A Covert Gun for the 21st Century: The Cell Phone Pistol from Ideal Conceal (Full Review + Video)

From pen guns to umbrella guns to this insane briefcase gun from H&K, manufacturers have been finding creative ways to conceal firearms for decades. The Cell Phone Pistol (IC380) from Ideal Conceal is the latest iteration in that legacy.

While it wouldn’t be an ideal primary carry gun, the IC380 could perform well in a backup role or in those situations where a traditional EDC handgun would be impractical or inadvisable. It’s also a unique piece to add to your collection, something sure to garner attention at the range or among your gun-collecting friends.

Ultimately, the little 380 handgun performs exactly as you might expect—it’s super concealable, uncomfortable to shoot, and stone cold reliable.

With a quick flip of the pistol grip, the IC380 transforms into a self-defense firearm.


Features, Function, and Testing

Take this gun to the range or the gun store, and invariably everyone will pull out their cell phones to compare the size and weight. As you can see in the images below, the dimensions are spot-on to most of today’s larger smartphones. Especially if you own a heavy-duty case, the length, width, and depth are comparable. Ideal Conceal even cut a small box on the firearm to resemble a cell phone camera.

The length and width are almost exactly the same as this iPhone 7.

But slightly larger than this iPhone 5.

The difference between a real phone and the IC380 is in the weight. The IC380 is significantly heavier than any cell phone I’ve used, which means a standard cell phone holster probably won’t cut it. Fortunately, Ideal Conceal also offers a holster, which you can purchase from them directly for $35.

I’ve included lots of function tests in the video below, but I wanted to underline the simplicity of the loading and unloading process. New gun owners won’t have any trouble learning how to operate this firearm. There’s nothing to cock or rack and there aren’t any external safeties to worry about. It’s very nearly dummy proof, provided you’re careful about which side the barrels are facing.

To load the firearm, users simply pull a small tab, open the action, and insert two cartridges.

The open action slider doubles as the rear sight, which pairs with a small fin on the front of the gun.

Comfort and accuracy are about what you’d expect. With lighter loads, the IC380 can be comfortably shot for extended range sessions. I didn’t have much trouble shooting through a few boxes of the 95g practice ammunition from Federal. But with self-defense cartridges, the straight metal grip began to hurt the web of my hand after just a few shots. (If you look carefully, you can see my jaw muscles clench while shooting one-handed. I do it for you, dear readers.)

It felt silly to strap the IC380 in a vise and do traditional accuracy testing, so I squeezed off a few rounds from three yards to get a sense of what to expect in a self-defense situation. Accuracy can always improve with practice, of course, but the IC380 is obviously designed for extreme close-quarters. In that role, it could excel. Like a revolver and unlike a semi-auto, the IC380 can fire both shots while being pressed against a surface, which might be necessary during an attack.

The 95g target ammo averaged a velocity of 877 fps and the 99g self-defense cartridges averaged 951 fps.

Most groups from 3 yards looked about like this…

…though at one point I did manage to land two shots in the one-inch square.

Pulling the trigger is a piece of cake but deploying the grip might be a different story. While I found that process easier and faster than I expected, it still adds an additional step over a traditional handgun. As you can see in the video, I found it difficult not to point the gun at myself while deploying the pistol grip. It can be done, but it’ll take some practice.

Also, if your cell phone’s dimensions are similar to the IC380, confusing the two might be an issue. The IC380 is heavier, but if you keep your cell phone in one pocket and the handgun in the other, reaching for your phone when you need the pistol is a potential (serious) pitfall.

Purchasing the holster is one option, though folks might ask why you’re carrying two cell phones. You might also keep the handgun in your back pocket and your phone in your front (or vice versa) to help keep them straight.

This image is from Ideal Conceal’s website and suggests one potential carry option.


