BREAKING: US Army Selects B&T as New Sub Compact Weapon

Matthew Moss
by Matthew Moss
Right side of B&T’s APC9-K (B&T)

It’s just under a year since the US Army announced its search for a new submachine gun with the Sub Compact Weapon programme. Today, it has been announced that the submission from B&T USA, the US arm of the Swiss small arms specialists B&T AG, has been selected by the US Army. Beating stiff competition from five other companies, a variant of the B&T APC9 K has been adopted with an initial order for 350 guns confirmed. While the news may have dropped on 1 April, it is certainly not an April Fools joke.

A Production-Other Transaction Agreement (P-OTA) worth $2,575,811.76 has been awarded for the 350 guns with the option of up to 1,000 more along with slings, manuals, accessories and spare parts. TFB have closely followed the Sub Compact Weapon, looking at the various guns the army considered during the course of the programme. The requirement for a new Sub Compact Weapon arose from the specialised role of Personal Security Details to protect High Risk Personnel such as high ranking dignitaries and senior officers in the field.

Here are some photos of the semi-automatic variant of the APC9-K, the SCW variant, however, will be select fire:

B&T's APC9-K (B&T)
Right side of the B&T APC9-K with stock collapsed (B&T)

Back in September the Army awarded six companies contracts to provide weapons for testing and evaluation, these included, Global Ordnance, Angstadt Arms, Shield Arms, SIG Sauer, Trident Rifles and B&T. These successful vendors were contracted to supply the Army with 10 guns for testing. B&T were awarded a contract for testing and evaluation prototypes at a cost of $27,364.81, which was one of the more cost effective entries.

B&T USA confirmed their selection but noted that they are currently unable to comment beyond what information the Army has already released. Given the Army’s criteria for a weapon with a telescoping stock and a barrel no longer than 5.5 inches – B&T’s APC9 K is almost certainly the gun that won.

Left side of B&T's APC9-K (B&T)

The APC9 K has an 4.3 inch barrel, an overall length of 13.6 inches and a collapsing stock. It weighs just over 2.6kg, has full ambidextrous controls, a full length top rail and a non-reciprocating charging handle. 15, 20, 25 and 30 round translucent Polymer magazines are available.

The Army previously stated that the contract fulfilment period requires the first order of weapons to be delivered in a 5 to 7 month period following the award of the contract. You can find out more about the APC9 K here.

Matthew Moss
Matthew Moss

Managing Editor: & Overt Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. Matt is also runs The Armourer's Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms. Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news. Reach Matt at:

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  • Paul Hacker Paul Hacker on Apr 04, 2019

    Subguns are short range weapons. Now WHY put the sights high and barrel low on a weapon made for short range??

    See, like the AR, that makes the POI vary greatly as the range increases or decreases. Precision head shots become iffy due to the gun shooting low or high.

    Any shoulder fired pistol cartridge weapon needs, like the M1 Carbine, to have sights near the bore. And I hear the price won't be cheep....

  • Mark Belk Mark Belk on Apr 06, 2019

    The H&K MP-5 can't be beat. People are going to shoot their fingers off with this new weapon.