Maruzen Vz61 Scorpion

Maruzen
Vz61 Scorpion

by Toke Lund (aka Utrak)

Stock
Specifications
FPS
223fps
(HFC134a)
Length:
270mm / 520mm
Barrel
Length:
 ?
Weight: 1056g

Ammo
capacity:

30+1
rounds


After
a long time of wanting this GBB version of the Scorpion since
it came out, I decided to get one.

Appearance:
As I pulled it out of the box for the first time, I noticed
that it has a nice heft to it, even though it “only”
weighs just over 1kg. I also noticed that the upper receiver
had been pushed upwards out of alignment with the lower receiver.
Pushing down on it, it snapped back into place. This issue would
return, but more on that later. The Scorpion is also very small,
only slightly longer than the M11, if both have folding stocks
attached and folded.

Next
thing I noticed was the feel of the upper and lower receiver,
outer barrel, and trigger guard- they are plastic with a very
rough sandpaper-like texture. These plastic parts, compared
to the plastic body of the TMP/SPP, are much thinner and more
flexible, and have a rougher texture.
The hollow grip is plastic too, but a very hard and strong plastic,
that feels very nice to hold. It has a much finer texture than
the other plastic parts.

Immediately
after my first impression of the body, I got a surprise as I
turned the gun over to look at the right side- I was expecting
to find the ejection port, but found a mirror image of the charging
knob from the left side. Huh? I then spotted the ejection port
on the -top- of the upper receiver… apparently, the real Scorpion
ejects the spent cases upwards (and probably forwards)! This
was news to me.
The magazine release button is on the left side of the lower
receiver, and pushing it in let me pull out the magazine. The
magazine as a very odd, asymetrical shape, with a ridge running
down the left side of the back. The magazine well is equally
odd-looking, and soon enough, as I tried to put the magazine
back in, I found out how difficult it is to fit the magazine
correctly into the well. It’s a very fiddly process in the beginning,
but with some practice it’s no problem at all. Also, the magazine
locks firmly into the well with a loud “clack!”, and
will not accidently drop out.

The
folding stock is full metal and seems sturdier than the M11
stock, but it wobbles just as much. It is also much quicker
and easier to deploy; all you have to do is slap up with your
palm on the part that sticks under the barrel, thereby unlocking
it from the stock retainer/front sight, and swinging it into
place, where it locks. To fold the stock in again, you squeeze
the two bars of stock together at the base, unlocking it, and
swing it up and forwards, and push or let it drop into the stock
retainer/front sight.

The
selector switch and trigger are both metal, and they both
have a nice, smooth action.
As for authentic trademarks, unsurprisingly for a Maruzen
gun, there are none to be found, but luckily the Maruzen
trades are fairly discreet.

Overall,
the Scorpion’s design isn’t very ergonomic or practical. It’s
difficult to grip it properly by the magazine, and I can’t see
any easy or practical way to attach a sling. However, it does
fit nicely in my mk23 holster from Redwolf. The strap that usually
holds the grip of a pistol, will hold the magazine on the Scorpion,
leaving the rear part of the gun sticking up above the holster.
It actually looks pretty cool and is pretty practical too! Alternatively,
you could get an original Scorpion holster, I have one of those
on it’s way too.

Testing:
As I filled the magazine with HFC134a gas for the first time,
I noticed the fill nozzle isn’t parallel with the bottom of
the magazine, rather, it points in a straight line up at the
top of the magazine, so, make sure to line up the gas bottle
correctly with the nozzle.

At
first I thought the BB follower wasn’t able to lock into place
at the bottom of the BB well, but I later found out that it
is- the BB follower locking feature is just very poor and very
hard to engage.



Having filled the magazine with gas & BBs, I put it in the
gun and pulled back on the charging knobs, a finger on each
side. The charging action is not very smooth, unlike the light,
smooth charging knob pull on my KSC M11. Having pulled the bolt
all the way back, I released the charging knobs, and the bolt
slammed forward again. Aha, so it fires from the closed bolt
position, I had guessed on the open bolt.

I
moved the selecter switch backwards to “1”, gripped
the magazine with my left hand with my thumb resting up on the
side of the upper receiver, aimed through the open sights at
the target and pulled the trigger.

Wack!
Ow! The left charging knob flew back and slammed my thumb, so
I moved it down, out of the path of the knob. I fired off a
couple more shots, the report is loud and and the blowback is
pretty hard. Then, the Scorpion started firing blanks.

