The world is awash in polymer-framed, service-style pistols. Since the first Glock pistols arrived on our shores around 1986, their success has spawned a flurry of imitators. While there are many competing pistols, the truth is that there is little mechanical difference between them. Sure, we’ve seen some improvements and the addition of accessory rails, finger grooves and interchangeable backstraps, but the basic design hasn’t really changed that much since its introduction.
The reason is because the design works and works very well. Success has stymied innovation. There’s little incentive to create a better gun when you’re having trouble filling orders. But now there’s a new kid on the block—BB Techs—a firm headquartered in Austria with an unusual amount of experience for a startup company.
Meet The BB6
Wilhelm Bubits started BB Techs to manufacture his BB6 pistol, a gun with a number of previously unseen innovations that was specifically engineered to reduce felt recoil and muzzle lift. Bubits is a former Austrian customs agent with a passion for firearms. Following his government service, Bubits was an independent firearms consultant who started working with Glock before going on to Steyr Mannlicher, Walther and then Caracal. The BB Techs BB6 is the result of years of experience and a creative mind uninhibited by traditional gun-making.
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The BB Techs BB6 slide is just one example of Bubits’ design ingenuity. Starting with a piece of 4140 steel, Bubits placed the ejection port on the right side to prevent debris from entering the action. The slide top possesses integral cuts so you can quickly add or remove an optics mount, and a pin protrudes from the top of the slide when the chamber is loaded. It provides tactile affirmation of a loaded chamber even in the dark.
But what really sets the BB Techs BB6 aside from other polymer-framed guns is the unique design of the slide. A polymer muzzle plate is mortised and pinned into the slide. Also pinned into the slide is a steel breech face. Behind the breech face is a polymer housing for the striker assembly. The use of high-impact polymer parts in these areas gives the slide an unusual center balance, which helps reduce muzzle lift.
The pistol comes with a standard rear sight as well as what the company calls a “Swiftsight,” or a trapezoidal channel that helps draw your eye quickly for lining up the front sight post with the rear sight notch. Both rear sights are easy to install as needed.
Like Bubits’ other designs, the BB Techs BB6 has a very low bore axis—a feature that also aids in negating muzzle flip. Bubits’ new lockup design is unlike anything I have ever seen before. Where other guns use the forward shoulder of the breechblock to lock into the slide, Bubits machines a block of rectangular steel to the top rear of the BB6’s breechblock. There is a corresponding cut inside the slide for this block to lock into. The BB6 barrel unlocks faster and at a less severe angle than comparable guns—another factor reducing muzzle flip.
Inside the BB6’s polymer frame is a steel subassembly. The barrel’s lug cams on a cylindrical steel pin. When the slide retracts, the pin engages the barrel’s lug and pulls it down and out of engagement. The subassembly also has rails for the slide to ride on so there is no metal-to-plastic contact that could accelerate wear. BB Techs completely finishes the barrel, slide and frame subassembly with a black diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating that increases the surface hardness of the steel and offers a great deal of corrosion resistance.
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The 4-inch barrel possesses button-cut, six-groove, right-hand-twist rifling. The top and sides of the breechblock have machined oval cuts to contain dirt and residue so as not to interfere with the slide and barrel interface. A flat wire recoil spring is captive on a polymer guide rod, and this makes disassembly and reassembly very easy.
Bubits did a great job when it comes to this gun’s ergonomics. In addition to the low bore axis, the frame features an undercut trigger-guard. This allows the shooter to get an extra-high hold on the gun. The frame’s tang or beavertail prevents any chance of being “bitten” by the slide. Shallow finger grooves are incorporated into the frontstrap to aid the shooter in control, and the gun comes with three different backstraps to accommodate just about any adult-sized hands.
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