Tag Archives: Pistol

So you say you wanna be a BAD Boy?

The Cimarron Firearms Company  introduces the Bad Boy .44 Mag. at the 2018 SHOT Show, a modern take on a classic single-action revolver design. Features include, a flat top receiver, a non-fluted cylinder, adjustable target sights and smooth hardwood grip panels.

Over the decades many others have brought similar large frame Single Actions to the market place.  Interarms™ imported the Verginian Dragoon.  Herter’s had a 44 Magnum.  EAA has the Bounty Hunter in 44.  Uberti™ has the Callahan and we cannot forget the Ruger™ New Model Super Blackhawk.

The Bad Boy is constructed of a polished blued steel Pre-War frame with an Army-style grip, but the octagon barrel is a feature that would be expensive if you went to a gunsmith to make one.  Rumor has it that there will be a 6″ version available, but all that is listed for now is the 8″ Barrel.  The adjustable sights make this a great choice for a hunting gun.

MSRP $687.70



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I was working at the local community college with my associate Robart Schaefer.  We teach a firearms technology course there.  So naturally just about all conversations revolve around guns of one sort or another.  Robart mentioned he had seen a lot of Internet chatter about the 7.5 FK BRNO.  We had a good laugh when you brought up a post from a guy who asked if anyone had heard of the new company B_R_N_O?  He apparently have never heard of the famous city in The Czech Republic that has been producing firearms for at least 100 years.  Thus started a conversation with a lot of laughs that only a gun lover could appreciate.

First off, lets clear up some of the questions that pop to mind immediately.

  1. Is this company related to other well known BRNO companies from the Czech Republic?

Answer: No.  According to John Zent, Editorial Director for American Rifleman, this company has no connection the historical companies of the well known city of Brno in the Czech Republic.

2. What caliber is a 7.5 FK?


Answer: That would be a 30 caliber for the uninitiated to the Metric world of firearms.

3. What’s it look like?

Answer: A bottle-necked pistol cartridge.



Bullet Weight Velocity (fps) Energy (ft. lbs.)
5.7×28 40 gr. 1685 252
221 Fireball 40 gr. 3200 910
9mm Luger* 50 gr. 2000 454
460 S&W 200 gr. 2200 2150
30 Carbine 110 gr. 1990 967
7.62×25 85 gr. 1630 697

7.5 FK

100 gr.



*Specialty ammo from Liberty Ammunition

The first article about this cartridge that caught my attention was an American Rifleman story by John Zent titled, “Worlds Fastest Pistol– 7.5 FK Brno”.  This was where Robert and I started kicking cartridges back and forth.  30 Carbine was the first cartridge that really came to mind as the AMT Automag III had long ago had this slot pretty well locked up, if velocity was the only measure.

So is it the Worlds Fastest?  I guess you will have to break it down for yourself.

Most shooters will also look at bullet weight and therefore energy numbers to determine the true value of a cartridge.  Available guns, ammo and their price ranges also enter into the discussion.  Of course the inevitable question of revolver vs. semi-auto comes into play as well.  For me the question of stopping power is a bigger concern if this is going to be a self defense gun.

In the buzz around the 7.5 FK BRNO pistol is a point that will limit the number of buyers for this gun.  Prices in several articles have suggested that the gun will sell for around $5000.  If that is the case the audience for this gun will be small.

It’s highly likely that custom pistol makers will offer guns with custom barrels in the 7.5 FK chambering.  4D Reamer Rentals LTD (our sponsor) has already ordered in the reamers and gauges for this cartridge.

7_5 FK vs 30m1

30 Carbine vs. 7.5 FK

As of this writing the pistols and ammunition are supposed to be available from at least one U.S. retailer: https://luxuryfirearms.com/ They are holding the pricing pretty close to the vest, so most folks would infer that the high prices that have been reported in other articles are probably correct.

Want to build your own?  You can rent the reamer and gauges here.

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Reloading A to Z, from AGI

Guest Blog By Jack Landis

Showing case changes

Explaining how cases are changed when fired.

