Ideal Conceal Update

I got another update email from Ideal Conceal. For those of you who’ve forgotten this because it’s been so long since they said the gun would be available yet never appeared, this is the “cell phone gun.”

Nothing in this update gives me any reason to believe the thing is not vaporware at best. But I see that Ideal Conceal finally got a Type 07 Manufacturer FFL. I guess the Big Lake FFL friend Kjellberg said would do the manufacturing wanted no part of this. Which might explain why I was unable to find an Type 07 FFL there who would admit to being involved. But the address given is an office building that still listed as “for sale.” I wonder if the ATF has inspected his shop, and if it was there or at his home.

For the longest time, the pistol was computer renderings and photoshopped stock images. Then it was a 3D-printed inop model. After that, it supposedly became real, but failed in testing. All along, they’d announce new, pushed back availability dates. And finally stopped giving dates.

In this new video, seemingly recorded in Kjellberg’s home (we never see shop facilities; I wonder why), we learn that they seem to have abandoned 3D printing, and possibly abandoned the injection molding we heard about in March. Now it’s machined. We’re treated to blurry video of printed out photos of what are alleged to be machined parts (enough for 10 guns) and a print-out of a computer rendering of the fire control assembly.

One commenter said:

It would be nice to have an actual projection of when we should expect to see the product finished and for sale! This process is really dragging out without a real commencement date. Disappointing to say the least.

Which is pretty reasonable. When the company has claimed that it was taking orders, it’s fair for folks to wonder what frickin’ year this thing might ship. If ever. Kjellberg disagrees:

Wondering how many projects you have taken from a thought to a napkin to production? We are just a couple of people, not a big company. Also if you watched the video, we started over in January to give you the best product. Perhaps this looks easy, but to make a light, tight pistol and do it on a tight budget takes time.

Funny thing: I worked on a project for a telecom company; low-voltage monitors for remote site alarm monitoring. With about for people, we went from the idea, to a circuit schematic, to designed final product in an enclosure, parts ordering,through assembly (including etching circuit boards ourselves), followed by field testing, production, and delivery of 100% tested units to the field. In about three months.*

We were able to do that because we knew what we were doing, and intended to deliver a real product. Kjellberg and Ideal Conceal? I’m thinking not so much on either count.

Designing a gun does take time. But do you think John Browning took advance orders from 4,000 retail customers before he finalized the 1911 design?

On the other hand… In Browning’s 71 years, he designed at least 39 firearms that went into full production. Assuming he started designing the day he was born, that’s an average of 1.8 years per design. In fact, he started learning in his dad’s shop at 7, so the average comes down to 1.6 years per design. Kjellberg is at 1.1 years in designing a basic derringer and counting.


* Heh. That was twenty-something years back. I still have the schematic, BOM, and installation instructions. Looks like I lost the circuit board mask, though.

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4 thoughts on “Ideal Conceal Update”

  1. I surely can’t be the only one who hopes and prays that the concept pistol continues to evolve until someone comes up with a deluxe ray gun of the future that makes bullet firing weapons obsolete. It seems like this guys entire concept is a lawsuit waiting to happen, or at the very least, a needless death of some innocent person making a call and getting shot by an overzealous ccw holder who ‘thought’ the person had one of those new cell phone guns. Just like every garage band who wants to hit the big time, this guy seems like a wannabe J.M. Browning, without the talent. G-d help us if he ever suceeds.

  2. He is persistent isn’t he? But I would have thought he could have come up with something more convincing than a photograph of the clip off the back of my turtleback cellphone case. Seriously, that is pretty much what that center part looks like if it didn’t have the rest of the case attached to it. Or, I could just be really tired 😉

  3. I have personally met with Kirk, as well as the rest of their team. This is a legitimate concept working to full scale production. The videos are not made at Kirk’s home (I actually thought the same before meeting them), and the reason the office space would show as “For Sale”, is that it is an office complex owned Kirk, and there are spaces for sale. Understand, this was an idea that exploded overnight. Last I heard, torture testing is currently underway on 10 units.

    1. When a person with a history of posting anti-RKBA comments suddenly announces he’s taking thousands of orders for a new firearm — a derringer disguised as a cell phone at a time when local PDs were freaking out over cell phone cases that look like guns — when all he had was renderings, bad Photoshops, constantly changing estimated delivery dates, and no manufacturer’s FFL, I think it’s a public service to let people know and form their own opinions. Personally, I was instantly dubious when he managed to set a retail price before he had a design.

      Perhaps he is trying to run a legitimate operation. He finally obtained the proper FFL (after I couldn’t find anyone who would admit to being the outside manufacturer he once said would do the builds). But we still haven’t seen the actual gun: just blurry video of printouts of pictures of parts.

      I look forward to seeing to whom he provides test and evaluation guns for review. (And that’s not a hint to send me one: there are more knowledgeable reviewers out there, and it’s a niche gun that doesn’t interest me.)

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