I
took out the magazine and looked at the stacked BBs, everything
seemed in place, I put the magazine back in the gun and tried
shooting; more blanks.

A
good opportunity to try taking down the gun for maintenance,
I thought, and opened the manual. The pictures are not
very detailed and not very helpful, but after a while
I had the gun in pieces. After having figured out the
takedown procedure, it’s actually extremely quick and
easy, which was a pleasant surprise.

Out
of the box, the Scorpion’s internals were covered in a
thick, black, nasty grease, which I immediately wiped
off and replaced with a bit of silicon spray. Checking
the internals for damage and finding none, I then put
the Scorpion back together and tried shooting again. This
time it shot perfectly, and I thought I had solved the
problem.

After
some more test firing, the dry-firing issue returned,
and I found out that the problem lies in the magazine.

As
you can see in the above picture of the front top of the mag,
the BB well is split into two different pieces of metal near
the top. Between these two parts there are several slight seams
and gaps, and the BBs tend to jam there.

However,
by removing a screw on the top of the magazine, the upper metal
part can be pulled up and off (it’s pretty tight at first),
and then these troublesome seams and gaps can be easily smoothed
out with, for example, a very fine needle file. After this,
the jamming and dry-firing problem is gone! Or so I thought.
After yet more testing, I found out that the real problem was
my hand that gripped the magazine. The BB follower easily gets
caught on my fingers, and then the whole BB stack jams nice
and tight. By simply not wrapping my fingers tightly around
the front of the magazine, just leaving some space, the problem
is now finally and utterly gone! I don’t know if seams and gaps
really had anything to do with the jamming, but I think so.
In any case, if you smoothe out the BB well a bit and don’t
squeeze the front of the magazine, you shouldn’t jam.

Running
out of HFC134a and the local airsoft shop closed for the weekend,
I dared using HFC22 for further test shooting. Luckily, the
Scorpion seemed to use this gas without problems at all.

Having
had plans to detach the stock, I was a little dismayed when
I found that the folding stock wasn’t readily detachable. The
folding stock base isn’t detachable at all (as it holds some
internal parts in place with two screws), but the wire stock
itself can be removed easily with the help of some tools.
I think that the scorpion looks very nice without the stock,
and can be used more like a handgun than an SMG, but… as I
tried firing it again without the stock, the upper receiver
would start getting knocked out of alignment with the lower
receiver. In the beginning I blamed the overly hard recoil because
of HFC22, and a very weak rear part of the lower receiver, the
part that goes up and holds the upper receiver in place. This
part is indeed very weak and bendable, with an open seam in
the middle. The open seam is necessary for total takedown of
the lower receiver/trigger mechanism, but I glued the seam firmly
shut with composite epoxy glue, making the rear end of the lower
receiver stronger and stiffer.

However,
to my dismay, this didn’t cure the problem- but I found that
putting the folding stock back on, the problem vanished. Very
clever yet annoying, I thought, using the folding stock to make
the design sturdy enough for the strong recoil. With the folding
stock in place, either folded or deployed, the upper receiver
is never knocked out of place, even with HFC22 gas. So, no gluing
is necessary, just leave the stock attached.

Also,
the bolt locks back after last BB fired. To release the bolt,
you pull back on the charging knob a little, and the bolt smacks
into place, ready to rock n roll again. :)

Performance:
As for the actual performance of the Scorpion, I have been comparing
it extensively to my M11 and SPP, and using only HFC134a gas
(that I bought after the weekend). This has led to some interesting
results.

First
of all, I found the Scorpion to be more accurate than the other
two, but the range is a little shorter when using .25 BBs. When
using .20 BBs the range becomes more like the other two, indicating
a lower power, or a gentler hop-up. I find that at long range,
the shots from my KSC guns tend to often hook and/or fly upwards
(regardless of hop-up adjustments), while the shots from the
Scorpion have a very even path and drop-off.

As
I tried using low-grade “Gold Fire” BBs in the Scorpion,
I found out that it has a very fine tolerance, and the uneven
BBs will consistently jam in both magazine and barrel. Using
high grade BBs, there are no such problems. My “high grade”
BBs are currently Power Bees, but I hear Excels are better…
perhaps using Excel, there will be no jamming in the magazine
at all?

I
did a lot of target shooting on both semi and auto with all
three guns, to compare their accuracy, and I intended to include
scans of the targets in this review for comparison. But I found
the differences to be surprisingly small, so I won’t bother.

