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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of cleaning up two more of the Century imports. I currently have them knocked all the way down.

While I have often marveled at the quality and quantity of machine cuts on these guns, this morning I tryed to count them. I kept getting lost. Then I did some comparisons to other PRE CNC old world milled and machined .22 rifles.
Before I was through I had 8 guns out of the wood to include an Anschutz 54, Mauser KKW, Mauser 410b, Walther Sportmodell, and a Suhl 150.

Nothing comes close.

I would like to challenge any machinist amongst us affectionados to determine how many set ups were required to make all the cuts on this action. I can't do it and frankly have no experience other than watching some professionals and touring industries.

I have also come to the conclusion that only under a Communist system could such a gun have been produced in such quantity. There is no way that the labor envolved could have been cost effective enough for a Capitalist system to produce a gun that would be marketable.

I can not imagine Brno making any profit on these even with dirt cheap labor.

After the war there was a surplus of material, skilled labor, and manufacturing capability sitting idle and they had to do something. The world being predominantly at peace they did find a few markets for military arms and rework of German arms and utilization of left overs in addition to sporting arms.

All the references I have indicate this was a time when pursuit of world markets for sporting guns naturally became a priority for Brno.

Still, there is no way this gun could have been a money maker. It helped get them going, established new markets, and went on the father the finest line of .22 rifles marketed world wide at affordable prices. So in the end it paid off for ???

With the exception of the incorporation of the gas porting system I see no real improvements in subsequent models. Only attempts to reduce production costs.

THINK ABOUT IT!

What do you think it would cost to manufacture one of these today using those old methods.

I think I am gonna order some more.
 

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Well put, I'm no machinist but I've spent my life around hi-performance cars, motorcycles, aircraft of every type and the Brno's impress the heck out of me, amazing workmanship.

Gerald
 

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Mauser22 - Brno's were marketed in Australia for over 25 years. If my memory serves me correctly when I was much younger a new Model 1 or 2 was cheaper than a Winchester or Remington and most experienced shooters considered the Brno's far superior. They were not that much cheaper and in my opinion it would have been profitable for the Brno Company to market them. I have some old shooting magazines at home (I am overseas at the moment) and will try to locate them and give you some price comparisons. Anyway your thoughts are interesting and your posting of old articles great - thanks. best regards Mauser410b
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I am failing to convey some of my meaning here.

Granted they were marketed world wide at AFFORDABLE prices. How could that price been sufficient to cover costs?

It could not have worked under any other circumstances except those existing in Czechoslovakia in the late 40's It was surplus material, facilities, and skilled labor sitting idle or the gun would never have gone into production.

Consider that the steel, facilities, wood, distribution and marketing costs were all nothing (they were not) to pay the labor enough to eat and produce this gun could not have been done in the post WWII industrial and economic boom in the United States or any other country I can think of.

From the 1950's onward with the exception of a very few high end models all manufacturers world wide cheapened .22 rifles to be competive. This only reversed to some degree with the advent of CNC maching and new methods. Even with that, look at what a new Kimber, Cooper, or Anschutz cost and compare them.
 

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I agree with your comments in so far as late 1940's. Perhaps with the US Trade embargo it was necessary to trade (albeit at a loss) to gain currency from the West ie Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa where there was considerable demand for Brno rifles. regards Mauser410b. PS I sent you a pm re the Brno literature.
 

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Hmmm. I guess I see things differently. I see the Brno rimfires as simple designs where complexity and cost were added only when it would provide clear benefit, like threading the barrel. A case in point is the Brno rimfire triggers: from the Mauser style trigger to the 2-stage to the current 452 design. They are extremely simple, low part count designs. And how about those amazingly complex safety mechanisms! Not! And then there's that complex mechanism for removing the bolt. :rolleyes:

Hammer forged barrels? Once you have the capital equipment in place (which I believe the Germans were kind enough to provide during the war... somebody please correct me on that assumption if I'm out in the weeds), it's a high volume, low cost way to manufacture rifled barrels. It's a process that's suitable for high volume production of military rifles, but still results in excellent barrels. Sorry, I just don't buy your premise about high cost, high complexity Brno's. Great workmanship? YES, High cost? Not so much.
 

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That's an interesting theory, Mauser22, and you may well be right. OTOH, All4Fun has some interesting ideas as well and the truth may fall somewhere between the ideas of the two of you.

