A recent trip down memory lane brought me back to SHOT Show 2008. Little did we know that one of the most viral videos in the firearms world would be born there. I doubt that anyone in the firearms culture has not seen it. It was a brief, but “holy crap” demonstration performed at the Magpul booth. An unassuming gentleman in glasses held what looked like possibly a battery pack or oversized flashlight. With the snap of the wrist and a well-practiced presentation, the black block transformed into an SBR. The internet broke as everyone scrambled to get a better look at the gun, they didn’t know they needed until that very moment. Nor could anyone predict how it would lead to the Magpul FDP-9.
The Magpul FDP-9 & FDC-9 Finally Arrive!
That day, the gun was the Magpul FMG-9. It was a prototype folding submachine gun, designed by Magpul Industries. It was made from polymer in place of metal, reducing weight. The FMG-9 never left the prototype stage, and never saw widespread production on any level, as the item was only produced by Magpul as a proof of concept. Years later, people still held out hope that someday Magpul would revisit the project and bring the gun to life. Well, my friends, good things come to those who wait, and your hope has been answered as Magpul will officially be producing a version of that design called the FDP-9.
Built With ZEV
The FDP-9 (Folding Defensive Pistol) will be manufactured in cooperation with the gun Jedis at Zev Technology. Since 2019, Magpul and ZEV have been refining the designs and seeking the required legal approvals. With recently confirmed classification of the FDP-9 as a handgun, the purchaser can enjoy the firearm as a self-enclosing, large-format pistol. After visiting with both the team at Magpul as well as Zev, I got a ton of eye rolling when the ATF came up. The glacial and confusing pace that they work at is maddening at times. Add into that indecisiveness and lack of understanding and you wonder how any gun ever gets approved.
On a more technical note, the FDP-9 rear cover includes a fixed sling swivel to allow carrying the pistol slung when not being fired. Along with the pistol, they will be making an SBR version as well. The FDC-9 (Folding Defensive Carbine) is almost identical to the pistol except for the obvious presence of a stock. Both versions will be chambered in 9mm. Design-wise, Zev took the lead on the internals. They have taken essentially the internals of their popular modular OZ9 pistol and paired them with the unique Magpul chassis.
The actual functioning firearm will be sold by Zev and possibly dealers. The gun uses a Glock 17 round-pattern, double-stack 9mm magazine. The FDP-9 can be folded into the stowed position with a magazine in place. The gun comes with a manual safety. The safety can be applied both in the folded and unfolded positions, making it easy to use.
In past articles I have alluded to the fact that I love my job. I get to shoot guns and visit with interesting people. Without a doubt it truly is work, but the unique benefits of my job far outweigh the downsides. One of those bonus moments came this year during the Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous. This is one of my favorite events each year as Athlon Outdoors brings together a group of fantastic companies to spend quality time with some of the gun scribes and staff from the magazines. This year we were honored once again to have Magpul join us. While I enjoy all of the companies that come, I have developed a good relationship with Magpul and was told they had something special to show me.
A quick walk to their station and I was soon looking at a variety of cool new products they had in the pipeline for upcoming release. All during my time there I kept wondering just what the super item was. The suspense got the best of me and I simply just asked. In the blink of an eye the Magpul rep reached into a case and produced the unicorn many of us had talked about for the last 14 years. At my fingertips sat the new FDC-9. I was like a kid in a candy store and quickly began manipulating it.
Operating the Seriously Cool FDC-9
A quick demo by the staff got me up to speed on just how easy it was to use. With a simple press and shake of the hand, the black cube pulled an Optimus Prime and transformed into a gun. I will shamelessly say that I was telling a friend to “Take my picture!”
While getting the chance to hold and manipulate the FDC-9 was memory making, I developed an uncontrollable grin when they asked if I wanted to shoot it. As you can imagine, the answer was hell yes. A quick brief on the deployment to firing steps and I went to work. To my surprise the gun was very smooth shooting. I expected something with a little less performance capability considering its unique design. In short, I thought all the energy and focus would be on the chassis with little attention paid to the actual internals.
I could tell right away that Zev saw great things in this gun and worked to make it a shooter. And a shooter it was. In no time I was ringing steel at 10 yards and moving from plate to plate at pace. The sights were decent, and I was able to quickly acquire my target and put rounds on it. The trigger was obviously the product of Zev mojo as it had decent takeup and a good reset. As I mentioned earlier, under the hood, the FDC-9 and FDP-9 run on Zev internals. With the gun in an SBR format, recoil was a non-issue. It was essentially an SBR -PCC.
Just like the super exciting roller coaster, I too soon found myself at the end of the ride. I reluctantly handed it back to the Magpul team and thanked them for the opportunity. Because I then discovered what will now be a lifetime memory item. I was told that I was the first person to fire this gun outside of the Magpul team. I was deeply honored and thrilled at the opportunity.
After the high started to fade I found myself in logic mode and wondering about the applications of such a weapon. The small size of the gun certainly lends itself to the personal protection realm. While I don’t see this as a traditional EDC gun, I absolutely see it as a truck or pack gun. This gun could be easily stored and quickly deployed if needed. I also see this as a great addition to a close protection teams load out. The ability to have a 9mm SBR stored in a small indiscreet package is gold in the executive protection world.
Serious, Practical Utility in Design
One of the most applicable reasons to own one is simply because you can. If someone questions you about it, simply say “Merica” and kiss my ass. The design’s biggest appeal is simply that it doesn’t look like a gun. An odd black box with a handle. While some might be curious about it, most people would not give it the time of day and just look past it. I will also say that the fact that the “boom” part is built by Zev Technologies gives this gun street cred in a hurry. This is not just some gimmick gun we show off at barbecues and holidays. This is a real gun that is designed to serve you as a defensive firearm.
The firearms industry is notorious for teasing us with super cool product ideas that never see the light of day. Even after 14 years though, Magpul worked to bring it to life. The project has been in the works for a couple years and I understand there are some basic logistic issues to solve, but the gun is a go, and you will be able to add one to your collection in the not-too-distant future.
For even m ore info, please visit magpul.com.