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FK BRNO PSD Review

In 2018, we traveled to the Czech Republic in order to check out the innovative, beautifully crafted, and insanely expensive FK BRNO Field Pistol, along with the 7.5 FK round for which it was chambered. After shooting through level IIIA armor, gel blocks, and simulated torsos, we laid hands on a new prototype and were sworn to secrecy. It was the maker’s response to criticism of the original’s retail price tag — a polymer-framed version, which was still in development and is now ready for prime time.

FK BRNO 7.5 fk flat

FK BRNO calls their new baby the PSD, and not only does it shave six grand off the tab, it allows you to swap in a 10mm Auto barrel for cheap plinking. Now, if you’re dubious that the words “cheap” and “10mm” should ever appear in the same sentence, then you’ve clearly never bought 7.5 FK ammo, which slides across the counter at a buck-fifty a pop. Come to think of it, that’s not a whole lot more than vanilla 9mm these days …

fk brno psd sights

Dovetailed front sight is a lot smaller than we’re used to on a typical polymer handgun and is set up to cover less of the target at longer ranges.

While the PSD retains much of the Field Pistol’s top end, the polymer lower is all new and shaped to accommodate its steel magazines, themselves designed around the 1.375-inch overall length of the 7.5FK round. Which is to say, it’s big. If you consider a Glock 20 to be excessively girthy, then you probably won’t get along with the PSD, as 7.5 FK is around 1/8 inch longer than a 10mm. The good news is that FK BRNO isn’t dogmatically wedded to the idea of plastic mags, meaning that its magazine well can be commensurately smaller, so the increased size isn’t as great as you may assume. But it’ll never be mistaken for a Baby Browning.

fk brno psd rear

Rear sight is also removable, and the pistol ships with a ghost ring as a replacement. Sight plate is held in place with two Torx screws and handles RMR and Deltapoint footprints.

In order to keep the grip’s dimensions from growing like the national debt, its designers endowed it with a sharp corner at the rear; coupled with the flat side panels, it feels reminiscent of grasping a 2×4. Despite the 90-degree angle, it manages to fit our larger-than-average hands well, and even with the PSD’s healthy recoil, it’s comfortable to shoot. The rest of the grip is covered with stippling, which isn’t too aggressive but still provides enough traction for sweaty paws. You’ll also be pleased to note that the trigger guard is aggressively undercut.

fk brno disassembled

Key to taming recoil and slowing the slide velocity is that huge chunk of tungsten on the guide rod. The rest of the top end is very finely finished, with nary a tool mark in sight.

The FK BRNO PSD is single-action-only, and its combination of large grip and small safety can make disengaging the lever a little more challenging than, say, a 1911. We’d like to see the shape altered to lower its ledge a little and make it easier to access with the thumb, but for now it’s workable. The trigger trips at 4 pounds after about 1/16 inch of take-up and has 1/8 inch of overtravel — it’s crisp and as good as any stock CZ-patterned pistol we’ve shot, making it easy to exploit the performance of the 7.5FK round.

There’s a slightly flared steel magwell capping off the grip area and, given the ATF’s interest in the Q Honey Badger, may draw some sideways glances. It provides an interface for what FK BRNO describes as a brace, though Technical Branch may have other ideas. Either way, it serves to extend the practical range of the weapon system and, like the rest of the gun, is beautifully machined, patterned on a Soviet-era design, and well-executed in quality steel.

Pulling off the top end reveals CZ-pattern lockwork and a locking block insert, which includes two frame rails around 0.6 inch long. The plastic frame itself also guides the slide on full-length rails, and slide to frame fit is tight, with minimal play. Forward of the front frame rails lies a substantial impact face, supporting the massively oversized rear face of the guide rod — this component serves to spread out the shock generated by stopping the slide at its rearmost point and prevents the polymer frame from peening. Sandwiched between the slide and guide rod is a cylindrical chunk of tungsten, which both adds weight to the top end and acts as a dead-blow hammer to spread out the recoil impulse. This feature accounts for the previous Field Pistol’s signature bulge in its dust cover area; this is hidden by the PSD’s frame.

fk brno internal lower

Lockwork is similar to that found on the CZ P09 and P07, but single-action-only. Note steel guide rail frame inserts.

Because the 7.5 FK develops the same muzzle energy as the hottest 357 Magnum rounds, it’s necessary to add mass to the slide in order to slow things down to the point where the pistol doesn’t attempt to disassemble itself at every shot. To this end, its slide walls are considerably wider than usual, taking it about as far as possible before things start looking like a Hi-Point. Despite being thick, there’s a certain curviness to the slide profile which is aesthetically pleasing, and the front third is reminiscent of pocket autos of the early 20th century.

Also reminiscent of a bygone era is the use of a barrel bushing, which threads into the front of the slide; it’s a wear item and should be replaced when the barrel is shot out, which according to the manufacturer is at the 20,000-round mark. Front and rear sights are replaceable by the user, and the pistol ships with both a fine post and notch setup as well as a ghost ring/diamond combo, both of which are zeroed for 100 yards and depart from convention. Offbeat irons not your thing? There’s a removable sight plate inlet in the top of the slide — take it off and you’ll find a milled pocket that’ll accept an MRDS with either an RMR or Deltapoint footprint. This is a handgun that just begs for a dot.

