An Austrian Uzi? The Steyr MPi 81 and MPi 69

by Miles

The 9x19mm NATO MPi 69 and its improved variant the MPi 81 certainly don’t take many points for revolutionizing submachine gun design. But nonetheless, they are interesting designs of their own accord, essentially based on the Uzi from Israel and taking some elements from the Steyr AUG rifle which was also in development at the time.

The MPi 69 was unique in that it used the forward attachment point of the sling to serve as a cocking handle. This meant that a soldier could charge his weapon by simply yanking it away from him. Although innovative, it was really a one-off and this feature disappeared with the redesign of the MPi 81. There was also a port firing weapon that had an AUG scope mounted on it and a longer barrel so that it could be fired from the inside of an armored personnel carrier.

MPi 69
MPi 81
Steyr AUG


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Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I've made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at

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5 of 17 comments
  • Demophilus Demophilus on Apr 13, 2018

    For some reason I sort of had the impression that both the Austrian MPi series and the Uzi were both based on the Czech Vz/SA 23 family of weapons. But I reckon that's more a matter of semantics than substance.

  • AE AE on Apr 17, 2018

    Question Miles: As set up the MPi puts the shooter's eye and the rear of the receiver in very close proximity. Did this interfere with sight alignment during shooting? Especially during full-auto? It looks like both of your noses were taking love taps during every cycle.