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View Full Version : Kel Tec Su-16CA w/ Pistol Grip&Stock Attachment


DV_emt
04-06-2011, 7:30 PM
Hi all,

So I was in the process of looking around for an AR style rifle, and I stumbled upon the Kel Tec Su-16 Series. Now I've seen these rifles before, but I didn't know that they had the pistol grip/stock assembly. Since i've had experience with the AR10/15 and Ruger Mini 14 I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the Kel Tec? Pros? Cons?

Thanks!

imarangemaster
04-06-2011, 7:36 PM
Before I left California in 2007, I had a Kel-Tec SU-16BB with the 16' barrel. It would shoot 1.5 MOA with iron sights and Federal/Lake City M-193 ball 5.56. Very cool weapon. I sold it when I left and went to Illinois and bought an AR!

Uxi
04-06-2011, 7:59 PM
I have the SU-16CA and love it. Nice little plinking weapon. Main purpose in having it is that it's featureless so I can use my pre-ban USGI's, so I'd never use the pistol grip thing unless I moved to a Free State.

Warranty and customer service are supposedly great so if you have any issues, they'll fix/replace it, though I never had any issues. It was cheap and my experience with it has been great, though so don't really have any negatives to share. I guess I did think the stock bipod grip thing was a bit cheesy, though, so did put on the compact foreend on it.

ulv
04-06-2011, 8:24 PM
It's a great little thing. Lightweight, loud, reliable, clean... Yes and like the above post lifetime warranty. It's not an AR or AK but the features and pro's of it lie somewhere in between the two.

Cons, I would replace the stock rear sight immediately.

Bug Splat
04-06-2011, 8:42 PM
Its a great backpack or trunk rifle. Its not going to win WW3 but its a very portable and fun rifle to plunk with and pass around to friends.

mif_slim
04-06-2011, 8:43 PM
Warranty is 5 stars! I called to ask about the firing pin, they sent me 2 for free (don't go asking stuff for free. ;) ), I sent my SU in because the earlier series had issues with the bolt slamming the housing. They said 6-8 weeks turn around, I got it back in 2 weeks. They paid for shipping both ways. Great guys and great warranty for sure!

LovingTheYear1911
04-06-2011, 8:44 PM
I have the SU-16CA and so far love it. Never had a problem with it and it fires anything you feed it, even cheap Russian ammo. Its a lot louder than my AR and has more recoil, but its also a lot lighter. Its accurate, reliable, light, and once its modded a bit (forend with rails, scope, etc) it looks nice too. You can see it in my avatar pic. Bottom rifle.

Quiet
04-06-2011, 9:24 PM
They are lightweight, accurate and reliable.
I would take one over a Ruger Mini-14 any day.

For CA...
Installing the pistol grip with extending stock onto a Kel-Tec SU-16 would require the installation of a magazine lock and the use of 10 round or less magazines. This is done to comply with the assault weapons laws.

LovingTheYear1911
04-06-2011, 9:47 PM
If you do decide to go with the pistol grip, here is a bullet button you can use. I just made my own though.

http://www.parallaxtactical.com/store/thunderbolt-su-16-magazine-lock-221.html

thunderbolt
04-06-2011, 9:49 PM
You can't beat the SU-16 for what it is. A light-weight, reliable, backpack rifle. It takes the best features of the AR and the AK and mashes them together quite nicely. And the price is nice too.

The pistol grip will change the whole shooting experience of the Kel Tec and does reqiure a mag device of some sort. And it also will limit you to 10 rnd mags but if you don't have any 30 rndrs it doesn't really matter. You will also lose some of the foldability of the rifle. However it is worth it IMHO. Such a nice little rifle I wish I still had mine.

http://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww285/thunderbolt26/View2.jpg

The warranty is top notch too. I had one hickup in 4000 rnds and Kel Tec fixed it free of charge and had it back to me in two weeks.

Hmmm... That's funny, I thought the haters would have gotten here by now.

