As soon as I heard that Ben Webb had joined ASG, I contacted him immediately. Aside from congratulations, I asked him if he would put the case for ASG’s flagship platform – the CZ Scorpion Evo 3 A1.
I knew that even before he’d joined ASG, Ben had retired his cherished Marui NGRS rifles for the crisp trigger response, 1:1 scale and military grade externals of the Evo.
As most readers will know, Ben spent many years at the helm of Airsoft International Magazine – steering it in a new direction and setting the gold standard in airsoft print journalism.
Not only that, but Ben has really supported this blog over the years – going so far as to pen some very popular articles – for which I am extremely grateful. He’s also a good friend and is well known and well respected on the UK airsoft scene.
Trustworthy, experienced and with inside information, I can’t think of anyone better to advocate persuasively for what is a very compelling replica. Enjoy!
– Rich Norman
Words and pics: Ben Webb – ASG
Back in 2012, under a veil of secrecy, the technical minds of Danish-based ActionSportGames (ASG) turned towards creating something unlike anything else on the airsoft market; and a replica unlike any other in the world. After years of prototyping, development and revisions they finally unleashed the officially licensed CZ Scorpion Evo 3 A1 upon the world…
The real steel CZ Scorpion Evo 3 A1 (referred to as the ‘Evo’ from here on) is a modernised, compact and ruggedised 9mm sub-machinegun. It shares the name of the venerable CZ ‘Skorpion’, a rather antiquated Soviet-era SMG that is now thoroughly out-dated. If we consider that to be the progenitor, Laugo’s M6-K might well be interpreted as the second part of the legacy, although I’m reliably informed it was developed entirely independently.
With a largely polymer construction and a modular design, the Evo is an adaptable package and although available for civilian shooters, is more than capable of coping with the rigours of tactical use. A growing number of law enforcement departments are making use of the platform around the world, along with Pistol Calibre Carbine shooters, an exciting and growing competitive target shooting discipline.
Enough for now about the real steel Evo, there’s more than enough to get on with regarding the replica. ASG’s tech department and designers wanted to create something truly unique.
They COULD have created a replica of the CZ Evo, shoehorned a Version 3 gearbox in it and called it a day but that really wouldn’t have achieved what they had envisioned. They wanted to break the mould. The process started with the concept of making everything better than the status quo. This included a completely custom gearbox shell casting. This allows for a stronger, more precise and importantly thinner gearbox shell with a higher strength. This in turn allows the external dimensions of the gun to remain faithful to the original.
Speaking of externals, ASG used their partnership with CZ to the full extent; working their design from the original CAD files of the real steel weapon, to create a finished product with not only the right shape but also the right feel and texture to match the real thing. This was no mean feat. A massive amount of time, effort and investment was required to ensure the plastic moulding technology produced an end result that excelled.
The same principles were applied to the mid-cap magazines. A highly complex and industry-first mould was created costing in excess of £70,000. This was designed to create a one-piece magazine outer shell, that could hold the internals together without the need for unreliable fixings or cheap self-tapping screws. Much like the rest of the gun, this not only resulted in a better end product but also one that is easier to work on and maintain, with fewer tools and less infuriating ‘spring traps’.
At the core of the gun there’s a dependable and custom-made electronic trigger control board that monitors the position of the sector gear via the cut off lever. This unlocks crisp semi-auto and burst modes, along with smooth and rapid full auto fire. The rest of the internal components are largely based on freely available Version 2/3 parts, allowing users to assemble their own upgrade packages if desired.
Perhaps one of the greatest things about the production of the Evo is that it is the first ever airsoft gun to be made within Denmark and outside of the Far East. Not only this but the majority of the components are produced within a roughly 50km radius of ASG’s HQ making it feel very much like a community effort.
Something like this is achievable in a culture like Denmark’s, where people pride themselves on precision and allow their work to speak for itself. Several local businesses have taken on new staff and have been able to invest in new equipment thanks to their efforts in the production of the Evo. So, on many levels, it’s a ‘feel good’ product.
At a general price point of around £320 and with a snappy trigger response, the Evo has been widely accepted as a great “skirmisher’s” gun, offering competitive performance at a reasonable cost. With features like the empty magazine detection and bot catch simulation, along with a truly quick-change spring system (indeed the spring is faster to swap over than the battery in standard configuration) the Evo offers more realism than your average AEG.
The realism is matched by 1:1 scaling (albeit of the later generations of the real steel Evo). Along with ASG’s specific line of upgrade parts – some of which are actually exactly the same as the parts used on the real Evo – there are a host of high quality aftermarket RS accessories that fit the airsoft replica.
Companies like Yeti Wurks, HB Industries, Manticore Arms, Parker Mountain Machine and even Midwest Industries are offering upgrade and optional parts ranging from sling point attachments, M-Lok fore ends and sliding stocks. The end result can be a weapon with a full 14”+ barrel, shrouded suppressor and rifle stocked Carbine all the way to a 4” barrel, “K-style” fore end and a sliding rail stock, a true sub-gun.
Uniquely for an industry that replicates real steel firearm parts, ASG has given permission to RS manufacturer (Yeti Wurks) to produce their version of the ASG-designed CNC Short Stroke Trigger. This is targeted for the fully fledged 9mm RS version of the gun. At this point in time, this is the only known example of this kind of interaction taking place and it is very promising indeed.
Thanks to ITAR, sourcing these third-party RS parts isn’t always as easy as buying the parts in the ASG inventory. That said, UK-based airsoft shops like JD Airsoft and Patrol Base have gone to the effort of importing lots of the more affordable and popular drop in RS add-ons. The Yeti Wurks Avalanche Mag Release is one of the most common upgrades and one that can be fitted to the AEG Evo in a matter of seconds.
For a weapon platform to become truly viable, it needs to be supported with a selection of tactical nylon load bearing equipment. For a while, this was where the Evo was being let down. As the popularity of the gun has grown, however, companies like Spiritus Systems have added usable options to their line up; along with bespoke work being put out by artisan tailors.
After a long wait, the much anticipated Haley Strategic D3CR-Micro has been announced which, much like the Spritus Systems MK3 Chassis, supports the Evo along with many other sub-guns. This is great news for serious users of the gun, who demand quality in not only their RIF, but also their apparel and gear. As always, UK-Based Tactical Kit and Huey’s Outdoor remain top suppliers for the discerning buyer
A Real Contender?
Because it is unlikely to be widely adopted by DEVGRU, CAG or UKSF, the Evo is not going to take the place of the 416-a-like or the L119 variants for impression-based Mil-Sim players. However, this really begs the question: is it Mil-Sim or re-enactment you are interested in?
The Evo delivers incredibly realistic simulation of reloading drills, and a PTW-level trigger response in a package that is a fraction of the cost (even when “maxing out” the Evo with internal upgrades); allowing the user to really replicate the operation of the real gun.
This – combined with great real-steel parts compatibility and a growing repertoire of load bearing options – gives you a very compelling package.