Intratec TEC-22 Makes The News

A political scandal broke out in Mexico today when a photograph of a young congressional candidate posing with a firearm was published on Facebook. The politics of this is far outside the scope of TFB, but what I do find interesting is the gun itself. The Mexican press are calling it an “UZI submachine gun”. It is about as close to an UZI as it is to an AK-47!

I believe the gun is an Intratec TEC-22 / Scorpion. Back in the early 90s Intratec tried to capitalize on their infamous TEC-9 pistol by producing a cheap .22 patterned after it. It was mainly made out of ABS plastic and used Ruger 10/22 magazines. The TEC-22′s designer was none other than George Kellgren, the founder and Chief Engineer of Kel-Tec.

Kellgren was ahead of his time. Today just about every infamous gun of the 20th century has a plastic .22 patterned after it. A couple of years ago Ruger decided a forward magazine fed .22 pistol was not a bad idea and produced the Ruger Charger.

[ Many thanks to Ztryfe for emailing us the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • James Watson IV

    Any sub-machinegun in mexico is calles a “Uzi”……

  • hojo

    So hardcore! 😀

  • JC

    From my personal experience, a lot of people who are unfamiliar with firearms use the term “Uzi” interchangeably with with the term sub-machine gun.

    • Bob Z Moose

      Damn you, Counter Strike!

    • Burst

      It’s endemic to the language. I don’t know how often I’ve heard:
      “What kinda coke you want?”
      “Dr. Pepper.”

    • drewogatory

      Yep, it wasn’t that long ago “Tommy Gun” was used the same way.

  • Bob Z Moose

    Oh, silly media… It’s nice to see that the media in other countries are as dumb as our own.

    It took a lot of searching, but it I can’t find anything that would make this gun illegal in Mexico if all the proper paperwork was done and the licenses were up to date. I even stopped by the Mexican government’s gun store website. I was amazed that GSG-5s are in stock and could be bought. A TEC-22? HELL NO! AY MIOS DIOS! Gun that looks like an MP-5 and has a larger capacity? Oh, would you like some .22 shells with that? Only 1000 Pesos…

    • Yves

      You are faking, the .22 is legal and can be registered but the SEDENA (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional/ National Defense Department) never has their stocks in the internet, to get it you must send and email or mail saying you want to buy a weapon and if you are lucky you will get your answer in a few days, the answer will be made by an officer or a NCO and he will send all their stock of small arms just adquired or made it, and i repeat ALL THEIR STOCK, so you could seen in the excel file, old argetinian Mausers just bought from a South A. country, many HK G36s KV, many FN F2000s, many Galis ACE, mexican made G3s and MP5s, weapons that obviously are available for military personal (NCOs and over) and for polices forces (constitutionally SEDENA is the only permitted thing whom can buy guns from foreign countries, and the only one whom can resell inside country, thing that is also broken cause in theory the mexican navy buy their weapons illegally ^^) . But the problem came with many weapons that are constitutionally legals to civies but the militaty don´t want to sell awarding to them “over powered capacities” like the .357 SIGs Glocks and P226 and the “over dangerous weapons” like the FN Five seveN, thinks that are obviously unconstitutional, but whatever cause none respect the constitution in Mexico.
      The things are little different know, since 2-3 years ago SEDENA also requires the type of gun you want, so if you want to buy a .22 lr carbine you will also see in the file G36s, FN 2000s and maybe today SCARs, Colt IARs and ARX-160s. If you want a shotgun you will also in your list many expensives italian combat shotguns and if you want a .38 slp revolver or .380 acp you will see many glocks,SIGs and HKs in many “dangeous cartridges”

    • Yves

      I swear, i don´t know about it and it is new (as much 6 or 8 months)
      So sincerely i offer you apologies, and thing about the chocolates and flowers… uhmmmm
      Well i will send to Steve 1 or 2 catalogs of the things i spoke previously to mark that i was telling the trouth.

      PS. Your suppositions about .gob & .mx are right.

