Located in Thun (pronounced “toon”) Switzerland sits B&T’s Swiss Factory of Dreams where firearms and accessories can be scaled to outfit a military while others are built simply “Because They Can”. I had the rare opportunity to travel to B&T AG’s Swiss headquarters and be given a tour of where some of the most mainstream, obscure, and simply fascinating ideas in the firearms world come to life. Here’s what I found inside B&T headquarters in Switzerland.
B&T @ TFB:
Inside the B&T Swiss Factory of Dreams
Welcome to the B&T AG headquarters in Switzerland. A place with views so serene and picturesque that it’s easy to forget it hides a secret set of teeth underneath. A fact you’re quickly reminded of when you find yourself sitting on the top floor balcony staring off into the mountains. While less than a 1 kilometer away a steady cadence of 50 caliber machine gun fire alongside 120mm cannon fire from Leopard 2 tanks echoes against the mountains. Sound like heaven as a gun enthusiast? Well, that’s because it is. Take a look at the walls of the main conference room.
The contents of this conference room are far from ordinary. The walls are adorned by a carefully curated collection of production firearms with specific accessories for each end user.
From small orders to the U.S. Army’s Sub Compact Weapon contract, there’s a lot to take in here. Firearms and accessories manufactured here are made to the same standards for both civilians and militaries the world over. Everything has its place, and somehow even the most obscure firearms or parts don’t feel out of place.
Some of the things I saw here make it feel like someplace Q from James Bond would work. You know, if he were forced to get a day job.
Starting from the top we were given a tour through the building by the man himself: Karl Brügger.
The B&T AG headquarters is 80,000 square feet that’s space spread over six storeys. This seemingly small space houses everything. The first stop is their rapid prototyping area (pictured above) where ideas can quickly come to life. To give you an idea of how quickly this process can work, the SPC9 went from an idea to a functional ready-to-ship product in just five weeks.
While other components (namely rifle and pistol barrels) are made elsewhere, B&T proudly manufactures the rest of its components in-house. While their rifle and pistol barrels are one of the only components that are not made in-house, they do manufacture other oddly specific components like barrels for their GL06 40mm launcher (pictured above).
After reviewing the accuracy of other 40mm launcher barrels, B&T decided these did not meet their standards for accuracy. As a result, they decided to manufacture their own 40mm barrels in-house. I can’t think of anyone who’s complained about the accuracy of a 40mm, but this serves as a prime example of B&T’s attention to detail and overall quality standards.
The factory itself is an incredibly neat and efficient space where very specific attention to detail is given at each station. I’d walk by a workbench where someone was sitting or standing while they meticulously assembled a row of APC or SPC lowers. Even with Karl Brügger standing nearby explaining the process, no one looked rushed or stressed that we were watching them work.
When we visited, B&T had enough raw materials on hand to manufacture 20,000-25,000 APC submachine guns. As I was walking through, I’d notice specific invoices with specific quantities and configurations for these firearms as they were assembled for each customer.
This area is also where B&T AG manufactures all of its suppressors for the European market. They noted that they’ve produced over 600 suppressor variants over the years, and currently produce just over 400 different suppressor variants. On hand was enough raw material to manufacture 8,000-10,000 suppressors.
In recent years, B&T has started manufacturing suppressors in the United States. This is done to meet the growing suppressor demand while complying with export and trade laws. Refusing to skimp on quality or try to save a few bucks, they’ve shipped identical manufacturing equipment and materials stateside in order to meet their rigorous quality control standards.
As the tour moves on there are quite a few security checkpoints along the way, and for good reason. I’m generally not accustomed to being greeted by an FN MAG machine gun on my way to a test range. Nor do I usually see them sitting above storage bins full of 40mm ammunition. So this certainly was a pleasant surprise.
Underneath it all lies this humble and unsuspecting test range. This is where all the ideas that started on the top floor and are prototyped below, come here to be function tested. This is one of B&T’s several discreet proving grounds for things like their 40mm launchers, belt-fed suppressors, and firearms seemingly cut from the fabric of your favorite spy novel.
There was always something new or something I’d never seen around each corner. I was extremely fortunate to be able to spend a few days in this facility, but I certainly felt like I could have spent several weeks and still be finding new products to write about.
It was an absolute joy interacting with the workers, engineers, and staff at the B&T headquarters in Switzerland. They seemed to be just as excited about the products they were making as we were seeing them for the first time. Some of the most interesting and innovative firearms and accessories I’ve seen are all designed under this roof. It seemed only fitting to call this place what it is: The B&T’s Swiss Factory of Dreams. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this look inside B&T’s HQ. Stay tuned for more new product releases from B&T AG in the coming weeks.
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