Taurus SMT9 and SMT40 Submachine Guns

Along with their new assault rifles Taurus has begun production of their two new submachine guns the SMT9 and SMT40 chambered in 9x19mm and .40 S&W respectively.

Ronaldo Olive with a Taurus SMT9

Externally the guns are very similar to the ART556 rifle, but internally they are blowback not gas operated. They are a much more compact version of the Taurus CT carbines unveiled at SHOT Show 2011 but which did not end up being sold.

With the stock folded the standard SMT is 18.5″ in length and weighs 8 lbs. The magazines hold 30 rounds. A compact “C” version is stockless and has a shorter barrel without flash suppressor. The compact model is 16″ in length and weighs 6.3 lbs.

Taurus SMT9C

You are sell TFB reader Ronaldo Olive shooting the SMT9 in the video below …

[ Many thanks to Ronaldo for the photos and info. ]

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.


  • Lemming

    Wow, 8 pounds? That’s almost as much as an unloaded Kalashnikov.

    • D

      might help manage recoil in such a small package.

    • So?

      I’ve long been meaning to ask the experts here. No matter which decade it was designed in, no matter which furniture is used.. All assault rifles end up weighing in at 3.5 kg give or take. None is significantly superior to another. Not in the way the Gewehr 98 is superior to the Gewehr 88.

      Does this mean that as far as assault rifles are concerned, the design optimum has been well and truly reached decades ago and programs like ACR, Abakan, are doomed to failure until there is a fundamental materials, propellants breakthrough? Is this as good as it gets for gunpowder weapons?

      • Denny

        Probably yes. There is indication that we are beyond the point of optimised and any new stuff, be it rifle or SMG is not substantially better than was 20 years ago. What we see lately is merely gadgetry.

        The assault rifle has to be up around 3.5 kg (7.8 lbs) if it has to be ready for military service. For 9mm SMG I’d think 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) is just about right; if it ends up more then it needs different approach. These are empty weights, of course.

      • W

        “Does this mean that as far as assault rifles are concerned, the design optimum has been well and truly reached decades ago and programs like ACR, Abakan, are doomed to failure until there is a fundamental materials, propellants breakthrough? Is this as good as it gets for gunpowder weapons?”

        I would say so, at least in the realm of the powder/metal cased cartridge.

        Perhaps it is caseless, telescopic, or liquid propellant ammunition (or some other ground breaking substance) or energy-based weaponry that are the next step. Really hard to say.

        They can continue to evolve and become more efficient, though the gains in which you experience will be less and less despite spending more money (see laws of diminishing returns, which is a technological and economic attribute that includes firearms and military technology; Dr. Joseph Tainter)

      • Denny

        Sorry I missed the second part of story…. and if nobody else (barring W’s response) takes on it I don’t mind. I had followed that affair fairy closely.

        The ACR ‘failed’ because of unrealistic expectations, as specified by DOD. This was best characterized by E.Stoner who believed that only full auto (burst) in combination with low recoil energy could come close to requirement. Later, he pulled his version down and quit participation (as I remember it was under ARES brand).

        The AN94 did not really fail, but did not get to be service issue and hardly will. It is just too complex and too expensive. It costs almost 3x more then AK74 to make.

      • Avery

        W pretty much answered this perfectly, but I do think there’s still some envelope-pushing still to come. You mention the ACR program but the big thing everyone learned from that was that, although we hit a ballistic plateau in regards to firearm design, that the human interface (sighting equipment and ergonomics) are more effective improvements than actual design. This is why we’ve had this recent explosion in rail mounts that allow for pre-zeroed sights to be swapped out, vertical grips, laser aiming modules, and red-dots.

        I think the next big evolutionary step will likely be magazines, with the 60-rounds “casket” magazines becoming the next step up as they get more reliable. The other thing I see as a step is conventional-carbine-to-bullpup convertibility with a high degree of parts interchangability, such as the MSBS 5,56 and the new CIS rifle. While bullpups have some tactical disadvantages, they still make a better rear-echleon, vehicle crew, or support troops defense weapon than a pistol or PDW.

      • W

        Avery, when I read your comment, it reminded me of the stark differences between now and 2002. A decade. As far as rifle accessories, training, product improvement, and small arms themselves, there has been a giant leap in evolution that blows away my mind to this day.

      • cc19

        I agree. I’m more interested in what would have become of ACR (not the Magpul rifle) program back in the 80’s had it progressed long enough to bear fruit. Caseless ammo, flechette, etc. However, I personally think when it comes to specific role of the PDW, the P90 is a good example of progress with its large capacity and unique design of ergonomics and controls. But then you got the guy who whines it’s too proprietary and exotic. Well how are we supposed to advance if we stick to the old? At one point in time the AR was proprietary too and we all remember the hard battle that took to adopt over the M14.

