The Embellished Colts

Over the years Colt has released several very limited edition pistols that are highly engraved and inlayed with 24kt gold and other metals. At J&G we have sought to obtain many of these amazing guns, which can be very difficult to find.

One of the nicest sets we’ve seen is the El Potro Rampante (the Rampant Colt) which celebrates famous horse logo we all associate quickly with Colt Firearms. A seeming mirror image of each other, this set of one blued and one stainless pistol truly stands out.

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“El Potro Rampante” – the Rampant Colt pair of stainless and blued pistols

Many of the pistols commemorate Hispanic heritage, with Mexican and Aztec inspired art incorporated into the design. One of the most popular issues was the beautiful guns in honor of Emiliano Zapata, Mexican General of the revolution, with deep Royal Blue finish and silver inlay

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General Emiliano Zapata commemorative

 

Another always sought after pistol was the Rose Gold Mexican Heritage pistols, with an inlay of nicely toned rose gold and faux ivory grips to bring out the traditional Aztec patterns and carvings.

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Rose Gold Mexican Heritage pistol

Another was the “Dragon” which featured three colors due to the copper, silver, and gold inlay and dragon scale grips, giving it a multi-hue look different from most of the editions.

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The Dragon!

But among all the various limited releases, the premier and most sought after series was the “Aztec Jaguar” set of pistols. With values only growing year after year, the Jaguar pistols featured the warrior elites of the Aztec culture, inlayed in gold and intricate engraving.

The Jaguar Stainless is high polished bright stainless steel finish. The Jaguar Azul is Royal Blue and gold. The Jaguar Knight is the most embellished Colt to date, in blue and gold.

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The full set of Aztec Jaguar pistols

It is rare to find the Jaguar guns by themselves, so we consider ourselves very lucky to be able to offer all three as a set.

The Colt engraved special editions have only increased in value over the years since they were released. These are full size Gov’t model 1911 pistols in 38 Super caliber, and many models come with color informational cards in the box explaining the theme of the pistol. Each is from a limited run of 300, 400, or 500 pistols, never to be made again.

For a current view of what pistols are available and the prices see our website HERE

 

Posted in General Info, Gun Data Dump

A bit about BRNO 22 Rifles…

Introduction.

The city of Brno in the Czech Republic has been a home to firearms manufacturing for a long time, including handguns, Mauser pattern rifles, rimfire rifles, and machine guns. For many years Zdenek Jakubec, who went by Denny AKA “Brnomann”, ran Bohemia Arms Intl, importing all types of original BRNO firearms, plus Czech parts and Klinsky stocks. As some of you know Denny passed away the Summer 2019. He was one of the recognized experts for all things having to do with BRNO firearms, and was often found in online forums helping with any questions.

Here at J&G we have been honored to make available for sale a large selection of the BRNO guns and parts left from Denny’s estate. We are grateful to the individual in charge of liquidating his estate for inviting us to help Denny’s family by purchasing the remaining inventory of Bohemia Arms Intl. (See our selection of BRNO rifles)

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First some history.

The BRNO factory itself began in 1919 as Ceskoslovenská Zbrojovka Brno, founded in the city of Brno, making mostly Mausers and some handguns.

In 1923 handgun production mostly moved from Brno to another pistol plant in Strakonice (such as the CZ-52, CZ-50, CZ-70 and others). The Brno plant continued with Mausers and similar.

In 1936 a new plant branch named Ceská Zbrojovka opened in Uherský Brod, and was called CZUB.

Then WWII happened. Germany took all control of Czech weapons production to make firearms for the Wehrmacht. It was under German orders that the first BRNO rimfire rifles began to be designed as trainers. More on that below.

After WWII was over, local Czech controlled production began again in the Brno, Strakonice, and Uhersky Brod factories. A governmental decision was made that all guns made or exported from Czech territory would be marked with the BRNO name and logo for the sake of marketing unity, regardless of which factory made them. This is a cause of confusion for modern day shooters made their BRNO marked gun.

In 1964-66 long gun production began moving out of the Brno factory to the CZUB plant. The Brno factory continued with non-firearm products (such as tractors…).

