For nearly a hundred years now, the Czech people have been innovators in the field of small arms. This article takes a brief look at three of their service rifles since the end of World War II. All three were designed, tested, manufactured, and issued 100% domestically. SHE Vz.52 & Vz.52/57 Self Loading Rifle Often mistaken for a copy of the Russian SKS, the Vz.52 was anything but. Throughout the decade following WWII, the Czech Army (known as the Czechoslovakian People’s Army or Ceskoslovenska lidova armada) after Communism took hold) issued a mixture of smallarms. Its main frontline rifles were the German G/K43 and K98k Mauser, and the Russian M91/30 Mosin-Nagant. By the early 1950s, these weapons were becoming increasingly obsolete, and the need for a new standard issue rifle was growing. Czech designers created a new cartridge named the 7.62x45mm (CZ), which was inspired by the German 7.92x33mm Kurz round used in the MP.44 assault rifle. The new round was to be used in a self-loading carbine, as well as a new light machinegun. The carbine itself was designed by Jan and Jaroslav Kratochvíl, who worked at Ceská zbrojovka. The CZ493 prototypes appeared in 1949, with an improved version two years later named the CZ502. The final version was adopted into Czech service as the Samonabíjecí puška vzor 52 in 1952. It was a mix of traditional and very modern features. The Vz.52's design was heavily influenced by the American M1 Garand, German G43, and Russian SKS. That said, it was wholely its own thing and not a copy or clone of anything that came before it. It operated using a tilting bolt system, however the bolt tipped forward and locked in the front, rather than in back as with most every other rifle out there at the time. The gas system was based on that used in the German MKB42(w) prototype assault rifle, and operated using a piston sleaved around the barrel. The fire control group was very much like that used in the M1 Garand, and the stock removed the same way too. The Vz.52 fed from a detachable box magazine, which held 10 7.62x45mm cartridges. There was even an automatic last-round hold open device; quite a modern feature for a rifle to have in the early 1950s. The new rifle featured a threaded muzzle for use with blank firing devices, hooded front sight blade, adjustable rear sight, Garand style manual safety, and large receiver port to insure reliable ejection. The weapon was carbine length, with a 20.5" long barrel, which was not chromelined. The overall length was 39.5", with an unloaded weight of 9.1 lbs. The bayonet was perminant and was mounted on the side. It folded out horizontally when needed. The stock was made from wood, either walnut or beech. A cleaning kit could be stored under the metal buttplate, and the standard sling was made of cotton with a leather tab on its end. Soldiers were issued with 2 magazines. One in the rifle and a spare kept in a small belt pouch. The Vz.52 was produced from 1952 until 1957. Production occurred at three factories. Ceská zbrojovka manufactured the majority, using the code 'SHE'. Považská strojárne using 'AYM' and Strakonice using 'RID' both each built the rifle in smaller numbers. In all, roughly 150,000 were manufactured. The production run was cut short because of politics. The Soviet Union did not like that Czechoslovakia had created its own rifle round. It was not common with the rest of the Warsaw Pact. By the mid 1950s, it had turned up the pressure, and the Czech government had little choice but to adopt the standard 7.62x39mm M43 cartridge. Nevermind that its 7.62x45mm was more accurate and had a longer effective range, the Soviets were insistant that Czechoslovakia conform. Thus in 1957, the Samonabíjecí puška vzor 52/57 replaced the original. It was very similar but chambered for the 7.62x39mm cartridge. There were a few other minor differences too. For example, its barrel was pressed and pinned into the receiver, rather than being screwed in as with the Vz.52. Also the bore was chromelined. The Vz.52/57 fed from a reshaped magazine, which was better suited to the new round. The original rifle had a phosphated finish, where as the new one had a baked on paint over phosphate type. It used the same stock, though beech became more common than walnut at the time. Otherwise, same rifle. Between 1957 and 1959, about 100,000 Vz.52/57s were manufactured by Ceská zbrojovka. Contrary to rumour, no Vz.52s were rebarreled into 52/57s. All rifles were purpose built from the ground up to fire 7.62x39mm. The Vz.52 series was in Czech frontline service from only 1952 through 1959. It was also adopted by the young communist nation of Cuba and many were given to Vietnam and Egypt. Others were given to allies in both South America and Africa. So the rifles did get around a goodly bit. American soldiers encountered them in Vietnam, and again later during the Invasion of Grenada. Both the Vz.52 and Vz.52/57 were liked for their reliability and accuracy. On the otherhand, the design was rather complicated to field strip and give a complete cleaning. Also, it was expensive and time consuming to produce. As with so many other