GIGN Adopts CZ 806 Bren 2 in 7.62×39

A French National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) member participates in a training exercice at the headquarters on January 10, 2010 in Versailles Satory, west of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

French Counter-Terrorism group National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) recently announced at SOFINS 2017 that it would be adopting CZ’s 806 Bren 2 in 7.62x39mm with a 9 inch barrel. So far 68 carbines have been ordered for the roughly 400 man counter-terrorist force, resulting from extensive testing of various platforms in 7.62x39mm since 2015. CZ was apparently a late comer to the testing and evaluation but appears to have come out on top amongst the others involved. Currently, GIGN is stipulating that the carbine must be modified to accept a suppressor and an accompanying gas system to assist with shooting subsonic ammunition reliably. In addition to the carbine CZ is also trying to push the P-10 for adoption as well, but this appears to be a no go at present.

From Shepard Media-

It has selected the Bren 2 assault rifle from Czech company CZ. The company told Shephard at the SOFINS exhibition that the GIGN has selected the 7.62 x 39 mm version of the rifle and placed an initial order for 68 units earlier in 2017.

Additional procurements are slated to take place in the near future with the aim of replacing the majority of the H&K 416s currently in service.

The decision to adopt the Bren 2 was the result of a process that began in 2015 after the Paris attacks in January that year. Faced with terrorists equipped with bullet-proof vests, French gendarmerie and police intervention units found that 9 mm weapons had little efficiency in such situations and that 5.56 mm ammo lacked the necessary stopping power.

The CZ spokesperson said that the GIGN identified a need for a new weapon able to fire a heavier bullet. The 7.62 x 51 mm caliber had the suitable characteristics but the weapons for this caliber were considered too heavy and bulky for efficient close-quarter combat.

Thus, GIGN decided to evaluate assault rifles chambered in the 7.62 x 39 mm caliber instead and undertook trials throughout 2015 with a variety of weapons.

CZ’s offering was only proposed in the latter stages of the evaluation program. Throughout the better part of 2016, the rifle was intensively tested in a variety of situations and was found to be the most reliable and efficient weapon within the panel of rifles tried by the GIGN.

The choice of the 7.62x39mm round at first glance appears to be very surprising for any Military/LE entity to adopt in western Europe, and especially one with the status and importance as GIGN. The operational requirement for the cartridge was released in 2015 after the disastrous Bataclan theater attacks in Paris. Beginning with the after action reviews from that attack, a number of law enforcement agencies across Europe began seriously looking into more powerful calibers for their officers in order to counter body armor clad attackers. In addition, many of the attackers in these recent terrorist attacks are committed to dying during the course of the attack and thus could probably fight longer while being hit with 5.56x45mm NATO rounds.

My first assumption is that GIGN doesn’t actually want the 7.62x39mm round. My inkling is that the service actually wants the .300 BLK but is hesitant on being one of the first groups to take the plunge and commit to a cartridge that hasn’t seen extensive operational usage. Seeing that the CZ 806 is itself extremely modular, I assume if overall reception of the .300 BLK goes well in Europe, GIGN will simply purchase .300 BLK barrels to replace the 7.62x39mm ones.



Miles V

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the Middle East & North Africa, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, feel free to message me at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Just say’n

    Maybe they’ll be buying Russian steel-core x39 to defeat body armor. No such option for .300 BLK that I’m aware of.

    • thedarkknightreturns

      300 blk has a wide selection of .308 projectiles it can be loaded with, AP isn’t a problem.

      • iksnilol

        Do you think GIGN sits by and handloads their own rounds? Most likely not.

        • thedarkknightreturns

          No hand loading is needed, SLAP ammo in .300 blk for military and LE application has been available for quite a while now. My point is I would argue .300 blk has extremely high versatility because of all the options out there in .308 projectiles.

          • iksnilol

            One small US company that makes it. Doesn’t sound really available.

          • guest

            Sellier & Bellot makes it.

          • iksnilol

            S&B make 300 BLK SLAP ammo?

        • Gun Fu Guru

          I guess you never heard of a request for proposal to obtain the ammunition of their choice.

        • Tassiebush

          And Tasmania. There’s about 3boxes of it in my local shop ?

          • iksnilol

            I imagine some spec ops types going into your LGS going all “Sir, it’s a matter of national security, we need those rounds. WHAAT? 50 BUCKS? … Uumm, y’all got any national security on a budget?”

