From Concept to FULL CONCEAL, the Story Behind the M3D Folding Pistol

The company that created the semi-auto folding pistol design to fill a need in a growing concealed carry market, finds demand for more products.

Full Conceal's M3D semi-auto, folding pistol
Full Conceal's M3D semi-auto, folding pistol

U.S.A. – (Ammoland.com) After the July 2012 mass shooting inside a Century 15 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado that left 12 dead and 70 injured, Mike Full decided something had to be done about the mass shootings.  His primary concern was that these “mass shooters” wanted to take people’s lives instead of money (money can be replaced, but our loved ones cannot). The idea of taking the family to a restaurant or the movies now seemed risky in today’s world. Full wondered why not a single person was carrying in the movie theater that night and how it could have ended differently if someone did.

Despite the actions of these mass shooters gunning down innocent lives in gun free zones, Full felt confident that if the laws and right products were on the side of the innocents, more ‘good guys’ would be carrying a firearm and mass shooters would no longer have the opportunity to create such chaos in our society.

Full said, “In general, as a family man, if a bad guy surprised me at gun point to rob me, even if I had a loaded concealed gun, I would just drop my wallet and run. My personal choice is not to risk my life when someone just wants my money. Returning to my family alive is the priority, but, if someone wants my life and the life of my family, then I want to have choices in handling that situation. I advocate being situationally aware, street smart and you should have a firearm ready to prevent, get out of, or stop a bad situation (such as a mass shooting scenario).  I view the firearm as a tool that gives you options, and I would rather have the options that not.”

Full’s research into these mass shooters showed they usually executed their plan with preparedness and firepower (rifles, hundreds of rounds of ammo, body armor, etc.). Full looked into the options that today’s market provides “the good guys” (the concealed carry law-abiding citizen). The concealed carry market continues to push sub-compact pistols that are smaller, thinner, and have less of a footprint. For Full the smaller sub-compact pistols were inadequate to confidently engage the ‘mass shooter’ due to all the compromises that were sacrificed to be able to more comfortably carry a pistol throughout the day.

“Like in the Aurora movie theater shooting,” Full continued, “how am I going to engage a bad guy with an AR-15 rifle who is covered in body armor with my six-shot, 9mm sub-compact?  I imagined the ‘what if’ scenario in that movie theater, a dark, people trampling chaotic mess and there is only 1 exit that is jammed.  If the best choice was to ‘stop’ the mass shooter (in body armor), you need to get a head shot (central nervous system will incapacitate) or hit his (un-armored) body parts to causes enough muscle damage so he can’t move and/or bleeds out (and goes unconscious).  I do not feel confident that 6-shots of 9mm will do the job (unless you are very lucky).  But, if you put a continuous 21-shots of 9mm on him, even with body armor, I don’t care how much body armor he is wearing, he is not going to be ok.  At the very least, those 21 rounds could provide valuable seconds for your family and other to escape.”

“Ultimately, I want a firearm to give me these options: first, provide covering fire to create enough TIME for me and my family to escape; second, take down or disable the bad guy; third, and finally, stay covered (fortified and distance from the bad guy) until the police or help arrive. But, I am not confident that I can do this because I have compromised firepower and shooting advantages with my sub-compact firearm.  Even well-trained police officers have about a 20% hit ratio in a gun fight (with a full-sized pistol).  It would be safe to assume that with a sub-compact firearm, that hit percentage goes down.”

Full’s mission was to create a conceal carry pistol where there was NO MORE COMPROMISING, starting with these basic requirements:

  • Naturally concealable (Footprint) – Has a footprint of a common cell phone so you can carry it in a pocket, purse or bag. You can tuck in your shirt and there are no clips on your belt that give away that you are carrying.
  • No holster required (Thin) – Be able to hide the pistol without a holster (so no added thickness). By the time you add a holster to a single-stack pistol, it will be thicker than normal double stack.
  • Safe / Reliable – When concealed without a holster, it is 100 percent safe from discharging the round in the chamber and is reliable in all aspects.
  • Quick / Easy Deploy – Quick and easy to deploy under stress and low-light conditions (like a movie theater). Only ONE simple action to deploy.
  • Full-sized gun – Full-length barrel (accuracy at distance), full-length slide (longer sight radius for aiming at longer distances), full-grip (more natural grip for rapid follow up shots and stability).
  • Max firepower – Deploy with the largest magazine capacity possible so you don’t need to reload often
  • Well, balanced/comfortable – Well balanced and comfortable for daily concealed carry.
  • Standard pistol operation – When shooting and reloading, same muscle memory as a standard pistol.

