The Intratec TEC-9 is a semi-automatic, blowback-operated, 9mm Parabellum caliber firearm.
The TEC DC-9 is a low priced single action autoloading pistol made by Intratec Firearms of Miami, Florida. In keeping with the low price, the DC-9 also has an reputation for low quality construction. As for styling, the DC-9 looks like nothing else so much as a miniature submachinegun, although it is not a fully automatic firearm. There are two basic models, the normal DC-9 and the short barrel DC-9M.
The magazine well is located in front of the trigger, and the gun features a threaded barrel, a perforated heat shroud, and a long 30-round magazine, all of which contribute to the SMG-like appearance. The DC-9 is blowback operated and chambers the 9mm Parabellum round.
The TEC DC-9 was originally called the "TEC-9", but was renamed to "DC-9" about a year later, probably in response to a widely publicized crime where some deviant blasted his way through a crowded Washington DC office building with a TEC-9 in each hand.
The DC-9 bears the dubious honor of having been named explicitly in the 1994 "assault weapons" ban, as well as being listed in ninth place on the BATF list of "Top 18 Handguns Used by Criminals". It is legal under current US law for private individuals to own a DC-9 that was constructed prior to the effective date of the ban, although certain states or localities may have more restrictive laws.
For a handgun, the DC-9 is very large and very heavy. It is over a foot in length and weighs in at over four and a half pounds when fully loaded (heavier than some rifles). It is certainly not what most shooters would consider a concealable weapon.
Most of the larger metal components of the pistol are constructed of plain heavy steel. Here there are no exotic alloys as one might find on many other modern pistols, and this contributes to the extraordinary size and weight of the DC-9. The lower receiver / grip assembly is made of a single piece of thick molded plastic resin.
The DC-9 has been criticized for its cheaply finished construction, and some of the most common complaints include:
Machining marks that are clearly visible on many components, poor factory blueing jobs with obvious streaks and patchiness,
Though most of the machined metal edges are reasonably smooth, there are some exceptions where some deburring should be done; in particular the perforations in the heat shroud, which have been very rough edged on some DC-9s.
The DC-9 has poor quality non-adjustable sights are made of punched sheet steel that are spot welded to the upper receiver.
The Pistol is picky about the types of ammo it will feed reliably. It feeds hard round-nosed and pointy-nosed FMJ types very reliably, even aluminum cased CCI/Blazer ammo which many other pistols have problems with. The problem is that DC-9s will not reliably feed any hollow-point or other flat-nosed bullets at all. The DC-9's feeding preferences are stated very clearly in owner's manual, but some critics tend to ignore this and complain about feeding problems when they are really just using ammunition for which the gun was not designed.