TFB Review: WORLD'S 1ST PRODUCTION Ideal Conceal IC380

Adam Scepaniak
by Adam Scepaniak

Many of you may have heard about the cellphone shaped pistol that drew lots of positive and negative buzz roughly 2 years ago when it was announced. From theory to development to further development, the Ideal Conceal IC380 has been on a long road to being crafted into what Kirk Kjellberg, founder and CEO, had originally envisioned on a napkin.

From the time it was originally announced back in March 2016 to receiving an update on its functional progress in June 2017 to Ideal Conceal accepting investors back in August 2017, TFB like so many of you have been along for the odyssey.

Now TFB has in our possession the WORLD’S 1ST PRODUCTION Ideal Conceal IC380 pistol!

I personally feel blessed and fortunate because my day job is managing one of my family’s gun stores in central MN which is 15 miles from Ideal Conceal’s base of operations in Monticello, MN. For close to 3 years I have gotten to know Kirk Kjellberg and his tight-knit team from Ideal Conceal. He has had advocates, haters, and doubters over the years, but he did what many of us only dream about. He dreamed up a firearm from a napkin idea in his head, and he MADE it.

specifications: ideal conceal ic380

At the moment, there are only 2 Ideal Conceal IC380 pistols in existence (one of which we have the privilege of testing; thank you Ideal Conceal). The model we test in this article already had 2,000 rounds pushed through it with no problems. A fairly impressive feat considering that is 1,000 times this pistol had to be loaded. This is not like a Glock 17 magazine capacity we are dealing with here. The layout of the nitty-gritty specifications for the Ideal Conceal IC380 .380 ACP derringer can be read below:
    Pistol currently has a Patent Pending
    • Over-Under, Striker-Fire Control Group has a Patent Pending
    • Ideal Conceal is a Registered Trademark
    • Weight: 18.3 Ounces (Unloaded)
    • Length: 5.5″
    • Width: 0.75″
    • Height: 3″ (Collapsed; Folded In)
    • Height: 5.1875″ (Extended; Folded Out)
    • Body & Frame is 100% Aluminum
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Leading up to the 1st surge or wave of these firearms into the market, Ideal Conceal has 1,000 Pre-Orders that they will need to ship to dealers across the country. Those are expected to be fulfilled this summer. Ideal Conceal has not benchmarked an MSRP (Market Suggested Retail Price) for the IC380.

    initial impressions: ideal conceal ic380

    Before taking this firearm to the range I got more intimately acquainted with the functioning and handling of the pistol. For starters, it is definitely small and convenient to carry. A simple side-by-side comparison to the Droid phone I own and the Ideal Conceal has a smaller blueprint. It is barely wider or thicker than a cellphone, but at 3/4″ it is a lot smaller than many competitors like a Glock 42.

    Speaking of… here are couple photos of a Glock 42 overlapping the Ideal Conceal IC380.

    This cellphone shaped pistol creates a unique scenario for prospective concealed carry. While the pistol is folded shut, presumably being carried, it has a smaller blueprint than a Glock 42. When the handle is folded out to shoot, it is longer than a Glock 42. This is great for CCW holders because it is easier to hide and simultaneously easier to shoot.

    The trigger pull while dry-firing it (it was the same during live-fire) was admittedly long, but consistent and smooth. There was not a crescendo in trigger pull weight or some flinch-inducing build up. The trigger pull is heavier. With my experience shooting a lot of handguns, I would ballpark it around 10 – 12 Lbs. for a striker-fire which is tolerable for a carry gun. I did attempt to get a trigger pull gauge reading, but my personal one tops out at 8 Lbs and this pistol ended up being more than that.

    Overall, it has smooth, clean edges which are perfect to throw in a pocket. No sharp or unfinished corners to cause a concern of snagging or ripping holsters or clothing. The handle deploys easily by simultaneously pressing a spring-loaded button on each side. Two hands would be required to draw, point and shoot this firearm, but that could still be done smoothly with range practice.

    range time: ideal conceal ic380

    While shooting it at the range, there were a lot of constructive criticisms and thoughts I had. The sights on this pistol are very low-profile like many compact pocket pistols. The silver-colored rear sight is actually integral to the frame and part of the barrel-latch, lock-up mechanism. The front sight, on the other hand, is a simple black blade on the slide. In combination, they are difficult to see and shoot.

    The recoil of this pistol was surprisingly pleasant and very enjoyable. I was not sure what to expect going into shooting this in regards to the kick, but my preliminary thought was not that the recoil would very easy and manageable. Ironically to my delight, it was easy recoil to manage and shoot. In comparison to other .380 pistols, this was significantly easier to shoot than a Ruger LCP, Taurus TCP, Smith & Wesson Bodyguard or other similarly sized pistols.

