B&T army submachine gun 9mm
courtesy bt-ag.ch
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As we mentioned last year, the US Army has been in the market for a new submachine gun (read Nick Leghorn’s review of the gun here). The guns in the running included:

Beretta USA’s PMX subcompact weapon
Colt modular CM9MM-9H-M5A 9mm
CMMG’s PDW subcompact
CZ-USA for Scorpion EVO 3 A1
Lewis Machine & Tool Company MARS-L9
PTR Industries PTR 9CS subcompact
Quarter Circle 10 5.5 CLT and 5.5 QV5 subcompacts
Trident Rifles’ B&T MP9 machine gun
Zenith Firearms for Z-5RS, Z-5P and Z-5K subcompacts

In the end, the Army went with the Swiss B&T APC9K. As Popular Mechanics reports . . .

The U.S. Army has officially selected the Brugger and Thomet APC9K to outfit its Personal Security Details.

The APC9K is the first new submachine gun for the U.S. Army since the M3 “Greasegun” of World War II. The service will buy 350 of the compact automatic weapons for $2.5 million, with an option to buy 1,000 more. The B&T APC9K beat out guns from more than ten other companies, including Colt and Heckler and Koch, as well as guns based on the M-16 and MP-5 weapons platforms.

B&T submachine gun army
Courtesy bt-ag.ch

Here are the specs for the little 9mm bullet hose:

Calibre: 9 x 19 mm
System: Close bolt blow back system
Operation: Full auto
Rate of fire: 1080 rpm
Length min./max.: 385 mm / 597 mm
Width: 67 mm (incl. chargin handle)
Height: 293 mm (incl. 30 round magazine and Aimpoint)
Barrel Length: 175 mm
Twist Rate 250 mm / 10″
Weight: 2.7 kg (incl. 30 round magazine, Aimpoint, front grip)
Stock Pull: 340 mm
Primary Sighting System: Aimpoint Micro TL
Secondary Sighting System: Flip up emergency sight
Sight length: 261 mm
Suppressor connector: 3-Lug
NAR Rails: 1 + 3
Charging handle: Interchangeable
Magazines: 15, 20, 25 and 30 rounds, translucent Polymer magazines
Handling: Ambidextrous
Shoulder stock: Foldable
Training System: Simunition, Manipulation
Also included: One 15 round magazine, two 30 round magazines, QD front grip, cleaning kit, sling, case, manual

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        • My guess that includes tooling, parts, etc. The whole system start up.

          Still…$7142 each? Yikes. Hopefully volume will bring the average down.

          “The APC9K is the first new submachine gun for the U.S. Army since the M3 “Greasegun” of World War II.”

          Greasegun Unit Approx. USD $15 (1943; equivalent to $220 in 2019)

          New gun costs 33 times more per unit.

        • Why the $7,143 price tag per sub-gun? Sounds like someone is ripping off Uncle Sam.

        • A math change may be necessary. The article does state that the initial quantity. But, there is an option to buy 1000 more. If the weapon will be used for personnel security details, i.e., executive protection, then 350 would probably only to start the weapon into the pipeline. Instead:


          A much more believable price.

        • Over $2,500 they sell civilian versions on atlantic firearms and these would be a tad more. Contract includes service and maint

        • Before the TV Series “Stargate SG-1”, virtually no one even knew the FN P90 even existed and the First FN PS90 didn’t become available to the Consumer Market until 2005. Fourteen years after the FN P90 went into production in 1991. So unless a TV Series is produced using the B&T APC9K, I suspect the same will apply to it…

    • The sights are embedded in the rail, so you can’t see them except from the top unless unfolded. They aren’t anything crazy, just a back up for your red dot.

  1. They don’t look flashy or sexy as an MP5 but I’ve heard nothing but good things about B&T. Not surprised they beat out the competition.

    • Foreign piece of junk? Well, it is a foreign designed and manufactured piece of ordnance that, being Swiss-made, is probably pretty good. That cyclic rate is pretty high (1,000 rpm +), which might make it hard to control on full auto and certainly make carrying enough ammo a potential problem.