Based upon these requirements, Full believes not only would you have the perfect concealed pistol, but you would have a disruptive pistol design that would become the defacto form for all future pistol design and could be used in all applications, including law enforcement and military.  With design in mind, Full met with a longtime friend and business entrepreneur Steve Pantalemon, and FULL CONCEAL Inc. was born in April 2016.  From his garage, Full developed prototypes that were debuted at the 2017 SHOT Show.

As a gun enthusiast, Full understood the caution gun buyers have when a new brand of pistol comes to market because of reliability, etc.  FULL CONCEAL’s strategy was genius to adapt existing popular branded pistols to their designs and requirements, leveraging the history, testing and reliability of that brand. For example, consumers would not have to worry about the reliability of the barrel, because it’s the original factory barrel. FULL CONCEAL only replaces / adds essential parts to their existing design and leaves the majority of the original factory’s pistol parts in place.  FULL CONCEAL’s strategy does not compete head on with other pistol manufacturers, but instead to compliment the brand, giving buyers another option by having their favorite branded pistol with FULL CONCEAL’s enhanced capabilities and features. Many after-market parts, including barrels, sights and more for those popular brands, will still be compatible on FULL CONCEAL’s pistol modification.

The patent pending M3 (Model 3) design is FULL CONCEAL’s latest design on their folding semi-auto pistol.  The first M3 platform in production is based on the GLOCK® 19. After FULL CONCEAL’s modification, it becomes an “FC Arms M3D” pistol.  There is also a gunsmith option (no FFL required) where users that already own a GLOCK® 19/23/25/32/38 can send in their pistol and have it converted to an M3D.  When the M3D pistol is folded, the footprint is approximately the size of an iPhone 7 Plus cell phone. It comes standard with a Magpul 21-round magazine and an engineered proprietary mechanical safety that safely holds one round in the chamber.  The mechanical safety requires the grip to almost be completely unfolded in order for the trigger to be pulled.  The original GLOCK® factory drop-safety and firing-pin safety works in conjunction with Full Conceal’s Trigger Folding safety.  Unfolding is done with one swift motion, in one second, and the magazine automatically orients properly, the grip locks into place, and the pistol is ready to fire. Once unfolded, the M3D looks and functions very similarly to a factory GLOCK.

Full Conceal M3D with standard 21-round magazine unfolding.

The constant innovation and push to evolve the M3D design is happening daily at FULL CONCEAL.  The original idea of being able to hide a full-sized pistol with 21+1 rounds of ammo behind a common cell phone seemed like an impossibility.  Presenting other configurations of the M3D, they are now able to show how to hide a 33+1 round M3D in your pocket, bag or purse and unfolding it into ready-to-fire position in one second using only one hand to deploy.  There is no other solution that exists that can fully conceal that kind of ready-to-go firepower and can be deployed while using only 1-hand.

“As we show the M3D pistol at various shows, we do encounter individuals that are confused or reticent to accept this folding semi-auto concept,” Full said. “Their comments are generally that, “I’m happy with my sub-compact single stack pistol… or I already carry a full-sized pistol….”

“For those who are ‘happy’ carrying a single-stack/sub-compact pistol, the first question I ask why don’t you carry a full-sized pistol?  We both agree that full-sized pistol has many advantages over the sub-compact right?  The answer was always “of course a full-sized pistol is better because of more ammo capacity, full grip…etc.” BUT….   At that point, the issue of comfort and ease of concealment comes into play.  The conclusion was that they are ‘happy’ with the compromises they made and not happy with the actual sub-compact pistol (otherwise, if we both agree a full-sized pistol is better, then why are you still carrying a sub-compact)?  My response, is why are you happy with the compromises?  What if you didn’t have to compromise?”

“For those who are ‘happy’ carrying a full-sized pistol, the first question I ask is does carrying a full-sized pistol cause you do anything different that you would normally wouldn’t do (if you didn’t carry it)?  Over the course of talking many ‘full-sized’ concealed carriers, there’s a common phrase that comes up ‘…you get used to it….’  Some take the full-sized gun out when they sit in their car, some readjust their pants on occasion…etc.  They dress differently (larger shirts, usually not tucked in), when they sit down in the car or restaurant the grip digs into their spine or grip…etc.  Then I also point out that if that grip is above the belt (even with an untucked shirt), as soon as you are not perfectly standing straight, you will see the hard edge of the grip print about an inch or two above the belt, which someone would assume/guess that you are carrying.  So are you fully concealed?  The conclusion again is that they are ‘happy’ with being able to compromise by changing their lifestyle and just get use to it, even though it causes occasional discomfort and they struggle to ‘fully’ conceal the full-sized pistol.  But in the end, they know that when they need it, having the full-sized pistol is worth all the hassles of every day carry if it can increase their odds of saving a life.  So, what if you could have another option to make that full-sized pistol fully concealable, more comfortable, tuck in your shirt, and also increase your magazine ammo capacity?”

Full Conceal M3D with 33-round capacity.
Full Conceal M3D with 33-round capacity.