self-loading rifles created after WWII, while it was modern when first adopted, it was rapidly becoming obsolete by the late 1950s. At the time, firearms technology was quickly evolving. Both Century Arms and SAMCO have imported the Vz.52 in to the USA, where examples were sold on the surplus market. Far fewer Vz.52/57s have come in though. Some are in very nice condition, and these mostly came out of Eastern Europe. Others are very well worn, sometimes even having cracked or busted stocks. These most likely came out of South America. In a misguided attempt to improve their condition, Century dipped some of the stocks in black crinkle truck bed liner. Other Vz.52s have been converted to fire 7.62x39mm by having an insert lock tighted into their chambers. Guns so modified should not be trusted or even fired. CZ SA Vz.58 Assault Rifle Once relatively unknown in the USA, today the Vz.58 is one of the most famous Czech smallarms. Its primary designer was Jirí Cermák, and it had a rather lengthy development process. In fact, it was already being pland even before the Vz.52 went into service. The Model 515 prototype dated back to 1951 and was one of the earliest forerunners of what would become the Vz.58. It was chambered for the 7.62x45mm round, was select fire, and operated from an open bolt. The open bolt was one of the requirements of the Czech military at the time. However, it was also why the weapon was quickly rejected as it could not meet accuracy standards. The next version, the CZ-522 was altered to fire from a closed bolt and was able to achieve much greater accuracy. In 1954, the first round of trials was held and the CZ-522 went up against two other domestic designs. While no one was declared the winner, both the Czech military and Soviet observers felt the 522 showed the most promise, even if it clearly still needed further refinement. Also in 1954, most privately owned and run firearms factories in Czechoslovakia were closed by the communist government. In their place, a state run conglomerate was established under the name Konstrukta Brno. Soon after, Jirí Cermák went to work at the new government factory, where he continued to improve upon the CZ-552 prototype. In 1955, the Warsaw Pact under Soviet rule declared that 7.62x39mm was to be the standard rifle round and that all member nations must adopt it. This meant the 522 had to be redesigned to work with it. The program was further slowed as the Russians took considerable time in providing specifications for the cartridge to Czechoslovakia, so for a time no work could be done. Finally well into 1956, the specs were delivered and work recommenced. Also around this time, the 522's competing designs were withdrawn. The next prototype was designated as the SA.56 and was the first to be chambered for 7.62x39mm. It was code named the Košte (Broom). It fired from a closed bolt, had a machined receiver, was hammer fired, and fed from steel magazines. It was a large step forward from earlier prototypes, but there was still room for improvement. The SA.58 came next and was put through extensive testing through 1958. It had a redesigned milled receiver, with more lightening cuts and that had been streamlined for mass production. It fired using a striker system, which allowed it to be more compact and reliable. Its bolt locked into the receiver using a falling wedge or block, not unlike that used in the German P.38 pistol. It operated with a short-stroke gas piston, which was very similar to the one used in the FN FAL. It fed from curved magazines made of a lightweight but durable aluminium alloy, which held 30 rounds. Eventually after a few more small tweeks and changes, it was adopted as the Samopal Vzor 58. This made Czechoslovakia the only Warsaw Pact nation not to adopt some variation of the AK47 or AKM. The Vz.58, like the Vz.52 before it, was its own unique design. It had a milled receiver, but was still lighter than even a stamped Russian AKM at only 6.4 lbs. It was very compact too. It measured just over 33" long, with a 15.4" barrel. It had a 14x1mm threaded muzzle and took a detaching blade bayonet. Everything about it was designed to be slim and lightweight. Early examples were fitted with beech wood furniture, but soon this was changed to a bakelite mix reinforced with wood chips. It went into production at Ceská zbrojovka Uherský Brod in 1959, and between then and when the line was haulted in 1984, over 920,000 rifles were turned out. The rifle was offered in three main versions. The Vz.58P or Pechotníor was the standard fixed stock model intended for infantry and general use. The Vz.58V or Výsadkový was the folding stock model meant for airborn and special forces. The Vz.58PE or Pechotní s infracerveným zamerovacem, infantry with infrared sight was a specialized night fighting model. Many other configurations were prototyped, such as a light machinegun variation, but none of these went into production. The Vz.58 has been in Czech frontline service since 1959. While it is slowly being phased out today in favour of more modern designs, several thousands are still in active use. It has also been adopted by other