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 a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6×6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.