How CZ built a badass blaster with the BREN BR

The Czech Arms Factory (CZUB, or more popularly known in North America as Cz) is known for its fairly reliable and affordable range of long guns and pistols — a number of which take styling and design cues from some of the more higher-priced guns on the market these days.

Of particular note is Cz’s 805 BREN (no relation to the WWII-era Bren gun), a modern gas-operated box magazine-fed assault rifle which only made its first appearance just over nine years ago — a newcomer in a field dominated by designs which have been around for decades.

The BREN, originally designed to replaced the aging vz.58 AK derivative in Czech military service, was the result of a project first begun and quickly shuttered during the Cold War, and then resurrected with the advent of the Czech Republic's acceptance into NATO.

The first full-rate production variant was first delivered in 2011, chambered for the standard 5.56mm NATO round. The follow-on BREN 2 can shoot both 5.56mm and the larger-caliber 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge.

Based on the success of the BREN 2, Cz has now debuted yet another spinoff from the original 805 line, called the BREN 2 BR.

The BR — short for Battle Rifle — takes the best of the BREN 2′s 7.62mm option and offers a lightweight, highly adaptable and incredibly rugged weapon to militaries, police forces and civilians alike (of course, civilians can only purchase a semi-automatic version).

Similar in looks to FN's popular SCAR, the BR boasts considerable accuracy, and is just around 5.2 oz lighter than its predecessor, the 805 BREN.

For long-time disciples of the AR-15 platform, the BR has a similar bolt release, plus a layout that feels highly similar to the AR-15. A bolt release inside the trigger guard adds to the convenience of the user and allows for ambidextrous usage.

The rifle itself is fairly simple and easy to dismantle for cleaning and aftermarket modification.

Apparently already on the American market, the BR comes with a 16″ barrel which can be swapped or outfitted with suppressors, flash hiders or muzzle brakes.

The BR is designed to use the same magazines as the SR-25 rifle, but it can also feed from Magpul’s PMAG series. An M-LOK modular rail accessory interface also comes standard on all BRs, and there’s plenty of upper rail space for optics and sights.

Civilians can currently purchase the BR in .308 Winchester.