Best Folding PCCs and Carbines

Have you ever looked at your rifle or PCC and decided, man, it’s just too big? You don’t want to trim the barrel and deal with the NFA, but you also can’t sacrifice your stock. What’s a gun owner to do? Well, a folding firearm may be for you. Believe it or not, the folding firearms niche isn’t the smallest one out there. Who doesn’t see the value in being able to fold a firearm to make it smaller and more efficient without having to involve the NFA? 

With that in mind, what are your options for a folding rifle or PCC? We’ve gathered six folding rifles and carbines to keep things nice and short. Let’s explore the world of foldy bois. 

Kel-Tec SUB 2000 

The classic foldy boi is the KelTec SUB 2000. This gun has been in production for decades and was the first well-known folding pistol caliber carbine. The Kel-Tec SUB 2000 cut its teeth on the modern firearm market by providing a lightweight, reliable, and easily folding carbine in 9mm and .40 S&W. 

bag guns - keltec 2000 extended and folding
The SUB 2000 is the OG of folding firearms.

Another claim to fame was Kel-Tec’s wise decision to incorporate popular pistol magazines. Modern SUB 2000 owners can use mags from Glock, SIG, CZ, S&W, and a few more, including Canik. The SUB 2000 uses a folding vertical design. The barrel folds up and over the receiver and shortens the gun to a mere 16.25 inches. When unfolded, the gun is only 30.5 inches in length and can be shortened depending on the stock position. 

Since the magazines go into the pistol grip, the length is short. The Gen 2 models feature a mix of Picatinny and M-LOK on the handguard, and we get peep sights, a threaded barrel, and a three-position adjustable stock. The rifle is plenty accurate, although you have to jam your face down on the stock to use the peep sights. The recoil is sharp, but it’s still just a 9mm. It’s the most affordable folding gun on this list. 

Smith & Wesson FPC 

If you want something a little fancier than the Kel-Tec, Smith & Wesson recently released their own folding carbine. The FPC, or Folding Pistol Carbine, has several features similar to the Kel-Tec, but it’s also a bit different. Instead of folding vertically, this gun folds horizontally. The rifle’s barrel folds to the left and around the side of the gun. 

bag guns - Smith & Wesson M&P FCP extended and folded
The FPC is a bit different than the SUB 2000, but just as handy.

The right side of the rail locks onto the charging handle with a friction-fit design. This cuts the length in half and makes it wider rather than taller. Folding horizontally allows the gun to mount an optic with ease. Unlike the Kel-Tec, there is no special need for folding scope mounts. Just toss whatever optic you have on the gun and call it a day. 

The FPC uses M&P magazines, and Smith & Wesson includes two 23-rounders and one 17-round option. The FPC uses a grip that’s almost identical to the S&W M&P Compact. This allows it to use the compact 15-rounders, as well as every other capacity. The FPC features a nicer trigger and generally better ergonomics, but it doesn’t come with sights. Overall, it’s an interesting PCC that finally offers some competition to the SUB 2000. 

Kel-Tec SU-16

Another Kel-Tec and another folding gun! It doesn’t stop with the SUB 2000. Unlike the SUB 2000, the SU-16 isn’t a PCC, but a 5.56 rifle. This gun doesn’t feature a folding barrel that breaks away from the gun. Rather, it features a unique folding stock design. The stock is an under folder that folds up and over the magazine. The gun can be fired with the stock folded. 

KelTec SU-16C extended and folded
Another Kel-Tec, another folding rifle. This one folds up nicely.

With the stock open, the SU-16 is between 35.9 and 37 inches long, depending on your variant. With the stock closed, it can be as short as 25.5 inches. That’s super small for a folding rifle, and it still keeps the famed Kel-Tec budget price point. The rifle doesn’t stop being unique in its folding mechanism, either. The stock can hold two magazines in case you need a spare. The forend breaks into an integrated bipod. It’s weird but also kind of effective. 

