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View Full Version : What's not to like about a Kel-Tec???


imarangemaster
05-06-2011, 5:44 PM
Well, I wanted something light, handy, 5.56mm, and able to use all those pre-ban, non-LE 30s I still have from before I retired from the SO. I have my retro SP1 clone (Nodak Spud OLL) and I use a bullet button on it when I go to California (I don't like MMGs on it, it just doesn't feel right.). I want it for a good PDW around the house, so I didn't want to be stuck with 10 rounders in the EVIL AR.

As I have mentioned in another post, I had a Bravo model Kel Tec SU16 before I left California in 2007, and loved it. The only thing I did not like was the very light barrel and AK front sight of the Bravo.

(Before this becomes a Kel Tec Blow Up gun flame-a-thon, I have more years in the business than many members of this forum have been alive, and I have seen just about any kind of weapon blow up under the right circumstances. From what I have found, I only found reference to two incidents, but a lot of "I know somebody, who knows somebody, who heard from someone, who said he saw one blow up, etc.")

I started looking around, and settled on the fairly new (and fairly scarce) SU16 CA model. Heavier barrel and Galil style front sight on gas block. Well I found one that I was able trade another long-gun and some ammo I had for.

Features:
1) 16 inch barrel, about same diameter as AR15 CAR15 or retro SP1, 5.56x45 mm chamber and proofed.
2) It has a Chrome lined chamber and bore,
3) PISTON drive,
4) pakerized metal finish instead of blued,
5) an oversized charging handle that can easily be operated across the top with the left hand,
6) a threaded 28x1/2" muzzle,
7) takes all AR platform magazines,
8) will hold a USGI 30 round magazine inside the stock, for a total of 60 rounds on the weapon.
9) It has a fairly short length of pull (about like my USGI Inland M-1 carbine), but throws up naturally with the elbow tucked in against the body like it should.
10) very comfortable fore-end/hand guard that opens up into a very serviceable bipod
11) integral flat top picatinny rail for optional optics.
12) excellent rear peep that perfectly frames the front sight post and wings
13) excellent front sight (M16A2 adjustable post in a Galil style base mounted on the gas block
14 Very accurate (My last Kel Tec SU16B shot 1.5 MOA at 100 yards with fixed sights and Lake City M193 ball).
15) light weight - about 5 pounds empty, thanks to Glock type polymer
16) Price runs $500+ or - if you shop around, a lot less than ANY AR or Ruger Mini-14
17) It looks gnarly with one of my Israeli Orlite 30 rounders in it!

EDITED: Erichsen reminded me!
18) rifle folds in half and makes a very compact package for jeep, back pack, etc., etc.!

There is more, but you are probably getting as tired of reading as I am typing! I'll be the first to admit a Kel-Tec SU16 is something like the product of a three way sex act between an AR, an AK, and a Glock! Kel Tec has been making innovative firearms for years. More than 10 years ago, I carried a diminutive Kel Tec P-11 9mm loaded with +P+ LE Hydroshock rounds for an LEO back up gun on my ankle!.

I have said before. It is not a main battle rifle. For the average citizen wanting to zap ghouls, zombies, goblins, and trolls, it is a great weapon.

Pics to follow.

Richard Erichsen
05-06-2011, 6:08 PM
Well, I wanted something light, handy, 5.56mm, and able to use all those pre-ban, non-LE 30s I still have from before I retired from the SO. I have my retro SP1 clone (Nodak Spud OLL) and I use a bullet button on it when I go to California (I don't like MMGs on it, it just doesn't feel right.). I want it for a good PDW around the house, so I didn't want to be stuck with 10 rounders in the EVIL AR.

As I have mentioned in another post, I had a Bravo model Kel Tec SU16 before I left California in 2007, and loved it. The only thing I did not like was the very light barrel and AK front sight of the Bravo.

(Before this becomes a Kel Tec Blow Up gun flame-a-thon, I have more years in the business than many members of this forum have been alive, and I have seen just about any kind of weapon blow up under the right circumstances. From what I have found, I only found reference to two incidents, but a lot of "I know somebody, who knows somebody, who heard from someone, who said he saw one blow up, etc.")

I started looking around, and settled on the fairly new (and fairly scarce) SU16 CA model. Heavier barrel and Galil style front sight on gas block. Well I found one that I was able trade another long-gun and some ammo I had for.

