The Lifecard from Trailblazer — A Bond Worthy Gadget

I love weird guns. I mean, I really love weird guns. Yeah, Glocks and all their copies are cool and useful, but they aren’t exactly fun. One of my weirder guns is the Trailblazer Lifecard. I don’t need my guns to be practical to justify their ownership. The Lifecard is an oddball, and today we find out if the Lifecard is more than just a novel design. 

The Lifecard bears its name because it folds into the shape of a card. It’s roughly the same size as a credit card, but as you’d imagine, it’s a whole lot thicker. The Lifecard can easily drop into a pocket and disappear when folded into its card-like shape. I can toss it in the front pocket of my shirt and never think about it again. 

What happens when we unfold the Lifecard? 

Breaking Down the Lifecard

Well, first and foremost, it becomes a fireable handgun. Specifically, it morphs into a single-shot .22 LR or 22 WMR handgun. It’s similar to a derringer; the barrel opens upwards to load a single round of ammunition. The user manually cocks the weapon by pulling rearward on the striker of the weapon, which readies it to fire. 

Lifecard .22LR in hand
The Lifecard folds into a small package.

This single-action design is simple. In fact, this is the simplest complicated gun I’ve ever encountered. The gun has two components divided into two big rectangles. The first contains the grip of the gun, and the second has the barrel and action. A simple pull tab allows you to easily fold or unfold the gun. A second pull tab sits with the barrel and action, allowing the user to open the action to drop a cartridge into the barrel. 

When folded, the Lifecard is 3.375 inches by 2.125 inches. It weighs only seven ounces, making it very light and easy to carry practically anywhere in any style. The gun folds around the trigger, eliminating the need for a holster. The gun cannot be folded in a cocked position or with the striker completely forward. It has what’s essentially a half-cocked mode to prevent the firing pin from being all the way forward. 

Lifecard 22LR unfolded in hand
The Lifecard unfolds into a handy little weapon.

The grip has a small compartment with a sliding door. Behind this door, you can squeeze in a few .22LR rounds, so you have a spare or four for those emergency tactical reloads. 

Taking the Lifecard to the Range 

Rimfire guns are always fun at the range. The low recoil, cheap ammo, and little pews will always be a blast to me. The Lifecard isn’t much different. It’s just a relatively slow, single-shot bit of fun. Firing one round, opening the action, extracting and ejecting the cartridge, and then reloading is not a fast means to reload your firearm. 

Lifecard .22LR opened for reloading
Open the barrel, drop a round in, and bang.

If you don’t mind your reloads taking tens of seconds, then you won’t mind running the Lifecard. I don’t mind it. It’s still reasonably fun to shoot. It’s one of the few .22LR handguns that has a little recoil to it.

The cocked striker reliably fires the weapon.
The cocked striker reliably fires the weapon.

The rectangle-shaped grip isn’t comfy like a Hogue overmold, but the low recoil means it’s not painful. That grip goes from the top to the bottom of your hand and allows you to grip the weapon reasonably well. 

The little buck doesn’t produce much of a challenge. What is interesting is the striker lurching forward to fire the weapon. If you’ve ever shot an open bolt machine gun, you recognize the lurch of the bolt slamming forward. That happens here to a slight extent. I barely noticed the issue, except I was hitting low consistently. It wasn’t until I dry-fired the gun that I really recognized the striker pushing the gun forward and down. 

The Side of a Barn 

Does it matter that this lurch forward happens? How much accuracy can you get out of a gun that doesn’t have an actual set of sights? Instead of any kind of post to aim, you have a shallow trench running across the top of the gun. That trench is your sight. Good luck, nerds. 

Minute of bad guy is undoubtedly an accurate term to use with the Lifecard. I can put a hand-sized group into a target at ten yards. That’s repetitive slow fire with me trying to shoot accurately—it’s not fast fire by any means. The trigger is heavy, but the pull is very short. Not too bad for what it is. 

trench sight on the Lifecard
That trench sight is all you got to hit your target.

In a self-defense scenario, this falls into that belly gun category. Meaning, that to hit your target, you basically have to shove the gun into their stomach and fire. The design means you don’t have to worry about the gun coming out of battery when shoving it into an attacker’s belly.

Speaking of self-defense, how fast can you deploy the Lifecard? 

I tossed it in my front shirt pocket, set a timer, and went at it, trying for a quick draw with my Lifecard. I managed to draw the card, open it, cock it, and fire it in about three seconds. Sometimes a little under three seconds, sometimes a little over. It’s not a quick draw by any means.

Lifecard 22LR single shot pistol
Is a single shot, 22LR a proper defensive choice? That’s up to you!

 This is the kind of gun you deploy quietly before engaging, not when someone has already drawn down you. 

Does it bang?

That striker throws itself forward and hits the primer hard. That’s probably done to improve reliability overall. Rimfire guns can be tricky in the reliability department because rimfire isn’t as reliable as centerfire. With that said, the gun handles whatever I toss through it without issue. I had less than a handful of failures to fire, and the gun eats copper cased, exposed lead, and whatever other ammo you toss in it. 

The Lifecard is as reliable as a rimfire gun gets. 

Is it worth the squeeze? 

The lifecard is certainly an interesting weapon. I won’t lie, I like it a lot. It’s weird but also very well built. The gun is reliable and easy to use, and it’s clear that a lot of care and attention went into making it. Trailblazer designed the gun to be a high-quality weapon that lasts. 

Lifecard 22LR storage compartment for a few extra rounds of ammo
This little compartment allows you to store a few extra rounds.

It’s a very niche deep concealment pistol with limited use for most people. The Lifecard is a weapon you can carry openly—no one would know any better. It’s very convenient to carry and disappears in the most limited capacity. For most people, it’s not that useful, especially when something like the LCP exists. 

Even so, if you like weird weapons, then the Lifecard is a great weird weapon. It’s very well made, easy to use, and novel in its design. It’s not for everyone, sure. But it’s fun, and sometimes guns can just be fun. Plus, I feel like James Bond with a Lifecard in my pocket. 

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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