Length: 5.5 inches
Width: 3 inches
Depth: 0.75 inches
Weight: 18.4 ounces
Barrel Length: 3 inches
MSRP: $575

Ultimately, the Cell Phone Pistol from Ideal Conceal is more than a gimmick. It shouldn’t be your first choice, but it’s an effective self-defense tool when your first choice isn’t available. With modern ammunition, two rounds of .380 might be all you need to get out of a jam.

Visit Ideal Conceal to learn more by clicking HERE.

***Shop GunsAmerica for your next handgun***

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 58 comments… add one }
  • Alonzo March 27, 2021, 12:33 pm

    I need a gun coming because i going do stuff in my life I’m losing people in my life

  • Jon Doe March 10, 2020, 10:32 am

    Dry firing is not recommended. You should have used snap caps during your presentation. And read the manual.

  • Gil Mangels March 11, 2019, 2:00 pm

    Excellent presentation. Thorough and enjoyable, repetition was just right to make his point. Do you think they might improve on the sharp edge so your hand web isn’t so uncomfortable?

  • Clinton starnes March 7, 2019, 1:46 pm

    Looking great

    • I Love Liberty March 7, 2019, 9:04 pm

      Why did they choose the .380 Auto cartridge? This should have been made in 9 millimeter Luger. 9 millimeter is more powerful and way cheaper than .380 Auto.

      Also, this pistol is only worth about $300 in my opinion. It only gives you two shots. $575!? No thanks.

      • ejharb March 15, 2019, 7:27 pm

        See part about uncomfortable to shoot with 380 self defense loads.
        They want to sell buckets of them then they’ll hook up the tactical hipsters.
        This will make a fine backup to my glock42

  • c.e.kestner March 6, 2019, 7:07 pm

    Keep the gun in the FRONT pocket because everyone knows that the shooting device is ALWAYS in the front, where it can be ready for action. Nature’s design.

  • Ed March 6, 2019, 1:33 pm

    I like the concept though would prefer it be in .22WMR for a thinner profile. With practice deployment not a real problem, no protrusions to snag. Case is smooth enough to sit on if rear pocket carry were chosen. The killer is the price, for the money I would go for a real gun that is fun to shoot as well as easy carry.

  • Beachhawk March 4, 2019, 6:55 pm

    I’m sorry but I am not about to plunk down $575 for gimmick of very limited application. This gimmick is not going to fool anyone over 6 years of age. If I want to carry a small .380 pistol, I have a Sig P238 that is probably smaller, has night sights, holds 6 rounds and is just as easy to conceal. If I want to move up a notch to 9mm, I have a Sig 938 which has all of the advantages of the P238 and it is only a hair larger.

  • Joe wallaced March 4, 2019, 6:00 pm

    My wife has a Tarus 380 Curve. The imprit that is visible looks like an IPhone when she carries it. She has fired 250 round three it, she has never had a problem with it. And she have more that 2 rounds.

  • AJ March 4, 2019, 3:06 pm

    When I look at things like this, all I can think is “the path of least resistance”. Which is a phrase that is not found here with this “self defense” tool.

    If you have to draw down on an attacker, seconds make dead.

    • Doc Loch March 4, 2019, 8:20 pm

      Yes, but so does not have a tactical nuke when you need it. The fact is, something is always better than nothing, and when this is all you get to carry (for whatever reason). Better to get the chance to shoot than wish you had something besides your teeth and nails! There is NO GUN for EVERY situation.

      • AJ March 5, 2019, 2:31 pm

        Very true… I think this product could prove effective if you have time to take cover or have element of surprise, absolutely. In a shit situation, you rarely have one up on your attacker as you are usually the one surprised. If an attacker already has you dead to rights you can’t rely on their hesitation in order to flip out the pistol grip.

        On the other hand, if you are in a situation where you are being hunted, and you know it, that is a different story. There is definitely wiggle room for deployment of this device if your attacker doesn’t have eyes on.

        This is also just personal opinion. If someone can train themselves to snap deploy this thing during an imminent threat, more power to them. But I will not take the chance when it comes to me and mine.

      • Beachhawk March 5, 2019, 6:38 pm

        It’s true that something is better than nothing, but why pay $575 for a two shot pistol when you can buy a 5 or 6 shot pistol for half the cost. It’s just an expensive gimmick of questionable reliability, but you can spend your money any way you choose. As P.T. Barnum once observed, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

  • WiscoGunner March 4, 2019, 2:52 pm

    That may be the same dimensions as a large cell phone from the top view, it is 2&1/2 thicker that one. It just seems so bulky and with only 2 rounds, just not practical when you can carry a sub compact like the Kel-Tec P3AT, Ruger LCPII, Kahr CM380, Kimber Micro Carry 380 and so on. You also have the very concealable Sig P365 with 12 rounds of 9mm. And don’t forget all of the North American Arms miniature revolvers like the Pug that gives you 5 rounds of 22 WMR in a gun about the size of your ring of keys. The phone gun is pretty cool engineering, but you still only have 2 shots from a gun with questionable sights.

    I love innovation but other than a novelty gun to show to your friends, I don’t see this thing flying off the shelves at $600. Get a P3AT or LCPII 380 for about $200 or less.

  • Ace March 4, 2019, 1:48 pm

    Will the introduction of this weapon possibly give the oppurtunity for one to claim a “immediate threat” defense for shooting someone while they hold a cell phone during a confrontation?

  • John Bianco March 4, 2019, 1:35 pm

    It’s almost a novelty item, a conversation piece. It could mean the difference between life or death in some situations. Not for everyone but, I think it’s pretty cool.

  • Irish-7 March 4, 2019, 12:56 pm

    If I had $600 for a 2-shot weapon, I’d buy a .45LC/.410GA Bond derringer. Instead of getting the Bond I purchased a Judge Public Defender. The shape of the revolver allows for pocket carry, or in a BUGbite Ankle Holster. You can actually fit a Quickstrip of 5 .45LC or 5 loose .410GA rounds in the magazine pouch on the opposite side of the BUGbite Holster! Wide opening pant legs would be best with this carry method.

  • jackkade March 4, 2019, 12:25 pm

    I”m waiting for the TARGET MODEL. With adjustable REAR SIGHT and 2 lb. TRIGGER.

  • John Nader March 4, 2019, 11:39 am

    Pretty cool, but I used to have a High Standard derringer in .38 Spl. that was even smaller and lighter and was, of course, way more powerful. How is this better in real life?

  • Bob B March 4, 2019, 11:36 am

    Seconds count, even split seconds. I can have my Shield in hand and ready to defend myself while the person with this ridiculous contraption is trying to fish it out of their pocket/purse. Better than nothing? Just barely.

  • bob h March 4, 2019, 11:33 am

    In the unlikely event someone actually uses this in self defense they had better be prepared to be charged criminally. Look up “premeditation” in any law dictionary.

    • Smitty March 4, 2019, 9:17 pm

      So does that mean if I carry a real gun that can’t be considered premeditation? Come on man.

  • Ringo Lapua March 4, 2019, 10:54 am

    I’ve had a Florida Concealed Weapons permit since 1988 and finding the perfect carry gun has always been a problem mainly due to: cost, gun size, weight when loaded, accuracy, ammunition power, personal carry risk and round capacity. Considering all of the above 31 years later, THE HANDS DOWN WINNER IS: 1. The North American Arms 22 Magnum 5-Round Black Widow SS Revolver. 2. The Ruger LCP2 in .380. 3. The Sig Sauer P238 in .380, 4. The Sig Sauer P-938 regular and Legion in 9mm and 5. The Browning 1911 Black Label SS in .380. and HERE’S WHY I CHOSE THEM ALL:

    When you carry concealed you want personal safefy, concealment and comfort. 1. The NAA .22 mag has 5 rounds and built in sloted safety. If you need it, it is very accurate at 7-10 yds and fires 5 rounds of personal
    protection at over 1200-1500 fps (depending on the load). It is so comfortable, light and concealable that it can be carried in your right or left jeans or shorts pocket with complete confidence.