    • Form Factor

      Steel core 7.62×39 does not even nearly goes trough body armor….. not trough lvl3 not trough lvl3+ and ofcourse not trough lvl4

      • iksnilol

        Which steel core ?

        There’s mild steel, then theres API.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I really want to see a pistol version of this here in the US!

  • TDog

    And cue all the hand-wringers about how stopping power is a myth…

    • lostintranslation

      And cue all the hand-wringers that it’s not an AR.

      • uytyut

        Its for logistic reasson,AK 7.62×39 mags compatibility with Paris jihadists magas.

    • Aerindel Prime

      I thought it was the stopping power believers who where hand wringers. Everyone else knows its a myth and that caliber has little impact on incapacitation so they don’t really care. Whatever is accurate and reliable in the gun is fine with us.

    • ostiariusalpha

      …Aaand that’s because it mostly is a myth. 7.62x39mm bi-metal ball ammo has a pretty pathetic wound profile compared to other rifle rounds, but it’s considerably better than 9mm FMJ, plus it’s cheap and works well from short barrels. At close range it is more consistent than SS109 green tip, which everyone should be aware by now, is just about the most worthless 5.56x45mm bullet in existence. Okay, I’m off to go wring my hands about everything else in the world.

      • TDog

        Stopping power isn’t a myth – it’s a probability game. If you shoot someone and they stop what they are doing, you had enough stopping power. And if they stop what they’re doing faster, that’s good. For example, if you’re being stabbed by some lunatic and you shoot him and he only stops after five days, that’s not enough stopping power.

        How can you determine if something has more stopping power? Does it stop stuff from doing bad things to you sooner rather than later? If it does, it has more stopping power than something that takes fourteen minutes to take effect.

        Mileage varies depending on the target, where the shot hits, and whether or not drugs are involved, but you get the point.

        • Jack

          Sounds like your just being facetious. But that’s what the comment section is for right?

          • TDog

            Half sarcastic, half serious. Stopping power is, in my opinion, a measure of how likely something or someone is to stop after being hit. Mitigating factors include shot placement, the overall condition of the target, and other variables that are not constant across a large sample group.

            Generally speaking, the lower the number of shots required to stop an individual or animal from engaging in aggression, the better the caliber’s “stopping power.” The less time it takes for said shot or shots to effect a stoppage in aggression means more “stopping power”.

            Of course shooting a thief or attempted-murderer in the head with anything is likely to stop them in their tracks – few folks work well with lead rattling around their brain pan. But all told, from a sample size of one hundred random cases per caliber, there is a good chance that .357 Magnum stopped folks sooner and with fewer shots than .22 LR.

            So is there such a thing as stopping power? Yes. Is it easily defined in scientific terms? Not really – but that does not mean it’s not something to consider.

          • Jack

            Completely understand. I took the initial comment to regard the myth that larger bullets tend to have more “stopping power”, your reply didn’t really talk about the bullet so much as the desired effects.

          • TDog

            My apologies for not making myself clearer – in my rush to get my opinion out, I sometimes leave things unsaid.

            When it comes to firearms talk, one can never have enough clarity! 😀

      • iksnilol

        In all fairness, M67 is pretty good tho (and it is pretty common, wouldn’t call it a rare bullet).

      • Gun Fu Guru

        It’s really not fair to rag on the lowly SS109. It wasn’t created for it’s wounding potential or lethality. It was designed to penetrate a Soviet helmet at 600 yards with an M16A2, and it performs that job phenomenally well. If that isn’t the target one is shooting at, then that individual selected the wrong ammunition.

        • ostiariusalpha

          M855A1 would also penetrate that helmet; in fact, there are several .224 projectiles that would and all do a better job at wounding than SS109. I understand perfectly well why, for cost and logistics reasons, that bullet was chosen as the NATO standard, but it’s still a stinker.

  • clampdown

    Why would they adopt a round in hopes of getting their ideal round down the line? 7.62×39 is a proven cartridge out to 300 yds and doesn’t need much of a barrel to get going. Switching to .300BLK from the Russian round would require a new bolt face as well as a barrel, iirc. My guess is they wanted the most thump for their buck out of a 9″ barrel, and 7.62*39 will provide.

    • tsubaka

      Or our Gendarmerie listen to what our politician said after 13 November that i quote: “the terrorists only choose kalashnikovs due to the damage they deal” (and not because it’s the most availble firearm on the world DUHH!)

