By Tatiana Whitlock

The king of affordable pistol-caliber carbines?

Opening the crisp brown box from CZ, I was pretty excited at the chance to put some rounds through the faux-suppressor, folding-buttstock-equipped version of the CZ Scorpion—the EVO 3 S1 Carbine. This gun is a remarkably soft shooting, 9mm blowback, semi-auto, polymer version of a submachine gun. The Scorpion has a 16.2” cold hammer forged barrel with it’s muzzle threaded 1/2” x 28 TPI and is offered from CZ with either a compensating muzzle brake or a faux suppressor built specifically for CZ-USA by SilencerCo.

With the exception of the bolt-release lever, all controls are ambidextrous—including the non-reciprocating charging handle, which can be swapped to either side.

For those who love to run suppressed, this gun is ready to go! If you are still waiting for your BATFE paperwork to clear, the place-holder SilencerCo faux suppressor serves to aesthetically complete the gun before you’re able to hit the mute button for real.

Functionally, the difference in these two variants is entirely aesthetic—both shoot beautifully and with surprising accuracy. Both models come equipped with a folding adjustable stock and ambidextrous controls, and their non-reciprocating charging handles are swappable, making these carbine a southpaw shooters dream. Not only was the Scorpion intuitive and accurate to shoot, lightweight and affordably priced, it was definitely a conversation starter at the range!

Unlike the Picatinny rails on the 7.75-inch Scorpion pistol, the Evo 3 S1 Carbine (and new-for-2017 Scorpion “Flash Can” Pistol) gets M-LOK compatible accessory-attachment points at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Shown attached are a SureFire X300 Ultra weaponlight, Magpul MOE M-LOK MVG vertical grip and a Magpul M-LOK GI Sling Swivel.

Origin & Evolution

The Scorpion’s folding buttstock is also adjustable for length-of-pull by grasping the buttplate and squeezing the release lever. A Blue Force Gear Vickers ONE sling—fed through one of the gun’s two rear attachment points via a Blue Force Gear ULoop attachment—was used during testing.

The name of this carbine originates from CZ’s long discontinued, 1950s designed, .32 ACP Skorpion vz. 61 submachine gun pistol. The original was woefully inaccurate and cumbersome, unlike its current incarnation. CZ reintroduced the Scorpion in a semi-auto pistol version with a 7.72″ barrel and no stock in 2015. The popularity of this gun was immediate and immense, largely due to its ability to be converted from a pistol to an SBR carbine (legally of course) by replacing some Czech parts with U.S. made ones in order to meet Section 922r compliance.

CZ has the Scorpion classified for home defense, and with some aftermarket additions, it certainly fits the bill. Add a quality optic on the top Picatinny rail and weapon-mounted light on the Scorpion’s M-LOK forend, and this gun is ready to go. The factory folding adjustable stock on the Scorpion—held ingeniously in the open position by a magnet—makes it backpack-ready and easy to transport discretely and a suitable bug-out-bag or vehicle gun. Given how light (just shy of 7 lbs.) and how remarkably soft shooting this gun is explains why I’m seeing so many at the range.

The Scorpion’s buttstock folds flat against the right side of the receiver with the push of a button, and is held in open position with a simple magnet. Some testers loved the handgrip, while others felt it lacked traction or the angle wasn’t quite steep enough. If you’re in the latter camp, the popularity of the Scorpion has led to a strong (and rapidly growing) aftermarket for this platform—including components like handgrip’s.

The Scorpion is chambered in 9mm Luger and comes with two translucent-smoked, 20-round magazines. Want more than just 20 rounds? CZ also offers a 30-round variant. Both are ridiculously inexpensive ($18.00 and $19.95, respectively) and have proven utterly reliable. In the scope of pistol-caliber carbines, this is a huge win for the Scorpion.

Being chambered in 9mm means an affordable gun to train with, even at pistol-only rated ranges, and is easily upgraded for home defense with self defense ammo—I tried 147-gr. Federal HST, which it has no trouble feeding. At the end of the day, the best home and self-defense gun is the one you are most proficient with under stress, and for a lot of gun owners, a 9mm-chambered carbine may be just the ticket.

The super-light recoil impulse, light overall weight and great ergonomics of the Scorpion carbine make this an extremely fun gun to shoot, and—outside of a slightly heavy trigger—an extremely easy gun to shoot well. Part of our range time was conducting in Howell’s Gun Shop’s new state-of-the-art indoor range in Gray, Maine (howellsgunshop.com), which—considering it was winter in New England—was nothing short of a godsend.

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