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.
The is an entirely new submachine gun developed in conjunction with and for EKO Cobra, Austria’s counterterrorism unit. The gun uses a closed-bolt blowback system, has a maximum rate of fire of 1,080 rounds per minute, and weighs just 5.9 pounds with 30-round magazine, foregrip, and Aimpoint micro red dot aiming sight. It’s chambered in 9-millimeter Parabellum and comes standard with two 30-round translucent magazines.
The Swiss gun has a side-folding stock for compact carry in enclosed spaces. It features a four-position Picatinny rail system on the barrel shroud, which is used for attaching accessories such as optical sights, laser aiming devices, illumination devices, and foregrips. It also features a set of fold-down iron aiming sights as backups in case the red dot sight fails. The controls are fully ambidextrous, with left and right-sided safeties, magazine release, and bolt release controls. The APC9k can also mount suppressors for quieter operation.
The APC9K, which has yet to receive a M-series designation like the M16A2 or M4A1 carbine, will arm Army Personal Security Details. PSDs are assigned to senior leaders and their staffs to protect them from insider attacks in friendly territory, enemy forces in war zones, and other threats. Soldiers assigned to PSD units spend a great deal of time indoors or inside vehicles and helicopters, necessitating a compact weapon that can be quickly brought into action.
A Swiss company founded in 1991, is little known outside the firearms industry. The company has developed a full line of military firearms, from the B&T Universal Service Weapon to full-sized assault rifles in .308 Winchester.
The APC9K is the U.S. Army’s first submachine gun since World War II, when it fielded the and the . The Army traditionally favors full-sized rifles or pistols, and now carbines. The , a shorter version of the M16 used in Vietnam was originally considered a submachine gun but by modern classification standards would be considered a carbine.