    (NOW FOR THE REASON I NOW LIKE THE .380. GO TO UNDERWOOD AMMO and buy their .380 ACP +p 65 gr. Xtreme Defender at 1400 fps (out of a short barrel). Check out the You Tube gel test ex. Mac on Military Arms Channel. They all rave about this round which creates a massive wound channel and respectable penetration. Much more so than all of the other past .380 rounds produced. The recoil is not noticeable, but the speed, hard fast his and bullseye accuracy ARE VERY NOTICEABLE).

    The reason I like the Ruger LCP2 in 2nd place is that the small narrow size, light weight and capacity along with the Underwood XP’s make it an easy carry. One problem though is that I hate carrying any gun in my pocket with one in the chamber for a number of good reasons (another subject). All of the other, the Sigs and the Brownings are small, a bit heavier than the first two and as small, well built 1911 mini’s have great safety’s built in that you can trust with one in the chamber. The Browning is by far the most accurate of the three, very thin and lighter than the other three Sigs, but I love them all.

    Hope this helps……Last note: The square phone gun in this article is clever but potentially dangerous to carry (misfire) and has on two shots at very close range. For this cost you can buy any of the guns I just mentioned and perhaps the first two together (NAA .22mag and the Ruger LCP2. So it’s thumbs down.

    • AJ March 4, 2019, 2:55 pm

      The Ruger actually rides nicely with on of those pocket clips attached to the slide… My mother actually carries one and I had to try it out. It actually works well that way inside the wasteland because of its slim profile… Not a fan of pocket carry so it may be a biased opinion.

    • al March 8, 2019, 3:00 pm

      I’m gonna take you to task for the “misfire” comment, since you haven’t handled it, the article said nothing about misfires, and the fact is factory ammo today is incredibly reliable, why did you decide to go there???
      I think you’re overthinking it, if you don’t like it, fine, but using that as a ‘reason’ is bogus.
      BTW, the NAA revolver you tout has been responsible for several documented cases of self inflicted gunshot wounds, I personally saw one on a range many years ago.
      I wouldn’t own one of those damn things. and yes, I once did.

  • S March 4, 2019, 10:31 am

    Not today, tomorrow or ever.

  • Bill March 4, 2019, 10:22 am

    I’d be willing to bet you’ll see a few of these getting caught at TSA checkpoints. Someone dumb enough to buy this piece of crap that is no more concealable than an LCP and holds less than a 3rd the capacity is probably not bright enough to remember to leave it at home when he goes on an airplane.

  • Jay Manges March 4, 2019, 10:20 am

    S&W Airweight is four ounces lighter, is more accurate, packs more firepower, and is about $200 cheaper. Pass…

  • John Murphy March 4, 2019, 10:04 am

    My wife is now going to think I’m carrying around two cell phones and living a double life! He ha
    And think about this, how many times have you left your cell phone somewhere and couldn’t find it. Hey could someone please call my gun!
    Absolute nonsense!

  • stu March 4, 2019, 10:02 am

    now we will be seeing more inocent people getting killed by police because they were holding thier cellphone.
    this i an example of a product that should have never been developped.

    • Smitty March 4, 2019, 9:21 pm


  • Old OutdoorsGuy March 4, 2019, 9:46 am

    “……. something sure to garner attention at the range or among your gun-collecting friends”, uh, yeah, that would be high on MY list of priorities for spending over $600 for a 2 shooter with a cheap holster to boot.

    2 of my favorite EDC carry guns are my Taurus PT-709 Slim in 9 mm and my Sig P-230, in .380 ACP. Both of them are small, shoot over 3 times the rounds per loading, and are many times more accurate at WAAAAY more than 9′ from the assailant!! I carry the P-230 about half as much as the 709 Slim because of the weight difference and caliber, but the important thing is,…… I bought BOTH of them used in like new condition for LESS than the cost of this $600 throwaway!!

