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.

10 Years Of The Colt 6940

It’s hard to believe to me now but its been ten years since the Colt 6940 came out officially for sell. It was a pretty big deal at the time because it had been a long time since Colt had come out with a new variant of the AR15. The monolithic rail and flip up front site were something colt teased for years before it got in peoples hands.

You can see the gun above has a lot in common with the final version of the 6940. The gun pictured was submitted to the military for a possible future adoption. The early versions had a much inferior sling mounting system for the rail. You can see the stud on the side of the rail at the 3 o’clock position.

Various versions of this gun was shown at SHOT shows over the next years and scuttlebutt always claimed it would be out “later this year.” That was optimistic to put it mildly.

One of the models shown along side of those was the Colt “M5” pictured below. We never saw that. Thanks God for small favors.

Around 07, word was let out that the Colt “LE1020” was about to come out. It was so sure that some distributors and dealers started taking pre-orders. The 1020 was essentially the early version of the Colt 6940Piston. It seems at the last minute it was cancelled and refunds issued. The reasons and story will have to wait for another day.

One of the curious things of the history is this tantalizing model that many wish would be brought out even to this day. The Colt 6945 it was called at the time. Though it never came out and the colt model number was resused for another model, the 10.3 inch barreled 6940.

I am sure most of you reading this will immediately see this and wonder why it was not sold. No idea. It can be ordered this way if you are a LE org or the military, but so far that’s it. You can see the older style sling stud. As I said, the 6945 name went to another gun. Which Howard, lucky bastard that he is, owns an example of. Pictured below in all its glory.

Of course it is not the only SBR 6940 based gun. There is a 11.5 inch barrel and a 15.5 inch barrel. Also there was this little gem. The Colt SCW with a side folding stock.

In 2009 the LE6940 we now know came out and of course I got one nearly immediately. I was not let down. Since then I have been a 100 percent convert on the Colt monolithic upper. I think it is a major improvement to the gun and its accuracy is outstanding.

The 6940 in its stock form with match quality ammo and an optic makes an amazing and handy small precision rifle. I used this combo to shoot crows all summer out to 300 yards. There is just something immensely fun about shooting a carbine with a high magnification precision optic.

Over the next few years I used the 6940 constantly.

A few years later the 6940P finally came out after years of waiting. Below are the DI and Piston uppers compared. It is a very nifty design. The P comes with a SOCOM profile barrel and H2 buffer along with the piston operating system.

A full look and review of the 6940Piston can be found here on the site already so I won’t cover that again.

Since then a few other versions have come out. Noticeably the 7.62×39 variants for other countries who prefer to use an inferior service round.

You may have noticed the top picture shows a version that takes an AK magazine. That has been a foreign military sold model only at this point and it’s likely to stay that way.

Most significant to the spin off monolithic upper series is of course the 308/7.62NATO carbine 901.

Now after all this time. How does the regular old DI gun shoot? Still great. The free floated barrel and the unique system that attaches the barrel is incredibly accurate for a gun with a milspec barrel. Not to say they aren’t already more accurate than most people realize, but the free float monolithic upper brings it all out with match ammo. I placed 10X optic on my 6940 and shot some groups with it at 100 yards to show a general idea of just what they are capable of .

The carbine was shot from the bench off of bags. The leupold 10X was used and the SSA match trigger were able to make shooting a breeze. Really there is not much difference in accuracy between this and my MK12.

a selection of handloads and the more high end factory ammo



“flyer” is zeroing shot not part of group


The Colt 6940 is a real classic in my opinion and I have turned a lot of people on to them. No one I know has regretted buying these excellent carbine once they get them in their hands. It is a great gun now 10 years old and going and I highly recommend them.

I don’t get the appeal of .300 Blackout

Long ago I was at the range and one of the regulars was talking about how he had loaded some .300 Whisper rounds and that they were so super quiet. Everyone was so excited to hear them, that it was suppose to be like shooting a silenced rifle. I was working as a range officer at the time so we arranged for the line to be called hot just for this guy so we could hear him shoot.

A shot was fired. I was so very disappointed because it sounded like any other gunshot.

.300 Whisper was changed slightly, and became the .300 AAC Blackout. Robert Silvers did some brilliant marketing and made it popular.

I have heard and read some really outlandish claims about the .300 BLK. Had someone tell me it makes .308 obsolete. I’ve seen many claims online that a suppressed subsonic .300 is hollywood quiet. I’ve even seen more than one person proclaim that the U.S. Military needs to replace all the rifles, carbines, machine guns, and sniper rifles with .300 Blackout. Claims like that made me even more skeptical about the round.

A more realistic comparison is 7.62×39 Russian or .30-30 Winchester. Both are good rounds, but I don’t see anyone clamoring for the U.S. Military to switch to either of them. .300 BLK does have the advantage of using a wider variety of bullet weights than either of those two other cartridges.

For someone plinking unsuppressed, 7.62×39 is far more available and cheaper. .30-30 has more than proven it self over the years.

It seems to me the best strength of the .300 Blackout is out of short barrels. You can have a subgun sized weapon with better performance than a pistol caliber.

An overlooked plus of the .30 cal bore for special operations would be that the barrel would drain quickly when exiting water. Unlike the issues with capillary action keeping water in a 5.56 bore.
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/202468.pdf

Subsonic .300 BLK provides muzzle energy similar to a .45 ACP. Subsonic .300 BLK is more like a pistol cartridge than a rifle round. But it retains the greater flash and blast of a rifle. With the really short barrels and super sonic ammo, you are talking similar performance to an M1 Carbine firing .30 carbine.

I often see the comment of a short barreled AR15 in .300 BLK as a replacement for the MP5. That makes sense as the MP5 is old, large, heavy, has a worse manual of arms. But if you are looking for the smallest package, a SMG with the mag in the grip would be even smaller than an AR15 style weapon.

I don’t really see the appeal. Certainly not a bad round, but what is the real niche of it?

Scuttlebutt: Out of spec Larue 308 magwells

I heard an interesting rumor. The claim was that the .308 Larue rifles have feeding issues with PMags due to out of spec magwells and that is why you need to use the Larue mags.

I talked to Shawn about this, asking if the issues he saw with several Larue rifles might have been caused by that. The issue Shawn saw was failures to extract, and they were using the Larue mags, so I don’t think that is related.

But weirdly enough, when I had a Larue Ultimate Upper on a Larue lower, I did have some odd feeding issues. I thought maybe the gun needed a break in.

Later, when I ran the Larue upper on the Knights Armament Lower, I had no functioning issues.

So I can’t say if this is true or not, but I think it is worth sharing.

Poll 2: 308 vs 5.56 – Winner 5.56

Lets see what you have to say about this.

One time when I sold an M1A I had, I was chatting with the buyer. He listed a few examples of why he felt 308 was the superior choice to 5.56. I countered that each example was a better argument for 5.56.

Anyways, if you had to pick one, which would you pick? Poll is on the right ->


I’m sort of surprised 5.56 won. I figured more people would say if they could only have one, they would pick 308.

When I first started working at a public range, I was surprised with how many people I talked too that hunted deer and hogs with .223. Never any complaints there. 5.56 is capable of far more than people tend to think.