      One thing I think about is that the last time the US went to full-scale war (1941), it had an industrial base that was capable of designing and churning out here all of the weapons and other military materiel that would be needed. Our country no longer has that base (mills and factories have become the Rust Belt) and many things our country needs or uses are made overseas, including some weapons for our military. If our country gets into another full-blown war, I wonder how it will supply itself when its overseas sources are cut off or destroyed. Something to think about.

      • The US industrial output is over 4x larger than it was at it’s peek in the ’40s. It is the second largest in the world at at least 79% of China. It is larger than Japan and German’s put together. It just makes up a lower portion of our GDP than it used to.

      • It is true that our industrial supply chain is dependent on foreign imports though, just as it is for every other country. Comparative advantage if not outright advantage ensures that. A global war would be catastrophic for all economies, not just the US’s.

      • That’s why when the U.S. Army adopts a foreign weapon they have it in the contract that it is made domestically so they get blueprints, tooling, etc. so this relying on “foreigners” is a non-issue.

    • The 105mm main gun on the m60 tank and first generation m1 tank was a British design. The current 120mm gun on the Abrams is a German design. The m9 pistol was Italian. Its replacement is Austrian. The 1892 Krag was a Norwegian design and its replacement, the 1903 Springfield was a copy of the German Mauser.

      The 40mm Bofors which we made famous in ww2 was a swedish design. It’s 20mm little brother was a combination of German and Swiss.

      In the American revolution we wore blue because the french donated the uniforms and a large portion of the muskets used were either British or French.

      In the American civil war fully one third of the rifle muskets used by the Union were British made.

      Need I go on?

      • The United States “hasn’t” produced a “Mil-Standard Small Arm” since 2008, and the last time that ANY US Small Arms Manufacturer (i.e. Colt’s Manufacturing) WON the US Army’s Small Arms Replacement Competition was in 2007…

        • Technically? All of the military’s current small arms are made here. I doubt this B&T order will be as it is far too small for them to establish a production facility here, but FN’s M-16s and M4s are made by FNH USA in, iirc, South Carolina. The Beretta M9s were made here as well, and it is likely the Sigs will be also. The HK rifles for the USMC will be presumably made in Columbus, GA, since their plant there was reported as being tooled up for them in 2017.

          Both of the guns used in the M-1 Abrams were licensed copies of foreign designs, not actually foreign manufactured.

        • But under Foreign Owners and Foreign Production Standards. As I said Colt’s Manufacturing was the LAST US Owned and Manufactured Small Arms to Win a Small Arms Replacement Competition in 2007. So unless the US Military is willing to Down Grade to Mil-Spec, no US Owned and Manufactured will ever win any Future Competition…

        • You could consider NASA simply an extension of the German V2 program. Werner Von Braun was pretty much running NASA for 20 some years.

    • Actually the receiver is all metal- it’s aluminum, and just the trigger group is polymer, like most mp5s, SCAR, etc. It is somewhat similar to the HK UMP in looks but with the aluminum rather than polymer receiver. I have an apc9 and USC/ump conversion in .45, neither are junk and the design works in plastic and metal. It’s a nice gun, straight forward, and will do the job well.

    • It is a beautifully machined and made firearm, the Swiss have an eye for detail that one will never find in the US for a production firearm. B&T is at the top of the game when it comes to production fighting firearms.

  2. Are you kidding me? Do the math: $2.5 million divided by 350 = $7,142.86 per gun! Numbers like this just just give more deadly ammo to the anti military spending faction in Congress (deadlier even than the 6.5 Creedmoor)!

    • That number almost certainly includes parts and special tools for maintaining the guns over some expected service life. It will also include development service manuals and procedures for all levels of maintenance. Depending on the PM’s plan, there may also be technical data package rights in there (allowing the Army to competitively bid future component or accessory purchases). A DoD weapons buy is a lot more complicated that picking up an 870 at Bass Pro Shop.

        • just how much of the price go to the fat cat congressman? the MAC-10 could be built for 200.00, all steel and practically fool proof.

