The Intratec TEC-9, TEC-DC9, or AB-10 is a blowback-operated semi-automatic pistol. It was designed by Intratec, an American offshoot of Interdynamic AB. The TEC-9 was made of inexpensive molded polymers and a mixture of stamped and milled steel parts. The simple design of the gun made it easy to repair and modify.
|TEC-9 / TEC-DC9 / AB-10|
Intratec TEC-9 (AB-10 Shown)
|Place of origin|
|Weight||1.23–1.4 kg depending on model|
|Length||241–317 mm depending on model|
|Barrel length||76–127 mm depending on model|
|Action||Blowback-operated, semi-automatic pistol|
|Muzzle velocity||1,181 ft/s (360 m/s)|
|Effective firing range||50 m (160 ft)|
|Feed system||10-, 20-, 32-, 36- and 50-round box magazine, 72-round drum magazine|
Swedish company Interdynamic AB of Stockholm designed the Interdynamic MP-9 9mm submachine gun. Interdynamic intended it as an inexpensive submachine gun based on the Carl Gustav M/45 for military applications, but did not find a government buyer, so it was taken to the US market as an open-bolt semi-automatic pistol. The open-bolt design was deemed too easy to convert to full auto. Because of this, the ATF forced Interdynamic to redesign it into a closed-bolt system, which was harder to convert to full auto. This variant was called the KG-99. It made frequent appearances on Miami Vice, where it was legally converted to full auto by Title II manufacturers. 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. If heavier grain ammunition or hot loads are used, the plastic lower receiver will fail or crack, rendering the firearm unusable. The later model TEC-9 and AB-10 have 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. This solves the problem of lower receiver failure when using hot ammo.
The TEC-9 was produced from 1985 to 1994.
After 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. The TEC-9 and TEC-DC9 are otherwise identical.
The TEC-9 and, eventually, TEC-DC9 variants were listed among the 19 firearms banned by name in the USA by the now-expired 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB). This ban caused the cessation of their manufacture and forced Intratec to introduce a newer model called the AB-10, a TEC-9 Mini without a threaded muzzle/barrel shroud and sold with a 10-round magazine instead of 20- or 32-round magazines. However, it still accepted the larger capacity magazines of the pre-ban models.
The weapon was the subject of controversy following its use in the 101 California Street shootings and later the Columbine High School massacre. California amended the 1989 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA) later in 1999, effective January 2000, to ban handguns having features such as barrel shrouds.
In 2001, the Supreme Court of California ruled that Intratec was not liable for the 1993 California Street attacks. In that same year, the company went out of business and production of the AB-10 model ceased.
Although still found on the used firearms market, the TEC-9 and similar variants are banned, often by name, in several US states, including California, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland.
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