The Steyr MPi 69 was an UZI-influenced submachine gun of Austrian origin intended for military and security use. It was chambered for the widely-accepted 9x19mm Parabellum pistol round (as was the UZI) and introduced in 1969. A modernized form was introduced in 1981 as the "MPi 81" until the line was completely replaced by the all-modern Steyr "TMP" of 1992.
Design work on the MPi 69 began during the 1960s under the lead of Herr Stowasser with the intent to produce a workable submachine gun solution for budget conscious parties. The end result became a submachine offering that was clearly influenced by the popular Israeli UZI complete with the same centered grip handle doubling as the magazine well, fully rectangular receiver, a shrouded barrel assembly and telescoping wire butt. The receiver was manufactured of steel stampings with a cold-hammered barrel assembly for longevity and general operating abuse. The weapon was designed with a pressure-sensitive trigger in which single-shot or full-automatic fire could be achieved without use of a dedicated selector lever. A light pressure produced single-shot fire while a heavy pressure allowed full-automatic. The weapon was cocked through a short handle at the front-left side of the receiver, this interestingly doubling as the forward sling loop. As such, a shoulder strap was normally fitted for carrying. Sighting was through a front blade assembly with rear flip aperture.
The complete MPi 69 system weighed in at 7lbs and featured an overall length of 26.4 inches with a barrel of 10 inches. With the buttstock collapsed, the weapon was a handier 18 inches in length - ideal for special troops or security elements appreciating a more compact weapon. The firing operation was of blowback which allowed for a rate-of-fire equaling 550 rounds per minute. Muzzle velocity was 1,250 feet per second while effective range was roughly 150 meters. The weapon could be fed through a 25- or 32-round straight detachable box magazine. As in the UZI, the magazine protruded quite a distance out from the bottom of the grip handle to complete the iconic shape.
The MPi 81 was nothing more than a slight product revision of the MPi 69 and appeared in the 1980s. This model sported a more conventional protruding cocking lever along the received and its internals were slightly reworked to permit a more elevated rate-of-fire of 700 rounds-per-minute over the 500rpm of the original.
The MPi 69 itself never found widespread use in a market already dominated by the UZI and German HK MP5 series - as such it was limited to use in Austria itself and found buyers in only Greece and Saudi Arabia.