CZ BREN 2: The next generation of BREN

The CZ BREN 2 is a line of rifles offered in two calibers: 223 and 7.62×39. It is a modular, gas-operated assault rifle created by

Eric Sof

Czech Special Operator armed with CZ BREN 2
Czech Special Operator armed with CZ BREN 2 at the shooting range (Photo: XY)

The CZ BREN 2 is a line of rifles offered in two calibers: 223 and 7.62×39. It is a modular, gas-operated assault rifle created by Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod. With its modular design, users can easily switch between 5.56×45mm NATO and 7.62×39mm intermediate cartridges by simply changing out the barrel, gas tube, breech block, magazine bay, and magazine.

Introduction

The Czech Ministry of Defense ordered the CZ BREN assault rifle in 2009 for the partial rearmament of the Czech Army. Despite its initial implementation, several issues arose with the CZ BREN (also known as CZ 805) design, including criticism from soldiers regarding its weight, ergonomics, and balance. These problems were addressed through a series of improvements, leading to the developing of the CZ BREN 2 (also known as CZ 806) assault rifle.

Czech soldier firing CZ 805 BREN A1 assault rifle
A Czech soldier in action, demonstrating the power of the CZ 805 BREN A1 assault rifle (Photo: XY)

The CZ BREN 2 represents a significant departure from its predecessor, with numerous changes and enhancements. Perhaps most notably, it has undergone a strict weight-loss regimen, resulting in a lighter and more maneuverable weapon. This was achieved using a trimmed-down aluminum receiver and a lower carbon fiber-reinforced polymer.

The CZ BREN 2 was introduced in 2015, with the Czech Ministry of Defense ordering the first batch of rifles in 2016. The CZ BREN 2 has also been adopted by the French GIGN and has been exported to countries such as Egypt and Hungary. With numerous improvements, the CZ BREN 2 is a versatile and reliable weapon well-received by military and special forces units worldwide.

Design

The CZ BREN 2 is a versatile, gas-operated firearm designed for selective fire. Its construction features an aluminum alloy upper receiver for lightweight carry and robust polymer trigger housing for exceptional resistance to harsh weather conditions. The weapon’s ergonomic design, adjustable non-reciprocating charging handle, folding/adjustable stock, and ambidextrous controls offer customizability to meet individual user needs.

Multi-caliber system

With a multi-caliber system, the CZ BREN 2 enables seamless transitions between the 5.56×45 NATO and 7.62×39 calibers. It weighs approximately 0.5 kilograms less than its predecessor. It boasts improved ergonomics, including a redesigned cocking mechanism for a non-reciprocating charging handle that stops in the rear position when ammunition is spent. The charging handle can also be mounted on either side for ambidextrous use. The quick-detachable barrel is available in three different lengths.

The CZ BREN 2 is a multi-caliber weapon developed from the outset to accommodate the Russian 7.62×39 mm and 5.45×39 mm ammunition. The French GIGN special operations forces have even ordered a version of the CZ BREN 2 chambered for the 7.62×39 mm round, which offers better performance against armor, structures, and obstacles at close ranges compared to the standard NATO 5.56×45 mm round.

CZ Bren 2 rifle adopted by the French GIGN special forces unit
The French GIGN (National Gendarmerie Intervention Group) has adopted the CZ Bren 2 chambered in 7.62×39mm as their standard rifle (Photo: XY)

Ambidextrous control

The CZ BREN 2 assault rifle is designed for versatility and ease of use, with fully ambidextrous controls, including a fire mode selector. Its trigger system is simplified, with three positions for “safe,” “semi-auto,” and “full-auto.” The “2-round burst” firing mode present in the CZ BREN has been discontinued. The rifle is fed from 30-round, STANAG-compatible magazines and can accept standard M16-type magazines from most NATO 5.56 mm assault rifles. The magazine release lever is also ambidextrous for added convenience.

Picatinny rails

The CZ BREN 2 features a new, adjustable side-folding polymer buttstock and a pistol grip equipped with different backstraps to suit the shooter’s preference. Additionally, it is equipped with flip-up iron sights installed on a full-length Picatinny-type scope rail, allowing the rifle to mount various scopes, red dot, and night vision sights.

CZ BREN 2 with 11 inch barrel
The CZ BREN 2 with a compact 11-inch barrel, perfect for close-quarter combat (Photo: XY)

The rifle also boasts Picatinny-type accessory rails on all sides of the foregrip, making it possible to mount a range of accessories, including a sound suppressor or a CZ BREN G1 under-barrel grenade launcher. The 40 mm grenade launcher can also be used as a standalone weapon. The CZ BREN 2 flash hider is designed in such a way that it can be used to pass through the barbed wire by placing it on the wire and shooting through.

Variants

The CZ BREN 2 A1 is a standard assault rifle with a 14-inch barrel. This weapon is more appropriately classified as a carbine due to its compact dimensions rather than a full-sized assault rifle. The CZ BREN 2 A2 features a shorter 11-inch barrel and is a carbine. There is also a compact version of the rifle with an 8.1-inch barrel.

Technical specifications

CZ BREN 2 A1

Country of origin:Czech Republic
Manufacturer:Ceska Zbrojovka
Entered service:2016-2017
Caliber:5.56 x 45 mm NATO
Weight (empty):~ 3 kg
Length:875 ~ 930 mm
Barrel length:356 mm
Muzzle velocity:?
Cyclic rate of fire:~ 750 rpm
Practical rate of fire:850 rpm
Magazine capacity:30 rounds
Sighting range:~ 500 m
Range of effective fire:~ 500 m

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