This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
My previous (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/11/06/imbels-ia2-based-subgun-carbine-prototypes/) mention of some submachine guns and pistol-caliber carbines that have emerged from Forjas Taurus in recent years generated a number of requests to elaborate more on the subject. Here it goes:
The “Bull-logo” company, a long-time manufacturer of revolvers since 1939 at its facilities in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul State, briefly turned its attention to submachine guns in the mid-to-late 1970s, when it came out with a somewhat crude prototype variation of the 9x19mm Smith & Wesson Model 76, itself a clone of the Swedish Carl Gustav M/45. This was easy to understand: in the 1970-77 period, Bangor Punta, which owned S&W, had a 54 per cent controlling interest in the Brazilian concern, and some technology and methodology were exchanged between them. Back in 2015, TFB ran a photo feature about that (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/09/21/potd-the-taurus-9mm-smg-the-mystery-smg/).
However, actual SMG series production by Taurus only became a reality in 1980 when the assets of the São Paulo-based Indústria e Comércio Beretta S.A. company were purchased, this including machinery and design rights for the well-known Beretta 92 pistol and the M12 subgun, the latter having been earlier adopted by the Brazilian Army as the MtrM (Metralhadora de Mão, Handheld Machine Gun) M972. Manufacture activities in that city were transferred to Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul State, where Taurus’ main facilities were located, in June, 1993.
As initially delivered to Brazil, the 9X19mm M12 was entirely unchanged from the Italian original model, this including the brownish main and forward resin grips and the somewhat disliked, separate push-button fire selector and applied safety controls. When production was transferred to Taurus, modifications were to be found here and there, the weapon being gradually redesignated MT-12 (an all-black, carbon copy f the M12), MT-12A (lever-type fire and safety selector on the left side, enlarged grip safety lever, simplified stock folding procedure, flip-open cover on the ejection port), and MT-12AD (disconnector added to the firing mechanism). In addition to the Brazilian Army, the different MT-12 variations also found their way to Air Force, Navy, and different LE agencies inventories. Examples are still occasionally seen in use.
Higher-res pics at https://imgur.com/a/jaTdp