Military Review

Submachine guns companies VBR Belgium

Personal concept weapons protection for the military, perhaps one of the most multifaceted, among the existing ones. The most courageous, however, not always justified ideas were realized by modern gunsmiths in just such a weapon. As part of the development of such weapons, new ammunition was created, the most varied layout was used, new, and sometimes old, successfully forgotten solutions were used. Despite all the variety of models of weapons, only a few went into mass production, the majority remained only in the form of projects, albeit interesting, but not in demand.

Of particular interest are projects that are not limited to only one solution, around which the designers work. A more flexible approach to the development of weapons, during which not only a separate unit can be changed, but the entire structure is completely redesigned, is interesting, first of all, by the ability to follow how views on the very concept of personal defense weapons changed within the walls of one weapon company . There are few examples when designers do not only rest on one idea, trying to bring it to acceptable characteristics, but are willing to sacrifice the time and resources already spent for the sake of a more promising design, but they exist. In this article we will try to get acquainted with the weapon that was developed by the designers of the Belgian company VBR Belgium. Unfortunately, there is little information about these weapons, but even that which is is, at least, of interest.

Submachine guns from VBR Belgium MC-PDW and PDW

If you look at the chronology of the development of these two submachine guns, it becomes clear that the first PP was created with a longer name. Many sources indicate that these weapons were designed to test new 7,92x24 ammunition, also developed by VBR Belgium.

In principle, such an assertion is quite logical, since it is the ammunition that determines the future characteristics of the weapon, and creating a new product for already known and widespread cartridges, there is a 100% chance of making just another analogue of what is on the market. In addition to the 7,92x24 ammunition in the new weapon, the possibility of interchangeability with the 9x19 was apparently tested, as can be seen from the image of the submachine gun along with the above-mentioned cartridges. And since we are talking about ammunition, we will try to deal with them in more detail, as far as available information allows.

As you know, with the spread of body armor, gunsmiths faced the problem of creating a cartridge for pistols and machine guns, whose bullet would not only have armor-piercing properties, but would also have a good stopping effect, instantly transferring the remaining kinetic energy after the armor was broken through, to the body of the enemy. It is necessary to say at once that such a requirement in the framework of creating cheap and mass ammunition is practically impossible, therefore, in most cases, we have two extremes, either good armor penetration or good stopping power.

The designers of the company VBR Belgium, sensibly weighing all the pros and cons, decided to make a “relief” in the requirements for new ammunition. So, from the new cartridge required a good penetration of personal armor without any special requirements to defeat the enemy after the passage of the armored plate, but if the enemy is not protected by body armor, the ammunition had to work out its effectiveness when hit as much as possible.

Initially, work on a new ammunition was limited only to the cartridge 9х19. Given the wide distribution of this cartridge, it was quite logical to try to squeeze the maximum out of it, since new ammunition, even with very good characteristics, most often do not find wide application. In the process of working on a new cartridge, first of all, the attention of designers was drawn to the design of the bullet. It was possible to find three variants of this ammunition, but perhaps there were others. In one embodiment, an armor-piercing arrow-shaped core with a diameter of 9 millimeter was placed in a bullet with a caliber 6,3 mm. The other version of the cartridge was more original. In it, the role of the armor-piercing core was performed by the bullet of the cartridge 5,56х45, which was placed in the bullet from the cartridge 9х19. A similar solution was the cartridge, in which, instead of the 5,56 bullet, the 5,7 bullet from the 5,7x28 cartridge was used. New ammunition showed quite good results, but cartridges with similar characteristics were already present on the market, a different solution was needed.

This decision was a cartridge with a bullet consisting of all the same armor-piercing core and shell, increasing it to millimeter 7,92 caliber. The sleeve was taken as the basis .30 Carbine, which was shortened to 24 millimeters. When it hit the armored plate, the core pierced it and hit the target behind it, the shell separated and remained in front of the armored plate. If the target was not protected by an armor plate, the separation of the core from the shell did not occur, and if it did, it was already inside the target, creating additional damage.

