Update on the FK Brno 7.5

We have written about this pistol before, but it’s had a long and arduous trip to market, and it’s still not really here. It may finally be coming (and here’s another allegation of imminence from four months ago). In any event, we haven’t got hands on one yet — hell, we haven’t seen one for sale, but we’ve found a couple of articles by people who have handled the gun, not just the press releases. And of course, there’s the manufacturer’s website.

Despite the inventors’ denials, and the gun and ammo’s own unique technology, it clearly owes a great deal to the CZ 75 and its descendants. (That’s not a bad thing, necessarily. After all, everybody owes a great deal to the M1911 and its descendants, too). The lockwork seems similar to the precision-oriented CZ single-actions.

The pistol is manufactured conventionally, for a Czech firearm. That is to say its components are CNC milled from billet or from investment castings (possibly by Poldi, which has cast for ZB and CZ since CZ-Strakonice days, before CZ built the UB factory  in 1936).

Unique ghost ring FK sight.

But the FK Brno 7.5  offers a unique high-velocity round, a unique buffer system, and unique sights. The FK 7.5 pushes .30 caliber copper bullet at 2000 feet per second, not quite rifle speed, but better than such remarkable rounds as the long-defunct .357 Auto Mag. Its numbers make the .357 SIG look like it has the parking brake on.

 

It’s otherworldly enough to generate considerable skepticism. When the FK 7.5 first came up on the radar last year, John Zent of American Rifleman noted its sudden appearance on the market had a certain “out-of-nowhere” quality. John Roberts a Guns, Holsters, and Gear also was unimpressed by the claimed velocity, because it can be matched by a 9mm firing an ultralight 50 grain round — delivering half the FK 7.5s energy.

An FK 7.5 shortslide prototype photographed by Rob Pincus at the factory.

Here is celebrity trainer Rob Pincus, with what he promises is Part I of a multipart article. Rob was invited to the Czech Republic to try the gun during its long period in ATF purgatorio, and has some interesting comments.

A High Capacity Handgun that fires a propriety [sic] 100 grain round at over 2000fps and costs over $5000. The round, by the way, is still moving at 1500fps at 100 meters… which is the distance at which the pistol is zeroed with a unique set of sights when it comes from the factory. As others in the above links note, the gun is relatively large, fires a very powerful round and isn’t going to be cheap. FK BRNO also claims that the gun is very controllable and capable of high levels of precision. And, the only guns currently in the USA are there for government evaluation so that importation could be approved.

Per Pincus, the company considers itself primarily an ammunition research company, which builds the pistol as a way to get its ammo concept into shooters’ hands. He hits these takeaways — and elaborates on each, so you’ll want to Read The Whole Thing™:

  1. FK BRNO says that they are an Ammunition Company that also makes a handgun.
  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.
  3. The 7.5 round delivers high levels [of] precision.
  4. The Terminal Ballistics are even more impressive than the precision capability.

He concludes: “FK Brno have done what they set out to do.” We’ll say again, Read The Whole Thing™, and we’re looking forward to the next part.

The tactical niche this pistol fills is unclear, although it seems to overdo what the Secret Service and Federal Air Marshals Service selected the .357 SIG to do. It is, without doubt, a magnificent engineering accomplishment, and the prototypes seen so far are beautifully finished. One clue is that, in its native country, it is available in a folding shoulder-stocked version, making it a near-peer of PDWs like the HK MP7 and FN P90 / FiveSeVen combination. It also appeals to people who love that kind of engineering for its own sake.

If it’s a success, it will seem less strange in due course. If it’s not a success, it will be a footnote to firearms history of near-GyroJet proportions. Either way, we want one!

30 thoughts on “Update on the FK Brno 7.5

  1. Dan

    It would seem that this round….as described…..could penetrate most if not all soft body armor.
    I’d be amazed if BATFEces etc. allowed it’s importation and sale to the general public. At the very
    least I suspect they’d force the manufacturers to dial back on the ammo speed and make the round
    softer and less penetrating. Sort of like how some FN 5.7 rounds are LEO sale only as they too can
    penetrate Kevlar. Odds are very good that for the average hoplophile this will be made of Unobtainium.

