Bren Ten: The Most Tactical Pistol!

The Bren Ten is an interesting story of handgun development and business failure. The gun was first developed by Dornaus & Dixon, with the consulting help of the iconic Col. Jeff Cooper. It was intended to be a handgun to improve upon the venerable 1911 in every way.

To satisfy the adherents to the theory of large-caliber handgun cartridges, the gun was designed around a new 10mm cartridge designed by Norma. This cartridge would propel a 200 grain bullet at 1200 fps from a 5 inch barrel, making it the most powerful service handgun cartridge in production. It would use a 10-round magazine, and also be convertible to .45ACP.

The gun itself was based on the excellent Czech CZ-75 (made at Brno, which is where the “Bren” portion of the pistol’s name came from). It had full length slide rails, a DA/SA trigger that could be carried cocked and locked, and nice big sights. The standard model had a matte frame and a stainless slide with 5″ barrel, but a few specialty models were also made, like this “Special Forces” version with a shorter 4″ barrel and all-matte finish.

Unfortunately, a combination of production quality problems, inadequate magazine design, preorders, and other issues led to the company quickly falling into tough financial straights. The guns were only manufactured for about 2 years before bankruptcy ended production. Some had been shipped without magazines, and Bren Ten magazines remain a sought-after commodity today.


  1. Shades of “Miami Vice” ( Detective Sonny Crockett’s pistol ).

    Who holds the design rights today, and is there a chance that the Bren Ten might be revived in a properly-manufactured version with the right QA/QC? Mec-Gar makes very high-quality, reliable magazines for a lot of reputable pistol manufacturers.

    • Tanfoglio (now part of Uberti, I understand) makes the EAA “Witness” in 10mm in addition to other calibers. Their 10mm in stainless is almost indistinguishable from the Bren Ten, until you notice that it’s actually built on the same frame as the Witness .45 ACP, which is about 15% larger in dimensions than the 9mm-sized CZ75 frame.

      Unfortunately, like everything else imported these days, the “economy” Witness autos, in any caliber, are anything but “economical”. Especially the 10mm, which starts at around $1400 MSRP.

      I’ll stick to my P-35, I think. I bought it back when they were still “affordable”.



    • Vltor owns the rights to the Bren Ten currently. They’ve shown off prototypes of improved versions at several SHOT shows. They’re calling it the “Fortis” if I remember correctly. Doubt it will ever see the light of day, unfortunately.

  2. It sounds at least strange that a pistol that improved upon the 1911 in every way , failed commercially and more specifically for the reasons you mention .
    All of the reasons sound to me easily correctable , especially preorders . In my opinion , there was too much of bad-mouthing among the hardcore .45 fans ,
    regarding choice of caliber ,adoption of the action of a “commie” pistol , and Col. Cooper being “unfaithful” to the cartridge and action he strongly ,almost dogmatically ,advocated for decades . And we better not forget that COLT was heavily into private sales at the time , producing the full modern line of autos
    and revolvers . It is a pity and a shame that such an unreasonable and superficial criticism managed to halt an excellent firearm . I have a CZ75 I bought in
    1982 and if the BREN 10 was anywhere near it , today there would be no other service pistol in the U.S. of A.

    • I think the commercial failure of the Bren Ten was clearly the result of inadequate developmental/production funding, general mismanagement stemming from inadequate resources and backing, and under-estimation of market timing associated with the previously-mentioned items — all well-known factors that have plagued and/or doomed many a promising firearm.

      The CZ75 and its derivatives are, overall, some of the very best military-grade pistols available in the world today, bar none.

  3. The biggest problem with the Bren Ten was that the basically unmodified CZ75 platform was physically too small for the 10mm round, which has originally been designed (by Cooper and the staff of Guns & Ammo magazine as the “.40 G&A”) for the 1911.

    Their starting points were the .401 Herter Powermag revolver round and the 9.8mm Browning autopistol round of 1909. The .401 was a forerunner of the .41 Rem. Magnum, and the 9.8mm was John Browning’s proposal for the 1910 U.S. Army pistol trials, for a round that had the power of the old .45 Colt revolver round but would still fit into the existing Colt 1904 Military Model automatic, which was a .38 caliber. (In the end, Army Ordnance insisted on a minimum .45 caliber; the result was the 1910 Military Model in .45, followed of course by the 1911.)