Features:
1) 16 inch barrel, about same diameter as AR15 CAR15 or retro SP1, 5.56x45 mm chamber and proofed.
2) It has a Chrome lined chamber and bore,
3) PISTON drive,
4) pakerized metal finish instead of blued,
5) an oversized charging handle that can easily be operated across the top with the left hand,
6) a threaded 28x1/2" muzzle,
7) takes all AR platform magazines,
8) will hold a USGI 30 round magazine inside the stock, for a total of 60 rounds on the weapon.
9) It has a fairly short length of pull (about like my USGI Inland M-1 carbine), but throws up naturally with the elbow tucked in against the body like it should.
10) very comfortable fore-end/hand guard that opens up into a very serviceable bipod
11) integral flat top picatinny rail for optional optics.
12) excellent rear peep that perfectly frames the front sight post and wings
13) excellent front sight (M16A2 adjustable post in a Galil style base mounted on the gas block
14 Very accurate (My last Kel Tec SU16B shot 1.5 MOA at 100 yards with fixed sights and Lake City M193 ball).
15) light weight - about 5 pounds empty, thanks to Glock type polymer
16) Price runs $500+ or - if you shop around, a lot less than ANY AR or Ruger Mini-14
17) It looks gnarly with one of my Israeli Orlite 30 rounders in it!

There is more, but you are probably getting as tired of reading as I am typing! I'll be the first to admit a Kel-Tec SU16 is something like the product of a three way sex act between an AR, an AK, and a Glock! Kel Tec has been making innovative firearms for years. More than 10 years ago, I carried a diminutive Kel Tec P-11 9mm loaded with +P+ LE Hydroshock rounds for an LEO back up gun on my ankle!.

I have said before. It is not a main battle rifle. For the average citizen wanting to zap ghouls, zombies, goblins, and trolls, it is a great weapon.

Pics to follow.

I went through similar research and identified the SU16CA for use as a pack rifle - the other contender was a Marlin 336C (not quite in the same class). The SU16 ended up on the top of my list, but I haven't bought one yet. I doubt I'll ever use or need more than a 10 round mag in the SU16 when I finally buy one - it's light, handy and folds up neatly. I don't care about the sights, they are good enough and could be modified easily enough in under a half hour otherwise. Weapon explosions are a non-starter for me due to the exceeding rarity for ANY firearm to do so. For what it is, it is difficult to find better. It's not a dedicated deer rifle, not really a "quasi-assault-carbine" but more of a general purpose survival rifle, conceptually similar to the old Armalite AR7 but in a more utilitarian caliber and a bit heavier.

Frankly, I like it and a lot of the other stuff Kel-Tec makes, plastic encased and Tonka toy in appearance though it may be.

-R

tomd1584
05-06-2011, 8:09 PM
uh, congrats?

RawImpact
05-06-2011, 8:13 PM
plastic feel and the company's well known lack of quality control.

Also the fact that a saiga can be had for the same range.

Ape
05-06-2011, 8:22 PM
I have many KT's and they've all been very reliable and great working guns!
Don't let the nay sayers get to you. There's always someone who wants to puff up and beat his chest internet style about some gun or another.
Use your own judgement and enjoy is my motto. ;)

ZombieTactics
05-06-2011, 10:01 PM
My take:

qIvy0WEjSbY

Blownmotor
05-06-2011, 10:09 PM
When did the CA model have a chrome lined bore and chamber?

MrPlink
05-06-2011, 10:10 PM
on paper, I think they are great. Ive never owned one, but know plenty of folks who have.
Some have great luck with them with nothing but good things to say, but it seems most of them end up with jam-o-matics or other issues.

I really like their bulpup shotgun design, so much that I may have to roll the dice myself..

imarangemaster
05-07-2011, 1:59 AM
When did the CA model have a chrome lined bore and chamber?


I don't know when they started, but they are now. My Bravo did not.

imarangemaster
05-07-2011, 2:06 AM
on paper, I think they are great. Ive never owned one, but know plenty of folks who have.
Some have great luck with them with nothing but good things to say, but it seems most of them end up with jam-o-matics or other issues.

I really like their bulpup shotgun design, so much that I may have to roll the dice myself..

I have heard, but do not know for sure, that their magazines are not the best. Mine never had a problem with the factory or USGI magazines. I did about 1,000 rounds through it before I traded it to my friend. He has had it for four years, and has never had a problem.

imarangemaster
05-07-2011, 2:18 AM
plastic feel and the company's well known lack of quality control.

Also the fact that a saiga can be had for the same range.

I partially agree with you. I have had 5 different Saigas. Good platform. Longer and heavier, but still a great choice. I disagree about "well known lack of quality control."

Someone who wants to spend about $1200 on an M4gery AR build (with a neutered 10 rounder) and wants to spend a another $1000 on RD optics, lasers, etc. will never be happy with anything less. I appreciate good weapons. I have a retro AR clone that has a transitional 603 bolt carrier worth $300 alone. It is a tack driver. If I could use it WITHOUT a bullet button or MMG, I would prefer it. The Kel Tec, is a handy PDW, not a main battle rifle...

