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March 5th, 2023

Sunday Gunday: S&W’s New M&P FPC 9mm Folding Carbine

Smith Wesson S&W M&P FPC 9mm folder folding carbine

Smith & Wesson has just introduced an all-new, very innovative folding rifle — the M&P FPC 9mm carbine. Pistol-caliber carbines are hot right now for good reason. 9mm Luger (9x19mm) ammo is inexpensive — $15-$18 per 50rd box in bulk. That’s a fraction of the cost of .223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, or .308 Win ammo. With ample quantities of factory 9mm ammo available, you don’t have to struggle to find powder and primers. And a complete, factory-loaded 9mm Luger round (at $0.30-$0.36 per round) costs less than what you might pay just for the bullet you’d put in a 6mm or 6.5mm rifle cartridge.

Moreover, the “fun factor” is high with 9mm carbines. You can shoot the same ammo in your pistol and rifle. That makes it simpler to do a fun day at the range. Plus, many indoor ranges that prohibit most other centerfire rifles will allow you to shoot a 9mm carbine indoors.

S&W M&P FPC Carbine Folds to 16⅜” and Takes S&W Pistol Mags

S&W’s new M&P FPC Carbine ($659.00 MSRP) has some other major advantages — easy transport and smart on-board storage for full-capacity magazines. The FPC’s buttstock has twin slots that hold 17-rd and/or 23-rd magazines compatible with S&W 9mm pistols. That’s cool. And here’s the notable attraction — when folded, S&W’s FPC Carbine is just 16 3/8″. S&W delivers the new FPC in a cool zippered carry case with four internal pockets. That nice, padded carry case is included in the affordable $659.00 price.

Smith Wesson S&W M&P FPC 9mm folder folding carbine

Because it folds at the bolt face rather than behind the action the new M&P FPC is much more portable than most folding stock rifles. And your optics stay in place. Smith & Wesson states: “[Our] side-folding mechanics … deliver a unique compact feature and allow the user to keep their sight system mounted on the gun both in the folded and extended positions. Extra magazine storage in the buttstock, familiar M&P fire controls, and reliable palm swell grip adaptors all make this new pistol carbine a great addition to the M&P family”. The barrel is 16.25″ with a suppressor-friendly 1/2-28 threaded muzzle with thread protector. To reduce felt recoil, the FPC has an integrated recoil buffer system.

Smith Wesson S&W M&P FPC 9mm folder folding carbine
Smith Wesson S&W M&P FPC 9mm folder folding carbine

Watch this video to see how S&W’s new FPC Carbine unfolds and shoots. You’ll see impressive rapid-fire action starting at the 00:24 time-mark. This is indeed a pretty cool carbine.

The FPC carbine’s compatibility with pistol magazines is a real plus. John Myles, S&W New Product Manager, explained that: “The team at Smith & Wesson aimed to design a pistol carbine that was compatible with various M&P series pistol magazines.”

S&W M&P 9mm FPC Features
The M&P FCP ships with three (3) magazines: one 17-rounder and two 23-round mags. The buttstock can hold two magazines, which are accessible with a handy quick-release catch. Notably the M&P FPC is sold with an excellent, zippered carry bag that transports the folded carbine securely along with magazines and other gear. Check it out:

Smith Wesson S&W M&P FPC 9mm folder folding carbine

One reviewer was very impressed with the value of this new carbine: “Smith & Wesson M&P FPC ($659) ups the ante with a few premium touches while staying $100 under the MSRP of the cheapest Ruger PCC model — to get the same features from Ruger’s platform you’d spend over a grand, and it doesn’t fold.”

Smith Wesson S&W M&P FPC 9mm folder folding carbine

Smith & Wesson M&P FPC Video Reviews

Gun reviewers have released hands-on test videos showcasing Smith & Wesson’s new M&P FPC carbine. Generally the reactions have been very positive. Reviewers noted that the FPC’s folding mechanism works great, the carbine is very reliable, the trigger is decent, and the supplied carry case is excellent. Here are three videos released in the last week after S&W’s official product announcement on February 28, 2023.

Smith & Wesson M&P FPC List of Features

Smith & Wesson’s official product release states: “The new optics-ready M&P® FPC™ showcases our brand new, compact, folding design. Coming with (one) 17-round and (two) 23-round magazines, the in-stock magazine storage w/ quick-release latch makes reloading convenient and quick. The M&P FPC™ is compatible with M&P full-size and compact pistol double-stack magazines, and includes a carrying bag with additional storage and Velcro straps.”

Smith & Wesson M&P FPC Folding Carbine Features:
Compact, horizontal folding design with locking latch
Folding design does not interfere with optics
30 3/8″ unfolded length to 16 3/8″ folded
Flat-face trigger with crisp break
Integrated recoil buffer system
Picatinny rail on top for optics
Reversible magazine catch
1/2-28 threaded muzzle with thread protector
In-stock mag storage w/quick-release tab
Compatible with M&P Pistol magazines
M-LOK handguard slots on handguard
Charging handle doubles as retainer
Carrying case with inside pockets

VIEW S&W M&P FPC 9mm Carbine PDF Spec Sheet »

Smith Wesson S&W M&P FPC 9mm folder folding carbine
This article is Copyright 2023 Any appearance of this article on a different website is unauthorized and obligates payment of damages.