      • Bob Z Moose

        No prob, bro. I was just showing that I wasn’t putting it on. Kidding about the flowers and chocolates. lol

  • John Doe

    Guns in the media:

    Rifle = AK-47
    Submachine gun = AK-47
    Any pistol-looking thing = Uzi
    Glock = Uzi
    1911 = Uzi
    Sig = Uzi
    .22 handgun = ‘Glock rapid fire automatic machine gun’

    The media needs a guns identification department.

    • Samopal

      You forgot that anything bolt-action is a “hi-powered rifle” and anything with a scope is a “sniper rifle”.

      • Riceball

        Don’t forget that any black rifle is an assault rifle and I mean any rifle that’s all or mostly black.

      • John Doe

        Scoped .177 rifles are high powered rifles that are used to wantonly fire shots into crowds from 3000 yards away. They’re also great at taking down airplanes and tanks. Let’s ban them.

    • Mike

      They need to go back to school, the whole lot. I’m appalled at the quality of the press nowadays, and it doesn’t matter if I’m talking about American, Mexican, British or Polish newspapers. Every time I read a newspaper, I find stuff that hints at the author having absolutely no clue about what he’s writing.

  • Zach

    That congressional candidate’s got lousy trigger discipline.

  • Ajay

    Wow, that smoke colored Butler Creek plastic magazine really screams tough gangster to me.

    Next picture he`ll be holding a Cooey 22.

  • Here, in Europe, it gets worse…
    “automatic machine guns” is a usual moronic phrase. They call machine guns to anything automatic.
    If this goes on, I wonder if Gatling guns are called uzis, too, one day.

  • Yves

    Well mexicans journalists are really ignorants, i know cause i live in Mexico but that was named Uzi by the “gansta politician” himself

    “Ethan Paña describe la foto como: ”Es una uzi 35 calibre 9mm ok””

    “Ethan Peña describes the photo as: “It´s a 35 uzi 9 mm caliber ok”

    .22 and .25 are legal calibers to possess if you register it, but this moron believe he is with an illegal weapon, he believes it is an Uzi, he believes it is 9 mm caliber… and he want to be congressman…
    PS. uzi 35???? what the hell is that???

    • Komrad

      I have a Ruger 22/45, can I be gangsta too?

      • Yves

        Have a weapon in Mexico and not register it= Illegal

        9 mm in Mexico if you are not military officer= Illegal

        full auto weapon if you are not military officer= Very illegal (30 years in jail according new laws)

        .22 or .25 (the magazine do not lie)= Legal cartridges but must registered.

        Confuse small civilian weapon in small caliber with combat and famous smg= You are a moron.

        The only way to get a new weapon legally in Mexico is go to Mexico city and buy it in SEDENA store, used weapons can be acquired from normal people but change of ownership must be done.

        In the case of that is a legal gun, that guy only could say here i have my papers and it is not automatic, i am a good boy and i want to be a congressman, but the guy believes he have a “metralleta” (possibly from french mitrailleur which means smg) I will tell you that in spanish the lack of the words “Maschinen or Machine” made difficult to normal people to identify when a gun is automatic or not but he believes he has an illegal weapon in his hands…

        So if you get “controbando” from other country and even if your “contrabando” is legal but you think it is not and then you are posting photos in your facebook with the “contrabando”. That make you a “gansta wanna be” and one in stupid side.

  • mosinman

    seems legit. if only i could be a hardcore G like him : (

  • JonMac

    Why are .22 mags always so fugly?

  • armed_partisan

    I believe that’s one of Intratec’s post-Kellgren designs. I believe he had his own company, Grendel, by the 90’s.

  • Chucky

    Only the John Moses Browning of this century can make a Tec-9 look this good.

  • Zach

    I checked out the link to the GSGs that Bob Z Moose posted for SEDENA, and it appears the stock photo used for the GSG .22 has the magazine inserted backwards. An inside joke, maybe?

    • Bob Z Moose

      Saw that too and it made me wonder what was going on. Someone must have been lazy when they search “GSG-5” on Google Images.

  • Kevin A

    Unfortunately, the media does know what it is saying…..most media outlets are run by liberals, hence, they will throw names around like “automatic” for a semi-auto…….or “Uzi” for anything that looks like, well, an Uzi……and correctness be damned( unless its political correctness)… against them mates……