Submachine guns companies VBR Belgium

The idea itself is not new and was implemented on the basis of a wide variety of ammunition. It is worth noting that the case was not limited to one variant of bullets. It was possible to find references to the following types of cartridges. The cartridge with the designation 3P was equipped with three spherical lead projectiles. A cartridge with a low armor-piercing bullet was also offered, the designation is unknown for him, but it is known that he could pierce body armor of class IIA according to the NIJ classification. In addition to them, there is also a cartridge with the designation AP-HPF, this version of the ammunition is described as a cartridge with a bullet, the armor-piercing core of which is destroyed in the body of the enemy after the penetration of the bullet-proof vest. How this is achieved, unfortunately, is not entirely clear. For shooting in confined spaces, an ammunition version with a fully destructible bullet with the FRA designation was proposed. And of course there was a cartridge with an armor-piercing core with the designation AP.

For these munitions, kits were offered that made it possible to adapt the already existing models of weapons for new cartridges. It is interesting that, despite the same metric designation 7,92х24, there were two versions of the execution of ammunition. So the version of the “S” cartridges had a total length of 29,6 of a millimeter, which corresponds to that of the cartridge 9x19, respectively, the weapon for this cartridge could be adapted for 7,92x24S. The weapon version initially using the .45ACP cartridge was designated “N” and had a total length of a millimeter 32,4 cartridge. Such a breakup was achieved, apparently, by the depth of the bullet landing in the sleeve, the powder specimens were identical.

Despite the fact that the market was equipped with kits for adaptation to new ammunition, no exact data that matches at least two sources of information were found either by the weight of the bullets or by their initial speed. But it is known that for the version of the “S” cartridges the sets for the Glock and Browning Hi-Power pistols were released, but, apparently, “did not go”. But back to the gun machine gun MC-PDW.

Already at first glance, it becomes clear to the weapon that it is not a serial sample, since it still has too many details that will later be “cut off”. Thus, a high stand for sighting devices, which would be appropriate in a full-fledged machine gun or light machine gun, but in no way the PP. Automatic weapons based on the principle of using the recoil energy in the short course of the trunk, with the locking barrel bore swinging larva. The analogy can be drawn with a Beretta 92F pistol. It feeds weapons from detachable shops of Glock pistols chambered for 9x19. The fire mode switch is located above the pistol grip; one of the positions also includes a weapon safety device. Trigger mechanism double action. An interesting feature of this submachine gun was the location of the handle of the bolt, which is similar to that of the AR15 and its like.

This weapon was created as a submachine gun, not inferior in terms of ease of carrying and using full-sized pistols, which, in this case, was clearly not achieved. Apparently, a high and definitely heavy stand for sighting devices was needed to balance the weapon and compensate for recoil with its weight when maintaining automatic fire. At the same time, it is obvious that the weapon does not have a convenient place to hold it with the second hand, which makes it difficult to conduct more or less aimed shooting at the line. In general, there were definitely flaws in the weapon, which were primarily related to ergonomics and wearing comfort.

Of course, the developments were not simply thrown away, and the new pistol of a machine gun already under the designation PDW was soon demonstrated to the public. The updated version of the submachine gun already had a more thoughtful design. First of all, it should be noted that a place appeared under the PP barrel to securely hold the weapon with the second hand, which, together with the retractable butt, made the PDW submachine gun quite suitable for targeting automatic fire. From the high rack above the receiver refused, most likely because when you hold the weapon with both hands, it was simply not needed.

If we talk about the elements of control weapons, they are duplicated on both sides of the PP. The three-position translator of fire is located above the pistol grip and for most people it will be convenient to switch with the thumb of the holding hand. The store eject button is also two-sided, although its position and implementation raise questions. But unfortunately, the bolt latch has no weapon.

Of the interesting features of this submachine gun can be noted sights that allow you to aim with two eyes at once. Given the fact that such an aiming device is clearly too “original”, the designers have provided for its replacement with a collimator sight. It is also interesting that the barrel of the weapon is immediately equipped with a thread for installing a silent-firing device, which was offered with a weapon. True, it is not known whether cartridges with a subsonic bullet were developed for the full use of this option.

