As I posted Friday on Social Media, I’m in Europe because I was offered an opportunity to conduct an evaluation of the FK BRNO 7.5 handgun and ammunition. It started with a Facebook Message a few days ago asking me to give someone a call. That message came from Chad at Bullseye Guns in Jacksonville, FL… a range not far from my Eastern HQ and “home range” in St. Augustine. I didn’t answer right away and a few minutes later a second message came through: “Time Sensitive”. Chad and I had crossed paths at Ancient City Shooting Range in the past and talked a bit on the Interwebs, but I really didn’t know much about him or his business, except that I hadn’t taken him up on his neighborly invite to come check out Bullseye. I actually kind of felt bad about that and was hoping he wasn’t going to repeat the invitation for an event that I wasn’t going to be able to make because of other obligations.
1. FK BRNO says that they are an Ammunition Company that also makes a handgun.
In point of fact, they do produce the ammunition as well as the handgun. They form the cases, they machine the bullets, assemble all of the components (including their own powder) and package the rounds. The machines being used are all brand new and state of the art. FK BRNO is well funded and passionate about doing things in a very precise way… and it shows in everything I saw and experienced today, starting with the production of the FK BRNO 7.5 Round.
2. FK BRNO set out to develop a handgun that delivered AK-47 performance in regard to Terminal Ballistics at ranges between 50 and 150 meters. You might want to read that sentence again… because they achieved their goal (more on that soon). Why? Experiences and observations in Combat Environments, particularly involving Protective Services being provided by government personnel and contractors and (exhaustive) research and experimentation with a variety of existing firearm and ammunition combinations lead the FK BRNO 7.5’s designer to the conclusion that such a firearm would provide the optimal balance of what I refer to as carryability, shootability and Combat Efficiency in typical situations when those people are ambushed. Whether you agree with the premise or not becomes irrelevant at this point. FK BRNO is very clear that they are not building a gun for the masses, nor are they open to outside theories in this area.They also believe strongly in the idea that hydrodynamic shock is the best mechanism through which to incapacitate a human adversary efficiently, particularly at the ranges in question. So, if you don’t agree with those things, you probably aren’t going to “get” the FK BRNO pistol or ammunition as much more than a novelty or potential hunting round. That’s okay… they don’t care.
3. The 7.5 round delivers high levels precision.
The 100 grain 7.5mm machined rounds were designed to be fired out of a 6 inch barrel with 4 sets of traditional lands & grooves. We shot several 3 and 5 shot groups out of a table-mounted test barrel at 100 Meters (we are in The Europe… that is about 110 Yards) that measured under 2 inches across.
Shooting about 50 rounds through several different variations of the pistol (5″, 6″, wide grip, narrow grip, traditional sights, their proprietary ghost ring, etc…), I was hitting a 20″ Steel Circle about 30-40% of the time, including a few 3 hit strings and one 5 hits-in-a-row-group that was called at about 6 inches across by my spotter. My spotter? Yeah… Remember: 100 meters, with iron sights, in the typical weight forward, head inside the arms of the triangle, lowered center of gravity, two handed shooting position we teach in the CFS Program. The FK BRNO 7.5, especially in this setting, particularly with my preferred grip size and sight combo, made it seem like I was supposed to be hitting every time. Don’t worry skeptics, video will be posted at some point. The trigger was great, the balance of the gun (especially the 5″ Short Slide) is surprisingly good and the felt recoil was less than a 1911 firing .45 +P and noticeably less than a 4″ .357 Magnum revolver (both which I also shot today, back to back with the 7.5 for comparison).
4. The Terminal Ballistics are even more impressive than the precision capability.
We did several gel tests (using fresh-from-the-fridge FBI Standard style blocks) with various versions of the 7.5 Ammunition, including the US commercial version Hollow Point, a Hollow Point intended only for military and other armed professional use and a “spoon tip” bullet that is capable of penetrating Level IIIA Body Armor at over 100 Meters. How do I know? We shot through a Czech Military Issue IIIA Vest, in the carrier, on a 25+ kilogram gelatin torso replica with a simulated bone plate 3″ inside the front edge. The round went through front of the carrier and armor, through the body torso and was trapped inside the back armor panel… from 100 Meters out of a 6″ barrel. The most compelling gel test was probably the one we did on an Animal Simulation Block. The block was set up with 2mm of Rubber on the face to simulate animal skin (all of the other blocks had 1mm to simulate human skin and at least one layer of denim to simulate clothing, even the torso protected by the armor) and had 1 Inch of simulated bone set a few inches in from the front edge, with a gelatin only space in the middle to represent a series of smaller bones, or the marrow inside of a larger bone. A 100 grain US Commercial Hollow Point Round was fired at this block from the 6″ Barrel at 100 meters. The bullet passed through both sections of bone and came to a stop after penetrating a total of almost 14 inches. I then fired a 125 gr Magtech .357 Magnum at 10 Meters (not a typo… that’s 1/10th the distance) that stopped dead about 6 inches in without even cracking the second section of bone simulant. In a comparison test with the previously described armor, I fired a 240gr .44 Magnum XTP from 10 meters (also 1/10th the distance of the test shot with the 7.5 BRNO) that barely penetrated half of the layers on the front of the vest. So much for Magnum Force.
I’ve got more to share about FK BRNO over the next few days, including more pictures and some video clips. It’s late (or early?) here and we have another day of shooting scheduled for tomorrow at an outdoor facility and I’m going to get more into the details of how the gun works and how it’s made, including some of the manufacturing processes, more specifications as well as the design & function of the lower-than-normal recoil spring assembly. Keep an eye on my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for updates!
PS- I did get two very clear answers when I asked the owner of the company what the weak points of the FK BRNO 7.5 were… I’ll share them in Part II of this series.