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Exploring the History of the Ingram M11

The Ingram M11, also known as the MAC-11, is a compact submachine gun that has gained notoriety for its high rate of fire and compact size. But what is the history behind this iconic weapon? In this article, we will delve into the origins and evolution of the Ingram M11, from its creation to its use in modern times.

The Birth of the Ingram M11

The Ingram M11 was designed by American gun designer Gordon B. Ingram in the late 1960s. Ingram was known for his innovative designs and had previously created the Ingram Model 6, a submachine gun that was used by the US Army during the Vietnam War.

Ingram’s goal with the M11 was to create a compact submachine gun that could be easily concealed and had a high rate of fire. He achieved this by using a straight blowback design, which allowed for a simple and compact design.

The Straight Blow Back Design

The straight blow back design is a simple and reliable operating system that is commonly used in submachine guns. It works by using the energy from the fired round to push the bolt back, ejecting the spent casing and loading a new round from the magazine.

This design is ideal for compact weapons like the M11, as it eliminates the need for a complex gas system and allows for a smaller overall size. However, this design also results in a high rate of fire, making the M11 a formidable weapon in close quarters combat.

The Rise of the M11

In 1972, the Ingram M11 was officially introduced to the market by the Military Armament Corporation (MAC). It quickly gained popularity among law enforcement and military personnel due to its compact size and high rate of fire.

The M11 was also marketed to civilians as a personal defense weapon, and it gained a cult following among gun enthusiasts. However, due to its high rate of fire and compact size, it was also a popular choice for criminals and was often used in gang violence.

The M11 in Hollywood

The M11’s notoriety was further increased by its appearance in popular movies and TV shows. It was featured in films such as “Die Hard” and “Scarface”, where it was used by the main characters in intense action scenes.

This exposure in Hollywood further cemented the M11’s reputation as a powerful and deadly weapon, adding to its allure among gun enthusiasts.

The Evolution of the M11

In 1976, the Military Armament Corporation went bankrupt, and the rights to the M11 were acquired by RPB Industries. RPB made some modifications to the design, including adding a threaded barrel for suppressor use and a larger magazine capacity.

In 1977, the M11 was rebranded as the SWD M11/9 and was marketed to law enforcement and military agencies. However, due to its high rate of fire and compact size, it was also used by criminals and became known as the “criminal’s choice” in the 1980s.

The M11 in Modern Times

In 1982, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) banned the importation of the M11, citing its high rate of fire and potential use in criminal activities. This ban led to the creation of the M11/380, a version of the M11 chambered in .380 ACP, which was not subject to the import ban.

Today, the M11 is still in use by law enforcement and military agencies around the world. It has also gained popularity among gun collectors and enthusiasts, with many companies producing semi-automatic versions for civilian use.

Controversy Surrounding the M11

The Ingram M11 has been a controversial weapon since its introduction. Its high rate of fire and compact size have made it a popular choice for criminals, leading to calls for stricter gun control laws.

In 1986, the M11 was banned for civilian ownership under the National Firearms Act, which regulates the ownership of machine guns. This ban has been a source of debate among gun rights activists and gun control advocates.

The M11 in Crime

M11 in crime

by Maxim Hopman (

The M11 has been used in numerous high-profile crimes, including the 1986 FBI Miami shootout and the 1997 North Hollywood shootout. These incidents have sparked debates about the availability of high-powered weapons and the need for stricter gun control laws.

However, supporters of the M11 argue that it is a highly effective weapon for self-defense and that the actions of a few criminals should not dictate the availability of firearms for law-abiding citizens.

The Legacy of the Ingram M11

Despite its controversial history, the Ingram M11 has left a lasting impact on the world of firearms. Its compact size and high rate of fire have influenced the design of other submachine guns, and it remains a popular choice for law enforcement and military agencies.

The M11’s Influence on Other Weapons

The M11’s design has been used as the basis for other weapons, such as the Cobray M11/9 and the SWD M11/9. These weapons are often referred to as “MAC clones” and are popular among gun enthusiasts.

The M11’s design has also been used in the creation of other weapons, such as the Micro Uzi and the Mini Uzi, which are compact submachine guns used by military and law enforcement agencies around the world.


The Ingram M11 has a rich and controversial history, from its creation by Gordon B. Ingram to its use in modern times. Its compact size and high rate of fire have made it a popular choice among law enforcement, military, and civilian users, but it has also been the subject of debate and controversy.

Despite its notoriety, the M11 remains a highly sought-after weapon among gun enthusiasts and collectors, and its influence can be seen in the design of other firearms. Whether you view it as a powerful self-defense weapon or a dangerous tool of criminals, there is no denying the impact that the Ingram M11 has had on the world of firearms.

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