    “As you can see in the video, I found it difficult not to point the gun at myself while deploying the pistol grip. It can be done, but it’ll take some practice.” OK, like the old adage goes, “Practice makes perfect”. But, what if you practice and get your act together and one night, as an assailant approaches you and makes a move with a weapon, knife, pipe, or whatever, and you make that one mistake while trying to draw and fire this “weapon”, I would NEVER be prepared to take that chance, considering the consequences ….. At the least, you would be dead meat by the time you glanced down to ensure that you had the proper end of your Cell Gun” in your shooting hand, and at worst, well we know the ending to that tale also ….. With a handgun of any size, caliber, or with other bells or whistles installed, you can STILL tell by feel, no matter which end you stuff in your pocket, [if that is your EDC choice of carry style], you can STILL instantly identify the grip end of the firearm. I rest my case on this whole concept.

    ” ……. With modern ammunition, two rounds of .380 might be all you need to get out of a jam.”, the operative words here being “might be” ….. OK, so if you are close enough to “press the gun against a hard surface” such as an assailant’s chest, then maybe 2 shots will work for most anyone sharp enough to pull or properly squeeze a trigger, since accuracy at that “range” is pretty much a non-issue.

    ….. But, what if, just WHAT IF you need just one more round? Will you STILL be able to save your own life when your $600 “2 shooter” is now a nonfunctioning wannabe cell phone lookalike??

    • AnTyK March 4, 2019, 3:56 pm

      I too really like the PT-709.

      I came into possession of the PT740 from a friend that needed to part ways with a few firearms-I couldn’t turn it down for the price.

      At first I liked but didn’t love it- I’m not a fan of the 40cal recoil in such a light frame. Trying to tame that a bit a I added magazine grip extenders- changed my whole world. But, since this was the lone 40 in my stable I bought a PT709 and, with the grip extensions love it. I sold the 740 to a friend that has bearpaws for hands and has no problem clamping down on the energetic recoil. I bought another 709, and alternate between the two.

      So I’ve owned 3, and all 3 performed without fail.

      Prior to the 709 I carried a G19. I’ve had people try to convince me to carry something else, and I’ve bought more than few in the hunt for a better EDC. Still haven’t found it. I know, I know.. its a Taurus… but it has been one great pistol.

    • Smitty March 4, 2019, 9:25 pm

      If you need 1 more round stuff the thing down your attackers throat.

  • Jim McCarthy March 4, 2019, 9:30 am

    Absolutely stupid. Think about it, now cops have to worry about anyone holding a cell phone. So with all the innocent filming of police doing their job ( or in some cases not doing their job correct ) , they now will be shooting people who hold up a cell phone for totally innocent purposes. Guns need to look like guns! It is not a good weapon and will probably get more people killed than protected. Just because we can think up this shit doesnt mean its a good idea to make it. Case in point, nuclear weapons. and before you jump me on this subject, I am a gun owner and carry concealed every day.

    • Barack Obama March 4, 2019, 10:01 am

      I disagree. It’s not about walking around with a gun in your hand so that police can see you.
      Its about easily being able to slide it in your pocket. This makes it more likely you will have it on you when you need one. Defense you leave at home is worthless.