      • DSDF

        Yea, the terrorist have and long catalogue to choose favourite primari weapon and after to meticulous work they discovered that AK platforn is the best because won the 2015″Modular primary terrorist weapon project”against HK 416, M4A1 BLOCKII , TAVOR,and other modern rifles.
        Sorry Mr. french AK lover.”the terrorists only choose kalashnikovs due to the damage they deal” The terrorists DONT CHOOSE their primary weapon, they only choose AVAILABILITY.
        And at the same time, RUSSIA, changed its AK47 7.62X39 for AK74 (OTAN style caliber), and now try with AK103, AK12 …………

        • DSDF

          Sorry, i get your sarcasm now………

  • TheNotoriousIUD
    • MrFN

      Yep. MR73s I believe, they heavily prioritize handgun marksmanship IIRC

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        So odd.
        I wonder what their justification is.

        • TDog

          GIGN: “If it was good enough for Harry Callahan, it’s good enough for us!”

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            And I thought Delta was antiquated back when they used 1911’s.

        • CommonSense23

          The Europeans are real big fans of using ballistic shields. Revolvers don’t have to worry about slide hitting the shield.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Thats true.
            Seems like a problem they could train around but what do I know.

          • clampdown

            If I’m behind a shield, I want maximum knockdown power when trouble gets close. With one hand, a .357 or better revolver is the best choice. Isn’t that the “reasoning” behind the ridiculously awesome and absurd M&P R8?

          • Person

            If i am behind a ballistic shield and have to aim WITHOUT sights i want % hit propability and capacity….

        • Mike Th

          Use in in combination with a ballistic shield. No brass being deflected back from walls/shield (possible malfunctions) and quick follow-up shot in case of a broken primer (with one hand).

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Those guys must have EXTREME confidence in their ability to take dudes out quickly with handguns.

          • ostiariusalpha

            They do, and that confidence is pretty well founded. Not just that they practice an inordinate amount of time to develop shooting expertise with those revolvers, but in actual cases of trading bullets with terrorists, they’ve put them to very effective use.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I dont doubt it.

          • Tassiebush

            It’s interesting watching this footage of shield use. Not sure it’s this unit but it certainly shows the French police using that approach. https://youtu.be/jl9Ag2o6KBw

          • ostiariusalpha

            I believe that was confirmed to be a RAID unit. GIGN was preoccupied with taking out the Kouachi brothers.

          • :c

            why did you do this?

        • MeaCulpa

          The best justification for a MR73 in 357 magnum is that it’s a MR73 – arguably (well actually it’s a fact) the best revolver in the world – in 357 magnum.

  • ProLiberty82

    Looks to me like they just wanted an MP5 sized rifle with as much “oomph” as practically possible and after weighting a lot of pros and cons fell on the 7.62×39, and I think we should consider the price of the ammo a very attractive factor in their decision possibly.

    The requirement of being able to run subsonic ammo is just probably a “nice feature” for “just in case”.

    • Form Factor

      “price” … for special counter terrorism unit you need the fitting projectiles not some fmj garbage

      • ProLiberty82

        If history has shown us one thing about governments small arms procurement it’s that it always comes down to price in the end and not what the soldier/operator “needs”.

      • iksnilol

        I doubt boxer primed, brass cased NATO standard 7.62×39 with M67 bullets is “some fmj garbage”.

        Educate yourself before you wriggidy wreck yourself, son.

  • 8166PC1

    But the Internet told me the 7.62×39 sucks and it’s outdated. In all seriousness it looks like they want a round that performs better then the 5.56×45 while suppressed. As for penetrating body armor I would think the M885 would be better than the typical ball 7.62×39 so I’m not sure what they are thinking there.

  • Whisper

    Hallelujah! Someone is actually thinking rationally about mid sized assault rifle rounds. 7.62×39 is going to make a comeback–it’s practically perfect for urban environments with cars and walls. Also, no kabooms when, zut allors!, someone loads their ar mags with these accidentally.

    • GD Ajax

      Technically it didn’t leave.

    • Form Factor

      Its stupidly low KE/mm² is absolutly not good against walls. And its hilarious low velocity insanly bad against armor.

      The only thing good is its swept volume for a short barrel.

      • iksnilol

        I dunno, never had an issue shooting through walls with M67. Haven’t shoot people with it, but I’ve been assured it works well by those who have done so.

        • JoelC

          Eastern European remodel? Need to put a window in the wall, just shoot it out.

