CZ Scorpion 3+ Micro

Good Genes Equals A Fistful Of Fun!
9

CZ’s most popular firearm just got better — the result of good genes blended with requested upgrades gives an even more shooter-friendly 9mm package!

By international regulation there are certain guns that require you to have a brief but all-encompassing Technicolor fantasy whenever you pick one up. Grab a ’73 lever-action or a Peacemaker and you’re John Wayne pursuing the bad guys — Wanted: Dead or Alive. Heft a Tommy Gun and you’re transformed into Elliot Ness, doling out gangster justice on the streets of Prohibition-era Chicago. Pick up a PPK and you instantly become a certain well-known “double-naught” spy.

I defy you to pick up the CZ Scorpion 3+ Micro and not slip into a daydream of protecting a powerful dignitary with your briefcase machine pistol, or standing by ready to storm a nest of Tangos in some dim European walk-up. It’s a powerful sensation and frankly, it’s okay. In fact, it defines this month’s cover gun — it’s part fantasy, part utility blended with fully functional fun.

It really doesn’t matter which side you’re looking at — the Scorpion 3+ Micro
has an AR-style mag release, lower bolt catch and safety in the same place.

Gorilla Talk

Okay, first and foremost we need to address the big, fat purple gorilla in the room: pistol stabilizing braces. The Scorpion 3+ Micro doesn’t come with one although there are ample aftermarket units available and most owners will probably choose one. However, CZ won’t sell one to you unless you are in law enforcement.

Everyone I showed the CZ to had the same general reaction: “Wow, really cool gun. Where’s the brace?” I actually got tired of explaining it didn’t come with one, it wasn’t offered to me and frankly, I didn’t feel like dealing with the whole mess.

Here’s why — we’ve done several reviews of pistols, which did include a brace as standard equipment. All of them have been top-flight and would be quite handy in many CQB self-defense scenarios. Each time, I’ve come very close to purchasing the test gun but I never did because there is one giant fly in the ointment: federal laws and the vagaries of rule interpretations.

For the consumer, at the very split-second of this writing in the majority of places, you can legally attach a brace to a pistol and shoulder the weapon “incidentally” and “occasionally” during the course of usage. Let’s be frank — it’s what many people do. However, if you shoulder it every time or intentionally, you are effectively using it as a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR), which must be registered under the National Firearms Act (NFA). So far, to my knowledge, no one has been prosecuted for using a pistol brace in such a manner but since most of us develop a severe rash when running afoul of the BATF, you should be circumspect when using one.

Also complicating matters is pending “guidance” from BATF, which could be enacted at any moment and would essentially throw the whole concept of pistol braces squarely into the SBR territory. Would they “grandfather” existing braces? The betting money says “no,” so you’d either have to have register under the NFA and apply for the required $200 tax stamp, or destroy the brace. Ugh. With a literal stroke of a pen, an entire industry segment would be wiped out and a few million shooters turned into instant outlaws. Perhaps this is one reason the government hasn’t pushed the issue — yet.

Against this background, there are practical matters for a magazine editor. It should already be obvious we cannot publish anything that runs afoul of the law or even staggers within 10 feet of the border. Same for gun makers. This is why there are many brace-compatible guns on the market, some of which even come with a brace as standard equipment. However, manufacturers develop severe lockjaw whenever some silly old gun ’riter wants to publish an article suggesting you might actually use the brace as most people do in the real world.

This state of affairs reminds me of the old saying: “Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

As one example, our last story involving a brace — which was not a CZ product — involved around 50 emails and several meetings, both internally and with the manufacturer. If you think Bill Clinton’s explanation regarding his rendezvous with a certain blue-dress-wearing intern was complicated, you should see the “rules of engagement” regarding what is permissible when talking about pistol braces. Are you beginning to see why the whole thing is really more trouble than it’s worth to describe?

So, let’s put the whole can of worms to bed — if braces are still legal in your physical location when you read these words, I’d encourage you to buy one if you purchase a CZ 3+ Micro pistol, then use it in a legal fashion. However, if they’ve become an NFA item or are just plain illegal, well, we had a lot of fun while it lasted.

CZ Scorpion Gear List: Optic: Aimpoint Duty RDS
Ammo: Speer Gold Dot 124-grain JHP, Light: Acebeam Defender P15
Case: SKB Double Pistol, Watch: 5.11 Outpost Chrono

History

The DNA of the Scorpion 3+ Micro harkens back to the Skorpion submachine pistol developed in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s and widely issued to Soviet-bloc countries as personal sidearm for non-combat soldiers, officers and to special forces. After the commie cookie crumbled, follow-on designs improved on the type and it was even used by counter-terrorist agencies and VIP protective details across the globe. If you needed an extremely compact package capable of dropping lots of 9mm bullets rapidly, the Skorpion and its heirs were a good choice.