In the Strakonice plant handgun production continued longer, and then began moving mostly to CZUB as well. Due to the government mandate for unity, CZUB guns were still marked BRNO, although BRNO was no longer making guns! It is thought that by 1972 firearms production had moved entirely out of the Brno plant.

Then came 1991 and the end of Soviet style communism. The de-centralization and privatization of factories in the new Czech Republic began, and by 1992 CZUB had become a private firearms manufacturing corporation. CZ Strakonice had been out of  firearms production for a while, but in 2006 began to produce some modern handguns under the LUVO name.

In 1997, in order to spread to the US market, CZUB opened an importing presence in the United States called CZ-USA and began full distribution of CZUB rifles, shotguns, and their famous CZ-75 handguns.

In 2007 CZUB commercially acquired the Brno Firearms brand and started to bring Brno marked firearms back to the market.

 

The BRNO rimfire rifles.

The Brno production of their famous rimfire rifles began  around 1944. What follows is a primer on this interesting subsection of Czech firearms. The production of rimfire rifles by BRNO evolved through several models: (See our selection of BRNO rifles here)

Model 1 rifles are the original first design from 1944-45. Near the end of WWII the German military tasked BRNO Arms with designing a training rifle in 22LR. The designers chosen were the Koucky brothers and Malek of BRNO, who came up with the new rifle design. Limited production appears to have begun in late 1944 or early 1945. The Model 1 had a wide open ejection port, flip-up leaf sight, a safety on top of the bolt, and a fairly simple trigger (although variations exist). BRNO Model 1 rifles are also referred to as ZKM 451 (Z= Zbrojovka Brno, K= Koucky brothers, and M= Malek,). Approximately 170,000* were made.

There are also early BRNO rifles that are marked TGF with little to no other markings. They are basically Model 1 pattern rifle, and opinions vary on its meaning. One is that TGF was the German factory code during wartime and the guns were made in 1944-45 for the German military. Another is that TGF stands for Tschechische Gewehr Fabrik (which means Czech Rifle Factory) and was used on rifles made for East German contract guns, since rifles dated several years after WWII have been seen with the TGF mark.

Model 2 rifles began in 1954 and had a more sophisticated trigger, vent holes on the bolt, a narrower ejection port, a tangent sight, and a safety on the side of the bolt. BRNO Model 2 rifles are also referred to as ZKM 452, and some variations called the 2E. Approximately 140,000* were made by BRNO, but the basic same design is still made by CZUB under the CZ-USA name.

Model 3 rifles are a heavy target version of the Model 1 pattern. They have a long heavy barrel, more advanced rear sight attached to barrel grooves, or peep sight on the receiver, a heavy bench stock, and a globe front sight. They are rare with only 7000* estimated to have been made. Also called the ZKM 455.

Model  3S “Stecher” was a very rare sub-model of the 3. In the early 1950’s BRNO made a very small limited run of Model 3S rifles with a special double trigger system for the Czech Shooting Team. They were considered extremely accurate. Walther complained of patent infringement and the rifle were dismantled. By a lucky “accident” some of these guns (less than 100 estimated) were hidden away and only resurfaced some 50 years later. They are also called the ZKM 455S.

Model 4 rifles are a heavy target version of the Model 2 pattern. They have a long heavy barrel, more advanced rear sight attached to barrel grooves or an aperture peep sight attached to the receiver, a heavy bench stock, and a globe front sight. Production ran from 1954 through 1962. In later years heavy Model 4s had the barrels turned down to slim configuration and slim stocks were fitted to them, making a lightweight Model 4! Approximately 40,000* were made. Also called the ZKM 456.

Model 5 rifles are a hard to find variation. Speculation is that they were developed in 1958 mostly as a training rifle for Middle Eastern countries. They were a mix of patterns, using the barrel and stock of the Model 1, a new trigger based on the Model 4, and either Model 1 or 2 pattern sights. As usual other variations are also found. Many were part of a short lived UAR, and later Egyptian contract, with some also for Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Approximately 33,000* were made with an estimated 15,000 going to the Middle East. Also called the ZKM 573.

