By: Warren Gray
Copyright © 2023
“The Scorpion Evo 3 S1 from ČZ is a semi-auto, braced pistol, chambered
in 9mm, with incredible accuracy and versatility as a truck or survival gun…
(with) accuracy of around one inch at 25 yards…All ammunition cycled
flawlessly through the Scorpion.”
— Robert Sadowski, for Gun Digest, July 24, 2018.
“The ČZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 pistol…is a fascinating gun that is
almost entirely polymer…The gun is great…overall, it’s a kick-ass gun…
one of the most-fun guns in my collection…a very serious, workhorse
weapon that could be home defense, and even have military applications.”
— Lynx Defense web site, September 12, 2022.
Every now and then, we come across a unique and distinctive firearm that grabs our full attention, such as this amazing, eye-catching, compact, high-firepower survival weapon shown above. The ČZ (Česká Zbrojovka, of Uherský Brod in the Czech Republic) Scorpion Evo 3 was designed in 2009 as a lightweight, straight-blowback, compact submachine gun for the Czech armed forces, chambered in 9x19mm (with 9x21mm as an option in some countries). It also has a folding, adjustable, fully removable stock.
It weighs 6.1 pounds fully loaded with ammunition (or five pounds empty) due to its largely polymer construction and measures a mere 16.14 inches long with the stock folded. There is a 9mm carbine variant with a 16.2-inch barrel, but this article focuses primarily on the super-compact submachine gun and pistol variants, which each feature a cold-hammer-forged, threaded, 7.72-inch barrel.
The select-fire military and police version is the Evo 3 A1 submachine gun, which fires at a cyclic rate of 1,150 rounds per minute (19 rounds per second) from factory magazines of 10, 20, or 30 rounds (standard on this model). However, aftermarket manufacturers such as Magpul have produced 50-round drum magazines, and there is a 100-round Beta C-Mag designed to fit this weapon. The gun’s ambidextrous selector switch offers the choices of “safe,” semiautomatic, three-round burst, or fully-automatic fire.
The A1 variant is readily available for military and law enforcement sales for the exceptionally low price of $489, a genuine bargain today. It has been used by the Czech and Hungarian armed forces (produced in Hungary under licence) and military special operations or police units in Argentina, Canada, Egypt, Finland, Georgia, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. Unknown quantities were also delivered to the Ukrainian army for immediate combat action against invading Russian troops in 2022.
Next, there is the Evo 3 S1 semiautomatic pistol for the civilian market since 2015, offered in standard black finish, OD green, battleship gray, or flat dark earth (FDE.). It’s available with or without a folding, stabilizing brace with 10-round or 20-round magazines as standard and the same 7.72-inch barrel as the military model for $1,075. Oddly, that is more than twice the cost of the fully automatic A1 version. The hardy Evo 3 series has been technically discontinued for 2023; but fortunately, it’s been replaced by the updated and improved (and very similar) Evo 3+ model ($1,299) as shown below:
The four Picatinny rails allow for plenty of options if you want to mount a red-dot or reflex sight. The handguard alone has rails at the 3, 6, and 9-o’clock positions for mounting a tactical light or laser pointer.
The only real complaint about the Evo 3 weapon is that the ambidextrous selector switch, in full-auto setting, tends to bite the shooter’s trigger finger during firing. However, HB Industries sells a Right Safety Delete V2 that removes the right-side safety lever. Trigger pull is a bit heavy at 8.4 to 9.6 pounds (typical for a submachine gun) but accuracy is still very good for close-range defense even with the stiff pull.
Aaron Carter pointed out for NRA Shooting Illustrated on December 26, 2017 that, “Despite its large size for a handgun, the Scorpion Evo 3 S1 is extraordinarily well balanced, enabling it to be shot one-handed…During testing, there were no failures of any type. The firearm fed, extracted, and ejected without fail, regardless of the ammunition it was fed…the pistol handled everything without issue.”
The Truth About Guns noted on January 2, 2015, that, “The gun was designed to use a stock…to work properly, and with a stock, this would be a rocking-awesome PDW or pistol-caliber carbine…No issues…with no cleaning in the Texas dust, and she still works like a Swiss clock. Or Czech. Or whatever… Reliability: 5 stars!”
There is also an ultra-compact Scorpion Evo 3 S2 Micro Pistol with stabilizing brace, shorter 4.12-inch barrel available, ČZ S2 Ti (titanium) reflex suppressor (1.5 inches in diameter), and 20-round magazines. Tactical Life magazine observed on January 15, 2021 that, “The ČZ Scorpion Evo 3 S2 transforms into a short-barreled rifle with a shoulder stock, suppressor, a few aftermarket parts to improve ergonomics, and 30-round magazines in its ultimate, civilian configuration.(which) remains an expensive proposition, carrying $400 in NFA tax stamps alone.”
Muzzle velocity with the S1 pistol variant averaged 1,130 to 1,245 feet per second with factory loads. The Scorpion pistols feature 1/2×28 threads hidden beneath the factory-installed flash hider. So, a number of suppressor options are available, mostly in the $1,000 range for top-quality stainless-steel or titanium units such as the Dead Air Wolfman at either 5.1 or 7.5 inches long.
Overall, the ČZ Scorpion Evo 3 and 3+ series of submachine guns and braced pistols are very compact, reliable, accurate personal defense weapons (PDWs) for use in combat or serious survival situations. It has an abundance of firepower when fitted with 50-round magazines. In states where its unique features are still legal, it’s a fearsome, formidable beast of a survival blaster!
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Warren Gray is a retired, U.S. Air Force intelligence officer with experience in joint special operations and counterterrorism, and is an NRA member. He served in Europe and the Middle East, earned Air Force and Navy parachutist wings, four college degrees, and was a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Intelligence Operations Specialist Course, and the USAF Combat Targeting School. He is currently a published author, historian, and hunter. You may visit his website at: warrengray54.vistaprintdigital.com.