TFB Review: CZ USA Scorpion Bullpup

    CZ Scorpion Evo Bullpup w/ P90 style grip

    The CZ Scorpion Evo is one of the most popular pistol caliber carbines. It is affordable and is a lot of fun to shoot. It was brought into the US as a pistol but after a short while, CZ USA started offering it as a full carbine. While rifles are cool they are a bit long. What if we could make a CZ Scorpion bullpup pistol caliber carbine? Back in September 2018, Manticore Arms teased the firearm industry. They made a CZ Scorpion Bullpup. We requested to review one as soon as it was announced. Well, it finally arrived and it is a mix of frustration, piqued curiosity, and pure elation. Let’s go deep into the CZ Scorpion Bullpup.

    How To Make A Scorpion Bullpup

    The Manticore bullpup chassis was designed around the CZ Scorpion Evo carbine. The entire bullpup chassis kit comes in a small cardboard box.

    The small cardboard box contains the bullpup chassis kit.

    Here are all the parts laid out.

    The instructions were a little bit helpful but I found this video on YouTube to be much more helpful.

    For the most part, building the Bullpup is relatively straight forward. However, there were a couple of steps that drove me nearly over the top with frustration.

    Don’t try to install the bolt catch like this. Follow the way the guy did it in the video.

    The biggest pain was removing the trigger group out of the factory Scorpion lower receiver. Some posts online say that some Scorpions have welded screws or that CZ uses red Loctite. I tried brute strength to remove the hex screw and it did not work. I tried heating the screw with a soldering iron to heat up the Loctite. 30 minutes of direct contact and the screw still did not budge. I ended up having to drill out the screw. Thankfully, you do not need to reuse this screw when installing the trigger group into the Scorpion Bullpup chassis.

    With the trigger group out of the lower receiver, you can install all the parts into the bullpup chassis. Below are all the parts removed from the Scorpion Evo lower receiver. Other than the safety selectors and the lower receiver housing, you are reusing everything else.

    You need to remove the trigger shoe and replace it with the one on the left. This new “trigger” is what interfaces with the flat trigger bar.

    The original trigger is reused and bolted to the trigger bar.

    Arise Scorpion Bullpup

    In its original form factor, the CZ Scorpion Bullpup is ok. But I found certain features lackluster. Part of the Scorpion Bullpup kit is a cheek rest that bolts to the Scorpion’s top rail. Placing your cheek on said rest positions your head a lot higher than normal. Manticore included a rail riser for use with absolute cowitness optics. See the two photos below. The optic riser makes the Scorpion extremely tall, especially with an optic. It is so tall that I had difficulty fitting it in my rifle cases.

    Optic riser installed.

    Without the optic riser, it is very difficult to get a sight picture.

    The barrel of the CZ Scorpion carbine is rather thin and CZ USA included their new barrel shroud made to look like a suppressor. I removed it and discovered there are enough threads at the base of the barrel to screw on the Manticore barrel extension.

    There is no real place to grab the Scorpion bullpup with my support hand so I decided to add a vertical grip. I added a P90 style grip.  Since the carbine handguard extends past the trigger guard there is enough room to bolt a Picatinny rail and mount this P90 grip. I ended up modifying the P90 style grip a bit to allow the grip to shift back right up against the trigger guard.

    While I can still wrap my support thumb through the trigger guard, somewhat like a P90 or Beretta M93R, I find this P90 grip more ergonomic as an AFG and position my left thumb forward.

    Not a lot of room for my trigger finger and thumb but I can make it work.

    Can You Bullpup A Pistol?

    When the Manticore Scorpion Bullpup kit was announced, I immediately wondered if the kit could be installed on a pistol. Yes, it can and no it is not an SBR to the best of my knowledge. In the original CZ Scorpion pistol it is not illegal to shoulder a pistol with or without a brace. Here I have simply relocated the trigger and pistol grip. It is still a pistol and all I am doing is shouldering the receiver. Not stock or brace used.

    To test this I borrowed my friend’s CZ Scorpion Pistol and installed the chassis, which is just a redesigned lower receiver. I also installed the cheek rest. What I omitted in the bullpup pistol build was the curved butt pad/stock. I kept the pistol end cap on the back of the Scorpion Evo pistol. See the photo below.

     

    Here is another bullpup pistol next to the CZ Scorpion Bullpup pistol.

    Gwinn Firearms Bushmaster Arm Pistol next to the Scorpion Bullpup pistol.

    The only concern is that the rear stock/buttpad acts as a third point of contact. The bullpup chassis, when installed on the carbine, has three points of contact. The front of the trigger guard has a metal hook that grabs onto the carbine handguard. The second contact point is the takedown pin and the third point is the stock/buttpad that holds the lower receiver up against the upper receiver. Is it necessary? No.

