Semiautomatic, commercial versions of latest firearms used by the Czech military, the CZ 805 Bren and Scorpion EVO 3, will finally make an appearance on the US market in 2015. They will initially be offered as pistols, “officially” dubbed the 805 Bren PS1 and Scorpion EVO 3 S1.
The EVO 3 is immediately recognizable thanks to its futuristic polymer furniture. The select-fire submachine gun variant has seen use with Czech military and police forces for the last several years. It was marketed as a replacement for the now antiquated vz. 61 submachine gun.
The gun feeds from 30-round translucent magazines, and is lefty-friendly with a convertible non-reciprocating charging handle and ambidextrous safety. It uses a standard blowback design, and is outfitted with low-profile iron sights.
Because of itspolymer construction, the EVO 3 is surprisingly light. With a short 7.7-inch barrel, the EVO 3 weighs in at only five pounds. The Scorpion’s MSRP is $850, which puts it well below other 9x19mm pistol variants of popular submachine guns like the MP5.
The select-fire 5.56x45mm 805 Bren is the replacement to the long-serving vz. 58 for the Czech armed forces, and both the military and commercial variants feature all the trappings of modern service rifle design.
If you’re familiar with the monolithic aluminum upper of the FN SCAR, there is a certain similarity in the Bren. The 805 Bren is a piston-driven design with an ambidextrous safety and charging handle. Oddly, while there is a bolt release on the right-hand side, there is no manual way to lock the bolt to the rear. An empty magazine must be inserted for the bolt hold-open to engage.
The American import has an updated magazine well with an AR-style mag release that will accept STANAG magazines. This first version will have an 11-inch barrel with the same low-profile sights as the EVO 3, but other lengths and variants are planned. The first run of 805 Bren pistols should be arriving in the first quarter of 2015 and will retail for $1,982, on par with the FN SCARs and Robinson XCRs currently available in the United States in both pistol and rifle form.
You might ask why the Bren, a successful rifle in Czech Republic, was imported as a pistol to America. There are a few good reasons for this. First, it allows CZ-USA to use the short 11-inch barrel without needing to import an SBR or pass the cost of a tax stamp on to customers. Second, 922(r) requirements relating to foreign and domestic parts are different with pistols.
Both the Bren and the EVO 3 ship in a standard pistol format, but include an accessory adapter for fitting supports, sling mounts, and rests. At the show, CZ was demoing a variant with the now infamous stabilizing brace. My personal favorite was one that used a Thorsden buffer tube and CAA cheek rest to add a sling mount and support onto the rear of the pistol. This style of rear accessory is a closer match to the original design, but sadly still lacks the folding adjust-ability of a “true” stock.
One of the best features of the original EVO 3 was the design of the shoulder stock. Select-fire SBR versions of both the 805 Bren and the EVO 3 are already available from CZ USA to law enforcement and military. Hopefully an enhanced SBR will be available to the general public in the future.