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The Intratec TEC-9, TEC-DC9, KG-99 and AB-10 were a blowback-operated line of semi-automatic pistols. They were developed by Intratec, an American subsidiary of the Swedish firearms manufacturer Interdynamic AB. Introduced in 1985, the TEC-9 was made of inexpensive molded polymers and a mixture of stamped and milled steel parts, and the simple design of the gun made it easy to repair and modify. The TEC-9 developed a negative reputation for its association with organized crime, street gangs and mass shootings in the 1990s, most notably used during the 101 California Street shooting and the Columbine High School massacre. However, it was a commercial success, and over 250,000 were sold.

Intratec TEC-9 ("TEC-9 Mini" shown)
TypeSemi-automatic pistol
Place of origin
Production history
DesignerGeorge Kellgren
No. built257,434
  • KG-99
  • TEC DC-9
  • TEC DC-9M
  • AB-10
  • TEC-9M (Mini, 76 mm barrel, no barrel jacket, 22-round magazine)
  • TEC-9S (stainless steel)[1]
Mass1.23–1.4 kg depending on model
Length241–317 mm depending on model
Barrel length76–127 mm depending on model

Cartridge9×19mm Parabellum
ActionBlowback-operated, semi-automatic pistol
Muzzle velocity1,181 ft/s (360 m/s)
Effective firing range50 m (160 ft)
Feed system10-, 20-, 32-, 36- and 50-round box magazine, 72-round drum magazine
SightsIron sight


Interdynamic AB, a Swedish firearms manufacturer based in Stockholm, designed the Interdynamic MP-9, intended as an inexpensive 9mm submachine gun based on the Carl Gustav M/45 for military applications. Interdynamic did not find a government buyer, so the weapon was taken to the United States domestic market as an open-bolt semi-automatic pistol, but the design was deemed too easy to convert to an automatic weapon. Due to this, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) forced Interdynamic to redesign the firearm into a closed-bolt system, which was harder to convert to automatic weapon. This variant was called the KG-99, and was popularized when it made frequent appearances on the popular television show Miami Vice, where it was legally converted to full auto by Title II manufacturers.[2][3] The KG-9 and KG-99 have an open-end upper receiver tube where the bolt, recoil springs, and buffer plate are held in place by the plastic/polymer lower receiver frame. This design only allows for 115 grain 9mm ammunition, and if a heavier grain ammunition or hot loads are used, the plastic lower receiver will fail or crack, rendering the firearm unusable. Later versions of the TEC-9 and AB-10 had a threaded upper receiver tube at the rear and a screw-on end cap to contain the bolt, recoil spring, and buffer plate even if removed from the lower receiver, solving the problem of lower receiver failure when using hot ammo.

Reputation and legislationEdit

Following the 1989 Cleveland School massacre, the TEC-9 was placed on California's list of banned weapons. To circumvent this, Intratec rebranded a variant of the TEC-9 as a TEC-DC9 from 1990 to 1994 (DC standing for "Designed for California"). The most noticeable external difference between the TEC-9 and the later TEC-DC9 is that rings to hold the sling were moved from the side of the gun with the cocking handle to a removable stamped metal clip in the back of the gun. In 1993, the weapon was the subject of further controversy following its use in the 101 California Street shootings[4][5] That same year, California amended the 1989 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA), effective January 2000, to ban handguns having features such as barrel shrouds.[6][7][8][9] During the 1990s the TEC-9 also developed a reputation for its use by American street gangs and organized crime syndicates, who were attracted to the large capacity 32-round magazines and cheap cost of the firearm.[10]

The TEC-9 was produced from 1985 until 1994, when the model and TEC-DC9 variants were banned nationally in the United States, among the 19 firearms banned by name in the now-expired 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB).[11][12] This ban forced Intratec to cease their manufacture, and forced them to introduce a newer model. The following year Intratec introduced the AB-10 ("AB" standing for "After Ban"), a TEC-9 Mini without a threaded muzzle/barrel shroud and sold with a smaller 10-round magazine instead of 20- or 32-round magazines. However, the AB-10 still accepted the larger capacity magazines of the pre-ban TEC-9 models, and were often acquired by users in place of the standard magazine. In 1999, the TEC-DC9 was notoriously used by Dylan Klebold, one of the perpetrators of the Columbine High School massacre.[13]

In 2001, the Supreme Court of California ruled that Intratec was not liable for the 1993 101 California Street attacks, and that same year Intratec was dissolved and production of the AB-10 model ceased.[14] Although still found on the used firearms market and legal on the federal level since 2004, the TEC-9 and similar variants are banned, often by name, in several US states including California, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland.[15]

Imitation made illegally in EuropeEdit

Quantities of an illegally-made 9mm machine pistol have been seized in Europe. They are somewhat similar to the Intratec TEC-9, and are marked 'Intratec TEC-9'.[16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hogg, Ian (1989). Jane's Infantry Weapons 1989–90, 15th Edition. Jane's Information Group. p. 70. ISBN 0-7106-0889-6.
  2. ^ Muramatsu, Kevin (18 July 2012). The Gun Digest Book of Automatic Pistols Assembly/Disassembly. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 361–369. ISBN 978-1-4402-3006-6. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  3. ^ Peter Harry Brown; Daniel G. Abel (15 June 2010). Outgunned: Up Against the NRA-- The First Complete Insider Account of the Battle Over Gun Control. Free Press. pp. 90–96. ISBN 978-1-4516-0353-8. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Columbine Gun's Maker Closes Up; Legal Battles Ensnarled Navegar and TEC-9 Pistol", The Washington Post, August 18, 2001
  5. ^ "The hidden culprits at columbine". Salon. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
  6. ^ "California Supreme Court Turns Back Gun Foes in Merrill v. Navegar". Findlaw. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
  7. ^ "Assault Weapons: The Case Against The TEC-9". Retrieved 2010-01-20.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2008-07-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "A California AR/AK "Series" Assault Weapon FAQ…".
  10. ^ "Assault Weapons: The Case Against The TEC-9: Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP".
  11. ^ Phillip Peterson (30 September 2008). Gun Digest Buyer's Guide To Assault Weapons. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 139. ISBN 978-1-4402-2672-4. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Intratec". Violence Policy Center. Archived from the original on 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Columbine Gun's Maker Closes Up; Legal Battles Ensnarled Navegar and TEC-9 Pistol". The Washington Post (August 18, 2001).
  15. ^ Edward Colimore (March 14, 1993). "New Jersey Gun Owners Decry Ban Critics Were Legion At A Sports Shop. They Hope For A Senate Override Tomorrow Of Florio's Veto". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  16. ^

External linksEdit