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Charles A. "Mickey" Finn (June 21, 1938 – April 24, 2007) was an American designer who specialized in designing and producing weapons systems for the U.S. military. He retired from defense work and began designing sporting equipment, including the Mickey Finn T-Bar Putter, a golf putter.


For thirty years Finn designed weapons systems for the U.S. military and other government agencies. In the industry he was referred to as "Q", after the special weapons supplier Q in James Bond fiction, and the name of Finn's original research company Qual-A-Tec.[1]

After extensive research into black operations, author Tom Clancy used Finn's name to add an extra measure of realism to The Cardinal of the Kremlin.[2] Finn retired from the defense industry after this public mention and started a business selling military and hunting knives.[1]


Qual-A-Tec was a research and development firm originally based in Oceanside, California United States.[3] It later moved to Chino Valley, Arizona, United States.[4] It was owned and operated by Finn and specialized in signature suppression and muzzle control devices for firearms. It also provided classified weapons systems to the U.S. government until it was forced to close when author Tom Clancy outed Finn and his company in the novel The Cardinal of the Kremlin.

The U.S. Army contract to design and build the M9 bayonet for the M16 rifle was awarded to Qual-A-Tec.[5][6][7] Out of 49 companies that bid on the contract, theirs was the only one tested that had zero percent rate of failure.[6][7] Finn and his M9 bayonet design were profiled in the October 30, 1986 issue of the LA Times[5] and the January 5, 1987 issue of People magazine.[8]


"Everything I design is the best, regardless of cost. In the weapons industry, if what you make has defects it costs lives. I couldn't live with that type of guilt."[1]


  1. ^ a b c Mickey Finn Golf, archived from the original on 2013-10-19, retrieved 2016-11-23
  2. ^ Tom Clancy (1 December 2010). Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 2280. ISBN 978-1-101-49696-1.
  3. ^ Olson, Doug (2006). "The Development of the M9 Bayonet". Quarterbore Inc. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  4. ^ Smith, Matt (August 1, 2002). Shea, Dan (ed.). "Interview with Dough Olson". Small Arms Review. Vol. 5 no. 11. Chipotle Publishing, LLC. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Reza, H.G. (1986-10-30). "One-Time Delicatessen Owner Builds the Army a Better Bayonet". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  6. ^ a b Brett, Homer (Summer 1992). "Phrobis and the M9 Bayonet" (PDF). Society of American Blade Collectors. No. 10. Retrieved 2016-11-23. The design submitted by the firm of Phrobis III of Oceanside, California, won the competition. It was a hands-down win with Phrobis having a zero failure rate while the worst design had a failure rate of 74% (Armed Forces Journal).
  7. ^ a b "Army Selects New Bayonet. Phrobis III: The Winning Edge". Blade Magazine. 1987. Archived from the original on 2013-12-26. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  8. ^ "The New Bayonet Stabs, Slices and Even Dices, Thanks to Mickey Finn". People. New York: Time Inc. 1987-01-05. Retrieved 2016-11-23.

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