At
first, the accuracies turned out the way I expected: The SPP
performing like a sawed-off shotgun, the M11 having good accuracy,
and the Scorpion having even better accuracy. But as I did more
target shooting, it became apparent that they all had good inherent
accuracy, if they were to be fired fixed on a bench. The differences
in performance lies elsewhere.

SPP:
With it’s very blocky iron sights and hard blowback kick, this
baby is hard to fire accurately, but with practice and a better
scope attached to the optional scope rail, the groups can be
tightened right down. The inherent accuracy is fine!

M11:
During these tests, I have found out what firing from the open
bolt position really does to the accuracy. Throughout the tests,
the M11 would consistently hit higher than where I aimed, and
I thought it was because of the very basic iron sights. But
at one point, I took out the magazine and racked the charging
knob, aimed the attached laser pointer at the bullseye, and
pulled the trigger. As the bolt flew forwards, the laser dot
jerked wildly up and right, then down and left as the bolt slammed
home. I tried gripping the M11 much tighter, but the laser aim
did exactly the same as before. Even with the stock extended
and shouldered, and gripping the gun very firmly, it did the
same, much less this time though. I hadn’t thought the open
bolt position would have that big an effect on accuracy.
Scorpion: Despite it’s very hard blowback kick and very basic
iron sights, this gun is surprisingly easy to get some very
tight groups with, even without using the folding stock. Even
when all three guns were aimed very carefully from a rest, the
Scorpion is definitely considerably more accurate.

As
I don’t have access to a chrono and I didn’t have a soda can
in the house, I had to find a different method to measure the
power. I decided to use a bar of soap… :)

Surprisingly,
still using only HFC134a, and .25 BBs, the Scorpion actually
made a bigger crater in the soap than both the M11 and SPP.
The Scorpion also sounds like it shoots harder, a loud, sharp
BANG on single shot, and a very aggressive and loud “ratatat”
on full auto. It sounds much better than my M11 and SPP. :)
The Scorpion’s high power means that the shorter range must
be due to a less aggressive hop-up than the KSC guns.

As
for cycle speed on full auto, I can’t really tell any difference
between the SPP, M11 and Scorpion. They’re all up there in the
high RPMs, which is faster than I expected for the Scorpion.

Gas
efficiency is fair, if the magazine is allowed to warm up for
a couple of minutes after charging it with gas. At 20 degrees
C, I get one full mag’s worth 29 BBs on full auto, plus about
8 full auto shots, then a few more with severe cooldown before
the gas is finally gone. These numbers are of little use to
other people, though… when reading different reviews of the
same gun, I find the gas efficiencies to vary wildly, either
due to differences in the guns themselves or the temperatures
or the brands of gas used, or all of the above plus other variables.
But, the Scorpion seems to be fairly efficient, however it uses
considerably more gas than my SPP and M11. This must be the
reason for the higher power, more gas used per BB.

Upgrades:
There are still very few upgrades for the Scorpion, but the
ones that exist are very useful. DEN
has the following things: Wood grip, two different threaded
metal outer barrels, and a TN inner barrel.

Before
I received the Scorpion I was thinking of getting the wood grip,
but I think the stock plastic grip is surprisingly nice.

A
metal outer barrel is an absolute must, though. It feels and
looks so much nicer than the very plasticy stock outer barrel.
So far there are two different metal outer barrels: One from
Maruzen with the suppressor threads at the base of the barrel,
and one from KM with the treads at the tip. I reckon the tip-threaded
barrel allows the stock to be folded while having a suppressor
attached, which the base-threaded barrel does not.

I
got the base-threaded one, and it makes the Scorpion look much
nicer, but I’m going to get the tip-threaded one too, as it
seems more useful for fitting a suppressor. And I really can’t
wait to put a suppressor on the Scorpion… because it’s so
damn loud, and it’ll also look very cool indeed. :)
Hopefully, there will be a metal upper and lower receiver available
sometime, they would really transform the Maruzen Scorpion from
merely a very great GBB into a super-great one!

As
for high-flow valves, the Scorpion really doesn’t need them!
It already uses plenty of gas per shot, and if it used more,
it probably wouldn’t be able to empty a single magazine on one
charge of gas.

Conclusion:
Out of the box, the Maruzen Scorpion has some quirks
that will take a little time to correct (seams in
magazine) or get used to (don’t grip the magazine
too tightly around the front or it’ll jam).

The
plastic body and outer barrel are a little disappointing
to somebody used to KSC guns, but at least some cheap
& nice metal outer barrels are readily available.

The
performance is where the Scorpion really shines, though,
and in many areas it even outshines the finest KSC
machine pistols, believe it or not!

