Exclusive: introducing the new Bubix Bro subcompact pistol in three calibers

The new Bubix Bro is a pistol in subcompact size
The new Bubix Bro is a pistol in subcompact size. In the picture: Benjamin Bubits, the developer, here during his visit to the editorial office.

Bubix Bro? The "B" sounds like a spelling mistake to you? No, far from it: it deliberately doesn't mean Pro, and we'll explain why further down in the article. And who is behind the brand name Bubix? Bubix GmbH, a new pistols manufacturer from Austria. The acting persons are Walter Hammel as the business manager and Benjamin Bubits as the person responsible for development, assembly, quality control and test firing.

Wait a minute – Bubits, don't we know that name? That's right: his father is Wilhelm Bubits, a design engineer known not only to insiders who also designed the Caracal and Steyr M pistols. With him, his son Benjamin, born in 1988, has pursued projects concerning the development and manufacturing of various firearms for years. Benjamin Bubits then joined forces with Walter Hammel in 2019 to build pistols and founded Bubix GmbH. In October 2021, the company introduced the first in-house developed pistol model. For the presentation of the brand-new Bubix Bro, Benjamin Bubits even traveled to our editorial office with some preproduction pieces to give us a first, exclusive look at the new pistol. Here are the details.

the new Bubix Bro pistol to us in person
Benjamin Bubits (right) presented the new Bubix Bro pistol to us in person. Here in conversation with VISIER editor-in-chief Matthias S. Recktenwald.

The market for striker fired polymer pistols is highly competitive. The question is how to find your own niche. One option in terms of a unique position is the choice of three calibers. Of course, if you want to survive in this field, you can't get around the 9mm Luger, also known as 9 mm Parabellum, or 9x19 mm. But with the 9x21 mm Bubix takes aim at countries like Italy – even if 9x19 has recently been allowed there as well. But the market has grown historically...

Yes, then comes the 9 mm Makarov caliber (metric: 9x18 mm) – it was once the main competitor to the 9mm Luger in the 9mm range in Europe, as it was widely used in the Eastern Bloc together with the Makarov pistol. Today, the caliber is a distant second in the West, although Sellier & Bellot, GECO and Fiocchi in Europe and Hornady in the USA still make cartridges in this caliber. However, the Makarov cartridge still has a large fan base in Eastern Europe, namely Russia.

Beyond that, there are practical aspects: The 9x18 provides more power than, for example, the .380 ACP aka 9mm Kurz (9x17 mm), which is often taken as an alternative to the 9mm Luger. Note: the new Bubix Bro not only comes in the three caliber variants – there are also corresponding conversion kits.

The second aspect is described by Benjamin Bubits as follows: "Our analysis revealed that there are fully-equipped large pistols in abundance. What is missing are newly designed subcompacts with full equipment and with a view to all-round use. What we do differently? The Bubix Bro was not developed in a good year and a half on the basis of a full-size service pistol – It wasn't just shortened. Instead, the process was reversed for our pistol. It was completely redesigned. Starting from the small one, larger versions are to follow, while the slim width will remain the same."

Bubits Bro subcompact pistol technical details 

To start with the dimensions, a Bubix Bro measures 6.35x0.96x4.76 inches (161.5x24.4x121 mm), this with a barrel length of 3.54”/90 mm. It consists of 42 parts. The slide is a preforged part, thus minimizing time-consuming and costly milling. "But," says Bubits, "evaluation is underway to possibly optimize manufacturing and, for example, reduce milling times even further." Perched on top are driftable sights designed for fast target acquisition. The rear sight with its squared cutout and the front sight can be drifted sideways, and a vertical white stripe runs along the front sight, corresponding to the white border of the rear sight cutout. If this alone ensures that the target can be taken quickly, two ridges on the top of the slide also help – the edges, which are remotely reminiscent of the cross-section of an hourglass, guide the eye when taking aim. They do this really quickly, as handling one of the demonstration guns proved. At the slide front and back there are cocking serrations that are as wide as they are deep. A visible and tactile loaded chamber indicator sits on top, protruding when a cartridge is in the chamber. 

The Bubix Bro disassembled
The Bubix Bro disassembled: above, the grip assemby, barrel (Bubits-Browning locking system), recoil spring set and slide, next to it the magazines (right, with pinky extension).

Inside, the Bubix Bro has a steel breech face with the striker assembly behind it. The extractor is internal instead of an external one that can readily allow dirt to penetrate through the unavoidable gaps. Under the muzzle guide sits the front mount of the encapsulated recoil spring assembly. The gun features the Browning-Bubits locking system similar to the BB6 pistol introduced in 2015: a locked breach, cam operated tilting barrel with feed ramp at the bottom has a rectangular block of steel to the top rear of the cartridge chamber. 

This block locks into the corresponding cut in the inner top of the slide from below. The design reduces the unlocking angle, reducing muzzle flip up when firing.

The grip frame of the 9mm Bubits Bro pistol is available in 5 colors

the BroGuard holster together with the gun
In the waistband: you pull the BroGuard holster together with the gun – it is attached to the belt by a catch cord. Pull tight at the end of the draw to release the pistol smoothly.

Featuring a central insert of high-strength aluminum, the frame is made of polyamide plastic with light fiberglass content. The supplied inside-the-waistband BroGuard holster is also made of the same material, because according to the manufacturer this ensures greater flexibility. Bubix supplies the holster only in black, while the grip frame is currently available in 5 colors: black, brown, pink, sand and green.

