Submachine gun Scorpion Vz.61
Despite the very large distribution of automata in the second half of the twentieth century, submachine guns, which were previously virtually the only manual weapons with the possibility of automatic fire, have not disappeared anywhere. True, the usual type of submachine gun has gradually changed, which is especially noticeable when comparing samples of the Second World War with modern ones. On the one hand, everything remains the same, it’s still the same weapon that can be “spat” by the bullets of pistol cartridges in automatic fire mode, but the layout of the weapon, its dimensions, weight have completely changed.
It is difficult to name a specific period in years when the dimensions of submachine guns decreased, but on the whole this transition occurred within ten to twenty years after the end of World War II. In fact, it can be said that all post-war designs reduced their size and weight by changing the layout. This happened because the machine guns seriously pressed the PP, and the weapon, which was previously the main manual with the possibility of automatic fire, became a weapon for the crews of armored vehicles, police and for combat in cramped conditions, which required not only small dimensions, but smaller ammunition .
In Czechoslovakia, the development of such weapons was decided to be dealt with late. Despite the fact that the country is famous for its gunsmiths and has always been at the height of its weapons, which was valued all over the world, a compact version of a submachine gun appeared only by the sixties. Such a delay is explained by the fact that initially the designers made a mistake and decided to create a weapon that would be quite compact and light and at the same time could conduct automatic fire on the base of the gun. But the idea was a failure initially, since it required a rather complex structure to reduce the rate of automatic fire, and, as a result, very fast wear of weapon parts. In addition, the ease of use of such a gun raises many questions, and successful samples of guns firing a queue can be counted on one's fingers. Looking at the fact that the automatic fire in the CZ52 pistol is a costly and unreliable business, it was decided to curtail work in this direction and start creating a more reasonable solution to the task, which was the Scorpion VZ61 submachine gun.
Since time was wasted, the development of a new software was a kind of opportunity to rehabilitate for designers, and they fully justified themselves with a new model of weapons, once again confirming that the gunsmiths in the country are among the best in the world. Even taking into account the fact that this was not the first compact version of a submachine gun in the world, the Scorpion can be considered one of the first modern models. Even if you now look at this weapon, then it is unlikely that someone previously unfamiliar with the "Scorpion" will be able to say that the submachine gun is already more than half a century old. Yes, the weapon gives out plastic that is used in it, a handle with an unusual angle of ninety degrees and other individual details, but in general the weapon doesn’t look at its age and can be easily taken if not as a modern model, then as a weapon of the end of the twentieth century is very easy. The controls of the submachine gun are thought out to the smallest detail, and they are thought out from the point of view of ease of firing, as well as from the point of view of carrying a weapon. So, despite the fact that all PP controls are large enough and comfortable even for switching, when the hands are protected by thick gloves or gloves, nothing in the design of the weapon bites into the body even when wearing it hidden. Special attention should be paid to the shutter knobs on both sides of the submachine gun, they are made in the form of small protruding elements that do not interfere with wearing at all and although it may seem that their use is not very convenient, you get used to them quickly and there is no inconvenience. The switch of fire modes and setting the weapon to the fuse is carried out using a small switch above the pistol grip of the weapon, the location of this switch is most convenient for switching with the thumb of the holding hand, although it requires sufficiently long fingers. The sights of the submachine gun open, consist of a pillar and a front sight, in general, the simplest, although there are various options even with a diopter sight, which in my opinion is a nonsense for a submachine gun. In addition, the submachine gun "Scorpion" can have a wide variety of butts, including even fixed wooden ones, individual samples have the ability to install an additional handle to hold the pistol when firing.
A variety of different variants of the Scorpion submachine gun is not limited only to various variants of butts or sighting devices, the designers were required to constantly upgrade weapons for ammunition. As it turned out, the design of the submachine gun is so successful that a deep modernization is not required when changing the cartridge. At various times, the Scorpion submachine gun used a variety of ammunition from 7,65x17 to 9x19. In one case, such a modernization was required by the weapon due to the adoption of the cartridge 9х18, in other cases the transition was required for the weapon to enter the world market.
This omnivorous ammunition is ensured by the fact that the designers have very successfully solved the problem of reducing the rate of fire from a submachine gun. Since the automatics of the weapon are built according to the free-bolt scheme, and the weapon’s dimensions do not allow for ensuring the sufficient weight of the bolt and its long stroke, it was decided to introduce into the scheme a kind of “catcher” of the bolt in the rear position. At first glance, the hook hook in the form of a regular hook is the simplest element, but everything is not as simple as it seems. On the surface for public viewing only the hook is open, but it is associated with a very complex mechanism, the basis of which is inertia and springs. Having reached its rear position, the bolt not only engages with the hook, but also triggers the mechanism, the result of which is to raise the retaining hook after a very short period of time, but long enough for the firing rate of the submachine gun to be reduced to the required level . Very often in the description of this submachine gun you can meet a few words about the fact that moving in a vertical plane inside the pistol grip parts reduce the accuracy of the weapon, and theoretically this is true. But to be honest, the small weight of moving parts, albeit moving at a very high speed, cannot create a noticeable deflection of the weapon during firing, especially for weapons where 150-200 meters to the target is the limit.
If we talk about the Scorpion Vz.61 submachine gun model itself, then it is in it that one can observe a decrease in the size and weight of the weapon that the designers were striving for. The length of the submachine gun with extended wire butt is equal to 517 millimeters, with a folded butt butt its length is equal to just 270 millimeters, of which 115 is millimeter long. Separately, it is necessary to note such a moment as the fact that firing can be conducted from one hand or from two without using a butt, that is, the weapon turned out to be really compact. Naturally, according to modern standards, this model of a submachine gun may not be considered the most effective, since it uses relatively weak ammunition. But, as it was written above, this submachine gun developed further, the cartridge changed, some moments changed in design, the appearance changed, and as a result of this evolution, very little remained of the first sample.
Quite often, this pattern of submachine gun associated with terrorist groups. Indeed, at one time these weapons often flashed in the hands of not the best representatives of the human race, this even to some extent contributed to the popularity of weapons. But we should not forget that a weapon is only a means of hitting a target, and a man directs a weapon at a target and shoots a man, therefore associating a weapon with the goals for which it is used is clearly wrong.
It is interesting that now the citizens of Russia have the opportunity to at least partially become closer to this weapon, however, in its defective form, but rather - disfigured under a traumatic cartridge. Just a couple of years ago, a version of a submachine gun chambered for 9mm RA became available. Naturally, such a weapon is not even a means of self-defense, although it is performed better than many other types of traumatic equipment. The weapon is deprived of the possibility of automatic fire, its design has lost the delay of the shutter in the rearmost position, as it became simply unnecessary. Nevertheless, the submachine gun in its traumatic version retained the appearance of military weapons, as well as its mass, close to the original, and the dimensions of the weapon, which pushes people to purchase this sample. So to say, MMG with the possibility of shooting any kind of ammunition. For the purpose of self-defense, it would be strange to recommend this weapon, since as a traumatic weapon this submachine gun has no advantage over lighter and more compact samples of traumatic pistols and revolvers.
- Karasik Kirill
- Photos used: