Smith and Wesson has been leaning into their more creative side in the last few years. The bullpup M&P 12, the M&P 5.7, and of course now the M&P FPC. Some, including KelTec, have pointed out that their interesting new weapons have more than a little in common with some of KelTec’s designs. The FPC, which isn’t just the acronym for an effective gun rights org, is a Folding Pistol Carbine. The FPC has seen plenty of comparisons to the SUB 2000 for obvious reasons.
The FPC is a pistol caliber carbine chambered in…you guessed it…9mm and uses S&W’s M&P pistol series magazines. While the KelTec folds in half front to rear, the FPC folds to the side. Both methods have their pros and cons, but that’s another article altogether. Smith & Wesson doesn’t hold back when it comes to the FPC.
The FPC In the Box
In its simple cardboard box, you get the rifle and a very nice carry bag. It’s great, very plain, devoid of telltale signs of MOLLE, S&W logos, or anything else that would give the bag away as something that’s toting a gun.
Inside the bag are various internal pockets to accommodate all manner of goodies. A set of tie-downs allows you to secure the gun so it’s not bopping about as you carry it.
S&W packs three magazines with the gun. We get a 17-round magazine and two 23-round magazines. Each mag comes with a small gap filler. S&W designed the grip of the FPC to accommodate fifteen-round M&P compact magazines. This allows you to use the widest array of M&P magazines without having a very stubby grip.
The FPC itself is fairly feature-filled. The barrel is threaded with a 1/2×28 thread pitch for suppressors and muzzle devices. A polymer M-LOK rail gives you plenty of accessory space.
The FPC folds to the left side, so that section of rail is somewhat useful. However, the Pic rail across the top gives you plenty of room for optics without compromising the gun’s ability to fold, unlike the SUB 2000. Smith & Wesson doesn’t include sights with the gun, so you’ll need to choose and optic.
The stock has two slots to hold two extra magazines, so the M&P FPC can fold, sit in its bag, and offer you 63 rounds of ammo on board. That’s a lot of ammo capacity to carry on the gun. It adds plenty of weight, but hey, hit the gym if that’s too much.
Smith & Wesson made good use of the M&P grip and overall pistol design. The gun comes with backstraps that make it easy to adapt it to your hand size. It’s just like their famed handgun, for better or worse. What makes things a little more complicated is that a rifle doesn’t handle like a handgun. The magazine release is a bit tough to reach with your thumb. You’ll want to turn the gun inward to reach it, but it’s a rifle, so that means breaking your firing grip.
The bolt release is identical to the M&P pistol slide release. That means it’s small and tough to reach with a firing grip. It’s a much better idea to use it as a slide lock rather than a release. It’s ambidextrous, but the right side bolt release is in the ejection port, so I don’t suggest trying to thumb it downward. The rifle incorporates a larger cross-bolt safety that falls right where your trigger finger sits when indexed.
The charging handle sits behind the receiver. It’s an ambidextrous design that’s easy to grip and use. It’s nonreciprocating as well, which is a nice touch. The charging handle protrusion on the left side is what locks the rail in place when the M&P FPC folds. At the rear end, the stock isn’t minimalist. It’s big, supportive, and provides a nice cheek weld.
On the right side is a big lever that allows the stock to fold. The gun can’t fold with a round loaded. The charging handle can’t move when the gun’s folded, so you can’t try to charge the gun when it’s in its folded configuration.
The Smith & Wesson M&P FPC moves from folded into action in a split second. Grip one end, pull, and lock it into place. It couldn’t be much simpler than that. It’s also quick and easy to fold and stow it.
Like a lot of pistol caliber carbines, the FPC uses a simple straight blowback action. Its tubular stock area reminds me of the classic Sten gun and to be fair, it’s not much different than a Sten.
While these lightweight, blowback-operated guns tend to have a rather violent recoil impulse for the calibers they use, the FPC offers you a surprisingly smooth recoil impulse. It’s not as light as something like the radial delayed CMMG guns or the roller delayed blowback operated MP5. Still, it was surprising light to me. It’s less violent than most AR9s and certainly smoother than the SUB 2000.
I installed a simple Bushnell TRS-25 red dot to the M&P FPC with an AR height riser and a Streamlight ProTac. That forms a very simple but very useable home defense setup. With the TRS-25 zeroed, the gun proved itself to be surprisingly accurate. I shot supported groups at 50 yards, and groups came out at just under an inch. That makes it a little less than a 2 MOA gun. Not bad at all for a 9mm carbine.
Money Meets Noise
The M&P FPC’s trigger is very much like an M&P Generation 2, right down to the trigger dingus. It’s got very little takeup, and then there’s the wall which is stiff and requires a sure press before the bang. It’s actually quite nice for a PCC.
That makes achieving accurate shots easier, and throwing fast shots downrange won’t be hard either. The combination of low recoil and a good trigger make turning money into noise quick, addictive and fun.
Like the rest of the M&P series, the gun is boringly reliable. I couldn’t get the FPC to malfunction. You can feed it a variety of ammo types and weights, and it won’t slow down, jam, fail to fire, fail to extract, or have any failures at all.
My only real complaints with the FPC are ergonomic ones. Reloading is slow due to the clumsy magazine release. An extended mag release would go a long way to make reloading much easier. Reloading from the stock is also a little clumsy at first. The device that holds the magazines is placed under the stock, and the release on the right releases the magazine on the left. A little practice will go a long way.
Home Defense Appeal
The FPC’s magazine-in-grip design keeps the rifle very short. At only 30⅜ inches unfolded, the FPC is shorter than most other long guns. Short is nice in a home defense scenario where your house suddenly seems a lot smaller. Little guns are easier to maneuver, and a rifle offers a more stable option than a handgun. In that realm, the FPC really shines.
The FPC might not be the most original idea, but Smith & Wesson has one of the most refined folding carbines on the market. Competition is always a good thing when it comes to the world of firearms. The KelTec SUB 2000 is a great gun, but the FPC offers you a more refined option.
Specifications: Smith & Wesson M&P FPC
Capacity 17 to 23
Barrel Length 16.25
Overall Length 30.4 inches (Unfolded) 16.375 inches (Folded)
Weight 5.03 pounds
MSRP $659 (about $599 retail)
Ratings (Out of Five Stars)
Accuracy * * * *
The S&W FPC is very accurate for a 9mm carbine. Within the range of the 9mm round, it’s capable of punching one ragged hole into a target at 50 yards.
Reliability * * * * *
Not a single issue. It doesn’t have any problems with either good and questionable ammo. The little FPC is as reliable as its cousins, the M&P 2.0 pistols.
Ergonomics * * *
The charging handle and safety are great, but the magazine release is a real hassle. The stock doesn’t offer any adjustments and adding a sling isn’t easy.
Overall * * * *
Smith & Wesson has a winner with the FPC. It’s super-fun to shoot, folds for easy storage, and conceals well in the provided bag. The price isn’t bad, and the generous bag and magazines are a huge benefit. Pop a red dot on it , and you’re good to go.