Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the YHM R9 suppressor. Last week we got our first look at the SIG Sauer SLH300TI and SLH762 QD rifle suppressors. We’ll get back to the 5.56 full auto testing next week. Today we get a look a one of my grail gun, grail suppressor combinations that I have waited for many years to arrive. The B&T USA STATION SIX pistol, the modern Welrod, and the evolution of the VP9 Veterinary Pistol, is a bolt action, magazine-fed 9mm handgun that is outfitted with a wiped silencer or an optional training suppressor with traditional baffles.
On its surface, the STATION SIX is a simple, bolt operated pistol and suppressor. However, with its roots in WWII covert operations and being the only true locked bolt 9mm pistol, you can see the reasons that this Swiss-engineered firearm is highly sought after. I’m here to tell you that it is just as quiet as you hoped it would be. Should you own one? Let’s take a look.
STATION SIX / VP9 / Welrod @ TFB:
- [TFB GUNFEST] B&T VP-9 Reborn? The Amazing NEW B&T Station SIX
- [TFB GUNFEST] History, Stealthy And Sexy – B&T Station SIX
- SPB And Austria Arms Inspect The B&T VP9 – Bond Style
- Assassination Guns: Elimination By Extreme Prejudice (The Welrod & Welwand)
- B&T VP-9 Update: Importability (2014)
This week of TFB’s Behind The Gun Podcast: YHM:
A reminder to participate in the TFB Suppressor Survey:
SILENCER SATURDAY #216: The B&T USA STATION SIX Pistol And Suppressors
My obsession with suppressors, suppressed firearms, and suppressor hosts is well documented; quiet and unique silencer/host combinations have been my fetish for many years. So when I tell you that a modern Welrod has been at the the top of my wish list, that should give you a level of importance of the STATION SIX pistol.
The Welrod Pistol:
We’ve given a few history lessons on the Welrod over the years, so I won’t spend time rehashing old topics. The basics from Wikipedia:
The Welrod is a British bolt action, magazine fed, suppressed pistol devised during World War II by Major Hugh Reeves at the Inter-Services Research Bureau (later Station IX). Station IX, being based near Welwyn Garden City, gave the Welrod its unusual name, being derived from “Wel” from “Welwyn Garden City” (a prefix used by covert equipment designed by Station IX) and “rod”, gangland slang for gun, as a way to obscure its purpose.
Designed for use by irregular forces and resistance groups, the Welrod is an extremely quiet gun thanks to its integrated suppressor. Approximately 2,800 were made in wartime, and perhaps 14,000 in total when post-World War II examples are included.
Apparently Karl Brügger, the co-founder and owner of B&T, also longed for a modern version of this clandestine weapon and in 2014 released the VP9 for veterinarians to quietly dispatch wounded animals without spooking other animals or the neighbors. He could have easily chosen a new, utilitarian design for a firearm that would be meant for euthanasia. Thankfully, Brügger modeled the VP9 after the historic Welrod. The STATION SIX is modeled after the original Welrod MkI. The later MkIIA version was a one piece tube design with an completely integrated silencer.
The STATION SIX
While the VP9 incorporated many of the Welrod’s features, the requirement to conform with U.S. importation laws meant that some changes needed to be made. If you are missing the removable grip/magazine section, blame U.S. laws and regulations, not B&T USA. Even the owners manual has the VP9 magazine style. To me, it’s not that big of a deal.
Speaking of the STATION SIX magazine, some deductive reasoning has identified it as being a 9mm single stack full-size 1911 magazine from MEC-GAR. I am making the educated guess that any full-size 9mm 1911 magazine with a minimalist baseplate will work in the STATION SIX. The capacity is nine rounds and it sits just inside the grip of the base for easy removal.
Traveling up the grip, the SIX9 utilizes a standard push-button magazine release. The mag drops free easily whether it is loaded or unloaded.
The STATION SIX receiver is a single piece pipe-style design with a topside ejection port. The bolt and firing pin assembly are fitted in place from the rear of the receiver and held in place by a large flathead screw which is a neat relic of the Welrod’s flathead grip screws.
