All photots courtesy
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In 2014 the Canadian government closed down a clandestine machine pistol and silencer-making operation located in the LaSalle borough of Montreal. The web site Impro Guns has obtained some wonderful photographs that appear to be evidence photos from the raid.

The machine pistols (almost certainly fully automatic) were made by a local metal fabrication company. The workers were apparently told they were making parts for paintball guns. It’s a pretty good cover. The official story is that a faulty burglar alarm brought the attention of the authorities to the operation. I suspect an informant.

It’s unknown how many examples of the simple yet effective design were manufactured and sold on the black market.

The TEC-9 clone seen below was confiscated by law enforcement in 2015. You can tell it’s from the Montreal factory because of the bolt holes in the grip and forward of the magazine well to hold the two halves of the receiver together.  The original TEC-9 uses a cast polymer receiver.

Here is a link to the 2015 story:

After inspecting the vehicle, police found a loaded 9mm Norinco pistol, a loaded .45-calibre pistol and a loaded ‘Tec9’ 9mm sub-machine gun.

Another machine pistol from the same factory pops up in this photograph of a TEC-9 clone with silencer confiscated in 2016.

A Tec-9 machine pistol with silencer, at centre, was one of the firearms seized including 3 rifles, two shotguns and two handguns

Again, the three bolt holes on the grip are distinctive.

Few photos of gun confiscations make it into the Canadian media. Not all that do are monitored by interested parties. The fact that we see these two examples in the two years after the Montreal factory raid indicates that there are likely many more out there.

The reality is that any metal fabrication shop can turn out similar firearms with a little effort and a willingness to break the law. There are typically dozens of such shops in any major city. Just about any auto body shop would be capable, too.

Even many private hobbyists have the tools and know-how to fabricate this type of firearm as well. This type of machine pistol/submachine gun is a favorite design of clandestine manufacturing operations around the world.

It takes little imagination to consider the possibilities of farming out the manufacture of individual parts to a widely separated group of metal fabricators, with a plausible explanation for each one. Then the parts could be assembled in a central location before distribution and sale. This system of manufacturing was in wide use in Europe before WWI, where it was all legal.

My father was trained as a machinist and worked in a war plant in Milwaukee during WWII. I asked him how hard it would be to fabricate a small revolver. He said it wouldn’t take much to do and that the speed of manufacture would increase greatly once jigs for the design were made to allow for mass production. He noted the problem was a simple one that had been solved long before.

To the extent that properly manufactured and tested firearms become difficult and/or expensive to obtain, clandestinely manufactured guns become more attractive and worth the risk. Gun controllers can’t repeal the laws of supply and demand, no matter how hard they try.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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  1. A simple open bolt sub machine gun is one of the least complex firearms to manufacture. That is why they are turning up in countries that heavily regulate defensive arms, like Australia and now Canada.

    • Let’s not heap too much praise on them… being an illicit operation, we can probably take for granted they had no intention of selling their wares to legal buyers.

      • There are no legal buyers in Canada, and a lot of people who deserve to own guns like this, so good for them.

    • Yup, this.

      For firearms, the chemistry is much harder than machining. Getting a block of steel and removing all the metal that isn’t a gun is straightforward compared to producing explosives that are both consistent and safe.

        • The Israelis were making cartridges out of lip stick tubes in the late 40s. In small, bike repair size shops.

          We have much more in the way of manpower, resources and know how than they had. It’s only difficult if you make it so.

        • “The Israelis were making cartridges out of lip stick tubes in the late 40s. In small, bike repair size shops.”

          I vaguely remember reading about that some time ago. I’d really like stories like that, in detail, appear in TTAG. Stories about people, groups, nations and what guns and methods they used to overcome their dire circumstances. Guns that made a difference in the outcome in a battle, conflict, war or resistance. Particularly, stories in the flavor of ‘molon labe’.

    • Brass cases are hard to make right, it’s much easier to reuse ince shot manufactured ones. Smokeless powder is hard.
      Black powder not so much.
      Primers are not too hard and bullets are easy.
      To put it all together is so easy, lots of us do it already.

    • That’s very true. Controlling of ammunition is probably the very last possible way that the anti’s can restrict gun rights.

      Ultimately someone will figure out a new type of ammunition that is way easier to produce that conventional cased ammo. Something that doesn’t require nearly as much in the way of expensive tooling and easily restricted chemical compounds. I’ve had a few thoughts of my own about using a common light gas and a modified version of the old gyrojet concept.

  2. California wants to track all weapons parts and require them to go through FFLs. That’s their next step to disarmament. They don’t want people buying all the parts that don’t qualify as a firearm and having 80% unregistered parts they can finish at home.

    I’m not sure, but it seems like the violent crime is rising in California.


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