CZ Releases the Bren 3

Every time I look hard at a Bren rifle or even a pistol, it seems like the company has released a new model. At this rate, I just need to bite the bullet and buy one. I’ve been a fan of the Czech’s SCAR-inspired AR-18-influenced intermediate cartridge AR alternative. I like CZ’s stuff, and I like SCARs, but I hate the SCAR pricing and availability. The Bren has consistently been available in a couple of calibers and configurations. The Bren 3 seems to aim to take it to the next level.

This rifle series bears the name of the famed machine gun but has nothing in common other than being pretty awesome. The Bren series has gotten a baptism by fire in the Ukraine-Russia war. Czech donated a number of 5.56-caliber Bren rifles, which performed well enough that the Colt CZ group signed an agreement with Ukraine’s Defense industry to assemble the rifles in Ukraine. Those are Bren 2s, and today, we’ve reached the third in the trilogy.

The Bren 3 – What’s New

For the Bren 3 model, CZ has dropped the 7.62×39 chambering and plans to release the Bren 3 as a 5.56 rifle and a .300 Blackout rifle. In fact, it’s a family of rifles with six different models and a ton of barrel lengths. If you have your favorite niche barrel length, you can pick 7, 9, 11, 14.5, and, of course, 16.5 inches.

CZ is even releasing some special versions. For example, the Bren 3 SR will feature a 7-inch barrel and integral A-TEC A-flow silencer that fits nicely under the handguard. The SR model is my personal favorite of the new guns. There will be a 5.56 PDW variant with a 7-inch barrel and a PDW-style stock as well. Each model can integrate whatever stock you want and they swap easily enough. The standard stock is a folding collapsing design.

The Bren 3 now has a semi-heavy barrel profile, which adds about a quarter pound to the gun. The Bren 3’s adjustable gas block has three settings, which are suppressor, standard, and adverse. This ditches the old closed setting entirely.

More New Stuff

The Bren 3 no longer has a monolithic rail. That seems like a downside, but it’s designed to accommodate the various barrel lengths, calibers, and suppressors inside and outside of the gun. This allows the potential to swap rails if the aftermarket chooses to make them.

The old Brens required you to remove the stock to disassemble, but that’s no longer the case. You have to fold the stock, but it can remain attached to the gun for field stripping.

All variants of the Bren 3 will have M-LOK handguards. The Bren 2 had a mix of M-LOK and Picatinny on various models, but with the 3, it’s now the standard. While it doesn’t help most of us, CZ also released a grenade launcher alongside the Bren 3. It can be attached and used separately.

Like every other Bren, the controls will be reversible or ambidextrous. The Bren 3 is a remarkably modern rifle with many different options.

Tough Enough

CZ is touting the gun’s reliability. CZ went with an upper design that allows for easy maintenance to allow the Bren 3 to last forever. The company’s website features a ton of information on the gun’s reliability and the adverse testing they put the Bren 3 through. The gun seems to be designed with a theme of total durability. CZ seems to be marketing the Bren 3 for its reliability and long-term durability in adverse conditions. It’s already passed all of NATO’s standards.

It’s impossible to say if the gun lives up to those claims, but knowing CZ and their testament to quality, I don’t doubt it’s an extremely well-made rifle. Will it be available in the States? Likely, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one. This time, I promise I’ll buy one instead of waiting til to the last minute.

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.