          On a side note, this is whole comment section is the difference between Americans and the world. Our selection is primarily M43 Wolf steel case ammo, and we are comparing that to premium domestic ammo.

          I really would like to see some writeups on Subsonic 7.62×39 though. I have seen no information on this and it doesn’t seem to exist in the USA..

          • iksnilol

            There is an American company making subsonic 7.62×39 (heavy JHPs). Stupid expensive, like 2 bucks around.

            For handloaders it is easy though, especially with all the 300 BLK data out there.

            There is some obsession in the US over the bore size difference between .308 and .311, but from what I’ve seen, it’s really a non issue. Just get a 308 barrel.

  • Aerindel Prime

    Why would anyone assume they didnt actually want x39? Its a cheap, powerful and commonly availble round, unlike say, .300blk which is an expensive boutique round mainly used by hobbiests with more money than sense.

    • Jack

      Brass cased x39 is on par with the lower end of the 300blk options price wise. Is it still a boutique round when you can buy it at Walmart? x39 is powerful? Enough? More than?

      Sounds like you’ve got your mind made up about things, but your argument is weak.

      • Peter Ian Staker

        Just because you can get it at Walmart in America doesn’t mean it’s as easy to source in the great numbers needed for foreign governments.

        As far as foreign militaries/law enforcement agencies/counter terrorist units are concerned .300 BLK is still very much a boutique round. Doubt there is any company producing it outside the US right now.

        Meanwhile x39 is produced all over the world and most military/police munition storage have some of it lying around either because they use it in their weapons or because they face up against people who do.

        • Jack

          Really? All over the world you say? I’m just now hearing about this Russian wonder round. Where did it come from?

          Anyway, I’m not arguing that x39 isn’t hugely more popular than .300 or that they should have selected .300 over x39.

          Aerindel’s comment just isn’t correct. .300 is well past being a boutique/hobbiest round. It’s a capable round when used for it’s intended purpose.

          Sellier and bellot? Fiocchi?

          Walmart is in multiple countries.

          These guys aren’t equipping the entire French military. 68 rifles for 400 guys. I’m sure they could procure more than enough 300 ammo for their needs.

          Again, I’m not saying they should have picked .300 over x39. But calling the .300 a boutique round at this point ignores the last 5 years.

        • JoelC

          Sellier and Bellot is owned by CZ and manufactures .300BLK. If they can get the guns from CZ, they could get the ammo too. I also am not saying it the best, just that there are several countries outside the US that manufacture the ammo.

          • FarmerB

            RUAG make it. In subsonic with 220 HPMK, they make specialist supersonic police rounds, and I think already make FMJ rounds (it was in their plans a few years back).

        • FarmerB

          I don’t get this obsession with availability and local Walmart, when we’re talking about Govt CT units. The govt put an RFP out for x million rounds and their fax machines overheat with replies from every ammo supplier in the world. If they want more in a hurry, they call a few previous respondents up and ask them. If they want a HEAP in a hurry, they call the General Staff because it’s now a job big enough that requires the Armed Forces.

      • iksnilol

        Walmarts aren’t international for crying out loud.

        • rennsport4.4TV8

          Well to be fair Walmart exists in around 30 countries. Your statement is incorrect, but your point makes sense.

          • iksnilol

            Different US states don’t count as countries, hombre.

          • john huscio

            California and new York might as well be.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Yeah, but Mexico and the U.K. aren’t subsidiaries of the United States… never mind.

      • Aerindel Prime

        To be clear x39 is ballistically the same as .300blk, both of which IMO are better than 556. x39 however is one of the cheapest most available rounds in the world while .300blk is still a very expensive niche round. The choice would seem very very clear for any government or consumer without an unlimited budget. The price of brass cassed x39 is irrelevant as that is not what anybody shoots in larger quantities.

        • Jack

          What’s very expensive? That “niche” you’re talking about is short barreled and suppressed. That niche works well for what they were looking for. Are they going to be using steel cased ammo?

          • Aerindel Prime

            2-4x the price of x39 is what I call very expensive. .300blk costs almost as much as 7.62×51 does and yet is much less powerful. I don’t know how to make it any clearer. .300blk is a specialty cartridge no matter how you look at it. There is nothing wrong with it ballistically but logistically its a nightmare. It would be like adopting a .41 mag or .327 caliber handgun for your forces. You could probably justify it on ballistics but its LOGISTICS that is the real issue. No matter how much you may like the idea of a certain cartridge its the real world supply and demand that matters. Anything outside of a NATO or combloc caliber is just asking for issues nobody needs.

