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The Skorpion was desiged to provide Czechoslovak army non-combat personnel with more firepower than a pistol, but without bothering them with a heavier weapon. The development took place in the 1950's. Production started in 1959 for security forces while the army adopted it after trails in 1961. The Skorpion is offten called Vz 61, which is the short notation of the official Czechoslovak military designation Samopal vzor 1961.

The Skorpion was designed to be no more cumbersome than a pistol. The layout is similar to the ancient Mauser C.96 Broomhandle pistol, which was also produced in automatic versions. The magazine is inserted just in front of the trigger guard and the weapon does not extend beyond the pistol grip. The wire stock folds over the weapon, with the shoulder pad covering the barrel giving the Skorpion distinct looks. The Skorpion is a blowback operated weapon and is fitted with a rate reducer to lower the rate of fire to an acceptable level. The original version of the Skorpion fires the 7.65x17mm round. For export sales the weapon was available in 9x17mm, 9x18mm and 9x19mm as well.

The Skorpion is a very effective machine pistol. It is easy to operate and reliable. When the stock is folded the Skorpion isn't that much larger as a pistol. It allows effective use beyond the range pistols can be used. The Skorpion fires the 7.65x17mm round from 10 or 20 round magazines. It is a select fire weapon with a cyclic rate of fire of 840 rpm. The 7.65mm rounds are not very powerful, but this is compensated by the volume of fire. The effective range is about 50 meters.

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