In numbers, this submachine gun is as follows. In the folded position, the total length of the weapon is 280 millimeters, with a barrel length 175 millimeters. The extended butt increases the overall length to 480 millimeters. The length of the proposed silent shooting device was equal to 183 millimeters. The thickness of the weapon is 43 millimeters, height 175 millimeters excluding the magazine. Weight without ammunition is 1,5 kilogram.

Based on all that has been written, we can say with confidence that the designers managed to come close to the goal. Of course, this submachine gun can not compete in weight and dimensions with pistols, however, it slightly exceeds these parameters in full-size models of pistols, made entirely of steel. Despite this, it must be remembered that polymers in handguns became widespread long before the start of designing this PP, and there were also enough submachine guns in this design. Well, if you add to all this new ammunition, it becomes clear why this PP did not receive distribution. However, the company had another project in stock, which even now, after almost 20 years, can be called very promising.

Submachine guns C-PDW, C-SMG, C22-1

A year earlier, before starting work on the submachine gun MC-PDW, the designers of the company developed another sample within the framework of the same idea of ​​creating personal defense weapons for the military. This submachine gun was developed under the 9x19 and .45ACP cartridges and was significantly more interesting in terms of the set of solutions in its design.

The basis of the new submachine gun was the bullpup layout, but its use was not dictated by the desire to reduce the overall length of the weapon while maintaining the maximum possible barrel length. It was used with only one purpose - to fill the unused space of the butt of the new PP. The second interesting solution was a screw shop that held up to hundreds of 9x19 cartridges. This shop was installed on top of the butt of the weapon, and played the role of a kind of emphasis under the cheek when aiming. The sights of the new submachine gun were dioptric, on a high stand for ease of aiming.

With the beginning of the development of new ammunition, work on this PP was apparently suspended. After some time, the weapon changed its name to C-SMG, which can be explained by its transfer to the category of ordinary submachine guns. But soon, this sample again received the designation C-PDW after adaptation to the new cartridges and processing of the structure, which became modular. It should be noted that with the designation of individual samples of the company there was a complete mess, it was possible that those who worked on these weapons understood everything, and they saw a certain logic in this. In general, the latest version of this weapon is known as С22-1. It is with this model, as the most complete and try to get acquainted.

The weapon, like the original version of the submachine gun, has a bullpup layout and is powered from a screw shop. However, unlike the first option, this submachine gun consists of two parts: the top and bottom. At the bottom, only the trigger is mounted, at the top - everything else. There is a 3 variant of the bottom of the submachine gun. The first is a standard one, which does not give the PP any features that are not relevant to this class of weapon. The second more original, having a built-in rifle grenade launcher caliber 40 millimeters. Well, the most interesting option is the one that equips the weapon with a four-shot grenade launcher with a caliber of 22 millimeter shots. But let's deal first with the top of the weapon.

Automatics of the submachine gun is based on the principle of using the recoil energy in the free course of the shutter, there are no remarkable features to this weapon. From a screw shop cartridges are fed from the top, and thrown from the right side of the weapon. Sights, as well as in the first version of the PP, are located on a high rack. Under the rack to the right is the cocking handle, rigidly connected with the bolt group. Actually this is all that can be said about the top of the submachine gun.

The lower part of the PP, depending on the version, has a different height, in its first version, without rifle-grenade launchers, it is simply a butt, a handle to hold and in fact is a body for the trigger mechanism of the weapon. On the right and left sides above the handle there is a translator of fire modes, also known as a fuse switch.

In the variant with a single-shot grenade launcher, both height and thickness increase significantly. The grenade launcher itself with manual reloading, similar in design to the M203. In order to shoot from it, the arrow must switch the switch located above the translator of fire.

But the most interesting option is the option of the lower part of the weapon, equipped with a self-loading grenade launcher for shots with a caliber 22 millimeter. It feeds this grenade launcher from a detachable magazine, which is inserted into the pistol grip to hold the PP and built on an automation system, which is based on the use of recoil energy in the short course of the barrel.