DV_emt
04-06-2011, 10:26 PM
Thanks Everyone for your responses.... It's great to hear that its a reliable firearm and that they have great customer service. I'm hoping to pick one up in the near future now that I know that they're reliable and a fun shot.

I look forward to hearing more responses from others as well! :D

orion5457
04-06-2011, 10:41 PM
Of the Kel Tec rifles what is the best of them? A B CA et al?

BillyGoatMachine
04-06-2011, 11:18 PM
Im surprised to see all the praise for these exploding POS rifles in this thread. There are many people who have had bad experiences with them, including myself. Keltec does have great customer service though, for good reason. Take this with a grain of salt, and this is JMHO. Just do some research and make your own decision.

Not my pic. Mine is still intact but sits collecting dust never to be used again. I want my targets to explode, not my rifles:rolleyes:

:eek:
http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m66/willskel-tecimages/DSC01663-1.jpg

Seesm
04-06-2011, 11:35 PM
I have one of the newer ones (just a few years old) and have had no issues...
That pic above I "think" is a old one when they were .223 and people had some issues when shooting 5.56 (again I think this) Mine is chambered in 5.56 and again no issues.

LovingTheYear1911
04-07-2011, 8:29 AM
I've seen ar15 and ak's explode too. So does that mean they are junk too and never to be shot again? Funny how some people think and reason.

Uxi
04-07-2011, 8:37 AM
Of the Kel Tec rifles what is the best of them? A B CA et al?

Definitely the CA. Front sight isn't plastic and it has the heavier barrel. If you're in a Free State, the C with the folding stock has some obvious utility to it.

thunderbolt
04-07-2011, 9:02 AM
Im surprised to see all the praise for these exploding POS rifles in this thread. There are many people who have had bad experiences with them, including myself. Keltec does have great customer service though, for good reason. Take this with a grain of salt, and this is JMHO. Just do some research and make your own decision.

Not my pic. Mine is still intact but sits collecting dust never to be used again. I want my targets to explode, not my rifles:rolleyes:

:eek:
http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m66/willskel-tecimages/DSC01663-1.jpg

Ouch. I've never seen that pic. I wonder what happened for the thing to blow up as bad as it did. Not sure if a standard .223 rnd would cause that much damage. Maybe if the owner was using it as a club maybe but what do I know. You should sell yours if you're not using it and get yourself something you would like better.

I got rid of mine because the volume of shooting I was doing was getting really heavy and I was worried about barrel life. The Kel Tec barrel is hard fused to the reciever and can't be replaced. However I put 4K+ through mine with only one minor foul-up and I've heard from riflemen who have 10k+ down range. Not sure how Kel Tec's warranty covers barrel use.

The best in my opinion is the CA model. The sights are better and the barrel is slightly heavier than the Bravo. the Alpha has an 18" barrel though if that means anything to ya.

mif_slim
04-07-2011, 10:01 AM
I would say the CA is better too. One con is te shorter sight radius, other then that, pre tap barrel for muzzle "break"(lol) and nice clean look. I would of gotten a CA too but it wasn't out when I got my Bravo.

ZombieTactics
04-07-2011, 10:25 AM
My thoughts:

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mif_slim
04-07-2011, 10:51 AM
ZT, I made a video on right hand reloading. I'm slow at it but maybe you can try it to eliminate the chance of riding the bolt?
A47sRBkdx0Y

Also in your video you mention about the empty space inside the buttstock. Your trying to find something to put in there? I put 1 30 round mag in there and it fits just perfect. ;)

BillyGoatMachine
04-07-2011, 11:59 AM
I've seen ar15 and ak's explode too. So does that mean they are junk too and never to be shot again? Funny how some people think and reason.

But the amount of Keltec's that have exploded compared the the amount of M4's, AR-15's, and Ak's is much higher. Especially when you consider how many are being used and fired every day. The Keltec is a civilian rifle and sees a miniscule fraction of use compared to service rifles and civi Ar's. Got to look at the big picture Bud. Funny how some people think and reason...........:rolleyes:

Write Winger
04-07-2011, 4:30 PM
Excellent review ZT!!! May have to pick one of those up to go with my PLR 16.

