FK Brno PSD Review: The Best BIg Pistol Yet?
Truth be told, I am a bit of a hand cannon junkie. I love going out to shoot my .44 Magnum wheelguns, and always appreciate a range session with a friend’s .454, .460, .480, .500 and so on. While all these pistols are a hoot to shoot, they take a certain amount of finesse to properly control and get rounds accurately on target, especially with repeatable hits.
When it comes to pistolcraft, repeatable hits can be placed into the same basket of skills as accuracy, controllability, split times and shot placement. These skills come heavily into play in conjunction with powerful handguns when one is considering defending oneself against a large, charging animal such as a moose, black bear, grizzly, or (god forbid) hippo.
This arena is where the practicality of a powerful handgun such as the FK Brno PSD comes into play. Sure, it can put out a ton of energy per shot, but can one shoot it accurately and rapidly? Powerful handguns are notorious for being difficult in this respect. Not so much the case with the FK Brno PSD.
Specs and Pricing
The FK Brno PSD fires the same 7.5FK cartridge as the $7,500 7.5 Field Pistol, yet has a much more friendly price point of $1650. A lot of this savings has to do with the PSD’s use of a polymer rather than machined steel frame. The PSD has a 5.3″ barrel vs the 6″ barrel of the Field Pistol. Speaking of barrels, the PSD can shoot 10mm/.40S&W with a simple barrel switch, as the 10mm conversion barrel will accommodate the firing of both cartridges. One can also shoot 9mm with a switch of barrel, recoil spring, and magazine. The conversion kit is part of the total price, and you as the customer can select which package, 9 or 10mm, you want to ship with your pistol.
Specs, per FK Brno:
BARREL LIFE:20,000 ROUNDS IN 7,5 FK
30,000 ROUNDS IN 10 MM/40 S&W
CALIBERS: MAIN STANDARD_________7,5 FK
AUXILIARY OPTION 1_____10 MM/40 S&W
AUXILIARY OPTION 2_____9 MM LUGER +P+
BARREL LENGTH: 136 MM (5.3″) WEIGHT: 1100 G (38.8 OZ) LENGTH: 230 MM (9.05″) WIDTH: 30 MM (1.2″) HEIGHT: 135 MM (5.3″) / WITH SIGHT 146 MM (5.75″) FRAME: HIGH STRENGTH COMPOSITE POLYMER STEEL MATERIAL: HIGH STRENGTH MIL SPEC ALLOY STEEL FINISH COLOR: NITRIDE / DARK GRAY MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 7,5 FK____________________16 ROUNDS
10 MM AUTO_____________10 ROUNDS
9 MM____________________17 ROUNDS
FRONT SIGHT: FK DIAMOND
FK PIN POINT
REAR SIGHT: FK RING SIGHT STANDARD
3 DOT OPTIONAL
OPTIC MOUNTING POINT STANDARD
FK BUTTERFLY OPTIONAL
First Impressions of THe FK Brno PSD
The FK Brno PSD came to me in a cardboard box with a cut foam insert for the pistol, extra barrel, magazines, and small parts/tools. My particular pistol already had quite a few rounds through it without cleaning, courtesy of TFBTV’s head honcho James Reeves. Nevertheless, the slide still glided back and forth like oil over glass. Though the frame is polymer, the slide still interacts with metal inserts within the frame. The lock-up of this pistol is extremely solid, and the barrel has a slight cone taper at the muzzle end, just past the barrel bushing. Overall fit and finish were excellent, and the nitrided finish seemed to be in great shape even after quite a bit of use. My only quibble was that right out of the cold delivery truck, the magazines did not eject without assistance. Once the frame warmed up a bit to room temperature, this issue went away.
Though the PSD is a very large pistol, grip circumference is perfectly reasonable. I found the grip to be comparable to my CZ 97, and the overall size comparable to an HK USP 45 (with a light mounted on the rail of the USP). The grip is a lot more comfortable than that of the Glock 20. Overall, however, it makes the Glock 20 look small, not an easy accomplishment. The big size difference between the PSD and other pistols is in the dust cover. This is where the low-slung guide rod, recoil spring, and counterweight reside. Therein lies the engineering magic that makes the PSD so controllable with such a powerful cartridge. If one were to mount a light/laser on the molded-in pic rail on that dust cover, this pistol grows to sci-fi proportions. The rail did come in practical use later, however.
The trigger has a short, light takeup, crisp and clean 4.1-lb SA (4.8-lb DA) break, and an excellent tactile reset. It’s very comparable to the trigger pull on my custom CZ97, and a key part of what makes this pistol so easy to shoot.
The PSD’s slide plate is easy enough to remove, but I did not have the ability to test it with an RMR, being that I did not have a spare RMR available during testing. FK Brno provided a “Bungy” holster made by Vega with the PSD. I cannot recommend this holster, as not only was it difficult to use and adjust, it had a length of cord with an adjustment toggle which hung off the holster. Such things are just a hazard waiting to get into one’s trigger guard and possibly cause an ND. I would recommend potential buyers to wait for their VKRD holster or use an adjustable universal holster for this pistol.
Range time and Results with the FK Brno PSD
At the range, the FK Brno PSD showed its true qualities in regards to being the most controllable and accessible powerful pistol I’ve shot yet. FK Brno USA generously provided TFB with S95 95gr JHP, F5 95gr HP, and the all-new F9 101gr copper solid 7.5FK ammo for testing. Details of the F9, per FK:
All copper monolithic wide meplat flat nose. This bullet is designed to create a wide and very deep permanent wound channel in addition to a very high dynamic shock effect. Accurate and effective for defense and medium game hunting up to 300 lbs to 100 yards, and dangerous game up to 500 lbs to 50 yards.
