Tactical World - - Contents - By Todd Bur­green

CZ'S non-tra­di­tional 805B Bren pis­tol.

It can no longer be ig­nored that the num­ber of pis­tol models stem­ming from what was typ­i­cally associated with rifle pat­tern weapons is gain­ing more pop­u­lar­ity across the board. The Genre is cur­rently be­ing dom­i­nated by pis­tols based on the AR Plat­form fea­tur­ing shorter than 16 inch bar­rels sans any rifle stock; only the buf­fer tube is pro­trud­ing from the rear of the re­ceiver.

While many will have a wry smile cross their face when dis­cussing sta­bi­lizer equipped pis­tols shoot­ing rifle cal­ibers based on larger for­mat plat­forms these set ups are in com­pli­ance with BATF reg­u­la­tions. This is a great news, For in­di­vid­u­als that have no le­gal ac­cess to a NFA Class 3 Short Bar­rel Rifle (SBR), the brace sta­bi­lized large for­mat pis­tol may well be the clos­est they can get to achiev­ing rifle-like fire­power in such com­pact pack­ages.


The large for­mat pis­tol fea­tured herein is the CZ 805 Bren S1 Pis­tol cham­bered in 5.56MM. The CZ 805B pis­tol is about as far away from a “tra­di­tional” hand­gun as you can get. The CZ 805B pis­tol is a stock­less ver­sion of the CZ 805 Bren S1 Car­bine. The Czechs are renowned arms mak­ers known for qual­ity weapons. The Czech’s are right­fully proud of their in­dige­nous ca­pa­bil­ity to pro­duce their own mil­i­tary firearms. They even re­sisted pres­sure from the Soviet Em­pire by field­ing a non-ak rifle in the War­saw Pact alliance. The orig­i­nal mil­i­tary ver­sion CZ 805 was adopted by Czech Army in 2010 af­ter ex­ten­sive eval­u­a­tion cur­ricu­lum. It took an­other six years be­fore civil­ian le­gal ver­sions of the rifle ar­rived in num­bers in the US. It is not as easy as it sounds when it comes to com­ply­ing with im­port reg­u­la­tions associated with any­thing re­lated to firearms.

At first glance, the CZ 805 Bren rifle is of­ten com­pared to the FN SCAR in looks and com­po­nents. Upon closer study the CZ dis­tin­guishes it­self on many lev­els. The Czech de­sign is a com­pos­ite of key rife de­sign com­po­nents de­vel­oped while the field be­came dom­i­nated by the AK and AR de­signs. The Czechs know how to build ef­fec­tive weapons com­bin­ing mod­u­lar­ity, er­gonomics and re­li­a­bil­ity with a short stroke gas pis­ton ac­tion.

Like many other companies, CZ chose to make their AR plat­form more ro­bust by for­go­ing Stoner’s orig­i­nal de­sign and in­stead chose a pis­ton driven ac­tion. The ad­van­tage of the short stroke has over a di­rect im­pinge­ment ac­tion

is that heat, soot and car­bon from pro­pel­lant com­bus­tion are not routed into the bolt or cham­ber, keep­ing these crit­i­cal ar­eas cooler and cleaner for greater re­li­a­bil­ity; es­pe­cially now with the in­creas­ing use of sup­pres­sors.

The CZ USA 805 Bren S1 Pis­tol weighs in at 6.7 pounds and mea­sures 22.75”. The Bren’s 11” cold ham­mer forged bar­rel fea­tures 1:7 ri­fling twist. Muz­zle flip is mit­i­gated with a two port muz­zle de­vice us­ing ½”x 28 threads. The S1 uti­lizes AR mag­a­zines in­stead of a pro­pri­etary de­sign. The de­ci­sion to use a stan­dard mag­a­zine greatly adds to the CZ’S vi­a­bil­ity in the US civil­ian mar­ket.

CZ USA also of­fers an adapter kit that al­lows an Ar-like buf­fer tube to pro­ject out from the 805B’s rear re­ceiver. This al­lows easy in­stal­la­tion of after­mar­ket arm braces or other de­vices meant to help sta­bi­lize large for­mat pis­tols. An SB Tac­ti­cal SBM 4 brace was slipped on the buf­fer tube like pro­jec­tion. A full-length rail runs along the top of the re­ceiver out the fore-end. The bot­tom of fore-end is also railed. Be­cause of fed­eral firearm reg­u­la­tions, the 805B’s pis­tol clas­si­fi­ca­tion pro­hibits the use of a ver­ti­cal fore-grip (VFG).