AGI Tech Services
Manager and Editor, GunTech Magazine

One of the questions I have most often fielded from AGI students and prospective students over the last several years is; “When are you folks going to do a comprehensive reloading course?”

Well, the stars finally aligned and we convinced Fred Zeglin to take the few weeks he had off between the courses he was instructing and his latest writing projects to use his impressive knowledge of reloading and cartridge design to teach this course.

Fred has an extensive background as a professional custom gunsmith, cartridge designer, and author. His books Wildcat Cartridges, Hawk Cartridges, and his AGI instructional video course, Taming the Wildcat are well worth studying by students of the subjects.

This new course is almost eight full hours of the information any reloader needs to know. As he says in the introduction, “There is something for everyone here. If you’ve never handloaded, everything you need to know to assemble safe, effective handloads is here. If you’ve loaded for years, odds are you will still find out things you never knew, considered, or completely understood.” Let’s take a look at what’s actually under the hood . . .

Disk 1 – Brief History of Reloading: This is no exhaustive history of every step in the evolution of loading firearms and cartridges, but rather a concise explanation of how we got to what we actually do today.
Reloading Components: Here Fred shows the various types of cartridge cases, bullets, primers, and powders. He explains their differences and the reasons why those differences exist. Why are spritzer bullets pointed?
Why are some powders shaped like little rods?
Ignition Theory: What happens from the moment the firing pin strikes the primer to the exit of the bullet from the barrel is carefully explained and shown in drawings.
Pressure Curves: A PressureTrace Internal Ballistics System is used to show the real-time gas pressure rise and fall from primer ignition until the bullet leaves the barrel, approximately 1.5 milliseconds. Fred draws curves
which demonstrate what the pressure curves would look like in the Fred Zeglin, Cartridge Designer
case of a dramatic overload, high pressure caused by an over-length case, and powder detonation which can
occur if a very small charge of slow burning powder is used in a large case.
Resource Books: Fred explains why the Cartridge Comparison Guide belongs in your library as well as other books
that give you information on a huge number of cartridge’s dimensions, shapes, ballistics, and terminal performance. The reference books discussed will help you decide what cartridge you might want in your next gun.
Reloading Manuals: Reloading without these “must have” sources is like driving with your eyes shut, a real recipe for disaster. You need more than one so you can cross reference loading data to make sure the load you are
contemplating is safe.

Disk 2 – Developing a load plan: What IS a loading plan and why do you need one? Have you
decided what the load you’re thinking about creating is supposed to accomplish? Do you have a purpose for loading it? What is it? Is it reasonable?

Powder and bullets shown

Selecting correct components for your load plan.

He explains to you why you shouldn’t be “That guy” who just searches for the hottest published load for his cartridge and doesn’t “Waste time” with Starting Loads. “Hey, if it’s published it’s safe, right? These guys always leave a safety
margin, right?” Why you need to keep a complete notebook recording loads, velocity, accuracy, etc.
The Bench: Where should it be, how should it be constructed, how sturdy does it have to be, how high should it be, and why. Press and Die Set-up: Learn how to properly set up the dies, shell holders, and decapping pins from a two die set in your press.

Prepping the Brass: Cleaning, Reaming Inspection: Why you need to clean and inspect your brass, chamfer ream the case mouth and clean out the primer pockets.

PressureTrace Internal Ballistics System
What’s in a “Complete loading kit?” Fred opens a big box from Hornady that contains everything you need to load quality ammo, other than cases, primers, bullets, and powder. Why these make sense for the beginner.

Lubrication: Fred shows you several different methods and products to lubricate the cases prior to resizing, and
why you need to do it.
Full-Length Sizing Dies vs Neck Sizing Dies: Ever wonder what the hoopla about neck sizing from accuracy buffs is all
about? Fred explains why you might want to do it, what makes you able to do it continuously with some cases, why you’ll have to eventually full-length size, and how to avoid “Over-sizing.” Do you know what guns you should not only
never neck-size for, and moreover why you’ll need a “Small base” die? What IS a small base die?
Sizing the Cases: By this time, you will be all set to make those cases like new again.
Priming the Cases: Fred shows you four different priming methods, and why some are better than others in his opinion.
Measuring the powder: Several different scales are shown and how to set them up. After that Fred dips, throws, trickles, weighs, and finally stands and watches a machine do it all.