The manufacturer offers the grip frame with a rough texture that follows an in-house design. The rather sharp-looking texture does not (yet) have a name, but Bubits describes its design as follows: "To exaggerate, under magnification it looks like cleats. And it is deliberately rough, in line with the principle that the smaller the gun, the rougher the corresponding grip texture. This improves grip safety."

the Bubix Bro's grip
At the front of the Bubix Bro's grip is the spring-loaded safety, which locks the cocked trigger from behind and is deactivated when the gun is firmly gripped.

Turning to the controls, there is a front grip safety that acts on the trigger blade. When the double-action trigger moves forward to the cocked position, a spring raises the "safety" element. Its upper horizontal arm thus rests on the trigger blade from behind and prevents its unintentional release – the trigger is reliably locked. The grip safety is deactivated when the firing hand grasps the grip. Now the middle finger presses in the safety running down along the front of the grip, so that the arm lowers behind the trigger. The dry-fire test, which was repeated several times, showed that the grip safety works flawlessly. Speaking of safety: three integral and automatic safeties are at work in the Bubix Bro. The others act as drop safety (a double safety, in this case) or on the firing pin. They are only deactivated when the hand presses the grip safety in. Bubitz told us, "A manual safety is in the planning stages."

Second detail on the grip: the magazine release can be operated from the left and right – finally, without annoying swapping of the control. This one is patented, by the way. Thirdly, the slide stop lever, which can also be reached from the left and right. This is not only overmolded with plastic for better comfort, but also virtually squares the circle: it is easy to reach – the thumb does not have to search for it or work with force to push the lever up or down – and is not perceived as a disturbing protrusion. Fourth, there is a black magazine well extension at the bottom back of the grip. If you don't want it, for example when carrying concealed, you can simply push the pin at the bottom out of the grip and remove this "grip extension".

Disassembling the Bubix Bro
Disassembling the Bubix Bro: check and decock the pistol, then press the button in the trigger guard, push the slide forward and lift it off.

The fifth element is the take-down button. It sits at the top front of the trigger guard: easy to overlook when looking at it superficially and handling it, and also to feel over it, so to speak, because it is perfectly integrated into the surroundings. But simple to operate: magazine out, safety check, release the trigger. Grasp the slide from above and move a few millimeters to the rear. Press the button and push the slide slightly forward from behind. Now the top section comes off the base as smoothly as butter. This also works from the right as well as from the left: All controls are designed for both sides.

For the records: after the Caracal and the BB6, this is now the third attempt of the Bubits family to establish an independent product on the highly competitive pistol market. Technically, there are interesting approaches. But the market in German speaking countries is small. In the USA, the situation is certainly quite different. In terms of dimensions and trigger pull weight, the Bubix Bro is between the GLOCK G43X and the G19. The fact that the holster comes with the gun when you draw the latter is at first glance not really purposeful to have the pistol ready to shoot quickly. Let's see if there will be other, better solutions.

Bubix Bro specs, all calibers and price

Model:
Bubix Bro
Price: 
830 euro (incl. VAT)
Caliber: 
9x19 mm, 9x18 mm, 9x21 mm
Magazine Capacity: 
12+1 rounds
Dimensions (L x W x H): 
6.35x0.96x4.76 in (161.5x24.4x121 mm)
Barrel Length: 
3.54”/90 mm
Sight Radius: 
5.57”/141.5 mm
Notch Rear Sight: 
0.161”/4.1 mm
Front Sight Width: 
0.145”/3.7 mm
Trigger Pull Weight: 
5.9 lb/2.7 kg approx. 
Weight:
19.7-20.8 oz (560-590 g) depending on caliber
Features:
Polyamide fiber-optic grip frame, preforged and milled slide, striker fired action, double action trigger, three integral safety elements, drift-adjustable sights.

Benjamin Bubits in conversation: what you should know about the Bubix Bro

Bubix wanted to make it possible to combine concealed carry with maximum safety and optimum all-day comfort. This was achieved not only by the distinctly narrow width of the rather short Bro and the chamfering and/or rounding of the parts along the outer contour, but also by "sealing" the gun. In other words, the Bubix Bro is protected against the ingress of lint and other dirt thanks to the internal slide guides, thanks to the inner extractor, and thanks to the slide cover plate, which is tightly sealed to the rear.

Benjamin Bubits explains the general design and naming: "Why is the pistol the way it is? To start with its name: 'Bro', which is American slang and an abbreviation for 'brother'. Here the name symbolizes that the gun is like the protector who is actually there when his help is needed. And that's where we come to the carrying comfort. That's why the Bro is meant to be small, but still be able to be used for all needs. Above all, it should be a pistol that you can actually train with, precisely because it is still well suited for this in terms of handling properties. This in turn is ensured by the shape of the grip, which widens downwards, especially at the rear, and whose shape in the area of the beavertail ensures that the barrel bore axis is close to the hand. With the Bro, we as manufacturers are taking a middle course. It is intended as an all-rounder."

The Bubix Bro subcompact pistol is currently available with green
The Bubix Bro subcompact pistol is currently available with green, sand and black colored grip frames, with more in the pipeline.

We'll have the field test as soon as the importer makes the gun available. Stay tuned!


Further information on the gun is available from the Bubix GmbH website (in German only).

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