Clones were also made. Maadi rifles are BRNO copies made under license in Egypt. Some were made from Czech parts assembled in Egypt, but many were made completely in Egypt. They are mostly faithful to the BRNO Model 2 and 5 designs but usually do not have quite the same level of workmanship. Model names stamped on these guns may be Cadet, Mansoura, Mansur, and maybe others. Markings can be a mix of Egyptian and English. Even Chinese clones are found under various model names and in varying degrees of faithfulness to the original.

 

Conclusion.

The 1950s BRNO production of 22 rimfire rifles is considered a peak in innovation and workmanship. They are highly respected in the rimfire world, and in the opinion of many, these classic rifles have yet to be surpassed even decades later. Current production CZUB rifles from CZ-USA are very nice and still continue much of the quality of the old BRNO, but it is hard to surpass the original rifles. Again, we are thankful to ‘Brnomann” Denny for bringing these fabulous guns to the US market for many years. Thanks also to many users at rimfirecentral for posting research on much of the BRNO history. Please be aware that much information is speculation or not well documented, so if you notice any errors feel free to notify us. (See more)

* Estimates of how many were manufactured are guesses in most cases.

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Posted in General Info, Gun Data Dump | 3 Comments

Badass Report: Staff Sgt Rudolph Davila

New Badass Report!

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Staff Sergeant Rudolph B. Davila demonstrated his “badassness” through extraordinary heroism in action.

May 1944, Artena, Italy, WWII – During the pitched battle to break through the German mountain strongholds surrounding the Anzio beachhead, Staff Sergeant Davila saw that his beleaguered rifle company was in need of encouragement and leadership – so he took charge like a badass. They were caught on an exposed hillside wheat field by heavy fire from well-entrenched Nazi forces, and Davila’s machine gunners were staying flat, reluctant to expose themselves and put their guns into action.

So Sgt Davila crawls fifty yards through fire across the open hill to the nearest machine gun, takes over, and sets it up alone and begins returning fire on the enemy. Knowing his fire will be ineffective if he can’t see, he stays upright, firing from the kneeling position while enemy bullets hit all around him and ping off his tripod.

Turning over the gun to one of his men, he then crawls forward to direct the fire better from a vantage point and using hand signals to direct his men’s guns, they finally silence the forward German placement. Using the lull he brings his three remaining machine guns into action, turning them on the main enemy position two hundred yards back.

As the heat of battle renewed, Sgt Davila is painfully wounded in the leg, but limps and runs to a burned out tank and begins returning fire from the turret machine gun while a hail of German bullets smack into the tank around him. He then limps and advances forward 130 more yards in short rushes, through machinegun fire, and crawls the last 20 yards in order to charge into the 2-story house the Nazi were firing from. With his gun and grenades he single-handedly (while wounded) dispatches the force of 5 Germans.

Climbing to the attic, he positions himself in a large shell hole in the wall and continues to lay fire on the enemy, destroying two more German machine gun posts, while the house walls crumble around him.

His level of badass courage brought desperately needed support to a hard-pressed rifle company, destroying many of the enemy men, forcing the enemy to abandon their prepared positions and retreat. The US Army granted Sgt Davila the Distinguished Service Cross, which was later changed to the Medal of Honor after review.

Later in the war Sgt Davila was hit in the chest by a tank round while fighting in France! But like the badass he was, he survived, recuperated, and married the nurse from the hospital that patched him up, and lived until 2002.

Posted in Badass Reports

The famous CZ VZ-82 Pistol

In the early 1980’s the older Czech VZ-52 and Tokarev TTC pistols were set to be replaced with a 9×18 caliber pistol. The standard Makarov in use by other communist countries was not acceptable to the Czechs, so they developed the new VZ-82 pistol, designed by Augustin Necas, for the Czechoslovakian military. (VZ is short for Vzor which means “model” or “pattern”.)

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The CZ VZ-82 9×18 pistol

The new CZ 82 pistol was a fixed barrel, blow-back operated 9×18 pistol like the Makarov, except with a wider grip and a double stack 12rd magazine. With additional features like the ambi magazine release, ambi safety, and polygonal rifling, the CZ 82 was an modernization of the older Makarov, and has the feel and ergonomics of a modern pistol.