Disk 3 – Charging Cases: Now we actually begin to load cartridges. Attach the powder measure to the press, verify it is throwing the correct weight, adjust the die so the case is just partially re-sized, and dump the powder into the case. Watch Fred set-up the bullet seating die for no crimp, set the bullet on the top of the case and feed it into the die, adjust its seating depth, and . . . voila!! A real live reloaded round of ammunition made by your very own self.
Seating Bullets with a Crimp: Here you will learn how to set the seating die so it will crimp the case mouth into the bullet’s cannelure just as the bullet reaches the correct depth, and why and when you sometimes need to do this.
Using the Lee Loader: Robart Schaefer demonstrates the use of the basic Lee Loader. Many of we “Senior” reloaders started with one of these tools. It gives you everything you need to load one caliber of good quality ammo for ~ $28. Just supply brass, bullets, primers, and powder. The box holding the tools will fit in the back pocket of your jeans, assuming you don’t fill them as full as some of us.
Fred at the bench demonstrating proper die set up
Next up is Robart Schaefer again, this time with the Lee Hand Press. This is basically a bench type press that
you can use sitting in your La-Z-Boy while watching football. And I have. While it won’t full length resize large
cases, it will do everything else. I probably used it more than anything else with a Lee decapping die, got
my youngest to do a bunch too, and then primed those cases with a Lee Auto Prime. Yep, thousands of them. Got them both for under $50 more than a couple of years ago.
Reloading Cartridges with a Three Die Set-up: Fred explains the use of three die sets. The third die is used to bell the mouth of straight wall cases and pour the powder charge through into the case.
Annealing Brass: Working (sizing) makes it hard and susceptible to cracking. Heating it softens it again and allows more loadings. Fred shows how to do this and gives several alternatives and cautions.
Case Trimming: Here’s where you learn how to trim those over length cases back to the correct size with a couple of different tools and ways of measuring.
Additional Case Prep Procedures: Learn about vibrating, tumbling, and ultra-sonic case cleaners. Learn how and why we uniform primer pockets and flash holes.
Reloading Cartridges Using a Progressive Press: Fred demonstrates a progressive loading press, and describes what happens, and how, at each station.
Disk 4 – Tools and Accessories: Fred wraps up the cartridge reloading portion with a “Show and Tell” of some specialty tools that will make your reloading easier. Shown are extended shell holders to ease the loading of really short cases, a competition shell holder set whose heights vary by .002 inches to allow you to set the exact amount of case sizing you want, powder measure baffle and drop tube, and neck lubers for neck sizing. Specialty dies include neck sizing dies with interchangeable bushings to adjust neck tension, Lee Factory Crimp dies, in-line feeding and micrometer seating
dies, and bullet pulling dies. An impact bullet puller is demonstrated as well.

Bullet Casting: Robart tells us why we should consider casting our own lead bullets and shows what tools and equipment are needed for the process.

Lead: What kinds of lead alloys are needed, where to scrounge what you need, or buy it pure or ready alloyed
if all else fails. The characteristics of the various alloys are discussed and their uses explained.
Pouring Ingots: How and where to heat your lead safely, why and how to flux, and cleaning the dross off the top. It’s kind of cool to see the steel wheel weight clips floating on top of the lead. How to pour the cleaned and alloyed lead into
smaller, easily handled ingots . . . into what looks like corn cob shapes in a jello mold. Why you can never have water around hot lead.
Casting Bullets: Now we get down to actually pouring lead into the molds. How to tell by looking at the bullets whether the lead, mold, or ladle is too hot or cold. He pours from a ladle into the top of single and double molds, and from the bottom into a six bullet mold.
Testing Hardness: Here is a tool the tests the Brinell hardness of the cast bullets and explains how you can determine how hard they have to be based on the chamber pressure of the cartridge they are going to be fired from.
Sizing and Lubing Bullets: Why cast bullets need to be sized and lubed after casting, and how it’s done. What to use for bullet lubes is a choice made based on the bullet’s expected velocity The Lube Sizer Press: This press has a heating
element that heats the lube before it deposits in the lube grooves, seats a gas check, and sizes the bullet, all in one
smooth stroke of the handle.