Kel-Tec even includes iron sights with the gun and an optics rail. The SU-16 is such a neat rifle. It’s a shame Kel-Tec rarely makes them anymore and it’s tough to find one on the used market. However, if you can, you have a very compact and affordable 5.56 rifle that just happens to fold. 

B&T KH9 Covert

This article is about PCCs and carbines, and admittedly, the KH9 isn’t either of those. It’s technically a large format pistol, but it’s just screaming to become an SBR. The KH9 cover is a limited-run 9mm pistol that uses a submachine gun-like format, but obviously, it’s semi-auto only. This 9mm platform doesn’t fold like any other gun on this list. 

B&T KH9 Covert PDW
The B&T KH9 Covert is a great modern PDW.

The KH9 has a folding pistol grip and a folding magwell. The pistol grip folds rearward, and the magwell folds forward. This doesn’t cut the gun’s length but makes it much more compact for being fit into a bag or backpack. 

SHOT Show 2023 B&T KH9 Covert folded
The folding mag well and pistol grip make the KH9 Covert truly covert. Note the inserted magazine.

Unfolding the pistol grip and magwell is quick and makes it easy to get the gun rapidly into action. Like most B&T large-format pistols, it features ambidextrous controls, plenty of rails for accessories, and a collapsing brace for even easier storage. The downside is the three grand price point. 


Ever since Eugene Stoner created the first AR-type rifle, they’ve naturally been takedown rifles. Takedown rifles are cool, but what if they can fold? That must have been the thoughts at FoldAR when they made the FoldAr. There are two types of FoldAR models. Some FoldARs use a barrel that folds to the left-hand side, and that’s it. Others use a FoldAR barrel and some kind of folding stock adapter to double-fold the gun. 

ar pistol
The MoBetta AR pistol from FoldAR is designed to provide the ultimate in compact transport and maneuverability. (Photo: FoldAR)

This results in super compact AR-15s that can be tossed into a laptop bag. It’s impressive and interesting how FoldAR designed the barrel folding design. It not only cuts the overall length in half but has no problems with headspace. It returns to zero without an issue and doesn’t compromise reliability. 

folded AR pistol
This pistol folds in not one but two places, making it super compact. (Photo: FoldAR)

A folding AR takes an already lightweight and compact platform and makes it even more compact. It effectively cuts the length in half. Don’t even get me started on how small a double FoldAR pistol is. It’s absolutely nuts! 

Trailblazer Pivot 

Our last pick is one of the more radical approaches to the folding pistol caliber carbine genre. The name Pivot describes exactly what the Trailblazer Pivot does. The top half of the gun pivots around the back half of the gun. This ends with the barrel pointing rearward and creating an ultra-compact rifle platform. 

Trailblazer Firearms Pivot Rifle
Trailblazer Firearms has upgraded its family of folding firearms to include the 9mm Pivot ultracompact folding rifle. The Pivot has a full-length 16″ barrel and an overall length of almost 30″ and weighs 5 pounds unloaded. [Photo: Trailblazer Firearms]
When folded, the Pivot is 20.9 inches long. That’s not the shortest folder, but it also keeps the width and height the exact same regardless of its configuration. This keeps it short, small, and thin. The Trailblazer Pivot has no issues with mounting optics or accessories and doesn’t require you to leave rails empty or make optics fold. 

Folded Pivot rifle from Trailblazer Firearms
Using patented technology, the Pivot rifle folds down to under 21″ so it can be stowed in a backpack or storage compartment. [Photo: Trailblazer Firearms]
The Trailblazer Pivot uses Glock magazines and chambers the ever-popular 9mm cartridge. An extra magazine can be stored in the stock. It’s got an M-LOK handguard and an optic-friendly top rail. It’s a bit expensive for its design, but the design is so novel it’s tough to hate on the price. 

Fold It Up Guys 

Folding rifles and PCCs are a really interesting niche. It’s a small niche, but one that absolutely fascinates me. The thought and engineering that go into making a folding gun are impressive. Oddly enough, it seems like folding guns are a growing niche, and I can’t wait to see more. 

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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