Despite the fact that the device is nominally a grenade launcher, its goals are somewhat different. Since the designers had the task to achieve maximum armor-piercing, which is difficult to do within the pistol cartridge, it was decided to develop such a grenade launcher. The shots of this grenade launcher can be both high-explosive, they were developed first, and in the form of an ordinary blank, which, if it does not penetrate the armored platinum, then upon contact guaranteed to break the ribs of the one on whom this armored platinum is fixed. By the way, according to the manufacturers, armor penetration of body armor of class IV protection was achieved. True or not, the solution is definitely interesting for the task.

As it is not difficult to guess, these developments were not evaluated and the weapon did not spread. It didn’t help even the fact that the weapon itself was supplied in a wide variety of variants, both for new ammunition, and for the already familiar 9х19 and .45АСР. Considering the fact that the work on this submachine gun was constantly going on, it was not possible to find the exact numbers that characterize it, since everything depends on the version of the weapon, its barrel length and the ammunition that is used.


Of course, it’s possible to call the weapons variants developed by VBR Belgium within the concept of personal defense weapons themselves promising and interesting. However, even when examining this weapon outwardly, it does not leave the feeling that the samples are clearly not refined and have a lot of flaws that are not found in more successful options from other companies. These disadvantages are related to ergonomics and the appearance of the weapon. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the individual solutions are very interesting, and in some cases even unique. In addition to the development of these machine pistols, there are still a lot of other very interesting projects in the company’s account, including machine guns for caseless ammunition, but this, as they say, is completely different история.

Judging by the website of the company VBR Belgium, at the moment, efforts are focused not on the development of firearms, but on the means of individual armor, among which it is possible to single out body armor for concealed carrying, as well as disguised as casual clothing. Apparently, if work on a new weapon is underway, then they are clearly not in priority, which is not surprising, considering how many failures there were. But to say that time and effort were wasted is still not worth it, since any experience in creating even if not the most successful sample can be taken over by other designers and individual solutions or ideas can become the basis for something new.

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  1. Catfish
    Catfish 27 March 2018 16: 32
    Good afternoon, Mark and thanks for the new information.

    In appearance, the machine is really not finalized in the sense of ergonomics and design. But the fact that they thought of using the pistol grip as the “carrier” of the second ammunition is really interesting. Only the ammunition itself causes doubt, it turns out something like a large-caliber explosive bullet, or undershot for a grenade launcher. Only this know-how significantly increases the weight of the weapon, and SMG of this class should, in theory, be as light as possible. And as for their new ammunition, especially 9x19, I would like to know more if there is information.
    Good luck. hi
    1. AlexMark
      27 March 2018 18: 18
      good afternoon hi Information, even that which is, is very, very contradictory. Determine where the flies, and where the cutlets, probably, only employees of the company itself can now. But with domestic SP-10 - SP-13 analogy suggests itself smile
  2. Operator
    Operator 27 March 2018 18: 25
    Author note

    Model: CAR-2 (Caseless Ammunition Rifle)
    Project: IPG (Infantry Power Gun)
    Author: Rik Van Bruaene
    Company: VBR-Belgium
    Year: 1990

    1. AlexMark
      27 March 2018 18: 52
      Already gathering material on these machines for cartridgeless cartridges yes

      Automatic CAR, the capacity of the store 100 cartridges

      The CAR-2 automat, capacity of cartridges 75
      1. Operator
        Operator 27 March 2018 19: 20
        VBR-Belgium AR Five Seven

        Rik Van Bruaene is represented on Facebook - if you can contact him, send greetings from me smile
        1. AlexMark
          27 March 2018 23: 22
          I have already lost hope of getting in touch with the manufacturers of any weapons other than domestic ones. From abroad, Steyr regularly answers all the questions, in some detail, which means that it’s not just the specially trained girl who answers. Heckler und Koch and Remington, but only for the currently produced and relatively "fresh" weapon models request
          1. Operator
            Operator 27 March 2018 23: 57
            At the moment, Rick van Brian is not engaged in the development of weapons, but mainly in the sale of personal protective equipment.

