The SOCIMI-Franchi Type 821 was an Italian submachine gun that was designed and produced by Società Costruzioni Industriali Milano SpA and Luigi Franchi SpA from 1983 to 1990.

History[edit | edit source]

The Type 821 submachine gun was developed by Luigi Franchi SpA shortly after the company was absorbed into the industrial conglomerate SOCIMI. The first prototypes of the Type 821 were drafted out by 1982, with the first production of the Type 821 commencing around 1983.[1] The design for the weapon was only patented in 1986;[2] these patents were filed under Alessandro Marzocco, founder of SOCIMI, however he is unlikely to have had a hand in designing the weapon.

The original prototypes of the Type 821 were produced at Franchi before tooling for full production was established at SOCIMI's Binasco, Arluno and Sassari plants.[1] The Type 821 would be acquired in small quantities by the Ministry of the Interior and the NOCS units of the Polizia di Stato.[3] The weapon was also marketed for export, although foreign orders are unclear, if any.[1]

The Type 821 was marketed until about 1990[1] and never re-entered production due to SOCIMI's implication for corrupt practices in the Mani pulite investigations, forcing the company into liquidation and its ultimate demise.[4] The weapons are apparently no longer in use by the Italians and are said to be currently in storage.

Design Details[edit | edit source]

At first glance, the Type 821 appears to be a clone of the Uzi submachine gun, sharing a very similar layout, appearance and configuration; in fact, the weapon was based on the Uzi, but differs from it in several aspects.[5]

The weapon features a grip-mounted magazine catch, a three-position fire selector and grip safety, all derived from the Uzi. The weapon also features a telescoping bolt and a similar charging handle and removable barrel system to that of the Uzi. However, in terms of exterior appearance, this is where the similarities end.[1]

The Type 821 most notably features a side-folding wireframe stock which folds to the right of the weapon. The stock pivots from the underside of the receiver and folds flat against the side of the weapon. Additionally, the Type 821 is constructed mainly of light metal alloy forgings, making it lighter than normal; the weapon is stated to be able to be fired with one hand if required. The weapon may also accept suppressors by simply changing barrels, in addition to laser aiming devices.[1]

Variants[edit | edit source]

Type 821-5

Compact variant. Similar to a Mini-Uzi. Produced in prototype form only.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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