The grip safety is the needs to be engaged before the trigger will allow the striker to release on the firing pin. Likewise, the grip safety needs to be engaged before the the bolt is allowed to be drawn back to reset the firing mechanism and chamber a new round.
In a surprising twist, the STATION SIX trigger is actually decent. At first glance, most would write it off as a utilitarian power tool solution. But the straight back plunger pull is fairly short and smooth with a few minor pauses along the way. No one is expecting a match-grade solution in this pistol.
The sights are standard GLOCK style white ‘U’ rear with a white slot front. The rear sight is adjustable via a dovetail installation and the front is fixed with two small screws. Upgrades, if available, and replacements should be a simple task.
The muzzle end is unique in that the receiver runs all the way out to be flush with the barrel’s shoulder. However, there is an approximately 1/16” gap from the inner diameter of the receiver to the outer diameter of the barrel that runs equally around the circumference. This allows for the specially designed flange and o-ring on the SIX9 suppressor to fit tightly in between the receiver and the barrel.
Threaded in the popular 1/2 x 28 thread pitch, the STATION SIX should be able to handle other manufacturer’s silencers. I tried about 10 different pistol suppressors and concluded that the only one that really completes the B&T look is the B&T silencer. If you are going to make the leap into such a unique firearm, you should go all the way and pickup the dedicated suppressor(s) as well (the wiped silencer currently comes as part of the overall package).
Tracing its roots back to the covert, World War II-era Welrod pistol, and more modernized contract VP9, the all-new Station SIX-9 (Silenced Project caliber 9) harkens back to the famed Bride Hall weapons acquisition section, or SOE Station VI and later Station IV, where the original concept was conceived. This updated, integrally suppressed pistol features a new grip and updated magazines, yet maintains its non-descript appearance, whisper-quiet sound signature and unique rotating bolt operation. Available in 9mm and .45 Auto.
Details and Specifications:
- Designation: SIX
- Manufacturer: B&T AG, Switzerland
- Product ID:BT-SIX9 / BT-SIX45
- Users Manual: https://bt-usa.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/STATION-SIX.pdf
- Manufacturer’s Product Page: https://bt-usa.com/products/station-six-9/
- Caliber: 9x19mm / .45 ACP
- Magazine capacity:
5 Rounds(9 Rounds)
- Barrel length [mm]: 80 (3.14”)
- Overall length [mm]: 176 (6.92”)
- Overall width [mm]: 34 (1.33”)
- Overall height [mm]: 142 (5.6”)
- Weight [g]: 920 (32.5 oz)
- Sights: Pistol style fix sights, rear sight adjustable for windage
- Sight radius [mm]: 125mm (4.91”)
- MSRP: Unk.
- Retail purchase: $2,250 Tar Heel State Firearms
The SIX9 training suppressor is a sealed baffle system. Each baffle has a wave-style design with peaks and troughs that run parallel to the length of the tube. The overall design reminds me of the baffles in the KAC MK23 suppressor. The performance isn’t great; I’d estimate the decibel levels to be somewhere in the low 130’s. Basically hearing safe, but not super quiet. But it does give you the ability to practice without burning through wipes.
The SIX9 wiped suppressor is a completely different animal. With four rubber wipes, six spacers, and an end cap, the operators manual states there is a performance degradation after about 10 rounds. I was able to get through more than 20 rounds before the reports started to get louder.
This may be the quietest suppressed weapon I have ever shot. To say that it is “Hollywood Quiet” would be an understatement. It’s also fairly accurate for a wiped suppressor; I consistently hit an eight inch Caldwell steel silhouette from the 20 yard line.
Here’s what the last wipe looks like after 10 shots.
Opening the chamber to eject a spent round when using the wiped silencer creates a vacuum sucking sound indicating how well the SIX9 system seals up.
The STATION SIX pistol and suppressor is one of the most unique firearm systems currently available. In a market dominated by semiautomatic rifles and pistols, a magazine-fed bolt action pistol built for suppressor use is probably not going to tip the top of the sales charts. On the other hand, for those who enjoy firearms with historical significance, unique designs, and a dedicated purpose, the STATION SIX pistol deserves a hard look.
If you want the quietest 9mm pistol an host combination on the planet and you can accept some eccentric characteristics, the B&T SIX is for you.