Be­fore we move on we need to ac­knowl­edge the ele­phant in the room; What is the real util­ity of a pis­tol de­rived from rifle de­signs. There’s no clear answer as a lot de­pends on user expectations and in­ten­tions. For many, a non-tra­di­tional pis­tol like the 805B, with its en­tic­ing fire­power, lacks much in terms of ac­cu­racy be­yond nor­mal hand­gun ranges. An AR pis­tol also is sig­nif­i­cantly heav­ier than a tra­di­tional hand­gun. How­ever, these neg­a­tives can be mit­i­gated by em­ploy­ing cer­tain tech­niques such as the use of a SAS sling and two handed grip.

The SAS sling is at­tached to the rear of the re­ceiver to form a loop. The loop goes over your shoul­der and sized to keep the rear of the re­ceiver at the same dis­tance from your nose as a stan­dard stock. This gives you three points of con­tact--rear grip, fore grip and sling. Push­ing the weapon forward with your strong hand on the pis­tol grip and your weak side hand on the fore-end cre­ates a push pull ten­sion. “Punch­ing” out the weapon in this man­ner re­sults in greater sta­bil­ity, al­low­ing for greater ac­cu­racy. Em­ploy­ing the sling method with a Blackhawk sin­gle point sling, while not nearly as ef­fec­tive as a true rifle stock, proved to be bet­ter than merely hold­ing the CZ USA 805B S1 Pis­tol with a tra­di­tional two handed pis­tol grip. This is par­tic­u­larly ev­i­dent when at­tempt­ing to “ac­cu­rately” rapidly fire rounds down­range.

An­other shoot­ing method is adapted from that way in which the Czech Spe­cial Forces ran their orig­i­nal com­pact CZ Sko­r­pion ma­chine pis­tols. The Sko­r­pion’s com­pact wire stock was floated on the cheek, not shoul­dered, pro­vid­ing three points of con­tact for more sta­bil­ity and thus ac­cu­racy. The CZ 805B Pis­tol’s ex­ten­sion tube with SB Tac­ti­cal brace is floated on the cheek pro­vid­ing three points of con­tact for more sta­bil­ity and thus ac­cu­racy. This was my pre­ferred method of fire and with prac­tice and train­ing could of­fer real po­ten­tial in a CQB role or even out to dis­tances. At­ten­tive train­ing will pay div­i­dends in finding what works best for in­di­vid­ual users.


A weapon like the CZ 805B pis­tol has its own ad­van­tages in terms of han­dling, ease of con­ceal­a­bil­ity and in­creased porta­bil­ity that are hard to re­sist when com­pared to a stan­dard length rifle. Most in­di­vid­u­als car­ry­ing weapon in pub­lic strug­gle to find the bal­ance be­tween size of weapon

car­ried and abil­ity to be dis­crete. This is why hand­guns are the preva­lent choice of con­cealed carry weapons. It is not be­cause hand­guns are the most ef­fec­tive choice; just the eas­i­est to have around at all times in most so­cial set­tings. How­ever, thanks to its rel­a­tive com­pact­ness and its po­ten­tial fire­power, the CZ can be a good every day carry al­ter­na­tive when car­ried “off body”. Here the CZ’S pis­tol des­ig­na­tion is im­por­tant for any­one with a Con­cealed Carry Per­mit. Po­ten­tial gear en­hancers in this role would be the new dis­crete carry bags of­fered by Blackhawk such as Diver­sion Carry Board Pack and Work­out Bag. Both Blackhawk prod­ucts of­fer “hide in plain” site util­ity with en­hance­ments to ac­com­mo­date a weapon and an­cil­lary gear. Many, how­ever, frown on “off body” carry be­cause you and your weapon are not al­ways in di­rect con­tact. In­di­vid­u­als will have to come to their own un­der­stand­ing of what is ac­cept­able to them in this re­gard.