    What the .40/10mm had in common with its predecessor was that it was a bit too big to effectively work in a pistol designed around the petite’ 9 x 19mm cartridge. All early work with the round had been done with either the 1911 or a specially-modified FN P-35 High Power. And there again, its dimensions (especially OAL) were a problem.

    The Bren Tens were noted for ejection unreliability. One oddity was the tendency of some to extract the fired round and neatly return it to the top of the magazine rather than ejecting and feeding the next one up.

    Miami Vice fans probably know that in the first season, Sonny Crockett(Don Johnson) carried a Bren Ten with a nickeled slide. It was replaced in the second season by a S&W 645 .45, because the Bren Ten couldn’t even be made to work reliably with blanks. (In at least some “shooting” scenes, it was replaced with a nickeled Cz75 9mm, which actually would work with blanks.)

    The failure of the 10mm Auto to work consistently in the Bren Ten was a strong influence on the development of the .41 Action Express cartridge (same general bullet size and weight, similar ballistics, shorter OAL), and the round that superseded both in the end, the .40 S&W. Both the .41 AE and .40 S&W are only slightly longer than a 9 x 19mm, about the length of a .45 ACP in fact, and both deliver roughly .357 Magnum ballistics with similar bullet weights.

    The enthusiasm for the .40 shown in the U.S. was largely due to the Clinton era Assault Weapon Ban that limited magazine capacity to 10 rounds for civilian use. Most people figured that if they were to be limited to 10 rounds they wanted each one to do as much damage as possible.

    Today, the .40 remains mainly an American specialty, as its performance is not seen as sufficiently better than a hot 9 x 19mm to warrant its adoption elsewhere.

    Without the AWB, it’s very likely the .40 would have “died a’borning” as the 10mm pretty much did.

    I have used both 10mm and .40 S&W autopistols. My personal choice if I bought one today would be a S&W 1006 or Colt Delta Elite. The Glock 20 was interesting but a bit hard to conceal. The S&W Sigma .40 was a joke, notably its poor accuracy and miserable trigger.

    The whole point of the 10mm/.40 autopistol family was to match or exceed .357 Magnum revolver ballistics in a round suitable for a self-loading action in a reasonable-sized pistol. (No, the Desert Eagle in anything less than .50 AE is emphatically not “reasonable-sized”. And it’s borderline in .50AE.)

    IMPO, a better cartridge choice all around would have been the 9mm Winchester Magnum, which was basically a reiteration of the old 9 x 25mm Mauser “Export” round, in all respects.

    Starting with a platform with reasonable grip magazine dimensions like the Sig 220 series, the 9mm WM would have given law enforcement officers and others a pistol with .357 Magnum hitting power and 9 x 19mm firepower, assuming a double-column magazine. The Glock 20/21 (10mm and .45 ACP) would be highly interesting in 9mm WM, as would the entire H&K USP series.

    The .357 Sig (aka .357 Auto)delivers near- 9mm WM ballistics, but due to its .40 S&W based cartridge case diameter it has the same magazine-capacity limitations the .40 does in a 9mm-sized platform. The 9mm WM solves both problems.

    The 10mm was, if you will pardon the expression, an interesting misfire in cartridge development. Frankly, so is the .40 S&W, whose popularity is based less on actual superior performance than theory. (Yes, I read a lot of PD “shooting reports”.)

    The high-velocity 9mm outdoes them all in actual capability; power, capacity, and portability.

    Maybe someday police and other practice will catch up with physics.



    • “The high-velocity 9mm outdoes them all in actual capability; power, capacity, and portability.

      Maybe someday police and other practice will catch up with physics.”

      Russian forces use 9x21mm (not to be confused with Israeli 9x21mm) cartridge, in СПС pistol:СПС_(пистолет) where СПС stands for Самозарядный Пистолет Сердюкова i.e. Serdyukov Self-loading pistol. 9x21mm was designed to has superior armour-piercing capability than other handgun cartridges

    • I’d point out another factor in addition to the AWB that helped the sales of the 40 S&W. In all pistol using (And therefore pistol buying.) institutions of the time there were always two groups (The French would call them “Chapels”) the 9mm Chapel and the .45 Chapel. These two were continually at war with each other. When the 40 S&W appeared it seemed to offer procurement officers the chance to finally say something like “Okay, you guys get a caliber that starts with a 4, and you other guys get lots of boollits in the “clip”, NOW SHUT UP!!!”. Of course it didn’t work out that way, but trust me, in those days it drove a lot of sales to a lot of LEOs.

