The folding pistol concept was first introduced by Magpul back in 2008. They used the Glock operating system to create a firearm that deployed with one hand and transformed from a simple compact form into a carbine that was easier to operate and fire than most typical handguns. It could also be folded down into a simple storage and carry case. In its early stages, the first folding pistol was just a concept that was not intended for production.
ZEV technologies were also experimenting with modular gun technology and in 2019, released the OZ9, which used an independent receiver block to allow for easy switching of grips.
The two companies started working together and combining their concepts to create a working folding pistol. At the moment, the folding pistol is still in its production stages but the manufacturers hope to bring it to market in the near future.
Introducing the FDP-9. The folding pistol has been simplified from its initial concept – a single unit that could transform into two guns in a matter of seconds and fold up into an easy to carry package.
Instead, Magpul/ZEV opted for a firearm that was more similar to traditional firearms in terms of construction and operation. This allowed them to keep the cost down and make it easier for shooters to learn how to operate a weapon.
These changes also made it possible for the firearm not only to transform, but also fold in half. It is designed primarily as a pistol that can be carried with an optional shoulder stock in place so that a shooter has the option to use it as a carbine should the need arise.
The Magpul/ZEV FDP-9 Folding Pistol is a simple blowback or straight blowback style weapon with an ambidextrous manual safety and polymer (glass reinforced nylon) construction.
The Magpul/ZEV FDP-9 Folding Pistol will be designed to be able to take most Glock magazines, but the manufacturer recommends only using the OEM Magpul or ZEV Designs ZF9 magazines.
Unlike some of the earlier folding weapons like the TTI and Hi-Point Carbine Folding Firearms, which are based on an existing firearm, the FDP-9 was designed from scratch to be able to transform. This means that features, like rails and suppressors, will not necessarily fit on this gun.
Like many Glock-based weapons, it will use an interchangeable backstrap so that a shooter can customize the size of the grip. It also has interchangeable top rails for mounting optics and accessories.
The FDP-9 is an excellent weapon that, while it may not be as groundbreaking or innovative compared to the earlier concept folding weapons, is a simple idea executed in a solid way. It paves the way for the folding pistol idea to become more widespread.
The Magpul/ZEV FDP-9 Folding Pistol is not currently available for purchase as the manufacturers are still finishing development of the final model. However, they have overcome the main challenges involved with developing their folding pistol and they are posting regular updates about progress. They aim to make them available starting in 2022.