The Army Selects B&T for Its Sub Compact Weapon System

The Army’s highest-ups will be guarded with these subguns by Brugger & Thomet. (Photo: B&T)

The Army has a new Sub Compact Weapon, or SCW, for its top-tier security teams, and surprise, it’s a Brugger & Thomet. The Army put out a solicitation for a new submachine gun last year and until now, other competitors seemed likely favorites.

After selecting the six most appropriate options, the Army asked each company to send in 15 guns for testing earlier this year, completing the competition in record time.

Of the six companies vying for the contract, B&T seemed an unlikely underdog. Other companies fighting for the contract included Angstadt Arms, Global Ordnance, Shield Arms, SIG Sauer and Trident Rifles, with SIG in position to take the lead.

SIG recently landed a contract with the Army and Air Force to replace the vast majority of their sidearms with P320-based M17 and M18 pistols. Since then every branch of the military has gone on to adopt the M17 and M18 to some degree.

The Army and Air Force selected SIG pistols not only for their solid performance throughout the trials but also for their exceptionally low price. When it comes to the Army’s Personal Security Details, price may have been less of a factor.

It comes with a 3-lug barrel or an even shorter standard barrel. (Photo: B&T)

The Army is starting with an order of 350 B&T submachine guns based on the APC9-K, the compact version of the commercial APC9. Unlike the APC9, which has a side-folding stock, the K model has a wire telescope stock that almost disappears completely when stowed.

It also has a shorter forend and barrel options. Full details on the final configuration are still out. The Army has reserved the option to purchase 1,000 more SCWs if they are happy with the performance of these guns outside of a testing environment.

See Also: SIG Pistols Go 36,000 Rounds in Army Test With Zero Failures

It has ambidextrous controls, non-reciprocating charging handles and comes with a 5.4- or 4.3-inch barrel and uses an Aimpoint Micro TL optic as the primary sighting system. It weighs about 5.7 pounds unloaded and measures in at just over 13.5 inches collapsed.

The APC9-K is a semi-automatic short-barreled rifle but the military version is select-fire, chambered for 9mm NATO. B&T typically ships these with one 15-round magazine and two 30-rounders, a case, a cleaning kit, a sling and a manual, but the Army package may be different and does include spare parts.

The contract, including support and training on the new system, is worth $2,575,800, or about $7,350 per gun for the first 350.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Area 52 April 5, 2019, 9:34 pm

    When it comes to military contracts like this, the weapon that gets picked isn’t always the best. It just caught the eye of top level brass who is in charge of testing. As already mentioned, I don’t see how that arm of the collapsed stock blocking the ejection port is in any way tactical.

  • Charles Hutson April 5, 2019, 6:18 pm

    7k+ for that, somebody got a nice back door check. Should have used the Sis Sauer MPX, already proven, better gas chamber design and better folding stock option and 5k cheaper. Made in the USA also.

    • TERRY April 9, 2019, 11:53 am

      Sis are overrated, that is why they have a bid and competition contract.

  • Will Futo April 5, 2019, 1:50 pm

    What about a short barrelled uzi? Hell, Israel sould lend/lease them to us for all the “extra help we give them” not to mention all the extra enemies we create by being “friends” with them…If South Africa were on the opposite side of the continent we would still be supporting apartheid! I call it, how i see it…

  • Mike in a Truck April 5, 2019, 11:02 am

    Phooey. The M3 grease gun did it all. And in a Red,White, and Blue patriotic caliber not that pipsqueek 9mm “Contiental Cartridge”. Bunch of panty wearing Euro Sissy’s.

  • Bill Jones April 5, 2019, 10:05 am

    Looking at the photo with the stock collapsed it appears to obstruct the ejection port. Not sure how well this will work in this configuration.

  • Awesome Bill from Dawsonville April 5, 2019, 9:33 am

    Given that they’ve already adopted the SIG 320, I would have been more impressed if they accepted SIG 320 mags too.

    • Mauser6863 April 7, 2019, 11:08 am

      The issue with using SIG and/or Glock pistol magazines, is the difficulty loading them, as they take two columns of rounds and channel them into a single column at the top. Not onl;y are they harder to lead than a true double stack, but they are less reliable in full auto, which is why you see guns like the MP5, MP7, Uzi, etc. using double column, double stack mags. Older sub-machine guns used magazine similar to pistol mags, which where based on the Bergman Sub-Machine Guns, but in practice, these were less than ideal.

      B&T makes excellent products and the civilian, bare bones version of this gun retails for just South of $3k. The package price likely includes, accessories, spare parts, training and tons of extra magazines and maybe even some suppressors, which is how the Army likes to buy stuff, one and done. Ignorant civilians, always suspect corruption (rightly so) in government contracts, but the devil is in the details.

  • William Kotila April 5, 2019, 8:18 am

    Now, all military 9×19 ammunition should be Black Hills Ammunition’s Honey Badger Law Enforcement load. It uses a non hollow point, non expanding projectile with performance that makes the 9mm a truly effective round.

  • Jim April 5, 2019, 8:02 am

    I don’t care if they are 10k…..I would rather see the money going to our American Military then giving the money to our enemy’s!!

    • Winston April 5, 2019, 11:58 am

      The Pentagon has ‘lost’ $22 trillion, and the attempt to audit its books could not be completed due ‘lost’ records, so what is another ridiculously overpriced submachine gun no one will ever use to defend the US with? Wake up. Our borders are undefended.

  • A C April 5, 2019, 8:01 am

    $100 hammers are a better deal.

    • Winston April 5, 2019, 12:05 pm

      A $7,400 9mm burp gun toy with an Aimpoint that makes some DoD investors wealthy is an even better deal. LOL. They could just order the tried and tested full-auto CZ Vz-61 chambered in .380 for $800. Nah…

  • Former Door Kicker April 5, 2019, 7:33 am

    I agree with sticking with proven tools over new gimmicks, but the price is not surprising. It is not just the material asset per tool, but a service contract with the maker. B&T might have opted to do all maintenance for all tools for that price tag, 100% replacement parts w/o further invoice, etc. Military will not invest in training In-house armorers and create fixed jobs for this tool. That would be way more expensive than $7k per asset on the long run.

  • Eric R April 5, 2019, 7:02 am

    $7350 per pistol to protect some generals. Someone please explain to me what these do better than what they’re currently using or is commercially available for a fraction of that amount.
    I’m pro gun but I’m also anti waste and this sure seems excessive.

    • Ken April 5, 2019, 9:19 am

      No doubt! Could’ve just use a short barreled AR for a fraction of the cost with proven reliability and effectiveness. The maintenance support for an AR platform is already in place and Soldiers are familiar with the system. Not to mention the performance of a rifle round instead of a 9mm. This is a poor decision!

  • Jay April 5, 2019, 6:17 am

    7k+. per unit ?!? That BETTER include suppressor, optics, flashlight, an extra barrel , 5 -30 rds mags and an extra bcg – minimum. And that still sounds overpriced.

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