We’re gearing up for SHOT Show 2015, and starting off with a tremendous bang. The CZ Scorpion Evo 3 looks to be one of the biggest stories of the show, at least now–before things are fully underway. We got a sneak peek at the Scorpion, and I’m here to tell you first hand that this gun has a tremendous amount of potential.
Let’s start with some of the basics.
Double stack polymer
Polymer, adjustable for reach to trigger
Low-profile fully adjustable aperture and post, 4 rear aperture sizes
Cold hammer forged
Ambidextrous thumb safety
Who needs a hard to hold 9mm pistol?
That’s a fair question, and I know that there will be some comments about how hard it is to shoot a gun this size with no stock. Yeah, yeah. I get it. So does CZ. So does everyone else in the industry. Look at the massive popularity of AR pistols now. What’s behind the popularity? Easy. The pistol stabilizing brace. With one of those on the Scorpion (something we have yet to try), it will be even better than it already is.
EDITOR’S NOTE: as I’m writing this review, I just got word of the ATF’s latest letter on the SIG-brace, and (apparently) all of the similar devices on the market. Unless you plan to use it as a wrist brace, don’t bother. If you shoulder the gun, you change it from a pistol to a short barreled rifle, and that’s not good. Ok. More on this as it develops…. Back to the review.
And it is functional as-is. The gun can be held one handed. It can be held two handed. With a sling attached, you can pull out and stabilize it even more. You’re not going to win any accuracy contests, but it is easy enough to get rounds on a torso sized target.
And that’s what this is for, really. I’m going to call a spade a spade. There are two reasons for the Scorpion’s existence in my view. Like any gun, the Scorpion is a great range toy. Shoot it all day long. Shoot and move. Shoot for distance. Bang steel. Whatever–the Scorpion will eat it up. But the gun has a serious side. It is built for close quarters self defense.
I’ve got an AR set up for home defense. It is a tiny thing with a 7.5″ barrel. Still, I have concerns about what would happen inside my house (and outside the house, and maybe down the block) if I ever unload the way I’m prepared to. 5.56, even from short barrels, may present an over-penetration problem that could be catastrophic. The 9mm is a better option, and there are 9mm rounds that are purpose built for control.
The Scorpion has the ergonomics. The controls are easy to use. The frame offers places to mount lights or lasers. There are very few guns on the market right now that offer this much potential. CZ makes kick-ass guns that run reliably. The Scorpion now joins those ranks. It is big enough to manipulate, small enough for maneuverability in tight places, and it may prove even more attractive when you see what this gun costs.
Shooting the Scorpion
Before we get to the price, I’d like to talk a bit about the nature of this review. SHOT Show is crazy. The weeks before SHOT are insane. CZ shipped us this preview. We ran this gun for several hours, mostly shooting steel.
Out of the box accuracy was solid. From 25 yards, we had no difficulty hitting with the gun–even without the brace. It is easy enough to hold with two hands, and the forward hand-stop provides a great way to find your hold. This isn’t a gun you want to ride up on. The birdcage muzzle device is going to spread a bit of the blast–and the 9mm should burn more of its powder in the longer barrel, but still….
The gun is not easily held with one hand. The first shot isn’t a problem, but followup shots are very hard to make.
The trigger is a serious issue on the gun. If this were to be solely a range toy, it may not matter as much. But the pull is a bit heavy and the travel is marked by some false starts. Our best guesses (being just that) are that the Scorpion’s trigger will even out over time. Or a quick pass by someone who knows his ass from his elbow when it comes to triggers could easily rectify the problems.
Long range accuracy (for the 9mm, anyhow) is within the Scorpion’s abilities, if it were to have a stock. As is, we could ring a gong at 100, but didn’t try for any shots with magnified optics. As the barrel is close to 8″, the 115 grain bullets leave the muzzle somewhere around 1,250 fps. That’s would give you more distance before the bullet begins its precipitous drop.
The Scorpion’s ergonomics are really solid. The grip is flared at the end, which makes holding it easy, but it lacks aggressive texture. The open hollow end is also deceptive–I never tried to insert a magazine into it, but I can imagine someone trying in the heat of the moment.
The H&K style slide drop will be foreign to some, but is incredibly easy to learn and use. And everything else seems incredibly well thought out. Take the placement of the front sight, for example–it rides back a bit so you can grip in front of it.
There could be more issues for sling attachments. I’d like to use a QD single point, but that isn’t immediately available. Still, there are numerous options, so why am I bitching? I guess I’d like to see a gun that is this close to perfect really be perfect.
As far as issues with manipulation, we didn’t experience any. If a round gets off the extractor, or a shell gets stuck, the Scorpion will be harder to clear than a typical polymer pistol. But we didn’t get to test it in anyway that wasn’t staged, and that only provides limited information. All told, we were exceptionally pleased with the way it worked.
This is only the first look at the Scorpion. We’ll do more with the gun as the pace of SHOT Show 2015 slows down. We’ll put it through its paces in a more complete way. For now, though, we’re smitten.
This gun is going to sell like crazy. And if the ATF’s ruling doesn’t change people’s minds about the use of a stabilizing brace, the gun will be really popular. At the $849 price, it should be an easy decision. That price will likely settle out about $100 lower once demand and supply level off. My thought is that everyone should have a gun like this. It fill a huge void between the rifle and the pistol, and allows for some of the benefits of both.