      • Corbin VanWinkle September 8, 2019, 10:28 pm

        Barack Obama, I actually agree with this guy, and here’s why: two shots of a small .380 cartridge may not be enough to protect yourself from a hostile combatant, and same could be said with any practical pistol cartridge like the 9mm or the .45 Auto. At the same time though, according to recent informal statistics 1 or 2 shots would be enough most of the time, but say you get mugged by 2 hardened criminals and they have full sized handguns or even a sawed-off and a machete between them; that pocket “pistol” is now a liability and you get killed or worse. And with cops dealing with so many unforseen circumstances and dangers that are inherent in their line of work, this only adds on to the list of things that not only our cops, but the rest of our first responders as well. Also, from what I read in this post and the following comments, is that it accurate up to 3 yards and it takes a few seconds to have it drawn? One: every second counts, even the split milliseconds; and two: at 3 yards? I’d be way better off with a pocket knife; at least I’m able to use a knife more than once or twice if need be, and it’ll be far more effectice, and cheaper. A good pocket knife with a 3-4 inch blade and an integrated pocket clip costs at least 10-15 dollars, depending on where you go. With 600 dollars I could go to a pawnshop and get an actual handgun that can also be stored in the pocket, be in a bigger caliber, or even the same, have more capacity, has more range and better sights, a lot safer to use, and can be drawn in a second if need be, and still have money left over for ammo, a knife or two, a spare mag, and maybe even a nice, refreshing drink. The most I would pay for this gun would at most be 75-100 dollars, and even then, I wouldn’t. I’d be better off with a deringer pistol; at least I’d kbow where the barrel is facing so I don’t accidentally shoot myself in the face.

  • Al Parrish March 4, 2019, 9:23 am

    What would make it nice would be to round the back strap some, and make the handle a the Magazine, and single barrel simi auto. Two rounds may not be enough, and if limed to 15 yards, not acceptable for what I think in situations at a lot of different places. Especially if they have a 15 round pistol or and AR!

  • srsquidizen March 4, 2019, 9:09 am

    There are holsters available for a conventional pocket pistol that will make it imprint like a cellphone or a wallet. But you don’t have to unfold it just draw it if the need arises. So IMO this is a novelty not a necessity.

  • James M Dennis-Langham March 4, 2019, 9:07 am

    You can get a 2 shot derrenger for around $195 from cobra and you can get them in 22 mag or up to 38 special and there is a pocket holster that looks like a wallet plus you don’t have too unfold anything. This appears to be more of an expensive novilty. I carry a bond arms in 44 mag which I use 44 special low velocity for carry. A used bond arms. Can be bought for around $300.

  • Dennisws March 4, 2019, 8:01 am

    If someone asks about two cell phones just answer. One for English, one for Spanish.

    • Mike March 4, 2019, 9:14 am


  • Zeke March 4, 2019, 7:13 am

    I like it! A 22 Magnum would be great as well! You might even get three barrels in there.

  • DAVID MILLER March 4, 2019, 6:50 am

    Hold on a second robber so i can unfold my gun

  • SteveK March 4, 2019, 6:18 am

    Appears to be very high quality. I like it.

  • STEVE March 4, 2019, 5:00 am

    We need a integrated case that would allow your phone to stay connected to the firearm and flip out upon drawing the weapon. This would have a sighting app allowing for better aim and the zoom feature should allow for accurate 100 yard shots. The video aspect would also allow for instant feed back of shot placement. So who want to do the Kickstart with me?

    • ConradCA March 4, 2019, 8:42 pm

      Hitting something at 100 yards with a 380 pistol isn’t going to happen.

  • glenn k March 4, 2019, 4:38 am

    too thick. why not in 22 lr?

  • BUURGA March 4, 2019, 3:05 am

    Swell. So now a police officer may have to fire on anyone holding a cell phone because of this nonsense.

    • Mongo March 4, 2019, 8:16 am

      They already do…..

    • Marcelino March 4, 2019, 8:31 am

      Dang, you took my words and they are true as light of day. This cell gun might, could and will get an officer in deep trouble.

    • Timothy P Holtzen March 4, 2019, 8:38 am

      Exactly a gun should look like a gun not anything else if you cant properly conceal a pistol then learn or dont carry concealed

    • srsquidizen March 4, 2019, 9:01 am

      Cops already can and do if they can’t tell what a non-compliant suspect has got in his hand or is going for, so this contraption will make little difference. When police have guns pointed at you Darwin says stop, put both hands in the air, and show them that you are holding NOTHING.

    • Hollywood March 4, 2019, 12:37 pm

      Go away you damn idiot

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