“I use Tesla (the car company) sometimes as an example when I am talking to gun owners that are on the fence.  In the old car paradigm (before Tesla), you had to choose between different classes of cars:  Eco-Friendly (great mileage), Race Car (fast acceleration), Luxury (heavier insulation and quiet).  If you buy a sports car (to get 0-60mph in 3 seconds) for speed you need to compromise on not having luxury of ‘quietness’ and not being ‘eco-friendly’.  You can’t have everything.”

“When new advancements in design and technology come along, it can disrupt and change the paradigm.  When the Tesla Model S (P100D) debuted, it was luxurious (pinnancle of technology), faster than most exotic race cars (0-60mph in 2.5 seconds), and was more ‘eco-friendly’ than any gas engine in existence.  You now can have EVERYTHING.  With the Full Conceal M3D Pistol, you now can have EVERYTHING.  A 34-round 9mm Full Conceal M3D is a full-sized pistol that can be truly comfortably carried, fully concealed, and deployed in 1-second using only 1-hand.  What are we compromising now?”

The company, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, designs and manufactures all their parts just a short distance from where the annual SHOT Show is held. “We take great pride in using American talent, production machines and capabilities. Nevada is a gun friendly state, which allows us to hire skilled staff and grow our business to better serve a customer base nationwide and now internationally,” says Full.

With two major distributors, Ellett Brothers and Sports South and over 150 dealers in the US, FULL CONCEAL has recently expanded to cover international sales.

“Some comments on social media were misleading. FULL CONCEAL is not a niche, a concept, or novelty product. The M3 is reality and truly a game changer,” Steve Pantalemon, FULL CONCEAL’s COO responsible for sales and operations, added. “We see that in our sales figures and the feedback we get from dealers and customers employing the products. FULL CONCEAL is here to stay and provide our customers with a weapon system that doesn’t compromise on comfort, capacity, caliber, concealment and quick deployment.”

The FULL CONCEAL team is available for interviews, meetings and videos upon appointment.

Learn more about FULL CONCEAL’s M3 folding semi-auto pistols on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. See all the products at www.fullconceal.com

  • 7 thoughts on “From Concept to FULL CONCEAL, the Story Behind the M3D Folding Pistol

    1. We’re can I buy one of these I love it. The guy in the video is fast and I think it is going to be faster then taking out of a holster Raymond does not no what he talking about. I am looking one for my wife and me. Great thinking guys.

      1. Russell, wait until your heart rate is over 150 bpm and your brain is in “fight or flight” mode, and you have 10 “thumbs” instead of fingers, and ” fine motor skills” have vanished. I’ve trained cops and reviewed officer and civilian involved shootings for 40 years. Things change when the “feces hit the air oscillator”. Raymond probably has a better understanding of things than most.

    2. I applaud his ingenuity but unfortunately, I think that this is an ingenious cure for a non-existent problem. If you want to carry a full sized auto, make the sacrifice and carry one. I was in an off duty shooting in 1988 that made the decision for me. I had a 7 round Officer’s model, no reload, and about 8 bad guys (gang members) . I had my family with me and was forced into a shooting situation. I was lucky that most of the BG’s ran when the shooting started. Since that time, I have carried a full sized, hi-cap auto and a spare mag. You learn to dress around it. If you are serious just make it happen. I don’t think I like the idea of having to “assemble” my pistol before I can put it into play.

      1. how true, that fold up gun will get you nothing but dead, in the time it takes you to unfold the thing and get it into action, well the bad guy shot your ass four times already, and is now about to take your foldup toy away from you…………..

      2. glad you survived that shooting.
        I’ve been in three and survived and i feel one reason is i am a retired Combat Marine and with my Combat experience is what saved me.
        and i carry a model 1911 with three extra mags because in Combat one thing i learned real quick, ALWAYS carry enough AMMO, AND WATER.

    3. I love the innovation in this firearm. I hope it sells well and folks with existing glocks go for the conversion. Once reliability is established, sales go up, aftermarket support will increase. Unfortunately it’s not for some of us. I appendix carry a S&W Shield in a CYA holster with Self defense ammo, one in the pipe, carry extra mags, and all for under $450. I can draw quicker than any other concealed carry method and safely. Surely with a lot of practice one can unfold a glock send lead downrange very quickly. I have 3 kids and a mortgage. Some of us can’t afford a Tesla.

      1. SoCalJack,
        Agree Pal. I carry strong side OSWB. Have carried that way for a long time. I live in N Idaho and if I have to wear shirt tails out or a light/heavy jacket, that’s okay. I’ve made that commitment and it’s not a big deal. Before I moved from So kalyfornya I wore a lot of lightweight , untucked shirts. I still have to wear a suit on occasion and a good OSWB holster works just fine under a suit coat.

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