|CZ 805 BREN|
|Place of origin||Czech Republic|
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars|| Afghanistan War|
Mexican Drug War
|Manufacturer||Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod|
|Weight||3.6 kg (7.9 lb)|
|Length||910–855 mm (35.8–33.7 in) (butt extended), 670 mm (26 in) (butt folded)|
|Barrel length||360 mm (14 in) (Bren A1), 277 mm (10.9 in) (Bren A2)|
|Action||Gas-operated, rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||700-800 RPM|
|Maximum range||500 meter|
|Feed system||20-, 30- or 100-round box magazine|
The CZ 805 BREN is a Czech assault rifle created in 2006 to replace the Sa vz. 58 in the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. The rifle is also competing to replace the Sa vz. 58 in the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic 
Czechoslovakia had the distinction of being the only Warsaw Pact member whose army did not issue a rifle based on the Soviet AK-47/AKM. They developed the Sa vz. 58 in the late 1950s and although it fired the same 7.62×39mm cartridge and externally looked similar, its operating system and features were dramatically different. It was effective at the time it was introduced, but by the next decade became obsolete and hard to modify. In 1977, the Brno General Machine-Building Plants R&D Center began a program to create a new rifle under the name Lada S. A design was approved in 1984 that fired the smaller 5.45×39mm cartridge and could fill three roles: a subcarbine with a 185 mm (7.3 in) barrel; a rifle with a 382 mm (15.0 in) barrel; and a light support weapon with a 577 mm (22.7 in) barrel. They followed the variant family of AK-74 rifles and mostly took after their designs except for differences in the receiver cover, sights, and safety selector. The weapons were built by late 1985, tested starting in 1986, and was approved for production in November 1989. Shortly after that time however, the Cold War was ending and Czechoslovakia's communist party had stepped down following the Velvet Revolution. 300,000 Lada systems were planned, but by the time it was declared fit for production in February 1990, the Army had no funds. The country itself was splitting apart, and on 1 January 1993 it separated into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, ending 74 years of the country of Czechoslovakia. The Lada was not likely to be bought in large numbers by the smaller army. By then Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod, which had taken over the design, had become privatized, and the company shelved the weapon for several years.
In the late 1990s, the Lada project was restarted with the prospect of the Czech Republic becoming a full member of NATO. It had been converted to fire .223 Remington ammunition shortly before it was shelved, mainly because the program did not involve producing 5.45×39mm ammunition and Sellier & Bellot was already producing .223 cartridges. The restarted rifle program rechambered the platform to NATO standard 5.56×45mm ammunition, but retained a magazine well that accepted AK-74-type magazines. Converting it to accept STANAG magazines would have required the receiver to be redesigned and to have cost too much. The Army of the Czech Republic was interested in acquiring a new rifle but did not award any contracts. The Lada was then offered for export under the name CZ 2000.
For the domestic Army Replacement Rifle program development, the Lada was re-designated Project 805. The Army still did not wish to buy a new rifle for the entire military, but special forces did receive Bushmaster M4A3 carbines. With the prospect that the Army would re-arm gradually rather than on a large scale, CZUB drew up entirely new specifications in late 2005. Project 805 became the CZ XX, and then the CZ S805. Two types of guns were drawn up: 'A' models chambered for intermediate rounds including 5.56 mm NATO, 7.62 mm Soviet, and 6.8mm SPC; and 'B' models chambered for rifle rounds like 7.62 NATO and even .300 Winchester Magnum. All had three barrel lengths to act as a rifle, close quarters carbine, and designated marksman rifle/LSW. A CZ S805 was presented to the Army chief of staff in November 2006, but still was not ordered. CZUB then presented the weapon publicly and spent three years showing it at exhibitions. It wasn't until November 2009 that the Czech Army finally released a tender for a new infantry rifle.
The company reduced its modularity for the competition and submitted a 5.56 mm rifle (A1) and 5.56 mm carbine (A2), as well as similarly configured 7.62 Soviet-chambered guns. This was eventually reduced to just the 5.56 mm system. When the tender was released, 27 weapons were submitted, but were reduced to just the CZ 805 and FN SCAR-L. The CZ 805 won narrowly from emphasis on a domestic design and the result was made public on 1 February 2010. FN Herstal did not contest the decision, and the CZ 805 was officially ordered on 18 March 2010: 6,687 CZ 805A1 rifles; 1,250 CZ 805A2 carbines; and 397 CZ 805G1 proprietary grenade launchers. Every one was equipped with Meopta ZD-Dot red dot sights and iron sights. For special forces, 1,386 enhanced optical suites consisting of Meopta's DV-Mag3 daylight 3× magnifier, NV-3Mag night 3× magnifier, and a DBAL-A2 (AN/PEQ-15A) laser target designator were also ordered. In May 2010, the Army requested changes to the design before it could be operational including the change from a folding and telescoping stock to just a folding one, a pin-stabilized magazine well, a pistol grip with changeable backstraps, and the change from a 7-lug bolt to a 6-lug bolt. The first delivery of the CZ 805 occurred on 19 July 2011 with 505 guns and 20 grenade launchers. The initial order was to be completed in 2013.
