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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.

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 9 millimeter 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.

See pictures of the new sub compact weapon here:
https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/army-sub-compact-weapon-system/
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
These sub compact weapons look inferior to a lot of submachine guns on the market. Over $7,000 per weapon? What a rip off.

These MP5 10 millimeter semi auto weapon systems are $3,500 each listed at the link below. I would take an MP5 anyday over these other weapons.

https://brethrenarms.com/shop/ba10k/
 

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The MP5 doesn’t fit the specs. It’s bigger, longer, and heavier.

And, it’s H&K, they hate you. And might be selling to terrorists, even the German government is considering or threatening about not buying their guns.

And they don’t want 10 mm....these are close protection, urban use weapons that might be used in crowded areas full of non-combatants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Ajole those MP5 semi automatic firearms are made in Utah by Brethren Arms. They also sell them in 9 millimeter and .40 Smith & Wesson. Take a look at their MP5 in 9 millimeter: https://brethrenarms.com/shop/ba9c/

Too bad they are $3,250. I want one in 10 millimeter but not bad enough to spend that much for a pistol caliber short barreled carbine.

Edit: Oops. I just ran across this information on their website: Each firearm is hand fit, built & fully assembled from start to finish by Brethren Arms using a new United States made barrel and trunnion, as well as a 100% German H&K MP5 Trigger Group/Pack.
 
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It’s hard for a small place that hand fits stuff to crank out 350 units for a military contract. So even if they were really good...the military doesn’t play that game.
 

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Inferior to the other competitors' guns, how?

At least Hi Point did not get involved....that might have been interesting :rolleyes:

The British Sten gun may have looked inferior to the Lanchester, Sterling, MP28 and MP41, and even to the Thompson M1 SMGs...but they worked. functioned as needed, were affordable to make, and could be made en masse quickly

Compare to the M3 Grease Gun which had their own faults and design flaws...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The British Sten gun may have looked inferior to the Lanchester, Sterling, MP28 and MP41, and even to the Thompson M1 SMGs...but they worked. functioned as needed, were affordable to make, and could be made en masse quickly.
I don't care what anyone says. $7,000 for a 9 millimeter short barreled carbine weapon that is at most effective to one hundred yards is a rip off. The Knight's Armament SR-25 E2 7.62 x 51 rifles were about $5,000 per unit (without the scopes) and they are effective to over 800 yards.
 
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7,000 for a 9 millimeter short barreled carbine weapon that is at most effective to one hundred yards is a rip off.
Support and training. Support probably means at a lot of spare parts per unit just in case.. maybe as many as 100 spare parts per initial unit, plus spare receivers, barrels, and the like? Training.. well. Thats likely the armorers and gunsmiths, but not sure if instructors would be covered.. and it likely is good for maybe more than 90 days of contract acceptance. On the other hand... a value of $7,000 for one 9mm submachine gun with simple parts does indeed sound stupid high. We won't know what exactly does the contract entail unless the Army makes available the contract terms to general public... they however do have to justify the expenditures to the Joint Chiefs and Government Accountability Office and the Congress :rolleyes:
 

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I don't care what anyone says. $7,000 for a 9 millimeter short barreled carbine weapon that is at most effective to one hundred yards is a rip off. The Knight's Armament SR-25 E2 7.62 x 51 rifles were about $5,000 per unit (without the scopes) and they are effective to over 800 yards.
And a $1200 M1A1 can do the same thing as that $5000 gun. Sort of.

It not about dollars per meter of effectiveness. And this is not a short barrel carbine. It's an SMG, a fully automatic PDW to be used by military bodyguards. Making an SMG requires a license that costs a bit more than your typical FFL.

It's about buying an SMG that is light and somewhat concealable, controllable, reliable, easy to configure to mission, easily suppressed, accurate, ergonomic, and that can be made in the quantities needed, with parts and accessories available as required.

The B&T has some things going for it that make the people buying the gun want it, rather than the other gun, and no one there is looking to buy the most expensive just to impress the neighbors. It did what they wanted better than the others.
 

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With modern manufacturing techniques there really isn't a good reason that just about any 9mm firearm should cost $7000, but there may be details in the contract that are driving that price up. I tend to think that most "premium" branded firearms are completely overpriced, often by over 100% of what would represent a reasonable cost to the consumer at a traditional markup.

Polymer framed pistols are a great example of this, the frame itself should really be just a few dollars at retail based on material use and mass manufacturing techniques, yet people are willing toss over $100 at a Polymer-80 frame without a thought. Now think about how much people spend on Glock OEM frames, SIG (less so with the new modular systems), Ruger (although not so much recently), etc. I once read that it cost Intratec around $36, including labor, to make each Tec-9. That was with less QC, but with much older technology like a lot of "touch time" operations that just aren't needed these days.

