This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
Following its long bi-national experience with Italy (Beretta) and Chile (FAMAE) in the manufacture and marketing of submachine guns, Forjas Taurus finally decided that it was high time to go ahead and walk alone. The whole thing appears to have started in 2002, when the first of a series of computer-generated design configurations began to take shape within the Engineering Department at the company’s facilities in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul State. Gradual design refinements involving both the mechanical and the ergonomics aspects of the new guns finally led to the first glimpse at the first prototypes in 2010, with more detailed views and information becoming available during the 2011 and 2012 editions of the LAAD Defense Exhibitions in Rio de Janeiro. Official Brazilian Army product certification was granted in 2011, thus leading the way to production start up and sales of the SMT9 (9x19mm) and SMT40 (.40 S&W) models. Yes, the designation comes from SubMetralhadora Taurus (Taurus Sub Machine gun).
To the point (this is not a full review article): as finally configured, the SMT in either caliber is a conventional blowback weapon firing from the closed-bolt position (hammer+ floating firing pin) using straight or curved 30-round magazines for the .40S&W and 9x19mm variants, respectively. Polymer is widely used everywhere, with a variable 3-position folding stock and such utilities as a full-length top Picattiny rail and optional, shorter rails at the 3-, -6, and -9 o’clock positions. Dimensions for both models are the same (barrel length, 200mm; length overall, 760mm; length, stock folded, 470mm), as are the empty-magazine weights of 3.25kg. Cyclic rates of fire are in the region of 600-700 rounds per minute, and a 2-round controlled burst position is present in the ambidextrous fire selector lever.
Following the SMT40 service introduction in the local LE arena, however, reports began to pop out concerning firing incidents with the gun, some of them with supporting videos posted on the Internet. The problems appeared to be mainly with safety-related matters, with cases of accidental discharges and unselected full-auto fire, but complaints on material/finish quality also did emerge. As already reported here in TFB, a widely publicized case was that of about 6,000 guns delivered to PMESP – Polícia Militar do Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo State Military Police) and which were quickly removed from use. Still kept in storage, the weapons await the settlement of a long dispute between that State’s military police and the manufacturer. It has been reported that Taurus has offered to exchange the SMGs to 9x19mm models, but since the .40 S&W was the contracted chambering, the proposal was turned down. On the other hand, we have not known of malfunction reports with the Brazilian Army SM9s in service nor with the SMT9Cs (compact model with 165mm barrel) supplied to the Bangladesh Police around 2015.
Hi-res pics here: https://imgur.com/a/agbf2