The Scorpion D-50 : Beat the PCC Drum

Leave it to Magpul to take a concept that historically sucked and make it great. I’m speaking about drums, of course, and how Magpul figured out how to finally make them work. Historically, drums sucked. And they continued to suck until Magpul figured out how to make them work. They started with the AR 15 and then the AR 10, and now we have drums for the CZ Scorpion and Glock series as well. I got my hands on the Magpul D-50 CZ Scorpion drum magazine and have taken it for a spin.

Magpul D-50 CZ Scorpion drum magazine
Magpul made drums work. And they’ve done it again with the Magpul D-50 CZ Scorpion drum magazine.

The Scorpion series has been extremely popular in the world of PCCs and large format pistols. I’m lucky enough to have both the pistol variant as well as the carbine variant. That being said, my rifle variant is the bullpup model, so this will certainly be a unique test.

Magpul D-50 CZ Scorpion drum magazine
Press the lever up, drop rounds in, release, and repeat until full.

Magpul modeled the Scorpion D-50 drum directly after the D-60 and D-50 drums. It’s a fair bit smaller and shorter than those two but identical in design. This includes the Gen M3 style design. It features the Gen M3 polymer mix, the Dot Matrix, the easy takedown procedure, and the same load lever design. Even though it’s a well-made drum, you might ask why exactly you would need a Scorpion D-50?

Is the D-50 CZ Scorpion drum magazine practical?

Obviously, the benefit of a drum is to increase capacity without having an obnoxiously long magazine. Magpul did this previously with the 35 round Scorpion magazines but took it a step further with the D-50 and its 50 round capacity. More ammo is better than less ammo as long as the ammo feeding device works, obviously.

That’s always been the real downside of a drum. The feeding devices rarely worked and had a tendency to be maintenance-heavy. Magpul fixed that previously and their drums have been proven to work. In a rifle, obviously, a drum makes sense, but what about a PCC or large format pistol? Well, if you’ve chosen either to be a defensive weapon, then the D-50 CZ Scorpion drum magazine makes a lot of sense.

Magpul D-50 CZ Scorpion drum magazine
It sits nice and tight in any Scorpion.

Using a pistol-caliber firearm means you’ll likely need to fire more rounds to put a threat down. Sadly, pistol calibers can’t meet the power of anything rifle caliber. Having more ammo than less makes sense. The weight penalty for a bedside gun isn’t an issue. You won’t be patrolling with a Scorpion D-50 across the Helmand province.

Plus, in a home defense situation, you won’t be rocking a chest rig and packing a half dozen magazines for speed reloads. As such, the drum offers you almost twice the capacity of a standard magazine. More ammo in the gun means less reloading, and less reloading is a good thing in a fight.

CZ Scorpion PCC with a Magpul D-50 drum magazine
The D-50 CZ Scorpion drum magazine is extremely compact.

Yes, by the way, you can leave it loaded. Unlike other drums, this isn’t a major issue with the Scorpion D-50 (or any Magpul drum). You can load it JHPs and forget about it.

Breaking down Scorpion D-50

Breaking the Magpul drums down for maintenance is very simple to do. First, pop off the four tabs with a flat head tool. Once the tops are popped off, use the same flat head tool to defeat the four latches, and you can remove the front and rear of the drum for maintenance.

Magpul D-50 CZ Scorpion drum magazine maintenance, pop the tabs off with flathead tool.
First, pop the tabs off.

Obviously, make sure the drum is unloaded prior to taking things apart. Once the drum is apart, you can clean and oil the drum. Magpul previously said that the D-60 and D-50 could go for 1000 rounds between cleanings, and I assume the same with the Scorpion D-50.

CZ Scorpion drum magazine maintenance, tab is popped off.
See, the tab is popped.

The insides of the drum are quite simple, and that makes cleaning them rather simple as well. Simple is good, and you can’t beat simple, especially when it comes to magazines.

Magpul D-50 CZ Scorpion drum magazine maintenance. Second step is undo the latch.
Then, undo this latch.

