Aftermarket Safeties for the CZ Scorpion EVO3
This entry was posted on June 1, 2017 by
"Aftermarket Safeties for the CZ Scorpion EVO3 listed from left to right: Parker Mountain Long Left, Apex Left, HBI Left, Manticore Left, Stock Left, Stock Right, Manticore Right, HBI Long Right, HBI Short Right, Gear Head Right, Apex Right, Parker Mountain Short Right."
I'm sure by now you've noticed that pistol caliber carbines (PCCs) are a thing. I mean, I know I love them. They're fun, decently inexpensive to shoot, and some of them just look cool. It's a mystique almost. Take, for example, the CZ Scorpion EVO3 S1. It's got fantastic looks, and when you grab one, you get that vision in your head of clearing rooms with an MP5. Am I right? Or is that just me?
Anywho, PCCs are big enough that IDPA now allows them in competitions as a specialty division. USPSA allows them as well. There's a pretty good selection - AR pattern rifles (Glock and Colt), MP5 pattern, Sig Sauer's MPX, and several others. Even though I have a Colt pattern 9mm, my personal favorite is the Scorpion. It's a good balance of capability and price, and there's been a suprising amount of aftermarket accessories that have popped up. Most of these accessories have been from smaller manufacturing operations and may be less well known.
Since I know how annoying it can be searching through dozens of sites in search of accessories and reviews, I wanted to try to consolidate some information for you on available Scorpion accessories. I decided to start with the safety, since I think that's one of the major "really should change" parts on the CZ. I found that the factory safety on mine really dug into the index finger of my firing hand. Could I shoot it? Of course, but I'd still like to be a little more comfortable. So, in the spirit of knowledge, here's a rundown of (most of) the safeties available. I think I've gotten everyone but CZ Custom. They have a push-button safety, but hadn't responded to my email at time of writing.
By way of a preface, the fit and finish were excellent on all the models tested, although the finish varied between the manufacturers. Some used a parkerized finish, others had a more smooth, flat black look. All the safeties tested allowed the folding stock of the carbine to function. That was actually one of my criteria for testing, which led to the deletion of the Apex standard Ambi Safety from my review (they were designed for the pistol version and won't allow the stock to sit flush).
One thing to consider when we're talking about the finish is the indicator line. The stock levers, Parker Mountain, and HB Industries all have laser-etched white indicator lines. For people who intend to use these in a competition role, it might make it easier for the range safety officers to see the status of your PCC, especially in stages that require ditching. The other safeties have an indicator line machined into the safety, but it will be the same color as the finish. While I wouldn't necessarily make a decision about these safeties based solely on the indicator line, it might be a factor.
Parker Mountain Machine
As far as AR style safeties go, Parker Mountain offers you the most options. They make left and right safeties in both short and long, dimpled and smooth. I went with a long left, short right, dimpled version, as that's the closest safety to the M4 ambi safeties that I'm used to.
It functions exactly as I expected. The short right kept the safety clear of my finger, and manipulation was almost identical to the ARs I'm used to. Since the dimpling is on the exterior end of the safety, I really didn't notice it that much. I thought the positioning of the selector knob was just right for access.
One other note is that Parker Mountain includes additional set screws with their safeties, so if you strip your screws when you take off the stock levers, you're still in business. My stock levers weren't locked down excessively, but I've heard anecdotal evidence of some Scorpion assemblers being generous with their locking compound. No one else includes the set screws, although HB Industries sells them separately.
The Manticore safety and the Parker Mountain safeties are very similar in their design. Manticore only offers their safety in one length, which is an almost exact middle length between Parker Mountain's long and short levers. They don't offer the dimpling that Parker Mountain does. Honestly, that shouldn't be a deal breaker at all, because there is still plenty of purchase on the safety for manipulation.
If you're looking for a nice mid-length safety lever, and want your safeties mirrored on each side, I'd definitely take a look at the Manticores.
Apex Tactical Specialties
Apex went a very different way with their safeties. Unlike the Parker Mountain and Manticore, the Apex safeties are fatter, with more of a shelf for manipulation than a knob. By fatter, I mean they are the same thickness throughout, unlike the other AR safeties that are thinner towards the trigger, then flare out into the knob.
Suprisingly, this means the Apex actually protrudes away from the gun less than the other safeties. So, if you're looking for the AR style safety with the least likelihood of snagging, I'd have to say Apex should be your first look.
HBI makes five different safeties for the Scorpion - short AK style levers for the left and right side, a long AK lever for the right side, and safety deletes for both sides. I didn't test the safety deletes, as they just plug whichever side you don't feel like having a lever on, but I felt it was important to mention them. If you're looking to switch to a single side safety, don't forget about the HBI option.
As far as their AK levers go, I have to admit I was skeptical at first. I've got hundreds of thousands of rounds through M4 pattern rifles, both on the military and civilian sides, and I'm used to the way they operate. I'm significantly less comfortable with AK pattern rifles, especially their safeties. But in the spirit of fairness, I wanted to give the AK levers a good look.
I was really impressed with these levers. Obviously, they operate in a manner completely opposite of the AR style safeties, but they offer some real advantages. First, they actually make it a little easier to manipulate the safety. Hear me out on this: the AR style safeties are typically shorter to avoid hitting your fingers. The more you shorten up a lever, the less leverage it produces, meaning the harder it gets to manipulate the safety. Since these levers stick out to the front, they don't go near your finger when firing, so they don't have to be shorter. More leverage, easier manipulation. Now, obviously, they do require some re-training, meaning you'll need to get in lots of repetitions to make it seamless. But with multiple available configurations between the two right-side levers, one left-side lever, and two safety deletes, the HBI AK style levers deserve a serious look.
Gear Head Works
Gear Head Works also produces an AK style right side safety, although they call it the Reverse Safety Lever. Much like the HBI AK styles, I found it very easy to manipulate, even though it is significantly shorter than the HBI versions. If the HBIs look just a little too long for you, and you don't want the intrusion into the trigger area, definitely consider the GHW version. I personally found it very easy to manipulate once I put in a few reps. I felt it was a little bit smoother to operate than some of the AR style safeties as well.
GHW currently only makes this for the right side of the gun, so you'll have to decide on a lever for the other side. It's for a reason, though. According to Paul at GHW, "we personally advise for right handed shooters to keep the factory safety on the left side...you put the gun on 'fire' with your thumb, and 'safe' with your index finger. This way your hand is always pulling down on a lever which is much easier to do than trying to push up on one. That means the shooter's hand will never have to shift to operate the safety in either direction."
With that in mind, the Reverse Safety Lever is a great option if you're looking for something different than the AR styles.
Overall, I was extremely pleased with the available options. You can tell the companies really put thought into their designs and tried to make a product that benefits the end user. From talking to the various owners and representatives, I definitely got the feeling that these are good people looking to innovate in their areas. They went out of their way to make sure I had what I needed.
I didn't pick a favorite in this article, and that was on purpose. My needs and likes are probably different from yours, and I don't presume to tell you what you should buy. I'm more interested in making you aware of your options, and I hope I've done that.
If you enjoyed this article, please let us know. If you'd like to hear more about accessories for the Scorpion, we'd love to know that too, so we can get to working with the manufacturers on samples.
Thanks for reading!