nations, such as Cuba, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Uganda, Libya, Somalia, India, Lebanon, Angola, Mozambique, Iraq, Tanzania, and Grenada. The Vz.58 has prooven itself in combat in several different environments all around the world. When communism fell and Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Vz.58 remained the standard issue rifle in both new nations' militaries. It is a good, accurate, dependable platform but by the 1990s and after the fall of communism, it was beginning to look outdated. There have been more than a few attempts to develop its replacement. One such failed challenger was the NATOCZ 2000 and another was the Lada-S. Today it is slowly being phased out of service, and most frontline units are armed with newer weapons. However, the Vz.58 is still officially issued in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and it is scheduled to remain in service through at least 2020. Versions of the Vz.58 limited to semi-automatic fire only have been sold on the US civilian market for over 15 years now. The first to be mass produced was the Vz.2000 built by Ohio Ordnance Works of semi BAR and 1919 fame. The Vz.2000 was built using a parts kit with original Czech barrel, using a newly manufactured American semi milled receiver. Because the barrel was under 16" long, an extension was threaded on and pinned to give it a legal overall length. Most, if not all, of these rifles were sold during the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (1994-2004), so they lack the bayonet lug and were offered only with fixed buttstocks. They were capable of feeding from original high capacity military magazines though, since the mags were considered preban at the time. The Vz.2000 is generally considered to be of high quality, but it came with a very high pricetag. At a time when most AK types were in the $300-$400 range, the OOW was priced around $1,500-$1,800 and was often a special order to boot. The model has not been in production for at least a decade now. The next semi came along in 2006, when Century Arms began importing the SA Vz.58 Sporter. This version was manufactured by D-Technik, a small factory located in Jablunka, Czech Republic. When standard production of the select fire Vz.58 ended, the rights to its manufacturing went to D-Technik, who built several versions for the civilian sporting market. The one imported into the USA was assembled from mostly refurbished military parts, built onto a new semi only Czech milled receiver. Again since the barrel was under 16", an extension was screwed and pinned on and the bayonet lug removed for import. Also for import, it had a thumbhole buttstock and accepted only single stack 10 round magazines. The bolt was machined down to work with the single stack feed too. The Vz.58 Sporter was of very good quality but again had been neutered for import, and Century was not interested in converting it back into a military configuration. As a result, this partnership was very short lived, with Century only bringing in a few thousand guns. On the otherhand, at least they were priced more reasonably than the Vz.2000 at around $800. Not cheap, but at least cheaper and it was a true Czech built rifle. In 2007, CZ-USA took over the D-Technik Vz.58 Sporter line from Century. Actually the arrangement was rather complicated. The basic sporter rifles were imported by Tennessee Gun, converted back into military configurations by a small company called Czechpoint-USA, and then marketed and distributed by CZ-USA. The CZ Vz.58 featured military furniture, and was offered with either a fixed or folding stock. The magwell was machined out, and it could accept standard high-cap military magazines too. On the otherhand, it still lacked a bayonet lug and had a barrel extension perminantly attached. This rather complicated arrangement lasted until 2010, when CZ-USA, who had never been terribly interested in it in the first place, withdrew. Then TGI ran into legal troubles with the BATF and Customs. This left Czechpoint-USA all alone. Other American companies however were interested. In 2008, Ohio Rapid Fire started machining their own semi Vz.58 receivers, and soon there after began assembling complete rifles using surplus military parts kits. The first of these used original barrels, while later rifles were built with US newly made ones. Then a year later, Century Arms released the Vz.2008 Sporter. The Vz.2008 was built using an ORF receiver at first, and then later receivers from other manufacturers. It was constructed using surplus kits too, and with newly made 16" barrels from Green Mountain. Both the ORF and CAI guns did feature the original bayonet lug, threaded muzzle, and removable muzzle device. Some of the parts used were well used, while others nearly new; but so it goes with surplus. The US receivers were generally good, but ORF did have problems with heat treating and so some were either too soft or too hard. The US barrels were fine but were not chromelined. ORF stopped offering its Vz.58 in 2010, and Century discontinued its Vz.2008 around 2013 as it ran out of useable parts kits. Prices