FK Brno PSD Multi-Caliber Pistol
Need breeds innovation. Whether it’s the need to be able to communicate with colleagues all around the world or the need to accurately and consistently hit a target at 100 yards with a concealable handgun, only innovation can help meet those requirements. Sure, telephones have existed for 145 years, but reliable video conferencing is a fairly new development. Likewise, people have been ringing steel at 100 yards with handguns for probably about as long, but chances are you’ve heard of the people who can consistently do so with a pistol because, let’s face it, that’s not an easy task. Well, it wasn’t an easy task—until now.
In 2015, a new manufacturer in the Czech Republic called FK Brno released its Field Pistol. Not only was this handgun superbly crafted, it was also chambered for a new cartridge, the 7.5 FK. Seeking to fulfill the needs of a private military contractor operating in the Middle East, the company designed a cartridge and a handgun to fire it that would enable almost anyone to consistently and successfully engage a hostile target at 100 yards. Not a rifle, mind you, but a handgun that would be roughly the same size as standard-duty sidearms and could be carried on a belt.
Such a task was a lot harder than it sounds. Yes, guys like Jerry Miculek can hit a target at 1,000 yards using a revolver, but consistently hitting a target at 100 yards with a handgun is something most mortals can’t do. Moreover, even if you are at the expert level of proficiency required to do so, most handgun calibers cannot be guaranteed to do the damage at that range required for defensive purposes.
FK Brno solved both of those problems with the 7.5 FK, which pushes a 95-grain bullet at a muzzle velocity of about 2,000 fps from a 6-inch barrel. This is right around .30 Carbine velocity—out of a carbine-length barrel—yet it is achieved out of a pistol. Muzzle energy for the 7.5 FK is right around 844 ft.-lbs., which is more than double that of a 9 mm +P load. At press time, the 7.5 FK is proprietary to FK Brno and not a SAAMI-approved cartridge, although it does carry C.I.P. (the European version of SAAMI) certification.
That velocity and energy, of course, might make one a bit leery of shooting a pistol chambered for it. Thanks to an innovative recoil-attenuation system—basically a weight that wraps around the recoil spring and guide rod—however, the FK Brno Field Pistol made shooting the 7.5 FK less snappy and easier to control than a hot .45 ACP load.
The Field Pistol is undoubtedly the nicest handgun I’ve ever shot. It also retails for $7,000, which is rather expensive. As you might imagine, sales in the U.S. were not brisk at that price. Enter the company’s latest offering, the FK Brno PSD Multi-Caliber Pistol, which is a polymer-frame version of the Field Pistol that accomplishes all the tasks required of its more expensive older brother while sacrificing very little in terms of practicality, all at a much more reasonable MSRP of $1,650. The PSD is truly a game-changing handgun, as you will see.
Apart from the ability to reliably and accurately engage targets at 100 yards with a handgun that’s about the same size as a full-size 1911, the PSD also has interchangeable iron sights (two options are included), the ability to mount micro-red-dot optics directly to the slide and a user-friendly means of shooting less-expensive ammo thanks to an included 10 mm/.40 S&W alternate barrel. The two magazines that ship with the PSD can be used for all three calibers (7.5 FK, 10 mm and .40 S&W), so right out of the box you’ve got tons of options. If that’s not enough, a 9 mm +P+ barrel and associated magazines are available as aftermarket additions.
Although it’s absolutely not a CZ-75, the PSD shares some similarities with its fellow Czech pistol. It has a low-profile slide, which provides a low bore axis, and it is a single-action semi-automatic with a manual safety at the rear of the frame on the left side.
While the low-profile slide is evocative of the CZ-75, it is most definitely a different beast altogether. When I visited the company’s factory in Brno, I got to see how it makes the slides for the Field Pistol, and was able to extrapolate from that process and answers to some questions that the slide for the PSD is made similarly—which is to say with painstaking attention to detail. The Field Pistol’s slide takes 54 hours of machining to make (part of the reason it costs so much). The PSD almost certainly takes less time, but even a third as much would far exceed that of a “normal” pistol made by pretty much any other gunmaker.