      • .40 S&W is indeed frequently seen as kind of “the best of two worlds” (I don’t know if in english it is said like that, but I assume it is easy to understand anyway).

        In South America it is highly considered as a compromise between 9 mm and .45. It then quite conflicts with what you says, Eon, as they seem to have found a noticeable advantage in using .40 S&W instead of 9×19. Is it for contextual reasons ? For fashion (it happens !) ? For commercial reasons ?

        In France, or in Europe in general, .45 ACP has few advocates and .40 S&W is not even an eventuality when LE choose a new caliber. Sport Shooters appreciate low velocity .45 ACP loads for its inherent accuracy and comfort, but administrations are not so interested in it, even if they do not totally reject it. Some advocates the use of hot-loads of .38 Super Auto for LE, which can reach 800 jouls of energy and is then comparable to 9 mm winch mag.

        Besides, Fleetwood, I’m French and almost nonobdy, except some very “old-speaking” and educated people use the term “chapel” (“chapelle”, translated in French) in that way since something like 50 years.
        Where did you learn French ? It is very elevated language, very rare even for French people ! It’s a surprise to read that word using in this meaning !

        • Actually, I’ve run into “Chapel” in some historical books about France’s preparations for the First and Second World Wars; but most recently in a book about the Spanish Civil War in a chapter concerning Franco’s command staff and his military strategy.

        • The .40’s popularity in Latin America is most likely due to the same factor that made the .38 Super Colt Automatic the default civilian pistol round of the continent through most of the 20th Century; gun laws.

          Most countries there use the 9 x 19mm , .45 ACP, or both as standard-issue police and military service rounds. And their laws prohibit civilians from possessing weapons firing those rounds, rather like the laws in parts of Europe (France, Italy, etc.).

          The .38 Super became popular there because it was neither a 9mm P or a .45 ACP, but hit with a bit more authority than either one. (400 FPE vs 350 FPE for either of the other two.)

          I suspect the .40 S&W became popular there for exactly the same reason. It was legally available to civilians and in some areas local police; the 9mm and .45 were and are not.

          As Cooper said, silly laws promote transparent evasions. And when you see something that makes no sense objectively, odds are there’s a silly law behind it.



          • There’s no legal difference between 9mmP and .40 S&W in France, by the way. Italy yes, France no.

        • Greetings and Salutations, Mr. Thibaud. I actually picked up the term from one of Paddy Griffiths books on infantry tactics in the pre-WW1 years. He described the various groups of French Artillery, Cavalry, Infantry, and so on, as forming “Chapels” which became more and more extreme in their claims for their particular cause and less and less willing to listen to any other viewpoint. It struck me then, and it still does, that the phrase captures the sort of near religious zeal some folks can invest in this type of discussion. I’m glad if it sounds elevated, and since I am old (63) “old speaking” is just fine with me. Thank you very much for your kind comments.

          • An even better term was used by Tom Wolfe in his book From Bauhaus To Our House regarding the various “movements” in modern architecture after Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Paul-Elouard Jenneret aka “Le Corbusier”, et al. He called them “clerisies”.

            The “.45 Fans vs. 9mm Mafia” debate definitely follows the same pattern.

            Technically, I suppose I started out in the first group, moved to the second, and now am an apostate of both, in that I believe kinetic energy and transfer rules, i.e. “Speed Kills”, bullets must expand to stop the target and stop in the target, and I don’t think that “one-shot stops” happen all that often with anything much less powerful than a full-grown rifle round or a 12-gauge shotgun, both with center hits.

            So I’m sure that if either group knew who I really was, they’d both want to skin me alive.

            Ah me, such is life.




          • My pleasure Mr Fleetwood !

            Yes, laws indeed are frequent cause of absurd or random facts. We, French, know this too much.

            But in fact, laws in France are a bit different than in the vast majority of european countries.
            Not a single caliber is prohibited in France. You can have ANY weapon in ANY caliber as long as it does not shoot in full-auto and does not use special ammunitions (explosive, incendiary, etc.). That’s why 9×21 IMI does not exist in France : it is classified the same as 9×19, so it doesn’t change anything.
            Even APFSDS ammunitions are authorised, hardened steel penetrator core too.

            Some calibers OR weapons just need an authorisation to be possessed. But no one is prohibited (provided it does not fire full-auto and, since 2013, does not have more than 30 rounds in it).