      • D

        I think that it’s highly likely we’ll not see any significant improvement of assault rifles for at least decades, and maybe never. There’ll be incremental improvements (longer barrel life, slightly better accuracy, etc etc) but nothing groundbreaking for a long time.

  • surplus-addict

    Those magazines look EXACTLY like PPS-43 magazines…

  • klyph

    This better be half the cost of an mp5. The folding stock appears to block the trigger. It’s way too bulky for an smg. The stoner ergos are nice, but gilboa did a better job, and used tried, true, and readily available glock mags. I just don’t see how this firearm is remotely competitive. Maybe it costs $300?

    • Partizan1942

      The good thing about the gun business is that there are a lot of people that know jack squat about guns but they still need/want to buy them. It’s the same as cars really, I mean how many people bought Ford Escorts over the years? How many people buy genetically modified food products for the same or even more money than organic stuff would cost? What I mean is that there is a big-big market of dumb-dumbs out there in the world and even if the price of this gun is not nearly competitive people will still buy it if it is marketed well. And let’s not forget the fact that there are always a lot of corrupt/ignorant/politically motivated government agencies who would buy 2nd and 3rd rate stuff as well.

      • Komrad

        Genetically modified crops are more resistant to disease/weather and have a greater yield with less fertilizer than non-genetically modified crops. There is no danger.

        Now, if you’re talking organic as in doesn’t use fertilizer or pesticides/herbicides, that’s different.

      • Partizan1942

        @ Komrad

        Dude, I know the meaning of the words I use…
        Genmod corn might be good if you are looking for maximizing profit on producing it. It is not fun consuming it though that is why they are banned in the EU. Fun fact: genmod crops do not lower the price of the endproducts. In general they just widen the profitmargin of the people producing them. So for pretty much the same price one can get healthy food or the kind that will screw up your kids dna.
        What I am saying is that people are mostly not conscious about what they buy with their money.

      • W

        I wish I could thumbs up ya a million partizan.

      • Mike

        Partizan, let me put it this way: the folks in charge of the European Union are mostly socialist. They’re also pretty gullible when it comes to all that pseudo-scientific fleecing of the general masses: “global warming”, “genetically modified organisms”… Did anyone mention that during the tests where they fed genetically modified corn to lab rats, they conveniently forgot to wash it, “accidentally” feeding the poor rodents a shitload of pesticides?
        Of course I’m not saying that your dog needs a SUV with a monstrous engine too, or that we should try gene-modding everything, but there are enough mentions of corruption, ignorance and political motivation on all sides of those issues already.

      • W

        “They’re also pretty gullible when it comes to all that pseudo-scientific fleecing of the general masses: “global warming”, “genetically modified organisms”…”

        There’s nothing pseudo-scientific about those subjects. The only pseudo-science that exists is a specific, unnamed crowd that also wagers much coin into other steaming piles of bull manure. Its like they have a horse in that race or something (indicating by the zealous nature of them, they seem to be also on corporate payroll).

        Whats next? that oil is abiotic? LMAO!!!

  • jim

    8 lbs and 6.3 lbs.. wow, between the weight and the horrible design.. no thank you..

    • Dustin

      Really, gmo crops screw up DNA? You have no clue what ur talking about. Fyi gmo corn is consumed in Europe too. Gmo crops are grown to keep for higher yields which keeps commodity prices lower, reduce tillage, and reduce pesticide use.

  • Zack

    I really wish people would stop referring to these rifles, as assault rifles. The gun ban group nutjobs pushed hard to give the semi auto guns this name to make them sound more evil to the unknowing citizen. If the weapon does not have the ability to shoot fully automatic then it is NOT a assault rifle. So if you know better stop doing it.

    • swede1986

      In this case it is accurate to describe it as an assault rifle since it refers to Taurus’ select-fire rifle. This submachine gun is also select-fire.

    • Partizan1942

      I understand what you are saying but you can’t call the bloody things “cuddling irons” or unicorn co” either. 🙂

    • W

      These are select-fire weapons capable of firing more than one round with each trigger pull, therefore, they are legally “machine guns”.

  • hikerguy

    It appears to be quite bulky for the purpose intended (close quarters battle, SWAT type stuff) and heavy. The pluses would be the weight will keep recoil manageable. Taurus makes well made dependable firearms at an affordable price, so this SMG will probably appeal to many customers who are on a budget.

    • Partizan1942

      I understand what you are saying but you can’t call the bloody things “cuddling irons” or “unicorn combs” either. 🙂

      • Partizan1942

        whupps sorry, repplied to wrong thred 🙂

  • Burst

    Ya know, credit where credit’s due. but… the MP5 did this trick better, and it did it 50 years ago.

