Full Conceal M3D Folding Glock Slickguns Review
If asked to pick which new gun product anti-gun folks might love, I’d say it would have to be the Full Conceal M3D; after all, every Full Conceal Glock modification starts by cutting the gun in half.
Unfortunately for those who don’t like civilian firearm ownership, Full Conceal then puts the guns back together after a few more modifications have been made to both halves of the frame. Using some extra pins and screws and hooks and springs and bits, they put Humpty Dumpty back together again, his grip a little shorter than it was before.
What’s the point of all this? To make a Glock that folds.
To be fair, you may now be asking what the point of that is, and I think many people in the internet gun world have been asking that exact question. To say that the Full Conceal has been met with universal acclaim and adulation would be a concealment of peoples’ true feelings on par with the best work of the Korean Central News Agency. Indeed, I might be the only person on Earth outside of Full Conceal who has an appreciation for the concept.
The short answer is that a folding Glock can fit in places that no other Glock – at least, no double stack Glock – can fit. In fact, there are probably a few places I could squeeze a Full Conceal G19 into that wouldn’t hold a G43 just because of their unique size or shape. More importantly, though, the Full Conceal Glock will hold quite a few more rounds than your average pocket pistol.
That’s what the Full Conceal is really meant for, or at least what it should be meant for – holding a nearly full-sized pistol in a pants pocket. Not only can you do this with the M3D, but you can do so without “printing” a traditional gun shape. Sure, if your pants are tight enough and someone is interested enough to wonder what the heck is in your pocket, you might have to answer an awkward question. However, it’s truly less obvious a firearm than your average pocket 9, most of which are too big for a pocket anyway.
You’ll need deep pockets to carry the Full Conceal M3D, both figuratively and literally. Though the price has come down since introduction, it’s still a significant investment at nearly $1000. You’ll also need deep pockets to keep the exposed portion of the pistol slide and magazine from sticking out of your pants while you walk around. I found that swapping to a 15 round magazine instead of the included 21 round mag helped in this regard.
Other than the folding part, a Slickguns Review of the Full Conceal is basically a Slickguns Review of a stock Glock 19; there’s not much else going on here. The foldy bits do necessitate some changes, however, and these changes put a pretty big asterisk on my otherwise thumbs-up recommendation of the Full Conceal.
Most notably, the trigger no longer has the Glock trigger safety tab, as it too must be hinged to fold with the grip. This change means that as soon as the grip has folded back far enough, the trigger can be pulled and the pistol will fire – and that’s well before the grip has been locked into place at the rearward extent of its swing.
It is for this reason that I have never carried the Full Conceal with a round in the chamber. I disagree vehemently with their advertising and marketing that promotes a 21+1 capacity and the ability to quickly draw and fire as soon as the pistol is out of the pocket.
Drawing the M3D is unlike drawing any handgun you’ve ever drawn, because it moves. When it’s in a pocket, you don’t have the ability to firmly acquire the grip in your hand before beginning the draw stroke. Instead, you must pull it up and out of the pocket by your strong hand, most likely by the slide, then transfer control of the slide to your weak hand while your strong hand moves to fold the grip in place. You must then wait until the grip segment has clicked into place before you acquire a proper shooting grip with your strong hand, lest the web of your hand become one with the inside of the Glock, resulting in a pinching of your hand if you’re moving fast enough.
If this sounds complicated, I’m sorry, because it really isn’t, and it becomes natural after only a few repetitions. But because your weak hand must be on the slide anyway, what’s the big deal with racking it to put a round in the previously empty chamber? When combined with the time needed to awkwardly draw and move the grip into its locked position, the additional time required to rack the slide with our hand already in place is not extremely significant, no matter how many videos we watch on Instagram of lightning fast draws against rubber dummies.
Note: I’m not one of those proponents of IDF style training which requires condition 3 carry and racking the pistol when you draw and need to shoot. If your pistol has a good holster which keeps it firmly secure until the moment you need it, and that should be a requirement for essentially all carry, then there’s no reason to avoid carrying with a round in the chamber.
But in this case, as Full Conceal says, you don’t need a holster. Indeed, I’ve had the Full Conceal M3D in my pocket for months at a time and never used a holster, although I would have preferred one. The consequences of this were a hole rubbed in the lining of a pants pocket by the rear sight of the M3D and the occasional sliding out of the pistol when I was seated in a vehicle and my pants pockets were not tight or sticky enough to keep it in place.
Here we must add up the following risk factors: no holster for secure carry, the possibility of firing before the grip is in place, and a hinged gun that is literally moving around as you fumble to grab it. There’s no way you should be carrying with a round in the chamber here.
Even if we were to take away the possibility of the gun firing before the grip has locked in place, and Full Conceal tells me they have a new trigger assembly to fix that problem, I would strongly recommend against carrying with a round in the chamber of the M3D.
That hinged part is a blessing and a curse: it’s a blessing in terms of concealment, but a curse in that, as I said, it’s unlike anything you’ve carried before. It moves around. We’re not used to guns moving around when you grab them, especially considering that the slide assembly is a lot heavier than the grip portion, even if you have a magazine inserted. The difficulty of keeping your fingers – and everything else – away from the trigger increases exponentially in this situation.
Unfortunately, I was not able to try out the trigger fix in time for this article, but Full Conceal tells me they have such a part, and I’m inclined to take them at their word. They also have a device to keep the hinged grip portion from moving around when folded, and that would make it more useful for backpack carry. While it’s not going to unfold in your pocket, it could easily unfold in a larger pack pocket or pouch – and with no safety and the ability to fire before the grip is locked, that could lead to a very bad day at a completely random time, should you choose to keep a round in the chamber. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try out this keep-it-folded device, either, but I hear it’s out there. I suppose a big rubber band would work, too.
Given the significant portion of this article dedicated to discussing potential safety issues, you might think I would recommend against buying the Full Conceal M3D. I’m not. It’s a great option for carry in certain circumstances and I think it would make a good backup gun option for cops; why bother with snatching a tiny pistol out of a boot when you can just draw another gun that’s nearly the same size as your duty pistol? And hey, it’s not like you guys carry much weight as it is, right? What’s another few pounds?
One advantage to the M3D you probably haven’t thought of is that you can finally nickname your pistol without sounding like a total weirdo. I have colloquially referred to the M3D as “Foldyglocks” so often that I had to look up what its actual model designation was for this article.
I like the Full Conceal M3D – I like it a lot. It’s something truly different in a sea of me-too ideas. It’s received a lot of hate, sure, but unlike some things which are different but useless, the M3D fits a very specific niche that no other pistol can quite fill.
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