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The GEMTECH Viper Suppressor

By Frank Iannamico

Gordon Ingram conceived his Model 10 submachine gun during 1964 while living in Southern California. Although the Model 10 would be the most successful of all Ingram’s weapons, he had a difficult time finding a company interested in producing it. He had written to every U.S. firearms manufacturer listing all the attributes of his new gun. Unfortunately for Mr. Ingram his Model 10 was rejected by all of those companies who even bothered to respond. The day of the submachine gun as a military weapon had passed, replaced by assault rifles like the AK-47 and M16. It seemed that Mr. Ingram’s Model 10 was destined to only exist as a footnote in firearms history, however his luck changed when he met Mitch Wer-Bell III.

Mitch Wer-Bell III was an OSS officer during World War II. After the war he started a Georgia based company called SIONICS, specializing in suppling equipment for “special” government operations. Sound suppressors were his primary product. When Wer-Bell met Gordon Ingram, and was able to closely examine the Model 10 submachine gun, he envisioned it as the perfect covert weapon for mounting one of his SIONICs sound suppressors. Soon, with the assistance of Wall Street financers, the Military Armament Corporation was formed. During 1971, Ingram’s submachine was placed in series production, most with threaded barrels for mounting a suppressor. Like the drum magazine in a Thompson submachine gun, the sound suppressor became a part of the Model 10’s image. Most foreign and domestic government sales of Ingram’s weapon, becoming known as the MAC-10, included a sound suppressor. The suppressors could even be ordered with the same serial number as its host submachine gun, except for the serial number prefix which identified the caliber: S-1 for .45, S-2 for 9mm and S-3 for the .380 caliber Model 11.

The Military Armament Corporation sold the M10 and M11 submachine guns and suppressors to over fifty foreign countries. The U.S. officials felt that any weapon that was fitted with a suppressor was an assassin’s tool, and didn’t want any U.S. firms offering such weapons commercially to...

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