It might not be pretty. It might not be smooth and shiny. It might not have good sights or a match-grade trigger. It might not be similar to anything you have ever seen before, but the Ideal Conceal pistol gives you two rounds of .380 ACP in a package that looks for all the world like a smartphone.
Before we pass judgment, let’s take a look at what this innovative little gun offers and how it works. The Ideal Conceal pistol is basically a two-shot derringer, with a tilting set of barrels for loading and a folding design that allows the mobile section of the pistol to serve alternately as a trigger cover and a handgrip. Reloading the pistol is done much the same way one would reload a derringer: Push a barrel latch forward and tilt the barrels up. Use a manual extractor to lift the empty cases out of the chamber, grab them to fully remove them and reload manually before closing the barrels.
The safety on the pistol appears to be the detent holding the handgrip in the closed position. Press in the detent and flip the grip down into the firing position and the gun is ready for action. The rudimentary iron sight could help you line up your shot, but under extreme stress and low light, don’t expect much help from it. This is certainly a last-ditch, close-range weapon; what some people would call a “get off me” gun.
Shooting the pistol is not uncomfortable. The .380 rounds don’t produce recoil that the average adult would consider overwhelming. The fact that the handgrip is a hollow piece of metal, open on the front to allow the pistol to fold up into a “cellphone” configuration, is a bit odd at first, but it works as a handgrip, and in limited testing, the gun was controllable, if not comfortable, to hold and shoot.
In any piece of equipment, a moving joint is a weak point. I didn’t do enough testing of the pistol to determine how the folding grip would hold up under stress. It appears the grip, which also serves as the metal cover for the trigger when the gun is closed, could be damaged if dropped and stepped on, but that would only impact the ability to close the gun. You could still fire it and reload it even if the grip happened to be damaged.
The first thing you might notice when you try to fire the gun is the tremendous amount of pressure needed to move the trigger to the rear. Without a trigger-pull-weight gauge, I cannot say exactly how many pounds of pressure are required to pull the trigger, but many who picked up the pistol to dry-fire it uttered minor expletives during the long, heavy trigger press. To make this pistol fire, you must really want to fire this pistol.
Defensive accuracy at combat distances proved to be a very pleasant surprise. Point-shooting by indexing my forearm on the side of my torso provided near-perfect center mass hits at 3 yards every time. This type of shooting requires training and practice, but the Ideal Conceal did not lack for combat accuracy — nor did I have any issues with reliability in the limited amount of shooting during my first look at the pistol.
This is certainly a last-ditch, close-range weapon; what some people would call a “get off me” gun.
The real questions surrounding the Ideal Conceal pistol focus on the benefits and drawbacks of this design. Whether you call the gun innovative or gimmicky, the one true element in the world of pistol design is this: You can’t get something for nothing. If you want a smaller gun, you need to use a less-powerful round.
Modern .380 ACP defensive ammo works against aggressive humans. As with all handgun ammo, the stopping power of any pistol is largely psychological. That is, a person gets shot and gives up the fight simply because he realizes he has been shot. That being said, a .380-caliber hole is nothing to ignore. So let’s step aside from the caliber debate.
Ammunition capacity is something you can’t ignore. This gun only provides two shots, and if those two shots don’t cause enough dysfunction in your attacker to allow you to escape, your Ideal Conceal pistol becomes an impact weapon; there is no quick way to reload this gun during a fight.
What you are giving up in ammo capacity you are getting back in concealment.
But what you are giving up in ammo capacity you are getting back in concealment. This gun disappears in your pocket, and even if you are reaching for the gun to prepare it for action, the average person will think you are reaching for a smartphone.
This brings us to deployment. Once again, you are giving up something in the pursuit of concealment. Because you have to draw the gun — either from a pocket or an external holster — and then flip open the handle to expose the trigger, it is clear to see that this is not a quick-draw or competition-speed rig. The gun will take some time to deploy. You must train effectively in order to bring the gun into action using a draw that requires multiple movements unlike any you might be used to. But, again, those elements are all built into the design in order to offer more effective concealment.
‘It’s For You’
Whether you look at the Ideal Conceal pistol as a novelty or a tremendously effective design that allows a new level of concealment, you must determine what you, personally, demand in your defensive firearm. The biggest benefit of this pistol is ultra-deep concealment. If you feel you don’t need such concealment or if you are not willing to give up the other benefits of a more traditional firearm design to get that ultra-deep concealment, then the Ideal Conceal pistol might not be for you.
On the other hand, if you require an effective close-quarters-battle weapon that may take a little longer to deploy but is nearly guaranteed to never get a second look, this little derringer might be worth testing out.
Who knows, if you purchase one now, your children or grandchildren might have an interesting, collectible pistol with a great backstory.