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.