The Gun that Launched a Thousand Shipments
There are a select few releases that become the stuff of legends, and none are more notable than the Scz0rpion.
Rumor has it that this release caused an international parts shortage for CZ and cemented GunCAD in the minds of their engineers for years to come. I recently sat down with V8VTwin, a legendary developer in his own right, to talk about the Scz0rpion and all of the amazing stories the surround its release:
What was the motivation to start this project?
“The Evo’s motivation was I actually got a bonus at work, it was my first major work bonus ever, and I bought an OEM Evo Micro, and then I got a Franklin Armory binary for it. I had this trigger pack laying around and I looked at the prices for a new lower so I could swap it out, and it was two hundred f***ing dollars! I was just like, ‘No, no. That’s not happening. We’re making the f***ing Evo.'”
How did development start on the Scz0rpion?
“Development started with me doing it in MESH, actually. I learned how to do MESH long before I actually learned how to do STEP files, which annoyed the s*** out of Sc0rp when he jumped on the project, because I had all these MESH models that I was printing and testing—and they’d work—and he couldn’t mod them or do anything with them. There was about 3 months where every day he’d message me on Keybase and be like, ‘Have you learned how to solid model yet?’ Honestly I wasn’t even trying at the time, but after month 2 I actually started to screw around. I downloaded Fusion, but I couldn’t use it, so I started shopping around for different CAD programs and found Ansys SpaceClaim, and it just worked for me.
Then Sc0rp jumped on board, and shortly after that DeepThought jumped on board. I started working on the magazines and Vityaz jumped on and shortly after InsertMeow. At that point we were gunning, we had the lower already made, we had mags working for it. We were testing the lower and 351322 joined, and that dude came dripping with talent. He was really able to critique the whole thing. I made the upper, he downloaded it and sent it back maybe 12 hours later and was like, ‘Here, I fixed it for you,’ and I was like, ‘Well, f***. This one works better.‘
It was really a collaborative project, we started making stuff and getting models out. Vityaz got the stock perfect, IMA [sic] did the handguard and I did the MLOK on the handguard and modded it so it would work. He did the free-floating mount too. It all kind of worked perfectly.”
What sort of difficulties did the team run into as the project progressed?
“Well me only working in MESH was a difficulty, but only for everyone else, not for me. That annoyed the s*** out of so many people I can’t even tell you. When I started solid modeling, we ran into small issues: mag fitment, things being too tight, not having the stock was a little annoying—at one point we had the stock but not the stock adapter and we were having issues with that; getting it to fit right and not cracking at the pinch points. It was weird, honestly. Getting the parts after the project was announced was the hardest part.
I was getting old bolts, I was getting trigger packs for $15 because people were just throwing them out. Barrel nuts were super hard to get for no reason, so I found that some weird British car used an 18 x 1 lug nut so I bought those on eBay and I have those still on 2 of my Evos. I was terrified of it melting so I made a bunch of different versions. Oh, and the god-damned ejector. The ejector just sucks on the Evo in general, getting that to move and actually eject shells was a little problematic, but we saved that for when everything else was done. It was just a matter of finding the tolerance.”
Who’s idea was it to make the documentation in the form of a comic?
“That was entirely me, that was the first guide I ever wrote and it’ll be the last guide I ever write. It was fun, but I did that s*** in an advanced version of MS Paint. The diagrams you see of how stuff goes together, that was me rendering stuff and using a cartoon skin to represent a drawing of everything and showing how its supposed to go. It was great but f***ing exhausting, that’s why I haven’t written anything since.”
How was the public reaction to the release? What kind of feedback did you guys get at first?
V8: “The community was split between loving it and wanting one, and people who were already established as devs were very angry that it existed.”
KR: “Do you want to drop any names?”
V8: “It was DD2. I can mention AGLeaks and InCarbonite because they sat through GunCAD and did f***-all the entire time they were here and then dropped out, but I’m not gonna specify anyone who’s still around. I don’t want to start drama.”
KR: “No, that’s fair.”
How did CZ react to the release?
V8: “I originally called them and said ‘Listen, I need a bolt,’ and I talked to the guy, he was like ‘Yeah, they’re all out of stock right now.’ I was like, ‘Well, can I give you my name and credit card and you can put in an order for whenever the next batch comes?’ and he was like ‘Oh, yeah.’ When he did that I specifically told him ‘You’re gonna have to up your order by a lot.’ I didn’t tell him why, so he kind of just laughed it off and said ‘Yeah well these things last pretty well so I think we’re gonna be fine.'”
KR: “Famous last words.”
V8: “Yeah, right? Then a few months later I get word that they had to hire 3 new people just to take phone orders, and a little bit after that their entire site went down because we bum-rushed their inventory system. That was down for the greater part of the year. We thought that they weren’t coming back up but they kept taking phone orders so we kept placing phone orders.”
What was the initial reaction to the lack of bolt availability?
“Everybody was real pissed about it, but I did foresee that being a problem which is why we modeled the bolt so anybody who had some machining experience could do it. Granted, CZ did some weird s***, which I think was their version of a copyright, so Laugo Arms couldn’t make it. They apparently had worked on the Evo together, but either there was some business failing or some personal falling out between the two companies. CZ was allowed to continue since they already had a contract for it, but they made little changes to make it impossible to work with the original Laugo stuff. It’s weird but it’s doable.
Hyperion Arms make it now, I want to say Ascalon Arms was working on one, the Nexus bolts, which are now made by Hyperion, and Sheridan was making them. There’s a lot of aftermarket for bolts that wouldn’t’ve existed without this project.”
Were there any official communications between AWCY? and CZ regarding the shortage?
“I reached out to them, and they said they would call me back. They were really abrupt. That was the last I heard from them about AWCY? until OutOfBattery Live went to SHOT Show. When they went, apparently they were like, ‘Oh yeah, we made the 3D printed Evo!’ and f***ing CZ cold-shouldered them and were like ‘Oh yeah, we know about that.’ That was it.
I know that they think negatively of it, which is weird because it uses all their parts and they must’ve made a god-damned mint off of it.”
Has CZ taken any negative stance towards AWCY? or GunCAD in general?
“Yeah. From what I heard from last SHOT Show too, they’re still not our biggest fans. I think its funny because they recently came out with a .22 Evo, which means they’re only 4 years behind AWCY?.”
How long did it take for CZ to recover from the shortage?
“I want to say it was 2 years, and even then it wasn’t a full recovery. That’s when they were able to ship out orders within the same year.”
Do you see a closer working relationship between CZ and AWCY? or the community in general?
“I’m always open to them talking to us and collaborating on anything. I didn’t want to steal their model or anything, I just wanted to see if it was 3D printable and share it with everybody. I have no issue if they came to me and said ‘Hey, so we sold out of bolts because of you, wanna make something else?’ I’d be down, I hold no hard feelings towards them—s***, I love the Evo. But I think that they don’t like us.”
That’s All, Folks!
I want to thank V8VTwin once again for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk to us and for letting us share these stories with all of you.
See y’all on the next one!