So, yes, there is probably a B&T tax being paid, but also some amount of R&D funding, training, and support built into that program price tag. So the actual cost of each firearm may not be all that obnoxious when it is all said and done.
 

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Tooling probably plays a part, its more expensive to have tooling for only 350 firearms, than for 350,000 firearms.... Great examples are the F-22 and B-2 bombers, both of whose productions were capped at numbers far below what the projected programs called for..... and that drove the prices of these two aircraft into the stratosphere. Witness also, the recent contracts and programs for the US Military branches that ended up being cancelled after billions of dollars were already spent.

On the other hand, the ITAR restrictions and the 1986 Hughes Amendment to the FOPA 86 law probably raises costs for the manufacturer by requiring a specific FFL license and taxes and so on...so they need to adjust program costs for the 350 units planned....if it gets accepted and goes to full production, costs will likely go much lower than this initial high cost.

But I don't know the ins and outs of governmental contracts...... other than it seems horribly inefficient and wasteful.
 

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Compare to the M3 Grease Gun which had their own faults and design flaws...
Dad used the M3. Was not to happy with it I think. He never talked about his experiences in Korea, except with a friend of his who was an Army medic there. He was talking about house clearing once. Dad said you took the grease gun, used it one time, threw it away, and got another.

His friend, the medic, talked about how he once drove into a North Korean medical facility by mistake once. He simply drove back out. Said that the North Koreans were not interested in him, only interested in helping their wounded.

Didn't mean to hijack the thread, but just the mention of "grease gun" brought back a memory.
 

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The H&K MP-7 with its oddball little 4.6mm round would probably be a better answer. It is far more compact, holds more ammo for its size, and its low recoil will allow more follow-ups within as shorter period of time. Also, the light weight of the round will keep it from retaining energy if it passes through a bad guy, thereby preventing bystander casualties.

This weapon will be for PSD units, who, by the very nature of their work, will be in crowded arenas, with multiple other high-profile figures around them, besides their own principal. Over-penetration has to be taken into account.

Some years back, I was responsible for settling in some international officers for a contingency, and a couple of the Norwegians had brought MP7s with them. Those were some very handy little weapons, and they said that they were plenty effective out to 100M. There appears to be plenty of evidence that the weapon and the round it chambers would be very effective and versatile for PSD personnel, given their mission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
And a $1,200 M1A1 can do the same thing as that $5,000 [SR-25] gun. Sort of.
I looked up an M-21. (I think you know what they are already but they are more accurate version of the Springfield M-1A rifle.) They are about $3,800 to $3,200 per rifle in price and accurate with the right shooter and spotter out to over 800 yards as well.
 
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I looked up an M-21. (I think you know what they are already but they are more accurate version of the Springfield M-1A rifle.) They are about $3,800 to $3,200 per rifle in price and accurate with the right shooter and spotter out to over 800 yards as well.
Yeah...an M1A is going to be the military version of "accurate" out to that 800 yards with irons and no spotter. The M21 is just adding a nicer stock, better barrel, trigger, scope and more bells and whistles, to be more, and more repeatably, accurate.

You can build your own, better version of the M21 yourself, cheaper.

But it's still not a full auto PDW capable of being concealed.
 

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A M4 based PDW with .300blk, 7 to 9 inch barrel and pistol buffer tube and collapsible stock could work, and would be cheaper?
"Would work" isn't the same as "meets or exceeds criteria, specifications and requirements".

And NO. A buffer tube, of ANY type, is probably NOT going to meet the requirements.

This is NOT a gun for guys in camo to kick doors or clear trenches with.

This is a gun for secret service looking guys in suits, who also may put on camo and escort the guys with stars around some combat zone, at which point they may pick up some real M4's and take care of things that way.

So their bullets have to be NATO, and these specific guns have to be able to be concealed.
 

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c5d1aec28a49413cdd98ead4cb117b56.jpg
If theyre wanting much smaller than the AR platform style... (looking at some of the entries that didnt get picked...) how come no one entered basically something similar to the IMI Micro Uzi design?

14.5 to 15 inch OAL for several of the SCW competitors.... methinks the AR style platform could be made that compact.. probably have to be 9mm if contract calls for 9mm... too bad Olympic Arms is gone. Their interesting AR pistol design without a buffer tube could have been useful in a 9mm platform..
 

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It's a very old design. Very hard to control and VERY fast cyclic rate.

And no one entered it in the contract trials.

"The APC9 K has an 4.3 inch barrel, an overall length of 13.6 inches and a collapsing stock. It weighs just over 2.6kg, has full ambidextrous controls, a full length top rail and a non-reciprocating charging handle."
It also uses a hydraulic buffer to keep it controllable in automatic use.

 

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Those telescoping stocks are notorious for getting loose quickly. I wonder if B&T have any Swiss "space magic" up their sleeve to keep one functional. The B&T side folder is a really good stock and it probably would have been a better choice overall, but I bet width and "printing" damaged its concealability.
 
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