Ever since the Scorpion EVO 3 S1 semi-automatic carbine was launched as a civilian-grade version of the new-generation sub-machine gun bearing (almost) the same name, shooters from all around the world expected CZ - Česká Zbrojovka A.S. − the biggest firearms manufacturer in Czech Republic, and one of the world's major players in the field − to fulfill the promise made in the previous months and to complete the new modern sporting guns line with another highly awaited model.
Now, well over one year later, the promise has been fulfilled and the dream is reality: CZ launched the .223 Remington caliber CZ-805 BREN S1 semi-automatic modern sporting rifle.
Engineered by Jiří Kafka at the Uherský Brod plant, the CZ-805 BREN S1 is a civilian-grade, commercial version of the CZ-805 BREN A1 / BREN A2 weapon system, conceived to provide a modern, modular alternative to military and Police operators worldwide and to replace the aging SA Vz.58 7.62x39mm assault rifle thatis still the mainstay of the Czech Armed Forces.
Jiří Kafka is one of CZ's most important engineers, and one of the creators of the CZ-805 BREN assault rifle system; the CZ-805 BREN S1 assault rifle is thus guaranteed to remain faithful to the principles of modularity and ruggedness that inspired the original design.
As a matter of fact, the main technical difference between the two systems is that the CZ-805 BREN S1 is a semi-automatic only firearm, and is totally incompatible with the components of the military model that may be used to enable full-automatic fire.
Other than that, another important technical modification concerns the gas system. The original CZ-805 BREN assault rifle uses a piston-driven, indirect gas impingment system, with a two-position gas valve; the BREN S1 semi-automatic rifle features a single-position gas tapping valve instead.
The adjustment option has been removed from the BREN S1 as CZ engineers felt it to be useful in a select-fire rifle, but some sort of pointless complication in a semi-automatic firearm, even more so that the standard gas setting of the CZ-805 BREN S1 is slated to allow flawless rapid semi-automatic fire in most conditions.
The markings on the frame are also a huge tell-tale: the CZ-805 BREN S1 is clearly marked "Semiauto" on the frame, and ".223 REM" on the frame, the barrel, and the gas valve.
Other then that, the CZ-805 BREN A1 is built around a machined lightweight aluminium alloy upper receiver and a reinforced polymer lower − just like the BREN A1 and BREN A2 full-automatic variants.
The CZ-805 BREN S1 rifle will come with a standard full-lenght top MIL-STD-1913 "Picatinny" rail, allowing shooters to use any kind of iron sight or optical sighting system at their will; another, shorter rail will be provided under the handguard (6-o'clock position), providing a mounting base for tactical accessories. The rifle lacks factory side rails, but is fitted with quick-attachment mounts for aftermarket "Picatinnys".
The controls configuration of the CZ-805 BREN S1 is quite simple. The safety switch is positioned in front of the pistol grip and right over the trigger guard − on the left side, readily reachable by the shooter's thumb − while the cocking handle is located under the top rail.
However, both controls can be reversed for left-handed operation, and aftermarket "mirror" parts can be purchased from CZ and installed to make the controls of the CZ-805 BREN S1 semi-automatic rifle fully ambidextrous.
The CZ-805 BREN S1 comes factory standard with a reinforced polymer folding stock − the same used on the baseline CZ-805 BREN A1 assault rifle; said stock can be removed and replaced with another buttstock model that is both folding and telescopic, and sports an adjustable cheekpiece.
Stock-mounted ambidextrous sling attachment points are also available.
Standing just under 3.5 kilograms in weight, the CZ-805 BREN S1 will be available in three different configurations − with 11-inches, 14-inches and 16-inches barrels.
In all cases, barrels are cold-hammer forged out of top-quality stainless steel and chrome-lined, sport a standard rifling pitch for 5.56x45mm/.223 Remington ammunition, and come with a standard "birdcage"-type flash hider that may be unscrewed and replaced with another factory-aftermarket flash hider or with any commercial model that will be compatible by caliber and thread pitch.
The CZ-805 BREN S1 semi-automatic rifle feeds through variable-capacity translucent polymer magazines − the same developed by CZ for the BREN A1 and BREN A2 assault rifles; two magazines are provided with each rifle, and can be clamped together for faster, more practical reload. The release paddle lever is located right under the magazine well itself, in front of the trigger guard, (think "Kalashnikov-style"!).
Just like the BREN A1 and BREN A2 assault rifles, though, the CZ-805 BREN S1 modern sporting rifle will be compatible with an easy-to-install, aftermarket replacement magazine well with a free-fall ambidextrous release button allowing the use of STANAG 4179 (AR-15/M16/M4-type) magazines.
The CZ-805 BREN S1 sure has full potential to become one of the best modern sporting rifles around and to earn the "hearts and minds" of countless shooters worldwide − particularly in Europe.
Here is the trick: no release date has been provided yet for north American distribution, as 922(r) regulations require CZ to manufacture this rifle partially or totally in the United States to make it civilian-legal there.
On the other hand, though, the CZ-805 BREN S1 semi-automatic rifle is already available for backorder or direct purchase by civilian shooters in several European Countries − including the Czech Republic itself and Italy.
Of course, prices can (and will) vary greatly from Country to Country, according to local factors such as retailers' and distributors' policies, import fees, VAT and other taxes.
Prospective buyers from Countries where the CZ-805 BREN S1 semi-automatic rifle is still not available will have to be patient for some more time.
Alternatively, they may ask the company for contact details regarding their respective national CZ importers: they are the only ones who can provide further informations concerning availability and pricing in their respective Countries.