Final Thoughts on Bullet Casting: Robart wraps up his discussion of bullet casting with a reiteration of why it’s a cool thing to do, and repeats the cautions earlier expressed. Have fun and be safe!

Epilogue: Fred closes by showing a bullet neck concentricity gauge and explains what it tells you and why it is important as a lead-in to a discussion of why learning even more advanced techniques can improve your abilities as a reloader and shooter. If you have never reloaded a single cartridge, you can do so with success and confidence after watching this video course. You will also be able to make informed choices on what tools and equipment will fit your needs and budget.

As a bonus, AGI put Darrel Holland’s Advanced Reloading Techniques course in the package too!

Reprinted courtesy of Hot Brass Magazine

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New Approach to Firearms Education

Flathead Valley Community College will launch a new two-semester evening Firearms Technologies Certificate starting this fall.  The 27-credit program will feature curriculum developed to support the growing firearms industry in the Flathead Valley in Montana as well as across the country.

One of only a few colleges in the nation to offer firearms related programs. FVCC has taken a unique approach, developing the program as an enhancement to its existing industrial machine technology program introduced last year under the Department of Labor “Amplifying Montana’s Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Industry” grant (#TC-23760-12-60-A-30).  This approach will make FVCC the only school that focuses on manufacture of firearms and related parts.

The new program will provide students the opportunity to incorporate advanced machining skills with an understanding of firearms operational systems. Courses are tailored to emphasize the manufacturing of firearm components.

Fred Zeglin, curriculum coordinator for the program, developed the courses under the guidance and input from local firearms manufacturers.  “Manufacturers say they are seeking trained machinists who understand firearms.  Classes have been designed to build understanding of a wide variety of firearms and the way that they function.” said Zeglin.

Emphasis will be placed upon the completion of several gunsmithing projects involving blueprints and schematics using a combination of both hand and machine tools. This program will provide a clear understanding of firearms design and function, enabling graduates to assist with design implementation or tolerance issues in manufacturing environments.

The program will be held in the evenings with labs during the daytime on Friday and Saturday. Course topics will include firearms introduction and safety; manual mill and lathe systems; bench metal techniques; firearms theory and firearms repair; machine tools for gunsmiths; and precision rifle building.  This selection of courses are designed to increase the marketable skills of the students in the manufacturing realm.

The program will be marketed nationwide bringing focus to the local industry.  Prospective students must apply both to the program and for admission to FVCC. Program applications are due August 1 at 4 p.m. Applications are available online at http://www.fvcc.edu/firearms or in the Admissions Office in Blake Hall on the FVCC Kalispell campus. For more information, contact Jori Bullemer at 756-3905 or jbullemer@fvcc.edu or Will Richards at 756-4862 or wrichards@fvcc.edu.

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NRA Short Term Gunsmithing Program, Kalispell, MT

FVCC LogoFlathead Valley Community College is hosting the NRA Short Term Gunsmithing Program again this summer.  2014 will be the third year for this program at FVCC, the program has grown in attendance each year and this year should be no different.  New classes are being offered so if you attended or looked at the offerings in the past there is probably something new for you this year.

Quality instruction is the name of the game at FVCC.  The instructors for the Short Term Program are all top notch professionals who are well respected in the gunsmithing community.  For instance, Lee Helgeland is one of the premier stockmakers in the nation.   He has spent 30 years perfecting his craft and is a member of the American Custom Gunmakers Guild.  Another instructor new to the Kalispell program this year, Sam Hatfield, certified NRA and Sig Academy Master Instructor.  Sam was head gunsmith at Green Mountain Guns in Lakewood, Colorado and served as a member of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit as a gunsmith. Sam now owns Hatfields Gunsmithing Inc. in Manassas, VA.

