Ruger MP9
Ruger MP9
Country of origin

United States


Sturm, Ruger & Co.


Uziel Gal[1]

Year(s) designed

1980s [2]

Production began


Production ended


Weapon type

Submachine gun


9x19mm Parabellum[1]



Overall length

555mm (21.9in)
375mm (14.7in)[1]

Barrel length

175mm (6.9in)


3.0kg (6.6lb)

Magazine/Cylinder capacity

32 box magazine[1]

Cyclic rate

600rpm (rounds per minute)[1]

Maximum effective range

100m (110yds)[1]

The Ruger MP9 was short lived attempt, by Sturm, Ruger & Co., to build an improved version of the legenary Uzi designed in the 1940's. The MP9 was even designed by Uziel Gal, the original designer of the Uzi, as Ruger looked to open themselves up to the expanding submachine gun market. 


In the late 1980s Uzial 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.[1] New materials such as Zytel polymer were used in the design to bring the Uzi up to modern standards.[1] The MP9 entered Ruger's catalogs in 1995.[1]

However, despite having been recognized as the "improved Uzi" by its creator, the MP9 never took off, with only a few examples produced.[1] The failure of the MP9 has meant that Ruger are yet to have re-entered the submachine gun market since the MP9 left production in 1996, focusing instead on their 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.[1] As such the MP9 was a short lived and very rare modern firearm, while the older Uzi lived on under production across the globe.

Design DetailsEdit

The MP9 was designed by Uziel Gal himself, simply as an attempt to improve upon the original Uzi.[1] 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 efficent.[1] Like the original Uzi, the MP9 was designed around simplicity, with these combination of factors leading the MP9 to be named the "improved Uzi".[1]

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).[1] The butt-stock is also made from a polymer, connected to the frame via a nylon hinge.[3]

The MP9 was fitted with a three-position switch, designed to incorporated the safety and fire selector.[1] 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.[1] Safety was a key feature on the MP9 as Ruger's reputation for producing safe (when not pointed at the target) firearms, and hence the MP9 was given a separate firing pin block, intended to make sure the MP9 would not fire if dropped.[1]

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.[1]


The MP9 was designed to use the most common calibre for submachine guns at the time, the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge.[2] This was fired from a 32 round box magazine in an attempt to persuade potential buyers with a relatively large capacity submachine gun.[1]


  • The MP9 has been used in numerous films, including I, Robot (2004) and Kiss of the Dragon (2001)[4]
  • This firearm also appears in the television series Battlestar Galactica (S02, E04 - "Resistance")[4]
  • The MP9 has also made appearances in the Hitman series of video games, as well as 007: Nightfire.[4]

ReferencesEdit - Image

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