The Special Actions Weapon (SAW) 9 sub-machine gun was a joint research project between the Government Arsenal and Safariland Firearms Manufacturing Corp. Little is known about this weapon’s origins, but its alternative name — the “Efficient Reliable Assault Pistol (ERAP)” — suggests inception during the term of President Estrada.
It first appeared on the Timawa.net forum on October 14, 2004 by way of an ABS-CBN article that described the weapon as:
“. . . uses the close-bolt concept of the Heckler and Koch MP5 for accuracy; the barrel arrangement of the UZI for versatility; and the upper and lower receivers of the M-16 for ease in mass production. It fires the 5.56 mm round, that is also used by M-16s.”
The forum went through an almost four-year information drought before reports of the weapon’s failings came to light. Details found here. Issues with poor manufacturing quality, relatively small magazine capacity and an excessively high-rate of fire were exacerbated by a high price-point. Reportedly the only buyers of the weapon were the Mandaue SWAT and a number of private individuals. The AFP never adopted the weapon.
In June 2012, the director of the Government Arsenal revealed that the project had been abandoned in favor of an alternative rifle that will fire the new “Musang” round, that is designed for both CQB and Night Fighting Weapon System (NFWS) use. This alternative would require fewer modifications to the basic M-16/M-4 format, which the GA was poised to begin producing locally. Details here.
The SAW-9 story had come to an end.