If you’ve followed me for any substantial amount of time you know I like my Swiss firearms, particularly Brügger & Thomet (B&T Swiss). Recently the US Army choose the B&T APC9 as it’s Subcompact Weapon System. Karl Brügger of B&T is a true innovator. As far back as the late 1980s Karl was producing sound suppression devices that are now all the rage here on the US markets (truly as far back as the early 70s). This company and the men behind it are no joke, they produce serious weapons not gimmicks. I own a number of their suppressors and firearms including the APC9, KH9 and one of my favorites the USW A1. The Universal Service Weapon (USW) is a hip-holstered 9mm handgun equipped with a folding shoulder stock, Red Dot Sight (RDS) and Weapon Mounted Light (WML). The USW is classified as a short-barreled rifle and one of the most innovative, versatile platforms on the market today.
Somehow, each time I post featuring the B&T USW A1 I end up with a litany of commenting Nay-Sayers and those screaming of Gimmicky Gadgets. They clearly have not done their homework although I can appreciate that this platform appears out of the norm. The strange “rear-end” of the USW serves a few purposes; The first being the structural foundation for its rock-solid and ultra-lightweight folding stock. Additionally, the Aimpoint Nano is perched above the slide housing. The Nano RDS is currently a standard option and only available on the USW A1. This pistols heritage is linked directly to the Swiss Sphinx 9mm handgun. The USW is a Single Action (SA)/Double Action (DA) internal-hammer fired handgun coupled with a RDS, WML and folding stock that are all hip holster-able.
Most of the negative comments I get about the USWA1 cry “Gimmick!” or state that it needs to be a rifle round to be taken seriously. I simply disagree. Frankly, I think B&T may have better credentials than most when it comes to designing effective weapon platforms. The reality is that B&T is a Swiss Defense supplier specializing in the design and manufacture of firearms and other tactical components. This company does not make gimmicks, they got their start developing cutting-edge sound suppression systems and they manufacture very serious defensive tools for very serious people.
Now that I have my tax stamp back for the SBR I took the USW out to the range to see what it could do. I had already handled this weapon extensively as a handgun platform but never with both the suppressor and folding shoulder stock. My first impression of the USW a year ago was that this thing was extremely high-quality and smooth. I tend to like my weapons heavy with solid frames, much of why I like the USW. This isn’t a tiny platform especially by handgun standards. But, when compared to the B&T APC9 there is simply no comparison and keep in mind that the APC9 is hands down my favorite SMG/PCC platform. The USW feels comparatively like a paperweight to the APC9 (also my Z5P). The stick magazines hold the same ammo capacity as the APC9 and even with the suppressor attached this system contains nowhere near the bulk or heft of the larger SMG platform of the APC. When you consider the fact that you can holster the entire unsuppressed package on your hip it becomes pretty impressive, in my opinion. I carry a small pouch with 3 thirty-round stick magazines in addition to the B&T Impulse iia suppressor while I hip-holster the 9mm semi-auto handgun with WML, RDS and folding stock on my hip. Pretty darn cool if you ask me!
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