Ruger MP9: One of the rarest submachine guns ever produced

by Eric Sof

Ruger MP9 dubbed as improved UZI

Ruger MP9 is one of the rarest production submachine guns ever made. Chambered in 9×19 mm Parabellum, this submachine gun was produced only in limited numbers and is quite similar to the IMI UZI. It is mainly because the designer of both weapons is the legendary Uziel Gal.


Ruger MP9 was introduced in 1995 as a compact weapon for law enforcement forces. He was brought with several improvements over IMI Uzi and was dubbed an “improved UZI.” However, the Ruger MP9 was not successful. US Special Operations Forces have tested the weapon, and it was initially intended for American government agents for use in close quarters defense but was never adopted. It was produced only in limited numbers (estimate is around 1500 pieces).

Ruger MP9 with unfolded stock
Ruger MP9 with unfolded stock (Photo: XY)

It is a blowback operated, selective fire weapon, chambered for the standard 9×19 mm ammunition. It fires from the closed bolt and has improved firing accuracy compared to its predecessor’s IMI Uzi. Foundational elements, such as the blowback operating action, are similar, with minor improvements for efficiency. Ruger MP9 has a range of effective fire of around 75 meters. Some parts of this weapon are made from polymer to save weight. This weapon can be easily stripped into six major components for cleaning and maintenance.

A safety/fire mode selector switch is located on the pistol grip. It has semi-auto and full-auto settings. Ruger removed an automatic grip safety. The cocking handle is located on top of the receiver. This weapon can be cocked using either hand. The magazine housing is located inside the pistol grip. This weapon is fed from 32-round magazines. It uses the same magazines as the Uzi. The MP9 has a redesigned folding stock.

YouTube video

The MP9 has a three-position switch co-mingling the ‘safety’ and ‘fire’ selector: the upper position of the lever indicates the MP9 is “safe” (aka non-firing), the mid-position causes the MP9 to operate in semi-automatic mode, the bottom position switches the MP9 to automatic mode so the 32-round magazine can be emptied in three seconds.

Technical specifications

Country of origin:United States
Manufacturer:Sturm, Ruger & Co.
Entered service:never
Caliber:9×19 mm
Weight (unloaded):1.83 kg
Length (stock extended):556 mm
Length (stock folded):376 mm
Barrel length:173 mm
Muzzle velocity:
Cyclic rate of fire:550 – 600 rpm
Practical rate of fire:40 – 100 rpm
Magazine capacity:32 rounds
Sighting range:Rear sight adjustable for 50 or 150 meters
Range of effective fire:75 m
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