"A US soldier fires a SMG in joint training with NATO forces a number of which, including the German Army, issue the SMG to their soldiers."

Since the final retirement of the submachine gun (SMG), cal. .45, M3A1 ‘Grease Gun’ in the mid-1990s, the United States military has been without this type of weapon.

Short and compact, the submachine gun (SMG) was intended as a personal defense weapon to be used by leaders, armoured vehicle crews and some support troops. Although chambered for a pistol round the SMG offered greater firepower, range and combat utility than the service pistol. In addition, models like the M3 were simple, reliable, relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain.

A US Army request for information (RfI) on behalf of the Project Manager Soldier Weapons programme sought proposals on a Sub Compact Weapon (SCW). Candidates must use the current 9x19mm ammunition, firing both semi- and full automatic and featuring a picatinny accessory rail.

Responses to the RfI were received by 18 May and by 18 June the Army indicated it intent to spend $428,480 in sole-source contracts to these thirteen US and international companies:

  • Z-5RS, Z-5P and Z-5K Sub Compact Weapons; Zenith Firearms
  • B&T MP9 Machine Guns; Trident Rifles
  • MPX Sub Compact Weapon; Sig Sauer
  • 5.5 CLT and 5.5 QV5 Sub Compact Weapon; Quarter Circle 10
  • PTR 9CS Sub Compact Weapon; PTR Industries
  • MARS-L9 Compact Suppressed Weapon; Lewis Machine & Tool Company
  • CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1 Submachine gun; CZ-USA
  • CMMG Ultra PDW; CMMG
  • Beretta PMX Sub Compact Weapon; USA Corporation
  • Heckler and Koch Defense Inc for HK UMP9 Sub
  • Angstadt Arms Corporation for Angstadt UDP-9 Sub
  • Noveske Corporation for Noveske Sub Compact
  • CM9MM-9H-M5A; Colt’s Manufacturing Company

by Stephen W. Miller