The original Skorpion vz 61 is a classic Czech design, as well as a rugged and hardy machine pistol. Designed to give police and non-front line troops a better option than the standard pistol (the VZ 61), it was an interesting, but underpowered weapon.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and iron curtain, these little cheap, reliable, stamped steel machine pistols became a favorite of terrorists across the world. The Skorpion is easily identifiable and very distinct, and has appeared in several movies, including the more recent Captain America film. All this being said, the little 32 ACP machine pistol is long past its prime.
The wonderful but underrated firearm manufacturer CZ decided to produce a modern submachine gun and chose to give it the moniker of “Scorpion.” The two weapons share a similar name, but they couldn’t be more different.
To my great satisfaction, CZ announced it would be importing the CZ Scorpion EVO into the United States as a pistol. I’ve wanted one of these since I saw the heroes of Strike Back schwacking terrorists with it in 2013. CZ planned it perfectly, as pistol caliber carbine popularity is at an all-time high. Finally, I was blessed enough to have enough saved, and a local gun store holding one for me.
It’s important to remember that this weapon was designed to be fired from the shoulder as a sub-machine gun. Converting it to a pistol meant getting rid of the giggle switch and the butt stock. This is due to a nefarious piece of legislature designed during the prohibition called the National Firearms Act. So like an AR-15 or AK pistol, it’s somewhat awkward.
It’s a lot bigger and heavier than, say, a Glock. I’ll come right out and say that it’s cumbersome, clumsy and heavy, and awkward to the extreme. The weapon outright screams and pleads to be a short-barreled rifle. This takes a bit of paperwork, some patience and a $200 dollar poll tax to accomplish.
The weapon comes in a box designed for the full-sized Scorpion, with the cardboard cutout to fit a stock, making me crave an SBR, but more on that later. The Scorpion is outfitted with four rails, two on the sides, one on the bottom, and one full-length top rail for optics. The weapon ships with two 20-round magazines, but 30 rounders are available. The weapon is often with a spectacular set of iron sights that I adore and hereby demand on all of my weapons.
The rear sight has a rotating peep sight that goes from wide open for close-range engagements, to a small, precision peep sight. There are four total settings. These sights are easy to remove, or move around and adjust for use. The safety is ambi, but tends to dig into the hand if the shooter is right-handed. For about $13 CZ has a single side safety that prevents this. The charging handle is forward, H&K style, and can be moved to the left or right side of the weapon. This charging handle can be locked and slapped aka H&K style, as well.
The weapon has a last round bolt hold open, and on the left side of the weapon is a large and easy-to-use bolt release. The magazine release is a paddle style like the MP5 as well. As you can tell, the weapon takes a lot of inspiration from the MP5, but in a good way. Also included is a forward hand stop, which is a nice addition, as well as multiple sling mounts for any option out there.
The grip is nice and large and can be adjusted slightly toward, or away from the trigger. The magazines are a translucent polymer, and are very solid. The weapon can be outfitted with a SIG brace and pistol buffer tube. The kit is about $80, and the rear cap of the pistol slides on and off to accommodate it.
This kit allows the user to mount a standard AR buffer tube, rifle or pistol, and attach an AR-15 stock. Now, this requires a tax stamp, and an approval from the ATF, but it’s an option for those looking to SBR the weapon.
On the Range
I’ll address the handling first. As previously said, the weapon is big and clumsy without a stock … but is it difficult to shoot? The answer is “no.” Unlike an AR-15 or AK-47 pistol the Scorpion uses a pistol bullet. This means the recoil is nil, barely a tremor, there is no massive fireball at the end of the barrel, and no eardrum-destroying “bang.” The CZ Scorpion EVO S1 is comfortable to shoot for extended periods and is nowhere near obnoxious as a rifle caliber pistol.
The trigger, however, is very heavy — way too heavy in fact. It doesn’t tire the finger, but it’s too heavy and creepy. The only good thing about the trigger is the pull is short, making rapid fire easy. Easy rapid fire, plus no recoil, and you get one fun toy.
I utilized a variety of ammo, including brass cased, steel cased, and aluminum cased, and all worked wonders. I also put 20 Speer Gold Dot JHP rounds through the weapon without issue. One of the strengths of this weapon is the blowback action, which increases reliability. This adds a bit of weight to the weight since the bolt has to be heavy for blow, well over a pound just for the bolt.
I used a single point sling and utilized the SAS method of firing. This was the most stable and allowed me to use the sights easier. As just a pistol, the addition of Aimpoint Pro red dot made it much easier to use this weapon accurately. Even with just irons and a bad trigger accuracy it top notch, in fact I could fire the NRA instructor qualifications successfully quite easily with the Scorpion. Accuracy was a 1.25 inch group at 15 yards.
The Scorpion is no slouch in quality, and CZ has announced it is releasing a parts kit to include the original folding and collapsing Scorpion stock. These parts will be American made and make the Scorpion compliant with 922 R.
It is by far my favorite of these recent rash of pistol caliber carbines. Although it’s not technically a carbine, it will be once my approval comes back from the ATF to do so. This style of SBR will be a perfect close quarter’s weapon, especially for home defense.
The Scorpion is an excellent little weapon, although a bit clumsy as a pistol. A Glock surely would be a better “pistol,” but the Scorpion is the perfect platform for those looking for either a unique range toy, or an excellent SBR.
Have you fired a Scorpion, or do you have any questions about them? Share them in the section below: