B&T APC556 PDW and Raubtier Thermal Imaging at IWA 2016

Swiss company B&T is only a small to medium sized company, but with big ears and very short distance from demand to R&D to production and delivery. Don’t ask why Heckler & Koch springs to mind as something being the total opposite.

To meet the latest needs B&T released a PDW version of their Police Carbine APC556 in 5.56 x 45 mm (.223 Rem).

The APC556 has an ambidextrous charging handle, bolt release, magazine catch and safety lever.
There are STANAG 4694 NATO accessory rails (Picatinny) on the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o‘clock positions,if  accessories like lights, a brass catcher or handgrips are needed.

B&T is one of Aimpoint’s largest resellers (at least outside USA). More or less every rifle or carbine that leaves B&T has an Aimpoint mounted, so the numbers add up.

Within Police Forces the long arm is often a collective weapon for most policemen, while a handgun is personal. This means that the carbine or rifle will be passed from officer to officer between shifts with no or few chances to test fire or confirm the zero.

The APC556 is designed with operator’s security and the gun’s reliability in mind. The safety can be put in the safe position while the hammer is forward. Try doing that on your AR-15 when storing or transporting it. Also the bolt will stay open after the last round fired.

The flash hider or muzzle break also acts as a mounting connector for a suppressor.

We’ve covered the new B&T PDW stock before, and there are more details and photos here if you need a reminder.  This stock is great for dynamic situations, in and out of vehicles for instance.The stock is also adjustable in length to compensate for body armor or different physical size and stature between individuals.

Albeit the small size of this PDW stock, there is a built in hydraulic buffer that reduces the felt recoil.


Looking out from the iniside of the B&T stand at IWA 2016. B&T continues to increase the line-up year by year with more interesting firearms. The stand was very crowded, all of the time.


APC556 PDW. Stock fully out. Aimpoint on top.



Below: APC556 PDW with stock fully in. It is possible to shoot the PDW with the stock in this position, but with a brass catcher you need to have the stock extended a little bit.

With a 9×19 mm it works perfectly to shoot with the stock in. I guess the 5,56 will make it a bit harder to follow-up the next shot.



I have never been able to confirm it, but the trigger layout and pins seem identical to the AR-15 pattern. Not sure if a match trigger could replace the original B&T trigger. If you know, please let us know in the comments below.


Below: APC-9 is 9×19 mm version. Very, very handy format.


Below: APC556, showing the gas regulation for the event a suppressor is mounted.



Below: Some of the B&T suppressors, with and without quick-detach. Their Rotex suppressors can be mounted without any modification to the weapon, onto the B&T flash-hider.

They also have a hunter’s line of suppressors called Tiger (not pictured).

300-BoT-1  223-10

APC556 with a longer barrel. Foldable stock. If wanted, it is possible to change the stock in just a minute or so. Surefire-like compensator, which also works with B&T compatible suppressors.


The current APC556 line-up can be seen below.

APC556 PDW and APC556. The carbine versions are available in semi automatic versions.

As noted, the text says APC556 PDW is only available in fully automatic. I think this is negotiable, the version in the pictures is obviously a demo with semi-auto only and there are no fully automatic firearms at the IWA exhibition. Just like the HK MP5 is available in semi-auto versions. I’m sure the B&T PDW can be ordered like that as well.





Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more tacti-cool.

Aimpoint replaced by a Raubtier IR-scope on a B&T APC556 Carbine.


This sight is made by VHF Defence, a company out of Zirndorf in Germany. I haven’t been able to figure out exactly which model this is, but their pdf is quite interesting. If you know please share the knowledge.


Below: Very nice sight, but the B&T staff were quite irritated at all the people who pointed the rifle and sight at people to get a thermal reading.

Note to visitors: Try the lights in the roof, they’re hot too, and you don’t point guns at other people unless there’s a serious need for it.

This sight did have a reticle, but all of VHF’s devices are also available without reticle for civilian use.




The rest of the B&T firearms at IWA, apart from the sniper rifles.