I’ll
still say the two other KSC guns are more practical
and durable for heavy use, but the Scorpion has the
power, aggression and attitude to stand up to them.

Overall,
the Maruzen Scorpion is a pleasant surprise, and I’m
very glad I finally bought it. :)

Maruzen
Vz61 Scorpion review UPDATE 07/03/03:
I
have now received an original east-german MDI Scorpion
holster, and also a KM metal outer barrel with threads,
and an Angs 40x185mm suppressor.

Let’s
begin with the barrel & suppressor, which are
bought from
DEN.
The KM metal outer barrel is very nice quality and
looks completely different than the Maruzen barrels.
The texture and color is much closer to the stock
plastic body, comapred to the glossy black finish
of the Maruzen metal outer barrel. It also screws
in with ease, as opposed to the Maruzen, which in
my case has to be gripped with pliers to be screwed
in properly.

With
the KM outer barrel, the Scorpion suddenly looks a
lot beefier… and threading on the Angs suppressor
results in a totally sweet look! The suppressor is
metal, except for the front cap, which is plastic.
It is nice quality, but it isn’t Tanio Koba… :)
The metal tube is filled with some sort of felt-like
material, kept in place with a spring around the bore,
but it doesn’t quiet down the Scorpion much… luckily,
as the Scorpion sounds so wicked-awesome. :)

As
for the holster, I was a little puzzled as I pulled
it out of the box shipped from Berlin. It didn’t really
look like it could properly contain the Scorpion…
and I was right. There was indeed no way the Scorpion
would fit properly, due to it’s long magazine. Judging
from the room inside the holster, it was designed
to contain a Scorpion with short mag and without folding
stock.

The
quality of the holster isn’t great– but what else
can you expect from surplus east-german gear. :) The
leather is very brown and stiff, and looks kind of
used, yet I can tell it isn’t. The design is very
simple, and also practical. It comes with a shoulder
strap that attaches to the metal D-rings on the back
of the holster, where you also find two belt loops.

As
you can see, there is also an integrated pouch on
the side of the holster… what this is for, I have
no idea. It’s too long for a short mag, and too narrow
for a long mag. Perhaps it’s for a very thin suppressor?
I doubt it. My guess is that it’s for a knife… but
still, it puzzles me.

After
a little measuring, I realized that with some slight
modifications to the holster, the Scorpion would fit.
So I reached for the proper tool for the job– my
trusty old BuckLite! This handy, light weight tool
is excellent for general demolition tasks, and has
served me extremely well since my days in the army!
:)

So,
I started cutting, cut off a bit more, tried it out,
cut some more and finished the job with a stitch on
each of the cut-open leather pieces, to keep the original
stitches from coming undone after the operation.

As
you can see in the pictures, the original design had
two overlapping pieces of leather. By cutting a nice
gap between those two pieces, there’s room for the
Scorpy mag to stick out, so the Scorpion can sit deep
enough in the holster for the outer flap to close
properly.

With
the flap closed, only the end of the magazine is visible–
which looks pretty neat, I think. Even though the
holster looks and feels kinda like an old piece of
junk, it’s very sturdy indeed, it is authentic, and
built for real-steel use. All in all, it’s perfect
for the Scorpion! Now I just need the wood grip, unfortunately
they’re sold out at DEN.

The
holster can be bought from http://www.requisitenkammer.de
, price is EUR 23 (I got it for EUR 30 incl. shipping).
:)

Seperating
receiver problem fix! UPDATE 18/03/03
After firing
my Scorpion a bit more with the new suppressor attached,
I discovered something bad: the receiver problem would
return to haunt/mock me!! Indeed, even though I had
the folding stock attached like a good boy, the upper
receiver would constantly get knocked out of place
when the Scorpion was fired with the suppressor attached.

So
why does it do that??, I hear you ask. Because the
upper receiver pivots on the takedown pin in front
of the magazine well. When the barrel is forced down
(like, say, by a heavy metal suppressor), the rear
of the upper receiver is forced up, strongly encouraging
the receivers to seperate during firing.

That
was the final drop for me – I had to fix this problem!
I thought about it for a long while, staring at the
Scorpion, turning it this way and that. I knew that
pushing against the back of the lower receiver would
keep the upper receiver from escaping when fired.
Some testing proved this.