    1. BillC

      BATFE classification of AP has little to do with AP abilities as it has to do with bullet construction.

      Under 18 United States code, AP ammo is as:
      (i) A projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
      (ii) A full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

  2. Sommerbiwak

    A folding stock makes the FK BRNO 7,5 similar in concept to the B&T USW debuted recently. The latter is in ubiquitous 9*19 mm not some exotic new cartridge, but has a shoulder stock too. The USW is also a distant cousin, because it is also derived from CZ75.

  3. Sommerbiwak

    “5” short slide” makes me snicker. But if you want velocity, you need barrel length. Makes me wonder if you could make the cartridge work with a Boberg alike operating system to cut down on overall length. And I want to see the 7,5 mm in a sub-machine gun/pistol caliber carbine.

    The niche for the new round, you ask? Easy: more power in the handgun. With the proliferation of body armour there is an arms race going on between arms and armour. I think this new cartridge is in the same line as 6,5 CBJ or those russian semi-experimental HV 9 mm loads.

    1. Sommerbiwak

      Having read the good article that low recoil spring assembly reminds me of the Hudson H9 that has recently been debuted which also has its spring put very low with the intent of better controllability.

  4. TRX

    Sooo… what’s the bullet weight of this thing? 50 grains, like the 9mm mentioned?

    The .357 AMP will push a 125 grain bullet just under 2000fps.
    The plain old .30 Tokarev pushes an 85 grain bullet to 1700-ish.

    Aguila’s “IQ” ammo with aluminum (or zinc?)bullets was around a while back; they were claiming 65 grains at 1500fps for a 9×19.

    I can’t find my data for the .30 Lomont, but it was a necked-down .357 AMP. Kent was getting over 2000fps with 90-ish grain bullets, but he was limited to how much he could compress the powder.

    These guys better put their game face on if they’re going to run with the big dogs…

    1. John M.

      The referenced article repeatedly refers to a 100 gr projectile. I’m not sure if that’s the only weight available or not.

      -John M.

      1. Rob Pincus

        They have three projectiles, all within a few grains of 100 and all moving at one side or the other of 2000fps at the muzzle, slightly less from the 5″.

  5. Samozrejme

    The only 5.7 round that is truly unobtainable is the SS190 but that has a steel penetrator. FN chooses to make the SS198 Leo only but that is company policy not law. I wonder how different this is performance wise from a .308 pistol.

  6. Tom Stone

    Flash and blast? Since they use a proprietary powder probably a lot less than a .30 carbine blackhawk, but it’s still likely to be pretty impressive.

    1. Dyspeptic Gunsmith

      The reason why pistols in .30 Carbine flash so badly is because the powder in a .30 Carbine round is far too slow for pistol use. By the time the bullet exits a 5 or 6″ barrel, there’s still plenty of powder left to burn – hence the huge muzzle bloom.

      If you want to make a pistol round go “real fast” with a 5″ barrel, you can load it with very fast powder. Bullseye is one of the faster powders, and causes pressures to peak very quickly. You can tell how effective Bullseye is as causing rapid pressure rises for pistol use by how many reloaders have obliterated rifles when they’ve screwed up and put Bullseye powder in a rifle cartridge.

  7. Nynemillameetuh

    I’m not usually one to balk at price, but $5,000 for a virtual unknown makes my Spidey Sense tingle. Is that paying for R&D, testing costs, and marketing? Or is it buying a level of craftsmanship on par with a Korth or an old world P210 in addition to covering the above expenses?

    If it performs as described by Rob Pincus, the ammuntion supply is steady, and its price turns out to not be massively inflated, count me in. Otherwise I’ll allocate my shekels to Rob’s own PD10 single-stack and possibly a new 16 gauge double.

  8. John M.

    A bullet that has vastly superior terminal ballistics and better felt recoil than a .357 has a bit of the feel of a “magic bullet” to me. Lowering bullet weight will tend to improve felt recoil a bit, but it should come at the cost of penetration depending on things like sectional density.

    Anyway I’m a bit doubtful of the stated results and would like to see them independently chronographed and gel tested.

