Smith & Wesson’s Folding Pistol Caliber 9mm Carbine  

Firing around cover and under vehicles isn’t difficult

When testing the new S&W FPC carbine among my strongest impressions is that this is a fun gun to fire and use. The FPC has few sharp edges, is reliable, more than accurate enough, and affordable. The safety features are good. This is a formidable emergency firearm. The Smith & Wesson Military & Police FPC 9mm carbine neatly checks every box in the home defense checklist.  I enjoyed the FPC so much I put a dent in my supply of 9mm ammunition. The FPC for area defense of a hardened location such as a bank or school building.  A carrying bag supplied with the FPC would allow a business owner to carry the FPC back and forth from home and work with little unwanted attention. Unfortunately quite a few folks are upset by the sight of a firearm. The carrying bag resembles an apparel bag. If  properly understood and deployed the FPC is a great defensive tool.

The FPC weighs five pounds. It is 30.3 inches long. Folded the piece comes in at 16.3 inches. This is compactness! In the bag are compartments for accessories and magazines. The FPC’s  blowback operation works fine. The FPC 9mm is supplied with a single 17 round flush fit magazine and two 23 round extended magazines. These are compatible with Smith & Wesson 9mm M&P handguns. The Folding Pistol Caliber 9mm features the obligatory ½ x 28mm threaded barrel. The 16.3 inch barrel is covered by an M Lok handguard. The upper receiver features an 1913 rail. The receiver is hinged at the front to allow pressing a robust latch to rotate the handguard and barrel to the left side of the carbine. The rifle folds horizontally rather than vertically. This prevents optics from taking a bump. The FPC cannot be folded with a chambered cartridge. Yes, we are not idiots but yes idiots exist. No sights are provided.

The ejection port is generous. Administrative unloading is simple enough. While a carbine is a carbine and a pistol is a pistol I enjoyed using the M&P pistol type grip. The optional inserts were not changed as handfit was fine. This grip is the Military & Police compact grip frame allowing use of the full run of S&W magazine sizes. The FPC features ambidextrous bolt releases a reversible magazine release and a cross bolt safety. I cleaned the FPC and make a number of dry fire runs. The trigger breaks cleanly at just over five pounds. The charging handle is behind the receiver. This handle reciprocates as the weapon is fired. A rule is to keep your cheek and chin out of the way of the cocking handle while firing. It will not cut your but will slap you and beards beware.

The FPC 9mm is a reliable and useful carbine.

The FPC is much easier to shoot well than a handgun. Practical accuracy is greater than a handgun and velocity somewhat better. Accuracy at even 100 yards is sufficient to rip the center out of a target. The FPC carbine allows a shooter with a minimum of training and marksmanship skills to put a lot of hits into a threat quickly. The stock features a secure carrier allowing deployment of two spare magazines. Some practice is required to quickly release magazines. This ammunition reserve is good to have handy on the firearm not the belt.  The fits most shooters well. I mounted the SIG Romeo 7 red dot sight for testing. I lubricated the bolt- about the only maintenance the FPC will need- and began firing. The red dot was easily sighted in. Firing impressions were good. The FPC carbine has some momentum but recoil is light. The trigger features a sharp reset. Ammunition was fired in combat drills extending to 25 yards with good results. The FPC will put five shots into less than an inch at 25 yards from a solid benchrest. More importantly the FPC is a joy to fire and use in offhand fire. The X ring suffered!

I like this carbine a great deal. There were no failures to feed chamber fire eject in firing at of this date well over four hundred cartridges.  It is friendly to use and has advantages over the handgun shotgun or rifle in many situations. I recommend the FPC  for anyone needing a measure of authority they may not find in another type of firearm. If you don’t have time to master the pistol for home defense and the shotgun kicks too much, a common complaint of the occasional shooter, the FPC is a good answer to the question of home defense.

A stock acting as a magazine carrier is a good feature.

Smith & Wesson M&P FPC Specs

  • Type: Blowback-operated, semiautomatic
  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: 17- and 23-rd. S&W M&P pistol magazines
  • Barrel: 16.3 in. 
  • Overall Length: 16.3 in. (folded), 30.3 in. (fixed)
  • Weight: 5 lbs. 
  • Stock: Tubular steel with 13.2 in. LOP
  • Finish: Blue
  • Trigger: 5.5 lbs. 
  • Sights: none, MIL STD 1913 Picatinny rail
  • MSRP: $659
  • Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson, Inc. 

Velocity testing                     Beretta 92               FPC

  • Blazer 115 gr. FMJ:           1150 fps                1199 fps
  • Fiocchi 124 gr. XTP:            1168 fps                1280 fps
  • Federal 124 gr. HST:           1161 fps               1233 fps
  • Federal 147 grain HST:         1080 fps