Introduction to the B&T USW-G
Recently, B&T released their all-new USW-G chassis which easily converts Gen 3-5 Glock 17/19’s into a Universal Service Weapon or USW configuration paired with a folding stock for added stability. The lightweight, aluminum chassis features a machined Aimpoint ACRO mount on top, a spring-loaded folding stock, a front Picatinny rail section, and a side charging handle. Available in either small-frame Glock 17/22 or large-frame Glock 20/21 configurations, the USW-G can add stability to the same weapon platform giving greater range and recoil control by turning normal pistols into NFA items. Somehow, the ATF consistently changes interpretations of existing laws, rewords prior guidance, and lies to the American people, so when dealing with NFA items in the United States, do your due diligence to know what the ruling of the day is.
Specifications for the USG-W
Width: 2.4in (61mm)
Height: 4.5in (115mm)
Length (min/max): 10.9/20.6in (278/523mm)
Weight: 15oz (430g)
Interfaces: Aimpoint ACRO mount, NATO Accessory Rail
Treatment: Hartcoat Anodized
While there have been multiple conversion systems out for varying pistols for years, the B&T USW-G feels more durable and minimalistic than some of these other options. The aluminum chassis feels quite solid while machining away any unnecessary material to keep the weight down. Without a pistol or optic installed, the USW-G weighs in at a measly 15oz. It folds into a very compact package, which would conceal quite well in the right circumstances. This chassis converts a pistol into an NFA pistol caliber carbine and does not have a non-NFA braced option available at this time.
B&T is also offering a level 2 holster for the USW-G that comes with a dropped/offset belt mount. I prefer the Safariland QLS adapter, so I swapped them out to use the holster on my shooting belt. The holster is quite large and boxy, but the retention system works great. This holster is not compatible with the included foregrip or when mounting weapon lights to the front Picatinny rail. There are light-specific holsters that are more minimalistic such as the Surefire MasterFire holster that would allow for holstered use with a weapon-mounted light.
B&T USA is also offering a variant that is compatible with Glock 18’s. The main difference is a cutout in the side of the housing that allows for easily adjusting the selector switch. For those law enforcement/military agencies who actually run Glock 18’s, this is a great option for being able to control a full auto pistol and actually put rounds on target.
At first, it felt weird shooting with the USW-G. While I normally shoot pistols with my arms almost fully extended, this chassis draws you much closer to the weapon to utilize the stock. I had never shot a pistol with the slide so close to my face, however, having something to shoulder makes a huge difference in controllability. I was able to get very tight groups when shooting with around 0.2-second splits between shots. Even when the platform is tucked in tight to achieve proper stock placement, it is very flat shooting and maneuverable.
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The stock is very minimalist while retaining all the functions needed to run the weapon system effectively. When folded, it is slightly shorter than the chassis and sits out of the way. This means that the pistol can be shot just like a standard pistol if desired. However, with the push of a button, the stock swings back and locks in place. The butt of the stock has some grooves that help it hold in place and keep from sliding around. While some firearms would hurt to shoot with such a thin stock, pistols have hardly any kick leading this to be a perfectly balanced shape.
While the length of the stock is thin, it still provides a comfortable cheek weld that is perfectly in line with any optic mounted to the receiver of the USG-W.
To use the USW-G, the cover plate on the back of the Glock slide needs to be replaced with the USW-G-specific cover plate to allow for installing a charging handle. After these are swapped, the frame needs to be installed into the chassis with the slide removed, and then the slide can be put back on. While not a complicated process, it does take some time and proprietary parts. For this reason, I wouldn’t call this a quick drop-in type of chassis, but more of a dedicated platform.
In addition to these matters, the Glock slides that are used must not feature any optic or iron sights taller than the stock sights. I had a set of raised aftermarket sights and they interfered with the chassis keeping me from assembling the weapon platform. Again, this is just something to be aware of as I see this as more of a standalone system rather than a rapid conversion kit.
Throughout my testing, I had zero issues show up regarding the USW-G. Firing a few hundred rounds of Norma 115gr and 124gr FMJ went surprisingly quickly. This ammunition ran flawlessly, and I have had great luck with it in the past. When a pistol is able to be shot this flat, quick, and accurate, strings of fire are easy to accomplish. It held the Glock tightly in place, greatly increasing the system’s controllability, all while keeping an extremely tiny footprint. The stock locks up tight and never started to wear or wobble on me.
Milled straight into the housing is an ACRO mount that will hold rock solid. The charging handle is spring loaded so it stays stowed out of the way while remaining easy to grab and rack when needed.
While there is no increase in the precision of the system due to the utilization of the exact same gun and barrel as the original Glock, this weapon platform without a doubt helps with accuracy. The hardest part of shooting pistols is controlling the handgun. They are small, and when you are only supporting an object with two hands projected out in front of your body, there is some sway that comes into play. Being able to add more points of contact such as your shoulder by utilizing a stock drastically reduces this sway and increases the effective range of the weapon system. Adding a third point of contact helps to reduce the amount of movement in the shooter’s aim, by providing additional support and stability, which in turn makes it easier to shoot accurately at a distance or when firing quickly. The one downside I can think of is that the optic is attached to the housing, while the pistol is just clamped into the chassis. While I was curious if this would affect holding zero, I had no noticeable POI shift throughout the few hundred rounds I was able to put through the platform. Shown below is roughly a 30-round group fired from around 20 yards when shooting more for speed than accuracy. This could have been tighter, but controllability was what I was more concerned with at the time.
From the factory, B&T includes a metal Picatinny adapter for the milled Aimpoint Acro mount, charging handle, Glock cover plate, and the user’s manual. It’s all packaged in a little cardboard box that can ship straight to your house since the chassis itself is not a controlled item. However, the ATF is always changing interpretations of existing laws so buyers beware if you are not already approved to Form 1 a Glock.
All in all, the USW-G is a lightweight and compact package that adds a lot of effective range to a standard Glock. Ergonomically it feels good and is ready to mount an Aimpoint ACRO or Steiner MPS right from the factory. Dealing with the NFA is a pain, and a braced option would have been ideal for the American market, but laws and regulations aside, the USW-G works great. The B&T USW-G has a street price of around $400 and adds a lot of capability to a Glock without the added weight or size of traditional submachine guns.
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For $400, just buy a Kel-Tec Sub2000 and keep your Glock pistol stock!
Bought a case of Norma 9mm a few months ago. Had two squibs out of the first 25 rounds of the first box. Be careful. Ammo returned and awaiting resolution.