The French National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) ordered Česká zbrojovka (CZ) CZ-806 BREN 2 assault rifles chambered in 7.62x39mm.
As per Shephard Media, GIGN signed onto an initial allotment of 68 rifles, but it is expected to order more to gradually supplant its Heckler & Koch (HK) HK-416.
The GIGN selected a compact version of the CZ-806 with a nine-inch barrel. It will have Picatinny rails for accessories, such as optics and a forward vertical grip.
Since GIGN is France’s elite law-enforcement entity, CZ believes gives the selection provides the BREN a strong “reference” for further sales, especially in new markets. CZ is currently marketing the CZ-807, Scorpion EVO 3 and P-series pistols to Pakistan, sales to whom would generate significant long-term sales.
However, another important aspect to the GIGN selection is the entry of a 7.62x39mm assault rifle in French law-enforcement services. GIGN sought a larger round – with higher stopping power – to address the challenge of terrorists wearing body-armour, which mitigated the utility of 5.56 mm rounds.
The CZ-806 BREN 2 is an improved version of the CZ-805 BREN, which was introduced in 2009 with the Czech Army. In 2015, CZ introduced the BREN 2, which incorporated improvements to ergonomics (e.g. a new foldable stock) and reduced weight.
In parallel, CZ is also offering the BREN-based CZ-807, which it had originally designed for the Indian Army as a modular rifle that can be chambered for 7.62x39mm and 5.56x45mm. Since then, CZ incorporated several of the BREN 2’s features into the CZ-807, most noticeably the new foldable-stock.
7.62×39 in a 9″ barrel seems unlikely to improve performance over 5.56 against body armor.
Actually the 7.62x39mm uses a faster burning powder akin to a magnum pistol powder. In a 9″ barrel, the 7.62x39mm loses significantly less muzzle velocity vs .223/5.56mm. The velocity loss from a 9″ barrel limits the effect of the .223/5.56mm on hard body armor. Both rounds will defeat soft body armor.
At closer ranges the larger bullet carries more kinetic energy and will be better against obstructions of all kinds.
A lvl 3 plate stops 7.62×39…..it takes a lvl 4 plate to stop 5.56. Their logic has failed.
The consideration here is the barrel length. At 9″ the 5.56 will be of limited effect on defeating lvl 3 plates. On the same token, the 7.62x39mm loses very little velocity compared to a 5.56 out of a 9″ barrel. Really a 14.5″/16″ 5.56 carbine would have fit the bill better against hard armor.