Marines training with Brügger & Thomet MP9

Eagle-eyed reader Sean spotted a recent photo showing Marines with the Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) assault force using blue/training Brügger & Thomet MP9 submachine guns.

Full size photo here.

The caption of the photo is …

Marines with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) assault force attach a cave ladder with a telescopic pole to HNS Aris during their final exercise at Souda Bay, Crete, Greece, Nov. 12, 2010. The MIO assault force went through a one-week course at the NATO Maritime Interception Operations Training Center in tactics to board a suspect vessel. (Official USMC Photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Matt/ Released)

[ Many thanks to Sean for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Very interesting – do the Marines have some MP9 on trial, or are they in the inventory? They did acquire a batch each of HK MP7 and FN P90 some years ago, but the evaluation was never published.

    The MP9 has recently been announced in a .45 calibre version – could that be what the USMC is interested in?

    Alternatively, a barrel swap on the MP9 will allow it to use 6.5×25 CBJ ammo (it uses the same magazines). The standard saboted tungsten ammo will reach to 200m and punch through a lot of armour.

    There’s an article on my web page about modern PDWs and their ammo, here:

  • Seth

    its probably just what the NATO guys use.

  • michael

    why not just give them a pdw 10inch with 6.8?

  • Gab

    If I’m not mistaken they were borrowed from the Greeks during the exercise period.

  • Other Steve

    “why not 6.8”

    I take it your never actually held a tp9 or mp9. They are lighter and smaller than an mp5-k.

    Try and suppress a 6.8 round then come back us on the merits of a 147gr 9mm or 230gr 45 in a subgun.

    I have a tp9 sbr, it’s an awesome little gun. I think of it as a very light mini-Uzi with a complex lockup system that is reliable and suppresses well. It’s trigger is very nice (compared to my mp5 and full-size Uzi, or any subgun really). In 5k rounds I haven’t had a single jam, malfunction or any sort of issue. I can NOT say the same for my AR or any 6.8 AR I’ve tried.

  • sean

    gab’s probably right, but i wouldn’t be surprised if they were trying it out for boarding operations. between the IAR and the M45, the marines seem to be going their own way with regards to weapons aqcuisitions…

  • Beaumont

    True, the 9mm may be less effective than 5.56, but the MP9 is a smaller firearm than a 5.56 PDW, and thus easier to maneuver in confined spaces.

  • Rusty Ray

    Looks like they were armed with Black and Decker electric drills. What were they going to do, climb on board the target ship and put some shelves up?

    Cheers – Rusty

  • Witt Sullivan

    Why are they blue? Since it’s an exercise, it looks more like they are they using Simunition weapons, like they do when they train with their M-16’s.

  • american lockpicker

    It looks like they have the simunition version.

  • Lance

    Im surprised they didn’t use MP-5s Marines have alot left over. Most of the MP-9s are part of training with other forces in Europe they are NOT adopting the MP-9.

  • Guy… bottom left – is gonna be pissed when he finds out his sidearm has fallen out somewhere… hehe!

  • kmle

    More machine pistol than submachine gun. You wouldn’t want to have a semi-auto pistol when there’s someone waiting on board with an AK.

  • Aurelien

    The MP9 is not in use with the Greek Navy/Military, they have UZI variants. The only European force to use the MP9 on a large scale is the Portuguese FS.

  • Alaskan

    @ K Pete..he has something more lethal..his finger gun..*dramatic noise*
    Remember how adults always said “never point your finger at anyone” when we were kids?
    Just think how bad it is when a US Marine does..and he doesn’t need a suppressor or change mags either.

  • The MP-9 is about twice the size and weight of a pistol, but half the size and weight of an M4. It can be fired one-handed if necessary, but with the shoulder stock and forward handgrip it has ten times the effective range of a handgun. I have fired the MP-9 in both 9mm and 6.5mm calibres, and it a great little piece of kit, very controllable in burst fire. If I needed to carry a PDW around with me all the time, it would be my choice.

  • Higgs

    The MP9s belong to the greeks. on this page you will see some greek operators with the MP9s, while the marines all are using their M4s.

  • If anyone wants to read more about the MP9 in particular and PDWs in general, I’ve tried out a few of them and written about them here:

  • kmle

    Australian Navy boarding team: MP5k, Aussie hostage rescue units use the same configuration.