French Special Police GIGN Selects CZ BREN 2–In 7.62x39mm

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CZ’s compact carbine and polymer service pistols. (Photo: Shephard Media)

The French special police force GIGN — Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale — is adopting CZ’s newest BREN carbine for service. What’s really interesting is that the department is not embracing 5.56 NATO. Instead GIGN is gearing up with CZ rifles chambered for 7.62x39mm, the time-tested Russian cartridge.

This is a stand-out contract with a foreign agency. The BREN series has been a real success for CZ, with widespread domestic adoption as well as strong commercial acceptance. This is the first contract CZ’s landed with a major power, earning the BREN 2 official high marks.

GIGN was looking for a compact package to deal with armored attackers. The special police force is tasked with counter-terrorism and other high-profile duties including protection details and hostage rescue.

In the aftermath of the 2015 terror attacks in Paris GIGN decided to re-evaluate their equipment. GIGN issues a wide variety of pistols and submachine guns chambered for 9mm Luger as well as full-size and compact carbines in 5.56 NATO.

The department was looking for a .30-caliber carbine from the start. However 7.62 NATO proved too unwieldy for close-quarters combat. GIGN wanted a cartridge that could be optimized for a short-barreled carbine. CZ developed the BREN series from the ground up around both 5.56 NATO and 7.62x39mm.

The BREN 2 carbines will replace the GIGN’s HK 416 carbines in service today. GIGN started with a small order of 68 rifles but will eventually transition entirely to CZ BREN 2s as they complete future procurements. The guns are configured with 9-inch barrels and short, modular Picatinny handguards.

GIGN is adopting the BREN 2 chambered for 7.62x39mm with a 9-inch barrel. (Photo: CZ)

See Also: A Striker-Fired CZ? Check out the New CZ P-10 C

Another option for GIGN would have been a carbine chambered for 300 AAC Blackout. Like 300 BLK, 7.62x39mm performs very well out of short-barreled rifles. The agency is also weighing subsonic loads for suppressed rifles. But 7.62x39mm is an in-place option with this series and more affordable still.

The BREN 2 is the updated version of the original 805 developed for Czech military and police users. CZ modified the design in 2015. The BREN 2 has improved ambidextrous controls and simplified components for easy field stripping. The updated carbines also have lighter receivers.

The changes to the design have the benefit of lowering the cost of manufacturing as well. BREN users frequently compare the carbine to FN’s highly-successful SCAR at a lower price point.

The BREN 2 was originally intended to compete for the French future infantry carbine competition. Unfortunately, CZ was too late to enter the trials. French forces instead selected the HK 416 for general service — the exact gun GIGN is replacing with the BREN 2.

GIGN requested one change to CZ’s package which is a suppressor-ready flash hider mount. In turn, CZ is angling to get their newest P-10 striker-fired service pistol adopted in place of GIGN’s Glock pistols.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • loupgarous April 15, 2017, 5:00 pm

    The Bren’s an excellent choice, and chambering in 7.62 x 39 is at least defensible. GIGN has marksmen to make distance kills who use rifles made for that. But this carbine is being bought to settle arguments with terrorists or bank robbers quickly. They’ll probably be used to engage targets at short range where marksmanship is less critical than filling a “target box” with man-stopping rounds. Finally, 7.62 Combloc is cheap enough that GIGN’s troops can practice with their service rounds and be totally used to the weapon recoil, report and flash they’ll see in action.

    Are there more lethal rounds out there? Sure there are. But France, like the rest of Europe, has to pay for GIGN and the whole rest of a fairly socialist country on a contracting tax base. All things considered, they made the right decision for THEM.

  • Robert Smith April 14, 2017, 5:32 pm

    Armored attackers? None of the attackers at Charlie Hebdo, Paris nightclub, or Nice truck attack had body armor. In fact they were all pretty low-tech. The news videos after those attacks showed French police on the streets armed with Ruger Mini-14s they bought back in the 1970’s. That’s all the firepower they should need. What they really need is a change in immigration policy to stop their country from being a playground for jihadis and Islamic terrorists from all over the Middle East. The French government also might want to consider allowing their own citizens to have some guns for self-defense. Wouldn’t cost them a single Franc either.

    • fritz bousigschouer April 15, 2017, 3:45 pm

      exactly. the eu punish the legal gun owner to the point of complete disarming. nobody will be able to legally defend themself, like in most all parts in europe and swiss.

      the choice of gign is complete wrong, they selected a different gun system instead a version of the gunsystem they already have in use altered for theyr needs, an hk in 300 blk would have well worked and be more accurate as well, that is important in a police gun that they shoot in the city. look at the laousy gun training the average eu policewoman or man get. there are pics online that german police womans did “guard” a place after a terror attack with mp5 with no magazine in it! same would apply if they replace the glocks with the new cz strikerfire, wasted money and time, of course taxpayers money and these still have no more security.

      the main problem is that the eu did let in a shitload of bad people with no background check nor a registration, joust like that! and theyr still to the day coming in! now the average european people pay for that high mistake every singe day until all these criminals are trown out again. these politicans are war criminals, they opened a war against theyr own people, we will see how that all end!

  • JungleCogs April 14, 2017, 10:46 am

    Why all the trigger locks in the top photo? Really, all for a product photo?

  • Flep Vandergaard April 14, 2017, 9:57 am

    Vive la difference! GIGN is a crack unit. Given the procurement parameters, they made a sound choice. The caliber choice makes sense given the ready availibity and the 30 cal. requirement. WHEN CZ releases the BREN S2 stateside, I will finally be rid of this stack of money that I nearly gave my LGS for the BREN S1, were it not a pound too heavy. Looks mighty purdy in the SBR configuration too.

  • El Mac April 14, 2017, 9:16 am

    The French always choose the oddest crap.

  • Lying Bastard April 14, 2017, 8:55 am

    How can the US allow the surrender monkeys use 7.62×39 instead of the glorious 5.56×45? Washington must put some pressure on them, maybe also making them buy Colt M4s instead, so to help keeping that company afloat. 😉

    Jokes apart, is it me or the French are giving up making their own firearms and closing down their factories? That sounds like the same path the Spaniards chose. Sad days ahead…
    Support diversity!

    • Winston April 14, 2017, 12:37 pm

      It was the Brits who fell back to the beaches and were rescued by 1,000 British commercial craft at Dunkirk leaving the French to fight the Wehrmacht and suffer the fate of being surrounded. The Brits started that fake history to detract from themselves running away. The Brits surrendered Calais while the Fremch force held up German armor until the French ran out of ammunition.

      Makes sense to use the M43 or M70 7.62×39 over 5.56mm in urban fighting and for use against vehicles.

      • Jonny5 April 15, 2017, 2:29 am

        Er… it’s called a tactical withdrawal. British Forces had no choice but to extract… and then as usual, fight the war until the US decides to tip up and help out. Cheers.

        • mecheng1 April 15, 2017, 2:21 pm

          “until the US decides to tip up and help out” Err, let’s just remember that in fact it was the Europeans who started both WW1 and WW2, then needed the USA to come in and rescue them. n’est pas?

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