To learn more about the instructors for this summers program check out this link:


New classes this year include “S&W Revolver Action Work”, “1911 Handgun AMU Accuracy Rebuilding” and “Accurate Reloading for the Hunter”.  Perennial favorites like “Customizing AR-15 or AR-10” and “Introduction to Checkering” will still be on the schedule.

If you have ever wanted to learn more about gunsmithing but can’t take of the two years necessary for most schools, the NRA Short Term Gunsmithing Program is a great alternative.  Classes normally run or one week, Monday through Friday.  They are intensive hands on classes with small numbers of students, so you have great access to the instructor. This unique learning opportunity is set up as part of the Continuing Education Department of the College and the courses are non-credit.

If cost is a concern I noticed that the College has some Scholarships provided by NRA donations, details at this link:


An electronic copy of the brochure for these classes is available at this link:


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Melonite, What’s the Scoop?

Before we talk about the Melonite® process, it’s important to understand that you must complete all machine work to be performed on parts prior to treatment.  The finished surface is extremely hard and makes modification of parts after Melonite treatment impractical.  High Speed steel cutting tools will be destroyed trying to cut through Melonite.

MELONITE is a thermochemical treatment for improving surface properties of metal parts. It exhibits predictable and repeatable results in the treating of low and medium carbon steels, alloy steels and stainless  steels.  The process has many stages, from the pre-treatment-cleaning, to pre-heat furnace, to the Melonite salts, quench salts and water rinses.

The MELONITE process  is not a coating.  It is a process that introduces nitrogen and carbon into the surface of the metal.  It produces high wear resistant as well as improved lubricity. The service life of steel tools and parts is extended. Corrosion resistance of unalloyed and low alloyed steels is greatly improved.

The MELONITE process increases fatigue strength  about 30-80% on parts made of alloyed steels. The hardness is maintained up to about 930°F and extends the surface life of steel tools and components which are exposed to heat.

During the MELONITE process, which takes place between 900°F and 1075°F. A two-part nitride layer consisting of a monophase compound layer and a diffusion layer is formed. Total depth ranges from 0.008-0.040″, depending on the composition of the base material and treating time. Hardness in the compound layer ranges from approximately HV 700 on alloyed steels.

A unique feature of salt bath nitrocarburized layers (melonite) is the monophase compound layer, with a nitrogen content of 6-9% and a carbon content of around 1%. Compared with double phase nitride layers which have lower nitrogen concentrations, the monophase layer is more ductile and gives better wear and corrosion resistance by improvement with case hardening.

In metallographic analysis the compound layer is clearly definable from the diffusion layer as a lightly etched layer. A porous area develops in the outer zone of the compound layer. The case hardness of the compound layer measured on a cross-section is up to about 1600 HV on high chromium steels. Treatment duration of 1-2 hours usually yield compound layers about 0.0004″ to 0.0008″. The higher the alloy content, the thinner the layer for the same treatment cycle.

Corrosion resistance of Melonite is exceptional.  Salt spray tests show that Melonite can go nearly four times longer without rust spots developing than with nickle plating.

Sources for Melonite:





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Kimber Micro .380 Pistol

Kimber’s Micro .380 ACP pistols were not new for 2014 but they were available for testing at SHOT Show Media day 2014.  The Micro includes many proven 1911 design elements that make them comfortable to carry, quick and safe to operate, and easy to shoot accurately.Kimber 380

Weighing just 13.4 ounces and with a barrel length of only 2.75 inches, they are ideal for concealed carry.  Like most 380 pistols, the recoil was light and easy to handle.  Sights were easy to pick up accuracy was good for a small pistol.  If you have big hands this gun is probably not for you, I have average size hands and it was easy to control and manipulate for me.

Weighing less than 14 ounces empty.  Slides on the Stainless and CDP models as well as all Micro barrels are machined from stainless steel for resistance to moisture and corrosion.  All Micro frames are carved from aluminum.

In many ways the Micro is a miniature 1911, among the most important Micro design features is a single action trigger with a short, smooth pull that delivers accuracy and instills confidence. The thumb safety, slide release and magazine release are pure 1911.

