Czech Army Buys First CZ 806 Bren 2 Rifles

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The Czech government has made its first purchase of the new CZ 806 Bren 2 improved 5.56mm infantry rifles. The new weapons will complement the older 805 Bren model, while replacing it in production for the Army of The Czech Republic. Jane’s reports:

The Army of the Czech Republic (ACR) has signed two contracts with national firearms manufacturer Ceska Zbrojovka for the delivery of CZ 806 Bren 2 rifles, CZ 805 G1 grenade launchers, and CZ 75 SP-01 Phantom semi-automatic pistols.

The first contract, worth CZK417 million (USD16.6 million), is for the delivery of 2,600 CZ 806 Bren 2 rifles, 800 CZ 805 G1 underbarrel grenade launchers, 2,600 Meopta ZD-Dot red dot sights, 1,600 Meopta DV-Mag3 3x magnifiers, 1,450 Meopta NV-Mag3 night vision sights, 500 DBAL-A2 laser pointer/illuminator, and spare parts.

Under the second contract worth CZK59.3 million the ACR will get another batch of 5,500 CZ 75 SP-01 Phantom semi-automatic rifles fed in 9×19 mm cartridges. It was introduced to the ACR in 2012 when first batch of 5,570 SP-01 Phantoms was purchased.

The decision about the purchase was made in late October, and the Czech Republic used an urgent requirement procedure to buy new weapons. It was explained in terms of the security threat including Europe’s migration crisis and the Paris attacks.

The CZ 805 Bren is a good weapon, but distinctly flawed. The upper receiver was originally designed to be injection molded from fiber-reinforced polyamide polymer, similar to the construction of the German G36 rifle (which also served as the mechanical basis for the Bren’s design). However, during development aluminum was chosen as the material for the upper receiver, while the receiver’s shape itself was not redesigned for the new material. This resulted in an unnecessarily expensive and heavy upper receiver incorporating profiles well-suited to injection molding, but complex to create with aluminum machining processes. This flaw was corrected in the new 806 Bren 2, and some minor miscellaneous improvements made, resulting in a rifle that saves nearly a pound and a half (0.63 kg) versus the previous version, while almost certainly being cheaper and quicker to make. Further, the new rifle can use the standard AR-15 pattern of magazine as standard, enhancing compatibility between the Czech military and NATO forces. The 805 can also use AR-15 pattern magazines, but only with a magazine well specific to that type.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • ExurbanKevin

    Ummmmn, “CZ-75 SP-01 Phantom *rifles* fed in 9x19mm”… is there a replacement for the EVO 2 in the works? 🙂

    • JumpIf NotZero

      The one you’re thinking of is already the Scorpion Evo3. The V61 was the Scorpion, the Evo2 was the v61 in 9mm that never really took off. The Scorpion Evo3 is the Laugo designed gun that started life in 2001, really took shape in 2009 when CZ stepped in, and now is doing very well in the US market.

      There may be confusing because the “CZ Scorpion Evo3 S1” that’s released here is different from the A1. A being Army. S being Sem-Auto. The “1” is 9mm, they planned for a “2” in .40S&W. From what I’ve seen they have at least kicked around the designs for a variant in 45APC (which should be the same upper receiver if not the same upper and lower).

    • No, Jane’s just screwed up. Meant to point it out in the article, but got distracted nerding out about receiver manufacturing processes. 🙂

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Weight was my issue when I handled the military “v1”, but I do remeber thinking it had a lot more potential than the MSBS or other similar foreign rifles.

    As a US consumer, it really just doesn’t make sense to not go with an AR-15 primarily. I just can’t see a reason for the US consumer to get all into the 805 and similar non-ARs, practically speaking.

    That said.. CZ KILLED IT with the civilian Evo! I haven’t seen as good a gun launch in… ever. Cheap, support out the gate, runs well, suppresses extremely well (looking at you MPX), parts available, carbine and new models actually coming. Pretty impressed with CZ right now.