on these have fluctuated wildly over the years from as low as $400, to as high as $1,000. Today, Czechpoint is the only company to offer new semi Vz.58s. After its partnership with CZ-USA dissolved, it began doing everything. It imports from the Czech Republic, remanufactures here in the USA, markets, and directly sells the line. It even assembles rifles from parts kits on occasion using Czech tooling. Everything is done in house and several models are on offer. For its part D-Technik changed its name to Czech Small Arms (CSA) and expanded its own line too. As surplus parts have run out, it has begun manufacturing its own to use in their places. This includes barrels. About two years ago, the supply of original barrels in excellent condition became very small, so CSA turned to Walther of Germany. Now, Walther machines a 16.1" long chromelined barrel for CSA, which is used in most new Czech Vz.58 Sporters. One advantage to the change is now the rifles feature a threaded barrel with removable muzzle device. Still no bayonet lugs though. CZ 805A1 & A2 Bren Assault Rifle While the Vz.58 had a long development program, it was nothing compared to the twists and turns that took decades to evolve into what we know today as the CZ-805 Bren. It all began back in 1977, with what was named the Lada-S project. Lead by Miloslav Fisher, the head of CZ's R&D department, Lada was an effort to replace the Vz.58 assault rifle, Vz.61 Scorpion SMG, and even the UK Vz.59 machinegun, with a new firearm chambered for the then modern 5.45x39mm M74 Russian cartridge. In 1984, the program was green lit by the government, and Bohumil Novotny was put in charge of designing the new system. He invisioned three models, all based around the same receiver and operating system: sub compact carbine, assault rifle, and a light machinegun similar to the Russian RPK. From 1985 through 1989, development continued, with the first fully functional prototypes appearing in 1987. The Lada was based on the Russian AK74 and fired the same 5.45mm round. It had some differences though, such as a redesigned dustcover, adjustable aperture rear sight, and Galil style left side safety selector. It lacked the AK's traditional right side selector. The rifle version featured a right side folding buttstock, and the LMG had a longer and heavier barrel with bipod. Three different generations of prototypes were created, tested, redesigned, and tested again before the Lada was declared ready for mass production in February of 1990. It was accepted by the military and 300,000 pieces were ordered. However, this was right at the time when the communist government was loosing control and the entire Warsaw Pact was falling apart. Furthermore, the military was bankrupt and did not have the funds to purchase firearms, much less pay for the introduction of an entire new model and cartridge package. Thus the Lada was shelved. In 1993, communism was over and the nation split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. A short time later the government owned Konstrukta Brno conglomerate was privatized, broken up, and sold off. This was the return of Ceská zbrojovka Uherský Brod (CZ) as a privately owned and operated company. This also meant that it could no longer rely on virtually unlimited funding and manpower provided by the government. It would have to learn how to be competitive on the free market once more. In the late 1990s, the Czech Republic announced its intention to join NATO, so CZ dusted off the old Lada. It reworked the design so that it was compatable with the standard 5.56x45mm round. Sellier & Bellot had been manufacturing the M193 cartridge for the commercial market since 1991, so at least a source of ammunition was not a problem. Around the same time, a retired military officer named Ladislav Findorak approached CZ with an idea for a modular and scalable weapons system he had invented. Named the LCZ, it could be constructed with blocks or modules, so it could be configured for different situations and requirements. This extended to its caliber, which could be scaled down for 5.56mm or up for 7.62x39mm or even 7.62mm NATO. The concept was solid and sparked some interest at CZ, but ultimately it went no where. CZ instead put its efforts behind the Lada-S, which it renamed Project 805. It was based on the tried and tested AK operating system and had years of development behind it. Even though it was now chambered for the 5.56mm round, it still fed from AK74 style magazines. The designers felt reworking it to use standard M16 NATO mags would be too costly and time consuming. It was slightly updated and submitted for military trials in 1999. unfortunately, CZ was not the only one concerned with cost around the turn of the millenium. While the 805 did fine in the trials, the Czech military decided not to adopt any new firearm at the time. Instead, it opted to continue issuing the trusty old Vz.58. CZ was left with no choice but to put the Lada on the commercial market and hope for an international buyer. It was again renamed, this time becoming the CZ-2000. The name sounded new and modern, but really it was just