Evolving the Cheek Pistol Concept: Calico M950

I have found the “cheek pistol” concept form Rhett Neumayer at Demonstrated Concepts to be pretty interesting. When I was thinking about what pistol designs might be suitable for this sort of use, the Calico M950 jumped out as a really neat candidate. It’s a downward-ejecting design that doesn’t have a external moving slide, and the magazine would make a very good cheek rest. So I talked my friends at Diamondback Tactical in Tucson, and voila! We have a Calico Cheek Pistol.

I am really happy at how well it shoots, but it seems that most of the cheek pistols out there are hampered by their base platforms, and this one proved no exception on the range today…


  1. One might try this with a Glock in a B&T USW chassis – the stock/brace is removeable, and the back of the slide is fully enclosed in a fixed frame, and a red dot can be mounted on top.

      • Considerable backblast in your face. Unlike the Bazooka rocket that was “all burnt” before it reached the end of the tube (and still really needed a face shield JIC as on the Panzerschreck), the Gyrojet burned for about 10m downrange until it achieved its full velocity.

        Firing a Gyrojet like this would pretty much guarantee third and fourth degree facial burns. Not to mention probable loss of your eyes- literally.

        “Face” it; there is no small arms “weapon system” that makes this a good idea.

        clear ether


          • Certainly a captive-piston round would solve most of the problems. But you have to ask if it’s worth the effort just so you can pose like something out of a bad science-fiction movie.

            If a technical fix is needed to justify the tactic, you have to question the real-world validity of the tactic.



  2. I still think the issue with the Calico magazine is not the magazine, but the gun itself. I keep hoping somebody, even as just an experiment, with the skills would come up with a gun that will take the Calico magazine, but not be roller delayed. I think this later matter is what is hampering the full demonstration of the magazine’s capabilities.

    • Calico had been working on uppers for the MAC pistols so you could use the 50/100 round magazines on a full auto MAC.

    • This proves the issue is not the magazine. Otherwise a full auto mag dump would not get past the first half dozen rounds. The magazine can feed quickly and correctly.

      My guess is that the roller delay is a bit ambiguous as to when the next round is supposed to drop into the chamber. Sometimes the delay will be a bit longer and sometimes the delay will be a bit shorter. Yes, we are talking about small fractions of a second difference. But that is the scale a semi-auto or full auto gun cycles. There are pistols with roller delay which work well. But these use traditional push-from-the-bottom magazines, whose functionality have be perfected for over a century. A helical magazine dropping down a cartridge from above is new territory.

  3. The FN P90. I don’t think you need to mess with it but if you truly had to make a “cheek pistol” instead of a PDW, that’s where I’d start.

  4. What it tells me is that;

    1. The Calico has always been too heavy to be a practical one-hand gun. It also has a lousy “balance”.

    2. Holding it like this bring muzzle signature and side-gassing dangerously close to your face.

    3. Accuracy is not going to be improved by this method.

    The end result is, the Calico concept is best suited to a rifle-sized weapon, if anything. The Russian Bizon SMG concept, with a similar magazine under the barrel (in effect becoming the forend) is probably a more sensible layout overall.

    As for “cheeking” any short-barreled small arm… no. Just, no.



  5. lol this is so dumb. was then and still is. if you practice anything long enough you can get good. it DOES NOT MEAN ITS A GOOD IDEA

    • Similar techniques have been used w/ SBS when room clearing for decades. Putting a high red dot equipped very short OAL weapon alongside your face would seem to have certain advantages in tight quarters. Shooting pistols this way is a companion technique to shooting the birds-head grip smoothbore “others” just off your cheeck.

  6. If you’re looking for a pistol that doesn’t have a Browning style slide going back into your cheek… can you put a red dot on a Schwarzlose M1908?

  7. B&T MP9 looks like it will make useful “cheek pistol”. Now it does have a folding stock anyway, but if it is a question of “concept” then it will probable be a useful platform to test it.

  8. I’d like to see a comparison between the cheek pistol technique and a short collapsible/folding stock that positions the weapon in roughly the same place relative to the shooter’s body. Of course, the addition of such a stock would make the weapon illegal (as a short-barreled rifle) in some jurisdictions; in that event, the cheek pistol technique could offer a potentially viable (and legal) alternative.

  9. Makes me think of the “Arm pistol” brought to us by Bushmaster and their little survival pistol they tried to get the military interested in AND the fact we are now full circle back to shooting “pistol” ARs with the buffer tube pressed upon our cheeks! Enjoy and always be creative!

  10. You may want to check out an article in a 1956-58 Guns magazine which talks about a Canadian gunsmith who developed a pistol from various parts he put together and shot using that same cheek rest position so like so many things nothing really new.I will see if I can locate the article if you are interested.Used a single shot pistol in 22 rimfire in the photo in the article.

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