  • Denny

    Taurus makes evidently progress – my respect to Mr.Olive. I’d have an observation, if he can answer that: the bolt stroke appears to be rather short, resulting in 750rpm (for 40cal) if I read it right. Is it not little to high for general use? I know, you can argue that in dynamic situation with fleeting target you get more shots into it…. just like to hear his opinion. Thanks.

    • Noodles

      750 is not high for a full auto. It’s on the higher end of “normal”.

      Most full auto AR variants end up being well over 750 especially when suppressed. The mp5-k and mini-Uzi both of relative size to this thing would smoke past 750.

    • Ronaldo Olive

      Most of the times, I could squeeze 2- and 3-rd bursts with trigger control only with the selector set at full-auto. As someone else mentioned, 750 rpm or so is on the higher end of “normal”, but still able to be mastered with no fuss. The WWII M3 Grease Gun fired at about 450 rpm, the Thompson at 700 rpm, and the PPSh-41 at 900 rpm. The loved MP5 spits bullets at 800 rpm, the shorty MP5K at 900 rpm, and the Mini-Uzi at 950 rpm. It’s just a matter of one’s (or an agency’s) personal choice.

      • Denny

        Fair response. I am also of the opinion that at that rate you can, with some training, do controllable short bursts; same with rifle. You are right about other reference weapons. I was probably under impression of direction applied on designs such as MP43. It was generally accepted that lower rate is supportive to controllability. If it does not bother you, who it should? You just change mags faster.

    • Ronaldo Olive

      Just to see what one can do with fast, semi-auto firing, take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtNXnIx1QE4 It’s the SMT40 in September 2011.

      • Noodles

        Slow firing, no discernible cadence, chicken wing stance…. Cool video?

      • Denny

        Looks ok, however as some suggest, the recil is noticeable. If I did not know the type of weapon I would have guessed carbine or medium calibre rifle. There has to be certain amount of breech mass to open safely, we all recognize that. Just a thought: is it on higher side? That would be cause of disturbance.

        There is still a possibility along the line of MP5 ei. retarded blowback concept. There are couple a possibilities there. If you check designs produced in Dominican republik time ago (by Pal Kiralyi) it might give you hint. You can also think of “advanced priming” concept – I have particular liking of it because it gets the best use of breech mass.

        Overall, the effort is visible and this is new direction for Taurus. Good luck!

      • Cesar

        Prof.Ronaldo !! How are you? Your ex-student,Cesar.Contact, ok? Long time specialist and memorable english teacher!

  • West

    I don’t see anything groundbreaking in this design unless it is just dirt cheap.
    And if you work in law enforcement or the military do you really want the cheapest possible SMG?

  • Trev

    You can tell its a Taurus by how ugly it is.

  • Did they smash a Beretta ARX 160, an mp5 and a Micro Galil together until they got this?

  • animalmenace

    Looks like it’s made out of Play-Doh in that first picture.

  • John Doe

    8 pounds for a pistol-caliber weapon? Next!

    • Not Your Mother

      I can just bet you’re an AR-15 fan, with some uber-lightweight carbine at home.

      Lots of SMGs are ~8lbs, the UZI for example, even some MP5s are pushing just shy of 8lbs. When you have that weight closer to the body, it does not feel the same or cause the fatigue as a rifle with 8lbs centered towards the muzzle.

    • Nicks87

      I agree, it’s 2012 time to shed some weight on these sub-guns. Otherwise what is the point of carrying a pistol caliber weapon when an AR-15 SBR gives you more fire-power in nearly the same size package.

      • W

        Nicks, I believe sub guns are largely obsolete, perhaps except for very, very narrow roles (which is even questionable now), because of what you said. A heavy SMG has NOTHING to offer a gunfighter.

  • Lance

    Cute looks like a poor man’s MP-5 SMG with far less machined parts to make it expensive. Looks cute too.

    • Jeff

      MP5s in theory costs much less to make. They’re stamped sheet metal after all.
      I’m pretty sure (not certain) that the fact that it’s made in Germany by a high end company changes the price dramatically.

  • Kyle

    The weird magwell grip thing kills it for me. It just looks wrong.

    • Not Your Mother

      Nah, looks like a decent solution to the “grip the magwell” problem.

    • W

      I think it should be ripped off. Magwell grips only encourage people to grasp their sub gun or rifle incorrectly.

  • Big Daddy

    1-It’s butt ugly but that does not really matter about a tool. A gun is a tool for a professional or military person. It’s about how good the weapon or tool works. But it is really ugly.

    2-In the video it looked very bulky and had a lot of kick. Considering it’s a SMG and a heavy one you would think the recoil would be a lot less. It looked like he was firing a shotgun.

    3-Not only was there a lot of kick it looked violent. Even though is shooting technique was poor he looked rattled and uncomfortable while shooting it. He did not give the impression it was fun to shoot.

    4- It’s heavy for a modern weapon. Had it been 3 pounds lighter and no recoil I would say there is a weapon with potential. After all what is the job of a SMG? It has changed over the years. I question if this does it’s job that well, is it better than a MP5 or a UMP? No.

