CZ first brought the CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Pistol to the U.S. and it was an immediate success with the American firearm enthusiasts searching for a lightweight, reliable, and affordable semi-auto version of a submachine gun. CZ also offered a folding stock kit that included enough parts for those who wanted to create their own short barrel rifle and still be compliant with 922R. But there are many who don’t want to file the federal paperwork and pay the extra $200 for the tax stamp and registration, travel restrictions, or are unable to have SBRs in their area. For those, CZ created the CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Carbine with a 16.1 inch barrel.
Our version is the plain barrel version, as we plan to add a suppressor mount and a can we already had on hand. The Scorpion comes in a fitted cardboard box, with room for two magazines and an instruction book.
We added a low-mounted red dot, and took it directly to the range. No cleaning, no oil, just 300 rounds of mixed 9mm ammunition and a handful of magazines.
Magazines are available in 10, 20, and 30 round capacity. The 10 are great for bench work getting the sights zeroed. Magazines are inexpensive compared to other 30 round sub gun magazines. They are well made and survived dropping repeatedly on concrete floors during our testing.
CZ fixed sights are very good with a shielded front sight post and rear adjustable sight. The design allows a low mounted red dot to co-witness the iron sights.
As a left handed shooter, I appreciate the control on this carbine. Ambidextrous safeties and magazine release, reversible charging handle, and the bolt release is easy to manipulate with your trigger finger as a lefty or off-hand thumb for right-handed shooters.
Once sighted in on paper, the shooting started on DOSC’s indoor steel plate range. Trigger pull is around 8 pounds, but that didn’t stop us from ringing steel at a good clip. Recoil is light due to the ergonomics, bolt mass, and muzzle brake. The more we shot, the longer the line of interested staff members wanting a chance to run this carbine.
Overall, we went through 300 rounds without a failure of any kind. While we did not bench test for accuracy, informal shooting showed small groups at 50 feet off-hand.
We enlisted DOSC’s Training Director Matt Lillis help to run a few drills and get his impressions of the carbine. As a fellow lefty, we did not have to return the charging handle to the left side; though if we did, it only takes a minute and requires no tools.
After another 200 rounds, still without cleaning or oil, no failures to feed, fire, or any other malfunction occurred. Drills included double and triple taps, mag dumps, shooting with the stock folded, and shooting on the move.
He commented that it shoots well, easy to transition between targets. Good ergonomics for left- and right-handed shooters. It is controllable to shoot with the stock folded, and might make a good vehicle gun. He thought it is a good choice for home defense, especially for small shooters with the adjustable stock.
The CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Carbine is not perfect. Matt and others found a few faults.
- The safety selector sticks out too far and gets in the way of the trigger finger. You’ll notice in the picture that this is easily solved with careful sanding. Aftermarket companies are now offering different profiles.
- The magazines do not drop free when the slide locks. While it does lock back after the last shot, the magazine is slightly held in place by the pressure from the bolt. It is easy to strip out by hand but does not drop free on its own.
- Trigger pull is 8 pounds or more. Aftermarket parts are available to reduce the trigger pull weight.
Internally, it’s simple and robust. The take-down is very simple. First clear and check the weapon for ammunition. Lock the bolt in the rear position. Push the takedown pin (right) out from right to left. It’s a captured pin, so you cannot lose it. Pull the trigger and grip assembly down and remove. With your fingers, reach in from underneath and push the bolt back, then down to remove. That’s it!
Part of the reliability is from the large ejector and extractor. Nearly 25% of the rim is held by the extractor, and the long robust ejector insures a positive removal of all rounds.
The large bolt and recoil spring assembly is one piece. There’s a two part recoil pad on the end of the recoil assembly. The inner part is soft elastic material to absorb shock, and a harder end plate. The bolt is about a pound of steel.
On a scale of 1-5, where 5 is excellent, the CZ Scorpion scores an easy 4.5. It’s easy to handle and shoot by small and large framed individuals. Reliability was exceptional. The folding and adjustable stock is very good, and features a strong magnet to help keep it folded. Controls are large and can be used with gloves. Recoil is light and manageable. Luckily, aftermarket parts are now becoming more available.