The UC-9: SMG Hidden in Plain Sight


It has been over 25 years since congress passed the law making newly manufactured machine guns for individual ownership illegal. In this time we have seen many new designs that are out of legal reach for most of us, while interest in NFA ownership has steadily risen. The ban that put a cap on the number of transferable machine guns still looms over us, but thanks to the creative ingenuity that so many firearms enthusiasts and entrepreneurs possess we are still occasionally surprised by upgrades and modifications. An event ever rarer is when a little known example of legal firearms registered prior to 1986 surfaces and is made available for the first time. It is almost unheard of after all this time for a truly new machine gun to be available, and in numbers greater than a few tool-room prototypes. Thanks to the ingenuity of Utah Conner of Pearl Manufacturing and the relentless desire of Michael Shyne of M6 Management Corporation to bring Conner’s 1981 concept and creation to life, we are proud to introduce the NEW, fully transferable, UC-9 Under Cover Submachine Gun.
In The Beginning

VIDEO

During the design phase of the early 1980s Conner partnered up with Tim Bixler of South Central Research Company (SCRC) and the production version of the Model 21 was put into motion. Very few Model 21s were completed prior to the 1986 congressional manufacturing ban and the project was put on hold for several years.Originally conceived and designed in the early days as the Model 21 and later re-designated as the UC-9 (Under Cover – 9mm), Utah Conner had an idea for a concealable firearm that people who needed the firepower afforded by a submachine gun could carry in plain sight. Completely unknown to him there was a similar, parallel project being developed by Francis Warin and Eugene Stoner at Ares Incorporated called the Ares FMG (Folding Machine Gun). It was also being designed as an undercover submachine gun and was dubbed a “businessman’s personal defense weapon.” While there were many similarities in the design there were also several differences. It was close enough in timeline and design to still cause confusion about who designed what, to this day. Francis Warin and Utah Conner finally met in the mid 1980s and were both amazed at the similarities in their respective systems and the original, foreign guns that inspired both men including the French 9mm Hotchkiss folding SMG, the French CR39 carbine and the MAT49. While the external shape was similar, the firing mechanism was different and the Conner gun had more accessories that made it look more like a radio available at the time including an external, telescoping antenna and carry handle.
Enter M6 Management Corporation
At a machine gun shoot in New Mexico, Michael Shyne of M6 Management Corporation observed an individual demonstrating a Swiss Model 57 assault rifle he had converted from the original 7.5 Swiss round to fire the much more common 7.62×51 NATO round. During this demonstration the shooter boasted of the low recoil of the Swiss design and in order to make his point he emptied an entire 20-round magazine with the stock of the rifle rested against his groin. Having made an immediate and lasting impression already, this shooter walked the line with a rectangular brown box carried by a strap over his shoulder. Shyne watched in amazement as the man with the brown box turned to the firing line, grabbed the straps and in a quick motion the box transformed into a submachine gun sending rounds down range. It was at that moment that Shyne introduced himself to Utah Conner. Conner let him examine and fire this unique piece and introduced it as the UC-9. Conner told Shyne he had manufactured and registered about 100 receivers prior to the 1986 machine gun ban but these fully transferable machine guns had yet to be completed. Shyne immediately gained interest in the project and tried unsuccessfully, numerous times, to purchase at least one UC-9, but could never get Conner to even mention a price.
Sadly, after several years of talking with Conner about the UC-9 project, Shyne discovered that Utah Conner had passed away. The project, it seemed, would pass away with him.Every few years Shyne would track Conner down and talk about the UC-9 but could never get any interest in selling any, only confirming that he still had them all and had no interest in selling them. After trying everything he could, Shyne offered Conner a deal he thought could not be refused. Shyne offered to take possession of all the unfinished receivers, complete them all, and keep only half. Conner’s response was simply, “Michael, you don’t know how much work is involved.” No sale again.
A New Beginning
A few more years went by and Shyne heard that before Conner died he gave the receivers to a close friend. When this friend was tracked down and contacted he revealed he had 76 receivers remaining and while he had an original goal of completing the project, none were finished and only a few parts were made from CAD drawings he started based on Conner’s original pencil and paper notes. He was not opposed to talking about selling the project.
Shyne called on the experience of long time friend John Mathis, a retired engineer from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and fellow Emma-Gee. They took a trip to look at the project and were delighted to see the brown, complete UC-9 serial number 2 with all the parts. It looked very much like that original gun Shyne fired during that day in New Mexico the day he met Utah Conner, and in fact, may have been. All 76 receivers and parts were purchased and the completed UC-9 serial number 2 was contracted on loan until the receivers were completed. They estimated that they would need approximately 6 months to complete the project.
A team was immediately assembled including John Mathis, Scott Andrey Machine Works for barrels, Dan King for testing and application work and Byron Starnes for design and fitting of the numerous small parts unique to the design. The parts that were non-proprietary were located and purchased and 

 

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