Firearm Flops: Concealed Carry Edition

Firearms come and go. Some become classics, and some become nearly immortal, but others fade away quietly into the night. They are forgotten, they are failures, and people quickly forget about them. In the last few decades or so, concealed carry has exploded into the mainstream. With that in mind, the concealed carry genres have seen plenty of flops and failures. I’ve gathered five that offered a bit of innovation or something different than the standard fare, but they failed miserably and have become forgotten over time.  

1. Taurus Curve 

The pocket pistol explosion of the early 2000s gave way to guns like the KelTec P3At, the LCP, and the Taurus TCP, and eventually, in my mind, culminated with the Taurus Curve. The Taurus Curve is more or less a TCP with a radically different external design. Taurus designed the body of the gun to have a curve to follow the contours of your body and be easily carried. 

taurus curve profile
The Taurus Curve had some innovative ideas but flopped hard.

In fact, the gun didn’t even require a holster. It has a clip that is attached to your belt and a trigger cover with a string. Tie the string to your belt, and when you draw, the trigger guard will plop off. The Curve had some very interesting features outside of its silly curved design. This includes a built-in light and laser that could be programmed to automatically come on when the gun is drawn. 

The Curve’s light is about 50 lumens in total, and the laser was actually the only aiming option. The gun has no sights, and it’s not all that reliable, either. Maybe it’s the geometry of the design, maybe not. I can’t say, but it doesn’t run well. It gathered a ton of attention for its unique design but was not a big seller and disappeared soon after. 

2. Signal9 Reliant 

Who remembers the COP derringer? Or what about the Mossberg Brownie? Both were four-barreled pistols and while the Brownie was quite successful, the COP derringer was not so much. A company called Edge Arms attempted to revive the idea with the Reliant. Edge Arms eventually became Signal9 and aimed to bring a modern multi-barreled pistol to the market. 

Signal9 reliant
The Signal9 Reliant was a more advanced version of the COP.

This four-barreled pistol had a set of four barrels, and the user could swap the barrels to easily change calibers. The gun came in .38 Special, as well as a wide variety of other, older .38 rounds like .38 S&W and .38 Short. There was a .32 caliber version that chambered .32 H&R Magnum, .32 Long, .32 Short, and apparently .32 ACP with a special moon clip. They also make mention of a .380 ACP variant. 

The grip of the Reliant would hold a speed loader held by a magnet for quick reloads. The Reliant was a heckuva lot bigger than most pocket .380s and even some single stack 9mms. It was dead on arrival, but it’s certainly a gun I would have purchased for its weirdness. 

3. Constitution Arms Palm Pistol 

Palm Pistols were quite popular in the later 1800s, specifically the period between the founding of metallic cartridges and reliable small semi-auto pistols. They were smaller than nearly every revolver of the era and offered more rounds than derringers. The Palm Pistol was a repeating firearm that often used a revolving mechanism or even a fixed box magazine. They had their time in the sun until about 2016, when Consitution Arms reintroduced the Palm Pistol.

palm pistol with accessories
The Palm Pistol had tons of accessories but has never appeared on the market.

This Palm Pistol would be a single-shot .38 Special handgun. It featured a button to fire the gun, and the barrels rested between your fingers. The design was supposedly for disabled folks who couldn’t pull a trigger. Constitution Arms also produced a Palm Carbine with an AR stock and 16-inch barrel. 

The Palm Pistol was going to retail for $1,350, so it wouldn’t quite be cheap. I like weird, but not at this price point. The Palm Pistol was also supposed to be for disabled folks, but the ‘trigger’ button was eight pounds. It was also seemingly very difficult to aim, and you got a single shot to make due. It didn’t seem promising, and while the website still exists, I don’t think the guns were ever produced. 

4. Ideal Conceal Derringers

The Ideal Conceal guns were quite controversial, and I’m actually sad they flopped. They did make it to production, but COVID delays and supply chain issues killed an interesting design. They produced both 9mm and .380 ACP versions of these two-shot pistols. The gun was your typical over/under derringer but the controversy came from the gun’s design. 

Ideal conceal pistol
Its non-gun shape makes it easy to disguise.

The Ideal Conceal Derringers were folding guns, and the handle folded upwards and locked in place. This secured the trigger and made the gun safe to carry without a holster. When folded, it didn’t look much like a gun, but it did look like your modern smartphone. It was disguised, but not overtly, with a fake screen and Apple Logo. 

The gun had some merits in its hidden covert design, but two shots aren’t much. I will give them credit for the double-action design. This is one of the guns I had on my list to own, but sadly, I missed them. I do love folding guns, and maybe there is hope and a potential comeback for the gun. It’s creative, and creative isn’t common enough in our industry. 

5. Remington R51 

The most conventional of all of these flops is the Remington R51. It’s a single-stack 9mm gun from Remington that was a little late to the single-stack-nine game, but it seemed fairly nice. It also made use of the Pedersen hesitation-locked action. Remington adopted the Model 51 to the R51 in 2014, and people were excited. I was one of them. 

The remington R51 profile
My contrarian nature liked the design and odd hesitation delay. 

The Remington R51 offered us a novel-looking firearm with an art deco style at a time when most guns were black rectangles on black rectangles. The gun made it to market, but almost immediately, it lagged with problems. Several reliability issues, as well as problems with magazines. Not to mention it had a small issue with firing out of battery. 

The Remington R51 was subject to recall, and generation two was released. The second gen was better but still had some minor issues. The biggest issue was the gun’s reputation was ruined. This made the second-gen a flop, and in 2018 Remington went bankrupt. 

Flopped Like a Fish 

Sometimes the market simply isn’t ready for a great idea. Other times, it’s simply not a great idea in the first place. What do you think? Which was which on this list? What other flops are out there that should be on the list? 

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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