FK BRNO Ammo

There are three 7.5FK loads currently available in the U.S. The first is a solid copper hollow point, which steps out of a 6-inch barrel at around 2,000 fps (approximately 50 fps slower from the FK BRNO PSD’s 5.3-inch tube). The hollow point is designed to shear off at impact, leaving the remainder of the bullet shank to plow straight on. In testing in the Czech Republic, we found it capable of inflicting an impressive wound channel in clothed ballistic gel — see RECOILtv for the full video.

7.5 fk ammo 10mm 9mm

9mm, Best Millimeter, 7.5 FK

The second is a conventional 95-grain JHP from Sierra, which develops around 800 ft-lb of energy from the FK BRNO PSD and was developed specifically for FK. We’ve previously tested a similar offering from the same bullet maker using a projectile designed for 30-30 lever guns and found it to be effective. So, this one with its skived, thin jacket, and substantial hollow point should expand explosively at 7.5FK velocities. Rounding out the lineup is a 101-grain solid copper bullet with a flat meplat. Although it’s marketed as a hunting and dangerous game round, it shot through auto glass and sheet metal with ease, holding together well enough to ruin someone’s day on the other side.

At the moment, reloading data and dies aren’t yet available, unless you feel like going to the trouble of getting a reamer and making your own. Factory ammo is your only option; this is a pity, as loading up some lightweight 30-cal bullets from manufacturers such as Cutting Edge and Lehigh might make for an entertaining weekend project.

fk brno psd slim

Smooth slide profile cuts a little mass from the front end, but it’s still very noticeably front-heavy.

We also shot the supplied 10mm Auto barrel and, when downloaded to 10 rounds, found that the PSD’s magazines shuffled blunt-nosed SIG 180-grain cartridges into the chamber just fine.

7.5 FK Rounds Downrange

One aspect of the FK BRNO PSD that’s instantly noticeable, as compared to its solid steel sibling, is its weight. At almost a half-pound lighter, it sits between a 1911 and SIG 226 in terms of mass, while offering one more round in the mag than a Glock 20. Trimming the fat, however, results in the gun’s balance point shifting forward, as that big chunk of tungsten in the recoil system sits out at the muzzle with very little frame weight to even things out. This isn’t necessarily a negative aspect of the switch to polymer — after all, people have been adding tungsten guide rods to their plastic pistols since forever, in an attempt to add stability to the front end, steady the gun on target, and reduce felt recoil. The FK Brno PSD takes this to the extreme and is surprisingly pleasant to shoot as a result. You won’t be able to transition between targets as rapidly as a smaller, lighter pistol, but those won’t deliver the kind of horsepower this one does.

fk brno psd on the range

Despite generating north of 800 ft-lb of energy, the PSD is fairly gentle to shoot.

Despite its healthy bark, the 7.5 FK PSD doesn’t climb as much as you might anticipate, less than a hot 10mm load while having as much, or more, muzzle energy. We shot it side-by-side with the G20 that usually accompanies us in bear country, and while the Glock is noticeably more svelte (and may the gods have mercy on us forever for using that term in the same zip code as a 10mm Glock), the PSD recoiled more like a 45ACP — a rolling push instead of a sharp thwack.

Using a Trijicon SRO and dialing down the red dot until it was barely visible, we were able to shoot 4-inch groups at 100 yards with the 95-grain copper hollow-point round from a sandbag rest, on par with performance from the vastly more expensive FK Field Pistol. As far as reliability goes, we only had the opportunity to put 250 flawless rounds through the gun, so it’s a little premature to make any claims. But given the nature of bottlenecked pistol cartridges, we’d be surprised if it chokes during the feeding cycle. Ejection is healthy — not quite H&K G3-launch-into-the-next-county healthy, but finding your brass involves a bracing stroll.

This brings us to the question of what’s the role of the FK BRNO PSD? For anyone who spends significant time in and around vehicles, it offers the ability to defeat commonly encountered intermediate barriers. It won’t be anyone’s first choice when
it comes to concealed carry, but it’s not too big to rule it out — a G17 with a SureFire X300 is about the same size, and there are plenty of people (RECOIL staffers included) who tote that combo AIWB. Ballistically, it walks all over commonly available handgun rounds, albeit with a penalty of increased split and transition times over the ubiquitous 9mm — for some, the ability to turn cover into concealment will be a worthwhile trade-off. We see it as a viable and versatile hunting handgun, capable of ethically taking deer-sized game out to around 100 yards, given decent shot placement, and as a good defensive tool when out in the woods. Ammunition choices at this time are limited, but the option of swapping in a 10mm Auto barrel ensures that, should the supply chain be interrupted, you won’t be left with a useless paperweight.

We’re planning on taking it into the field this fall, in order to see how it performs on whitetails. We’ll keep you posted.

You can find out more on the FK BRNO PSD here: https://fkbrnous.com/psd/


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