    • thedonn007

      I would get one for the folding stock. However, I prefer a 9mm AR-15 over the CZ EVO. Easier to run a 4.5″ barrel and tuck the suppressor under the handguard.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Off topic… but OK. I’m not sure you have shot both. Because there is no possible way to get the a 9mm AR-15 with enough weight at the bcg+buffer to ever not unlock early.

        I’ve tried maybe 5 AR-15s in 9mm. None of them come close to the CZ suppressed. Not even close. The CZ is probably one of the only gun’s I’d say is as equally nice to shoot suppressed as an MP5. The Uzi is nice but heavy and feels terrible.

        • Joshua

          There are some very heavy aftermarket buffers now. Like 10+oz for 9mm ARs

    • BrandonAKsALot

      For me, AR’s have just never fit me well. I have a SCAR and it’s far more comfortable and usable for me personally. I have gotten to the point that I can get my AR’s set up to be more enjoyable, but I still just feel awkward behind them a lot. An adjustable gas system is a big deal too for suppression.

      IF the MSBS lives up to what it’s been hyped to be, I think it’ll be some tough competition. Fabryka Broni puts out some extremely high quality stuff and tends to put a lot of research and thought into design. That being said, CZ is no slouch either and I’ll agree with you that they really did a phenomenal job lauching the EVO. They seem to really listen and actually care about the non-military market here.

      • Esh325

        You hear a lot of criticisms about the M4, but one I never hear is that they aren’t comfortable. They fit MOST shooters well. A lot of rifles designs are based on the M4 for this reason, they are very comfortable to use for most people.

        • Uniform223

          the cheek rest on the SCAR is more comfortable on than the AR-15 i’ll give it that. Other than that, both are very functional. If you’ve used an AR-15 picking up the SCAR would be easy… just need to be aware of the reciprocating charging handing of you’re used to holding your AR-15 by the magwell.

          • Esh325

            But there are tons of stock options for the AR15.

          • CommonSense23

            Have you tried running with a SCAR with a plate carrier on?

          • Uniform223

            No. I’ve only fired it in civies.

    • Esh325

      Reliability and durability would be things that the Bren might have over the M4, but the average shooter isn’t conducting firefights in Iraq in the desert, they are shooting at paper targets from a bench.

      • Joshua

        I guess if the M4 was having reliability issues in Iraq maybe, but they’re not.

        • Esh325

          It never has. In fact, they never saw any reason to change the M4. It was very perfect from very start when it came out in the 90’s.

          • Joshua

            95% of the upgrades to the M4 have been to keep it modern against new rifles the majority are ancillary items.

            There have been 2 major upgrades to the M4A1 that practically fixed every issue the rifle had early on.

            1. A new heavier buffer(H2).
            2. The new copper extractor spring.

            You cannot find one rifle in history that hasn’t seen minor performance upgrades to it over its life span. But if you feel you can find a military rifle that never changed and was successful by all means prove it. I’ll wait.

            However in the context of my original post in response to yours you didn’t specify in 1990, you said now days.

            So that’s comparing a modern M4 to a current Bren. Currently the M4A1 isn’t having issues in Iraq.

          • Just say’in

            Yeah, apparently even ISIS likes ’em.

          • mosinman

            not according to the Fascist Corgi 😉

          • Joshua

            Yeah that guys missing a few screws in his adolescent brain.

    • micmac80

      One word : Folding stock ,not a practical option on an AR15

      Indeed CZ Evo is superb as is the 805 , had the chance to shoot it at a military comp in CZ in the spring , only things bothering were the weight and the reprociating cocking lever. Now both are solved.

      • Kyle

        Functionally what can you do with a folding stock that you can’t do with a fixed stock or a collapsing one? Or is this a simple purely preference type thing? For my money I’d go AR for funtion unless I’m just looking to collect. The sheer amount of aftermarket goodies build options are mouth watering.

        • With the folding stock the rifle can be stored in a large dresser drawer, and it improves transportation to and around vehicles. It’s the #1 flaw with the AR series vs all other modern rifles.

          • Joshua

            I guess if you require the need for tactical dresser drawer stowage capability.

