Steyr TMP: A Austrian Tactical Machine Pistol

Steyr TMP (Tactical Machine Pistol) chambered in 9 mm
Steyr TMP (Tactical Machine Pistol) chambered in 9 mm with attached silencer (Photo: XY/Spec Ops Magazine)

Steyr TMP is Tactical Machine Pistol made by the Austrian Company Steyr-Mannlicher. It belongs in the emerging group of Personal Defense Weapons – short, stockless, and closer to being an enlarged pistol than a down-sized submachine gun. Indeed, a variant model that does away with the front handgrip and only fires single shots is called the “Special Purpose Pistol” (SPP) and is classed as a pistol.


Steyr TMP is an Automatic Machine Pistol with Forward Grip instead of a rear stock envisioned as a one-handed police weapon – being used in tandem with a Tactical Shield. It wasn’t very popular/didn’t sell very well, and in 2001 Steyr dropped the TMP from its product line. Rights to the weapon were bought up by Brügger & Thomet – which heavily modified the platform, resulting in the B&T MP9 submachine gun.


The Steyr TMP is a locked-breech weapon firing the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. There are only 41 parts, and the frame and top cover are made from synthetic plastic which is sufficiently strong to do without steel inserts to support the bolt. The breech is locked and unlocked by rotation of the barrel, a system Steyr pioneered in the early years of the century but which they ceased to use after 1918.

fsb operator armed with Steyr TMP (Tactical Machine Pistol)
FSB operator armed with Steyr TMP submachine gun (Photo: Konstantin Lazarev)

A lug beneath the barrel engages in a groove in the frame. On firing, the barrel and breech block recoil still locked together, the lug sliding down the groove. The groove then spirals, and as the cam follows this track, the barrel is revolved until the bolt lugs are unlocked from the chamber. The barrel is held while the bolt runs back and forward to a fresh round chamber. Bolt and barrel then go forward, and the cam track revolves around the barrel to lock the breech.

Fire selector

Single shots or automatic fire are provided by a two-stage trigger, similar to that used on the Steyr AUG rifle. The first pressure on the trigger fires single shots; pulling through against the pressure of an auxiliary spring delivers automatic fire. There is a three-position cross-bolt safety catch with a central position giving semi-automatic fire only, providing additional control. The ambidextrous safety/fire mode selector button is located near the trigger guard.

Although there is no buttstock and no provision for fitting one, the forward handgrip permits adequate control of the weapon. Steyr TMP can fire short bursts with considerable accuracy after a bit of practice. Single shots can be fired with one hand quite easily; it is slightly heavier than a Colt .45 automatic pistol and somewhat lighter than most larger caliber revolvers.

Initially made in 9 mm caliber, production in .40 Smith & Wesson caliber has now begun, and there are plans for a modular system of interchangeable parts that will allow the TMP to be converted to fire 9 mm Steyr, 10 mm Auto, or .41 Action Express cartridges.


Steyr TMP is fed from detachable box-type magazines housed in pistol handle. These magazines have a capacity of 15 or 30 rounds. The barrel’s muzzle end is protected by a muzzle cap, which is shaped to accept a sound suppressor.


Steyr SPP

It is a semi-automatic pistol, which has no vertical grip. This weapon is intended for the civilian market.

Brugger & Thomet MP9

In 2001 Steyr sold production licenses to a Swiss arms manufacturer. The Brugger & Thomet MP9 is a further development of the Steyr TMP. It has a stock that folds to the right side, an integrated Picatinny-type rail, and new trigger safety. Its production commenced in 2004. This submachine gun is in service with Switzerland, India, and Portugal.

Brügger & Thomet MP9 with Aimpoint
Brügger & Thomet MP9 with Aimpoint (Photo: XY/Spec Ops Magazine)

Technical specifications

Country of origin:Austria
Manufacturer:Steyr-Mannlicher GmbH, Steyr
Type:Recoil-operated, selective fire
Caliber:9 mm Parabellum
Barrel:5.12 in (130 mm)
Weight (empty):2.86 lbs (1.3 kg)
Magazine capacity:15 or 20 rounds
Cyclic rate of fire:600 rounds per minute



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