Brugger & Thomet, a relatively unknown entity in the U.S. arms market has entered the marketplace with some heavy hitters. Brugger & Thomet is a Swiss arms maker, they are very much invested in the European market along with the popular names of FNH, Steyr, HK and Sako. In the U.S. Brugger & Thomet will utilize importer Armati to distribute their products, an already common name for Swiss firearms imports.
So what are Brugger & Thomet hitting our shores with (ATF technical branch)? Is it more European designed, overly engineered, expensive dream guns, or is it something we should pay attention to? My honest opinion is that we should always pay attention to what is coming out of Europe in terms of firearms design, R&D, and products as they are available. Why? The AR platform variations and the 1911 handgun - it's old in terms of design, and we're exhausting the options.
Brugger & Thomet enters the U.S. marketplace with the APC223 (Advanced Police Carbine) which will be available in 5.56x45 NATO. This carbine has features that indicate that it is influenced by the HK G36, and it looks similar to FNH's SCAR lineup. It features an aluminum receiver, ambi-controls, and what looks to be a modular design overall. Everything thus far indicates that Brugger & Thomet are serious players in terms of quality and design, so we're not running for the hills over some Kel-Tec comedy. If they plan to offer this with a 16 inch barrel, this will become a direct competitor with the SCAR 16. Gladly, it seems as if the APC223 will use AR/M4 style magazines, always a plus.
The MP9 has what some might view as a HK MP7 flavor to it, however chambered in 9mm. A lightweight PDW, this makes an entry to a section of the market that applies only to some, and with that, the Europeans have a market share and developmental advantage. The MP9 is joined by its larger 9mm partner, the APC9 which in itself is appealing with expanded magazines, 1913 rails systems, and more of a submachine gun vibe to it - almost UMP worthy. Either way, these two platforms will be prime for SBR conversions...rightfully so. The tactical arms market is always evolving, and with fresh blood there is new ideas and expectations.
The 'rumored' price points on the APC223 is at $3000.00 - putting it right in SCAR16 territory.
Stay tuned, we'll update on Brugger & Thomet / Armati as things progress.