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Guns of Pop Culture: DEB M21 & “RoboCop 2”

We take a look at the DEB M21 -- an SMG wielded by child terror Hob in "RoboCop 2." Come learn more about this submachine gun!

From the Auto-9 to the Cobra Assault Cannon, the Robocop series has some serious bangers in the gun world.

One that’s often forgotten about and likely thought to be a work of fiction by most viewers is the DEB M21. This gun comes out of the 1980s but fits perfectly in the year 2043.

What’s the DEB M21? It’s a folding submachine gun, one of roughly three that appeared during this period.

While the little gun never got made in serious numbers and never gained any popularity, it found its way into Robocop 2.

The Future of Crime

In Robocop 2, the weapon is wielded by the child terror Hob. The idea of the UC-9 is to provide a covert SMG. The folding design allows it to morph into a box. A box, you say?

Yep, a rather innocuous rectangle. A carry handle across the top looks like it comes off a briefcase, and you could add a nonfunctional radio antenna, and they were painted various non-gun colors.

In Robocop 2, the DEB M21 carried by Hob is painted blue and, when folded, certainly doesn’t resemble a gun. The DEB M21 in the film is Tim Bixler’s personal weapon, and it seems like the man showed the actor who played Hob how to use it.

They take advantage of its folding capabilities, and we see Hob retrieve the weapon when the cops raid the warehouse.

Hob unfolds and deploys the gun rapidly and even charges it correctly. Of course, he only shoots from a low chicken wing when he actually shoots.

Honestly, while the DEB M21 is a small gun, it still seems like a gun that’s too big for the actor playing Hob.

We didn’t see the weapon for long, but I remember as a kid with a stack of Robocop VHS movies that it was a cool gun.

Admittedly I didn’t even think it was real at the time, and only after watching the film again I dived into the world of folding SMGs and discovered the UC-9 and DEB M21.

The DEB M21 In Real Life

The DEB M21 was originally called the UC-9 and was initially developed by a man named Utah Connor. After teaming up with David E. Boatman and Tim Bixler, the gun was improved and renamed the DEB M21.

It was originally made in very small numbers. By the time the partnership got off the ground, the Hughes Amendment had passed, and this made making transferable machine guns a thing of the past.


There are a total of 1 UC-9 produced and nine DEB M21s.

There were 100 registered receivers produced and sold to M6 Management, and they have been built into UC-9s.

The DEB M21 is a 9mm, direct blowback submachine gun. It fires from an open bolt position and only fires in full auto.

The DEB M21 has a few design traits in common with the Uzi. This includes a modified Uzi bolt and a standard Uzi magazine.

Uzi Model B

It’s fairly simple in its overall design but obviously a little more complicated due to the folding nature of the gun.

That briefcase-like carry handle contains your sights, and they feature an ultra-small sight radius, but they are sights. You can ditch the carry handle and replace it with an AR-18 optical sight.

At the bottom of the gun sits your charging handle that doubles as a finger stop to prevent getting bit by 9mm while firing the gun. The weapon can fold with a 32-round magazine in place, and the bolt needs to be forward, with an empty chamber.

The DEB M21 sports a 7.75-inch barrel that has an unfolded length of 20.5 inches and a folded length of 10.5 inches. The weapon weighed 6.25 pounds unloaded.

It’s an interesting weapon, and while we are unlikely to see a recreation of the gun, it’d be a sweet SBR.

Maybe KelTec can make the SUB-2000 more disguised when folded? That’d be the cheapest non-NFA way to do things.

at Sportsman's Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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What did you think of RoboCop 2? Give us your thoughts in the comments below. For more Guns of Pop Culture, head to our Fun Category!

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