          • Jack

            For comparable bullets I can see the 2x but don’t compare high end hunting Rds with your 123gr fmj. Are you saying that anything but NATO or COMBLOC is a “niche” round?

            Again I’m not saying they should have selected .300 and if you aren’t in the US I can appreciate your thoughts on .300 but in the US it’s become quite popular. If you want to argue that it’s still a “niche” round because the rest of the world, except the Dutch, aren’t using it, I could say that soccer (football) is a niche sport

            I’m not arguing that there’s any sort of savings in the .300 over the x39 but if all we cared about was cost, we’d all be shooting steel cased 7.62 and 5.45(except for that damn ban).

            Also, of you’ve got info on what type of ammo they’ll be using in the 806, I’m interested.

          • Aerindel Prime

            Well, there are a few other rounds that are popular enough but basically yes, any kind of military type agency would be nuts to choose a round outside of Nato and or combloc.

            I am in the US, and yes there is a following for .300blk but its only popular by civilian standards. I doubt it makes up even 1% of the world wide or national ammo supply. If that ever changes then that is well and good. Other than its terrible logistics its an great round and I would like to see it someday become mainstream and affordable.

            And no, I have no idea what kind of ammo they will be shooting in the 806 other than 99% of it is going to be for practice and training and I really can’t imagine them spending .300blk level money on those rounds, but who knows..maybe they will, even if money is no object there are advantages to using a common caliber rather than a boutique round.

          • Jack

            Civilians ARE the gun market in the US. If you’re in the US, it’s not a niche round. You can go into any gunshop and buy it. It’s readily available on line as well.

            Are the 5.7 and the 4.6 niche Rds? Have they been adopted by any MIL/LE units across the world?

            Again…. I’m not saying they necessarily should have picked .300 for their needs, BUT when you can go buy a new rifle chambered in .300 and buy that same ammo from the same store(local laws permitting) from just about any decent gun shop, that round is no longer a boutique/hobbiest round.

          • iksnilol

            Football isn’t niche. It is played in both NATO and Eastern Bloc.

            American Football is a niche sport tho.

          • Jack

            But it’s not very popular in the US. Must be a niche sport.

          • JoelC

            We keep trying to export it but nobody is really interested…

          • guest

            The 300 BLK is for police use. A proprietary round is useful for them for forensic purposes and it makes stolen guns or ammo less useful for the enemy.

  • Peter Ian Staker

    I suspect they chose this over .300 BLK because they probably have a ton confiscated 7.62×39 in storage.
    Much better to adopt a round you already have and is widely available than having to try to source a round that barely anyone produces and doesn’t really have a real ballistic advantage.
    300blk is an answer to an American problem, namely how to get reliable x39 ballistics out of an AR-15. Europeans don’t use even close to as many AR-15s so if they want x39 ballistics it’s much more reasonable to cut the middleman and go for a new rifle in x39.

    • CommonSense23

      300BLK isn’t what it is today to solve getting 7.62×39 ballistics out of a AR15. Its to get MP5SD levels of suppression coupled with rifle ballistics in one gun.

      • Peter Ian Staker

        Those two are one and the same. To get better suppression levels you needed a bigger diameter,heavier bullet(Russians went a step further even with 9×39)

        7.62×39 would have fit the bill if it fed well on the AR-15 platform. Some companies would have just come out with more subsonic loads for it and called it a day.

        • micmac80

          No as for 200g bullet subsonic stability and 130g supersonic one needs diferent twist rates . Savage gave up on 300BLK bolt action as they couldn’t make it shoot both with any accuracy.

          • iksnilol

            Then the 300 BLK failed its goal of subsonic suppression and rifle ballistics in one gun.

          • CommonSense23

            Except it didn’t. They are being used to great effect currently.

          • iksnilol

            By whom?

          • CommonSense23

            By JSOC.

          • Skeptic

            Citations?

          • Marc

            Internet commandos

        • Aerindel Prime

          It feeds great in my AR.

      • To setup one gun to have MP5 levels of sound suppression and rifle ballistics, you would need to re-zero each time. That is the problem with wanting both in one gun. Makes more sense to just have two separate uppers.