            On the one hand, it is not a fact that he is pleased to remember his past, but on the other hand, I hope he will be pleased to know that his innovations have not gone into the sand, but are published and studied.
        2. Maksim_ms
          Maksim_ms 30 March 2018 10: 30
          Just that the window for supplying the store was not left cut out).
          It’s interesting to use ordinary stores?
      2. Operator
        Operator 27 March 2018 19: 23
        Journal article

        Quite an astonishing feat in firearms design, the Caseless Ammunition Rifle (CAR) was designed by Rik van Bruaene, the manager of VBR-Belgium. It was designed in response to the Heckler & Koch G11, and works in a similar fashion to H & K's weapon, with the magazine being inserted horizontally over the top. The magazine holds up to 120 rounds; this amount of firepower is typically reserved for light machine guns! An alternate model, known as the CAR-2, was also produced, aimed at limiting the firepower for infantry soldiers, with a magazine of 75 rounds. Unfortunately, the CAR didn't make it past prototype stages. Although VBR-Belgium hasn't released any official reasons for the cancellation of the CAR project (along with almost all of their small arms), I suspect it was the result of both police intervention and moral fears from Rik himself. VBR-Belgium has made it no secret that Belgian police forces have confronted them over their potentially lethal designs (these are not the kind of weapons that you'd expect civilians to be armed with!), Whilst the VBR-Belgium website once noted whether it was “moral” for soldiers to be armed with 120-round rifles. Not a lot of information regarding the CAR project, but still an interesting weapon either way.
        History of the VBR-Belgium Caseless Ammunition Rifle projects
        (Van Bruaene Rik Metalworking)
        Problemm analysis
        In the year 1990 the G11 caseless ammunition rifle from Heckler and Koch with the rotating cylinder breech / chamber was considered the state of the art technology for the future Infantry rifle.
        However, Mr. Rik Van Bruaene was not agree that the operating mechanism: ”as the projectile is accelerating up the barrel, recoil forces drive the barrel, magazine, chamber and operating mechanism rearwards within the weapon, dissipating energy for single shot and fully automatic modes but allowing burst mode to deliver three projectiles downrange before buffering occurs ”, that this was the only right operate mechanism for such type of weapon.
        The fact that the whole mass of the barrel, magazine, chamber and operating mechanism was moving rearwards and forwards was considered as an disadvantages displace of big mass. So, an new operating system was designed based on a steady rotating cylinder breech / chamber who was
        connected with the frame so that only the operating mechanism did move backwards and forwards during firing cycles.
        In 1990 Rik Van Bruaene started the research and development of a new CAR (Caseless Ammunition Rifle). The project got the name IPG (Infantry Power Gun) as it was considered to give every solder a significant firepower in one gun, similar to the firepower of a machine gun. The big difference from the G11 and the IPG is that the housing for the rotating cylinder breech / chamber is made in the steady frame. The frame of the prototype was made out one block of solid steel which forms the spine of the system where all other parts are connected on.
        The IPG prototype was manufactured in the VBR-Belgium workshop in Roeselare (Belgium). The big soled steel frame had also the objective to spread the heat and prevent the cook-off problems as long as possible and preventing
        weapon jam.
        The clock work of the IPG.
        One center plate driven by the gas cylinder, moves and coordinate all the movements of the entire mechanism. So, the gas piston and the center
        plate are the only parts moving backwards and forwards during fire cycles. This is only a small mass displacement.
        The IPG from VBR-Belgium
        Also a special Commando version was made to make use of iron sights and shorter magazines.
        The IPG “Ghost”
        Even by the use of an open breech position, the “cook –off” of the Caseless Ammunition, can create a very dangerous situation. As every rotating cylinder breech / chamber, the cylinder has to turn to put the cartridge in line with the barrel. This turn creates a situation where the cartridge is lock-up in
        an obstructed rotating cylinder breech before it is in line with the barrel. This zone consist out a “Danger zone” which goes over several degrees in the turning of the rotating cylinder breech / chamber where the point of the cartridge is
        faced to the side of the frame, before it is bought in line with the barrel.
        If a cartridge ignite by “Cook-off” problems in this danger zone, where the cylinder is not yet complete turned in line with the barrel, the obstructed chamber will explode. This dangerous ghost sits in all the rotating cylinder
        breech / chambers. As Murphy's law always occurs once, then each rifle with an rotating cylinder breech / chambers can explode when it gets too hot.
        This was unacceptable for Mr. Rik Van Bruaene by which the system of rotating
        cylinder breech / chambers was abandoned.
        VBR-Belgium MP90
        Well, whatever the Heckler and Koch salesman say and also whatever the salesmen from Dynamite Nobel say that their advanced caseless ammunition rifle system with reduced Cook-Off problems, cause no any problems
        anymore, the IPG ghost can blow-up a rotating cylinder breech / chamber weapon who gets too hot!
        Who likes a weapon that can explode in the heat of a battle?
        So Mr. Rik Van Bruaene went back to the reliable and common weapon designs who feed a cartridge direct in line with the barrel, without unsafe lifting positions or rotating actions.
        A new study was made to simplify the breech action needed for a caseless ammunition fire system similar to the basics of the common submachine gun.
        An UZI – style prototype was developed with special features needed to fire caseless ammunition.
        The VBR-Belgium MP90 is a caseless ammunition submachine gun prototype designed to fire from an open breech to prevent Cook-Off problems.
        The caseless ammunition cartridge is feed direct in line with the barrel and in the worst case scenario if a Cook-off problem should occur when the cartridge is not yet in battery, the igniting of the cartridge in an unlocked breech is significant less dangerous then wen a cartridge ignite in a obstructed
        rotating breech cylinder.
        This worst case scenario Cook-Off problem should be direct comparable with a traditional cased cartridge fired out of battery.
        VBR-Belgium MG91
        The VBR-Belgium MG91 is an modified MP90 caseless ammunition prototype based on the principles of the VBR-MP90, but build in a bull-pub design with a barrel length that allows accuracy up to 300 meters. Basically it is an open breech submachine gun in a bull-pub design with a surprisingly easy movability and feels comfortable in all positions. The VBR-Belgium MG91 can be striped in two pieces that fit in a standard gun case.
        1. The comment was deleted.
  3. Yak28
    Yak28 27 March 2018 19: 31
    In fact, nafig machine guns are not needed when there are small-sized assault rifles for which you can make different cartridges, and with a steel core, and vice versa low-power ones. But I play MP games with MP5 with a bang wink
    1. AlexMark
      27 March 2018 23: 30
      I can not agree with you, the PP still has its own niche, determined primarily by a large caliber, a shorter range of the bullet. Have you ever wondered what the PPSnik with AKSU in the city could do with a fool?
  4. Catfish
    Catfish 27 March 2018 23: 04
    Quote: Operator
    Author note

