Comments on the Army SMG competition.

We had someone here comment on how wrong it was that the Army adopted a foreign weapon for the new SMG contract. So I felt like looking into some of the other submissions.


As far as I can tell, the first list was narrowed down to thirteen options. I got this list from ArmadaInternational.com, the article was written by S.W. Miller. It lists guns I did not see on other sources.

  • Z-5RS, Z-5P and Z-5K Sub Compact Weapons; Zenith Firearms
  • B&T MP9 Machine Guns; Trident Rifles
  • MPX Sub Compact Weapon; Sig Sauer
  • 5.5 CLT and 5.5 QV5 Sub Compact Weapon; Quarter Circle 10
  • PTR 9CS Sub Compact Weapon; PTR Industries
  • MARS-L9 Compact Suppressed Weapon; Lewis Machine & Tool Company
  • CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1 Submachine gun; CZ-USA
  • CMMG Ultra PDW; CMMG
  • Beretta PMX Sub Compact Weapon; USA Corporation
  • Heckler and Koch Defense Inc for HK UMP9 Sub
  • Angstadt Arms Corporation for Angstadt UDP-9 Sub
  • Noveske Corporation for Noveske Sub Compact
  • CM9MM-9H-M5A; Colt’s Manufacturing Company

As I said, this list is different from others I have seen, but lets go through it anyways.

Zenith and PTR submitted guns based on the MP5
Zenith, which sources from MKE (Turkey).
If I understand correctly, PTR is all American production now.

The Quarter Circle 10, LMT, Angstadt, CMMG are AR15 based.
I haven’t found photos, but presumable the Colt and LMT offerings were also.
The Sig MPX is based of the AR15, but they have switched to a piston system.

Trident submitted the B&T MP9, a Steyr design being built by B&T.
Beretta’s PMX is a design that bought from B&T.
And the winner of the competition was the B&T APC9K PRO.

It appears that most of these guns are simple blow back design. The MP5s, the CMMG, Sig offerings are not.

After this first list, that offer was pulled, and the nub submission was:

  • Angstadt
  • B&T
  • Global Ordnance
  • Shield Arms
  • Sig
  • Trident Rifles

B&T and Trident both submitted B&T firearms. I believe that Angstadt and Shield both submitted blow back operated ARs that use Glock mags. Global Ordnance may have submitted the blow back operated Stribog.

From everything I read and saw during the first announcements I was sure the competition was being written for the Sig MPX. Since it has the same manual of arms, some parts compatibility with the AR, I expected it to be a sure win.

The majority of the original submissions were not made in the US or American companies. And almost all of the American submission were AR based. There really hasn’t been much innovation by way of pistol caliber long arms in the US. CMMG came up with a delayed blow back system for the AR, but I read that makes hollow points and various bullet designs unreliable.

B&T really must have done something right. In the recent past, they designed the P26, which was purchased by Beretta and renamed the PMX for use by the Italians. They made a double action/single action SMG called the KH9 that could use B&T or Suomi mags (like the 50 round coffin mag). They produced a model that could take the Suomi drum. This weird gun had a 22 pound first trigger pull, then a 2 pound trigger pull after that. WTF? They are making the MP9 and the USW machine pistols. Along with a lower cost SMG the GHM9. Their high end series, the APC, is available in 9mm, 45ACP, 5.56, .300AAC, and 308. They might have made more unique new designs than anyone else in the past couple of decades.

Anyways, I am curious what the official designation of this new Army SMG. It would be funny for it to be called the M4 Submachinegun. But I bet the Army is going to give it a rather high number.

3 thoughts on “Comments on the Army SMG competition.”

  1. no major purchase or new combat weapon system:

    “The Army has issued a $2.5 million contract for 350 Brugger & Thomet APC9K submachine guns, with an option for 1,000 more.

    The service has been looking for a “sub compact gun” with which to furnish members of its personal security detail.

    …for security forces responsible for protecting top military leaders downrange.”

    https://www.businessinsider.com/the-army-has-picked-a-new-submachine-gun-to-defend-vips-2019-4

    buffered blowback with an ar15 trigger group, available as civilian semi since 2013.

    hk mp7 might be more effective against body armour etc, methinks.

    • I gotta disagree with your first statement. This is a good bit larger order than the military contracts many other gun companies gloat about.
      If this isn’t a major purchase then I guess the Secret Service orders from KAC are not a major purchase. Or those LMT contracts from down under are not a major purchase. There are Marine Corps weapon systems where less units have been purchased for the entire USMC. Etc.
      Don’t forget, while the APC9 has been for sale, the APC9K Pro is a little different from what has been on the market.
      Also don’t forget there is armor piercing 9mm ammunition.

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