EVERY DAY CARRY SMOKE WAGON
CZ’S NON-TRADITIONAL 805B BREN PISTOL
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.
NON-TYPICAL FORM EQUALS NON-TYPICAL PERFORMANCE
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).
BEST USE PRACTICES
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.
PRO vs CON
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