Sino Defense Manufacturing SMG9 Test From Pierangelo Tendas

Nathaniel F
by Nathaniel F

Sino Defense Manufacturing has announced a new 9mm police submachine gun, which is similar in concept to the venerable HK MP5 which has seen extensive use in direct action and SWAT teams worldwide. Pierangelo Tendas of All4Shooters reports:

The production-grade variant of the CS/LS5 sub-machine gun was first introduced at the 2012 edition of the CIPATE – the “China (Beijing) International Exhibition and Symposium on Police Equipment and Anti Terrorism Technology and Equipment” held yearly in the capitol of the People’s Republic of China.

Its early prototype had been already showcased at the 2009 edition of the same exhibition as an attempt to create a “Sub-machine gun for Police” that would constitute a counterpart to the well known Heckler & Koch MP5 for the Chinese military and law enforcement community as well as to those Countries – mostly in Africa and in south-east Asia – that purchase the bulk of their armaments from the Chinese arms industry.
The CS/LS5 is manufactured by Chongqing Jianshe Industry Co., Ltd., a private-owned company whose military-oriented products are distributed globally by the State-owned Norinco group; however, a semiautomatic, sporting-oriented variant of the CS/LS5 sub-machine gun, dubbed the SMG9, is also manufactured in China by the SDM – Sino Defense Manufacturing brand and imported exclusively in Europe by the Italy based Prima Armi S.r.l. company.

The Sino Defense Manufacturing SMG9 is a civilian-grade semiautomatic version of the 9x19mm caliber CS/LS5 sub-machine gun

The SMG9 can be described in many ways – as a “mini-Rifle”, to use the IPSC terms; as a “short-barrel rifle”, as it would be considered under the American laws; as a semiautomatic small-sized carbine; or as a pistol, as it would be classified by many European laws due to its barrel length vs. overall length. It is manufactured originally in a classic 9mm Luger chambering (a.k.a. 9x19mm “Parabellum”), but a rechambered 9x21mm IMI variant will be distributed in Italy, where the use of 9mm Luger ammunition is forbidden on civilian-grade handguns.
Full-scale distribution of the SMG9 is stated to start sometimes in early 2016 in Italy, with other European Countries coming shortly afterwards, but a handful of samples have already been imported by the Prima Armi company for testing and proofing – some of which have been later sold to some lucky collectors. As of today, Italy is the world’s only Country where the SDM SMG9 short-barrel rifle is available, and has been able to secure a test sample for a global premiere!

I highly recommend our readers click through and read the whole thing, as Pierangelo’s article contains far, far more information than what I have reproduced here.

Closed-bolt 9mm submachine guns are making a modest resurgence as law enforcement offices seek less expensive weapons to meet their needs in a time of shrinking budgets. The 9mm Luger is a good caliber to meet this need, as it offers inexpensive practice ammunition, as well as available subsonic and JHP ammunition. The SMG9 is the export variant of the CS/LS-5 9mm SMG, which has the unique capability to fire nonlethal rubber 9mm rounds in addition to regular lethal 9mm ammunition.

The SMG9 appears to use a straight blowback mechanism, but it also features a gas system, the purpose of which is apparently to add power for the nonlethal ammunition.

Nathaniel F
Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at

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  • Noob Noob on Sep 23, 2015

    The lockless blowback breech and ancillary gas system is interesting and sounds very reliable. What kind of ejector does it have? fixed or plunger?

    I'd really love to see this in 16" bbl semi auto. Maybe taking common pistol magazines like glock mags and/or m&p mags if possible.

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    • Noob Noob on Sep 24, 2015

      @Pierangelo Tendas Much appreciated :) thank you for your dedication in the search for knowledge! hope that the test is safe and informative.

  • Pierangelo Tendas Pierangelo Tendas on Sep 23, 2015

    Flattered by the attention. As a side note: I own the gun, so if you will, I'm capable to provide further information.

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    • Pierangelo Tendas Pierangelo Tendas on Sep 25, 2015

      @Gatman My bad. It happens when posting by night and neglecting sleep.

      The selector works as in the picture.