Thursday, January 14, 2016

History of the Tec-9 and Dating a Tec-9

tec-9 ab-10 kg-9 kg-99 intradynamics inratec 9mm gangster review history accuraty date of manufacture serial number

If you haven’t figured out by now, I like firearms. Every firearm has something about them that is interesting (although I haven’t found that in Hi-Point yet). Anyway, I recently became the owner of an infamous Tec-9. That’s right: the firearm seen as a gangster gun, and one that frequently jams, and when it is firing, it’s very inaccurate.

In short, I like mine! I have put hundreds of round through it with no problems. I had one failure to feed, but I was messing with the safety at that point, so it could have been user error. Accuracy was spot on at twenty feet. At forty, I was at least hitting the target. Regardless of how “cool” the little thing is, history, information, and age details were hard to find, and all over the place. In all of my gun books, the Tec-9 wasn’t mentioned once! So I have compiled as much information as I could, and put it here, in the event anyone is looking for what I was.


The company all started back in Sweden. In the early 1980s, the company Interdynamic AB created a firearm known as the “Interdynamic MP-9”. It was designed to be made cheaply being made out of plastic and stamped steel. The full auto sub gun was intended for military use, but no one showed much interest.

tec-9 ab-10 kg-9 kg-99 intradynamics inratec 9mm gangster review history accuraty date of manufacture serial number

The company decided that they wanted to continue with the design, so they made an updated, open-bolt, semi-auto version known as the KG-9 after opening a subsidiary company in the US. The company, located in Miami, Florida, became known as Interdynamic USA. Pretty soon after the simple blow back firearm was on the market, the ATF stepped in and banned the firearm after only 2,500 were made, stating that it was too easy to convert to fully automatic. “KG” stands for the company’s founders George Kellgern and Carlos Garcia.

The company redesigned the firearm to fire from a closed bolt, and it was renamed the KG-99. Around this time, George Kellgren (current founder of Kel-Tec) left the company. Carlos Garcia stepped in and renamed the company “Intratec”. Soon, the firearm became known as the Tec-9.

After that, the firearm started becoming seen as a bad thing in the eyes of many. Not only was it used by the bad guys in the TV show Miami Vice, but it started to become used by bad people in real life. It was seen used in multiple well known shootings, including the one at Columbine High School.

tec-9 ab-10 kg-9 kg-99 intradynamics inratec 9mm gangster review history accuraty date of manufacture serial number

After the Cleveland School massacre, the TEC-9 was added California's list of banned weapons. Garcia was resilient though and rebranded and renamed the firearm the Tec-DC9. The “DC” stood for “Designated for California”. In 1994, the manufacture of the Tec-9 was officially banned with the assault weapons ban. Still, the company did not give up.

The Tec-9 was completely redesigned cosmetically to meet the requirements to not fall into a banned category. Features such as the threaded barrel, barrel shroud, and forward pistol grip were dropped. These were known as the AB-10, which were sold with ten round magazines, though they could accept the higher capacity ones from previous models. “AB” stood for “After Ban”.

tec-9 ab-10 kg-9 kg-99 intradynamics inratec 9mm gangster review history accuraty date of manufacture serial number

Time went on, but eventually the company went out of business. They finally dissolved in 2001. Tec-9s can obviously still be found today for sale, and they are legal to own, so long as you follow all ATF and state laws regarding magazine capacity and stuff like that. The more original ones are said to be more reliable.

You can still find them relatively inexpensive, but as time goes on, prices are increasing. While these were cheap to make at one point, they now have that “cool” and “collectors” factor going for them. Anything pre-ban typically commands a premium as well, even if it’s something that can still be made today. While it may be a gangster gun, it does have that cool factor.

DATING YOUR TEC-9 (and more history) 

One of the issues I had with mine when I got it was not knowing the date of manufacture. Of course, since the company no longer exists, I couldn’t just call them up, give them the serial number, and ask for when it was made. For this, you have to do a bit of digging to find out what features your Tec-9 has, and when those were changed, added, and so on. To make that digging easier, I have complied here what I have found to be some useful information.

While there are a few sub models that exist, I’ll talk just about the “standard Tec-9”. More details on the other models can be found in this great post on ParallaxBill's Curio & Relic and Military Surplus Firearms Forums.

The first Tec-9s that were made (in 1984) were not too different from the previous KG-9s. The major change would be that the front sight was changed to a simple “button” sight. Only months after, people were damaging the firearms by shooting +P ammunition in them. To fix that, the previous recoil buffer was replaced with a threaded metal end cap. Following these changes so far?

In 1987, the company went bankrupt after a lawsuit. This is where things started to go wrong with the firearms in terms of reliability and such. So, if you find that you have a model made before 1987, if you use factory magazines and regular old 115 grain, ball ammo, you should be fine, and have a good firearm!

One of the first changes made was with the sights. The button sight was gone a replaced with a spot-welded stamped sight.

tec-9 ab-10 kg-9 kg-99 intradynamics inratec 9mm gangster review history accuraty date of manufacture serial number

The Tec-9 remained pretty much the same until about 1991 or 1992 when the pistol became the Tec-DC9. At this point, the biggest change was the sling points. Instead of two on the upper, it was changed to one point that attached between the upper and lower.

tec-9 ab-10 kg-9 kg-99 intradynamics inratec 9mm gangster review history accuraty date of manufacture serial number

After that came the AB-10.

So, to help you date your Tec-9 a little better, here are those key features listed to help you find the best date range of your firearm.
  • Front button sight – 1984 to mid 1987 (one of the originals)
  • Stamped front sight with two sling mounts on the upper – Mid 1987 to 1991/92
  • Stamped front sight with single sling mount – 1991/92 to 1994
I hope that all of this information was helpful, and that you were able to learn something about your current or future Tec-9. Like what you read? Don’t forget to check us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube! Thanks for stopping by!


Unknown said...

Anyone have any info on serial numbers and Date of Manufacture for the KG-9 open bolt by Interdynamics. I would like to know if mine was made before 1-19-1982

Austin said...

As it happens, my Tec 9 has the stamped, original sights, but it lacks the sling mounts and doesn't appear to show any signs of sling mounts being present. It's also one of the two tone variants. Weird?

DB Production Company said...

Hey Austin! That is strange. There may have been a crossover period where they were finishing one version, then moving on to another. Or perhaps it's custom. You never know!

Matt Parks said...

Austin, yours is one of the post-1991 guns. The single sling mount on those that the article mentions can actually be removed completely when field stripping the gun. Someone must have reassembled yours and left it off. The way it was designed, leaving it off leaves no evidence that it was ever there.

Also, to the author of the article, the 1994 ban had nothing to do with the front grip; that was never legal (unless the gun was registered as a AOW). Interdynamic was including those with the KG9 at first until the ATF told them to stop. Garcia later was said to have been including them with Tec-9s illegally, but that is unconfirmed. The front grips, with the Interdynamic logo on them, can still be found from time to time in parts bins but installation of one without a tax stamp is a no-no.

DB Production Company said...

Great comment, Matt! Thank you.

Tyler Burke said...

How do you tell how old a tecdc9 with the short threaded barrle is. The one with no barrle shrowd.

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | GreenGeeks Review