Wouldn't it be nice if someone researched the history of the BRNO arms company in depth and answered some of the questions we have no authoritative answers for now? I'd surely buy a copy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
This is great! I welcome all feedback.

I want to learn something out of this.

I did not mean to infer that is a "complex" desigin. It is a wonderfully simple and rugged design. But look at the individual pieces and the number of machine operations that were envolved.

Somebody give me an example of a Bolt action .22 caliber repeating rifle that has more machine cuts or seperate milling operations than a Brno Model 1. (Pre CNC produced guns).
 

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Old World Craftsmanship

A good quick read is 'The Bridge at Andau', by James Michener 1957. It's about Hungary in the post WWll years and the Hungarian Revolution. No it's not Checzoslavakia and Brno, but it's geographically close and went through the same trials and tribulations as the Checzs did. What they maunfactured and to who they sold their products, wages etc. Also Hungary had (has) some old world arms manufactureres. FEG in Budapest still makes a quality firearm and they were around then, under another name I'm sure. A good read on what the Soviet satellite countries went through after WWll.
 

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That's an interesting theory, Mauser22, and you may well be right. OTOH, All4Fun has some interesting ideas as well and the truth may fall somewhere between the ideas of the two of you.

Wouldn't it be nice if someone researched the history of the BRNO arms company in depth and answered some of the questions we have no authoritative answers for now? I'd surely buy a copy.
I think that's probably true: the truth probably falls in between. :) Mauser22 has made good points. The Brno receiver really does have a fair number of machining operations. But I also believe that many of the mechanisms in Brno's were kept simple and elegant. And that kept part count low and assembly time low. I also think that Brno received some of its heavy machinery for "free" as part of the war effort, or as surplus. That means Brno Arms had little debt to service. And of course the cost of skilled machining labor had to be very low compared to the US.

Added up, I think these factors help explain Brno's competitive pricing.

I also think it's a good point that the Communist block had need of hard currency to buy items on the open market. So maybe they would be willing to trade-off profit to get hard currency.

I also hope one of the Brno historians czechs in and shares what they know... :t
 

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Interesting thread...and I agree that they are elegant and amazing rifles...my favorite RF's.

Hammer forged barrels? Once you have the capital equipment in place (which I believe the Germans were kind enough to provide during the war... somebody please correct me on that assumption if I'm out in the weeds),
Slight deviation, the Czechs were making Mauser's and were known for their high quality arms etc. long before WWII and Hitler's minions came rolling through. (And later USSR.) Actually Czech arms were some of the reasons for the interest and timing of Hitler's invasion. (Sudetenland was just an excuse.) They have always been known for their innovation, quality and designs in arms...(Even their tanks were better than Germany's pre invasion.) Sadly the rest of the world sold them out and hung them out to dry for the price of peace...or peach at any cost attitude...thx Chamberlain. Anyway...
 

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One other comment and I will get off the soap box. A profit line was not a requirement under Communisum.
Maybe not, but the apparatchiks understood economics as well as we do. The low price more likely had to do with the fact that American currency would buy a lot more than Czech currency at official rates. In general Czech, German and European manufactured goods tended to to be overly complex and over engineered compared to American goods because they had a surplus of skilled labor while historically, the US has always had a shortage of skilled labor. The US has always focused on automation and the American firearms industry, both private and government has been a leader in the field. Remember Ely Whitney, an American, was the inventor of mass production and mass produced firearms.
 

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Interesting thread...and I agree that they are elegant and amazing rifles...my favorite RF's.

Slight deviation, the Czechs were making Mauser's and were known for their high quality arms etc. long before WWII and Hitler's minions came rolling through. (And later USSR.) Actually Czech arms were some of the reasons for the interest and timing of Hitler's invasion. (Sudetenland was just an excuse.) They have always been known for their innovation, quality and designs in arms...(Even their tanks were better than Germany's pre invasion.) Sadly the rest of the world sold them out and hung them out to dry for the price of peace...or peace at any cost attitude...thx Chamberlain. Anyway...
Thanks TOU... I appreciate the historical insight. I looked up Chamberlain and his appeasement policy on Wikipedia and it had this little blurb: "... the annexation of Czechoslovakia gave the Third Reich access to well-developed Czech industrial resources and significantly improved the Reich's strategic standing."
 

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Please pardon the deviation and temporary highjack...

