CZ Scorpion SBR: Better than a Pistol or Carbine?

CZ has been making the Scorpion for a long time. The gun has changed in size and looks since the early days, and CZ has continued to produce new versions of the Scorpion at a steady pace. I didn’t have much experience with them until my agency purchased some EVO III 9mm law enforcement models for our special response team. Here are my impressions:

Scorpion Evo 3
The Scorpion Evo 3 with an integrated suppressor is a short, compact weapon. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
I was initially skeptical because the whole gun felt like a piece of plastic. That’s not too much of an exaggeration because most of it is plastic. Think of it like a Glock version of a sub-gun size weapon. Even the metal bolt cycles against the plastic frame. After seeing this, I was positive it would wear down the plastic over time. Here we are several years later, and it’s still running like a champ. CZ has discontinued the EVO III models (2023) and moved on to the new Scorpion 3+ models.

Their tagline for the new carbine is the “next generation” of weapons. There are some noticeable differences in the latest models, but overall, the Scorpion has kept the same recognizable appearance for some time now. The sub-gun market took off several years ago when arm-braced pistols were top sellers. While it has slowed down some with the federal challenges to arm braces, CZ has continued to produce sub-gun-size weapons.

CZ Scorpion: SBR, Pistol, or Carbine?

With pistol braces up in the air, some companies are returning to carbine-length weapons. CZ’s newest launch of the Scorpion 3+ offers multiple sizes, but the carbine is getting the biggest push. Until the arm-brace laws are settled in court, some are left wondering which direction to go. Pay the fee for an SBR, use a pistol with a sling, or just buy a carbine? Using a pistol with a sling is not bad, but it’s different. Registering an NFA weapon isn’t the end of the world, but it costs $200 and comes with restrictions.

CZ Scorpion Evo 3
With a two-point sling, the CZ Scorpion can be carried like any other rifle or with a single-point sling and the stock to the side. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Many choose not to go this route because they don’t want to pay the government to own a firearm. Buying a carbine allows you to have a folding stock without worrying about ATF oversight. But the downside is it’s longer and harder to store, transport, and use in confined spaces. A short barrel is better for use inside a home, and it’s better if you want to attach a suppressor. Adding a suppressor to the end of a 16-inch barrel makes it quite long for searching areas inside a home.

If you want a short barrel and a suppressor, you must purchase a tax stamp for both the SBR (short barrel rifle) and the suppressor. That’s a double whammy on the wallet, but it’s also quieter and shorter, making it a perfect home defense weapon. Looking specifically at a suppressed SBR Scorpion 3 S2, let’s discuss its benefits and what the other sizes have to offer.

SBR and Suppressor on the Scorpion

I don’t like that SBRs or even suppressors must be registered. A silencer on a gun is meant to protect your hearing, so it shouldn’t be so hard to obtain one. If you have ever fired a weapon in an enclosed space, it’s devastating to your hearing and affects your balance. It’s easy to throw on hearing protection at the range, but what about during a home invasion? Having a suppressor is safer for anyone in the area where a weapon is fired.

CZ Scorpion Evo 3
Shooting the CZ Scorpion with a suppressor is quiet and has very little recoil. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
A short-barrel rifle is another beneficial feature for home and self-defense situations. You can search a confined area with a longer weapon, but it does present additional challenges. I can fit the Scorpion SBR in a backpack and use it for self-defense outside of the home, as well. Because you can fire the Scorpion with the stock folded, it can be used quickly after drawing from a bag or vehicle. CZ offered a fixed, integrated suppressor with the S2, making it even shorter while still having a suppressor attached.

CZ’s newest models of the 3+ line offer the 3+ Micro and, for a limited time, the 3+ pistol. Both models and the carbine are based on the Evo 3 with some improvements. They can also be fitted with suppressors for those wanting to add a stock and turn either into an SBR.

Using the CZ Scorpion Pistol for Self-Defense

Using a sub-gun-style weapon in self-defense when it doesn’t have a stock is possible, but it takes training and practice. As mentioned above, the biggest difference is learning to push the weapon against the sling. The gun needs to be as stable as possible when firing, so typically, you pull it against your shoulder. When there is no stock, a single- or two-point sling can be used instead. You just need to push the weapon against the sling to stabilize it when firing.

safety selector and magazine release
The Scorpion Evo 3 uses an AR-15-style safety and an AK-style mag release. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
You can put a suppressor on a Scorpion pistol, but you would still need to purchase a tax stamp and go through the same process as an SBR. If you plan to purchase a suppressor anyway, why not do both? In my opinion, go ahead and pay another tax stamp and buy an SBR as well. You may decide to get a separate suppressor instead of an integrated one, but either way, you could end up with an ultimate home defense weapon.

Advantage: The Suppressed CZ Scorpion SBR

CZ Scorpions are known for their quality and reliability. They make some of the best double-feed magazines on the market. Some people even choose the Scorpion because of its reliable magazine system. It uses an AR-15-style safety selector, and the mag release is lever-style that pushes towards the magazine, somewhat like an AK-47. I wouldn’t call the Scorpion bulky, but it’s not the slimmest sub-gun on the market.

There are other sub-guns on the market, such as B&T, Stribog, Sig’s MPX, and more. But if you want a proven system that has been around for a while, Scorpions are worth considering. With their new line of 3+ weapons, you can choose from the pistol, carbine, Micro, or pistol versions. Deciding to go with an SBR or suppressed version may be difficult. Everyone wants something different. I like all types of sub-guns and enjoy training with them all. However, if you decide to go with a suppressed, short-barreled Scorpion, I don’t think you would regret it.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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