Steyr’s Take on the Uzi: MPi-69 at the Range

I expected the MPi-69 to be a rather difficult gun to shoot well, with its very simple construction and wire stock, but I was pleasantly surprised on the range. The rate of fire is quite low, and it was easy to hold on target. Furthermore, the intent of the cocking handle locking piece became clear when I tried shooting from the hip, as would have been common practice when this was in service. With the sling tensioned over the shoulder, that locking piece snaps right into place to prevent the sling from interfering with the bolt. Neat! (But still a good idea to replace it with a normal charging handle on the MPi-81)


  1. Ian, you know you with open bolt sub guns, always open the bolt before inserting the mag. Shame on you. I guess next time you go to the range with rare full autos, I’ll have to tag along to help you….^v^

  2. This sling on charging handle reminds me of the same feature on the H&K G3 rifle. There is a hole in the charging handle that can be used as alternative fixation for the rifle sling. This way, racking the bolt is superfast. Or that’s what they told us as conscripts. (Loading condition on duty was empty chamber, loaded magazine).

  3. Wasn’t there some sort of tale–unconfirmed? unconfirmable?–that one of the two Arab OPEC diplomats slain by Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, aka “Carlos the Jackal” and his terrorist minions at Vienna in late December 1975 had obtained a Steyr MPi-69 SMG from a slain Austrian police officer, but couldn’t figure out how to cock the thing, what with the sling/charging handle arrangement?

    So I was informed, albeit, no real way to find out the veracity or falsity of this claim… Any ideas why the Bundesheer and then Landesgendarmarie (no longer around, in favor of a national police agency in Österreich) sought the MPi-81 with its rather more normal charging handle? Presumably details are scarce.

    • I heard that story, as well. No idea where, or from what source it came to my informant who was himself of somewhat ill-defined provenance. He never said it himself, but others told me he was former West German Border Guard for sure, and possibly GSG-9 during its earliest days. Dude could shoot, that’s all I knew for sure.

      It’s kind of like a carjacker that can’t drive stick, trying to steal a manual transmission car. Hysterically funny in the aftermath, tragic in the event.

      I’m trying to think of another infamous incident where something similar happened, because it’s on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t come up with it right now.

      • These sorts of tales circulated about the P-7 pistole von Kochler und Heck, if I recall… Supposedly one or another person so armed–a Panamanian during 1989? a…[insert incident here…] didn’t squeeze the squeeze cocker sufficiently to render said handgun operable? Who really knows? How would we know for sure?

        In any event, this tale at least had a specific locale–the OPEC meeting in Wien/Vienna in late December 1975–perpetrators in the form of Carlos the Jackal’s terror squad–victims–an Austrian police officer, presumably shot down before he could effectively return fire, an Iraqi guard who supposedly tried to use the slain policeman’s SMG?

      • “(…)infamous(…)”
        Potentially WYBUCH CZOŁGU PUŁAPKI (1944)
        part of quenching of Warsaw Uprising
        Germans abandoned SdKfz 301 after petrol bombs were thrown at it. Cursory examination revealed that: such model vehicle was not earlier encountered, it did not carry machine gun nor cannon, it has wireless set onboard. Captain Gustaw suspected this might be some trap and ordered his men to do not interact with it until pyrotechnic examination would be done, (probably) Major Rog insisted on quick activation of said vehicle, this lead to mutually exclusive order or soldier proceeded without consent of command centre. Anyway, vehicle was activated and then driven to Polish-controlled part of city.
        Polish flag was installed, gathered Polish civilians and soldiers cheered. It was driven through streets until container detached from vehicle. They tried to install it where it was. What they did not know was that it was container with 500 kg of explosives and detaching ignited time fuse, so soon after that explosion exploded.
        Many have perished, body parts no longer attached to their owners were found hanging from windows of third floor of nearby building. Due to mess it created it is impossible to get precise number of people who died, estimates vary but anyway there were few hundreds of dead (incl. both instant and succumbed-to-wounds). There exist 2 mutually exclusive explanations as to why this happen:
        TrojanHorse hypothesis – said vehicle was intentionally left to be captured and explosion was effected by Germans by way of wireless set
        BadLuck Hypothesis – Germans wanted used said vehicles as it was destined to be used – to convey explosive loading into barricade, retreat and then activate in order to make hole, container was detached due to jolt during traversing obstacle
        If you elect to believe in 2nd then I would say that this is good example that careless handling of capturing weapon is bad idea.
        For detailed description see

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