Brugger & Thomet (B&T) is a Swiss gun company that is becoming the standard in the sub-gun market. Their name is synonymous with quality. For the most part, the B&T was not a well-known weapon before 2019. But that changed when the U.S. Military announced the B&T APC9K as the contract winner in the bid for a small sub-compact gun. When the military chooses a weapon, it gets noticed. A B&T sub-gun is not the easiest weapon to find, but they are becoming more and more popular and sell quickly in gun stores around the country.
Another sub-gun that, by appearance, has a hint of being related to a B&T sub-gun is the Grand Power’s Stribog line of weapons. The Stribog’s are a little bulkier than B&T’s but many not familiar with either weapon could easily mistake them. Grand Power set out to make a good quality gun at an affordable price. Like B&T, Grand Power was another gun manufacturer that didn’t really have a foothold in the gun market. The SP9 was Grand Power’s weapon submitted to the same military bid as B&T for a compact weapon. The Stribog didn’t make the cut for the military, but it did get noticed in the civilian market. What made it stand out was the price.
Do you get what you pay for?
For this comparison, I will be using the B&T GHM9 and the Grand Power Stribog SP9A1. Both guns fall into the sub-gun category, and both are fairly compact. Each gun uses a straight mag that holds 30 rounds. The B&T is made in Switzerland and the Stribog is made in Slovakia. They both weigh just over five pounds and range between 15-17 inches in overall length.
What is not the same in these two mini shooters is the price. The B&T GHM9 retails for $1,700 and the Stribog only $899. To someone just wanting a small compact sub-gun, this is a big price gap.
Everyone has heard the saying, “You get what you pay for.” That is mostly true, but sometimes you pay for a name or history behind something, and it doesn’t make it any better than a cheaper alternative.
Growing up, any time we would see a John Deer tractor in a field my Grandpa would say, “Look at that expensive green paint.” In the gun world, you can’t always just go by price. But the old saying does still hold significant value. If you buy a $150 Hi-Point, you will get what you pay for.
So, how does this apply to the B&T and the Stribog? Is the B&T worth paying an extra grand for?
While the Stribog looks like the B&T, there is not a lot on the inside that is the same. Field stripping the Stribog is not hard at all. The lower receiver pulls down away from the upper just like the AR-15 by pushing in the rear takedown pin. The back plate slides off the upper receiver allowing the recoil spring and bolt to come out of the back of the upper receiver. There is a rubber buffer block that sits just behind the recoil spring at the back of the gun. A stabilizing brace can be attached to the back plate for those wanting some type of brace on the weapon. There are multiple options for braces including a folding brace and an AR-style telescoping brace.
The aluminum upper receiver is on the heavy side and appears to be very durable. I have put over 2,000 rounds through this one and there are little signs of wear on the inside. The 8” barrel is threaded and has a barrel with ½ X 28 threads per inch.
One unique thing Stribog did is place integrated flip-up sights on the front and back. They are small and fold down into the Picatinny rail, making them truly out of the way when not being used. The front of the receiver has M-Lok slots on both sides and the bottom for attaching accessories. Everything on the Stribog is ambidextrous including the safety selector, mag release, and bolt stop. The charging handle can be switched to the other side in minutes while the bolt is removed.
Field stripping the B&T is also done by removing the back plate, but there are two take-down pins that must be removed instead of one. The lower receiver can be taken off just like an AR-15 by pushing both takedown pins in and pulling the lower away from the upper receiver. The back plate has its own take-down pin that must be pushed in before the back plate can be pulled off.
The B&T uses two side-by-side recoil springs and a hydraulic buffer on the back of the bolt. This drastically reduces recoil on the weapon and allows for faster shooting.
The GHM9 also has complete ambidextrous controls, and the charging handle can be moved to the other side as well. The frame is thinner than the Stribog and it doesn’t have built-in sights, but most models come with a set of flip-up sights that mount on the Picatinny rail. The B&T also has a threaded barrel making it ready for a suppressor. The handguard has M-Lok slots on the sides and the bottom has a built-in Picatinny rail.
B&T takes a swipe at the CZ Scorpion by the name they gave it. According to B&T, the name GMH stands for “Grasshopper Mouse,” a North American carnivorous rodent that eats Scorpions.
B&T vs. Stribog — Summary
When comparing the B&T and Stribog, both appear well made. The B&T has a double recoil spring and hydraulic buffer giving it an edge on recoil. On the range, the Stribog shoots smoothly and has good recoil, but there is a noticeable difference between the two. The B&T was more accurate past 75 yards, but both weapons held good groups during drills. I fired 300 rounds through both guns at the range and the Stribog had two double feeds and one failure feed. The B&T cycled without any issues. Factory mags were used in both weapons.
The Stribog is a great gun for the price and fun to shoot. It was slightly less reliable than the B&T and had more recoil. The B&T is thinner and feels more compact when handling. If someone wants a good sub-gun-sized weapon for a budget-friendly price, the Stribog is a good option.
Is the quality and reliability of the B&T worth $1,000 more than the Stribog? I would say yes. Both are good weapons, but the B&T holds an edge over the Stribog. In this case, you do get what you pay for.