    Color me interested but skeptical at this point.

    -John M.

  9. Looserounds.com

    That gun at least looks finely and beautifully made.

    Always liked the ergos of the CZ type and that is clearly what this thing looks to copy.

    I am still a little skeptical we will ever see this thing and see it achieve what they claim but I sure hope we do.

    When talking among other industry guys, its strange how the bigger they are of being 9mm fans the more they want to poopoo this and the round. Curious.

    1. Rob Pincus

      I might be the ultimate 9mm fan…. and I was impressed.

      Of course, I (now) realize that this is not being offered as a replacement for a 9mm close quarters defensive firearm.

      1. Hognose Post author

        Rob, sorry your comments sat in moderation. Happens to new commenters. Any future comments should go live without delay, unless there’s a link in it, then the machine dumps it in the queue for human intervention.

  10. Dyspeptic Gunsmith

    I guess I’m going to be the one who piddles on the parade again. As I’ve said previously, there’s very little new under the sun in firearms any more. For just about any “hot new” cartridge, there’s an existing cartridge out there that will do everything you want.

    In this case, the 7.5 FK cartridge does pretty much what the 9×25 Dillon does – only with a wholly new cartridge case, ie, “spend more money on your brass.” The 9×25 Dillon has the 10mm Auto as the parent case. The 7.5 FK case is about a couple of mm longer than the 10mm case, and perhaps a little undersized – so that this can’t go into a 10mm chamber and close, and the 10mm will probably fail to feed all the way into the 7.5’s chamber. Well done for safety and all that.

    Unless someone is really hell-bent on pushing .30 pills downrange from a pistol instead of 9mm pills, I’m not seeing the point here. This, like the 9×25 Dillion, needs a 6″ barrel to reach claimed velocities (also about 2,000 fps) and energy levels (also about 850+ ft-lbs). They’re both bottle-necked cartridges.

    I’m just having a big case of “meh” upon reading the cartridge specs – I’m wholly underwhelmed. Maybe because it’s Monday, maybe because it’s an otherwise beautiful morning and I’ve already been called out on a domestic battery incident. That never puts me in a good mood… but I just don’t get the point of this new cartridge.

    Looking at the gun, however, I’m pleased that someone still makes a handgun that is finely finished, and the pictures of the existing examples of this Brno pistol are quite nice. Very, very nice. All I could suggest is losing the composite or plastic grips.

  11. 10x25mm

    Poldi Kladno does no investment casting, and hasn’t since well before their near death experience in the 1990’s. Poldi is now a heavy engineering steel specialist, supplying large forged (as opposed to rolled) sections.

    CZUB has their own captive IC foundry, and there are several other really good independent IC foundries in the Czech Republic. CIREX, Impro, and Praguecast are the leading independent IC foundries in the Czech Republic.

  12. 10x25mm

    Poldi Kladno does no investment casting, and hasn’t since well before their near death experience in the 1990’s. Poldi is now a heavy engineering steel specialist, supplying large forged (as opposed to rolled) sections.

    CZUB has their own captive IC foundry, and there are several other really good independent IC foundries in the Czech Republic. CIREX, Impro, and Praguecast are the leading independent IC foundries in the Czech Republic.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Just FYI, the 2016 (or maybe ’17) CZUB Czech language catalog includes references to “Poldi Metal” but I have learned to trust you on metal issues, whether it’s metallurgy or industry stuff.

  13. LSWCHP

    Regardless of anything else, that looks like a very finely made piece. I’m an Engineer, and I sure do appreciate the fine work of other engineers and skilled craftsmen. Gun porn, for sure!

    And speaking of finely made pieces and skilled craftsmen, I’m busting to let y’all know that I just purchased a 1960 vintage S&W Model 14 .38 revolver that’s almost like new. Man oh man…they really did make things better back then, and it’s in danger of rusting due to my uncontrollable drooling. This might not sound like anything special to those of you in the US who have ready access to all sorts of beautiful firearms (Hey Hognose), but here in Australia it’s taken me 3 months of diligent internet searches every day to find this one magnificent old gun for sale. I’m a happy man.

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