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March 5th, 2023

Reloading at the Range — Zediker Explains the Basics

Glen Zediker Reloading at Range

Glen Zediker Reloading at RangeThe February 2013 edition of Shooting Sports USA magazine has an interesting feature by Glen Zediker, who sadly passed away in October 2020. In this Transporting Success, Part I article, Zediker explains the advantages of loading at the range when you are developing new loads or tuning existing loads. Glen, the author of the popular Handloading for Competition book, discusses the gear you’ll need to bring and he explains his load development procedure. In discussing reloading at the range, Glen focuses on throwing powder and seating bullets, because he normally brings enough sized-and-primed brass to the range with him, so he doesn’t need to de-prime, re-size, and then re-prime his cases.

Zediker writes: “Testing at the range provides the opportunity to be thorough and flexible. You also have the opportunity to do more testing under more similar conditions and, therefore, get results that are more telling. Once you are there, you can stay there until you get the results you want. No more waiting until next time.”

Zediker starts with three-shot groups: “I usually load and fire three samples [with] a new combination. I’ll then increase propellant charge… based on the results of those three rounds, and try three more. I know that three rounds is hardly a test, but if it looks bad on that few, it’s not going to get any better.”

Glen reminds readers to record their data: “Probably the most important piece of equipment is your notebook! No kidding. Write it down. Write it all down.

RCBS Partner PressThere’s More to the Story…

Editor’s Note: In Zediker’s discussion of loading at the range, he only talks about throwing powder and seating bullets. In fact, Glen opines that: “There is little or no need for sizing.” Well, maybe. Presumably, for each subsequent load series, Zediker uses fresh brass that he has previously sized and primed. Thus he doesn’t need to de-prime or resize anything.

That’s one way to develop loads, but it may be more efficient to de-prime, re-size, and load the same cases. That way you don’t need to bring 50, 80, or even 100 primed-and-sized cases to the range. If you plan to reload your fired cases, you’ll need a system for de-priming (and re-priming) the brass, and either neck-sizing or full-length sizing (as you prefer). An arbor press can handle neck-sizing. But if you plan to do full-length sizing, you’ll need to bring a press that can handle case-sizing chores. Such a press need not be large or heavy. Many benchresters use the small but sturdy RCBS Partner Press, for sale now at Amazon for $114.99. You may even get by with the more basic Lee Precision Compact Reloading Press, shown in Zediker’s article. This little Lee press, Lee product #90045, currently retails for $44.99 at Midsouth.

Glen Zediker Reloading at Range

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March 5th, 2023

RCBS Lock-Out Die for Progressive Presses — Be Smart, Be Safe

The RCBS Lock-Out Die can also be used with some Dillon and Hornady progressive presses.

RCBS Lock-out dieIf you load pistol or rifle ammo with a progressive press, we strongly recommend you get a Lock-Out Die from RCBS. This unique reloading die will prevent your progressive press from advancing if the dispensed powder charge is more or less than about 0.3 grains too high or too low. The Lock-Out Die really works. Your Editor uses it on his RCBS 2000 progressive press. I can affirm that a Lock-Out Die has “saved my bacon” a half-dozen times over the years when there was an over-charge (which could cause a Kaboom) or a low charge (which could cause a squib load).

The Lock-Out Die works by using a central die detection rod that sets its vertical position based on the height of the powder column in the case. Through an ingenious design, if the powder column height is too low or too high, the rod locks in place as you start to pull the press handle. This halts the press before the ram can lift and the cartridge plate can advance. Unlike a beeping alarm system (which can be ignored or defeated), the Lock-Out Die physically stops the movement of the press ram and prevents a bullet being seated in the “problem” case.

RCBS Lock-out dieIt takes a bit of tweaking to get the Lock-Out Die detection rod setting just right, but once it is correctly positioned, the Lock-Out Die works smoothly in the background. The Lock-Out Die won’t interfere with the loading process unless it detects a high or low charge — and then it positively stops the progressive loading cycle.

While crafted for use in RCBS progressive presses, the RCBS Lock-Out Die can also be used on a Dillon XL Progressive (see video below) or Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive — though it does take up one station which could otherwise be used for a final crimp die (after the seating die). The RCBS 2000 has one more station than a Dillon 550/650, so it’s an ideal platform for using the Lock-Out Die.

Learn More at
On the website, run by our friend Gavin Gear, you’ll find an excellent two-part series on the function and set-up of the RCBS Lock-Out Die. Part One explains how the Lock-Out Die functions, using cut-away illustrations. Part Two shows how to install and adjust the Lock-Out Die on various progressive presses. The Ultimate Reloader video at the top of this article shows setup of the RCBS Lock-Out Die on the Dillon XL-650 progressive press, while the Reloading Bench video below shows the Lock-Out Die on a Hornady LnL progressive.

Images © 2011, used by permission.
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