            I could write endlessly about French gun laws (first to explain them, which is long enough, and then to criticise them, which is ten times longer !).

  4. “This cartridge would propel a 200 grain bullet at 1200 fps from a 5 inch barrel, making it the most powerful service handgun cartridge in production.”
    This is not true. 10mm Auto production begin in 1983, when in 1979 production of .45 Winchester Magnum start.
    Assuming 200 grain and 1200 fps for 10mm and 260 grain and 1200 fps for .45 Winchester Magnum (source: ) later has bigger momentum and bigger energy

    • I think that Ian said “commonly made pistol cartridge.” I doubt it was more powerful than the 44 auto mag either, but that is not a commonly made round as well.

  5. Ian doesn’t like it because it wasn’t made in 1896, that’s all. 😉 His “tactical” comments made me laugh. Really, more humor in your videos please. That was funny. I always liked the look of this pistol. I picked up one of the airsoft copies made a few years back and found it fit my hand really well. Too bad it was doomed to failure.

  6. …Then again, the .44-40 Winchester cartridge tossed a 200 grain bullet at 1275 fps. Or so they claimed. Black powder.

    • Well, I was going to leave this comment at eon’s magnus opus (which is not the same thing as a Bloom County Opus, which is a witty flightless waterfowl) but since you mentioned a something-40 form the 1870s in comparison to the Bren 10…. Eon mentioned that one of his picks for a 10mm handgun would be the Smith 610, which used the same style half-moon clips as the 1917 .45 ACP revolvers. But there was another, equally or perhaps more worthy, 10mm revolver. Ruger made – perhaps still does – a Blackhawk in 10mm with the same longish barrel and target sights of the Smith. And since the venerable .38-40 WCF, which was actually a .40 instead of a .36 like most .38s (ah, the joys of non-metric cartridge nomenclature) and should have been called the .40-40, Ruger did a distributor special run of a Blackhawk Convertible that had interchangeable 10mm and .38-40 cylinders. And of course several gun writers and reloaders had no small fun pointing out that in a modern revolver, .38-40 loads that would have blown up a Peacemaker or New Service outperformed the 10mm, the .40, and the .41 Action Express. You can come up with newer stuff, but that doesn’t make it better stuff. I’d take a .32-20 version of a Ruger over any of the new .327 Federals as well, although a Convertible would be best so I could shoot the old .32 S&W Long instead of the H&R or Federal magnums and use the .32-20 when I wanted Magnum power.

      • Actually, I said the 1006, which was the 10mm rendition of the 4506 automatic. There was also the shorter-barreled FBI model 1016,which was distinguished also by its lack of a magazine safety and a slide inscription in all caps; WARNING: THIS WEAPON CAN BE FIRED WITH THE MAGAZINE REMOVED. You have to love product-liability cases.

        The 610 was a good gun, not least because with the moon clips you could fire .40 S&W in the 10mm chambers; the rounds headspaced off the clip after all, just like .45 ACP in an M1917.

        But my choice in an N-frame Smith would be the 627 plus 7-shot .357. Not only does it give you one more round, and has those nice thick cylinder walls around the chambers, being a cylinder with an odd number of chambers the bolt locking recesses are over the V-shaped webs between the chambers instead of over the thinnest part of the chamber walls. I’ve seen more than a few Magnum S&Ws with “dimples” over those recesses, which weaken the chamber walls and can be a huge PITA when ejecting empties.

        And unlike the .41 and especially the .44 Magnum, the .357 round isn’t “too much” for steady use in the N frame. No matter what advanced alloy it’s made of, that frame was designed over a century ago around the .44 Special, .45 Colt, .45 ACP, and .455 Webley. Asking it to stand up to constant use with a round that is fundamentally a carbine load that strayed into revolver use really isn’t fair to it.

        Besides, the .357 can do just about anything you can rationally do with a handgun, in hunting, defense, or anything else. If you need more power than the .357 delivers, you should have gotten a rifle to begin with.

        As Elmer Keith said, “Never bring a pistol to a rifle fight.”



        • Way too many rookies seem to want Magnum force these days and get broken wrists for their troubles… Or am I wrong? And is it acceptable to bring a Type 96 25mm anti-aircraft gun to a rifle fight since it cannot be classified as an assault weapon by reason of weight?

          • I’ve yet to see any actual broken wrists with even hot .44 Magnum loads. Sprained wrists, now, oh yeah, big time.

