Tested and Tricked Out: The SAR 109T 9MM Subgun

The submachine gun is a fascinating firearm. Introduced to the world by Hugo Schmeisser in 1918 as the MP18 and chambered in 9MM, the submachine gun was built as a close to medium-range firearm able to put a good number of pistol-caliber rounds on target and fast. The “sub” in submachine gun refers to that pistol caliber chambering, and of course, the full-auto nature of the firearm labels as “machine gun.”

In the last 103 years, the submachine gun has seen all sorts of technological advances.  But the reality for the American gun owner? Acquiring a full-auto version of this  firearm will be damned expensive. For most of us, prohibitively expensive.

Home defense, recreational shooting and just looking cool: the SAR 109T Subgun checks all three boxes.

Another option for those who like the look and feel of the submachine gun is a semi-automatic version, like the 109T 9mm Subgun produced by Turkish gun manufacturer Sarsilmaz (SAR) and imported into this country by SAR USA.

The 109T Subgun is SAR’s semi-auto version of their full-auto gun used by police in various foreign nations. Yes, it looks like an AR Pistol—complete with AR-style controls, a rail atop the receiver, and an AR-looking handguard–and one might assume it is gas-operated.

Some of the 109T’s AR-style controls.

But the 109T’s design is an original submachine gun, which means standard blowback operation. The 109T’s bolt is not locked at the time of cartridge ignition, and the resulting pressure or recoil of the escaping gasses pushes back the bolt and flings out the spent brass. Then, the recoil spring forces the bolt forward, stripping a new round from the magazine and chambering it.

Out of the box, my test 109T 9mm was a thing of beauty, with a barrel just shy of nine inches long, pop up sights front and rear, and that AR-pistol look. The 109T also came with two 30-round stick magazines and a foregrip that fit to the bottom of the handguard.

The SAR 109T Subgun right out of the box, and…

As soon as I could, I grabbed a few boxes of 9MM ammunition and headed to my range. And as soon as I started shooting, I discovered a problem. I couldn’t hit much with the 109T 9mm.

When I anchored the 109T 9mm to a shooting table, the 109T 9mm grouped well enough. But offhand and held at eye level? Forget about it. I couldn’t get steady holding it with two hands and trying to line up those high sights. I did somewhat better holding the 109T at my waist, but only when the target was within five yards or so. Beyond that and it was shoot and hope.

So, I got to work and tricked out the 109T 9mm. Just a bit. 

…tricked out by McCombie with a Trijicon MRO and an SB Tactical Pistol Stabilizing Brace, neither of which are included with the P109T.

First, I mounted a Trijicon MRO Reflex Sight onto the 109T. The 1-25 optic features a 2 MOA green dot, 8 illumination settings, and a ½ MOA elevation and windage adjustments. 

Mounted on the 109T Subgun, the Trijicon MRO Reflex Sight got McCombie onto target fast and accurately.

Then, I added an SB Tactical SBM4 Pistol Stabilizing Brace, sliding it over the 109T’s buffer tube. 

The SB Tactical Pistol Stabilizing Brace made the 109T much steadier and therefore much easier to shoot.

Note: The SAR 109T Subgun is not sold with the MRO and pistol brace!

Back at my range, the 109T 9mm was now scary accurate. I shot the rig offhand at 10 yards and from a rest at 15 and 20 yards, using three brands of 9MM ammunition: Aguila Ammunition, firing a 147-grain FMJ bullet; Hornady Critical Defense loaded with 115-grain FTX bullet; and Remington UMC and its 115-grain FMJ projectile.

For a standard range ammunition, the Remington UMC’s performance in the SAR 109T was amazing. Shooing at ten yards offhand, I pegged a five-shot, 1.40-inch group with four of those rounds scoring a .73-inch cluster. At 15 yards and firing from a rest, the UMC placed five shots into a very impressive .62-inch group.

Remington’s UMC 9MM firing a 115-grain FMJ bullet was amazingly accurate.

My one self-defense round, the Hornady Critical Defense, registered five-shot groups of .90- and 1.06-inches at 20 yards from a rest, with four of the shots actually touching each other in the later grouping.

During multiple range sessions, Hornady’s Critical Defense 9MM stopped many a “bad guy.”

The Aguila did fine, too, with groups one-half to a full inch larger than the other two rounds and well within the target “hit” zones.

My 109T came with two Colt-style 9MM stick magazines holding 30 rounds apiece. They worked fine for FMJ range ammo, but I had some jam ups using the Hornady Critical Defense rounds. I contacted SAR-USA’s marketing person, Joel Harris, who explained that SAR-USA was working on upgrading these OEM magazines as the specs weren’t as tight as SAR-USA had hoped. Future 109T’s will have the upgraded magazines, he assured me.

