One of the most famous firearm designers you’ve likely never heard of is a man named Andrew Burgess.
Burgess was born in New York in 1837 and went on to create over 600 patents.
In the 1870s, he developed a patent to convert Peabody and Werndl rifles into repeating firearms.
By 1893, Burgess founded his own firearms company.
One of his most successful designs was a 12-gauge shotgun called the Burgess Gun. It was a slide action with a locking breech.
The slide assembly contained the trigger and a semi-pistol grip. The magazine held six rounds of 2½ inch 12 gauge.
Yet, the most unique thing about the Burgess Gun was that it was a take-down shotgun.
In other words, the shotgun could be disassembled into about half its size.
And it could be taken down with relative ease – one button is all it would take.
You simply withdrew the breech block and depressed a button to slide the barrel and magazine assembly from the locks.
The gun had a large hinge at the bottom front of the receiver with the locking lugs on the top part of the receiver.
So, not only could it be folded, but it could be snapped back with the flick of the wrist.
The gun was easily stowed away but could be drawn rapidly and snapped into place.
Another benefit of the Burgess Gun was that it was completely symmetrical in design, making it ambidextrous.
To market the gun, Burgess hired professional exhibition shooter “Left Hand” Charlie Damon to show the gun at public events.
Because of the unique design of the gun, the exhibition shooters were able to showcase the motto, “Six hits in less than three seconds.”
There is a story that Theodore Roosevelt was a big fan of the Burgess Shotgun.
And in 1895, Roosevelt was the President of the New York City Police Board.
One day, “Left Hand” Charlie met with Roosevelt on behalf of the Burgess Gun Company.
The hope was that the company would be able to sell the gun to the police department.
To show off the gun, Charlie loaded the shotgun with blanks and hid it under his coat.
As he entered Roosevelt’s office, he drew the shotgun and fired off the blanks toward the ceiling.
After the meeting, the New York Police Department purchased 100 Burgess Guns.
In 1899, Burgess agreed to sell his company to Winchester, but the company did not continue to produce any of the designs from Burgess.
Now, whether it’s for storage or putting in a backpack for bugging out, the ability to fold a gun can be a useful feature depending on the situation.
That said, here are a few of the top folding firearms and why they might be worth adding to your firearm collection.
AR-15s and similar rifles need a long barrel to burn the gunpowder.
But this hasn’t stopped a company called FoldAR from producing AR-15 rifles that fold down.
The company uses patented technology to fold the barrel of the gun with the stock. It’s a double fold allowing the gun to fold into a compact size.
The gun still uses a direct impingement system. So, the buffer tube and barrel must be folded out to fire.
The FoldAR comes in different models, calibers, and barrel lengths. The gun can be deployed in a matter of seconds.
CZ Scorpion Evo 3:
The Evo 3 is a semi-auto pistol that is very compact.
It’s a blowback-operated 9mm with a 7¾” barrel. It has an 11” Picatinny rail that is ideal for mounting optics. The gun is legally classified as a pistol.
The pistol is simple to operate and has ambidextrous controls.
Plus, there are a lot of accessories for the pistol, including an abundance of stocks that can be added to the pistol – including folding stocks.
So, if you don’t have time to open the stock you can still use the gun.
The CZ Scorpion sells for around $1,000 new.
However, it’s worth noting that laws around pistols and buttstocks are always changing, and you should consult an attorney before adding a stock to the pistol.
The ATF has ruled that adding a stock turns the pistol into a short-barrel rifle, meaning you would need to register it as a short-barreled-rifle (SBR).
Kel Tec Sub2000:
The Sub2000 has been around for a long time and is one of the most popular folding guns. The gun is a blowback carbine that folds in half.
The gun comes in versions that use M&P magazines in either 9mm or .40. You can also get versions that use Glock magazines.
The carbine has a 16″ barrel, MLOK handguard, and pistol grip.
The gun is perfect for backpacking.
Depending on the specific caliber, the Sub2000 starts at around $500.
Whichever caliber you want, there is likely a folding gun that fits your needs.
While folding guns are perfect for bugging out or camping, I would not make a folding gun my primary home defense weapon.
When your life is in danger you don’t want to waste precious seconds unfolding a gun.
But, when space is limited and you want to carry a firearm (or another firearm) in your go-bag or backpack, a folding gun could be a good option.