  3. Doesn’t the military only pay like 600$ per m4? A more effective weapon and the military could buy 4 and a barrel of ammo with the money they saved.

    Look, I get why the military might want some SMGs for certain applications… but over 7k per gun? That’s just a rip off. The biggest advantages SMGs have is their supposed to be cheap and be able to crank them out by the thousands. For this price they could’ve developed a specialty bullpup carbine in a speciality caliber.

    • Why cry about a sub gun? We have a $13 Billion dollar CVN that still does not work. $5 billion dollar DDG’s with guns that have no ammo.

      • @ Tiger.

        The 155mm AGS Gun Rifling was first used in 1861 and last used in 2004. In both cases the Ammunition was supplied by a Single Specialized Supplier…

  4. Ok so I have seen variations of the announcement since April 1, most photos and specs are for the regular APC 9, with the 6.8″ 3 lug barrel, rail to cover, maybe the b&t folding stock (APC/UMP style) but I haven’t seen much coverage on the APC K specific specs. I think it will use the collapsible stock instead of the folder, whether that is a new design or the existing one I don’t know. It may well be that the collapsible stock gave it the edge over the tp9/mp9 design even though that one is more compact.

    I am guessing the 6.8″ barrel and longer standard fore-end is too long, so it probably is using a shortened receiver with a shorter barrel, maybe 4-5″?

    I am guessing they incorporated the Pro specs for the revised bolt, maybe the non-reciprocating charging handle as well if there is enough room with the abbreviated receiver.

    Anyway, hoping the true specs can be confirmed, new photos etc so we see the gun that actually won.

  5. The only PDW I have any first hand experience with is the Steyr TMP. Essentially a glockified Uzi. Feeds anything, small and light enough to be carried all day, everyday. Accurate, reliable and a blast to take out to the desert and shoot the better part of my weekly allocation of ammo in preparation for my Monday resupply. Uzi style mag changes, hand finds hand. Makes for a faster transition from issue sidearm.

  6. I work in DoD and they say, “we are to be good Stewart’s of the taxpayers’ money” I honestly believe this when I consider, RDT&E tech for the effectivenes and safety of our warfighters. We’re not all out to waste the taxpayer’s dollars. I actually think the H&K UMP lookin’ gun looks cool.

  7. It should be ugly!! You want people to be intimidated. If it works as advertised the uglier the better. I’m assuming it fits most users. To whoever called the Uzi ugly; I always thought it looked good because of the way it functions. It is fun to shoot and I like the hand to hand reload.

  8. Those mags are all plastic with no metal reinforcement and cost more than any other 9mm magazine in the current US market.

    Every time I get excited about a new B&T firearm they always opt for some variation of a Steyr TMP magazine clone. They just move the mag catch a little and crap them out.

    At eye intended for those magazine the be preloaded and disposable. They sold for $20ea at full retail! B&T wants $40-$60ea!

  9. I wish the Army and other service branches would just train everyone how to shoot rather than try to hose down an area. Damn 9mm won’t even penetrate body armor. None of these little subguns are my cup of tea except for having occasional fun and wasting ammo. Close in I’d still take a short shotgun with a decent mag capacity. Next on the agenda- a 12 ga minigun…

      • look up the little red wagon DARPA tested one in danang that thing was scary, 12guage brush-cutter and plow rolled into one tool huges industries mini-gun 3000rpmX9=27000 29 caliber shredders.

  10. Seems kind of silly not to go with an AR style manual of arms for simplicity’s sake with so many firearms out there right now…

  11. People complaining about the price per unit do not understand federal acquisition. First, to get the award, B&T was the LOWEST bidder, as required by law (Federal Acquisition Regulation). Second, the price includes parts and support. When the Army goes to the theater, they cannot wait for parts to be manufactured and shipped from elsewhere. They must have spare parts on hand, or they are dead. Also, people who complain the award went to a foreign company, again the FAR is law. If you think you can compete in this realm, by all means, bid on a government contract!


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