I love CZs, to the moon and back, CZ firearms are completely and wholeheartedly underrated. I was extremely excited when my local gunstore called letting me know the CZ Scorpion carbine was in stock. CZ is a Czech company that produces a wide variety of different firearms. They are most famously known for three or four weapons. First and foremost the venerable CZ 75 was one of the first wonder nine automatics. Then you have the SA vz. 58, the AK look alike that is completely different than the actual AK series. You also have the VZ 52 which became famous for its 1950 ray gun looks and it’s extremely affordable price tag when it hit American shores. Lastly, you have a gun many will recognize from movies and television, the vz 61 Skorpion.
The Skorpion has been reimagined into a more traditional submachine gun platform, now known as the Scorpion Evo 3. This submachine gun was quickly turned into a semi-automatic pistol introduced in late 2015. What followed was a 922R kit with a stock for those looking to go the NFA route. I wasn’t one of those folks, although I did own the Scorpion pistol. The 922R kits couldn’t be found on shelves and the rare times you could find one they were priced above MSRP. That cost, plus NFA tax stamp, the cost for a trust, and the waiting period just wasn’t for me. When the Scorpion rifles were announced my ear perked up.
I just recently acquired one, and as far as I know this is the first published review of the rifle variant, so yay Arms Guide. What’s cool about CZ is they tend to listen to their customers, and for those in states with even more restrictive NFA laws the Scorpion carbine is a blessing. The Scorpion carbine has a rather long name, in total it is the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine. You can find it at CZ’s site here, http://cz-usa.com/product/cz-scorpion-evo-3-s1-carbine/ . The model they advertise on the site has the fake Non-Octane Silencer variant, my Scorpion Carbine has the better looking plain barrel.
It’s a rifle so you do have a 16-inch barrel. Gone is the small nature of the original Scorpion pistol. The barrel is topped with a rather impressive compensator, that’s really not needed for a 9mm rifle. The compensator is much nicer than the standard muzzle brake the original Scorpion came with. The fore end is extended, and gone are the fixed Picatinny rails. In its place you get healthy amounts of M-lok compatible space for adding rails and accessories as you see fit. The weapon does have one long section of rail that runs from the rear of the receiver to the end of the fore end, perfect for optics and long enough for magnifiers, night vision devices, or laser aiming modules.
The weapon has a reversible charging handle placed forward of the ejection port. This charging handle is reminiscent of the H&K roller delayed weapons. (You can also do the HK slap) It can also be swapped from left to right easily to accommodate our left-handed friends. The safety is full ambidextrous, which is a blessing and a curse, more on that later. The bolt release/lock is placed on the left side of the weapon. This is an admin tool in my opinion, I’m a firm believer is pulling back the charging handle versus hitting the bolt release. The magazine release is placed behind the magazine and similar to the MP5 style as well. It’s a lot bigger than the MP5 style and easily ambidextrous. It can be used with the firing hand forefinger, which I love.
The receiver features sling mounts on both the right and left side of the receiver, again completely ambi. The grip is adjustable and rides on a rail that can be moved back to accommodate bigger hands. It’s a big grip, but I have big hands so it fits me fine. The stock folds to the right and collapses. The stock is really nice, really light, easy to fold, but stable when locked into position. When folded it is held in place via magnet. The stock also provides a good cheek weld for the provided low profile sights.
Let’s talk sights. Holy crap they are great. These sights are awesome, they are all steel, and well built. They are locked in place from the factory. The rear sight is a rotary drum with four different apertures from super small for precision shots, to the super wide for close range, rapid engagements.
The Scorpion carbine is an accurate little rifle, the excellent sights, and long sight radius helps greatly here. One of the few downfalls is the heavy trigger. It’s not terrible because the pull is short, but it’s not like breaking a glass rod. The next downfall is that ambi safety, it’s got a nub that digs into the finger and starts to hurt after a few magazines. M y solution will either be to swap it with one of the many aftermarket choices or take a Dremel tool to it.
Accuracy wise its spot on from 7 to 50 yards in my shooting. Potentially this weapon could go further, but this is as far as I’ve been able to test it in the old backyard range. You are limited by the fact you are firing a pistol round, so you probably max out at 100 to 150 yards. The sights are an absolute dream, and more gun makers should look at CZ’s example of including not just iron sights, but good iron sights.
Let’s recoil. There isn’t very much. My rather petite wife handles the Scorpion carbine just fine. A full sized rifle firing a 9mm round is a rather tame poodle. Maybe more akin to a Chihuahua because it’s small and loud. Recoil is simply not really there. This carbine would be easily handling for younger shooters. This would be a great progression from a 22 caliber rifle to their first centerfire weapon. Muzzle rise is again very tame, and double taps with this thing are a breeze. I could pound to rounds out and hit inside the A on a USPA target at 20 yards. I don’t mean the entire A box, I mean the A on the target, I could place both rounds of a fast double tap on the A.
The magazines are proprietary and usually, that bums me out because that typically means they are expensive and difficult to find. However, the CZ USA website store shows magazines, magazine pouches, followers and base plates for sale at an affordable price. Mags are 20 bucks for a 30 rounder, so the price is good. They are a translucent polymer and haven’t given me issues yet. Even the mags from my original 2015 CZ Scorpion pistol the mags are still holding up fine.
I am only 360 rounds into the Scorpion Carbine. The rounds have varied from Winchester white box, Perfecta, Tula Ammo, and Federal aluminum. I also ran 20 rounds of Speer Gold dot through it just to try hollow points. It’s eaten every round I’ve put through it so far without hiccup. I’ll have 500 rounds through it in just a few days, and I’m not expecting any failures in the next 4 magazines. If the weapon does fail I will write a follow up to let the readers here know.
The Scorpion Carbine in the Long Run
The biggest question is why? Why would anyone want a rifle chambered in 9mm? Well, ammo for 9mm is cheap, I just purchased a thousand rounds at 170 bucks delivered. The rifle is extremely easy to handle, has basically zero recoil, and is lightweight. Because the Scorpion carbine is a blowback operated weapon, so when equipped with a suppressor it doesn’t gas you in the face when shooting. Because it shoots pistol rounds I can take it to any indoor range. Lastly, why not? The current rifle market is basically AKs, and ARs, and variety is the spice of life. The Scorpion Carbine might not be for everybody, but for those wanting something different something new, and something easy to handle it’s for you.