            Among other things “tyros” don’t want to get involved with; .480 Ruger, .500 S&W, and anything in .454 Casull. (There are a lot more of that last one around these days than the other two.)

            One of my pet peeves is DA revolvers in .45 LC. Having had a couple, I early on learned that the rim on the 1872-vintage .45 round was intended solely to headspace the round; it was not intended to be a bearing surface for an ejection system, because the Colt Peacemaker had a one-at-a-time rod ejector.

            My nice New Service got downchecked as a carry gun when I noticed on the range that in fast reloads, unless the muzzle was held pointed up every time, at least one round would slip past the extractor star and drop back in or be pushed back in, due to that dinky little rim. Thereby jamming the whole production. Not optimal when the other side is firing for effect.

            This is another reason I like .357s, with that big, no-nonsense rim inherited from the .38 Special, that an extractor star can actually push against.

            As for Keith’s Third Law, the corollary to “Never bring a pistol to a rifle fight” is,

            “However, a heavy machine gun, light anti-armor weapon, or grenade launcher is always an option.”

            Sort of like what one of my profs, a Marine Recon vet (Guadalcanal, Class of 1942) told me;

            “Never let them see you sweat, and never let them see you bleed.

            “Sweating and bleeding are what the enemy is there to do. Especially the whole ‘bleeding’ thing.”



    • “200 grain bullet at 1275 fps”
      from how long barrel?

      “ah, the joys of non-metric cartridge nomenclature”
      Apparently it is still present. Federal designed cartridge and designated it “327 Federal” for me 327 is random generated number as none dimensions of this cartridge is .327″

      “.32 S&W Long instead of the H&R or Federal(…).32-20”
      If you looks for revolver able to fire different cartridges see Medusa Model 47. It can fire .380/.38/.357/9mm cartridges, however I assume that similar revolver for .32 cartridges can be crafted.

      • That was from the 24-inch barrel of a Winchester Model 1873 rifle. In a handgun like the Colt or Remington with a 7.5″ barrel, the performance was just a bit better than a .45 LC; MV around 970 F/S, ME about 420 FPE vs. 405 FPE for the 255-gr. Colt load at 850 F/S.

        Yes, even in a revolver, the .44-40 was slightly more powerful than the .45 Colt. The difference wouldn’t pay your funeral expenses, as more than a few people who ended up in Boot Hill could attest.



      • American caliber designations are *names*, not actual diameters. Among other things, they help differentiate between the same cartridge with different loadings (.38 Colt vs. .38 Super) and different cartridges with the same bore and case length which are not interchangeable (various 6.5×54 rifle cartridges).

        Even in metric-land there’s no joy. The 7.62×54 Russian, 7.7 Arisaka, and 7.65×53 Mauser all shoot the same diameter bullet… as does the .303 British, where the bullet is actually larger in diameter than the .308 Winchester, which is the same size and the .30 Carbine…

        They’re just names, not dimensional callouts.

    • They may have claimed it, but the .44-40 was under 1000 fps out of the 1873 Colt. What it had going for it is that it was also chambered in the Winchester whereas the .45 Colt was not.

  7. The 10mm is seeing a good deal of resurgence and in its hotter production loadings by ammo makers such as Underwood and Buffalo Bore, is a good medium-game and excellent defensive round in an easy to carry package, particularly for those who prefer an autoloader. In fact, SIG-Sauer has just introduced a 10mm P220, and Glock is now offering a 3rd version with a long slide and optics mounting slide cutout. I know that VLTOR was attempting to reproduce the Bren Ten, but that effort seems to have gone the way of the original I’ll admit to being a fond of the round, and it is probably the one that gets them most use from me around the farm. My EDC is a Glock 29, and for holster carry in the woods I usually pack a Dan Wesson 1911 Razorback or my EAA Witness Hunter depending on how much weight I feel like lugging around. I’ve taken whitetail and hogs with both, but the Witness is a heavy beast. Still, 15 Underwoods (250 grain XTP at 1250 fps) with 3 spare magazines is plenty of firepower. Another plus is that during the recent ammo shortage, I was able to find plenty of factory loads for range work. It’s a cartridge that allows for a lot of load variation and does a lot of things well. In fact, my next project rifle will probably be a 10mm AR-15 carbine using an RMWExtreme upper. Overall, it is an excellent round that is far from extinct.

    • Last January VLTOR put out a statement that they were behind on the project but were working on it for 2016.

