While a folding handgun no bigger than a smartphone sounds like a thing of the future, the Trailblazer LifeCard isn’t a gimmick. This high-quality folding single-shot .22 caliber pistol is designed for emergency use and extreme concealability. Not only would it serve well as a hidden backup gun, it’s also incredibly fun to shoot.
About the LifeCard .22
The LifeCard is available in .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR) or .22 LR. I tested the .22 LR, which can also fire .22 Short ammunition. A slide-open compartment in the grip will store three rounds of .22 LR or six rounds of .22 Short. There is no extractor or ejector mechanism, but empty cases or live cartridges are easily removed with your fingernails.
Barrel length: 2.5 inches
Length closed: 3.375 inches
Height closed: 2.125 inches
Thickness: .5 inches
Weight: 7 ounces
Safety: Will not fire when closed
Trigger type/pull: Single-action/5 pounds 13 ounces
Operating the LifeCard is simple. When the LifeCard is loaded and the barrel closed, the bolt must be retracted at the rear to cock it. The LifeCard is then ready to fire. It’s always recommended to become familiar with a firearm before operating, firing or carrying. Check out the information video on the Trailblazer website and read the instruction manual for Trailblazer’s LifeCard.
Trailblazer LifeCard at the Range
Firing the LifeCard was the most fun I’ve had testing a firearm in a long time. My shooting partner and I used a B27 silhouette target and started at 10 feet, a reasonable distance considering the design and purpose of the handgun. I fired with a one-hand grip, using high-speed .22 Short ammunition. The .22 Short was the first self-defense rimfire ever developed. It has roughly half the power of the .22 LR but is still lethal at close range.
The LifeCard’s sighting system is actually one long continuous shallow trough. This “guttersnipe” style sight works quite well, though I’d love to see it widened and deepened. I fired three shots, reloading from the storage compartment. All the bullets were well-centered on the target. Recoil was zero thanks to the full-sized grip and decent trigger pull. Many hideout guns use a micro-sized grip, increasing felt recoil.
The Remington Thunderbolt Hi-Speed LRN .22 Long Rifle loads I fired next were more powerful than the .22 Short, but recoil still was not noticeable. With such impressive accuracy, the LifeCard could make a fun plinker as well as a close-range emergency self-defense gun. And with the ability to carry a .22 LR high-velocity cartridge in the chamber with six .22 shorts for reloads, defensive potential increases.
Increasing Trailblazer’s Range
The pistol’s performance from 10 feet was as expected, so we decided to test the LifeCard to its full capabilities. Still using the silhouette target, my partner backed up to 20 feet and fired with a two-handed grip. The shot resulted in a loud clang on the silhouette and the same for 30 as well as 50 feet. He then backed up to 25 and 30 yards, obtaining solid hits at both distances. At 35 yards, his next shot missed.
My first shot at 35 yards also missed. We were going to return forward to 30 yards and call it the maximum range distance for the LifeCard when I decided to try one more time. Lowering my point of aim to the center of the lower fourth of the silhouette, I sighted carefully and pressured the trigger. A solid hit rang out. The next shot from my range partner also resulted in a hit after I explained where to hold the sights. It was an unexpected and incredible performance. There were no malfunctions.
Should You Buy a LifeCard .22 from Trailblazer Firearms
The LifeCard is an impressive piece. The folks at Trailblazer sent along two holsters: a C&G tension adjustable Kydex model with belt clip and the LifeCard premium leather sleeve for inside-the-pocket carry.
I wore the LifeCard openly to a variety of locations where open and concealed carry were legal. No one noticed it or gave me a second look. On my belt in the C&G holster, the LifeCard was readily available yet hidden in plain sight. It’s yet another gun I wished had existed as a backup or deep cover gun when I worked narcotics. The LifeCard is there for times when you want a gun but a standard gun is too much.
The MSRP of the .22 LR LifeCard is $299 for the polymer-handled version, the all-aluminum version I tested is $349. The .22 WMR version is only available with all-aluminum construction and is also priced at $349. There is a threaded .22 LR version for $369.
Trailblazer Firearms: TrailblazerFirearms.com