    5-Honestly in this point of the gun game wouldn’t a SBR be better in every way? Lighter, smaller, more powerful and better range.

    6-Overall ergonomics look average to below average. It seems there is no hold open device for the bolt and the mag-well grip is of questionable use and effectiveness.

    7-Has it been put through a torture test to see how it stands up? Is it field worthy? has it met some basic guidlines for a military weapon of it’s type?

    8-Cost, how much does it cost? Would it be better to buy rebuilt MP5s if your looking for a small amount for special units or limited situational use?

    To sum it up, in the year 2012 that weapon is pretty much archaic compared to a Russian Bison or European made PDW. If your unit already is using an AR-15, AK or similar rifle a SBR version would be more practical training wise and for spare parts. This weapon is obsolete unless the cost is so low that it would be an upgrade to what is being used by that country or unit which must consider cost above all else.

    • LJK

      All good points. And I have a hunch all of them can be explained by number 8. That is, it seems like this will be a weapon marketed towards less well-off nations (probably in South America) and police departments without a lot of free funds.

      And if the price is going to be very low, they absolutely have to cut corners in many places. And by the looks of things they’ve still tried to maintain absolute reliability in all conditions. Those two factors added together basically means over-engineering parts (= more material in everything than would probably be necessary; think AKs) and running the gun fairly hard. That is, not tweaking the recoil spring, buffer setup etc. to be at the absolute optimal level between recoil and reliability, but instead pushing reliability over limiting recoil; again, think AK.

      • Marcio Schmidt

        Your right, they are Arms to equip every police patrols in every country who have a limited budged

  • Mike Knox

    It’s like an H&K MP5 conceived under irradiated condition, Yech..

    • Marcio Schmidt

      No, it has much more to do with the UMP!!!

  • mosinman

    are the receivers made of depleted uranium or something? why are they so heavy?!

    • Marcio Schmidt

      They are just robust!!!

  • Cameron

    Taurus subs and assault rifles…well, at least when Wal-Mart forms their inevitable army, we know what they’ll be equipped with.

  • vyse.04

    I think what is missing from some of these responses is this weapon is made by Taurus, not HK. With the lower price point, lower expectations should come as well (in relationship to fit and finish/general appearance). It is not as pretty or innovative as the MP5, but that is to be expected. If Taurus could sell an MP5 for $800, I’m sure they would.

    Taurus has started to market weapons to the LEO/South American Military, but they do not have the same traction as Colt/HK/Sig have elsewhere. I think this is a step in the right direction for them, but IMO their LEO and civilian items should be kept separate (mainly for QC). I understand the bitter taste that Taurus leaves people with, but lets see how these turn out first before making assumptions… If they even get released of course.

  • JMD

    Somebody should tell Taurus it’s not the 1960s anymore, and nobody is looking for a new SMG that bulky in a pistol caliber. The move toward rifle caliber PDWs has already made this entire category of weaponry obsolete, and for the handful of organizations that still need or want this sort of thing, there are already a variety of established designs available.

    Why bother?

    • Marcio Schmidt

      It has to do with the caliber, not every forces in the World can pay for the expensie PDW cartriges.

  • Denny

    This set of videos is more of historic significance, but it is very good as a reference:

    You can see variety of SMGs and other weapons behaviour when comes to visible recoil vs. mass vs. rate of fire. The MP-40 (I wrote wrongly MP-43 earlier) is extremely steady even when used without stock. PPSh is just about the opposite. These SMGs are internally and in some other aspects different. You can see clearly the variation.

    Is there any conclusion is to be taken from this by Taurus? I’d think yes. If you want to (after some 70-80 years of previous development) bring something qualitatively different you need to think outside of box. MP5 and P90 were such attempts and fairly succesful ones too.

  • Pepin the Short

    What kind of blowback is it? The 9mm cartridge is too high pressure to afford letting the bolt open immediately, so, presumably, it’s delayed somehow.

    • mosinman

      regular blowback like a .22 and 9mm isnt too high pressure for a blowback system

    • Fred Johnson

      The blowback in a gun like this is delayed by the sheer weight of the bolt assembly. Many submachine guns with blowback action use a heavy bolt. That makes the gun simple, yet heavy.

  • Can it be imported to the US as a pistol? Or does the mag well grip count as a pistol grip and is therefore an AOW?

    • JMD

      The magazine well is not a separate vertical grip, so the stockless version could be imported as a pistol.

  • Reverend Clint

    whats with the rail behind the rear iron sight?

  • Fred Johnson

    At least the shortened “pistol” configuration drops some weight. 6.39 lbs. with a full magazine. Looks like fun.

  • Sam Suggs

    um realy where reverting to an imitation of the mp5 when we estblished its main issue was length