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View Full Version : Briley Fantom F13 - Any Info or opinions out there?



chrisp0410
22nd April 2008, 23:52
Hey folks,

A local gun shop to my area just took in a Briley Customized F13 Fantom .40 S&W and I am interested enough to place a deposit without knowing much about the piece. What I do know is the Briley Spherical Bushings are superb (this pistol ironically doesn't have a bushing) and I know Briley's shotgun chokes (this isn't a shotgun) are great.

The pistol has a high-rise beavertail, ambidexrous safety, thinned and contoured Caspian double-stacked alloy frame with an Officer's length and three mags holding 12 rounds each. The straight trigger is smoooth faced and has to break at three pounds (lighter than my Les Baer Thunder Ranch AND my worked Premier IIs). The Officer's Cone style bull barrel is sans a bushing with a fully supported chamber/ramp and two chamber compensator, it has a tungtsen guide rod and nite sites as well as a lined wood display case. The serial number is in the low double digits. I heard that Briley made a compensated version (single chamber) of the Fantom but was called the F13C, however the slide, serial number and wood case are only marked F13 which makes me think this was a custom job worked by Briley later. The underside of the comp is stamped with the Briley logo.

Does anyone have any info on this little gem? I.E. do you know how many total were made? Was this a standard model by Briley or a customized version of one? Can it handle +P 135 gr. Corbons? I have an email in to Briley but I thought I'd come back home here for a second opinion.

Thanks folks. Oh and here is a pic to show her off:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g62/chrisp0410/fantom2.jpg

Chrisp0410

pa_guns
23rd April 2008, 06:32
Hi

Briley makes a *very* small number of pistols per year. Currently they are running a couple of dozen a year. That puts them at 1/10th the size of RRA. or 1/100th the size of Wilson. You may may not find many people who have one.

That's a very nice looking pistol, It would certainly get my attention. I have used Briley parts and they are first rate. Everything I have heard about their pistols has been very positive.

Bob

Jim Watson
23rd April 2008, 07:59
The Briley Fantom is a productionized version of the original Fantom by Fred Craig. He wanted to move on to other things like a gun of his own design... about which I have seen nothng in the years after the lauditory magazine article.

chrisp0410
23rd April 2008, 08:42
PA and Jim,

Thank you for the quick replies. I knew that Briley's production output was small but I had no idea that output was only a couple dozen a year. I could find no articles on it anywhere on this Forum nor High Road, etc. I know this must be a fairly rare piece, although I am not the collector, I will value this pistol as a shooter.

Thanks again.

Chrisp0410

Bladeandbarrel
23rd April 2008, 17:11
My guess is that is an EGW customized briley fantom. The "E" trigger and Koenig hammer are giveaways.

pa_guns
23rd April 2008, 17:52
Hi

If it's been past the EGW shop, you probably could give George a call and see if he recognizes it.

Bob

hdgun
23rd April 2008, 20:16
The only input I can give is:

I have a Craig Fantom 19, which is a full size HiCap 40. I have owned and shot this gun for USPSA matched for the past 7 years or so. This gun has an easy 75,000 rounds through it. It is and always be my best. After all the rounds I have put through this gun it is as tight and as accurate as the day it was built.
I have done nothing to this gun except a thinner front sight and spring changes. If you buy this F13 I don't think you will regret it.

Just my 2cents

chrisp0410
24th April 2008, 10:16
The only input I can give is:

I have a Craig Fantom 19, which is a full size HiCap 40. I have owned and shot this gun for USPSA matched for the past 7 years or so. This gun has an easy 75,000 rounds through it. It is and always be my best. After all the rounds I have put through this gun it is as tight and as accurate as the day it was built.
I have done nothing to this gun except a thinner front sight and spring changes. If you buy this F13 I don't think you will regret it.

Just my 2cents

hdgun,

Thank you as well for your input, and thanks again to everyone else. I received an informative reply from Claudio Salassa of Briley Manufacturing Company late last night. He gave me additional information as to the history of the Fantom and some of the reasons that lead to the demise of the line. This gun was a custom order, fewer than 100 of the model were produced and this is a one-off Carry-Comp within that 100. He didn't share how many were custom built versions. I had inquired about an owners Manual but Claudio stated that so few were produced that they never got to the point of publishing a Manual.

He also said that it can handle +P ammo but it should not have a constant diet of it.

I'm excited about this find and can't wait to pick her up.

Cheers,

Chrisp0410

chrisp0410
30th April 2008, 18:09
Well, the mortgage will be late a couple days this month but I picked up the Briley a few minutes ago. I can't wait to get to the range, Saturday will not come fast enough!

Chrisp0410

pa_guns
30th April 2008, 19:14
Hi

Cool !!

We do need a range report.

Bob

chrisp0410
2nd May 2008, 13:26
Hi

If it's been past the EGW shop, you probably could give George a call and see if he recognizes it.

Bob
pa_guns, wow you have a lot of posts to this forum, over 11,000! Hey, thanks for the advice on contacting George over at EGW. I did so and received a reply yesterday from him, he did the trigger group work. I'll tell you, the trigger on this thing is better than my Baers, as good as my .22lr match pistols.

