The B&T USW – Universal Service Weapon and Aimpoint Nano in detail (many pictures)

    From Switzerland to Las Vegas and back, B&T seem to have had an excellent SHOT Show with a booth flooded by visitors.

    The latest version of the USW was one of the attractions at SHOT, and it also made the cover of the Shot Show newspaper.

    Some of the information has been told before, some not, and some pictures have been shown before but some are brand new. For instance the USW vs. other pistols and their sizes at the bottom.

    They way B&T sees it, the USW is not just a new weapon but an entire new category of weapon that fills the gap between Pistol, Submachine Gun and Police Carbine.

    Please note they are not called Brugger & Thomet any longer, just B&T.

    The background is that the USW was designed for European and other Police agencies that do not normally carry or have access to a long arm or a carbine, but still require the capabilities to engage targets
    beyond normal handgun ranges.

    This may sound strange to Americans, but access “heavy firepower” is a bit controversial in some European countries, even for the Police. Remember that there are some Police Forces in Europe that remain unarmed, and also those who have to show “special needs” to have other firearms than a pistol with them.

    B&T’s target customers for this kind of firearm is “any plain clothes Law Enforcement
    or security personnel who do not have access to a long arm. This includes but is not limited to:

    – VIP protection/security detail
    – Intelligence services
    – Counter-Intelligence groups
    – Surveillance Teams
    – Security personnel who work in civilian clothing (common in Europe)

    The US civilian or concealed carry market is not a target market for B&T, but it’s not like the MP7 forbidden for sale (as I understand) as long as you can afford it.

    So if the price level (which I don’t know) may be seen as “Swiss” (very high), it may be seen differently when tax-Euros are being used to pay.

    Design-wise, the USW is made to enable the shooter to engage targets effectively out to about 75 meters (80 yards).

    In terms of accuracy, expect the USW to deliver 10 cm (4″) groups at 25 meters (30 yards), when using the Aimpoint Nano Red Dot and stock.

    The USW A1 comes with a DA/SA trigger, but there will be a new version in 2017 with striker trigger.

    Below: The bridge of the receiver which mounts the Aimpoint is fixed, so the Aimpoint Nano does not move and stays stationary during the cycling process. This is quite different from other pistols which typically have iron sights or the red dot mounted on the slide, so it moves as the gun cycles.


    Later in 2017 there will another version with a polymer grip and a striker type trigger.


    The USW is a Swiss designed, Swiss engineered, Swiss produced and patented service weapon that combines the size of a normal duty pistol but extends the range and accuracy to that of a 9 mm police carbine.
    The weapon is a system. It is delivered with a B&T designed Level 3 retention holster and the new, state of the art, Aimpoint NANO micro red dot sight, the newest and most modern sight produced by the well-known Swedish company.

    The kit also includes the B&T Advanced Pistol Light (APL), 3 magazines (17, 19, 30 rounds), a single point sling with sling loop, a cleaning kit and a polymer transportation box. The various types of attachments for the holster (belt/thigh/MOLLE) will provide safe and reliable portage of the weapon during all missions. The user does not require any further investment to put the weapon into service.



    When pressing the release button, the spring loaded stock pops up for fast deployment.



    Compared to most popular service pistols, the
    USW only extends them in size at the folding stock
    attachement point, which is negligible in use.

    The frame come with a Picatinny rail, so that any type of light or laser can be mounted.

    To facilitate the operation of the USW, the top slide has flared “ears” to help racking the slide.

    A great view of the Aimpoint Nano, which has been a bit shy to say the least.

    The folding stock is integrated into the polymer-alumnium hybrid receiver.

    Below: A sound suppressor is available, which uses the same technology as the well known B&T Impuls-II A suppressor.

    Compared to most popular service pistols, the USW only extends them in size at the folding stock attachement point, which is negligible in use.

    Magazines are available in a 17, 19 and 30 round version.

    A Level 3 holster for the USW with attached light is available.


    Here you can see the B&T USW compared to other handguns, these pictures are completely new (to me at least). Beretta for starters.

    USW vs. Glock 17 (with threaded barrel)

    Walther P99

    HK P30


    In the previous TFB article some people commented on the USW being similar to design to some other concepts. This is correct, and quite interesting so I’ve included pictures of these for you to compare.

    Below: VBR Belgium




    Colt SCAMP – (Small CAliber Machine Pistol) 


    I welcome new concepts and products, even if they take old discoveries and make the new. Previous concepts didn’t seem to have taken off, and the B&T USW might no fly either but the chances seem more likely this time.

    It will be interesting to see if other producers take on the same idea, or if we will see “add ons” similar to the USW and Aimpoint Nano concept for other brands as well?

    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.