          • The guy

            I swear some people just refuse to give up their ignoranc…. why would you not want a smaller more easily carried concealed stored weapon? There are no downsides since the barrel length remains the same.

          • I do.

          • Uniform223

            personally I’ve never seen ANY issues with the AR’s collapsible stock when compared to a folding stock. Matter the fact I find the collapsible stock to be more tactically practical than a folding stock (especially for carbines and assault rifles… SMGs are a different story). At least with a collapsible stock for a carbine (like my old M4), it’s still compact enough for CQB or exiting from a vehicle and still be fully functional for the user. Just jump out and shoulder the damn thing. With folding stocks as I see it and experienced it… I need to pop that stock out and make sure its locked before I can EFFECTIVELY use it. That is an extra process I didn’t have to do and an extra second I could’ve used to respond to threats.
            The only REAL BENEFIT (as I see it) for a folding stock is simply for storage… that is it.

          • Most modern designs feature a collapsible folding stock. For example, the CZ 806 Bren.

          • Squirreltakular

            I thought that a folding stock was important, too, until I had to carry a rifle around for a living. I never ran into a situation where I felt that the stock on an M4 (when collapsed all the way) was in any way a nuisance. Unless you are trying to transport a rifle covertly, I can’t see the need for a folding stock, and an AR breaks in half pretty dang quickly anyways.

      • A Fascist Corgi

        Not to mention that cleaning AR-15s is annoying. I can clean 10 FN SCARs in the same time that it takes to clean 1 AR-15.

        • mosinman

          Hey you’re that AR-15 hating fella……

        • Joshua

          Hate to burst your bubble, but MRBEFF of the Mk-16 in USSOCOM trials was 14,500 rounds.

          • A Fascist Corgi

            Can you link me the data which showed that the FN SCAR tested by the U.S. military only went 14,500 rounds before the bolt supposedly failed? I’ve gotten 2 comments now from people claiming to be special operators that were issued the FN SCAR and who hated them because they supposedly had all kinds of problems with them. I’m frankly suspicious of these claims since they sound like complete BS to me. But even if it was true, the M16 had several problems when it was first issued to the U.S. military. And 5 decades later they’re still making design improvements. So, it’s a pretty stupid argument to say that the FN SCAR is a piece of garbage simply because it wasn’t perfect out of the box.

          • Joshua

            The M4A1 has the same bolt as the M16A2.

            There have been 2 major improvements to the M4A1. A heavier buffer and a extractor spring designed for the M4A1. The M4A1 also has a better trigger now with the Geiselle SSF.

            Everything else has been ancillary items like rails, grips, stocks, things like that.

            Overall there have been little mechanical changes done to the weapon since the M16A2.

            As to the Mk16, no there is nothing I can supply you.

            Maintenance schedules for the Mk16 is very similar to the M4A1 and I wasn’t able to supply that documentation either.

            The other thing is even if I could, I wouldn’t…not to you considering the way you post tells me you have no real knowledge and judge everything you repeat based off things you read on the internet.

            Also I’m retired.

          • A Fascist Corgi

            I’m a retired Delta SEAL operator too. Wanna go get a beer some time? We can discuss how you knew that the FN SCAR can only go 14,500 rounds before it needs a new bolt even though you can’t link me a source which contains that information…

          • Joshua

            You should realize a couple of things.

            1. I don’t know what country you are from so posting sensitive documents in an open source environment is a serious no no.

            2. You should realize you don’t get to see every government document you want to, just because you want to.

            So no I can’t link you a source. You want them? Get the clearance to appropriate them.

            Until then you can continue being a keyboard commando spouting your in-depth internet knowledge of firearms that you have no real world experience with.

          • A Fascist Corgi

            I told you that I’m a retired Delta SEAL. And my intelligence sources within SOCOM tell me that you’re full of crap.

          • Joshua

            Yeah….those are two totally different branches.

          • Uniform223

            don’t worry about corgi… you can’t fix stupid

        • Did you just make up those parts breakage numbers? Hahahahah.