I will do a range report on her after I get to the range. That might happen this weekend. This may be my perfect carry gun if the thing runs as good as the fit and finish look.

Chrisp0410

pa_guns
2nd May 2008, 18:32
Hi

Did George put you up to the trigger comment? :D :D :D :D :D

I have a 1911 headed his way and I'm debating about having him do a trigger on it.

Of course in order to know that he'd have to be telepathic .. maybe he is. :scared: :scared:

Bob

chrisp0410
4th May 2008, 12:52
No, George didn't. That was my idea.

pa_guns
4th May 2008, 16:34
Hi

Then you won't mind my putting my trigger job on your credit card? :D :D :D :D

Bob

chrisp0410
4th May 2008, 22:24
Nice, why not.

chrisp0410
14th May 2008, 09:41
Hey shooters,

Well it has been a couple of weeks without firing a shot so I made up for this last night with about 600 rounds respectfully submitted downrange. I brought out my Les Baer Premier II 6", my Les Baer Thunder Ranch Comanche Virgil Tripp Bobtail and my Briley F13 Fantom Custom. For this thread, I'll focus solely on the Briley.

In a word, WOW! I started off with a box of FMJ, Winchester 180 gr white box rounds. Set up a Slow Fire 50' Pistol target, that has about a 4" black center, at 25' distance and fired leisurely at about a shot every two to three seconds. All 50 rounds went into the black. I then threw an old FBI "Q" target out at the same 25' and fired two magazines off in doubletap sequences. Each doubletap was about 2-2.5" spread, all hovering around the "Q". I shot a couple of full magazine bursts as quickly as I could reacquire the front sight at the same 25' distance and all the shots fired on this target thus far could be covered with a diner plate, all scorable hits. This pistol is fast! Between the two chamber compensator, heavy bull barrel and tungsten guide rod on the front end, this pistol's felt recoil is closer to a .38 wadcutter than a .40 S&W! There is no muzzle rise whatsoever, just a rearward push and slight raise. My sights returned to basically the same place as when I fired the first round.

I then shot off a few magazines of mixed fodder, some old Black Talon 180 gr, some 155 gr (I think, lost the box) gold dots, some old reloads donated from a friend in 155 grain, a few old magsafes that saw better days than in my tacklebox, as well as two boxes of Corbon 135 gr that I typically carry in my little Kahr. This pistol ate everything I fed it without any failures of any kind except for the one incident mentioned below. The 135 gr actually had less felt recoil than the 180 gr FMJ loads I started shooting with, that compensator is very effective.

At this point, I got bored with paper and decided to see if I could hit anything at greater than 25' distance with this pistol. My local indoor pistol range is a 25 yard facility with a power target holder and user-adjustable lighting. At the 25 yard line, there are sets of various sized steel plates that swivel left to right of a center pole when hit. I had no problems hitting a heart-shaped plate about 10" across. I would consistently hit the plate firing about one shot every two seconds. If I aimed more carefully, I could also hit a 4" circular plate at the same distance about 8 out of 10 shots. With the last of my rounds, as I got more familiar with the pistol and where it hit at distance, I put the last two magazines worth of ammo downrange at the heart-shaped plate as fast as I could reacquire my front sight and hit it all but twice out of 20 rounds. I can't wait to practice some more and really become proficient with this pistol!

The only negatives to report have to do with one of the three custom made magazines. Two of the magazines functioned flawlessly. The third one will not lock the slide back after the last round is fired. This magazine also gave me the bird once with a stovepipe FTE on the last round. For now, I have a piece of blue painters tape on that magazine so I know it is my last mag to feed should I ever need to call on this pistol for business. If it stovepipes the last round fired from my last magazine, then I have worse things to think about than a stovepipe on a gun I have no more rounds for anyway!

On my way home from the range, with the smell of burnt gunpowder dancing within my nostrils and black soot on my fingers, I thought about this Briley performing as well as it did. Now remember, this pistol isn't a full-sized government model or a tricked out race gun. It is an Officer's sized pistol with a compensator out front bringing the overall length to about a 1/4" longer than a Commander. The sight radius is still the same as an Officer's/Compact as the front sight is mounted on the slide, not at the end of the comp. The grip is a Caspian Widebody cut down to an Officer's length and some kind of tape used instead of grips to keep the thickness down. The pistol is thinner than a singlestack 1911 with regular thickness grips, slightly thicker than a 1911 with slim grips but not by much.

So for me, I now have an Officer's sized Compact pistol that holds 13 rounds of .40 S&W, that kicks like a .38 shooting wadcutters and hits as accurately as my full-sized Les Baers. No wonder I have a smile on my face writing to you this morning. Cheers. :appld:

Chrisp0410

tacticalacp
14th May 2008, 17:15
Chris ,
Thank You ! for one of the best range reports I've ever read on a forum ! It's fun to have fun shooting and it sounds like you had some fun.Congrats on your Briley , it it sounds like a good buy .

Mike