Back in 2014 Trailblazer Firearms joined the fray with the idea of designing the smallest, most innovative pistol ever seen. Now, a couple of years later, we’ve got the LifeCard pistol that began life in.22 LR but is now available.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR).
LifeCard 22 WMR
To put it simply, the Trailblazer LifeCard Gun is a one-barrel, single-shot handgun that folds up to about a credit card’s dimensions and is about half an inch thick while weighing 7 ounces. The whole weapon’s made of metal. The barrel, bolt, and trigger are made of pre-hardened 4140-steel, and aluminum billet frame and handle.
The steel has a very attractive black Isonite finish, which is resistant to corrosion, and the aluminum is anodized. The overall design of the gun is extremely clean, and subdued until you open the latch. The handle also lets you store three more ammunition rounds.
A tiny sliding key lets you open the handle and unfold the gun for use. The method is relatively quick, but the fast operation can be a little challenging for those with regular-sized hands. You engage another sliding lock to load the weapon and pull the barrel upwards. Then, you load the round straight into the barrel, then just close the barrel. You pull a very small hammer in the fully cocked position to fire the weapon and pull the trigger.
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- Manufacturer: Trailblazer Firearms
- Model: LifeCard .22
- Action: Tilt Barrel Single-Action
- Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
- Barrel: Milled Billet 4140 Steel, Button Rifled, Isonite Finish
- Frame: Milled Billet 6061 Aluminum, Hard-Coat Anodized Aluminum
- Sights: V Groove
- Barrel Length: 2.5”
- Folded Dimensions: Length 3.375″, Height 2.125″, Thickness 0.5″
- Weight: 6.6 oz., Unloaded
- Trigger Pull: 3 lbs. 1 oz. (As Tested)
- Capacity: 1 Round
- Ammunition Storage: 4 rounds
- Twist: 1:16” RH
- Rifle Grooves: 6
- Accessories: Lock, Owner’s Manual
- MSRP: $399
Who is the Trailblazer LifeCard Gun Best For?
The Trailblazer LifeCard Gun is not for everybody, but I bet everyone can appreciate the fact it’s well built. The gun is made of aluminum billet and will release a version of polymer later this year.
The polymer variant appears to permanently replace the .22 LR variant (there is also a .22 WMR variant, and a ton of different colors, too. This model is all billet aluminum and one of the LifeCard’s first generations. It existed well before the 22 WMR version.
The LifeCard is a completely ambidextrous weapon and very simple to design. The handle and barrel both have toggles pulled to use the weapon. The toggle releases the top portion on the handle side and enables you to unfold the LifeCard. The second toggle on the side of the barrel unlocks the barrel and helps you to open it and load it or throw an empty cartridge.
The LifeCard makes folding and unfolding effortlessly. There is nothing complicated about the design, and from the folded position it can be ready to fire quite quickly. You open the tilt-up the barrel to operate the weapon, insert a round and close it. Then pull the striker to the back and you’ve got one, ready action.
You can put it in a pocket shirt and pick it up very easily and get it ready to shoot. Is this quicker than just drawing a weapon and shooting it? No, but for what it is, it’s still strong. The handle has a small compartment, which allows you to store 22 LR rounds of spare. The downside is when you’re holding the weapons, they make a reasonable amount of noise bouncing around in there.
Shooting This Thing
This gun’s ergonomics aren’t exactly overwhelming. The grip is ultra-small, and all of these are corners. The reach of the trigger is abysmally short. The controls are small but very simple from a mere point of view of operating the weapon. Nothing about the setup is confusing, or dangerous. Charging, cocking, and fire the weapon is easy.
De-cocking is also easy, but make sure the gun is pointing in a safe direction. You must grip the striker, pull the trigger and guide the striker. On both sides, the striker has scallops to ensure a good grip as you allow the striker to move forward.
Accuracy and No Sights?
The signal to the Trailblazer LifeCard Gun is relatively impressive. It is really stiff, but it is super short. The gun is still difficult to aim accurately — the grip is hard and there is no sight … just a long knot or trench running along the top of the gun — so a strong trigger is useful.
Accuracy-wise the LifeCard is what you would expect from a tiny, sightless, .22 LR derringer. The grip is better than a traditional derringer but the challenge is precision. There’s a bit of recoil but it’s not hard to deal with. It’s a bit of a bump and a bit of an up. Shooting a .22 LR round, it’s soft enough to shoot over and over again to be really easy.
To be realistic, somebody in a very close range would be hit by the Life Card, but the shot placement is king. Particularly on such a small ring. The.22 LR is generally not a good penetrator as a self-defense weapon, but that is a long-depth topic for another article.
It’s hard to really see the Life Card 22LR in a self-defense role given its slow deployment and low caliber. The only exception could be for people who work or occupy an area where they are not allowed to carry a firearm. Not unlawful, simply not allowed.
Another position is as a curiosity of course. It is a sleek little weapon, a unique design. It’s very well crafted and done. The LifeCard makes me feel like an assassin in the spy or cold war era, and it will definitely draw some attention on the list.
The Downside of the Trailblazer LifeCard Gun
The biggest drawback is clear: It’s a .22 LR single-shot handgun. In addition, there is a lack of genuinely functional sights. You get a trench that you put at the target. This is a minor issue because this weapon is designed on targets of human size for extreme close quarters.
Final Thoughts on Trailblazer LifeCard Gun
No doubt the Life Card 22 LR is a fascinating and special product. Its utility is likely to be the end-users. For others, it’s a trick or a problem-solving approach. For some, it will fix a problem they just have. It is an interesting design, however, and it is nice to see something new and interesting in the crowded small-gun market.