Uzi Sales Brochures, 1980 – 1984

Exhibit / November 17, 2016

Object Name: Uzi sales brochures
Maker and Year: Action Arms Ltd., 1980-1984
Object Type: Sales brochures
Image Source: Uzi Talk
Description: (Richard McKenna)

Immortalized when one appeared in the hands of U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Robert Wanko during John Hinckley Jr.’s 1981 attempt to assassinate President Reagan, the Uzi—a submachine gun designed by German-born Israeli Uziel Gal, from whom it took its name—was sold to more law enforcement and military markets than any other weapon in its class, with an estimated ten million produced worldwide in the fifty years after the release of the original version in 1954. Capable of firing 600 rounds per minute and weighing less than eight pounds, it was made using stamped steel sheets, and designed to possess fewer than half the parts of its competitors. These brochures from Philadelphia’s Action Arms Ltd., the gun’s U.S. importer, show how the weapon was marketed as much upon the basis of its aesthetic appeal and fetishistic potency as upon that of its performance. Cheap, durable, and easy to load and fire, the Uzi’s sleek, modern lines made it particularly photogenic, hence its virtual hegemony in action films throughout the 1980s, including Deathwish II (1982), Scarface (1983), and The Terminator (1984). 

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