Thanks TOU... I appreciate the historical insight. I looked up Chamberlain and his appeasement policy on Wikipedia and it had this little blurb: "... the annexation of Czechoslovakia gave the Third Reich access to well-developed Czech industrial resources and significantly improved the Reich's strategic standing."
No problem A4F..yep you got it right. Now if you look up the terms "appeasement policy" it has Chamberlain's name right beside it...their synonymous. :rolleyes: Actually their is one other present day name their also but I will leave that alone for this discussion...;) Also refer to the "Peace For Our Time" speech and the "Munich Agreement".

"Munich Agreement"...an agreement regarding the Sudetenland Crisis among the major powers of Europe after a conference held in Munich, Germany, in 1938 and signed in the early hours of September 30. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the future of Czechoslovakia in the face of territorial demands made by German dictator Adolf Hitler. The agreement, signed by Nazi Germany, France, Britain, and Italy (The Soviet Union had not been represented nor invited.) permitted German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland was of immense strategic importance to Czechoslovakia, as most of its border defenses were situated there.

Because the state of Czechoslovakia was not invited to the conference, the Munich Agreement is commonly called the Munich Dictate by Czechs and Slovaks (Czech: Mnichovský diktát; Slovak: Mníchovský diktát). The phrase Munich betrayal (Czech: Mnichovská zrada; Slovak: Mníchovská zrada) is also frequently used because military alliances between Czechoslovakia and France were not honored.
The Czechoslovaks were counting on political and military assistance from the French government, as they had an alliance with France. France under the leadership of Édouard Daladier was however politically unprepared for war, and the French government was dedicated to solving the crisis without entering a state of war. Czechoslovakia also had a treaty with the Soviet Union which included air bases for Soviet bombing planes and free passage to the Soviet troops through her territory to attack Germany. Stalin indicated willingness to cooperate with France and Great Britain if they decided to come to Czechoslovakia's defense.

British mass media and powerful politicians like Winston Churchill, Duff Cooper or Anthony Eden demanded war with Germany. However, Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister, and Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax were willing to keep the peace. Hitler wanted to gain another success without war which he knew would be a disaster for Europe and Germany. The German military leadership also knew the state of their armed forces and did all they could to avoid war.
Ironically the "Peace for Our Time" deal may have actually been what teed up and allowed EU WWII to happen. Hence, had the world stood fast and stood up to "Chancellor" Hitler...maybe EU portion of WWII could have been avoided...or in the least been minimized and shut down before it's massive and horrific escalation. Winston Churchill knew what was up though...but no one listened to this "WarMonger"...until it was too late.

Another sad part is that Czechoslovakia was most likely the most progressive and democratic country in Europe, pre-Hitler. I have read that one of the heroes of their then President's (Edvard Beneš), was Abraham Lincoln. Go figure.

Sorry for the ramble...but it helps one understand more than politics but also manufacturing, history and culture related to Brno's and CZ's.

Cheers,
 

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Ethnically Sudetenland was largely German and lost in the reparations after WW1. That was Hitler's major argument in trying to get it back....the reality was that is was also strategically important. Another mix of German/Czech for CZs/Brnos.
 

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Ethnically Sudetenland was largely German and lost in the reparations after WW1. That was Hitler's major argument in trying to get it back....the reality was that is was also strategically important. Another mix of German/Czech for CZs/Brnos.
Dead on Grafe. However, much of the desire for unification was related to Nazi plants and agitators. Apparently, post WWI the Sudetenland residents didn't really have the greatest desire to be apart of Germany per se (Which would been against the treaty of Versailles...not the best treaty either though.)..actually they wanted to be a completely independent state.

Many Sudeten Germans rejected affiliation with Czechoslovakia because they had been refused the right to self-determination promised by US president Woodrow Wilson in his Fourteen Points of January 1918.

Despite the wishes of the inhabitants of Sudetenland (which included German populations in Brünn (Brno), it was forced to join Czechoslovakia, partly because of the historical borders of the Kingdom of Bohemia (which was the main portion of Czechoslovakia in the same sense England is a primary home-nation of the UK), and partly because of the anti-German bias of the allies. On the other hand many German-speakers also felt themselves to be German-speaking Bohemians rather than Germans or Austrians living in Czechoslovakia.
Furthermore...
Czechoslovakia also lost 70% of its iron/steel, 70% of its electrical power, 3.5 million citizens and the famous Škoda Works to Germany as a result of the settlement. (Munich Agreement)
Definitely interesting stuff...and nothing simple or straight forward about it. :eek:
 
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