In October 2015, CZ announced that it had introduced an improved, lighter variant of its 805 Bren rifle - called the 806 Bren 2 - with significantly improved ergonomics and functionality. It incorporates a number of amendments requested by the soldiers in the field, including a reduction in weight of 0.5 kg., a re-designed cocking mechanism, a simpler cleaning routine and a new lightweight folding and adjustable foot. In January 2016 the Czech Army confirmed that they had signed contracts with CZ for 2,600 CZ 806 Bren 2 rifles and 800 CZ 805 G1 underbarrel grenade launchers. The decision about the purchase had been taken in late October 2015 under an urgent requirement procedure because of new security threat and the migration crisis within Europe and Egypt.
The CZ 805 assault rifle is a modular, multi-caliber design, with an aluminum alloy upper receiver and polymer lower receiver / fire control unit. The magazine housing is a separate detachable unit, which can be replaced in the field as part of a caliber change. The weapon is gas-operated and features a rotating bolt and a manual gas regulator. The CZ 805 also features quick-change barrels, allowing users to change calibers and barrel lengths according to the mission profile. There are short "carbine", intermediate "standard", long "marksman" and heavy "squad automatic" barrels available in each caliber. The fire control unit includes ambidextrous safety/fire selector switch, which permits single shots, 2-round bursts and full automatic fire. Charging handle can also be installed on either side of the weapon, depending on user preferences. In standard configuration, the CZ 805 will use proprietary 5.56×45 caliber 30-round magazines made of translucent polymer. Other magazine housings will allow use of STANAG or HK G36 5.56mm magazines.
The CZ 805 assault rifle is fitted with folding iron sights, but also includes an integral Picatinny rail on top of the receiver and is capable of accepting a wide variety of additional sighting equipment (red-dot or telescope day sights, night sights, lasers etc.). The weapon is equipped with side-folding buttstock, which is adjustable for length of pull, and can be completely removed if maximum compactness is required. Additional equipment also includes a new, specially designed 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher and a bayonet.
- Czech Republic: Currently being introduced as the standard issue rifle for all parts of the Armed Forces and for selected units of law enforcement.
- Egypt: Egypt has announced that it purchased an unspecified number of CZ 805 BREN A1.
- Mexico: Used by Federal Police since 2014
- Moldova: Used by internal troops with a number of other European arms bought in 2013.
- Slovakia: 688 pieces bought by Slovak Army in November 2014, along with same number of CZ 75 pistols.
- ↑ "CZ 805 BREN A2 | Law Enforcement - Automatic guns - Ceska zbrojovka". Czub.cz. http://www.czub.cz/en/catalog/86-law-enforcement-military/OS-AUT/CZ_805_BREN_A2.aspx. Retrieved 2015-11-13.
- ↑ In response to Ukrainian crisis on Slovak border, Slovakia seeks new equipment - sme.sk, 28 May 2014
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Old Name, New Gun: The CZ 805 Bren Modular Rifle - SAdefensejournal.com, 3 January 2013
- ↑ "CZ Announces CZ 806 Bren 2 Improved Modular Assault Rifle". The Firearms Blog. 12 October 2015. http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/10/12/cz-announces-cz-806-bren-2-improved-modular-assault-rifle/.
- ↑ "Czech Republic buys first CZ 806 Bren 2 rifles". IHS Jane's 360. 7 January 2016. http://www.janes.com/article/57045/czech-republic-buys-first-cz-806-bren-2-rifles?.
- ↑ Johnson, Steve. "Egypt Goes Czech: Adopts CZ P-07 Duty pistols, CZ Scorpion EVO III SMG and CZ 805 BREN A1 Rifle". TheFirearmBlog.com. TFB. http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/05/28/egypt-czech-adopts-cz-p-07-duty-pistols-cz-scorpion-evo-iii-smg-cz-805-bren-a1-rifle/. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- ↑ "Česká zbrojovka dodá mexické policii zbraně za 180 milionů - Aktuálně.cz". Zpravy.aktualne.cz. http://zpravy.aktualne.cz/ekonomika/ceska-zbrojovka-doda-mexicke-policii-zbrane-za-180-milionu/r~651e41a8065b11e4b5820025900fea04/. Retrieved 2015-11-13.
- ↑ "Minister Glváč sľúbil transparentnosť. A v tichosti kúpil české pušky". Ekonomika.sme.sk. http://ekonomika.sme.sk/c/7517778/minister-glvac-slubil-transparentnost-a-v-tichosti-kupil-ceske-pusky.html. Retrieved 2015-11-13.
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