Smith & Wesson releases the M&P FPC 9mm Luger semi-automatic, pistol-caliber folding carbine: a new and enticing alternative for home and property protection and for defense against wild animals in the great outdoors!
Introduced on the US market in February 28, 2023, the Smith & Wesson M&P FPC 9mm Luger semi-automatic folding carbine is Smith & Wesson's first foray in the field of pistol-caliber folding carbines – a relatively niche and sparsely populated market so far, but an extremely interesting one.
Folding carbines offer superior comfort in transportation and storage, they're convenient to keep handy for home and property protection, in a vehicle or a backpack for personal defense or close protection details, and they definitely have an edge when it comes to camping and outdoors, for defense against wild animals. 9mm may not seem much for this specific use, but as experience has shown time and time again, it can get the job done – particularly when used with the right loads – and in any way, every gun you have with you is better than the one you had to leave at home.
Unlike its two most closely related competitors – more specifically, the Kel-Tec SUB-2000 and Trailblazer Firearms "Pivot" – and in a manner more akin to the FoldAR design, Smith & Wesson's new M&P FPC carbine features a horizontal folding mechanism with locking latch that allows the 413 mm / 16.25", 4140 stainless steel barrel and its two-parts M-LOK handguard to collapse against the right side of the receiver, cutting the overall 772 mm / 30.3/8" overall length to a mere 406 mm /16.3/8".
Largely manufactured out of aluminum and polymer, the straight blowback Smith & Wesson M&P FPC features a flat, ambidextrous reciprocating charging handle located underneath the stock tube, which also dubs as a recoil buffer tube.
The M-LOK handguard also comes with a full-length MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail for optics or folding back-up iron sights; the horizontal folding design does not interfere with top-mounted sights and does not cause optics to lose zero.
The black polymer grip of the Smith & Wesson M&P FPC is the same found on the Company's own M&P series of handguns; same goes for the reversible magazine release catch, ambidextrous hold-open release catch, and interchangeable palmswell system allowing the M&P FPC to adapt to any shooter hand's size.
The M&P FPC folding carbine feeds through the same double-stack metal magazines used in the 9mm iterations of the Smith & Wesson M&P pistol series. A 17-rounds and a 23-rounds magazine are issued with each M&P FPC carbine, in a carrying bag with additional storage and Velcro straps; the M&P FPC can however make use of original series M&P and M&P M2.0 compact and full-size magazines with or without grip adapter spacers in place.
The Smith & Wesson M&P FPC can hold a magazine in place in the grip when folded; however, since the reciprocating charging slide/handle doubles as retainer for the locking latch, it can't be cocked or chambered in that state.
Some of our readers in Europe will by now be wondering whether the features of the Smith & Wesson M&P FPC carbine could make it classifiable as a Category A8 firearm – a specific type of prohibited firearm designated by the 2017/853 (now 2022/555) European firearms directive and for which very little Countries in Europe provide legal exceptions for ownership.
Category A8 covers those long guns (meaning, those firearms that are both longer than 60,1 cm / 23.66" overall and feature a barrel longer than 30,1 cm / 11.85"), whose overall length can be cut under the 60,1 cm / 23.66" threshold through a "folding, collapsible, or easily removable" buttstock while not losing functional capabilities.
In layman's terms, a long gun would fall into Category A8 if a collapsing, folding, or removable buttstock would allow it to become shorter than 601 mm, but it should still be capable of firing with the stock removed, folded, or collapsible.
Since the Smith & Wesson M&P FPC can not chamber or fire a round in the folded position, it would most definitely not fall in Category A8. Local authorities of European Countries could thus not appeal to that specific legal quirk to prevent it from being imported.
Weighing in at approximately 2,28 kilograms (5.03 lbs.) when empty, the Smith & Wesson M&P FPC folding carbine features a 1/2-28 threaded muzzle with thread protector for flash hiders, muzzle brakes, or silencers; and an integral spare magazine carrier underneath the magazine, allowing two additional mags to be always carried with the carbine, ready for use.
The Smith & Wesson M&P FPC carbine features a flat-face trigger with an integrated trigger safety, and a crossbolt safety on the front top portion of the trigger guard, easily reached with the shooter's index finger.
MSRP for the Smith & Wesson M&P FPC folding pistol-caliber carbine is set at $659.00 on the US market.