          • Joshua

            He got it from the internet, the same place that says HK416 is unreliable and the barrel was shot out in a couple thousand rounds(yet all government testing has show HK makes the best barrel anyone has ever seen), yet sees 50,000-100,000 barrel life in DD and LMT barrels(which should be shot out by 10,000-15,000 rounds).

            In other words the company who posted the info says things that do not match the real world in any way, shape, or form and he liked their “data” (there was no data just someone posting online) and he is spouting it as fact.

  • Arandor Thinnorion

    It’s odd that Jane’s would make a mistake like this. “…the ACR will get another batch of 5,500 CZ 75 SP-01 Phantom semi-automatic rifles fed in 9×19 mm cartridges.”

    The CZ 75 SP-01 Phantom is a pistol not a “semi-automatic rifle”.

    • Yes, that’s strange, but it wouldn’t be the first time Jane’s made a mistake.

  • Friend of Tibet

    Looking good!

  • USMC03Vet

    Hope they issue gloves with it because another flaw is it gets too hot.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      It’s an 11″ piston gun with the gas system covered by the short aluminum rail. I’m not sure how completely expected thermal dynamics is a “flaw”.

      • jono102

        They do tend to heat up around the front hand guard notably faster than some AR’s or other rifles (beretta etc), partly because the lower rail is attached to the barrel and acts as a heat sink when maintaining higher rates of fire, same thing with the SCAR.
        Their under slung 40mm launcher is rated to medium velocity natures but isn’t very intuitive to use compared to most other launchers i.e 3 actions just to open it. Don’t know how keen I would be to use medium velocity rounds in general

  • thedonn007

    I want a CZ 75 SP-01 Phantom, I have been casually looking for a few years. They are hard to find.

  • hydepark

    And this is why I didn’t pick up the 805 yet. Hopefully the new model hits our shores sometime this year and I can move forward on my CZ collection.

  • May

    Didn’t think it was possible for that thing to get more like a SCAR, but somehow they did it.

    • Tom

      Pretty much every semi auto pistol made in the last 60 years uses a slide just like JMBs 1900, because its basically the best solution. Same here if you want a rifle with the same features as the SCAR your going to have a rifle that looks like the SCAR.

    • mosinman

      and the SCAR is a fancy modified Ar-18

  • Rst

    Nice to see CZ isn’t sitting back resting on its laurels. The Scorpion has been terrific. Now with the a cheaper lighter Bren 2, hopefully they’ll make it to the US at a more affordable cost as well!

  • Vitor Roma

    It also has a non-reciprocating handle, if i’m not mistaken.

  • Joshua

    Wow I didn’t know it was possible to have less rail space on a rifle than the M4+RAS. Somehow they managed to pull it off.

    The picture of that gun with the M2/mag leaves no room for any laser device.

    • @disqus_TGFjqxZ3IS:disqus
      Yeah, it looks to be a dedicated SBR since the rifle’s barrel lengths only 8” or 11” I’m not sure if there is a 14.5” version to be made of the 806.

      • jono102

        CZ referred to the ones they submitted to the NZDF rifle tender as an 807’s. They had both 14.5 and 18″
        options for them.

        • Haven’t been able to find a picture of an CZ 807 yet.

          • jono102

            It looked exactly the same as the 806 image in the article. It still had the reciprocating cocking handle where as the 806 apparently doesn’t, which was always a big gripe with it and the SCAR.

  • Bob

    Now this may make me rethink the sig mcx. I love my Daniel Defense but I do believe there are merits in other non ar15 style designs. With this shaving off the weight, utilizing plastic and me being a CZ fan this is most likely what I am going to save up for next. Me likely, now CZ needs to skip doing the full size rifle 805 brens here and go straight to the 806. This way all I have to get is the first scorpion and a vz52. Thanks TFB for posting this I had no clue they even had the 806!

  • iksnilol

    3 kg with empty mag… Nice.

  • Joshua

    Rekt? How old are you? 10? Maybe 12?

    Are you even old enough to own guns?

    • Uniform223

      no all his knowledge comes off of hearsay from the interwebs and his thousands of hours of “field experience” playing CoD or Battlefield. This is the closest thing that individual will ever get to the real thing is playing airsoft.