Thanks to some fantastic people we have the Swiss B&T TP380 photos for your enjoyment. The shown sample would need to be registered as an SBR in the United States.
The left side shows the bolt-catch lever. If it is similar to the TP9 it will be quite easy to drop the catch on a full magazine. Note the clear magazine, I think it is too early to guess if crystal clear magazines will be be available but I assume ‘smoke’ magazines, like the TP9 (image 5 below) will be. Unlike the early drawings we showed earlier, this sample has a threaded barrel.
The TP380 maintains the ancestral grip & magwell profile of the Steyr TMP & SPP. The magazine release button appears to be ambidextrous, note the textured portion of the mag-catch section below. This photo shows the stock folded and ‘locked’. The button below the stock hinge would release it from open to close, but from close to open, one would just pull on the butt of the stock.
The angle of the stock likely works well with a microdot like a Trijicon RMR or something slightly larger such as an Aimpoint Micro. At first glance the butt seems small, but with the amount of recoil from a .380 Auto, I don’t see it as a big problem, and I understood the smaller size more when looking at the stock in the folded position. My assumption is this was done to keep the firearm compact and reduce the likelihood it would catch on something while holstered.
The trigger-well appears large enough for gloves and the trigger has a trigger safety. The safety selector is above the magazine release and behind the trigger in a cross-bolt design a la Steyr AUG. The bolt charger is on the top and just behind the front sight post. Like the similarly sized Czech Va.61 Skorpion, the charging would be done by securing both the right and left side of the charger. The charger actually looks (conceptually) more like the SITES Spectre design from Italy, which was later manufactured in Switzerland.
Note the clear magazine, I think it is too early to guess if crystal clear magazines will be be available but I assume ‘smoke’ magazines, like the MP9 one shown, will be. This comparative photo shows the TP380 is even more compact than the small MP9/TP9 series. The TMP9 in this photo is the MP9-N model which features a more traditional rotating safety selector.
From an NFA SBR or even AOW perspective, I kind of wish the handguard was slightly longer to facilitate a forward grip and a handstop. However, with no actual experience with the firearm, this is primarily an aesthetic opinion.
Below is a SigSauer P226 stacked on a TP380 to show the relative size. Since the only weight I have for the TP380 is without a magazine at 2.04 lbs and the P226-R with an empty magazine at 2.12 lbs, I weighted my own P226 (no rail) without a magazine inserted and it weight in at 2.1 lbs (heavier frame maybe). That makes my P226 almost 1 oz (0.96) heavier than the TP380.
The photo above really pushed me; I want one and hope they are imported soon.
The majority of the statements above our my opinions based on observation. I did confirm with B&T there is not an “MP380” planned in select-fire. B&T USA is currently considering importing the TP380, so if you are interested in one, post a comment below and let them know. All photos are © B&T AG.
UPDATE: 2015-03-08 A variant will also be offered in Europe in 9x18mm.