CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Carbine Review: How good is it?

CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Carbine

Hello and welcome to my CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Carbine Review.

CZ’s (Ceska Zbrojovka) third evolution of their modern submachine gun model has made an impression on the global civilian commercial as well as the military/law enforcement community.

There are two primary classes that are determined by their select fire capability: the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1 is designed for military and police use and is full auto capable while the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 variant only has two positions on the selector switch for safe and semi-automatic.

Getting beyond that, there are variants within the S1 model – identified as either a pistol or a carbine - while the A1 typically maintains the short barrel (Class III in the US) with the different variations being readily utilized options. 

CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Overview

First, a general overview about the firearm:

It has absolutely no relation to the ultra-compact VZ 61 “Skorpion” machine pistol in .32 ACP (or the Yugoslavian licensed copy models in .380 and 9mm).

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Rather it is descended from a different line of design developments and the only aesthetic resemblance to the 61 is the forward swept magazine in front of the trigger guard and the manufacturer.

Instead, the EVO is more directly descended from a Slovak submachine gun by Laugo.

Incorporating more modern design features for adaptability and accessory options, the new Scorpion follows more closely the applications of the immensely popular H&K MP5 - which still has not surrendered its primacy to even its replacement, the H&K’s own UMP; and the more recent contribution from Sig Sauer, the MPX/MCX platform.

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All offer a stronger, more stable platform for 9mm target shooting in their civilian variants and an impressive option for security and military forces looking for a new personal defense weapon (PDW).

Unlike Taurus CTG9 (no longer in production), the EVO follows the H&K and Sig models in being offered in [several] pistol variants and is not just in a bulky carbine version. Especially one with a thumbhole stock that inhibited close quarters operation.

A little about the different variants:

In the US, the 7.75” barrel is only available as a legally defined pistol. This means it may not incorporate a vertical foregrip on its bottom accessory rail without a federal permission slip designating it a short-barreled rifle (SBR).

Whether or not it may have a brace is subject to individual state and city laws.

The top rail is 11” long and provides its length as the sight radius using the irons provided.

The front sight is adjustable for elevation with a tool included with the firearm.

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This model also comes with 3.75” rails on both right and left sides.

Finally, it has a 5.5” rail on the bottom out front for lights or lasers but comes standard with a hand stop offering prudent protection for the support hand from wandering out in front of the muzzle during rapid fire.

There is a brace equipped model from CZ that comes with a “fake can” giving a little bit more length to the pistol but forgoes the forward rails on the bottom and sides.

Instead it offers slots for M-Lok after-market rails. This more closely resembles the carbine version which has the 16” barrel and is equipped with a folding and adjustable stock - which also is subject to local laws.  

Then there is the Micro. It has only a 4.12” barrel with telescoping brace – as opposed to a standard stock classifying it as an SBR instead of a pistol.

Made for concealability it has only a short top rail and small M-Lok slots on the sides.

Admittedly, it is quite a little darling.

CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Carbine Review: All in all

CZ paid attention to what makes the MP5 such a popular choice with professional and civilian shooters alike.

This includes being fully ambidextrous capable, ergonomic grip and controls, and a bolt hold open with slap capable charging handle.

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The latter, with large ambi mag release on the front of the enlarged trigger guard make use with winter gloves far less cumbersome.

They added the hand stop and more rails as standard and include translucent magazines for easier appraisal of rounds left (by anyone who checks).

It looks bulkier and therefor heavier than it is thanks to the extensive use of plastic which is a blessing for carrying - it has multiple sling point attachments.

However, it is debatable if that weight could help in shooting. Since it is a direct blowback design, which is a simple and reliable method of operation, it has a bit more felt recoil.

This has spelt doom to conventional 9mm semi-automatic pistols using blowback in the past but the increased mass and use of alternate support - the forearm and/or brace option - increases functionality immensely.

The extensive use of polymer plastic keeps weight down and is also kept in mind for maintenance.

Quite simply, the body of the firearm is separated vertically into two halves with the barrel, receiver, bolt, magazine and trigger groups sandwiched between.

The trigger group unpins and swings out for maintenance and access to the bolt assembly. Complaints about plastic durability need only refer to Glock’s thirty-year history.

A common complaint is that the ambi safety/selector lever is a tad bulky (again with the use of gloves in mind). The provision of one on the opposite side for the other dominant handed can rap the shooting hand when firing. After market replacement levers are rumored to be available to remedy this.

Another remark concerns the magazines: translucency advertises remaining rounds to anyone who can see, but these are also proprietary and exclusive to this design.

Now, there are very few smg/pistol caliber carbine models that do NOT use proprietary magazines, including the H&K and Sig.

Price points of the EVO make it more affordable and utilitarian: one popular point to that is magazine interchangeability.

Admittedly, this may just be a sign of being spoiled by Beretta’s [sporadic] Storm carbine and AR receivers made to accept Glock mags. Besides, the curved mags do look cool.

Regardless, there is a fair number of consumers on the global market for the A1. Individual agencies in 24 countries, including the Czech Republic, have adopted the full auto capable version. This in turn can only increase demand for the civilian S1 variants.

Hopefully, this review of CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Carbine will help you in your decision. If you want a review for any gun, feel free to leave a comment below!

CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Carbine Review on Youtube

Photography credits

We would like to extend thanks for the following sources for images.

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