Tag Archives: IMI

A Deeper Dive on BFRs

As part of my tour of Magnum Research, I unpeeled the onion so to speak on one of their lesser-known product lines, the BFR.

Originally named Brainerd’s First Revolver, as it was invented in that Minnesota town famous for Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox, in 1999, it has always been a Magnum Research product. Even with that being said, Jim Tertin, the guy behind the high-octane wheelgun, has been with the BFR since the beginning as has his first employee, Brett Pikula, who he hired in 2001.

Specializing in rifle-caliber rounds, (think lever-gun rimmed cased behemoths like the .45-70, .444 Marlin, and .30-30 WCF), Tertin told me the logic behind using these in a single-action revolver just makes sense.

“Rifle calibers in a handgun are extremely practical for a number of reasons,” explained Tertin. “You get a lot of horsepower, and the ammo is lower-cost than the high-performance handgun ammo.” Availability is also a factor, with Tertin explaining you can get .30-30 or .444 Marlin “at any sporting goods store,” whereas something like .50 AE is a little more expensive and harder to find.

More in my column at Guns.com.

So, I Went Behind the Scenes at Magnum Research

During my summer trip to the Great North filming episodes of Select Fire for Guns.com, I spent some time at Magnum Research in Pillager, Minnesota, to see how Desert Eagles and BFRs are made.

Yup, that’s a .45-70 revolver…

Now part of the Kahr Firearms Group along with other lines such as Thompson and Auto-Ordnance, Magnum Research was established in 1980 in The Gopher State, and the company’s best-known product, the Desert Eagle, began factory production in 1984 with serial number 3,001.

Fast forward over 35 years later and the “Deagle” remains the company’s most popular firearm.

 

For more and the full factory tour, check it out at GDC. 

An ‘assault weapon’ by any other name…

In 1989 California lawmakers puked up one of the first assault weapons bans in U.S. history and in subsequent years added tweaked it and added such blanket restrictions as prohibitions on .50BMG (because there are so many crimes done with these…). While the California Department of Justice has tried really hard to ban anything that is AR-15ish or AK-47like, all enterprising gun owners have had to do is use devices such as ‘bullet buttons’ and low-capacity magazines to be able to own one today.

Still, between 1989 and 2001, the state allowed the registration by civilians of grandfathered guns. Well through Guns.com I did a public records request to CA DOJ and obtained their list of registered guns, all 145,253 of them. A detailed analysis found some really interesting things.

Here’s a snapshot of the top 25 manufacturers for example:

 

  •     28,259 Colt Mfg, almost all Sporters and AR-15 type rifles
  •     16,665 Chinese Norinco/Polytech/Clayco rifles, primarily AK and SKS pattern guns in 7.62mm
  •     14,797 Bushmasters, almost exclusively XM-15 series rifles
  •     9,158 Heckler & Koch firearms, with Model HK 91, 93 and 94 rifles accounting for the majority
  •     4,529 Springfield Armory rifles, primarily M1/M1A 7.62mm guns
  •     4,528 IMI guns including 179 Galil rifles and 4301 UZIs of multiple types in 9mm and .45
  •     4,199 Armalites including 291 AR-10s and 1046 AR-180s
  •     3,124 Eagle AR-pattern firearms
  •     2,924 Intratec branded guns, all variants of the TEC-9/AB-10 and TEC-22 pistol
  •     2,732 Ruger firearms, mostly Mini-14 and Mini-30 rifles
  •     2,199 FN/Browning/FNH with mainly FAL and FNC type rifles listed
  •     2,189 SWD guns mostly Cobray and M10/11/12 MAC-style pistols
  •     1,876 Arsenal made AK-pattern rifles in 7.62mm
  •     1,461 DPMs, all AR-15 variants
  •     1,457 Austrian Steyrs, almost all AUG-series 5.56mm rifles
  •     1,303 Korean Daewoo firearms in several variants, almost all 5.56mm rifles but also 16 DR300s in 7.62 and 5 DP51 pistols
  •     1,170 Franchi shotguns in the uber-scary SPAS 12 and LAW12 varieties
  •     1,132 CAI/Century guns, primarily 7.62mm rifles
  •     1,082 Hungarian FEG guns, mostly SA85 AK-style rifles
  •     914 Auto Ordnance, typically all Thompson 1927 style carbines
  •     770 Imbel L1A1 type rifles in 7.62mm
  •     693 DSA rifles, all SA58 models
  •     526 Enterprise Arms 7.62mm rifles
  •     496 Berettas including some 122 AR-70s and 60 rare BM-59s
  •     445 SIGs, including 122 P-series pistols and 139 SG550 5.56mm rifles
  •     392 Benellis, split roughly between their M1 and M3 tactical shotguns

The rest of the 3,000~ word report over at Guns.com along with a photo gallery of some of the more interesting guns here.

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