CZ Bren 2 Ms Carbine   

The ultimate hard-use carbine?

CZ Bren 2 Ms Carbine has successfully positioned itself as serious competition in the non-AR defensive-carbine market. Some even go as far as to say it’s a “SCAR Killer.” Since positive firearm characteristics can be very subjective, we won’t weigh in on that one, but we will say that the positive attributes of this particular carbine easily won it a 2021 Editors’ Choice Award.

The carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer lower sheds weight and houses an AR-style bolt release/catch, short-throw two-position ambi safety, ambi mag release, and an additional bolt release/catch within the trigger guard. At a crisp 4.50-pounds, the two-stage trigger is exceedingly good for a combat carbine.

CZ’s 805 Bren was designed specifically for the Czech military as a select-fire combat carbine chambered in 5.56 NATO that can be converted to 7.62 x 39mm when needed. Adopted in 2010 by the Czech Republic, there was a request for an updated version that was lighter with a folding polymer stock and several improvements, which ended up being the Bren 2 BR (select-fire). This was the base firearm for which the civilian semi-auto version recently released—the subject of this article—was derived. The pistol version was well-received, but many have been anxiously awaiting the Bren 2 Ms carbine, and we’re here to tell you, those people will not be disappointed.

The 16.50-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel is capped with a U.S.-made version of the issue flash hider/muzzle brake and shrouded by an M-Lok compatible handguard, with Picatinny rail atop and M-Lok cuts found around the rest of the circumference. Gas pressure can be easily adjusted for normal, hard use (more gas) and off. The non-reciprocating charging handle can be mounted on either side.

The CZ’s 16.5” barrel is cold-hammer forged and capped with a U.S.-made version of the issue flash hider/muzzle brake. Threaded 1/2 x 28 t.p.i., sound suppressors or muzzle devices can be readily attached. Gas can be adjusted for normal, hard use (more gas) and off; there is no “suppressed” setting. Barrels are interchangeable, and based on demand, other variations may become available down the road. The upper receiver is aluminum, while the lower is molded from carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer. The handgrip is integral to the lower but does have interchangeable back straps. The charging handle does not reciprocate, locks forward until needed, can be swapped to either side, and doubles as a forward assist. The safety and magazine release are ambidextrous, while bolt stops/releases are positioned on the side of the receiver, with another sitting inside the trigger guard, which you lift up to lock the bolt open and push down to release, making for fast reloads without coming off the gun. The trigger is a two-stage and is surprisingly light (4.5 pounds) and crisp for a military-designed trigger. The polymer adjustable and folding stock locks solidly in place, can be released or deployed with one hand, and the gun still has firing capability when folded. QD sling swivel receptacles can be found on either side of the butt.

The polymer adjustable and folding stock locks solidly in place, can be released or deployed with one hand, and the gun still has firing capability when folded. QD sling swivel receptacles can be found on either side of the butt. The handgrip is integral to the polymer lower but does have interchangeable back straps.

Moving to the upper, a Picatinny rail runs the entire length of the receiver and modular handguard. M-Lok cuts can be found around the rest of the circumference of the handguard, giving ample options for accessory placement. Sling loops and QD sling receptacles sit on either side at the back of the receiver, but you will need to add an attachment point to the handguard. Two 30-round D&H magazines are included, as well as a complete cleaning kit. No iron sights are provided, but any AR sights will work.

Internals are robust and designed with maximum operational reliability in mind. Break-down is fast and straightforward, with no tools needed.

Range Time

Testing was completed using the factory muzzle brake and an X2 DevGroup VM-18 muzzle device, which allowed attachment of the company’s no-backpressure Orion sound suppressor. Trijicon’s durable new Credo 1-8×28 first-focal-plane riflescope was used for testing.

The best 100-yard performance from our test gun came with Hornady’s 55-gr. Frontier HP / BT load, which printed this one-inch 5-shot group. We can confidently call that excellent precision for a combat carbine.

Accuracy was excellent—especially for a weapon built to be used in combat. My best group was around an inch at 100 yards using Hornady’s 55-grain Frontier Match/BT. At 50 yards, my ten-round, rapid-fire group was inside a couple of inches, mostly cutting a big hole in the target. Loaded with Black Hills 77-grain TMK, the Bren 2 Ms grouped right at 3 inches at 300 yards, and at 200 yards, the ten-round group was a glop of lead no bigger than 2.5 inches. Reliability was what I expected from this platform—not a single stoppage. The factory muzzle brake mitigated recoil very well with little blast at the shooter, but anyone standing next to it would not be as fortunate.

Tear down makes one thing clear: this weapon was designed to be quickly dealt with in the field. Break-down is fast and straightforward, with no tools needed. Everything about this carbine is well thought out for use in the field by your average person; no armorers needed.

Bottom Line

Simple, proven rifles like this are my preference in a working gun. Given the need, this would be at the top of my list as a survivalist/defensive carbine. Bells and whistles are great, but I want something that works in any condition without “tuning,” and the Bren 2 Ms fits that bill perfectly. Ambidextrous controls, a folding stock, and excellent accuracy are just gravy.

Priced at $2,255.00, it’s not cheap, but its performance is commensurate with the price. See it at your gun shop, or contact CZ-USA, Tel.: (800) 955-4486; Web: www.cz-usa.com—Dave Bahde

Specifications:

  • Caliber:                5.56mm NATO
  • Receiver              Aluminum with carbon fiber/polymer lower
  • Barrel:                 16.5 inches
  • OA Length:           35.6 inches
  • Weight:                7.3 pounds
  • Sights:                 Top Rail
  • Stock:                 Folding/collapsible
  • Action:                Semi-Automatic Gas Piston
  • Finish:                  Black
  • Capacity:             Accepts AR15-based magazines
  • Price:                  $2,255
Reliability was what I expected from this platform—not a single stoppage. The factory muzzle brake mitigated recoil well with minimal blast at the shooter, but anyone standing next to it would definitely get a wake-up call.