In an ef­fort to de­ter­mine util­ity of the CZ USA 805B S1 Pis­tol, I took it to Echo Val­ley Train­ing Cen­ter (EVTC) where I en­gaged a plate rack fea­tur­ing mul­ti­ple 6 inch round tar­gets at 25 and 35 yards. I wanted to try to es­tab­lish a way to eval­u­ate the CZ’S field ac­cu­racy by com­par­ing it to prior ex­pe­ri­ences and expectations I have had with more tra­di­tional hand­guns. Be­cause this “stock­less” pis­tol is a de­riv­a­tive of a weapon de­signed to func­tion with a stock, other shoot­ers who helped with test­ing were skep­ti­cal. These doubts were over­come with the CZ 805B Pis­tol’s per­for­mance when com­bined with the SB Tac­ti­cal brace and Aimpoint Pro red dot. The float­ing the tube ex­ten­sion on the cheek proved to be the best tech­nique for sta­bi­liz­ing the weapon.. Sling ten­sion and two

handed grips are bet­ter left to smaller SMG type weapons that have been “pis­tolized”.

Am­mu­ni­tion tested with the 805B S1 Pis­tol con­sisted of mul­ti­ple 5.56MM/.223REM loads from Black Hills Am­mu­ni­tion, Hor­nady, Amer­i­can Ea­gle and Fed­eral. The rifle’s trig­ger was su­pe­rior to all other mil spec trig­gers ex­pe­ri­enced. It is a two stage af­fair with a clean break once first stage slack is taken up. RCBS trig­ger scale had it break­ing at 5 pounds. No load tested pro­duced greater than 2” groups at 100 yards. How­ever, with that said, groups did not shrink much be­low 1.5” , re­gard­less ammo used. Remember, the 805 Bren is a fight­ing rifle; not a match tar­get rifle. Sev­eral mag­a­zines worth of am­mu­ni­tion was spent en­gag­ing plate racks and man­sized steel tar­gets with the 805 Bren S1. Drills quickly moved past stand and de­liver drills to more dy­namic drills in­volv­ing move­ment, mag­a­zine reloads, and fir­ing from be­hind cover.

Many will ar­gue that there is no de­fen­sive/tac­ti­cal value in such a non­tra­di­tional pis­tol; “Ei­ther use a full-size rifle or typ­i­cal hand­gun”. How­ever, some will be lured to the 805B Pis­tol for the in­trigu­ing nu­ance of main­tain­ing hand­gun sta­tus with a sem­blance of SBR rifle per­for­mance when us­ing the proper tech­niques. The abil­ity to be trans­ported more dis­cretely than a full-size rifle may trans­late into it be­ing the weapon most read­ily available if a sit­u­a­tion arises un­ex­pect­edly while away from home. The fact that the CZ 805B S1 Pis­tol is clas­si­fied legally as a hand­gun of­fers users who have a con­cealed carry li­cense a cer­tain amount of flex­i­bil­ity com­pared to a true rifle or NFA SBR clas­si­fied weapon. The 805B Pis­tol is more po­tent and of­fers a longer ef­fec­tive range than a tra­di­tional pis­tol and though not as stable, of­fers a more dis­crete carry op­tion than a rifle. Its easy to see why CZ 805B Bren has gar­nered at­ten­tion as an al­ter­na­tive to what most nat­u­rally grav­i­tate to­wards for a con­cealed carry weapon. TW

CZ 805B Pis­tol is not your typ­i­cal hand­gun. It emerged from a previous rifle de­sign via re­mov­ing the butt­stock.

( Right) In­stalled CZ USA ex­ten­sion tube kit.

( Above) Ad­justable two- po­si­tion gas valve fa­cil­i­tates sup­pres­sor use. The multi- port muz­zle brake helps to keep the 11 inch bar­rel un­der con­trol.

CZ 805B’s bolt group is a sim­ple af­fair that en­hances re­li­a­bil­ity thanks to sizeto- mass ra­tio.

( Top) Busi­ness end of CZ USA 805B Pis­tol work­ing around bar­ri­ers at Echo Val­ley Train­ing Cen­ter. ( Above) For in­di­vid­u­als that have no le­gal ac­cess to a NFA Class 3 Short Bar­rel Rifle ( SBR), the CZ USA 805B Pis­tol may well be the clos­est they can get t

( Above) SB Tac­ti­cal brace fit­ted to ex­ten­sion tube. ( Bot­tom right) Lack­ing a full size stock, a rifle cal­iber pis­tol can help you shoot from cover not nor­mally ac­ces­si­ble by its big­ger brother.

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