These hours are not the result of outdated machines or less competent workers; quite the contrary. The company uses state-of-the-art CNC machines and has a highly educated workforce in a city known for its firearm innovations. It includes serrations at the front and rear, along with the aforementioned optics cut and cover. Needless to say, the PSD’s slide and barrel are exceedingly well-crafted, as they must be to handle the pressure of the 7.5 FK round, which is almost 51,000 psi. (Yes, you read that right.)
The same degree of attention to detail is present throughout the handgun. While the polymer frame of the PSD is markedly less elegant than the steel of the Field Pistol, it is also lighter weight and much, much less expensive to manufacture while sacrificing nothing in terms of performance. Yes, the PSD is moderately snappier than the Field Pistol, but it remains eminently controllable thanks to the recoil-attenuation system.
As you might imagine given the goal of consistent hits at 100 yards from a handgun, the PSD’s trigger is excellent. It exhibited no creep or stacking and broke extremely cleanly. My sole complaint about the PSD, and it is a minor one, is its manual thumb safety. The paddle is a bit short, which makes it more difficult to actuate from a firing grip than I’d prefer. Speaking of grip, the PSD’s consists of mild, sandpaper-like checkering on the frontstrap, backstrap and sides of the grip, as well as at the front of the trigger guard. While not aggressive, it provides enough purchase to get the job done. A fairly significant beavertail aids in acquiring a proper, high grip on the pistol.
One of the first things people notice is the large dustcover area at the front of the frame. This is where the recoil-attenuation weight resides, which explains the PSD’s unusual appearance. Beneath this area is a small section of molded-in rail for mounting a light or laser. The muzzle protrudes about .19 inch beyond the slide, while directly behind it the barrel is held by a tight bushing that helps minimize movement and ensures repeatable accuracy at long ranges (for a handgun). That bushing becomes obvious when disassembling the pistol for cleaning or to swap barrels, as removing the barrel requires a fairly forceful tap with the palm to dislodge it from the bushing, which stays in place in the front of the slide.
The two sight options that ship with the gun are, like everything else about the PSD, extremely well thought out. Out of the box, the pistol sports a three-dot sight with two white dots at the rear and an orange dot on the very thin front post. When shooting at 100 yards, that thin front post and small (but still fairly easy to find) orange dot cover up significantly less of the target than would standard pistol sights, aiding in accurate shot placement at such distances.
Shipping with the PSD is a large diamond front sight and a ring rear sight, which is an ideal setup for close-range work. That may sound silly given the purpose of this handgun, but if you elect to keep it as a 10 mm or .40 S&W gun, it’s nice to have the option of sights better suited to those calibers.
I tested the PSD with all three calibers at 25 yards, and moved back to 50 and eventually 100 with the 7.5 FK. For formal accuracy testing, I installed a Trijicon SRO (the slide is cut for RMR- or Docter-pattern optics), but I also shot the pistol with both sets of iron sights to see how everything performed. And perform they did. Apart from excellent accuracy at 25 yards (and accounting for the fact that I’m not much of a pistol shot at 25 yards, even from a rest), it also put all rounds fired at 50 yards into a 6-inch circle. At 100 yards, I had no problem ringing a steel gong with nearly every shot—optic or no. Obviously, this is revolutionary performance from a handgun.
At the factory, we shot 7.5 FK loads at 100 yards into gel blocks with various barriers in front and bone simulants within. The results were eye-opening—the 7.5 FK will stop a threat at pretty much any range out to 100 yards. It is also capable of one-shot kills on hogs and deer at the same distances.
If you feel the need to add some range to your self-defense plans, the FK Brno PSD provides the perfect platform. It’s only a hair bigger than a standard 1911, yet it packs way more punch. And if ammo availability concerns you, it can fire three different calibers, so even if you can only stock a box or two of 7.5 FK, you can still use the PSD with more-than-adequate defensive loads in 10 mm and/or .40 S&W. About the only thing that’s missing is a holster purpose-built for this revolutionary handgun. For that, well, need breeds innovation.