The first Uzi submachine gun was designed by Major Uziel Gal in the late 1940s. The prototype was finished in 1950. First introduced to IDF special forces in 1954, the weapon was placed into general issue two years later. The Uzi has found use as a personal defense weapon by rear-echelon troops, officers, artillery troops and tankers, as well as a frontline weapon by elite light infantry assault forces. Smaller variants of the Uzi are considered to be machine pistols. The Uzi was one of the first weapons to use a telescoping bolt design which allows the magazine to be housed in the pistol grip for a shorter weapon. The Uzi was designed so the 30-round magazine can easily fit into the handle rather than somewhere else on the weapon. This was chosen because this feature (the Uzi's trademark) makes reloading in the dark a simple task. The Uzi is often carried by members of the United States Secret Service to this day. The Uzi has been exported to over 90 countries. Over its service lifetime, it has been manufactured by Israel Military Industries, FN Herstal, and other manufacturers. From the 1960s through the 1980s, more Uzi submachine guns were sold to more military, law enforcement and security markets than any other submachine gun ever made.