an AK chambered for 5.56mm and with a few weaver rails tossed onto it. It is also worth noting that at the time, both the military and CZ mostly still referred to it as the 805. The final Lada version had an ambidextrous safety and Picatinny quadrail handguard. It was configured for entry into a series of trials held by the Indian military but was never adopted. After yet another failure, CZ quietly discontinued the program and canceled any further development. The Lada was nearly adopted twice by the Czech military over a 25 year time span, but in the end it was a technological deadend. Still, the Vz.58 couldn't last forever and the military would need something to replace it eventually. This and by the early 21st Century, CZ was left without a military rifle program. Rather than re-equipping all of its soldiers at once with new rifles, the Czech military went with a policy of gradually purchasing new ones for select units as the need arose. Between 2000 and 2005, it purchased several M4 type carbines from Bushmaster. It was briefly considered to produce under license the M16 and M4 series in the Czech Republic, but nothing ever came of the idea. The Czechs are a very patriotic and independent people, so many felt that the Vz.58's replacement should be both domestically designed and built. Buying a few thousand rifles from the USA as they were needed was always seen as a stop-gap measure and a temporary solution. Everyone knew something more perminant would soon be needed. In 2004, CZ laid out new specifications for a future military rifle, since the military itself was reluctant to move forward. These specifications were based on the preceived needs of the modern Czech soldier. The project was first named CZ-XX and was soon changed to CZ S-805. The 'S' stood for Special and to differiniate it from the earlier Lada 805. CZ also reached out to someone from its past, Mr. Findorak. He had impressed the engineers with his very modern ideas and creativity. He was brought onboard as an outside contractor. CZ valued his experience with modular designs, and felt hiring him would both save on time and money. CZ was right too. Within only one year Findorak had finalized a new design and even had a few working prototypes to show off. The S-805 was modular, and was initially offered in both 5.56x45mm NATO and 7.62x51mm NATO, with plans for other chamberings such as 6.8mm and 7.62x39mm. A version in .300 Winmag was even considered. The lesser power versions were grouped in the 'A' family, with the more powerful ones in the 'B'. Three barrel lengths were planned; a short subcarbine for CQB, a standard carbine for general use, and a full length rifle for use as a DMR or LMG. Originally, it was planned to create the receiver from polymer. However, as a stop-gap solution for the prototypes, it was made from an aluminium alloy forging, which was machined into its final shape. In November of 2006, the military Chief of Staff General Stefka was shown a fully working prototype. It was chambered for 5.56mm and had the intermediate length barrel. He did not dismiss it out of hand, but again the military ended up declining to buy a new rifle model of any kind. By this point CZ was no stranger to rejection, so it took its new design on the road. Between 2006 and 2009, the S-805 was taken to many military tech. shows, and demonstrated to anyone at all who showed interest. CZ hoped to attract foreign customers, but its main goal was to inspire patriotism among its own citizens and have them put pressure on the military to finally replace the Vz.58. Ladislav Findorak passed away in 2006, so Vitezslav Guryca stepped up to continue the S-805's development and testing. Interestingly the interum metal receiver ended up becoming perminant and the idea for a polymer one was dropped. Finally in 2009, the Czech military released requirements and specifications for the new rifle it was looking for. This gave CZ a true direction and allowed it to taylor the S-805 to be what the military was wanting. In November of the same year, CZ submitted its prototype, now named simply the 805 Bren, for military trials. To simplify and speed up things, the rifle it submitted was only chambered for 5.56x45mm NATO and came in only two barrel lengths. The 805A1 was the rifle with a 14" barrel, and the 805A2 the carbine with a 11". The longer 18" barrel was dropped as the military showed little interest in it. The 805 retained the ability to be converted to fire 7.62mm NATO, however this version was dropped at the last minute too. Again because the military was not looking for such a weapon at the time. As the trials continued, all but two designs dropped out. The CZ-805 remained, along with the FN SCAR-L. Both weapons were very similar and were nearly equal in every respect. Both met the military's requirements, both were reliable, and both were priced roughly the same. After months of testing and deliberation in March of 2010, CZ's 805 Bren was declared the winner and was announced as the Vz.58's successor. Most agree it won over the SCAR as it was a domestic design. Some claim this was unfair to FN, but in all honesty