U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Unicorn Gun: A firearm so rare, so hard to obtain, that it is compared to the mythical beast. The rare creature that is able to give you the thing that you always wanted, but thought that you could never have. I’m a huge fan of Brugger and Thomet; I have their regular APC9, and it is easily one of the best sub guns I have ever shot. That feeling is usually shared by just about anyone else who picks it up. When I was asked if I would like to review the integrally suppressed version, the APC9SD, my response was simple; “does a squirrel love nuts?” Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity, because it’s not every day that you get the opportunity to shoot a Swiss, integrally suppressed, 9mm sub-gun.
B&T APC9SD Sub Gun
The Swiss have long been known for their attention to detail, exquisite quality, and craftsmanship. All the Brugger and Thomet guns that I’ve had the opportunity to handle have exemplified those attributes. I can say that this APC9SD is finished to the same level of superior craftsmanship and attention to detail as my original APC9. It’s good to know as B&T gets a little more popular they are holding up to their very high level of quality.
The B&T APC9SD Sub Gun is pretty much an evolved, modern version of the HK MP5, and one of the most iconic variations of the MP5 is the MP5SD. This was a special version of the MP5 developed for special forces that has an integrated silencer element. This allowed the SD version of the MP5 to be roughly the same size as a normal sub machine gun yet function extremely quietly and most notably, do all of that with normal ammunition; no need to use specialized subsonic ammo. This is extremely interesting, because if you have played with suppressors much, especially 9mm, there’s a huge difference between the supersonic and subsonic 9mm ammo. The sound of the bullet crossing the barrier of the speed of sound is often much louder than the gun itself while using a suppressor. The fact that these SD models can take normal ammunition and keep it at subsonic levels is kind of a big deal. Especially for military applications because that means they can use the same 9mm ammo for everything; no need for specialized subsonic ammo.
B&T APC9 with Dead Air Wolf left, B&T APC9SD right
The Barrel of the B&T APC9SD is where all the magic happens. The barrel has small ports in the chamber that bleed off gasses into a suppressor that completely engulfs the entire barrel. These ports bleed off gasses, robbing the projectile of execration, thus making normal supersonic ammo subsonic. The engineering is just amazing when you really sit and think about it. The suppressor itself is pretty large at 11 7/8 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. But do keep in mind, the entire 5 inch barrel sits inside it. The whole system sounds amazing, and actually better than we could get the regular APC9 to sound with any suppressor we had on hand. The only catch is, because of the design of the barrel, you can not shoot the SD version without the suppressor attached. Even though it screws on and off, this is a truly integrated system.
Barrel porting on the APC9SD Sub Gun
A look at the B&T APC9SD with the suppressor removed.
Basically, from the chamber back, this is a normal APC9, which I would say is one of the most ergonomic sub guns ever devised. With full ambidextrous controls, on both sides of the gun, you’ll have a magazine release, bolt release, and safety. Also, all of these controls work well from either side of the gun, no sacrifices in function. You’ll also find a bolt hold open on the bottom just forward of the trigger guard. I really like the placement of everything, and being able to hit the bolt release with your trigger finger is a really nice feature. The trigger is phenomenal as well, easily one of the best right out of the box sub gun triggers. This APC9SD is pulling at right about four and a half pounds, is silky smooth, and actually has a nice reset too. The charging handle is reversible so you can run it on either side of the weapon. I prefer mine on the left of the gun, so I can charge the weapon with my left hand while maintaining my sight picture. In fact, this is my definition of superior ergonomics; I can easily run the entire gun, drop the mag, release the bolt, charge the weapon, activate the safety, all without losing strong hand grip or sight picture.
close up of the controls on the APC9SD
Another unique feature to the B&T APC series is the recoil dampening system. In the back of the receiver, there is a buffer on a spring and the sole purpose of this is to catch the bolt, and lower the felt recoil. You may think that 9mm doesn’t recoil that much, and you would be correct, but if feels like you’re shooting 22lr when you shoot it through an APC9.
The recoil buffer of the B&T APC9SD Sub Gun.
Exploded view of the APC9SD
All these bells and whistles don’t really matter unless the gun shoots well, but have no fear, the APC9SD shoots amazingly well. Even though it may in appearance be a little large, it’s really not any bigger than the normal APC9 with a suppressor on it. The APC9SD may also appear to look a little front heavy, but it actually balances very nicely and isn’t heavy at all. A normal APC9 weighs in at just under 6 pounds, while the SD model weighs in at about 6.8 pounds. That’s really not a huge weight gain given the size of the suppressor along with the longer hand guard that wraps around the suppressor. As I have mentioned, the APC9SD balances amazingly well, and really shines when firing; the little bit of extra weight in the front, coupled with the internal recoil dampening system, makes this one of the softest shooting guns I’ve ever shot. With recoil being non-existent, keeping the gun astonishingly flat, you can also move from target to target very quickly. The gun was so flat in firing that it quickly became a little game with everyone shooting it; how quickly can you dump a mag and keep all the shots on target. I’m not sure anyone got it perfect, but you get the idea. It has no recoil whatsoever, is really flat shooting, and a ton of fun to shoot.
B&T APC9SD Sub Gun on some logs…
I know that the B&T APC9SD may not be everyone’s cup of tea, with the retail price going north of $3,000.00 with the suppressor. It’s not for the masses, but it is an exceptionally well-crafted firearm, with a somewhat unique suppression system that works phenomenally well. I think it goes without saying, if you ever get the chance to shoot one of these, I highly recommend you seize it.
B&T APC9SD Sub Gun
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