By Friedrich Seiltgen
The U.S. Army has chosen a new submachine gun for its Protective Security Specialists: the new Brügger und Thomet (B&T) APC9K Advanced Police Carbine Kurz (German for “short”) in 9MM.
The Army’s initial criteria or Request for Information (RFI) for a sub-compact weapon required a weapon with select fire, chambered for military grade 9X19mm ammunition, and a mil spec picatinny rail. The Army’s new B&T Sub gun is a 9mm, closed bolt, direct blowback.
The gun weighs in at about 6 pounds with a full translucent 30-round magazine. Another welcomed engineering feature is the bolt, which was designed for compatibility with certain Sig and Glock magazines. The gun is also unique in that it has a hydraulic buffer instead of a heavy return spring. This softens the recoil and helps the operator keep rounds on the target.
The Army decided to move away from various versions of the M4 carbine for protection specialists and go with a dedicated short-barreled compact weapon. The last Sub gun to officially make it in the Army was the WWII issue M3 “Grease Gun.” There were M3s in service with tanker crews as late as the 1990s. These new Sub guns will be used by protection specialists who are the Army’s “bodyguards” for high ranking military officers. A former co-worker of mine is one such senior officer with a Personal Security detail. Since he is a Green Beret and a Major General, I’m sure he will be toting one of these personally!
Brügger and Who?
While B&T is not very well known in America, it surprisingly beat out several other big-name firms like Sig and H&K. When the smoke cleared, the Army announced (on April fool’s day) that B&T was awarded the $2.5 million contract for 350 SCWs (Sub Compact Weapons) complete with slings, manuals, spare parts, with an option for another 1,000 units.
The weapon was originally manufactured for use by the Austrian Counter Terrorism Unit EKO COBRA. The unit was formed in 1978 after the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre and the formation of Germanys GSG-9 (GrenzSchutzGruppe). EKO COBRA would be the U.S. equivalent of the FBI’s HRT.
Based in Thun, Switzerland, B&T was formed in 1991 by Karl Brügger and Heinrich Thomet and was initially a manufacturer of firearms parts and accessories. B&T produces suppressors for H&K as well as other items for a wide range of weapons. According to their profile, B&T owns more than 500 different types of weapons in order to engineer accessories for them. In 2004, they used their outstanding engineering department and started producing their own weapons, like the APR sniper rifle, a 40mm grenade launcher, the MP9 Submachine gun, along with its civilian counterpart, the TP9.
Like all B&T weapons, the APC9K itself is a manufacturing masterpiece. The finish of this weapon is a sign of its Swiss heritage. This kind of manufacturing doesn’t come cheap though. The civilian version of this weapon, the APC9 PRO, costs more than $2,400.
Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He currently conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism, Firearms, First Aid, and Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations in Florida. His writing has appeared in The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Homeland Security Today and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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