CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine

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 (, which—considering it was winter in New England—was nothing short of a godsend.


Shooting Experience

The faux suppressor—manufactured for CZ by SilencerCo—shrouding the Scorpion’s 16.2-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel is fully removeable, exposing common 1/2×28 muzzle threads to mount a real suppressor, or the muzzle-device of your choice.

First impressions are always important, and the Scorpion did not disappoint. For a lightweight polymer gun weighing less than 7 lbs., it doesn’t have the toy-like feel like of so many of its peers in the market. I give credit to CZ’s well-proportioned design and overall balance for that win! If you are expecting to experience a relatively soft shooting AR-esque carbine, prepare to be happily underwhelmed. Recoil? It was there, but barely.

The low-profile, fully adjustable, ghost-ring rear sight features four different aperture sizes with an adjustable front sight.

The longer sight-radius of the carbine model made for a noticeable improvement in precision iron-sight-work compared to the Scorpion pistol. The front sight is fitted with an elevation-adjustable post, while the rear gets a four-gang rotating apeture—each aperture having a different bore size. Both sights feature sturdy protective-wings. The Aimpopint Micro H2 red-dot shown mounted was also employed during testing.

If you love ghost-ring irons you are going to love what you see when you bring this gun on target! Similar to the HK MP5, the Scorpion’s charging handle does not reciprocate and is engaged by a straight pull back and an upward push to lock in place on the left side of the receiver.

Unlike the MP5, the Scorpion’s bolt locks back on the last round. To load, simply insert magazine and give the charging handle a solid downward smack and you’re good to go. This alone increases the fun-factor of shooting the Scorpion by a multiple of 10!

Regarding ergonomics, the selector switch digs into the hand a bit, but a slight adjustment of hand placement and grip pressure solves that issue. I am personally a fan of ambidextrous thumb safeties and was quite surprised to see that this aftermarket upgrade was already included on the Scorpion. Another feature falling into the ergonomics category is the Scorpion’s adjustable grip, allowing the shooter to tweak the reach to the trigger to best fit his or her hand.

Should you prefer the “straight-up” look, sans the mock suppressor, you can save yourself 50-bucks by going with the stand-alone barrel wearing a compensating muzzle brake.

The only feature on the gun that I wasn’t totally in love with out of the box was the rough, 9-lb. factory trigger. My initial impression was that it felt stiff, plastic and gritty. But let’s face it; this is getting quite picky about a part that most change on factory carbines anyway.

The Scorpion didn’t dissapoint from the 25-yard line, printing this best-of-testing, 0.84-inch five-shot group with Black Hills’ 124-gr. JHP load. Reliability was 100-percent throughout testing.

CZ does sell an enhanced trigger pack replacement if you feel the need to stay brand loyal. That being said, after a few magazines to get in sync with the gun I really complained less about it’s factory trigger. Sometimes it takes an investment of time and ammo to properly familiarize yourself with the gun before passing judgment.

To test the Scorpion’s downrange precision at 25 yards, an Aimpoint Micro H2 red-dot optic was mounted to the top rail. Working through a variety of hollowpoint and ball ammunition from Black Hills, Hornady, Federal and Winchester, the CZ carbine proved itself easily capable of 1.5-inch or less 5-shot groups. Its best group of the day came with the Black Hills’ 124-gr. JHP load, printing an impressive 0.84-inch cluster. Tough to complain about that! Reliability was also 100-percent, with no malfunctions whatsoever.

One of the undeniable highlights of the Scorpion platform are its inexpensive, reliable and readily-available 10, 20 (shown) and 30-round transluscent-smoked magazines. The carbine ships with two 20-rounder’s, unless you live in a communist state, in which case capacities will be truncated by exactly 50-percent.


Final Thoughts

The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine is a cost-conscious carbine that does not sacrifice quality in manufacturing, components, accuracy or overall effectiveness. With the advent of pistol caliber carbines joining the competition world, and rejoining the home defense arena, the Scorpion has risen to the top for good reason. The Scorpion is a seriously fun gun for the seasoned shooter and an ideal platform with which to introduce to new shooters to carbines. CZ-fanboys/girls have not been disappointed with this evolution of the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine, and I expect to see more shooters become CZ fans after experiencing the Scorpion for themselves. Because I certainly  have!

Check out the Scorpion lineup at your nearest dealer, or for more information, contact CZ-USA, Dept. OT; Tel.: (800) 955-4486; Web:


Another quality piece of gear used during testing was this Blue Force Gear Ten-Speed Quad Mp7 Mag Pouch ( Designed to for the HK MP7 submachingun magazines, it fit the Scorpion mags like a glove.


Chambering: 9mm

Barrel: 16.2 inches

OA Length: 34.75 inches

Weight: 6.9 pounds

Stock: Folding, collapsing

Sights: Adjustable rear, post front

Action: Straight blowback

Finish: Matte black

Capacity: 20+1 or 30+1

MSRP: $1,049

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