14 July 16
Today, I handled CZ’s new “BREN 805″
It’s a 5.56×45 military rifle, piston-driven, gas-adjustable. Takes AR magazines. One-piece, aluminum upper. Polymer lower. Hinges apart, much like an FAL and XCR. In fact, it’s very reminiscent of an RA/XCR!
Comes with a very nice folding/extendible stock.
Made in the Czech Republic, today’s “BREN” traces its ancestry back to the British “BREN Gun,” a Czech-designed automatic rifle which saw much service during WWII.
“BREN” stands for “Bruno Enfield,” symbolizing the marriage between Czech and British weapons technology, starting in the 1930s.
The rifle has been around for a few years in Europe, but was recently introduced to the American market.
CZ’s Web Page indicates the BREN 805 is for “law-enforcement sales only,” but I just handled a copy at a local CO retailer, and it was for sale to anyone who wanted it!
It’s a handy rifle, but at 1.8k/copy, not inexpensive.
It has a reciprocating bolt-handle, which may make it unpopular in some military circles. For one, I don’t consider a reciprocating bolt-handle to represent a problem, and I like the idea that the bolt-handle can be used to force the bolt in both directions. Put another way, the bolt-handle also functions as a “forward-assist.” However, I’m in the minority on this issue!
Bolt-handle can go on either side. I prefer it on the left side.
Two-position, manual safety lever is on the Western style, and is ambidextrous. However, the safety lever on the right side of the lower receiver is designed to be easily removed, which I would do immediately! I don’t like safety levers facing to the outside as the rifle is slung.
The BREN 805 looks to me to be a very eligible patrol rifle, and also well-suited to personal defense and other serious purposes. I’ve not shot it, so I don’t know how it runs, but everything CZ makes is excellent, in my experience.
It enters a crowded market. But, good competition makes good products, a principle well known to capitalists!