APC9 or APC45 – depending on caliber.



B&T MP9/TP9in 9 mm.


Looking for collectors, the B&T semi-automatic carbine KH9 in 9 x 19 mm, double action trigger.

The KH9 is the perfect combination of proven, historic and modern elements. While the grip is originally from the Swiss Assault Rifle 90 (Stgw 90) and the 50 round magazine from the Swiss MP43/44.

The housing and the trigger is a complete new development. The gun has no external safety, instead a decoking lever and therefore equals to a DA/SA pistol trigger. The KH9 is a limited edition of 222 pieces.



Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with an European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatic firearms, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too.


  • DW

    Importation ban needs to go.

    • kalashnikev

      There is no importation ban.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Nor do importation rules or point system apply to products produced at B&T USA.

        • Hans Gruber

          VP9 where are you B&T USA?????????

          • Pete M

            Would buy right now.

      • DW

        Sorry, I meant 922r parts compliance.

        • tts

          Its dumb but its not hard to meet compliance though. I don’t see it as a big limitation to importing arms.

          The big limitation is on the financial side of things as near as I can tell.

          • G0rdon_Fr33man

            And who is ever gonna check your guns to check if the “right” parts are in there?

          • zxcvzxcv

            They won’t be able to import the gun if it violates 922r.

          • kalashnikev


            CZ Bren… MKE Z43P…

          • The same chance an oil filter adapter for cleaning a rifle will ever be found if kept on your own property.

          • Kivaari

            That’s like guys saying they will bury their guns to keep them out of the laws hands. But being buried is as good as not having them. If they are restricted to my property, then I have a 75’x125′ chunk of ground that isn’t where I can shoot them.

          • Kivaari

            ATF agents and inspectors visiting dealers nationwide. Put a forbidden rifle together using original parts and you will get screwed. It was common to see many FAL-type rifles during the AWB era when the ATF allowed restricted parts kits in. Then they read the GCA 1968 closer and found that they had not been following the older law. So that is why we now see USA built AK, FAL, G3 and such being made stateside.

          • Budogunner

            There used to be a pawn shop in my home town that sold guns. One day I walked in and saw they had an import in illegal configuration. I didn’t say anything at first. I came back a few weeks later and it was still on the rack so I took one of the gun counter guys aside for a polite heads up. He responded very rudely so I didn’t go back.

            About two months later they were sitting down add they had lost their FFL… That town trains LEOs from all over so my guesses is cop-in-training decided to be less pile than I was.

            Thinking you won’t get caught is a bad reason to break federal gun law.

          • zxcvzxcv

            >its not hard to meet compliance though

            It is when the manufacturer has to redesign their product to be able to import it and build facilities in the US to make US parts to swap into their product if they want to sell it in its original configuration.

          • Kivaari

            Building it twice is not very cost effective. Look at Century Arms, they now produce 100% American Made AKs. Same with Arsenal in Nevada. Look at DSA, where all those surplus Brazilian FALs came from. Now they are US built. It is unlawful under the GUN CONTROL ACT of 1968 to bring in the parts. That had been over looked for over 20 years, until some ATF agent actually read the law, and they started applying it to the industry. Why, do you think all the guns formerly imported are no made here?

          • Kivaari

            No lower receivers (or uppers depending on style), barrels, fire control items (hammers, triggers selectors) etc. Essentially all the important parts. That is why we now have AKs completely made in the USA. It is why we see parts kit torched.

          • tts

            All those parts aren’t too hard to make or buy ready made though. It all boils down to money to get the stuff.

      • Kivaari

        There is certainly an import ban in the USA. We are not allowed to import any major component of a semi-automatic rifle like these. It is OK for military and LEO, but not for we little people known as civilians.

        • kalashnikev

          Not true. WASRs… Arsenal… D-Technik VZ-58s… MKE MP5s… the list is quite long.

