay birds, empty propane tanks, and reactive binary targets were featured and added to the festivities. An afternoon BBQ lunch was once again provided and was again well received by the hungry machine gunners.
Those attending were able to see and shoot Vector’s new RPD that owner Rex Merrill brought. Most agreed it looked and functioned much better than anyone had expected. Vector also had one of their AKs on hand as well as their V53 clone gun. Rex also performed a little gun-smithing in the field for those owning an UZI, AK, or H&K type firearm. He graciously tweaked several guns and tuned at least one .22 conversation kit for a grateful owner. He also offered up sage bits of advice to those requesting help.
Tom Hoel, representing Gemtech, was also on hand with a full array of their suppressor products for eager folks to sample. It was a treat to hear the sounds of silence on the firing line and compare many different suppressors side by side. The construction, fit, and finish on these cans made for some very impressive products. Approximately two thirds of their product line was represented and available for evaluation allowing prospective customers to try before they buy.
The staff at UZI Talk was contacted by Speer ammunition and asked to locate beta testers for a specially loaded 9mm FMJ round. The exact loading specifications on this lot of ammunition was dictated by an undisclosed agency for use in their full size UZIs and we had the enviable task of firing 2,000 rounds to test and evaluate this load for the manufacturer. It didn’t take long to burn through a couple of thousand rounds with the number of UZIs on hand.
This was the second year for the UZI Talk event and judged by the most critical of standards; it far exceeded everyone’s expectations. Anyone that has ever played a part in putting together such an event such knows the hard work and planning involved by a great number of people. Will there be a third annual UZI Talk Shoot and Match? After having this much fun, you can be sure it will be difficult NOT to help organize another
Drop in on the UZI talk forum at www.uzitalk.com where you will find a wealth of information and chat with some really great people.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V8N10 (July 2005)|