What It Is/I Don’t Want to Talk About It:
Full Conceal. This is a discussion I’ve been trying to avoid. I don’t like commenting about, reviewing, endorsing, or condemning controversial products unless I feel very strongly about them. No good comes from it because if you have a positive opinion, you must have been paid for it. If you have a negative opinion, you simultaneously become a part of the cool kids echo chamber crapping on the product du jour while pissing off everyone who likes the product.* So, if it’s a novelty, I’ll usually slide past it and let everyone else get in the internet barfight over it because it’s a lose-lose for me.
Normally, the Full Conceal Glocks would fit squarely into this “nah I’ll pass” novelty category. For those of you who haven’t gotten caught up in this, the Full Conceal Glock is a Glock that folds in half. It’s a Glock Taco. It has a cut through the grip from the bottom of the grip tang to the trigger guard. A new trigger guard is installed as a hinge, and a new collapsible trigger installed to accommodate the forward-folding grip. Here’s a video explaining it:
I haven’t reviewed one, or even fired one yet. I’ve been taking a purely hands-off approach to the concept since I really don’t have much of an opinion on the design one way or the other. But since I held a Full Conceal for the first time at TriggrCon in July, and posted this Instagram video that got 200,000 views and this Boomerang and finally this TFBTV video, I realized how fascinating the Full Conceal is.
And I don’t mean the product itself is fascinating. You guys know that I love my compact and subcompact handguns, so of course I thought the design was intriguing. But I also mean the unprecedented fuss-levels is really what’s entertaining about the whole deal. I have not seen quality rabble from a product since the pistol bayonet, but I can’t figure out why the Full Conceal leaves a lot of people so chafed. Take a peek at some comments from my IG posts:
No. Just, no.
Low grade AIDS > fullconceal
Schedule some chemo….cause this is cancer
I’d rather put my own balls in a sling shot
slingshot my weiner using my balls
So that’s at least two people who would prefer to jettison their penises and/or balls rather than carry a Full Conceal, and at least another pair who think that terminal illnesses are better than the Glock Taco (“Glocko”?) But are they really that bad?
I don’t understand why people are so hot about this thing, and I’m more or less thinking out loud about the pitchforking and I don’t care enough about internet gun fury to develop my own theory in this instance. That’s not the point of this post, but feel free to chime in on that below if you wish. Rather, my goal here is to – against my better judgment – give my thoughts on the Glocko.
Now that we’ve talked about what it is, let’s discuss what it is NOT. Where applicable, I’ve supplemented the below with comments received in response to the YouTube video above to highlight some of the different perceptions of the Full Conceal.
Not a Substitute for a Traditional Carry Gun:
The #1 point about this gun: The Full Conceal is not, in my professional opinion, an adequate substitute for a traditional carry gun if you had to pick between one or the other. While the Glocko has some uses that might put it in front of the conventional handgun design which I will discuss below, the Full Conceal adds an additional step to your draw and adds more parts that can break to your gun. While you might be able to stuff an entire Glock 19 into your front pocket (which is the main draw [pun!] of the Full Conceal), drawing it will take more time and motor control to draw the weapon, deploy the grip, then re-grip the gun, aim – if you still have the time to do so at this point – and fire.
But I don’t think that Full Conceal’s owners are arguing this point. I spoke with them at TriggrCon and they showed me that, while the Glock Taco can be deployed with relative ease and fairly quickly (see the video above), it’s my impression that they don’t believe it’s faster or as fast as a conventional carry gun – just an alternative.
This is probably the main beef with the Full Conceal: For whatever reason, it really pisses people off that the Glocko takes more time to draw than a traditional gun, but as long as everyone knows that before they decide to purchase one, I don’t necessarily see the problem with that if it means you are going to carry a gun responsibly.
You also have to consider that the gun is probably more susceptible to foreign material entering the frame when in carry mode.
Now here’s a comment that I don’t necessarily agree with:
While, yes, it does add to your overall draw time, that’s something you need to factor in before you start unfurling your plastic. Some of you may be familiar with the Active Self Protection commandment “don’t draw on the drop.” In other words, if someone has a gun in your face, it’s not a good idea to draw any gun unless you are positive you are going to get shot regardless. The comment “by the time you unfold it, you’re dead” pre-supposes that the scenario in which you would use the Full Conceal is when you already have a shoothole pointed at your branial area, and at that point, you’ve already messed up. I award this comment no points.
Summarized, I think the chief legitimate complaint is that the Full Conceal is slower than a conventional carry pistol.
Speaking of purchase, the cockling Glock (“Glockle”? Can we keep going with these foldy Glock portmanteaus please?) is not cheap at $1,000.
Basically, one Full Conceal costs as much as two Glocks. But be fair…I’ve seen people spend more money on dumber shit. Exhibit A:
Not Unreasonably Dangerous:
I’ve seen quite a few comments about the Full Conceal being dangerous.
But this is a point I’ve got to give to the Full Conceal. When concealed, there’s no exposed trigger and no way to fire the gun, barring an unforeseen defect. That’s unlike the standard Glock or most other safety-free striker fired pistols. So, concealed, it’s arguably safer as opposed to most other guns, at least from a negligent or accidental discharge standpoint.
