The Scorpion (in Czech ‘štír’) is an invertebrate animal of the Arachnida class, known for their exceptional resistance to radioactivity, temperature and frost. They carry their tail in a forward curve over their backs ending in a venomous stinger. In modern times, this name has been made famous by the original Czech submachine gun vz. 61, manufactured in Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod. While the 61 has moved into the category of collectible and hobby weapons, the renowned Scorpion brand lives on and is currently used for the latest generation of CZ submachine guns.
The global war on terrorism has brought a number of interesting ideas into the arms industry. Among other things, it has put pistol cartridge automatic firearms back to the forefront of interest of the armed and security forces. The reason for this is the ammunition, which functions sufficiently without the risk of injury to bystanders when used in urban environments.
The Uherský Brod model, CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1, in all respects reflects a new view on submachine guns using pistol cartridges. The most sought after are the classically designed weapons for unconcealed wear with an emphasis on maximum simplicity of design, easy and quick handling, absolute reliability in all climates, with the widest range of ammunition, high accuracy and ergonomic friendliness. An important factor is the reasonable price, which reflects the manufacturing techniques used.
THE KEY TO SUCCESS
The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1 is a light automatic firearm with a massive dynamic (unlocked) slide and hammer striking mechanism, which is stored in a removable trigger mechanism housing along with the trigger mechanism itself. The fire mode can be set at single shot, limited three-round burst and full automatic. Firing occurs with the slide in the forward position. The automatic firing pin block safety contributes to the drop safety of the firearm and is fitted as a standard requisite.
A tried and tested element is the recess on the right side of the slide, which is easily accessible through the spacious ejection port and which is used to push the slide to the forward position, should it become heavily fouled. The cocking lever does not move during firing. After firing the last cartridge, the slide remains caught in the rear position by its catch, with the release control on the left side of the trigger mechanism housing. The slide may also be released by briefly pulling the cocking lever backwards.
The heart of the Scorpion design – and the key to its success – is the sliding placement of the slide on the removable trigger mechanism housing and the guiding of the slide on a central guide rod with one recoil spring. This patented solution has enabled radical simplification of the design of the weapon and thus also its manufacture. This is particularly evident in the receiver in the form of a simple two-piece shell made of durable structural polymer.
A bonus for the user is an extremely fast and simple disassembly: The slide unit with the recoil spring is removed from the receiver through the bottom side, after the trigger mechanism housing has been removed, after which the trigger mechanism housing is unhooked from its rear hinge. It only takes a few seconds, the number of parts removed is minimal and no tools are required.
The durable polymer is also used to make the fore-end (a separate part slipped over the barrel), the trigger mechanism housing, pistol grip and the telescopic folding shoulder stock. The result is a pleasantly overall low weight (without ammunition it is well below three kilograms) and thermal comfort. It is also worth mentioning the abundant interface: MIL-STD-1913 rails pass along the top of the submachine gun and the fore-end has them on both sides as well as on the bottom.
The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1 submachine gun is characterized by excellent ergonomics, which is the result of extensive consultations with members of elite military and security forces. Because of this, the Scorpion fits into the hands perfectly, which is also helped by the unique possibility of partial horizontal movement of the pistol grip to set it individually.
Without exception, the users agree that the shooter finds all the controls right where he needs them. The magazine catch is easily accessible from both sides and its design, together with the funnel shaped mouth of the magazine well enables extraordinarily fast reloading.
The fire mode selector serving also as a manual safety is ambidextrous; the cocking lever can be placed on the left or right side of the weapon as required. Although the slide stop is placed just on the left where a right-handed shooter operates it with his left thumb, a left-handed shooter holding the pistol grip can easily reach it with his left index finger. Excellent balance enables speedy sighting. The weapon is also perfectly controllable when firing in all modes, including automatic fire.
As standard, the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1 submachine guns are provided with a plain looking but thoughtfully designed shoulder stock, which can be folded to the right, and its length is adjustable with an extendable buttplate.
The overall dimensions of the weapons can be rapidly reduced (e.g. for transport) by easily removing the whole shoulder stock. Integrated fixtures for the loops of standardized three-point, two-point or single-point slings are fitted as a matter of course.
There is an extensive range of accessories for the Scorpion: transparent plastic double stack magazines with a double stack mouth, with a capacity of 10, 20 and 30 cartridges, several types of lights including quick-release mounts, laser sights, tactical handles, collimators etc. Regarding silencers, a product of a renowned foreign company is currently offered for the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1 submachine guns.
As standard, the Scorpion is equipped with adjustable mechanical sights with a dioptre rear sight, which is an ideal combination for rapid fire at short distances. In practice, the submachine guns are most often used with modern compact collimators and other optical sights, which enable efficient and accurate shooting at distances up to 250 m.
The entry of the submachine guns CZ SCORPION EVO 3 A1 on the service market was made easier by an order from the Czech Ministry of Defence, which decided to rearm the Castle Guard with them in 2010. Apart from representation, this excellently trained combat unit is in charge of providing security and defence of the Czech President’s residence and his guests. The Scorpions in the Guard’s weaponry replaced the original Scorpions – the vz. 61 submachine guns.
The CZ SCORPION EVO 3 A1 of 9x19 mm calibre has quickly gained good reputation of a weapon that is successful, exceptionally user-friendly, of simple design and manufacture and reliable in all aspects. The demand for the weapon corresponds with these characteristics. Besides the Czech Armed Forces, the new CZ submachine guns in various numbers, from tens to hundreds and even thousands, have been purchased by armed and security forces from many countries around the world, primarily for special units. The CZ SCORPION EVO 3 A1 has proved itself in the hands of elite professionals in a variety of tactical and climatic situations. Apart from other things, they have proved that the Scorpion does not have the slightest problem in very adverse conditions of the desert climate and works reliably with all versions, 9x19 mm, or 9 mm Luger cartridges, regardless of the manufacturer and the shape of the projectile.
Česká zbrojovka has responded to the good sales also by developing an adapter for shooting with FX Simunition marking cartridges, an important tool for realistic combat training.
CZ SCORPION EVO 3 A1
Calibre: 9x19 mm (9 mm Luger)
Overall length with shoulder stock unfolded: 675 mm
Overall length with shoulder stock folded: 417 mm
Width with shoulder stock unfolded: 60 mm
Width with shoulder stock folded: 85 mm
Length of barrel: 196 mm
Weight of weapon with empty magazine and without sling: 2,737kg
Magazine capacity: 20, 30 cartridges