As I’d list the location and functionality of the CZ Scorpion Evo’s factory magazine release as one of the gun’s great features, attempting to “upgrade” it hadn’t really occurred to me. Despite this, when I saw Gear Head Works‘ replacement unit I figured I’d give it a test drive in my ongoing quest to try out a bunch of aftermarket Scorp accessories. To my great surprise, the “fast paddle magazine release” crushed my low expectations and actually has succeeded in upgrading the factory unit . . .
First, the factory unit. It hugs both sides of the front of the trigger guard (fully ambidextrous), and releases the magazine when it’s pushed forwards towards the mag. The mag release swings on the roll pin you see just above it.
Pushing it forwards can be done with your trigger finger, but it’s best accomplished by pressing it with your support hand thumb while also grasping the magazine and stripping it out. The trigger finger thing doesn’t work so hot because, while the mag release is serrated, it’s also sculpted and tapered, making purchase suspect and the reach a bit of a stretch.
This is the first area of improvement on the Gear Head Works magazine release. The control surfaces on either side are now square — as in, perpendicular to the angle of travel, meaning you’re pushing it head-on. Changing this geometry increases grip and leverage.
Perhaps even more importantly, it’s much less of a stretch to push it all the way to the end of its travel, putting trigger finger-released magazines within reach of most shooters.
While it’s definitely nice to have that option, it still isn’t my preference. I really like reaching back and down (from the forend) with my support hand, grabbing the magazine with my thumb up and naturally depressing the mag release in that same action, and then stripping the magazine out on the way down to grab a new one.
Facilitating this is the addition of an MP5-esque paddle to the bottom of the magazine release. It’s a handy and effective thumb pad that’s extremely easy to find. Pushing the mag release from the sides up by the trigger guard still works fine, of course.
Like the sides, the bottom of the 6061 aluminum part is serrated for your pleasure. Machining and anodizing are both clean and well executed.
Parts fit is great, and installation was very straightforward.
The Gear Head Works Scorpion Fast Paddle Magazine Release is both well-made and well-designed. I truly wasn’t expecting this, but it’s a legitimate functional improvement over the factory magazine release.
Material: 6061 aluminum
Ratings (out of five stars):
Quality * * * * *
No flaws. Fits great. Functions properly.
Overall * * * * *
Necessary? No. Improvement? Oh yeah.
Cool,almost just like, the AK.
A little expensive for a small piece of aluminum, isn’t it?
Probably, but as a new, first to market product you’ll always have a higher price. That being said, all this stuff is expensive. I wish an ambi mag release for an AR was generally priced at $40ish dollars most of them run twice that (the exception being the SIG one if you can find it)
I hear you on the ambi mag release. Being left handed it is essentially a requirement for my guns. Troy is the cheapest at just under 60 bucks but I still find that attrocious for a 5 dollar part with an extra flange machined into it.
Well when you buy software it costs $0.0000000001 for the company to give you that download and license. They charge $80 for it because there were massive development costs. In the case of this mag release, probably not insane but I’m sure it cost plenty to get the CAD design finalized and ready to run a CNC machine. Then you’ve got the machine(s) to pay for. Then the amount of time it takes the machine to mill the part. Then touchup finishing. Then anodizing. Then packaging. Then overhead for warehouse, employees, website, credit card processor, etc. The cost of the part needs to pay off all of the fixed costs, all of the variable costs, and pay back on the initial sunk costs in development and machinery investment, and you need to make a profit on it, too.
GHW isn’t a huge company and the Scorp market is somewhat niche. They probably need to recoup dev costs in a relatively low-ish number of units.
Anyway I think it’s well in the ballpark of a fair price. There’s certainly a lot more involved than the cost of the raw material. They aren’t selling me a chunk of aluminum, after all, they’re selling me a functional magazine release 😛
Dammit, another useful doodad to get installed on my Scorpion 😉
Any risk of it accidentally ejecting a mag while slung up against your body?
Some risk. It’s still skinnier than the magazine well — particularly the mag funnel flare on it — and is narrower than the magazine body, sides of the receiver, and grip, too. So in that way it’s somewhat recessed vs. higher surfaces that would be against you or something else. It also has to travel fairly a decent distance forwards before the mag releases. Well, like a centimeter, but that’s quite a lot farther than a pistol mag release or an AR mag release, etc. So I’d say the risk is very low. But, due to the square sides and paddle extension on the bottom, it’s probably higher than it is with the factory unit.