When the Czech Vz61 Skorpion was first made, a little over 50 years ago, it was the smallest submachine gun in existence. It was also the only one ever chambered for the .32 ACP. The brilliant design was by Miroslav Rybar, and one of its features was a clever device to limit the rate of fire, preventing excessive muzzle-rise. Some may question the choice of .32 ACP for a gun of this type, but this chambering allowed it to be very small. Also, remember in Europe, for many years, the .32 ACP (7.65mm) was an acceptable police cartridge.
The Skorpion comes in a nicely fitted case, complete with lots of accessories.
For a long time, I’ve been fascinated by the Vz61 Skorpion. That “Vz,” by the way, is Vzor the Czech equivalent of Model. I wanted to own one, but there are very few of them in the US, legally or otherwise and the price would be outrageous. There would be the Federal Mickey-Mouse-BS, and the $200 tax fee too.
But now I have one … almost. It’s not full-auto, and it lacks the fold-up shoulder stock. Also, it doesn’t have Rybar’s neat rate-of-fire system. But then, being semi-auto-only, it doesn’t need it. Otherwise, though, it’s a Vz61 Skorpion in every way, and very nicely done by D-Technik A.S. in the Czech Republic. It’s available from CzechPoint, Inc., of Knoxville, Tenn.
As a brief aside, I will note over the years the gun has been made in other chamberings, like .380, 9mm Makarov and even standard 9mm. That last one named had to be just a little larger, overall. CzechPoint has brought some into the US in .380 in later 2012.
The semi-auto handgun version of the Skorpion has a lot of good points. It’s all steel, no alloys and the finish is a combination of matte blue and phosphate. The 1-piece comfortable handgrip is an attractive light-colored wood. The well-made magazines are double-row type, in 10- and 20-round capacities.
The manual safety is located on the left side of the frame at the top of the grip, and downward toward the front is the off-safe movement. The markings are “0” for on-safe, and “1” for firing. The third position, “20” of the original Vz61 is, of course, not there. The safety internally locks the sear and the bolt.
The safety positions are marked “0” and “1.” Off-safe is shown.
There are bolt-retraction knobs on both sides at the front. They are low profile, but have good concentric rings for a non-slip hold. An internal catch holds the bolt open after the last shot. With the magazine out, or a loaded one inserted, a light pullback on the knobs will release it. When empty, the magazines have a small plunger on the back edge expelling them when the left-side release button is pushed.
The sights are good, with both front and rear protected by substantial ears. According to the well-written manual, the round-post front sight has a threaded base, and can be rotated for lateral adjustment. The U-notch rear sight is a flip-over type, with the back marked “75” and “150” meters. Optimistic, I’d say, on a gun of this type.
The test Skorpion, in .32 ACP, was a close copy of the
famous full-auto version (minus the folding stock).
With its top-located ejection port, I also wondered if the Skorpion, like a Mauser C96, would arc the fired cases down the back of my shirt. No, the twin ejectors of the Vz61 kicked the empties forward of the shooting position. Shooting distances were 25 yards and 7 yards, standing, and I tried both 2-hand and 1-hand holds.
On-target, at 7 yards with a one-hand hold, put five rounds in the 8″ black of a Champion VisiColor target, well centered, the group measuring 4.5″ by 2.7″. At 25 yards, with a 2-hand hold, the group figures were practically the same. The trigger is nice, about 1/16″ take-up, then a crisp 4-pound pull. After the target work, a number of beechnuts on the ground were vaporized, some from belt level — no sights. A plinker, extraordinaire.
Yes, the Skorpion definitely qualifies as a fun gun, but its appearance would also make it good for home defense — the bad guys might think its’ something else! The Vz61 comes in a nicely fitted case with a belt, holster, magazine punch, one 10-round magazine and two 20-round magazines. Suggested retail is $599 and worth it. If you think the .32 ACP is too light, track down a .380 ACP version.
By J.B. Wood
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/czech-point, (865) 247-0184