As you can see if you watch the video, the trigger does not set until the pistol has been fully deployed. This, if anything, might make the Full Conceal more attractive to the carrier who wants a Glock but is uncomfortable carrying a round in the chamber, a.k.a. Condition 3 carry.
Now, whether or not an ND is more likely to happen after the pistol is fully unfolded is another story, but I don’t see it as significantly riskier than traditional carry, where you have a hot gun as soon as you draw and through getting on target.
Not a Range Gun:
How durable is the Glocko? I don’t know. I would assume it’s less durable than a conventional Glock and I would guess (and I emphasize ‘guess’) that it wouldn’t be as durable and a regular, un-split Glock, so I wouldn’t use it as a range toy, but I don’t think that’s the point anyway. My opinion is that as long as you can fire enough rounds through it to be confident in its reliability, then it’s good to go. I wouldn’t put a five-figure round count through this pistol although it wouldn’t surprise me if the Full Conceal could take that kind of abuse since it seemed well constructed. I can also conceive of extreme scenarios where one could break the FC but not a standard pistol.
As stated, I didn’t get to shoot the Full Conceal at range day, but TFB’s Ivan L. (aka Kit Badger) did. While he said that the Full Conceal Glock worked perfectly on the range, the Polymer80 versions would want to fold back into carry mode for some shooters who gripped the pistol a certain way, perhaps because the material was more malleable. That’s something to be aware of if you are looking to go with a Polymer80 frame.
Not a Useless Concept:
The Full Conceal isn’t as useless as those who pan it want to claim. While I underscore that it’s not a substitute for a traditional IWB/OWB carry gun, there is a niche of carriers who will find the concept appealing. It might be difficult to stuff a Glock 43 with a 6 round mag in your pocket due to the L-shape of the gun, but the Full Conceal Glock 19 (or as they call it, the M3D) can fit in a pocket with a 21 round magazine and have a footprint about the same size as an iPhone, although of course, it will be significantly thicker than an iPhone:
The reason why the Glockos hold more than standard capacity is evident from the pictures above: because of how the magazine is stored when the gun is folded, the footprint of the gun in carry mode is not affected until the magazine becomes longer than the gun slide itself. That means you get an extra 6 rounds in the Glock 19 or Glock 43 version. Again, watch the vid and you’ll see what I am talking about.
Admittedly, there is perhaps only a small field of people that will so strongly prefer to carry a gun in their pocket versus a conventional holster that they would resort to this method of carry, but I bet that pool gets a little deeper when those on the fence realize the capacity bonus they get from the Full Conceal.
I’ve also seen some other suggestions for better uses in the comments: Fitting the gun in a small pack or a confined space, fitting it into a side pocket on a backpack, or storing a gun where it wouldn’t be obvious or looked for.
And again, this might appeal to condition 3 carriers (mag in, no round in chamber) who would consider carrying a gun that can’t be fired until it’s been deployed. Unfolding the Full Conceal with a round in the chamber probably takes only slightly longer than racking the slide on a condition 3 Glock 19 with no round in the tube. A small demographic, to be sure, but one of the narrow instances where the Full Conceal could be a superior or comparable option.
Not a Piece of Shit:
Say what you will of the concept, the final product (at least of the Glock-brand models) is not poorly done. After handling one at TriggrCon, I would say that if I liked the theory, I wouldn’t worry about the execution. The guns seem well put-together (or well-taken apart…whatever, you know what I mean). While we are talking about build quality, the FC guys really have the hots for their own trigger and say it’s a $200 upgrade alone. I think it’s subjectively better than the Glock trigger, but it didn’t scratch an Apex itch for me, so maybe not a $200 upgrade. But at least know that if you like the concept, you are getting a slight trigger upgrade with your $1000 Glock.
The Conclusion to the Article I Hated Writing:
As I said in my video, I don’t have strong feelings about the FC either way. I would say I more like the Full Conceal Glock than dislike it if I had to go one way or the other. And I certainly would not prefer a terminal disease or sending my genitals wooshing out to space than carry a Full Conceal Glock.
Would I own one? Yes. Would I carry it if I did have one? Probably not often. Would I buy one for a thousand dollars? No.
Let’s look at the positives:
- Can fit a Glock 43 and maybe a Glock 19 in your front or back pocket, which is unthinkable with the traditional models;
- Although it has the same footprint as an iPhone, you get 6+ rounds more capacity in the 19 or 43 versions;
- Won’t fire until deployed;
- Quality Construction;
- Better for personal defense than “slingshot my weiner using my balls“;
- Trigger upgrade.
- Slower draw to fire time;
- More parts that can break;
- Exposes internals, can lead to lint/sand/dirt intrusion;
- Not as sturdy as the standard, uncut version;
- People on the internet will mock you, and;
- Costs one rack.
I hope I laid everything out for you as objectively as possible and you can read this, weigh the positives against the negatives, divide by your needs, and figure out whether or not the numbers make sense to you.
I’d love to get a copy from the guys at FC if they’d send one to TFBTV, although I can bet the assessment will be virtually identical to the above, but we will see.
I’ll leave you with my favorite comment from the overview video, which sums up my feelings in general about the product: