“Shoot from the hip” and “stick to your guns” are two prevalent idioms that happen to have firearm terminology. However, one that’s especially fitting for Ceska zbrojovka Uhersky Brod(CZ) is “third time’s the charm.” Why? Unveiled in 2009, the CZ EVO 3 A1 was the third (hence the name, “Evolution [EVO] 3”) and best incarnation of the selective-fire, blowback-operated, Scorpion-series submachine guns that originated as the brainchild of Ing. Miroslav Rybar (and upward of 13 other designers): the Samopal vzor 61, better known as the Skorpion vz. 61.
The Scorpion EVO 3 A1
Unveiled for the first time in May 2009, the selective-fire Scorpion EVO 3 A1 represented a true departure from normalcy
for CZ. In fact, the new submachine gun outwardly showed no resemblance to either the XCZ 868 prototype or its first- and second-generation predecessors. First, the new arm makes extensive use of polymer. For example, the two-halved receiver, handguard, adjustable (for reach) pistol grip and removable, adjustable side-folding buttstock, as well as the magazine were all made from polymer. When combined, the fiber-reinforced polymer receiver and handguard provided 11 inches of continuous Picatinny rail to which optics can be attached, though adjustable, factory-mounted iron sights come standard. On each side of the handguard is an additional 3.75 inches of rail, and on the bottom there is another 5.5-inch strip—ample room to add myriad accessories, such as lights, lasers, etc.Instead of the straight, metal stick-type magazine of the XCZ 868, the EVO 3 A1 uses a 30-round, dual-stack, forward-sweeping version made from translucent polymer. The earlier vz. 61 is fed from a curved magazine, too, though it holds fewer rounds. To increase the rapidity with which the magazine can be changed, the A1 has a prominently flared and tapered magazine well.
Concerning energy, the Scorpion EVO 3 A1’s lengthy, cold-hammer-forged, 7.72-inch barrel—with 1:9.84-inch RH twist—affords better consumption of the propellant, thereby enabling an uptick in velocity and, consequently, more energy placed on target.Unlike the first- and second-generation Skorpions, the EVO 3 A1 has a non-reciprocating charging handle that can be quickly and easily changed from the left side to the right to accommodate both right- and left-hand shooters. Once the charging handle is fully retracted, the tab can be pushed upward into a cutout in the top of the handguard that maintains an open-bolt position. In this situation, a charged magazine can be inserted for loading or, by withdrawing the single disassembly pin, the trigger unit and slide can be removed for cleaning and maintenance; no tools are necessary. With a fresh magazine in place, pushing (or smacking) downward on the charging handle permits the recoil spring to advance forward, where it will strip and chamber a cartridge. To increase purchase, the charging handle/tab is both contoured and features steps in lieu of ribs.