The Austrian-based Glock Ges.m.b.H isn’t the only relative newcomer in the world of firearms manufacturing in Central Europe. Founded just thirty years ago as Brügger & Thomet AG, and now known just as B&T AG, the company entered the market specializing in the design and manufacture of firearms and tactical components. In that time the company has made quite a mark, and while not as well-known as Glock—with a “shout out” in a movie it could get there.
For a small company that originally entered the market to produce suppressors for the domestic Swiss market, the company has made some major inroads in the world of firearms. Yet, it still consists of just roughly seventy employees and reportedly has just seventeen CNC workstations along with around a dozen more for prototyping work. Given these numbers, the company remains more of a niche or boutique player than a firearms giant.
But it is also proof you don’t have to be a giant to make a huge impact in the world of firearms design. In March 2019, the company was awarded a contract from the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to produce a weapon for U.S. Army’s Sub Compact Weapon Production—Other Transaction Agreement (P-OTA). The $2.6 mill contract was for the APC9K submachine gun.
While sport shooters can’t get their hands on that one, among B&T AG’s signature products for the consumer market is its GHM9 pistol line, which has been noted for its modularity and compact size. To the uninformed, the 9x19mm pistol resembles a compact submachine gun—but the commercially available semi-automatic version lacks the fixed stock and according to the ATF’s definition that officially makes it a “pistol.”
The pistol features a straight blowback operation with hydraulic buffer, and fires from a closed bolt. It can be catered to both left- and right-handed shooters. The Swiss-manufactured handgun has a barrel with a length of 6.9 inches and has a muzzle velocity of approximately 1,300 feet per second. The gun is outfield with a dual stack thirty round box magazine, while ten, fifteen, twenty, and twenty-five magazines, including those made of translucent Polymer, are also available. The GHM9 pistol also offers Trijicon RM01 illumination for optics and is fitted with a four-position folding brace—still not technically a stock—which again makes this a pistol and not a short-barreled rifle (or requires the associated ATF paperwork for a SBR).
There is a Picatinny rail on the top and bottom that will allow integration of shooter-friendly accessories including illumination and scopes, while Magpul’s M-Lok-style slots are provided on the left and right side of the pistol body. A ventilated handguard is also present to protect the barrel as well as the shooter’s support hand.
With its refined design and Swiss engineering the GHM9 could be the gun that puts B&T AG on the map. This could be the gun and company to watch.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military
Image: B&T AG.