Real innovation in the firearms industry is a rarity, and some of what is innovative isn’t necessarily good. So it was with mixed emotions earlier this week I set out to review TrailBlazer’s LifeCard 22. Trailblazer Firearms is new to the business, and the LifeCard is their only product thus far. TrailBlazer is an appropriate moniker, this is definitely a different handgun. The company is based in Asheville, North Carolina. That region has been rife with what we shall term “ creative sauce” as long as I can remember.
One Hit Wonder or Innovative Genius?
The LifeCard is a single shot .22 LR that folds up to about the size of a stack of credit cards. Length and width, it is exactly the same size as your Visa. It is roughly .5 inch thick, and weighs less than 7 ounces. The company calls it “ the last gun you will ever leave behind”, and they are right. This gun is tiny, discreet, and capable of unorthodox hiding places due to its design.
- Type: Single-shot pistol
- Cartridge: .22 LR
- Capacity: 1 rd.
- Length: 3.375 in.
- Height: 2.125 in.
- Materials: 4140 Pre-hardened Steel (barrel, bolt, trigger); Aluminum (frame & handle) 100 % machine billet
- Weight: 7 oz.
- MSRP: $399
- Manufacturer: TrailBlazer
Article Continues Below
This design took roughly seven years in development to make the LifeCard which is a slim single-shot rimfire pistol. It consists of 27 components and it’s discreet design allows easily to slide your pocket or a small compartment. It works by folding out from a box shape to a gun shape. Pull one lever, the barrel hinges away from what becomes the handle. The handle is surprisingly comfortable, and it is basically a full-sized grip. It locks in place too, so no chance of shooting your toes off. The trigger becomes accessible as soon as the gun unfolds, and a simple cocking mechanism arms it. The sight is a notch cut through the top of the gun. A small compartment in the handle is also capable of holding four extra rounds.
So how did it work? Well, I had my doubts. But the LifeCard fired over 25 rounds without a failure. Don’t laugh about the round count, single shot, break-action .22 makes for a long day. I got tired of loading it before it gave me a failure to fire.
Accuracy wise, as long as you don’t expect too much, it did fine. You are basically looking down the barrel here, there is no front sight post. My first shots from 3 and 5 meters were about 6 inches above point of aim, but with a little practice, I was able to keep them on roughly a chest sized target at 10 and 12 meters.
Why Doesn’t It Classify as NFA AOW?
Many may wonder why this doesn’t classify as an NFA Any Other Weapon (AOW) classification. AOWs refer to firearms that are designed to look like everyday objects (ex: pen, walking sticks, canes etc.). They require the paperwork and fees associated with suppressors and machine guns. The LifeCard doesn’t classify as an AOW because it cannot fire when the grip is folded. Because the trigger is captured inside a small pocket inside the grip and it, in turn, captures the hammer to prevent it from being cocked. To fire the small single-shot, it must be opened all the way with the barrel locked into open position with the trigger completely exposed. This makes the appearance of the LifeCard close enough to a typical handgun that it doesn’t require the additional tax stamps.
So is there a place for this gun? Well, you have to look at the bad with the good. It is immanently concealable, no doubt about that. But the drawback is, it takes about 6 seconds to deploy, even with practice. You can’t carry the gun cocked, so you are also going to need both hands for that 6 seconds. And once you have it ready to go, you’re holding a single shot .22 LR. Is one round of .22 better than nothing? Yes, it is. Is it better than an extended magazine in your M&P9C? Not by a long shot. As long as you know that going in, there may be a place in your CCW loadout for this. If nothing else, I applaud TrailBlazer for creating an entirely new weapon, that works as promised.
For more information about TrailBlazer firearms and the LifeCard, click here
To purchase a LifeCard on GunsAmerica, click here.