        • CommonSense23

          They are not rezeroing each time. They have worked out the holds and the optics.The point is to have the capability of running the gun so your pointman or who ever can patrol with a quiet suppressed weapon at the ready, but if needed is either a mag change or pull the trigger a couple times and you are back to rifle ballistics. And not have to carry the extra weight of a MP5SD or try to make shots with a pistol.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          you would need to re-zero each time

          what in the…. are you talking about airsoft? Because it sure seems like it.

        • int19h

          Or you could put a simple flip rear sight with apertures for subsonic and supersonic. Or make a red dot with a one-button adjustment for the same.

    • Form Factor

      1st – subsonic ammo propably isnt confiscated in such an amount 2nd … not with the right subsonic expanding projectile

      And in supersonic therms you dont want anti terrorism units to use fmj garbage.

      • iksnilol

        Sweet Jesus, have you considered practice?

        You do realize that the vast majority of rounds fired are during practice ?

        • snail eater

          Pratice with rounds you have no idea where they come from… Yeah. No.

          This is not some “Hoorah muhrines let’s kill deez commies with their own guns ” kind of unit we’re talking about.

          I’m not saying they never shot a confiscated gun with confiscated ammo to gather knowledge or test the thing, or have newbies experiment a caliber. Everybody does that.

          But they certainly didn’t train with their own standard guns using confiscated ammo. That makes no sense at all.

          • iksnilol

            There’s also hella cheap 7.62×39 to be gotten from legitimate sources. But you didn’t think of that. Even NATO spec 7.62×39 ammo.

          • snail eater

            Except cheap surplus rounds can be tracked back from where they came from and were manufactured, are thus completely ok to use in a weapon.

            Confiscated rounds, which were the topic, come from god knows where, were stored in god knows what conditions, or can even be trapped for fun ! Open ammo crate, grab a round, pop the bullet out, replace powder with a little stick of explosives, push bullet back in case, throw round back in crate, and wait as some guy decides to shoot it. Garanteed laughs. You think it never happened ? French SF already did that to every AK they found lying on the ground in Lebanon in 1982 cause they were tired of kids taking potshots at them.

            Do you think terrorists document the provenance of their ammo stacks and keep them in weapons crates with a little moiture absorber bag within ? Maybe a gift card for a free balaclava too ? Could be useful, GIGN uses lots of balaclavas.

            Surplus =/= confiscated. Period.

          • iksnilol

            I don’t understand the American obsession with surplus ammo. I am talking about newly manufacured ammo.

          • Forrest

            You’re certainly right.
            But in March 2012 during an assault in Toulouse for catching the terrorist Merah, the RAID (another french CT group) used .223 Remington instead of 5.56 NATO, making rifles jam. They didn’t even test it before operational use.
            But RAID is not GIGN.

    • snail eater

      “I suspect they chose this over .300 BLK because they probably have a ton confiscated 7.62×39 in storage.”
      …What ?
      Would you, as a top tier CT group, use ammo you have no idea where they come from, prone to jam your guns, in life or death situations ?

      Really mate, I know France is in a bad shape on some points, and there were shameful episodes for the army in Mali regarding regular gear, but France is far away from being too poor to not afford ammo for its top counter terrorist group.

      Seriously…

      “Europeans don’t use even close to as many AR-15s”
      In the case of GIGN, they use HK416 and 417 as their main assault/entry/DMR rifles since at least 2011.
      Since HK preferred to not offer a .300BLK barrel for their 416 (as they did for the SEALS it seems) but rather build an entirely different gun they presented last month at IWA, the HK337, the GIGN couldn’t wait a kit that doesn’t officially existed or was only available through workshops in the US to fire a .30 something intermediate cartridge out of their HK416s.
      Hence the CZ806.

      My 2 cts.

      • FarmerB

        Nobody uses “confiscated ammo”. Ridiculous idea. If you really come across tons of the stuff that seem to have reasonable provenence, then maybe it’s donated to places you’re buying it for, like the Afghans.

        And you’re right, the French units I’ve seen up close, the state of their weapons left a lot to be desired.

  • Form Factor

    5.56×45 M855A1 EPR outperforms it. The only reason for the thicker diameter is swept volume in a short barrel.

    • 8166PC1

      They need suppressed rounds though and 5.56×45 doesn’t fit the bill.

      • Marc

        Haven’t come across much, if any, subsonic 7.62×39. I’d love to get my hands on some tho.

  • Tim

    Are they going to ‘drop-test’ them first? Oh w8….France will take care of that…!.

