Ruger MP9

The Ruger MP9 is a 9×19mm submachine gun/machine pistol[1] introduced by Sturm, Ruger & Co. in 1995. The MP9 was designed by Uziel Gal, the original designer of the Uzi.

Ruger MP9
TypeSubmachine gun/machine pistol
Place of originUnited States
Service history
Used byUnited States
Production history
Mass3 kilograms (6.6 lb) (unloaded)
Length556/376 mm

Cartridge9×19mm Parabellum
Rate of fire550–650 rounds per minute
Effective firing range100 meters
Feed system32-round box magazine[1]

History and design

In the late 1980s Uziel Gal, designer of the Uzi, sought to improve his design. During this time, American gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co., bought the rights to the Uzi. New materials such as Zytel polymer were used in the design to bring the Uzi up to modern standards. The MP9 entered Ruger's catalogs in 1995.

However, despite having been recognized as the "improved Uzi" by its creator, the MP9 never took off, with only a few examples produced. The failure of the MP9 has meant that Ruger has yet to have re-entered the submachine gun market since the MP9 left production in 1996, focusing instead on its renowned line of pistols and revolvers.

The MP9 had been intended to be sold to police and military forces across the United States, however the design did not take anyone's interest. As such the MP9 was a short lived and very rare modern firearm, while the older Uzi lived on under production across the globe.

During Burundian Civil War, Burundian rebels used US-made MP9s.[2]


The MP9 was designed by Uziel Gal as an attempt to improve upon the original Uzi. As such the basic design elements, such as the blowback operating action remained virtually the same, bar some minor improvements to make the design more efficient. Like the original Uzi, the MP9 was designed around simplicity, with these combination of factors leading the MP9 to be named the "improved Uzi".

Other changes that Ruger and Uziel Gal made to his original design included a change of materials used. The development of strong polymers through the years after the Second World War provoked the designers to change the materials used in the design. Therefore, the lower receiver and pistol grip of the MP9 are manufactured from Zytel (a strong and popular polymer at the time). The butt-stock is also made from a polymer, connected to the frame via a nylon hinge.

The MP9 was fitted with a three-position switch, designed to incorporated the safety and fire selector. The upper position of the lever meant that the MP9 was "safe", the mid-position meant that the MP9 was firing in semi-automatic mode while the lowest position indicated that the MP9 was in fully automatic mode. Safety was a key feature on the MP9 as Ruger's reputation for producing safe firearms, and hence the MP9 was given a separate firing pin block, intended to make sure the MP9 would not fire if dropped.

A further notable improvement for the MP9 was the addition of a quick to detach barrel, which was cushioned by a spring when the bolt was closed to reduce the effect of recoil on the various mechanisms. The cocking handle was mounted on top of the new stainless steel receiver.

See also


  1. Robert L Wilson (2008). Ruger and His Guns: A History of the Man, the Company & Their Firearms. Chartwell Books, Inc. p. 285. ISBN 0785821031.
  2. Small Arms Survey (2007). "Armed Violence in Burundi: Conflict and Post-Conflict Bujumbura" (PDF). The Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City. Cambridge University Press. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-521-88039-8.
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