      From what I heard a problem they had was when they went to reverse engineer the BREN 10, it turned out that no two guns were exactly the same.

  8. You mentioned the safety being moved as one of the changes from the CZ75 design to the Bren Ten design. After watching the video, I got out my CZ75b and the safety is in exactly the same place and works the same way with the thumb. I wonder if that change was brought on by this design or if the designers in Brno just had the same idea at the same time?

  9. My father purchased a BREN 10 back when they first were offered for sale. Eighteen months later it arrives without the promised two magazines. It was an expensive single shot at that point. The late Col. Cooper was less than gracious or understanding when we finally were able to get past his sycophants. My father was told to have magazines custom made , WTF !?!Given five years had passed we finally purchased after market magazines that worked quite well. As for the BREN 10 it has a broken hammer and groups about 10 inches at 25 yards. We were able to fire 137 rounds before the hammer broke. Ravens perform better.
    The BREN 10 may have been a good idea but it was poorly planned and executed. Aàqqa

  10. ….I don’t know barrel length for velocity claims. Manufacturers typically make blue sky claims with non standard barrels in an attempt to beat rival ammo facts and figures. Bullet weight and velocity are advantages until you reach the dreaded” overkill” , punched right through it stage. Then it’s ” death to innocent bystanders ” time and everybody loses.
    …I like Doctor Facklers ( supposed ) statement. Shoot big bullets because they don’t need to expand; they already are. And faster don’t mean better or deader.

    …Gimme a how’d aw gun and your cat is toast.

    • Back in the 1950s, a USAF general said,

      “In the future, we may indeed have the ability to wage ‘push-button’ warfare, with guided missiles. But I can assure you that the pushbuttons will be guarded by men with rifles in their hands, and the man sitting there ready to actually push the button will be wearing a pistol.”

      All SAC missile sites were manned by two personnel whose job was to turn the two keys that initiated the launch sequence. (Said keys were at opposite ends of the panel so that one man alone couldn’t reach far enough to turn both-although there was this trick with a broomstick and duct tape…)

      Both personnel wore handguns in event of hostile incursion- or just one cracking up. The usual one being the S&W M19 Combat Magnum .357 with a 4″ barrel.

      So there’s a “strategic handgun” for you.

      BTW, the motto of the missile controllers was on their shoulder patch;

      Reportedly, Gen. LeMay was not amused.




      • “on their shoulder patch”
        This reminds me of one film: Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb one quote from it: “Gentlemen, you cannot fight here, this is war room!”

  11. Ian:
    This was a most interesting presentation of the Bren 10 as usual. I knew about it and some of its problems. However the lock work was copied off the Browning P35 Hi-power not the M1911 [actually CZ did the copying]. I often wondered why what the reason for the hump on the back of the slide?

    • The “hump” was to house and protect the Millett adjustable rear sight. The top of the CZ75-type slide is so small at that point that the rear sight had to be mounted higher to avoid intruding into the firing-pin spring tunnel.

      The result looked a lot like the Inglis High Power with the rear sight base to match the elevated front sight previously used with the rifle-type tangent rear sight for use with the detachable shoulder stock.

      If nothing else, it makes the sights easier to pick up on and get a flash sight picture with. (I’ve never used a Bren Ten but I used to use an Inglis HP in 9mm quite a bit.)



      • I was of the opinion (yes I know everyone has one, and what they are like) that the hump was to house that idiotic push through safety. It is my recollection that Jeff Cooper, when asked to help design the weapon, just had to have that superfluous piece of garbage added. BTW, my EAA Witness in 10mm doesn’t need the hump to have a dove tailed sight.

  12. Eon, I don’t think LeMay was amused by anything, ever. Maybe the idea of nuking the USSR into a glass parking lot, I don’t know. According to family legend, my grandpa beat him at poker on a plane somewhere, maybe on the way to Thule, Greenland, where Granpa was in charge of constructing the airbase. LeMay was reportedly not a good loser.

    I suspect if the Been Ten hadn’t been in Miami Vice, they’d be a sub $500 curiosity on gunbroker these days.

    • Having studied the history and operations of the Eighth and Twentieth Air Forces very closely for several decades, I can largely agree with you about Curtis LeMay ( since he did play important roles in both organizations ). It was very interesting to read about your grandfather’s personal ( and presumably working ) acquaintance with LeMay. Thanks for sharing it!