    Model: CAR-2 (Caseless Ammunition Rifle)
    Project: IPG (Infantry Power Gun)
    Author: Rik Van Bruaene
    Company: VBR-Belgium
    Year: 1990

    G - 11 never went to the Bundeswehr. All almost the same, what is the original design? hi
    1. AlexMark
      27 March 2018 23: 26
      In the subject of "bezgilza" not so much the weapon is interesting, as the ammunition itself.
    2. Operator
      Operator 28 March 2018 07: 38

      A step in the right direction from G11 - while maintaining the overall layout, the abandonment of the carriage scheme.

      Horizontal placement of the store (with one or another cartridge feeder) is a progressive solution for automatic infantry infantry armament. If you add balanced automation, shock-free operation of the reloading mechanism, a high rate of fire in fixed bursts (see recommendations based on the results of the Abakan contest), telescopic cartridges with maximum packing volume and armor-piercing subcaliber bullets - there will be candy in general.
  5. Catfish
    Catfish 27 March 2018 23: 38
    Quote: AlexMark
    In the subject of "bezgilza" not so much the weapon is interesting, as the ammunition itself.

    Absolutely everything is interesting! And I would like to see a good selection of promising developments of new ammunition and not only "sleeveless". Something while no one is in a hurry to accept such weapons in their troops, and they have been experimenting for half a century, if not more. hi
  6. cth; fyn
    cth; fyn 30 March 2018 16: 11
    A dream of reason