Fast-forward to today and we arrive with CZ 3+ Micro, a design nobody will publicly claim as having Skorpion genes but it’s pretty apparent right down to the straight-blowback action. The CZ Scorpion — note the spelling difference — actually entered the U.S. market in 2014 with the release of the Scorpion EVO 3 and through several iterations has become CZ’s most popular firearm.

Now, with the release of the Scorpion 3+ Micro, several requested design elements have been updated for 2022. With a new ambidextrous mag release and bolt catch, improved sights, a polymer handle (to reduce heat transfer) and “upgraded grip ergonomics,” the changes reflect input from previous Scorpion users to make the gun more shooter-friendly.

The 3+ Micro utilizes a new 20-round polymer double-stack magazine, which is backward-compatible. Note “backward” — one long-time Scorpion owner groused to me about the fact his cache of magazines won’t fit in the new gun. He did grudgingly admit the 3+ Micro did address most of his ergonomic complaints so overall, I’d say it’s a wash.

The removable flash can is effective in pushing muzzle blast forward, but is
also removable from its 1/2x28 threads if you want to mount another muzzle device.
Snuffer, anyone?

The stout rear sight mounts to the full-length Pic rail and features
four flip-up apertures in a unique “paddlewheel” arrangement.

The polymer trigger isn’t anything special, nor should it be expected
to be on this type of pistol. It’s long, a bit creepy but with a clean break.
It averages about 6 ½ lbs.

By The Numbers

At just a shade under 15″, a height of 8.9″ and a hair under 2.5″ wide, the 4.7-lb. Scorpion 3+ Micro fits nicely into a variety of situations where you want an extremely compact 20 rounds of 9mm firepower. You can even conceal it so long as such a thing is legal for a handgun in your particular situation. Of course, if you attach the previously mentioned pistol brace, concealment is a no-no because you’re jumping into SBR territory.

The 4.2″ cold-hammer-forged barrel comes equipped with a removable “flash can” and is threaded ½x28 for your favorite muzzle device. Nobody will write home about the velocity from the short barrel, but hopefully no one expects it to keep up with a pistol-caliber carbine or even a full-size handgun. Just to say we did, our Competition Electronics ProChrono DLX showed Black Hills +P 115-grain JHP rounds were fastest out of the can, averaging around 1,196 fps while one overachiever did crank up to 1,217 fps.

We tried a wide variety of ammo in various weights and bullet designs ranging from 112-grain hollowpoint to 147-grain FMJ “range” rounds. As expected, the blowback design digested them all without hiccup. After 300 rounds, we saw zero malfunctions of any kind, save once when our hand accidentally applied the safety lever.

The safety still has a way to go in my opinion. In the “safe” position, it’s tucked out of the way, but in “fire” position, it rests lightly on the top of your thumb, which I found mildly annoying in sustained fire. It’s not a deal-breaker, but if you plan on turning a whole case of ammo into noise, you might consider a pre-emptory adhesive bandage or gloves.

One interesting feature is the ambidextrous bolt catch at the forward end of the trigger guard. It seems a bit superfluous considering the ample and reversible operating handle up top, but I suppose some will find it useful. However, the AR-style ambidextrous magazine release is definitely a welcome addition, making mag changes a nearly thoughtless process.

This is where a pistol brace would mount — if legal by the time you read this.
If it is, Brent wholly recommends you buy one and use it legally.

On The Range

Surprisingly, it’s not at all ungainly to use the included iron sights. Okay, I lied — it’s doable but not all that enjoyable. Holding the gun out in front of you at eye level makes this possible and we actually got some decent groups at 15 yards, keeping the entire magazine in a 4″ cluster. If I took my time, I could actually get tighter groups of about half that amount. The trigger isn’t anything to write home about — not surprising given the weapon type — ranging from 7 lbs., 20 oz. to 5 lbs., 11 oz. on my Lyman digital trigger gauge. The average was 6 lbs., 9 oz.
Firing from the hip? Well, it looks cool. Meanwhile, the entire of top of the Scorpion 3+ Micro is a Picatinny rail, so you can easily attach any sight system of your choice.

As we admired the targets, a friend who was a firearm instructor noted, “Nice group. Of course, you could do the same thing with a pistol….”
Therein lies the rub — by itself, the Scorpion 3+ Micro is great fun to shoot and neat-looking, but will it replace a standard autopistol in a legit self-defense role? The answer is clearly no. However, with some type of optic on the Pic rail and, oh, say, some kind of support system used occasionally or incidentally, you would now have a lightweight, compact, reliable self-defense arm that would offer some definite advantages over a handgun, especially at longer distances.

But we didn’t tell you that. At the time, we were too busy fantasizing about being a world-class bodyguard — occasionally and incidentally.

MSRP: $1,200
CZ-USA.com

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