I see that Oleg Volk is posting some photos of the Vz61 Skorpion pistol/SMG, so I figure we should follow suit. We’ll do the mechanical, and leave the artistic in his capable hands.
The Vz61 “Skorpion” was developed for the same reason as the M1 Carbine – as a light and portable weapon for military folks not really suited to having standard issue rifles. People like vehicle drivers, for instance. Talk about different results, though – the US came up with a small version of a rifle, and the Czechs devised a big version of a pistol. Which is better? It depends on your circumstances.
The Skorpion was originally designed in .32 ACP (aka 7.65mm Browning) in a perfect example of the Czechs not following the Soviet lead in munitions. The small caliber made for light recoil and reasonable controllability in automatic fire, and the fixed barrel and wire stock made a valiant attempt at allowing accurate shooting.
On the VZ61 Skorpion page of the Vault, you can find a much more detailed history of the gun, as well as a CZ manual for the automatic variant and a gallery of detailed photos of a Yugoslav-made example (it was adopted as an officer’s sidearm by that nation).
Czech Small Arms ( CSA, formerly D-Technik ) of the Czech Republic makes a very well-built semi-automatic version of the vz.61 Skorpion for the civilian market. It is available in different versions with synthetic and wooden furniture, all firing the 7.65mm or .32 ACP round, and is available through Czechpoint USA of Knoxville, TN. Czechpoint has an interesting slow-motion video that you can watch on their website, http://www.czechpoint-usa.com, that illustrates the accuracy and controllability of the Skorpion in rapid-fire mode.
As an aside, they are also the US distributors for the semi-automatic version of the famous vz.58 assault rifle, available in both the original 7.62mm x 39 caliber and 5.56mm x 45 NATO caliber. Again, the weapons are manufactured by CSA / D-Technik and are of outstanding quality.
Before I forget, the Czechpoint website also features excellent videos of the vz.58 in action. Of particular interest is the slow-motion clip of the mechanism functioning during a firing cycle, part of which was filmed with the top cover of the receiver removed to show the inner workings, as well as macrophotographic clips looking straight through the barrel bore into the firing chamber and at the bolt as rounds are loaded into place.