Sometimes, smaller *is* better:
Yup, that’s the new Smith & Wesson M&P FPC (Folding Pistol Carbine), which I got to shoot recently.
I’m a big fan of Pistol Caliber Carbines, and am on record loving my Kel Tec Sub2000 folding carbine in 9mm. That gun has served me well for the last 20 years or so, and I’m not ready to get rid of it.
But the new M&P FPC is tempting. And if I didn’t already have my Sub2k already tricked-out/upgraded to my personal preferences, I’d jump on getting one immediately.
OK, so there’s my bottom line. Now, let’s talk about what I like particularly about the M&P FPC, and how it compares to the Sub2k.
The M&P FPC is something of an extension of the M&P line of pistols. It can use the same magazines as both the original version and the 2.0 version. The fire controls are the same, as are the grip modules. Anyone familiar with the M&P pistols will find themselves at home with this new carbine.
As is typically the case with Smith & Wesson products, everything is well made, and fit & finish are fine. We had no problems with the gun right out of the box. The gun folds and unfolds quickly, and even a novice user gets the hang of that mechanism after one or two tries. Location of the charging handle and folding release are logical and easy to use.
We slapped a basic Sig Sauer Romeo red dot on it and sighted it in. After that, it was easy to shoot out the bullseye of a target at 25 yards (max distance on the range we used). Seriously, all three of us shooting it could basically make one ragged hole when shooting supported, and do almost as well shooting unsupported while standing. The ergonomics are great on this PCC.
Recoil was also better than I expected. Both guns use a direct-blowback action, but the FPC has a nice recoil buffer built in, making it a soft-shooting gun that will please even someone who is recoil shy. That’s one regard in which it is better than my Sub2000.
Also, since the gun folds horizontally (off to the left), rather than flipping up like the Sub2000, you can mount an optic on it and not worry about it getting in the way (or being knocked off zero). Another improvement over the Kel Tec.
The bolt holds open after the last round. My Sub2k doesn’t.
The charging handle on the FPC doesn’t reciprocate, so there’s less of a chance to snag clothing (or beards!). My Sub2000 charging handle rarely snags, but it can (and has) on occasion.
There’s a clever mag holder on the FPC that holds two additional mags in the buttstock, and it is easy to remove a new mag and load it into the gun. My Sub2k has no such holder.
The trigger is good on the M&P. I had to upgrade the trigger on my Sub2000 with an after-market product.
As I mentioned, it’s easy to shoot well, and the ergonomics are good. I had no problems getting a good sight picture while wearing earmuffs, while that is still a problem with my Kel Tec. And while the Sub2000 still feels short in my hands (after adding a stock extension), the M&P felt fine.
The M&P FPC is wider than the Kel Tec Sub2000, due to the folding mechanism. The difference is 2.5″ for the M&P, 1.75″ for the Sub2k, so it’s not insignificant. The M&P is also slightly heavier bare, and significantly so with two additional fully-loaded 23 round magazines. But the weight is well balanced.
And the M&P comes in a nice, nondescript padded carrying case.
It’s a great little carbine. If I didn’t already have my Sub2000 operating just as I like, I’d be tempted. And to be honest, I’m tempted nonetheless.
This content originally appeared at text and was written by James Downey This content is syndicated and does not necessarily reflect the views or positions of The Liberal Gun Club