Meantime, Harris sent me the AR-Stoner AR-15 9mm Luger 32-round magazine. It worked great without a single ammunition malfunction.

The 109T’s trigger pull, as measured by my Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge, averaged at 4-pounds 7-ounces. The trigger isn’t great. It lacked crispness. That said, and given the above-cited accuracy, the trigger was more than functional.

The handguard provides lots of rail and many attachment points.

The compact SAR 109T is a fine choice for home defense, with its high ammunition capacity and fine accuracy. Compared to a 9MM pistol, the 109T’s longer barrel also provides additional velocity for better, more powerful ballistics.

I shot and chronographed the same three 9MM ammunition brands in both the 109T 9MM and the SAR9 semi-automatic pistol with a 4.4-inch barrel. The difference in muzzle velocity between the two firearms was significant, as measured by my RCBS Ammo Master Chronograph, from an additional 100 feet per second (fps) with the Aguila 9MM to 165 fps in the UMC and a whopping plus 197 fps with the Hornady Critical Defense.

Plug the numbers into a ballistics app and the difference is significant.

The Hornady Critical Defense in the SAR pistol left the barrel at an average of 1,142 fps; the 115-grain bullet generated 333 foot-pounds (ft-lbs.) of energy at the muzzle and 304 ft-lbs. at ten yards.

In the 109T, that same load produced 1,339 fps and a whopping 457 ft-lbs. of energy at the muzzle. At 20 yards, the Critical Defense was moving at 1,261 fps with 406 ft.-lbs. of 9MM energy.

More power than a handgun and a higher ammunition capacity to better defend one’s self, family, and home. And it looks cool as hell. That’s the winning package known as the SAR 109T Subgun.

A winning package.

SPECS:  SAR 109T Subgun

Caliber: 9mm x 19

Overall Length: 27.8 inches

Operating System: Blowback

Barrel Length: 8.7 inches

Ammunition Feed: Magazine, 10/20/30 rounds

Width: 2.2 inches

Case Discharge: Right side

Height: 10.9 inches (30-round mag)

Shooting Modes: Single/Semi-Automatic

Weight (empty): 4.9 pounds

MSRP: $1,999.99    

For more information go to SAR USA          

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: Brian McCombie writes about hunting and firearms, people and places, for a variety of publications including American Hunter, Shooting Illustrated, and SHOT Business. He loves hog hunting, 1911’s chambered in 10MM and .45 ACP, and the Chicago Bears.

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Not Sure April 13, 2021, 7:21 am

    Perhaps folks on this comment page should look a little more closely at the photos. The SAR manual and stock photos show the weapon with both a forward grip and a brace. The photos of the author do not show the forward grip installed while he is shooting, nor in the pictures with the targets…
    Observation is the first step in most processes – that is if one desires success.

    • Jim April 14, 2021, 6:01 pm

      Now if only you yourself were observant, you would see that the fourth picture down shows the gun, still with the vertical grip, with the description of how it was tricked out by the author. Obviously the author, unaware of the violation of NFA rules, did not remove the vertical grip.

    • Jim April 14, 2021, 7:08 pm

      Oh, and one more thing to point out which you clearly did not observe. The manual shows a picture of a machine gun on which a vertical grip is perfectly legal. And the brace you refer to is not a brace at all but in fact a stock, again, perfectly legal on a machine gun.

  • Renegadebgp April 13, 2021, 6:40 am

    Aside from the obvious SBR violation, since when is a .62 “ group at 15yards from a rest “amazingly accurate”? My pellet gun is amazingly accurate at 25 yards, so? Shaking my head that this article made the cut in what are normally very good articles

  • Fee April 12, 2021, 4:18 pm

    $ 2000 for a 9mm pistol cal carbine. Gun makers better find a way to make these items at affordable prices. Too many AR-15 look a likes. You think there is price competition, there seems to be none.

  • Stephen Philip Wiatrak April 12, 2021, 4:15 pm

    SAMMY BOY should wake up–Kane post is true now and a few months ago- Sammyboy the truth does’nt just dissipate because some days go by– a true patriot does not forget corruptive destruction to his beloved country——

  • Kent April 12, 2021, 2:37 pm

    By the time he pays the attorney fees and fines for this screw-up, He could have afforded several REAL MP5s and the tax stamps. But after he is a felon? nope… not so much! The lesson here is if you want to tip toe around the abyss of federal law to “look cool” You damn well better do your research! Hunter Biden would be fine here, hell, he could probably even have a crack pipe in his mouth while posing with this gun, but the author will undoubtedly need counsel. He said it came with the foregrip? the importer may share in this one. Turkey doesn’t give a damn about our silly-assed federal laws. As long as it folds down to full vertical, it is illegal to install. His best bet now is to have someone weld the barrel shut and claim it was not a functioning weapon when he did the article. Nah, the ATF would just do a chemical analysis of the bore to find powder residue and add lying under oath to the charges. He’s well and truly screwed. He needs to learn to sleep on his back with Big Bubba, his cell-mate. Let us all know which prison they send you to. I’ll mail you cigarettes and a harmonica. Oh crap! I forgot it is illegal under federal law to mail tobacco products unless you are the manufacturer . Move over Bubba! Is this still the land of the free and the home of the brave?

