Semi-automatic pistol
  • 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]
SpecificationsMass1.23–1.4 kg depending on modelLength241–317 mm depending on modelBarrel length76–127 mm depending on model
Cartridge9×19mm ParabellumCaliber9mmActionBlowback-operated, semi-automaticMuzzle 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 magazineSightsIron sight

The Intratec TEC-9, TEC-DC9, KG-99, and AB-10 are a line of blowback-operated semi-automatic pistols. They were developed by Intratec, an American subsidiary of the Swedish firearms manufacturer Interdynamic AB. Introduced in 1984, 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. It was a commercial success, with over 250,000 being sold.

Similar to the AK-47's close association with Third World revolutionary and insurgent movements, the TEC-9 is notorious in American pop culture for its association with criminal gangs, drive-by shootings and mass shootings in the 1990s, with it most notably being used during the 101 California Street shooting and the Columbine High School massacre.


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. The firearm was initially intended for adoption by the South African apartheid government,[2] though it was rejected and shipped to various other nations. Ultimately, Interdynamic did not find a government buyer.

As a result, the weapon was taken by lead designer George Kellgren to the United States domestic market as an open-bolt semi-automatic pistol, redesigned to eliminate its collapsible stock and vertical foregrip features per the National Firearms Act of 1934 and marketed under the subsidiary Interdynamic USA brand. Still, 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 USA to redesign the firearm into a closed-bolt system, which was harder to convert to an 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.[3][4]

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 grains (7.5 g) 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 legislation

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 TEC-DC9 from 1990 to 1994 (with 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[5][6] 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.[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 low 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 which were often acquired by users in place of the standard magazine. In 1999, the TEC-DC9 Mini was notoriously used by Dylan Klebold, one of the perpetrators of the Columbine High School massacre, ending with him using it to take his own life.[13]

In 1994, the TEC-9 was used by murder suspect Bennie Lee Lawson in a shooting at Henry Daly Building in Washington D.C., killing two FBI agents, one police officer and wounding another FBI agent and a civilian before taking his own life.[14]

The TEC-9 was also used in the 1990 drive-by shooting at Nashville, Tennessee West End Synagogue by Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan Leonard William Armstrong.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

Imitation made illegally in Europe

Quantities of an illegally-made 9mm machine pistol were seized in Europe in 2017. Despite being improvised weapons (and not developed by Intratec) they were nonetheless marked as "Intratec TEC-9", believed to possibly have been done as a means to improve the street value of the weapon.[18]

See also


  1. ^ Hogg, Ian (1989). Jane's Infantry Weapons 1989–90, 15th Edition. Jane's Information Group. p. 70. ISBN 0-7106-0889-6.
  2. ^ Simon, Romero (August 12, 2001). "The Nation; A Gunmaker Gone Without a Bang". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Columbine Gun's Maker Closes Up; Legal Battles Ensnarled Navegar and TEC-9 Pistol", The Washington Post, August 18, 2001
  6. ^ "The hidden culprits at columbine". Salon. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
  7. ^ "California Supreme Court Turns Back Gun Foes in Merrill v. Navegar". Findlaw. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
  8. ^ "Assault Weapons: The Case Against The TEC-9". Retrieved 2010-01-20.
  9. ^ "Silveira v. Lockyer, 2002, 9th Circuit". Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
  10. ^ "Assault Weapons: The Case Against The TEC-9: Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP". www.cpmlegal.com.
  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. ^ "Weapons used during the shootings at Columbine High School".
  14. ^ "FOUR SLAIN AT D.C. POLICE HEADQUARTERS". Washington Post. 1994-11-22. Archived from the original on 2021-02-12. Retrieved 2024-04-28.
  15. ^ Justia.com. US Court of Appeals, Cases & Opinions. United States of America, Plaintiff-appellee, v. Jonathan David Brown, Defendant-appellant. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
  16. ^ "Columbine Gun's Maker Closes Up; Legal Battles Ensnarled Navegar and TEC-9 Pistol". The Washington Post (August 18, 2001).
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Unknown Submachine Gun with Fake Markings Seized in Europe – Small Arms Defense Journal".

External links

  • Manual TEC-9 TEC-9 Mini TEC-9 Stainless—Intratec 9 manual (PDF) at Nazarian's Gun Recognition Guide
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Intratec TEC-DC9.
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