just about any nation would select a domestic firearm all other things being equal. At anyrate, FN did not protest the decision. The way was now clear for something new to enter into service. The 805 is clearly inspired by the FN SCAR, if not a true clone. However, elements from the German HK G36 are also quite apparent. It operates using an M16 type multi lugged rotating bolt, and G36 style short stroke gas piston. The bolt carrier is massive and recoils on a single guide rod, much like in the SCAR. There is a firing pin safety like in the HK416. The receiver is made from a single large alloy forging, with monolithic top Picatinny rail, shorter bottom rail, and removable side rails. Standard barrel lengths are 14" and 11". Barrels are cold hammer forged and chromelined, and can be removed by taking out 6 screws. The muzzle is threaded 14x1mm and a birdcage flash hider is standard. The gas valve is adjustable and allows for easy access to the piston. There is a lug under the gasblock for a blade type bayonet. The trigger housing and magwell assemblies aare made from polymer. They can be separated to switch the type of magwell in use. The safety selector and mag catch are ambidextrous, and the reciprocating charging handle can be installed on either side. Also, it can be used as a forward assist. There is an automatic last-round bolt hold open, but no manual release. This was the same for the Vz.58. The 805's stock both folds to the right and is adjustable with 4 positions. It has a removable cheak riser and is quick detachable from the rifle for storage. The 805A1 rifle version weighs 7.9 lbs, and measures 35.8 with stock fully extended and 26.0" with it folded. The LOP can be adjusted up to 2" to fit the shooter. The Bren feeds from proprietary magazines, which are based on the ones used by the G36 but that lack coupler pegs. The two types are even interchangeable. The military quickly ordered 6,700 805A1 rifles and 1,250 805A2 carbines. It also took immediate delivery of several advanced prototypes. After a series of field tests; in May of the same year, it submitted a list of changes it wanted CZ to make to the 805. One of the biggest was a switch from a 7 lug rotating bolt, to one with only 6. The military thought this would be stronger and increase reliability when the rifle was dirty. It also wanted CZ to install a stabilizing pin to hold the magwell and trigger housing together more securely. This would make changing the well out more difficult, but would insure the two pieces would not come apart by accident in the field. Finally, it wanted a pistol grip with interchangeable backstraps so it could be sized to fit an individual shooter's hand. This feature, while common on today's pistols, is still a new one for military rifles. Of course all of these changes took time and delayed full production of the 805 for nearly a year. Finally in July of 2011, the military took delivery of its first batch of the new rifles. It received examples of both the 805A1 and 805A2. CZ had the first contract fulfilled by 2013, and then signed a second one for more 805s. By the beginning of 2016, over 17,000 805A1 and 805A2 Brens are in active service with the Czech military. It has replaced the Vz.58 in all frontline units, relegating the old design to the reserves. It has seen combat in both Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as other hot spots around the world. It has also been used extensively in the Mexican Drug War. In October of 2015, CZ announced the new CZ 806 Bren 2. The 806 is lighter than the 805 due in large part to its polymer body receiver. It uses a new style of charging, with a non-reciprocating cocking handle. The gas system has been simplified, and there is now an external bolt release for use on an empty magazine. Other changes include deletion of the 2 round burst mode, a redesigned buttstock, and a bolt group that is easier to disassemble for cleaning. Recently in January of 2016, the military ordered 2,600 806 Bren 2s from CZ for field use and extensive evaluation. At this time, it is unknown if it will completely replace the 805 or not. It is honestly just too early to tell. In 2015, CZ-USA announced and began shipping a semi-only version of the Bren in the USA. Named the CZ-805 PS1, it is a pistol without a buttstock and with a 11" long barrel. It is built entirely in the Czech Republic, using most of the same parts as are found in the military version. It feeds from standard double stack AR15/M16 magazines, has a threaded muzzle with removable brake, and even has a bayonet lug. This year CZ-USA reports it will begin selling a carbine version too. It will feature a 16.25" long barrel, standard 1/2x28" threaded muzzle, and an original military folding buttstock. As of the first of May, 2016, the 805 S1 Carbine is just beginning to ship out to dealers. A magwell kit is also offered in the USA, which allows users to switch to the original rock and lock 805 Bren magazine for a more traditional look. German HK G36 mags will fit the new magwell too. So there you have it, three very unique firearms created by a very determined and patriotic people.