It’s a pistol! It’s a rifle! No, it’s a firearm. One of the reasons I like dealing with CZ-USA is their willingness to embrace the aftermarket, which has helped their products resonate with enthusiasts. At their NRA show booth, CZ-USA showed off at least three Scorpions outfitted with a range of aftermarket accessories, including the “firearm” seen above. What makes it a “firearm” and not a pistol — despite beginning life as a Scorpion pistol — rifle, SBR, or AOW? . . .
A rifle has a shoulder stock, but this Thordsen Customs Cheek Rest ain’t one. It’s designed to brace against your cheek, and is legal to put on any pistol since it isn’t a stock. Without a shoulder stock, this isn’t a rifle. Since it isn’t a rifle, it also can’t be a short barreled rifle (SBR).
A pistol or handgun is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand, but this CZ has a vertical forward grip, meaning it’s made to be shot with two hands. So it isn’t a pistol/handgun, either.
Normally, slapping a vertical forward grip on a pistol is a big no-no. Once done, the gun can no longer be defined as a pistol and it falls into the category of AOW, or “any other weapon,” which is regulated under the NFA. Creating one without ATF approval is a serious Federal felony. On the bright side, to classify as an AOW it must be under 26″ in overall length*. If it’s longer than 26 inches, as this Scorp pistol became with the addition of the cheek rest, carbine forend, and faux suppressor, then it isn’t an AOW either. The law then simply categorizes it as a “firearm,” and it’s perfectly legal to own and use and doesn’t fall under the purview of the NFA.
The one seen above also sports aftermarket QD sockets, magazine release, and safety levers. A couple other Scorps at the booth were equipped with aftermarket triggers, charging handles, grips, forends, and other brands of QD sockets, mag releases, and safety levers. In fact, I think all of the parts covered in my CZ Scorpion Aftermarket Roundup #1 were on guns in the booth. Pretty cool to see modified guns in a manufacturer’s booth!
A factory unmodified Scorp in FDE was also on display.
* As crazy as it sounds, if you conceal a “firearm” on your person, it becomes an AOW. The definition says it’s an AOW if it’s under 26″ only because sub-26″ is the length the law has determined makes a gun “capable of being concealed on the person.” If you build a gun like the Scorpion “firearm” seen here and then impress the ATF by managing to conceal carry it despite its length, you’ve also just violated NFA law by making an AOW without approval (it’s a $5 tax stamp to Form 4 an AOW, BTW, and $200 to Form 1 one).