    • joe tusgadaro

      Somebody has a time machine….because that “joke” is ancient.

    • Gun Fu Guru

      You know how the French Army teaches their soldiers to march?
      With their hands above their heads.

      • Marc

        The French have four levels of National emergency: run, hide, surrender and collaborate.

  • Form Factor

    If you have problems with terminal effect you _SIMPLY USING THE WRONG BULLET_ , not cartridge.

    5.56×45 M855A1 EPR shred your organs, lungs, arms, legs, neck, instantly. As said the >onlyswept volume<_ from short barrels.

    7.62×39 is hilariously weak against steel armor, with steelcore it makes tiny dents in lvl3 steel paltes, and has no chance against lvl3+ (i dont count in lvl4 because its 7.62×63 AP proof anyways.) And in therms of cover penetration its KE/mm² is extremly low.

    • iksnilol

      Try firing M855A1 EPR from a 9 inch barrel.

      • CommonSense23

        There are rounds made for barrels that length in 5.56 that are amazing.

        • iksnilol

          Are they M855A1 EPR? If not, you missed the point.

          Besides, you’ll never have good subsonic 5.56.

          • CommonSense23

            No, they are the 70gr that was designed for short barrels. As for the subsonic part. I would really love to hear what need they have for justifying a two round system.

  • Bob

    the 7.62x39mm has a good service history and for GIGN’s tasks and missions. The majority of their work is in built up urban areas. They aren’t taking 700 yards in the mountains of Afghanistan. They’re hitting apartments, office buildings, and planes.

    A modern, capable, compact 7.62x39mm rifle is just the ticket. The enemy is starting to use body armor but it isn’t Level III &l IV plates. They’re usually wearing Level II, IIa, and IIIa soft vests designed to stop pistol rounds. The SMG while still useful is eventually going to have to be replaced.

    Now as to why they’re using the MR-73 revolvers. Fantastic wheel guns that have the built toughness of a 1980s produced S&W L Frame with the accuracy, quality, and trigger of a Colt Python. For guys working shields. A Revolver is better than a Semiautomatic. The majority of GIGN uses Glock 17s and Glock 19s.

    7.62x39mm is about on par with .30-30 WCF and that cartridge has put A LOT of things under the ground. Both man and beast. With some modern loadings and bullet designs. It ain’t outdated for CQB/Entry work.

  • snmp

    69 rifles for GIGN is just test/trial of the weapon, In other hands, GIGN is in charge of protection of french embassy in worst countries

  • FOC Ewe

    Some folks need trigger time on a scoped CZ 527 using factory Lapua or PPU 7.62×39 ammo.

  • John

    And yet another win for the venerable 7.62×39! Keep up the good work, we don’t want this cartridge to ever fade into obscurity!

  • micmac80

    If you take politics out of the game 7.62×39 is a good round widely availible and manufactured in Europe with varius bullet designs on offer also doesn’t present a mix up hazzard with 5.56×45 guns used in the same unit, and in the end was a winner of an evaluation where it was likely not the first pick just because of its origin.If anything it likely had to prove its merit over other choices.

  • Vitor Roma

    Given the barrel length, they have chosen the right round, ss109 out of a 9″ would be too mediocre. But still weird.

  • iksnilol

    YASS! 😀

    Also, seems like it uses AK mags. IT’S SO COOL 😀

    • No, the Bren 2 magazines are proprietary. They lock up just like AR15 magazines. The Bren 2 can be converted to 5.56x45mm by swapping out the barrel assembly, bolt, and firing pin, and then inserting a sleeve into the magazine well. The sleeve then allows for the use of conventional AR15 magazines.

      • iksnilol

        Awh shucks. One could hope.

  • The_Champ

    I see a Czech gun selected, I approve. They make great products but are still sort of an underdog. Gotta cheer for the underdog.

  • Aono

    Leaving aside the curious selection of 7.62×39 for the states AP purposes, I wonder how they feel about losing LRBHO due to those mags.

    • The Bren 2 magazines are proprietary. If you look closely, the rifle clearly has a bolt latch.

      • Aono

        That doesn’t mean that the mag followers engage the bolt catch, only that the users can.

    • int19h

      There are 7.62×39 AP military rounds. Not the regular mild steel core that gets branded as “AP” for civilian market, but the real thing.