    The extremely thin profile of the Ideal Conceal IC380, only 0.75″ in width, made it an odd gun to handle at first. I do not have a proprietary, secret Jedi shooting technique, simply fingers laced over each other with both thumbs forward, but the thin profile forces you to squeeze your grip tighter and slightly alter your grip. Something I overcame within 4-6 shots.

    One unique and valuable feature is this pistol is capable of double-strike; striking a primer multiple times with additional trigger pulls. In a semi-automatic, a second primer strike typically requires the slide to reciprocate to reset the firing pin. With this pistol, if you have a bad round just keep pulling the trigger. Oddly enough, this valuable feature was utilized on this range trip. I was shooting an old box of Federal Estate “Range & Target” .380 ACP FMJ ammunition and one round did not go off. After confirming a strong indentation occurred on the primer from the first trigger pull, I folded the derringer closed, pulled the trigger again, and it went off.

    After that learning experience, I played around with shooting one round at a time just to pique my interest of which barrel shoots first. The bottom barrel always shoots first (point of information).

    As I stated previously, the Ideal Conceal IC380 has clean, smooth edges, but you can still feel the handle’s grip transfer recoil directly into your palm pretty strongly. That feeling goes away in seconds. It is not a lingering pain or discomfort, but just another point of information.

    2nd perspective at Range time: ideal conceal ic380

    While I was shooting at an indoor range with this pistol, there was a young couple next to me shooting as well. A petite, polite woman who was maybe 5′ 3″ and 110 Lbs with a boyfriend who was roughly 5′ 10″ and 160 lbs. in size. Their size does not matter to me and it should not for our readers, but I mention their stature so you have a better basis of where their comments are coming from.

    Before I left the range, I introduced myself, the unique firearm I was shooting and asked if they would like to shoot it also which they said yes! After a quick instruction of how it worked and letting them dry-fire it a couple times, they each shot 2 rounds.

    They both had very similar comments after my short orientation and sending 2 rounds down range. Paraphrasing their words…

    A rubber handle would really be a nice touch to this or some kind of Talon grip tape. Something to give it a little better grip. The trigger pull is really smooth but it is really long… like, really, really long! It’s a great idea though! Love the fact you could have this on you all day and everyone would think it is your cellphone.

    A lot of the sentiments I expressed they shared as well. They were pretty excited by the fact at how convenient it would be to carry this and the fact that you could do it openly without judging eyes. The input of a rubber folding handle or simply applying an existing product like Talon grip tape I especially liked. Little things to easily boost the comfort and enjoyment of shooting the derringer.

    final thoughts: ideal conceal IC380

    This is a gun that is close to my heart because its made in my home-state and I know the owner and founder. I hope you have enjoyed this review and I was as unbiased as I possibly could be.

    I believe the ability to open carry, in states that allow it, without triggering other people is great. Open carry makes your ability to defend yourself more accessible and faster. The trigger is really long but smooth. The long trigger can act as a type of ‘safety’ because there is no manual safety. Being as this is not a semi-auto where you can rack the slide and load a round into the chamber, you do want to carry this loaded. And I can already hear your questions coming… Yes, it is safe. When the handle is folded shut, it fully covers and protects the trigger; completely.

    No MSRP has yet been set, which I find interesting. Time will tell where these truly sell at. I believe this gun will become a mainstay in the market and we may see a lot more pistols that pseudo-replicate common items that can be open carried (wallet, cellphone, etc).

    Also, one final note… word on the street is… a 9mm version may be coming.

    In closing, thank you to Ideal Conceal, Kirk Kjellberg and everyone from their team for allowing TFB the opportunity to shoot and review the WORLD’S 1ST PRODUCTION Ideal Conceal IC380 .380 ACP derringer!

    Adam Scepaniak
    Adam Scepaniak

    Editor | AllOutdoor.comWriter | OutdoorHub.comWriter | TheArmoryLife.comWriter | Tyrant CNCWriter | MDT Chassis SystemsSmith & Wesson Certified ArmorerGlock Certified ArmorerFirefighter/EMSCity CouncilmanInstagram: strength_in_arms

    More by Adam Scepaniak

    Join the conversation
    2 of 70 comments
    • Rogertc1 Rogertc1 on Apr 27, 2018

      Still just a vapor gun. Maybe be out in 2019 for $500. What a deal.

    • Jimmarch Jimmarch on Apr 27, 2018

      I hope to God this is never actually sold.

      Cops already want to shoot anybody who points a cell phone camera at them. This is going to give them an excuse. Please, NO.