U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)– Brugger and Thomet sound like a European industrial company that produces concrete or steel. However, gun nuts like you and I know that B&T is a Swiss firearms firm that produces some of the highest-end rifles, handguns, and subguns on the market. They’re a lot like HK, except unlike HK, B&T will actually produce and release civilian variants of their firearms. Today we are looking at the APC9K pistol.
Pistol is a legal way to describe this really big gun. It’s based on a submachine gun, but since it lacks a stock, it’s technically a pistol. I call these big fellas subguns since they don’t fit any traditional definition. The APC9K is famous for being the first submachine gun adopted by the US Army since the M3 grease gun.
It went through a very long and very drawn-out contest against lots of big dogs in the submachine gun world. The APC9K won the contract, and now it’s won my heart.
Breaking Down the B&T APC9 Pistol
B&T designed the APC9K from the ground up, and it’s not based on any older design. The APC9K is a blowback operated, 9mm weapon. Blowback operation is far from fancy and doesn’t inspire much for control.
Blowback operation typically grants a lot of recoil, more than even a 5.56 caliber rifle. Calling this just a blowback weapon doesn’t tell the whole story. B&T built in a dedicated buffer to reduce recoil and the impact a 9mm subgun leaves on your shoulder.
The APC9K features a monolithic upper receiver with plenty of room for optics. Heck, you can get a red dot, night vision monocle, 12 o clock light, and more on the gun. The barrel’s threaded, and the very small ‘handguard’ features a few M-LOK slots for rails.
The upper receiver is also the serialized portion of the gun, and shooters can swap lowers. B&T famously produces a Glock and SIG P320 lower that allows for different magazine compatibility. The industry being what it is produces a wide variety of brace options, and I have a PDW type brace on mine that minimizes size. However, weight-wise the gun tips the scales at 6.7 pounds.
The 4.3-inch barrel is about the same length as a compact pistol, but the overall length with the brace zeroed out is a little longer than 13 inches. B&T Makes the magazines from polymer, and they are transparent 30 round magazines.
Swiss Cheese and Ergonomics
B&T took the APC9K and made it friendly for all types as long as that type is left or right-handed, of course. B&T gives shooters one of the most ergonomic platforms on the market with fully ambidextrous controls. The charging handles fold out of the way and sit tight when not in use. The ambi safety, magazine release, and bolt release provide shooters sweet ergos.
Not only are they ambidextrous, but they are well made and easy to reach and utilize. You can manipulate the controls without issue, and your hand seems to naturally find them when needed. The magazine well is huge and makes reloads speedy and simple. The mags drop free, and you can toss a second in without much thought behind it.
At the Range
I love shooting these little subguns. They are a mini handful, and I have a lover of SMGs that traces back to Die Hard. Of all the many subguns I’ve handled, the APC9K might be my very favorite. It’s insanely well made, and the quality shows through. The APC9 K’s trigger provides a short, crisp pull that’s relatively lightweight with a short but positive reset.
The APC9K makes it easy to blast through round after round in quick succession with reasonable accuracy. You can drop multiple rounds into a single target in just a few seconds. Double and triple taps feel natural and nearly recoil-free. The buffer built into the gun does wonder for reducing recoil and making the weapon crazy easy to control.
At 25 to 50 yards delivering rapid-fire, accurate shots on target were delightfully easy. You need nothing more than a red dot to deliver that kind of pain. For home defense, you can spew plenty of lead without breaking your stride. That little red dot barely moves between shots and jumps and bucks very little.
Reliability isn’t an issue either. The gun doesn’t care what quality of ammo it eats. Putting steel-cased Winchester forged is like putting corn alcohol in a Corvette, but here we are. The APC9K just doesn’t care.
I ran the gun with a suppressor for a short period of time, and the gun didn’t mind either. It ate through lead, didn’t spit gas in my face, and delivered me a comfy, quiet experience. It’s a short gun that’s a natural suppressor host.
In a world of short and effective rifles, what’s the point of the APC9K? Well, it’s shorter than any carbine can ever be. Even a short AR 15 is still a fair bit longer than the APC9K. Additionally, the 9mm works fine from the short barrel and is a heckuva lot cheaper than 300 Blackout. For a suppressed weapon, it’s ultra-short, reliable, and more capable than any handgun.
Plus, it’s just fun. It’s accurate, easy to shoot, and extremely well made. Plus reliable. The biggest downside is the price point. Swiss gun makers charge a premium, and the APC9K costs around 2,500 dollars.
Not the cheapest sub gun, but it’s extremely well made and doesn’t hold anything back. Is it worth it? Well, that’s up for you to decide. What do you say? Is the Swiss-made US Army-approved APC9K for you?
About Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner, a lifelong firearms enthusiast, and now a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is the world’s Okayest firearm’s instructor.