This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
My friend Scott H., the guy with a lot of machine guns, told me about this unicorn that Altra Firearms recently acquired. It is a Ruger MP9. For those not familiar with this gun, it was designed by the father of the UZI, Uziel Gal. Ruger bought the rights to the Uzi in the US and together they updated the UZI with zytel polymer lower receivers. The MP9 was released in 1995 but sales were lack luster. According to Scott, at the time the MP9 was sold for around $800. You could buy multiple UZIs for that much or for a couple hundred more you could get an H&K MP5. No one knows how many are still operational. General consensus around the NFA community that there are less than 500 made.
The MP9 has very similar design ques from the UZI. The selector switch is very reminiscent of the UZI.
The folding stock is rather different from the UZI. Rather than a Z style folding mechanism, it is a collapsing stock that hinges down about 90 degrees.
As you can see the MP9 has an integrated vertical grip. Another difference between the MP9 and the UZI is the fact that the UZI is an open bolt machine gun and the MP9 is a closed bolt machine gun. When you pull the charging handle, the bolt does lock back. In order to close it, you push the charging handle down. Sort of like an MP5 slap but not the same.
Another difference on the MP9 is that it has Weaver style rails in front of the rear sight and behind the front sight.
I am very curious what Ruger and Uziel had planned for those? Would you mount a scope with super tall rings? The spacing is odd and the problem is that the charging handle gets in the way if there was a scope. So any optic would have to sit really high above the charging handle. Weird, very weird.
The Ruger MP9 uses a sort of modified Steyer MPI89 magazine. Not sure why it does not just take UZI mags, but I guess we can just blame Ruger for that.
Here is Scott’s MPI89 for those who are not familiar with them.
Altra had some other neat guns in the back. They claim there are only two on the continent. One in the US and one in Canada.
They also have the Singaporean SAR21.