The pistol can be carried hammer down, and drawn and fired in double action, or can be carried with the hammer back and the safety on in a “cocked and locked” state ready to be drawn, the safety disengaged and then fired in single action.

Curiously, the barrel of the CZ 82 has “polygonal” rifling, meaning the shape of the bore provides the rotation to the bullet. There is no visible cut rifling and the bore appears smooth. This can result in a long barrel life, easier to clean bore, and better accuracy.

These sidearms were only finished in black using a spayed in hard polycoat finish. This finish wears and protects very well until it start to chip, then it can start to flake off in sections as seen in the images above.

The CZ 82 pistols were made from 1983 until the 1990’s. They have been imported several times over the years. Luckily for shooters and collectors in the US, the pistol was determined to be a Curio and Relic (C&R) eligible gun and can be directly purchased by those holding a C&R license from the BATF. It is prized both as a modern and reliable carry or home defense pistol, as well as a historical and collectible surplus military pistol. See how to get one for your collection HERE.

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Posted in General Info, Gun Data Dump

Badass Report: Staff Sgt Ronald J. Shurer

He saved all of them… and was awarded the Medal of Honor.

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On Oct 1st, 2018, Pres, Trump awarded US Army Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Shurer II the Medal of Honor for his badassery in April of 2008 in the Shok Valley of Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.

While serving as the only Special Forces Medic on his team, he was deployed through the Shok Valley when the team came under attack from over 200 insurgents. From above came enemy machine gun fire, plus snipers picking them off, and then RPG fire starts going off! In this hellstorm the team suffered several casualties and was pinned down ahead of him on the mountainside. Sgt Shurer knew he needed to reach his wounded men, so off he goes scaling the rock face under fire to reach the first wounded soldier, who had RPG shrapnel in his neck. After stabilizing him, he had to continue up the mountain to his trapped and wounded team mates. After an hour of climbing, returning fire the whole time, killing several of the terrorists, he finally reached his other wounded brothers. While treating four injured soldiers, plus 10 Afghani Commandos, he got shot in the head (thank God for helmets), and then took a round to the arm! But he did not stop and then continued on to treat a soldier who lost a leg. He had to continuously return fire and battle the enemy for over 5 more hours before he could get them out. Then, using his body as a shield against debris from the explosions, he figured a way to use nylon webbing to lower and evacuate the wounded down a 60 foot cliff to get them to a helicopter. Due to Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Shurer’s Badass bravery, everyone lived that was under his care.

Posted in Badass Reports

Badass Report: Pfc John C. Squires

It’s been a while since the last Report, but this guy needs one! A platoon messenger in his first combat steps up when needed.

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On this day, April 24 1944 in Italy, PFC John C Squires became a badass and was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was the platoon messenger and this was his first time in an attack! It was night and he had to sneak forward through artillery and mortar fire to check on the lead platoon that had suffered an explosion. Upon arriving he saw that he was needed to take charge. He rounded up other stragglers and formed his own squad, found a new route forward, and led like a boss. There was no one else around to lead, so this PFC with no prior combat set up the outpost, moved out to get more reinforcements, braving machinegun fire and grenades, even crawling through a minefield twice to get more stragglers! Three times his little outpost was attacked and they held strong, each time PFC Squires stood, ignoring enemy fire, returning hundreds of rounds back at the Germans. Moving off alone he engaged a group of 21 Germans in a point blank machinegun duel, killing or capturing all of them, as well as their weapons. He forced them to teach him to use their Spandau belt feds, placing them in his own outpost and teaching his men to use them. They held fast through the whole night, killing and capturing more Germans using the enemy’s own weapons. He acted with “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty”. PFC Squires  was killed later in the offensive in Italy. A Badass steps up when needed, even if he is just a messenger.

For more see https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5900/john-c.-squires

Posted in Badass Reports

The Star BM doesn’t have to be blue…

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The nice solid steel construction of the Star BM makes a great platform for your imagination – in this case we imagined Burnt Bronze with black accents on the fire controls, black barrel and bushing, and contrasting bronze screws on the black grips. Thank you to LRK Mechanical in Prescott Arizona for the Cerakote work. We hope to have some other examples soon of what a Star can be… for now enjoy these pics.

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Posted in General Info