ZombieTactics
04-08-2011, 9:49 AM
But the amount of Keltec's that have exploded compared the the amount of M4's, AR-15's, and Ak's is much higher. ...

That's an interesting notion. Can you document it from a responsible source?

Uxi
04-08-2011, 9:55 AM
But the amount of Keltec's that have exploded compared the the amount of M4's, AR-15's, and Ak's is much higher. Especially when you consider how many are being used and fired every day. The Keltec is a civilian rifle and sees a miniscule fraction of use compared to service rifles and civi Ar's. Got to look at the big picture Bud. Funny how some people think and reason...........:rolleyes:

Who's AR's are are you comparing to service weapons? Willing to bet there are much bigger proportions of cheaper builds like Del-ton's, etc than quality LWRC's and the like. And many of the high end ones are just as likely to be mall ninja safe-queens as serviceable battle rifles. The worst part about the AR scene is the people who see the line get blurry between their civilian equipment and think it compares to mil-spec.

But yeah, have any sort of statistical source or are you pulling it out of your nether-regions?

ulv
04-08-2011, 10:04 AM
That's an interesting notion. Can you document it from a responsible source?

He can't. The kel-tec in that picture was most likely an earlier A model fired with 5.56 instead of .223. This is all speculation though.

There was an issue with 5,000+ round kel tecs (I can only name 2 times this happened) in cold weather (possibly weakening the zytel) with the back of the receiver breaking after the carrier impacted it.

CAs have heavier barrels, and in recent times all su16s are chambered for 5.56 and have beefed up zytel receivers.

Sunday
04-08-2011, 10:05 AM
I bought a used like new Su16ca with the heavier barrel and threaded muzzle. It had the replacement fore grip and a Smith muzzle brake installed. It is accurate enough and so far has been reliable . No it is by far not a Colt or BCM type of quality rifle. What is interesting though it after I bought the Keltec my friend tried it and bought one . He has several Quality ARs and a history or AR ownership from the early 70s. He brought the keltec to a carbine class and said it worked flawlessly and those with lesser ARs " Bushmasters ,Oly arms and DMPS" had functioning problems with theirs. I was surprised to say the least.

mif_slim
04-08-2011, 10:18 AM
I dont think its lesser AR's, I think it was operator error. I like both AR and SU, but my no namer AR which Im doing a review on right now is running like a champ. All Im doing is lubing it. AR's best friend is being well lubed. Those guys just need to put a few drops of oil on the BCG and it should run fine. Mines seen over 4000 rounds and its still running strong. I am getting alot of carbon build up so I might have to wipe the bolt down at 6000or something. lol.

ZombieTactics
04-08-2011, 10:25 AM
Keep in mind - as stated in my review - that I personally witnessed AR and AK platform rifles failing under stressful conditions in a recent tactical carbine course. A Sig556 went down hard and required disassembly to correct on the first day. This represented 4-5 out of 15 shooters for that course. Of the 15 most were experienced shooters, over half being either current military or LE

Keep in mind the exercises were of the type where we typically shot through 200+ rounds per run. I have no claim this means anything generally about anything, but my SU16CA ran like a champ.

thunderbolt
04-08-2011, 10:54 AM
Keep in mind too that very few civilians will ever use their AR's and AK's to the extent that would classify as true "heavy use" (Zombie's cool training course aside). The vast majority will use their rifle at the range a couple of times a year at a modest 200 rnds per session or for hunting both for which the SU-16 is perfectly suited for. All this talk of "battle rifle" this and "combat proven" that is such a load of BS.

bizarrocolin
04-08-2011, 1:19 PM
I'm eyeing a used 'a' model as something light light for my girlfreind to shoot (she is afraid of my M1a). I don't know how old it is, but 5.56, not .223, was stamped on it. I'm bit paraniod now. But if there really was a huge problem with these explding, wouldn't they recall them? Maybe I'm naive too.

