Swiss firearms manufacturer B&T has quietly released the USWA1 Compact, a slimmed down version of the ‘recently released to the U.S.’ pistol that features a folding stock and a compatible holster. Designed for European law enforcement to combat terrorism in “dynamic” environments, the USW platform gives officers and agents some of the capabilities of a personal defense weapon (PDW) without the added bulk and visibility that comes with carrying a slung rifle.
Over the past six months we have discussed a variety of B&T product releases (what can I say, I’m a fan). However, I have probably failed in accurately relaying the design, functions and intended uses of some of their more unique offerings. Without the proper context for example, a window-shopper’s look at the USWA1 might give the impression of a Glock with a shoulder stock or a type of Roni chassis for a pistol.
Making those cognitive leaps ignores the intended purpose of why B&T built the USW platform from the start. It is their belief that handguns that are incapable of hosting a stock are weapons of the past, especially for law enforcement purposes.
B&T leadership built the USW pistol for one specific purpose – to give the average, everyday law enforcement officer the ability to deploy a stabilizing stock to become a force multiplier. Sure, specialized teams that train regularly can make amazing yet repeatable shots with pistols. But for the standard officer, making a well-placed 200 yard shot is dramatically increased by the use of a shoulder stock. Testing in Switzerland has shown that accurate hits can be made with the USWA1 at distances normally reserved for rifles or pistol caliber carbines.
And, in an attempt to fully integrate the USW among the ranks at law enforcement agencies world wide, the pistol was designed to be carried and holstered just like in traditional fashion, stock and all. And from my point of view, there is nothing like it on the market. B&T has a number of plans and ideas for the USW platform, some of which I know will be exciting for the American consumer.
Yes, the USW frame shares some similarities with Sphinx pistols – and for good reason. Rather than design and build a new gun with the required support structure needed for the over-the-slide optics mount, B&T purchased the tooling and rights to build Sphinx-esque frames on their own. Whereas the slide from a Sphinx pistol may fit on a USW frame, that is where the similarities end.
As for the USWA1 compact, initial specifications can be found below – but be aware, they are subject to change.
I have been in contact with B&T USA leadership in an effort to bring our readers more detailed and accurate information on future releases. I also expressed a need for better web presence so that potential customers have reference resources and technical information. Believe me when I say they are working hard to relay the details to U.S. buyers. Stay tuned.
The USW-A1 Compact is the perfect choice for all those who carry their weapon concealed (protection teams, Air Marshals, undercover cops, intelligence, etc.)
- Calibre: 9 x 19 mm
- System: Browning system
- Operation: Semi automatic
- Length min./max.: 257 mm / 473 mm
- Width: 44 mm with closed stock
- Height: 170 mm
- Barrel Length: 79 mm
- Weight: 1020 g
- Stock Pull: 368 mm
- Primary Sighting System: Aimpoint NANO
- Suppressor connector: N/A
- NAR Rails: 1
- Magazines: 13, 15 and 26 rounds
- Handling: Shoulder stock
- Also included: Ambidextrous Foldable B&T APL Advanced Pistol Light, one each 13, 15 and 26 round magazine, duty holster, cleaning kit, sling, manual, case.
- B&T magazine for USW 13 Compact rounds, cal. 9 x 19 mm
- B&T magazine for USW Compact 15 rounds, cal. 9 x 19 mm
- B&T magazine for USW Compact 26 (13+13) rounds, cal. 9 x 19 mm
Thanks to my IG friend ‘guns_in_switzerland‘ for bringing the USA1 Compact to my attention. (His pictures are below).