CZ Scorpion Review [2021]: CZ’s Pistol Caliber Carbine

by Travis Pike

January 10, 2021

3 comments

4.3
(9)

“Hey, do you want to review a Scorpion?”

“Sure, which one, because I have three of them….”

That little conversation should tell you a lot. First, it says I’m reviewing a Scorpion; second, I obviously like the design if I bought three of them. I’m not saying the Scorpion from CZ is a perfect gun, it has flaws, but it’s one of the more interesting PCCs on the market.

CZ Scorpion Specs

  • Capacity 10-30 Rounds
  • Caliber 9mm
  • Sights Full Metal Irons
  • Overall Length 16″
  • Barrel Length 7.7″
  • Weight  5 lbs

CZ Scorpion Background

The CZ Scorpion was initially designed by Laugo as a modern 9mm submachine gun. The design was purchased by CZ and refined into the Scorpion.

The name comes from the famed VZ 61 Skorpion machine pistol produced during the Cold War.

The Scorpion as a submachine gun was adopted by the Czechs, as well about a dozen other military and police forces.

CZ released the semi-automatic civilian version, and it became a big hit almost instantly. 

The CZ Scorpion and SIG MPX were the two guns responsible for the rise and crazy popularity of PCCs. The CZ Scorpion was produced as a rather clumsy pistol without a stock, but the advent of pistol braces quickly made the Scorpion a bit easier to handle.

The Scorpion is a short and handy little gun, and when equipped with a brace, it’s an excellent home defense firearm. There is a multitude of variants these days, and this includes a rifle model equipped with a proper stock. The rifle variant is still compact and lightweight, but not nearly as much as the pistol variants obviously.

The rifle variant would be at home at the new USPSA PCC competitions, or for those in states that may ban the pistol but not the rifle.

From a not so serious perspective, the Scorpion pistols and rifles are a ton of fun to shoot. The 9mm ammunition is affordable, and you can shoot them at indoor ranges, unlike rifle caliber rifles. Toss in a suppressor and boom, fun enhanced by a factor of ten.

CZ Scorpion Features

CZ-Scorpion-Features
1 Ambi Safety and Magazine Release

High quality, durable barrel

2 Reversible Charging Handle

Allows for easy sling attachment to keep your PS90 stable.

3 Fully Metal Iron Sights

Your choice of high-quality mags.

4 Multiple Sling Points

Your choice of high-quality mags.

CZ Scorpion Variants

There are quite a few variants of the CZ Scorpion, and as I mentioned previously, I own three in various configurations. First, I own the original pistol model, the EVO 3 S1 pistol, an EVO 3 S1 Carbine, and an EVO 3 S2 pistol.

To put simply, I have the first generation pistol, the rifle, and the new Micro Scorpion. The rifle has been converted to the brand new bullpup configuration to shave some additional size. When it comes to how the gears click on the inside, these guns are identical. The differences are all external.

CZ Scorpion – Our Take

The Scorpion is a very modern gun and is one of the most modern SMGs out there. The ergonomics aren’t perfect, though. The biggest downside is the ambidextrous safety. Ambi safeties are usually great, but the Scorpion safety has this tendency to poke into your hand and prod every time you fire the gun. It gets old fast and starts to hurt. I’ve dremeled off one safety and replaced another with the bullpup conversion. I’m still finding a good aftermarket option or the Micro.

Now outside of that terrible safety, the gun is solid. The pistol grip does have a sweeping rearward angle, but I find it plenty comfortable. The charging handle is reversible and put forward of the weapon just above the handguard. It’s an easy reach and natural for reloads or malfunction corrections. You can lock the charging handle rearward and even give it the HK slap to send the bolt home.

The bolt release is positioned on the left side of the gun, and it can be manipulated with the left hand as you shove another magazine into the magwell. The magazine release is a quasi AK paddle-like design that is ambidextrous and easy to reach. You can reach it with your trigger finger with a natural firing grip, or you can easily disengage it with your left hand as you reach to remove the magazine.

Can it Sting Straight?

The Scorpion is a decently accurate weapon. The cold hammer-forged barrel helps, as does the awesome sights. These robust metal sights have four peep apertures of different sizes and a AR 15 style front sight. Each model has a rail that leaves room for plenty of optics as well. The downside is the heavy trigger.

We are looking at an 8.5-pound trigger, and it’s far from impressive. The pull is short but spongy. The reset is decent, very loud, and tactile. Being chambered in 9mm limits your effective range quite a bit. Between the three models, the rifle variant is typically the most accurate. This is due to the fact it’s equipped with an actual stock and is the most stable.

9mm is still a pistol round, and at 100 yards, you are a minute of bad guy at best. Within 50 yards is where these guns shine. Inside that range, you’ll nail headshots on silhouette targets, and you’ll ring steel and generally own whatever your target is inside that range. It’s not a marksman’s weapon by any means, but it gets by.

Shootability and You

The CZ Scorpions are very fun to shoot. Their light and handy designs are a blast, and they are a ton of fun. Because you are firing 9mm in such a big and heavy platform, our ability to control the gun is unparalleled. You can fire rapidly with excellent controllability and accuracy. That is what makes it such an effective close-range self-defense weapon. Within 20 yards, you can drill a half dozen rounds into a target and form one nice single hole without issue.

The rifle variant tends to be the most controllable. It is the heaviest and has the longest barrel of the three. The S1 and S2 Micro are quite similar in how they feel, and the S2 just happens to be a hair shorter. Recoil is more than you’d expect, but still very low compared to most weapons. The blowback design results in a big bolt flying back and forth, and that creates some noticeable recoil. It’s less than an AR and more than a 10/22.