Uxi
04-08-2011, 1:21 PM
Keep it cleaned and maintained and you shouldn't have a problem. If you do end up with a problem, it's far more likely to be less spectacular than the picture (which can't be emphasized enough is not the poster's own picture, and it's almost always second hand) and Kel-tec will take care of you. The major improvements from the later models is the heavier barrel and the metal M16/AR-style adjustable front sight.

mif_slim
04-08-2011, 1:39 PM
Well the SU has always been 5.56 spec. Some had .223 stamped on it but it doesn't make a difference from what KTOG.org and their source from KT. That explosion is either a over charged ammo, squib or something but it's not from firing 5.56 in a .223.

Don't be afraid of tue picture. Every type of firearm blew up at some point. If the thought is always in your head, you can always stop shooting to lessen the chance of it ever happening. ;)

DV_emt
04-18-2011, 3:36 PM
Thanks for everyone's comments and advice on the SU-16

I ended up picking one up used with less than 1000 rounds through. It's super clean inside and out, and I am looking into make a few minor modifications to make it more "like" an AR but still keeping it CA legal. I'll post up some pics once I pick it up from the FFL a few days.

imarangemaster
04-27-2011, 10:18 PM
I actually am picking up a SU16 CA to replace the Bravo model I had when I moved away 4 years ago. I will be spending a lot of time in California starting sometime in the next 6 months, and want to use my preban Orlites. I had them legally before I left California ( I used them in my Dept. XM177E2 on the SO and used them in the SU16B), so I can legally bring them back in. My retro SP1 clone will have the bullet button and a 10 round.

imarangemaster
04-27-2011, 11:24 PM
I realize the SU16 is not a "300 yard Main Battle Rifle." I have a superbly accurate and reliable retro SP1 AR15 (on OLL) that would fill that bill. I have also have an 870 express slug gun for home use, and a USGI M1 Carbine filled with 1930 fps R-P 110 grn JSP for general sub-100 yard PDW use. The Kel-Tec will be a handy 5.56 PDW, lighter and more compact even than the M-1 Carbine, with more punch. It is perfect for occasional no-good-niks, goblins, maladroit hairy-scaries, zombies, and trolls.

At about 3150 to 3200 FPS from the SU16's 16 inch barrel, the IMI M-193 ball will make really nasty holes in them. I have seen first hand how well M193 LC makes really bad people really dead.

Another advantage that the Kel Tec SU16 CA has is a chrome lined bore and chamber, and parkerized finish. I may get one of the pistol grip stock sets for out of California use myself!

bombadillo
04-28-2011, 12:58 AM
I think taking the folding aspect out of it completely destroys the purpose of it being a lightweight folding carbine. If you want an AR, get one but for a sub 7lb gun that few up in a backpack, get an SU-16

IncVoid
04-28-2011, 7:56 AM
I didn't shoot mine much, I had to sell it to help my dad with some payments...sadly.
The buttstock mags are crap. They don't hold rounds at the top sometimes.
Like when you slap a mag in and the bolt is held open sometimes the top round cocks out of the mag. It was my first rifle tho...
Somebody had a quick release ring for the back pin that lets it "collapse" to its non working position.

DV_emt
04-28-2011, 9:11 PM
So I went to the range today and put 100 rounds through it. It was a blast to shoot and had a lot less recoil than I anticipated (compared to a mini 14) I only had one FTE and that was because I wasn't using the magpul mags that I had. I did see the issue that many people addressed with the cheaply made mags that came with the gun as there were a few bullets that seemed to want to "pop out" of the top.

Aside from that, I was pleased with the overall performance of the firearm (out to 150 yards) and will be making a few minor modifications in the future.

Medic451
04-29-2011, 12:09 AM
These go KB every now and then, but they still seem to have alot of fanboys

http://www.gunandgame.com/forums/attachments/glock/7889d1205106870-glock-kaboom-glock03.jpg