Brugger & Thomet is a firearms manufacturer based out of Thun, Switzerland and known more by its easier to pronounce initials, B&T. Those two letters have become synonymous with quality manufacturing and practical engineering solutions for firearms since 1991. The company initially manufactured suppressors which migrated to optics systems to support their suppressors. Where B&T really burst onto the firearms scene is when they launched several lines of Tactical Hand Rails (THR) and began to manufacture entire weapons such as the MP9, APC9 & APC45 carbines.
I was fortunate enough to talk to the representatives from B&T at SHOT Show 2016 and handle their APC line of carbines quite a bit. I was impressed by the features of the carbines and the light weight of them. Their staff at the show also struck me as extremely knowledgeable and polite. I was aware of B&T but had up to that point not handled any of their products in person. At the booth at the show I began to talk to the staff about their stock of stocks, and I began to ask about something that had become a sort of “Unicorn” among Heckler & Koch fans, the mythical B&T Side folding stock for the MP5 submachine gun. The B&T stock was extremely hard to find and by all accounts was the perfect MP5 stock.
Anyone who has spent time on the site knowns that my MP5 is clearly my favorite gun and I feed it religiously every time I go to the range. The one problem that plagues MP5 owners seems to be a general unhappiness about the stock. Yes the Hollywood and Seal Team 6 fans love the iconic image of the sliding wire stock and compact size of the MP5 with it attached. The problem is many of them scratch the guns up and can be a wobbly when fully extended. The alternative to that is the traditional fixed stock that is also available on the MP5. While it is a more stable choice and is far nicer to shoot in cold temperatures than the sliding stock it’s just plain and vanilla, overall just boring.
The staff at B&T when I cornered them about the two versions of side folding stocks they produced for the MP5 swore to me that production was going to keep up with demand and that they had meetings at the show with vendors to discuss new distributors for their products. I honestly thought this was all a public relations line until this earlier this year when I saw a message along with photos from renowned Heckler & Koch clone builder Dakota Tactical. It seemed that Dakota Tactical was going to be a stocking distributor and had the Unicorn in stock, the Brugger & Thomet model BT-20155 folding stock.
Manufacturer: Brugger & Thomet
Length: 9 3/4″ from Pin to End
Weight: 12.8 Oz
Materials: Polymer & Steel
Models Supported: H&K MP5, MP5SD, Zenith 5-RS, and all in spec POF Clones
Mounting: Standard H&K pins
Sling Mount Included: Yes
The model 21055 is the shorter of the two best selling stocks that B&T produces in support of the MP5 with an overall length of 9 3/4″ from pin to end. This is nearly two inches shorter than stock and was designed for personnel who would use the MP5 with body armor on and would need a shorter overall length. Both of these stocks are similar in build and quality, just dimensionally slightly different.
Installation of the stock is easy, push the stock retainer pin out, remove old stock, and retain the lower receiver in place. Slip the B&T stock over both halves of the receiver and reinstall the retainer pin, its literally a 30 second process and you are ready to rock.
Deployment and Use:
Using the B&T side folder is as easy as pushing a button, and swinging the stock to the side of the rifle. The stock swings to the right hand side of the rifle and rests nicely below the ejection port. This allows the use to fire the rifle with the stock closed without jamming or blocking the ejection port. When the user swings the stock into the fully open position there is a very clear audible locking sound when it is in position. My initial evaluation is that the B&T Stock is indeed more stable and easier to use than the Heckler & Koch manufactured sliding wire stock.
The B&T side folder has some similarities with the factory H&K fixed stock, which is that they both provide the shooter with a nice cheek rest. They are also largely made of high quality polymer materials. As I have pointed out before the cheek rest on this stock is a selling point that many of us who have tried the wire stock feel is important. The final feature of note on the stock is the integrated sling mount. The sling mount is built into the cap portion of the stock instead of the arm of the stock. This design allows the user to have a sling attached while still allowing the folding section to operate without any problems.
The fairly recent capability of the ATF to accept E-Forms for Form 1 and Form 4 short barrel rifle transfers has made the process of getting an SBR much easier. This in turn has spurned a whole new group of gunsmiths to make MP5 clones and with that increase production has come an increase in the desire to customize those rifles. The addition of the B&T side folder to any MP5 clone allows the user to make an easy to conceal rifle that much easier. It does that without sacrificing quality or comfort. If you own a MP5 clone or are thinking of getting one, do yourself a favor and check out the B&T model BT-20155.