  • Jake April 12, 2021, 1:47 pm

    Another stupid toy. Put a stock on it and make it 16″ or forget about it. For a third to half the money you can get a Ruger PCC with easy to acquire Glock mags or Magpul drums with no “technically legal” or “technically illegal” this or that.

  • Kent April 12, 2021, 1:21 pm

    He’ll look cool in an orange jumpsuit too! The editors really screwed up here. Why in hell did they post these pics?

  • kent April 12, 2021, 1:07 pm

    The author has inadvertently created an NFA weapon by installing a vertical foregrip on this gun. angled foregrips are ok, but not a vertical foregrip. He needs to remove it immediately.He can expect a call from the ATF on this one. This is why I got rid of mine. Too many traps waiting to be stumbled into. BTW: militia is defined in Title 10 sec 311 of the US Code. Read it

  • Kane April 12, 2021, 11:15 am

    YES, VOTER FRAUD.

    No matter how often the “main stream media” says there is “no evidence of voter fraud” and an endless array of useful idiots repeat the BIG LIE, the truth is the 2020 Presidential election was stolen by the Biden regime. Despite the colossal LIES that the fake media called “entrance” and “exit polls,” fools will still support the propaganda fraud machine even though the pollster LIES were ultimately unsustainable. That was the first stage of voter suppression but NOT the last.

    What was Biden talking about when he noted that just like in the Obama election his team put together the most extensive and inclusive “voter fraud organization” in American history working on his behalf? Biden put this issue “in context” with those shocking words but the media ignored his admission. What authority and justification would Obama and Biden have as candidates to put such an organization together? What is a “voter fraud organization”? Biden absent mindedly admitted to fraud, he was NOT talking about election observers. Remember, Romney was the front runner before Obama somehow pulled his second term victory from the jaws of defeat.

    There are too many facts to list that tell the world that the US has another fraudulent regime which like it’s predecessors will preach democracy and wage wars. Expect Biden, in the name of democracy to undermine and perhaps overthrow foreign governments after he seized power by spitting in the face of the American electorate. Even the Demshevicks expressed concern with the Dominion voting systems.

    The US standard of detecting election fraud in foreign countries depends heavily on “Bedford’s Law” which is used to determine whether voting data is comprised of naturally occurring numbers or manipulated data. Bedford’s law involves plotting the lead number of pertinent statistics on a graph. If numbers ranging from 1-9 were chosen randomly each digit should be represented about 11.1% of the time but statistics are not based on random chance. American physicist Frank Bedford determined that the lead digit of a statistic tends to have smaller numerals represented more often than the larger numerals. With legitimate statistical models the lead numeral of 1 tends to appear between 25-30% of the time and the lead digit of 2 tends appears between 15-20% of the time and this pattern continues where the lead digit of 9 tends to appear roughly 5% of the time. Plotted on a graph along the x and y axis the line should resemble a descending slope. Trump’s returns mostly appear to be a descending slope although in some instances the 1’s and 2’s appear more frequently than expected. Graphs plotting Biden’s numbers have extremely suspicious array spikes in the 4,5, 6 and 7 range. Most of the “evidence” of election fraud has been ignored by the “main stream media” but forensic accountants far more knowledgeable than myself have made a very compelling case but the serial LIARS in the media ignore these issues and repeat the same lame denials.

    The case of DeKalb County, Georgia was one of the statistical anomalies that swung the state and the national election. One supposedly normal batch of ballots consisting of over 23,000 votes went to Biden at a rate greater than 98%. This was an oblivious red flag and an example of a statistical impossibility. The voting totals among the specific racial demographics of Georgia particularly Atlanta, Wisconsin particularly Milwaukee, Pennsylvania particularly Philadelphia and Michigan particularly Detroit should have all played out just like Ohio in this election and like those of the past years. In the 2020 election this was NOT the case. In many foreign elections being monitored by the US the results would be considered likely evidence of voter fraud but when a Demshevik in the US seizes power the corporate media is part of the charade and the fix is in.