The
solution
Finally I came up with an idea
as shown in the picture. A clamp (the red part)
that would be attached with a hinge to a base
(the blue bit), that would be permanently attached
to the upper receiver behind the rear sight.
The clamp would pivot down and grip the uppermost
rear part of the lower receiver, keeping it
from being pushed back by the recoil force (purple
arrow, it’s bad and therefore has a big red
X over it) by applying an opposite force (the
nice green arrow).

Also,
the whole thing had to be low enough to not
block the rear sight, and not hinder the folding
stock (even though I was planning to lose the
stock if this fix would work).

With
this rough plan in mind, I went to the hardware
store and picked up a selection of hinges (see
pic). These were quite cheap (we’re talking
pocket change here), but you can also get some
similar hinges that are stainless for outdoors
use, and they cost a fortune (like a whole meal
at the local cheap chinese restaurant!).

Then
I did some pondering again for a while, trying to
figure out the best way to attach which hinge to the
upper receiver. I came to the conclusion, that there
is not enough space behind the rear sight, to securely
attach much of anything! So, I laid my eyes on the
rear sight itself… and removed it. As you can see
in the picture, there are two threads where the sight
is secured with two screws. I decided to take advantage
of this!

After
some more pondering, I chose the wire hinge, and after
a good while of hammering and drilling, it appeared
as seen in this picture. Two small holes for the rear
sight screws, and the wire beaten into a clamp-like
shape.

I
gave the contact surfaces on both upper receiver and
hinge a good filing and cleaning, thereby giving them
an even, yet rough surface, that is good for glueing.
As seen in the picture, I proceeded to attach the
hinge on the receiver, with both component epoxy glue
and the two screws (which are also glued into their
threads for maximum durability). After making sure
the hinge base was completely straight and level on
the receiver, I then simply glued the rear sight onto
the top of the hinge base (after filing the bottom
of the rear sight, for maximum gripping surface for
the epoxy).

About
12 hours later, the glue was dry. I then assembled
the Scorpion and filed the pivoting clamp until it
had a nice grip on the back of the lower receiver.
I also filed down the two blobs of glue that had emerged
from the screw holes on the inside of the upper receiver,
so that they don’t block the cycling bolt.

Testing
The time had come to test the fix. I left the stock
off and fired a shot (without BB). The receivers stayed
together and the clamp base didn’t break off. I tried
on full auto: the same result. I tried out the worst
case scenario: no stock, suppressor attached, full
auto. Still everything worked. I did some more testing,
with BBs loaded this time: the same positive results.

The
vertical aim was off, though (of course), as the rear
sight was higher now, sitting on top of the clamp
base. I pondered the solution for a little while,
then just removed the actual sight, but leaving the
sight housing in place. I found that with this configuration,
it is dead-easy to aim with pinpoint accuracy. The
aim picture becomes a very nice, open one (like the
M60 machinegun sights in Operation Flashpoint), and
gives a better view of the target than with the sights
in stock configuration.

The
result
The result is as seen in the last two pictures:
the open rear sight glued (hopefully) permanently
to the clamp base, which is (even more hopefully)
permanently glued and screwed on the upper receiver.
At this point, it is of course not exactly a pretty
or realistic-looking solution, but with some black
paint, it should be much more subtle.

It’s
a relatively simple solution, and it works like a
charm. However, the rear of the lower receiver has
gotten a little scratched from closing and releasing
the clamp, that was very tight at first – I have filed
down the gripping surface of the clamp, though, as
it doesn’t really have to be very tight at all. As
long’s it’s tight enough to stay in the closed position,
and strong enough to keep the lower receiver from
being pushed back, the receivers will not seperate.

Finally,
I can be rid of the folding stock!! To me, the Scorpion
is a completely different gun without the stock. It’s
less of a odd-looking SMG and more of a totally wicked-looking
handgun… :)~~ Now I love my Scorpion again!

Still
to come: a paint job. Stay tuned for a report and
pictures!

Appearance
3/5 – No authentic trademarks, the plastic outer barrel
looks poor, otherwise fair to great looks all over.

Performance


4/5 – Spectacular, only downside is if the magazine
jams.

Build
Quality

3/5
– Plastic lower/upper receivers and outer barrel aren’t
that great quality, and the magazine has overly fine
BB tolerance.

Value
for Money

4/5
– It’s cheap and good, but the KSC M11 is cheaper,
and better overall. :)

Overall
Potential

5/5
– Slap on a cheap metal outer barrel and use quality
BBs, and this thing rocks!

Comment
on this review in the forums


Last
modified:
Tuesday, March 18, 2003 1:22 PM
Copyright 2003 ArniesAirsoft




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