The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine Comp is the .22 LR counterpart of the 9mm Scorpion EVO 3 S1 we already introduced and tested some time ago. The 16”/410-mm cold hammer forged barrel is screwcut ½”x28 for a moderator and comes with a ported muzzle brake which functionally caps the neatly crowned muzzle on this 16-mm diameter barrel.
This extends 4”/100 mm from the handguard which is CZ’s own flowing design all the way through the forend, receiver and toward the butt. The front octagonal profile has multiple M-Lok slots with full length Picatinny rail for sights and accessory mounting on top; the swollen sides have a ridge which forms a hand filling shape and although some shooters may dislike polymers, these have been neatly injection moulded showing CZ’s tooling commitment to thoroughly engineered quality control.
Open sights are fitted with a post at the front and optional rotating peepholes at the rear with 4 interchangeable diameter apertures to adapt to light conditions and required precision. The foresight’s base shows a semicircular grove under the blade which makes the sight picture one of the best I have ever used for intuitive alignment.
There is a cocking handle on the left side of the forend, just below the Picatinny rail which can be moved to the opposite side for left handers. This shows CZ’s deep understanding of rifle ergonomics and load/unload procedures because you just pull it back and let go to chamber a round, or if you want to lock the bolt open, pull back and lift it upward on its hinge to latch into the rebated receiver.
This is far faster than anything with a separate bolt release latch, although the Scorpion does have a left side bolt release lever if you want to use one independently. Two ten round magazines are included and have last round “hold open” of the bolt when empty. There is a large, ambidextrous magazine release lever on the front of the trigger guard featuring moulded ridges for tactile operation with your extended index finger for fast reloads.
The magazines are polymer and load one round at a time from the front, you can also manually ease spring pressure with the lateral tabs on the follower to speed up loading. It is worth noting the entrance mouth to the underside magazine well has chamfered lips to speed insertion, so that magazines click securely in place to assure you nothing is going to fall loose.
The serrated polymer trigger blade offers two-stage operation and although not a match crisp unit, breaks consistently at 2,650 grams, or 95 oz., with a continuous linear squeeze. The thumb-operated two position safety catch is ambidextrous above the hard polymer grip, which has moulded ribs for comfort and like the rest of the polymer gun, it does not draw the heat from your hands when cold.
Sling anchor points are positioned both sides of the gun, a pair above and ahead of the magazine well with a second pair just ahead of the folding buttstock above the grip. Pressing the release button on the left side of the stock allows the butt to fold to the right where it locks magnetically onto the receiver.
Length of pull extends using a latch on the inside face of the buttpad which falls naturally to hand when opening the gun. There is a solid rubber buttpad and length of pull extends from 12 ¼ to 14 ¼” (312-363mm) in three stages.
The top of the stock’s cheek rest is rectangular in profile with chamfered edges for firing comfort, I found the visual angularity of the shape to actually be very comfortable for me, with perfect alignment on the rear open sight or when using a smaller 1-6x24 tubed optic or red dot sight.
CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine Comp under test
I set the rifle up with a scope for the initial paper and testing as well as a moderator and bipod. This was attached using M-Lok Picatinny rail and made for a handy package when carried but very stable form a supported position. The 1-6x scope required removal of the rear sight’s twin Picatinny rail Allen screws. I used subsonic hollow point as well as standard velocity round nose target and match ammunition types. I had some fantastic fun, especially so because everything with this gun was effortless and never felt like hard work. There were no missed ejections or mis-feeds and every type of ammo, even the lowest velocity RWS subsonic, cycled the action without hesitation.
The action internals were smooth and reliable, you could immediately hear the difference between different ammunition types with intrinsically varying degrees of recoil power and consequent bolt speed. The only tiny caveat was the lower velocity subsonic ammo did not cycle the bolt quite as hard against its stop which mean it didn’t catch the last round hold open on the magazine follower, but this was the ONLY thing the gun was noted for doing out of its otherwise relentlessly reliable operating character.
For a deep clean if ever required, here is a pin below the left side cocking lever, push this through to remove the trigger mechanism for access and this also allows bolt removal. The greatest secret of the gun, due to its scaled down 9mm Parabellum architecture, is the action’s internals are quite voluminous. This allows for a large ejection port, and you never get brass bouncing off the action internals, back onto the magazine which is a common failure point for semi-auto rimfires. This indirectly also minimises the accumulation of firing residue at literal choke points in the action and bolt face which can also inhibit reliable feeding on other semi-auto designs.
The gun prints ragged groups on paper at 50 m, it is not an ultra-precision single hole bolt action rimfire and the trigger requires patience but for what it is designed to do, it works superbly well and coupled to the reliability, a definite crossover for a bit of pest control as well as plinking and competition shooting. That is also thanks to the fact you are far less likely to have feed issues or stoppages when out rabbiting after dark. For a semi-automatic blowback action with necessary rapid bolt movement internally, the gun is quiet without mechanical noise thanks the audibly damping properties of the polymer build which does not rattle either. There is slight movement in the butt’s telescopic extension, but it never reverberates and similarly, if bumped against vehicles or foliage, never exhibits a hollow clunk. People may consider the Scorpion is more expensive than its peers and I would agree, but I would reply: it really needs nothing customising on it or adding to it for a superb semi-automatic rimfire with seriously good credentials. As a 9mm Parabellum sub-machine gun, the same rifle is in use across the globe and highly respected, yet it loses nothing as a .22 LR and benefits from the thorough research and development that goes into any firearm stock design from a manufacturer supplying professional users.
CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine Comp: ammo used and results
|Average velocity recorded /fps
|Muzzle energy ft-lbs
|50 m 5-shot group/mm
|50 m 5-shot group/ inches
|RWS Subsonic (10 shots)
|SK Standard Plus
CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine Comp specs and price
16”/416mm, ½”x28 UNEF thread
Picatinny rail for scope mounting
stage, breaking at 2,650 g
(in the U.K.):