Load, Shoot, Repeat

Magpul loves to claim the drums are easy to load, and in some ways—they are. The lever that presses the follower down and allows you to load the drum ensures you aren’t fighting a single spring for all 50 rounds. That being said, trying to hold the drum, while holding the lever and putting in rounds will make you wish you had three hands.

CZ Scorpion PCC with Magpil D-50 drum magazine
The Scorpion D50 handles well in these little guns.

Sure, it’s not difficult from a manual loading perspective, but it’s not what I’d call easy ergonomically. I hug the Scorpion D-50 with the same arm that manipulates the lever and then load rounds with the other hand. Loading is relatively quick, although, near the end, you’ll be loading one round per lever manipulation. It’s a thumb workout, to be sure.

Magpul D50 CZ Scorpion drum magazine
Oh look, it’s from the future!

I really love the window at the rear of the drum that allows you to monitor capacity. Unlike a side-mounted window, you can do a quick flick of the eyes to see how much you got left. It’s very clearly marked and keeps you keep track of your 9mm rounds as you deplete them.

Magpul D-50 CZ Scorpion drum magazine
This rear window makes it easy to see how many rounds are left.

Speaking of depleting ammo, I set forth to do just that. Drums are so much fun to shoot and in the Scorpion doubly so. I grabbed several hundred rounds, a pair of Scorpions, and went to the range. I love shooting Scorpions and PCCs in general. So I certainly enjoyed the process of emptying these drums more than I enjoyed filling them.

Getting Our Pow On with the CZ Scorpion Drum Magazine 

I utilized a Scorpion Micro pistol and my Scorpion bullpup rifle and let the lead fly. I started with just a few basic drills to see if the drum did the very basics of being a drum. Next, I then set forth dropping the almost fully loaded drum from the gun and seeing what happened. On occasion, a round or two popped out, but nothing else seemed to happen. Oh, and the drum dropped free without issue.

CZ Scorpion Bullpup with Magpul D-50 drum magazine
The Bullpup was a little trickier to handle with the drum, but doable.

Those takedown tabs never dislodged as I assumed they would. They aren’t hard to pry off, and I just assumed they would pop off rather easily under pressure. Even if so, all four of them could pop off, and the Scorpion D-50 will still run completely fine.

Next, I wanted to apply pressure in various ways to see if I could make it fail. I used it first as a monopod of sorts and let the full weight of the weapon sit on the drum, and I pulled the trigger. No problems.

CZ Scorpion drum magazine used as a monopod
Let’s see if the Scorpion works well as a monopod.

I used the drum as an improvised barrier stop and pressed the drum into the barrier, and fired. Again, no problem with reliability.

CZ Scorpion drum magazine used as a barrier stop.
Throw in some front pressure to really try and mess it up.

Lastly, I placed the drum over the top of a barrier and pulled rearward to change the pressure up, and again the gun and drum operated without issue.

testing CZ Scorpion drum magazine with pressure from the rear.
A little rearward pressure does the body good.

From there, I got to do the fun stuff. I did various drills and just shot a lot out of the drum. Several hundred rounds over several days between a few different shooters. I dropped round after round and heard ding after ding. Whenever the drum ran empty, I dropped it from the gun to the ground to try and give it a little stress. The drum must’ve meditated prior because the Scorpion D-50 didn’t seem to mind stress.

Saved Rounds

The drum doesn’t affect Scorpions with a standard layout. Sure the gun gets a bit heavier, and using it with a single hand is rather difficult. The brace certainly helps stabilize the now heavier weapon. In the bullpup Scorpion, the drum feels somewhat awkward, and your arm has to wrap around its bulbous form. Yet it loads, ejects, and fires without issue in the bullpup gun.

grip in CZ Scorpion with Magpul D-50 drum magazine
That bulbous drum makes it tough to get a comfy grip on the gun.

All in all, the Scorpion D-50 drum is pretty fantastic.

The last pistol caliber subgun to wear a drum this well was the Tommy gun. In fact, the Scorpion quickly becomes a rather modern variant of the Tommy gun with a dream and certainly looks pretty freaking sweet. Luckily it works as good as it looks. Do you love it? Hate it? Let us know below!

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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