      I actually wonder if that might be the reason why they went with that caliber. I’m assuming at least Finns (who still have it in service) and Czech (who had it until recently) are manufacturing quality 7.62×39 AP. So it might be easier to source than .300 BLK or other more exotic stuff.

  • Blake

    Uhm, are they loading this stuff themselves? I’m not aware of any mass-produced subsonic 7.62×39 ammo (other than this gimmicky stuff: http://www.ammofreedom.com/buy-g2-research-rip-762x39mm-124-grain-subsonic-20-rounds-p-126328.html )

  • Bradley

    You assume they really want .300 blackout? Are you basing that assumption on something or just completely pulling it out of your ass based on your own opinions?

  • joe tusgadaro

    I think people are reading too much into this. 60+ weapons for a force of over 400 says specific very niche requirement to me. As someone mentioned already GIGN do embassy security etc in areas of the World where the 7.62×39 is the prevalent round…my guess is, it’s for those guys.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    “5.56 mm ammo lacked the necessary stopping power”

    Don’t tell that to Nathaniel F. According to him, foot pounds of energy doesn’t matter, stopping power is a myth, and 5.56 has superior terminal performance than 7.62×39.

    • CommonSense23

      It’s cause it does have superior terminal performance than 7.62×39.

    • Tassiebush

      I always took Nathaniel’s argument to not be a claim of close range stopping power superiority but rather a point that it has a longer effective range due to it’s greater efficiency whilst being much lighter per round. It has a much better mix of characteristics in a general use context because of range and weight.
      I can agree with all that but still see how this choice is probably better for this context. The range isn’t much of an issue. The need for a round that works well with such a compact platform is paramount and the shooting probably won’t be on full auto.

  • NukeItFromOrbit

    I find it very unlikely that they’re buying 7.62x39mm because they really wanted .300 Blackout. When you’re GIGN and buying a mere 68 carbines I don’t think bureaucracy is going to stand in the way of a different caliber.

    I wonder why 6.8x43mm wasn’t considered? Seems to be a good option for short-barrel carbines.

    The lethality issues 5.56x45mm has when fired from very short barrels (anything under 10″ perhaps) are pretty well known. Yet what is different about the Russian 5.45x39mm caliber that has made it a successful combination with the AKS-74U?

    • CommonSense23

      It’s people can’t seem to separate M855s performance issues from 5.56 itself.

    • Aerindel Prime

      Because 6.8 is still an experimentalist hobby round. No military unit is going to select something that fringe as their main caliber.

    • Gun Fu Guru

      The lethality of 5.56x45mm in “very short barrels” isn’t the issue at all. The ammunition selection (ex. M855) is the deciding factor. Beyond that, reputable small arms manufacturers (Colt, HK, FN, LMT, etc.) will not make 5.56x45mm barrels less than 10.3″ because the gun has cycling issues. If a unit has a requirement for a shorter package, then they need to switch calibers or consider bullpups.

      • Aaron

        Yep. Adopt mk318 for their short barrel 416s and practice double taps to the chest and face. Problem solved, problem staying solved.

  • USMC03Vet

    These guys charged into gunfire and decided they need a larger caliber for when they do it next time. If this results in more dead Islamists I’m for it.

  • Also there is no such thing as a “good reception of 300BLK” in Europe. There is no professional reception of 300BLK in Europe at all.

    European units don’t feel the need for that kind of cartridge, and if they did, they would go for .300 Whisper, which has been “European-ized” after its inception as a wildcat in the U.S.

    The only reason why 300BLK sells well in Europe is the civilian market, and not because of silencers, which are forbidden, but because many European Countries bar the sales to civilians of short-barrel rifles (less than 12″ BBL, to say) that can feed military rifle chamberings; being that 300BLK is not military, it allows to circumvent the law.

    • Person

      Forbidden? There are many countrys where silencers have even less registration and tax bs than in the US.

  • Allan

    no they chose it because the 300 black out is answer in search of a problem completely pointless. The 7.62×39 mm is proven works and is universal. Common sense prevailed in this case.

    • Logic

      300blk is simply for 5.56 mags……

  • Vitor Roma

    Now use a 154gr projectile instead of 123 and increase the presseure from 45k psi to 50k psi and you will have a round that packs quite a punch out of 9″.

    • Form Factor

      To get even less penetration with low velocity, and increase recoil for the same energy compared to a light but fast projectile?

  • tsh77769

    The situation is so bad in Europe, and especially France, that they are having to consider scrounging ammo off the enemy.

    • Y

      bs haha