          • Budogunner

            The MKE MP5s were modified to be ban compliant. Owners of the rifle variants will attest to steel rods welded into the magazine well to prevent use of high capacity magazines. After meeting 922 (r) compliance I had mine professionally milled out.

          • Kivaari

            None of them come into he USA in a compliant form. Like the Vepr come in as “sporters” and get modified to accept the traditional AK grip. Major parts like receivers don’t come in being “correct”. Look at the guns closely and you will see where they are really made.

          • valorius

            Bush I signed an import ban into law in 1989.

            It’s true.

      • valorius

        there’s not? You mean Bush I didnt ban the importation of ‘assault weapons’ in 1989?

  • That PDW is one handsome blaster.

  • Harrison Jones

    That Stock is SEXY!!!

  • BillC

    It’s muzzle BRAKE, not break.

    • Julio

      Also This is not how “albeit” should be used: “Albeit the small size of this PDW stock”. The word you are looking for is “Despite” or perhaps “Notwithstanding”. I know it’s tough being a firearms expert and a professional writer at once, but it’s what you signed up for!

      • Erik B

        Sorry, english is not my first language.

  • Mmmtacos

    All thing considered the price of the APC9 isn’t all that bad. Not when people are paying just a few hundred less for MP5 clones. I really wonder when the APC556 will be coming state-side, and how much it’ll retail for.

    Something tells me they’re gonna give FN a run for their money on it.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      MP5 clones are extruded receiver direct blowback either though. B&T cut all the big costs from their MP/TP series, made the new gun as cheap as possible from manufacturing perspective, then jacked up the price to $2k+

      • Paul Joly

        Yes that isn’t cheap, but there is a lot of money spent on the engraving of the “swiss made”.

    • Kivaari

      I doubt the market is big enough to bother with.

  • Jose

    Any news of when the B&T firearms will be imported to the states? The company allegedly said that they have the BATFE approval to import the semi-auto variants of some of their weapons. But, there’s no word about it, and no Brugger & Thommet U.S. website on line.
    Anyone can dig up some info on their status?

    BTW, these firearms will help bring full sales to the Brugger & Thommet company. They sure have a winner.

    • Anonymoose

      DSA was importing the TP9 a while back I think. Any new importer is going to have to deal with the fact that the longest barrel on the APC is 12″, so it would have to be imported as a pistol.

      • Kivaari

        That is how they come in or came in. At one point you could buy an USA assembled SBRs built on the semi-auto pistol.

        • Anonymoose

          I really prefer the TP9’s forerail over the MP9’s foregrip. If I wanted to AOW/SBR it, that would be one thing, but it seems like with a just light on the front, it would be easier to make a holster for it.

  • Mario AK

    3,6 kilos for a PDW? And it’s the heaviest of the three, what the hell…

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Hello, I’m B&T, have we met?

    • jcitizen

      Exactly what I was thinking – if I’m going to carry a 9mm, it better be closer to the weight of say – a Cobray SM11-9 – If I remember correctly, even the HK MP5 weighs less, at about 5 pounds.

  • Bob Ridge

    TFB has become almost unreadable with all the dead links when trying to read full articles from the homepage.

  • TheSmellofNapalm

    Secret Service, anyone?

  • Cal S.

    I wondered about the trigger pull weight, until I recalled that Europeans forgot how decimals work.

    • Nelson Muntz

      Commas for decimals, It’s not that hard, you can learn too!

  • Vhyrus

    Shut up and take mah money!

  • Pete M

    Love the red sneaks.

  • Erik B

    It does, for sure.

  • guest

    I’m sorry but this nonsense is getting on my nerves:

    A “pre-PDW” submachine gun, in its classic shape and pistol calibre (PPSH, MP, Tommy gun, Sten etc) is NOT a PDW!
    An AK-74U is a compact assault rifle and NOT a submachine gun, nor a PDW!
    This weapon, being the exact same thing as an AK-74U is, is NOT a PDW!

  • Kivaari

    I like it. A modern day Welrod in a better caliber.

  • valorius

    I like it.