With the 3-dot sights and the 7.5FK loads, the PSD demonstrated excellent accuracy. This is one of those pistols that is probably more accurate than I have the ability to shoot. Groups with all three 7.5FK loads were around an inch at 25y. At 100y, which is just under what the 3-dot sights are zeroed for (100M), I was able to keep all my shots in the A-zone of a USPSA silhouette target. The ring sights’ front sight is just a bit too big for my liking. If I ordered this pistol from FK Brno, I’d probably order it with the 3-dot and the butterfly sights. I recall from trying out the butterfly sights on the Field Pistol at SHOT that they were a unique and easy to use sight setup.
Power under control
What most impressed me about the FK Brno PSD was its controllability. Whether slow-firing it off of a bipod at 100y a lá a hunting handgun, or trying for controlled pairs and quick transitions offhand at 25y and closer, the sights would come immediately back on target. Keep in mind the 7.5FK loads were clocking in at up to 2100fps and 916 ft-lbf, and this becomes very impressive.
This pistol blows all my .357 and .44 wheelguns out of the water when it comes to the “charging animal” shooting drill I shoot at 25 yards, both in speed and accuracy. I can’t come close to rivaling the PSD with my trusty Glock 20 in 10mm, and I have thousands of rounds and hundreds of hours of practice and even a bit of competition experience with that particular platform.
I’d describe the recoil impulse with 7.5FK as similar to that of a full size .45. Very manageable. There’s no other handgun generating this kind of energy that I would describe as “comfortable to shoot” for over 150 rounds in one range session. The PSD’s recoil impulse with 10mm was very similar to that of my CZ97 custom 10mm with an all-steel slide and frame. In other words, its a soft-shooting gun for its power.
7.5FK Gel Results
The “nose discarding” F5 Copper hollow point performed as advertised when fired through two 20″ blocks of 10% ordnance gel from Clear Ballistics. In the first four inches, the nose petal shear off and then the slug continued its way all the way through 39″ of the gel, coming to stop at the very end of the second block. The new solid copper F9 loads would probably have been better tested in 20% gel, as they cranked through both blocks. There was quite a bit of cavitation evident in the first block with both loads. For more detailed gel testing, check out TFB’s previous 7.5FK gel testing videos here and here.
FK Brno PSD Conversion Version
After (sadly) exhausting my 7.5FK ammunition supply, converting the PSD to 10mm was a simple affair. After easily dissembling the slide from the frame, a good tap on a wooden bench was all that was needed to dislodge the 7.5FK barrel. The 10mm barrel then fit right in, and I was back in business, only with 10mm, in short order. Though the PSD magazines hold 16 rounds of 7.5FK, they only can handle 10 rounds of 10mm/.40S&W.
The PSD cruised through a smattering of 10mm loads, including my preferred 10mm hunting load, Federal P10T1, with nary a hangup or hiccup. Accuracy was also excellent with 10mm. At 25y, I was able to get all 10 rounds in a magazine save one into a single ragged cluster in the target’s head box A-zone.
My particular PSD has now had roughly 1500 rounds fired through it with no cleaning. I only experienced one failure to feed in my course of testing. Round #959 was an S95 JHP which hung up on the feed ramp. I did have further issues with one older box of S95. It appears that early runs of S95 had brass-colored primers, likely from Wolf/Tula. Rounds from this one box had a lot of light strikes, but no other rounds, including newer S95 rounds with different primers, had this issue. I had zero malfunctions with over 250 rounds of 10mm. My friend who is a competitive shooter was shooting the PSD initially with a thumbs-high grip, which may have caused the PSD to lock back by accidentally activating the slide stop once. After he changed his grip, he had no further such issues.
I fired 250 7.5FK rounds and 250 10mm rounds through the PSD over my course of testing. Not counting the one bad box of S95 ammunition, I had one malfunction in 500 total 7.5FK and 10mm rounds fired. Not bad at all.
Overall Impression of the FK Brno PSD
The FK Brno PSD is without a doubt, the most easily accessible and controllable of any “hand cannon” that I have shot. 919 ft-lbs is up in .44 Mag territory, yet the PSD has a reasonable grip circumference and much more manageable recoil than a big-bore wheelgun or other super-sized semiautos such as the Desert Eagle. It blows .45 Super and .460 Rowland out of the water as well in regards to controllability. Is the ammo expensive? Yes, it’s over a dollar a round, however, that’s comparable to what 9mm HST is currently going for and 7.5FK is available.
I would recommend the FK Brno PSD for anyone who spends a lot of time in the backcountry or other areas where one might be dealing with ornery large animals. I would also recommend it as an excellent hunting handgun. Bottom line, it’s like having an AK shrunken down into the size of a large handgun, and that’s pretty amazing in and of itself. I ended up liking the FK Brno PSD so much, I asked to purchase it, and it will supplant my 10mm pistols for hunting and large animal defense.
- Powerful, yet controllable. The most accessible hand cannon there is.
- Very accurate, with excellent 3-dot sights.
- Comes with a conversion barrel should one run out of 7.5FK
- Reliable even when converted
- Mags can be sluggish to eject when the pistol is very cold
- No tritium sights as of yet
- Current holsters aren’t great, holster selection isn’t great either
Thanks to James Reeves for assistance with this review
Thanks again to FK Brno US for the opportunity