Reliability

The good news about a blowback action is that it rarely fails. It’s simple, robust, and has proven over three different variants. It’s quite reliable. The CZ Scorpion is a simple gun, and simple is good. Simple has resulted in a design that has yet presented me a means to find or induce a failure. I’ve owned my original Scorpion since 2015, and it’s never malfed or failed.

The same goes for magazines. Some time ago, there appeared to be issues with the Scorpion magazines and their feed lips. I never ran into that, but some early magazines had feed lips that broke when left loaded. Not an issue I’ve experienced, and I have left these magazines loaded for a long time without issue.

Value

Well, it’s not the most expensive PCC, but it’s not the most affordable, either. At around 800 bucks, it can be steep for a 9mm subgun. You could get a decent AR at that level, and an AR is a more versatile weapon. The good news is that magazines, parts, and pieces are widely available, and currently, three different manufacturers produce affordable magazines for the Scorpion.

CZ Scorpion Pros and Cons

  • Modern Ergonomics
  • Outstanding Sights
  • Affordable
  • Large Aftermarket
  • Large Aftermarket
  • Mostly Ambidextrous
  • Safety is Terrible
  • Heavy Trigger Pull

Report Card

Reliability

The gun ticks and ticks like a clock, and they eat everything from great to terrible ammunition. Blowback systems aren’t fancy, but they work.

A
Accuracy

It’s a 9mm subgun, and you can’t expect amazing accuracy from it. However, for what it is, the gun shoots well and is accurate enough within it’s chosen niche.

B
Shootability

I love shooting this thing, well once I’ve fixed the safety. The low recoil, muzzle rise, and accuracy make it a dominating choice in lose quarters. Plus, it’s just plain fun.

A
Ergonomics

I’m a little critical because a 9mm handgun shouldn’t inflict pain due to normal usage of it. The safety really drags down but is a fantastic weapon.

C
Value

The CZ Scorpion can be a little pricey, and 800 bucks is a steep price for a PCC. The redeeming value of the gun is the fact that the accessories, including magazines, are remarkably affordable.

C

Our Grade

B

Reviewed by Travis Pike

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 Reviews

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CZ Scorpion Starter Pack

Before you can really get down and dirty with the CZ Scorpion, you need to make sure that you’ve got the basics covered.

CZ Scorpion Gun Deals

It’s not always easy finding a good gun deal especially for a sought-after gun like the CZ Scorpion. However, we’ve decided to do some of the legwork for you. Here are three different options you can pursue when looking for this weapon.

Disclaimer: Prices at time of writing. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Upgrades and Accessories for Your CZ Scorpion

With Picatinny rails on both the top and underside of the gun, you can really customize your CZ Scorpion in so many different ways. Here are some ideas for tricking out your PCC.

Best Accessories for the CZ Scorpion

AccessoryDetailsCheck Price
CZ Scorpion Pistol Case
  • Two Magazine Pouches
  • Three WRB Quick Release Straps
  • Accessory Pouch and ID Window
Check Price
Surefire X300 Ultra Series
  • 600 Lumens
  • Direct Attachment onto Picatinny
  • Precision TIR Lens for Crisp Beam
Check Price
Sig Romeo 4T Red Dot
  • Ultra Durable and Lightweight
  • 2 MOA Dot and 65 MOA Circle
  • 4 Different Reticles
  • Solar Powered
Check Price
Viking Tactics 2 Point Sling
  • Sturdy and Durable
  • Comes in Multiple Colors
  • Fast Adjust and Fast Release
Check Price

Best Ammo for Your CZ Scorpion

One of the best things about the CZ Scorpion is that it will reliably eat just about anything. And that includes your wallet. This thing is just fun to go out to the range and shoot! But if you’re not careful, you’ll burn through much more cash than you expect. That’s why it’s important to have some good cheap rounds to use at the range separate from your working ammunition.

Range Rounds

MagTech-9mm-Ammo
Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Natchez Shooter’s Supply $0.24
Brownells $0.23
Palmetto State Armory $0.34

Federal Prem. Personal Defense HST 124GR

Federal-HST-124GR
Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Natchez Shooter’s Supply $1.15
Brownells $1.20

Other Pistol Caliber Carbines of Its Class to Check Out

The biggest competitor right now to the CZ Scorpion is easily the Sig MPX Copperhead. Fortunately, we’ve gotten our hands on one and given our take on what we think of it.

#1 Sig MPX Copperhead : Sig MPX Copperhead

Sig MPX Copperhead

Check Latest Price

  • Reliability A+
  • Accuracy A
  • Customization C
  • Ergonomics B+
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Travis Pike

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 Reviews

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Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

It’s tough to choose between the Sig MPX Copperhead and the CZ Scorpion. There’s just some things that each is better at doing. There is something to say about the Sig Copperhead’s ergonomics though when compared to the Scorpion. Sig just seems to do things…READ MORE

How to Care for Your CZ Scorpion

Caring for your CZ Scorpion doesn’t have to be so difficult. All you need is a little know-how, and you’ll be able to disassemble and clean your weapon with ease. In the following video, Jeremy S. shows us exactly how to field strip the Scorpion for maintenance. 

Important Links and Manuals for Your CZ Scorpion

Are you looking for more info and cool links for the CZ Scorpion? Here’s some crucial info and fun videos to help get you up to speed with this PCC.

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About Travis Pike

Travis is a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman and currently a firearms writer, instructor, and works in Emergency Management.

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