Standard features include a lowered and flared ejection port for flawless ejection and a beveled magazine well for fast, positive loading. These are items that many shooters pay a lot of money to have added to a gun.  Sights are steel mounted in machined dovetails for durability. Each Micro includes a flush-fitting 6-round magazine and an extended 7-round magazine is available as an accessory.


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Multiple Impact Bullet, SHOT Show 2014

Here is a sad fact about emergency situations:  Without extensive daily training chance are your initial reaction will be less than perfect.  In the case of life threatening situations, because of fear, panic, or adrenalin, 93 percent of first shots fired miss the intended target.  This is easy to understand.

In the best of circumstances we all have a slight twitch when firing a gun.  The best marksman learn to minimize the flinch or twitch.  For instance, if your twitch puts you just 2 degrees off target at 20 feet you will be 9.1 inches off your intended point of aim.  Obviously that is enough to cause a miss.

These facts caused the folks at Multiple Impact Bullets to invent a bullet that makes if for more likely a first shot will hit the target.  A bullet enhanced with Multiple Impact™ Technology (a prior-to-impact expansion technology) is designed to compensate for most if not all of the typical marksman’s error caused by Last Second Twitch.

The new design divides a single projectile into 3 interconnected segments that will spread to a predetermined orientation and finite diameter when fired. Once deployed, the segments of the proprietary Wide Envelopment Bullet™ (W.E.B™) are tethered together (like a spider web), to offer the shooter a much wider impact zone, reducing the occurrence of missed shots and thereby reducing the risk of collateral damage. (A standard .45 cal slug is .452 inches in diameter and remains that way until it collides with something, where as a T3™ round of the same caliber can be made to expand (instantly upon leaving the barrel) to a predetermined diameter (range 6 “ to 16 “ or greater).

This one of a kind Accelerated Radial Spread™ makes possible a wide spread pattern that ensures a high hit probability for each and every shot, resulting in unprecedented accuracy/hit probability, ensuring the shooter a greater tactical advantage.

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DuraCoat, SHOT Show 2014

New Aerosol DuraCoat 2014

DuraCoat is finally available in an aerosol can.  This new aerosol was made possible by the development of this new “can in a can” technology which allows the components to mix inside the can.

This product differs from some other finishing products in that the product is activated, so it must be used within 48 hours of activation.  Some gunsmiths and hobbyist are concerned about buying large quantities of product.  For small shops this may be a great answer to that inventory problem.

Colors available in this new form are Matte Black, OD Green, Pink Lady, Magpul flat Dark Earth, White, Black-Hawk Coyote Tan, Combat Gray, and Woodland Green.  Each 12 ounce can contains enough material to coat two rifles.

Available from www.lauerweaponry.com

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NEW Pistols, SHOT Show 2014

Taurus is showing a new variation on their model 85 called the “View”.  It sports a translucent panel where the side plate would normally be, allowing a view of the mechanism as the gun is cycled.  Designed for concealed carry it utilizes an aluminum frame and a titanium cylinder to hold weight down.

Chambered  for 38 Special this ultra-light revolver holds five rounds.  Empty it weighs in at only nine ounces.  With a snub nose 1.41″ barrel a round but and spur-less hammer this revolver would be easy to carry.  The side plate is a gimmick but one that many shooters would like.  Top it all off with a double action trigger pull of 10 pounds.

Desert Eagle compact 1911

Magnum Research is offering a new compact version of the 1911 for 2014.  Dubbed the “Undercover” model, or the 1911U this variant is a Series 70 style.  The DE1911U is built on an ultra lightweight frame made of aircraft grade aluminum alloy and features a 4140 high carbon steel slide and adjustable rear sight for windage and elevation. The .45 ACP DE1911U has 6+1 round capacity, an overall length of 6.85″, a 3″ barrel, height of 5″, and weighs just 25.8 oz. 

Standard features include checkered front and back strap, double diamond checkered wood grip, and stainless steel hex screws. The DE1911U also has a high-rise beavertail safety, skeleton hammer, and an aluminum trigger. It comes standard with two 6-round magazines.


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