    A driver for the Post Office was one of the many witnesses of irregularities, he provided a sworn affidavit of a semi-trailer of voting ballots that he picked up in NY City and proceeded to Philadelphia. Like so many others he is the focus of the investigation, this is a scary circumstance that has reached the US. There are sworn affidavits reporting ballot harvesting, illegal ballot boxes, thousands of votes cast for Trump and placed in the Biden column, state constitutional laws were broken and the courts including most of the SCOTUS stood down. All of this is the evidence is ignored and the LIARS claim this was the “most secure in history,” ha. As a steady stream of ballots were counted Trump’s 5 digit leads suddenly disappeared in a impossible time frame. Much like a football game where an unsurmountable lead is lost within the 2 minute warning. Arizona was called by Fox and the rest of the “main stream media” even though the election was close. Every state where Biden needed a win was held opened with an oblivious double standard. The media calling anything “early” is part of the big LIE and emerging totalitarian state. People who parrot the BIG LIE are the building blocks of the totalitarian state. If this election was NOT a fraud than nothing ever was a fraudulent election.

    Biden is a fraud and an illegitimate figure head. The US should never again intervene in foreign elections or any type of political unrest.

    • SammyBoy April 12, 2021, 1:23 pm

      Oh boy, looks like someone replaced their Maga hat with a tin foil helmet.

      Take that conspiracy theory BS back to 8 chan. The election was over 4 months ago, No ones talking about that here.

      • Craig April 12, 2021, 4:14 pm

        Couldn’t agree with him more

      • Kane April 12, 2021, 8:45 pm

        You mean like the various election “conspiracy theory BS” that Stacy, Hillary, Nancy et cetera have been peddling for tears?

      • Shanz April 18, 2021, 3:20 pm

        Yeah how crazy? We all know dems are not evil. They would never do those things to gain power or take out their biggest enemy ever. Naw, they are legit.

        Nothing to see here.

  • kuston April 12, 2021, 10:41 am

    But it’s a SAR! No customer service, no parts, completely ignore all their customers. I’ve been waiting on parts for my K12 for over a year. SAR America has the worst support team on the planet. Never again!!!

  • Nicholas April 12, 2021, 10:18 am

    There are laws in this nation, and I will call on the good Lord to take me from this “mortal coil” the day that gun owners abide by the law. Sure, they are more than willing to abide by unconstitutional, and even treason acts, but to stand up to protect and defend the Constitution seems to be out of the question.
    I know that I’ve written this many times before, but I’ll say it again. If you removed the 2nd amendment tomorrow it would mean nothing because there are 3 provisions in the original Constitution that command the duty to keep and bear arms that protects the right, all our rights.
    Militia is nothing that modern Americans think it was or is supposed to be. It is not a voluntary thing, its not the national guard, and it is not some entity that you can just form outside the rule of law. It has rules and regulations that are hundreds of years in effect, and it is the only law enforcement authority that the Constitution recognizes. Why? Because when the Framers wrote the Constitution they wanted to make sure that the people had a lawful authority to keep government in check.
    Militia is duty bound to “repel Invasions”, so an unorganized, untrained, and unarmed militia is pointless. Nonetheless, this is what almost every supposed supporter of the 2nd thinks the militia is. For those who have disarmed the militia and left it unorganized, read “The Offensiveness of Taking Political Offense” for a brief explanation of treason in this matter.
    So, to the author, if we had Militia as required by the Constitution, not that which the 2nd community has helped to destroy, weapons such as an MP5, M4, or M16 would not be “damned expensive”, but rather readily available to “every able-bodied man capable of bearing arms”. And ladies, in today’s world, you to would have your choice.

    • Shanz April 18, 2021, 3:27 pm

      75 members already in our tri county area. It’s growing every day now too.

  • Scott A Vitzthum April 12, 2021, 9:46 am

    So is this sold as an AOW?

  • Dexter Winslett April 12, 2021, 9:42 am

    The only way to keep our rights is to water the tree of liberty. Democrats are evil.

    • Jamesl Crisp April 12, 2021, 10:31 am

      Amen brother

  • WD Coleman April 12, 2021, 9:42 am

    All the more reason to advertise and acquire

  • Daniel Cantrell April 12, 2021, 9:04 am

    And with a vertical forward grip on a handgun

  • Jim April 12, 2021, 8:56 am

    Umm…that vertical grip on a pistol is a big nono. I’m shocked that its configured that way.

  • Malcolm Pipes April 12, 2021, 4:47 am

    ARE YOU STUPID OR INSANE! The Biden Administration just issued a declaration of war against pistol braces, and you just posted a review using a pistol brace fitted and used as an illegal SBR.

    You bleeping a**hat.

    • thomas April 12, 2021, 8:24 am

      “shall not be infringed”

      -F ’em.

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