  13. “I don’t think LeMay was amused by anything, ever…” Not quite so. He was at Cape Canaveral in the summer of 1957 while we were getting the firsts Atlas ready for launch. We had a real jerk working with us and he liked to make life hard for the rest so I took our largest forklift and put his pretty new Dodge in a parts rack about 20 feet up just before time to leave for the weekend and gave the keys to LeMay. He thought that was hilarious. But he did not like to lose at anything; that’s one reason he was so effective a leader. He got things done and made it as easy for us to do our job as he could.

    • [evil laugh] Serves the jerk right. I’m glad such a nut-job doesn’t work near me, or I’d be tempted to throw him into a boiler clave.

  14. It is too bad that CZ does not take up the project of scaling up and reinforcing a CZ-75 into 10mm. My wife’s gun is a CZ-75 and I think it is a good shooting gun and a great value for the money.

    For all the talk of Cooper being a traditionalist, I don’t think it was that he thought that the 1911 was the best possible handgun, rather he thought it was the least-worst one available at the time in what he considered to be a serious cartridge. Cooper did not like the grip safety, he did not like the hard-to-see issue sights, and he did not like what he thought was an excessive grip safety to trigger dimension that prevented a good percentage of students from holding the 1911 properly. He did state (and it is obvious with the Bren-10) that he liked the CZ-75, except for the caliber. Hollow point bullet technology really did not advance (e.g., Hydra Shocks, Gold Sabers) until the very late 1980’s and early 1990’s, after the FBI put out new test criteria after the 1986 Miami disaster. Early hollow points especially were a little hit or miss, some did what they were supposed to, some plugged up with clothing, insufficient penetration was an issue, etc. If one would discard a handgun if it was only reliable 99 times out of 100, why would they trust ammo that only did was it was supposed to 5 times out of 10? During his active years I think one can understand where he was coming from.

    Cooper, above all, was a trainer. And really, the idea that one can take a beginner, or more like a poorly self-trained enthusiast, and turn them into a good shooter in a week, really is a radical idea. If the two most important things are sight alignment and trigger control, a good single action-only gives the best trigger control. Sure, one can become an excellent shot with DA/SA, striker fired, etc., guns, but if one has a week to work with, why make it harder than it needs to be? During his active years the only single action pistols in common use were the CZ and the High Power, and those were in calibers he did not like. From my small experience introducing others to pistol shooting, more than once they showed up with a striker fired 9mm or 40cal and could not even land on paper. Then they used a 1911 and got in the black. With practice they did the same with their striker fired gun, but why start with a handicap?

    When the CZ-97 came out for some reason Cooper was not enthused about it, I do not recall why. It could be because he did not like double stack magazines as they did not fit well in the hands of a good portion of his students. He did visit CZ in 1997 at their invitation, and he talked to them about his ideal pistol, but nothing seems to have come of it.

  15. In the days when Bren Ten came out, The CZ75 was a legend which known as ” The Best Ever Service Pistol made in a foggy Iron Curtain Country. Designers should have been felt themselves to add
    somethings to rise the level up to their tastes and made nearly fully useless, confusing changes like; Cross bolt firing pin safety, high sights with a clumsy back hump, odd shaped safety and slide stop latches looking as the half sticked post stamps over an envelope, annular locking rib over the barrel which being an indicator of low cost manufacture hidden in an expensive product, childish texture over the handle plates and going on,.. Along with a new, unpractical larger caliber round. When real CZ 75 copies and lastly true originals began to come, Americans did understand what a strange item they had been tried to hold upon.

  16. So the story here seems to be if you want success in manufacturing a handgun model, build a zillion magazines FIRST!
    That firing pin blocking button seems a lot simpler than the 80 series 1911 linkage set-up, if it’s required by law.
    Still wonder how one could drop a chambered gun from high enough to get the inertia pin to overcome the spring tensioned return, to land squarely on the muzzle to fire.

  17. I carried a Glock 20 for a few years as a CCW weapon. It’s big, but not impossible to conceal with the right holster and clothes. The problem for me wasn’t the size; it was the fact that it was difficult and spendy to get even practice ammo (still is, even with the internet).

  18. It’s time to bring back the .41 Long Colt, in a proper bullet/bore diameter for acceptable accuracy. With a 200gr. LSWC-HP bullet, in a modern swingout cylinder revolver, it would take care of any two or four legged threat I’m likely to encounter. The 3″ S&W Model 13/65 or 3″ Ruger GP100 would be the perfect platform.

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