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CZ 805 Bren S1: First Impressions & Available Upgrades

One of my first stops at SHOT Show last year was at the CZ booth. I wanted some intimate me time with the Scorpion EVO. Then out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of the Bren and was like, whaat?! Not only had I never before seen the Bren in person, I wasn’t aware they would be importing them in pistol form. Sure enough, shortly after SHOT Show, the US shooting public started to see the 805 Bren S1 pistol in stores.

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The Bren is eerily similar to the SCAR. Both take cues from the HK G36. A huge advantage the Bren 805 offers however is price, with an MSRP that is nearly $1000 less than the SCAR.

The Bren is a modular, multi-caliber design, with an aluminum alloy upper receiver and polymer lower receiver. The fire control unit is surrounded by a metal shroud. CZ designed the BREN to accept x39 and 300AAC caliber conversions and hopefully those are on the horizon with the release of the 806 and 807.

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The Bren was first introduced in 2006 in an A1 select-fire configuration and is only available in the US to Law Enforcement and Military. It is highly respectable that CZ USA paved the way to bring the S1 variant to the US so we can enjoy it.

I haven’t sent thousands of rounds through my Bren like I would have hoped to by now, but I do have a few hundred under my belt. My initial impressions are very good. The Bren is stout and doesn’t feel cheap in any way. There is zero wobble or play between the upper and lower. Even though the lower is made of plastic, there is no perceivable flex like you might experience with the SCAR. The construction is well executed.

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The Bren utilizes standard STANAG (AR15) magazines and comes standard with 2 metal magazines, a military style cleaning kit, front and rear sights. Just like the SCAR, The Bren features ambidextrous controls for the charging handle, safety and magazine release.

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The 11” barrel is cold-hammer forged and is threaded 14×1 left-hand. The S1 weighs in at 6.7 pounds and would make an excellent candidate for an SBR.

CZ offers a pistol tube adapter kit for $99 that allows for the attachment of a traditional buffer tube. CZ posted recently on their Facebook page that factory stocks and a 922r kit would be available soon.

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CZ 805 Bren S1 Pistol Specifications

MSRP:  $1,982.00
Chambering:  .223/5.56
Frame:  Aluminum
Grips:  Polymer
Sights: Low-profile, adjustable, 4 rear aperture sizes
Barrel: Cold hammer forged, muzzle threaded 14×1 left-hand
Barrel Length: 11 in
Weight: 6.7 lbs
Overall Length: 22.75 in

Aftermarket Support and Upgrades

There is not an overwhelming amount of Bren aftermarket upgrades available yet. KNS Precision announced a very robust offering of upgrades including a charging handle, replacement take-down pins and an assortment of rail options in Keymod, M-LOK and Picatinny.

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The charging handle rotates freely and can be locked out so rotation is off. The over-sized handle makes charging the Bren much easier on the hands.

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I actually like the factory side rail on the Bren and choose to leave them alone, but I did opt to add the Keymod bottom rail along with the Zero Bravo reversible hand stop (RHS). The bottom rail is limited to 4 Keymod holes, which provides limited real estate for mounting accessories.

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I mounted my Surefire Scout using a Low Profile Light Mount from VG6.

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The new KNS take-down pins are a true push pin utilizing a ball bearing release.

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I truly look forward to getting more time with the Bren at the range and seeing the aftermarket accessories explode. With SHOT Show 2016 not behind me I’ll be able to update this article with a range report. Until then, cheers and be safe.

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