    Changing The Scorpion Bullpup Grip

    CZ USA wanted the chassis to reuse the factory pistol grip. So when Manticore designed the bullpup chassis it was before the widespread proliferation of aftermarket grips. I got a Magpul pistol grip and it will not bolt on without modification.

    You have to remove that vertical wall just above the finger swell in the front of the Magpul pistol grip. I removed that protrusion as well to make the grip more comfortable.

    There is a slight issue using this grip. It was not designed for the Scorpion Bullpup. So my hand sits much higher than the grip was designed for. My middle finger rides just below the trigger guard and is not even touching the Magpul pistol grip.

    I could reach further down but this feels awkward.

    P90 All The Things

    Photo by FN America

    My favorite bullpup is without a doubt the FN P90. This is why I opted for a P90-style forward grip. It is made by Worker for 3rd party Nerf guns. But it works. I talked with our Italian writer, Giorgio O. and he agreed to help me finalize my dream Scorpion Bullpup. Here is a photoshopped idea of what I wanted.

    With several back and forth communications and measurements, Giorgio designed this grip for me.

    My friend Ted aka @darksoul_design helped 3D print the grip. His 3D printer bed is not big enough to print the entire grip so I had Giorgio segregate the front from the rear and had Ted print just the rear grip. Due to my half-assed measurements, the grip was not a perfect fit. Rather than waste time redesigning the grip I used some hand tools and made the grip fit the bullpup chassis. I also added the carry handle from my PTS Magpul FPG.

    Shooting The Scorpion Bullpup

    It has been a while since I shot a CZ Scorpion but I found the bullpup version to have noticeable recoil. Perhaps I am spoiled shooting roller delayed blowback pistol caliber carbines?

    Above my friend Kevin is trying out the Scorpion Bullpup. I used the factory optic riser and while it allows for a proper sight picture, the overall height with optics is too tall for my rifle case. The problem is the long factory pistol grip. The P90 style grip co-designed by Giorgio and I helped to solve this problem. But you still have the issue of getting a proper sight picture. I found using the Midwest Industries night vision mount to be the proper height with the factory top rail.

    View this post on Instagram

    @czusafirearms #czscorpionbullpup #p90grip #czscorpion

    A post shared by Nick Chen (@solscud007) on

    One complication I found with the CZ Scorpion design is the forward charging handle. Unless you use the factory optic riser or a slim optic mount, your optic of choice or other accessories, like this DBAL D2, can interfere with the charging handle. In the configuration below, you cannot lift the charging handle. Also, the charging handle is not very long so wide accessories make it harder to manipulate the handle.

    Another issue is that the Scorpion Bullpup is really only for right-handed shooters. My friend Paul is left-handed and left eye dominant so he has to switch shoulders and close his left eye to shoot the Scorpion Bullpup.

    Since the Scorpion bullpup does not use the factory safety selectors, there is a cross-bolt safety that blocks the trigger bar. I found out that if you drop the hammer and turn the safety on, it is impossible to rack the charging handle. The bolt is blocked by the hammer and the hammer cannot be reset with the trigger bar locked on SAFE.

    Final Thoughts On The Scorpion Bullpup

    While I was frustrated with the installation, I had nearly forgotten my anger until I recalled those emotions and experiences while writing this review. Shooting the CZ Scorpion Bullpup is a lot of fun and pushed those bad memories aside. Even though the recoil is a lot more stout than I am used to. I am not sure why that is? Perhaps it is due to the receiver being closer to your face and there is no proper stock possibly reducing recoil? The trigger pull is not great but I can push past it and still get quick follow up shots.

    I love the aesthetics of the bullpup but the factory handguard needs to go. The slope at the top near the front of the handguard irks me. It means there is less real estate to mount accessories. This is especially obvious when you use a Scorpion Evo pistol.

    Manticore Arms makes their own handguard and carry handle optic riser. However, I find this to look too long for some reason. It does not evoke the same feel of compactness like the original Scorpion Bullpup design.

    Suppressing the Scorpion Bullpup is not great since the action is closer to your ear, there is a lot of noise escaping the ejection port.

    The aesthetics of the Scorpion Bullpup are polarizing. You either love it or hate it. I found a lot of CZ Scorpion owners dislike the looks of a Scorpion Bullpup. But fans of Anime, Sci-Fi, or Cyberpunk celebrate the style of this bullpup, especially after the modifications I made. I feel like this Scorpion bullpup could have been something Masamune Shirow came up with himself. He created Ghost In The Shell.

    The Scorpion Bullpup kit retails for $399.99 off CZ USA’s website. If you want to make your Scorpion overall length shorter and more unique check it out.

     

    Nicholas C

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]


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