If I am camping in the Sierras, my Kel Tec will do a great job and not raise eyebrows like an M4gery.

Sunday
05-07-2011, 7:37 AM
I did the exact thing the Keltec I bought a used Ca model it had a Smith muzzle brake on it and so far it has been reliable. Buy one on sale ,think of it as a 30 carbine rifle not an AR type.

evidens83
05-07-2011, 7:41 AM
I once wanted a SU16....until I found out I can own ARs in CA that is...

LovingTheYear1911
05-07-2011, 8:58 AM
I enjoy my SU16-Ca just as much as my AR. Never had a jam or problem with it. Great gun.

bombadillo
05-07-2011, 9:04 AM
I just did this and ended up buying a budget build AR-15. I can go either way and make it a shorty entry stock, MMG and brake to go featureless and use my old regular caps, and it breaks down with two pins to the same size or maybe smaller of the kel-tec. I built the whole thing around $650 so for the extra hundred bucks I forked out, I think it will outlast the kel-tec and value will probably go a little further later on down the road.

imarangemaster
05-07-2011, 9:16 AM
I once wanted a SU16....until I found out I can own ARs in CA that is...

Ah, but already I owned an AR15, and still got a Kel-Tec, too. My AR has a 10 round and a bullet button, my Kel Tec has about (20) 20 and 30 round pre-ban high-caps to feed it!

I like the analogy of a 5.56 that is light and handy like my M1 Carbine. The IMI M193 hits about 3125-3150 from the KEL TECS 16" barrel. Projectile fragmentation occurs reliably at 2650 to 2700 FPS and up. That gives me 175 yards. My Inland M1 Carbine (still almost a pound heavier than the Kel Tec) is good out to about 100 yards with R-P 110 JSP (1950 FPS at the muzzle)

Grumpyoldretiredcop
05-07-2011, 9:39 AM
I have an "A" model upgraded to "B" sights. I'd never thought of it as a PDW, but that's a good analogy. Light weight, fires an effective round, folds to a compact size (the CA is a little more compact than the A or B models), meant to be carried a lot and not fired much. My daughters like it due largely to the light weight. My only recommendations are to throw the craptastic KT mags in the trash, followed closely by the cheesy forend/bipod arrangement. KT sells a better one-piece forend.

Mine has never malfunctioned except when using the aformentioned garbage KT mags.

bombadillo
05-07-2011, 9:47 AM
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=420094

Here is a link to the budget/K.I.S.S. Build I did on the cheap! Great project so far.

Full Clip
05-07-2011, 9:50 AM
I have a CA model. It's a capable shooter, light and good trunk gun. Pretty accurate with 55grn TAP rounds. Yeah, and I have two ARs. It's not an AR.

Webologist
05-07-2011, 10:10 AM
I have an SU16-CA and I have to agree, it's been awesome. Always a range favorite, accurate and never a malfunction. Being able to take vetted 30 round mags is a plus. I replaced the forend with a compact model, so I can mount a real bi-pod. I'm not sure anyone mentioned the lifetime warranty, speaking of build quality.

I bought a CASAR, thinking I needed an AK47 variant. I wish it had the build quality and accuracy of the Kel-Tec. It's currently in for warranty work for the 2nd time. I've had the Kel-Tec since 2007 and it's been a rock. (Despite the light weight)

chicoredneck
05-07-2011, 10:46 AM
I purchased a kel-tec su16a way back when they first came out as a light pack rifle and something to throw on the quad and not have to worry about getting muddy and beat up.

I mounted a scope on it (the factory irons were terrible) and it was suprisingly accurate.
I took quite a few pigs with it and one deer.
It jamed a few times when I first got it (old GI magazines I suspect), but it worked it's way out and was very reliable.

The factory mags were excellent IMO.
It was more accurate than this type of rilfe should have been.
It was reliable.
It fit a nice nich as a light and foldable pack rifle and beater gun.
I was very happy with it. I sold it to fund an ar15 project. I still wish I had it and I may buy another some day because they are so light and handy, especially for those long hikes or cralling through brush.

Overall I would say it was a great gun for the money and the new ones with the chromed barrels/chambers should be even nicer.

P.S. the built in bi-pod is a joke and will change your POI if deployed, but it makes it very handy to get under the forearm to clean.

imarangemaster
05-07-2011, 11:20 AM
I admit i never used the bipod on my Bravo model when I had it. In retrospect, it would be better if it hinged at the rear close to the receiver. no barrel deflection, then. The CA model barrel is actually larger diameter than an SP1 barrel, but not quite as big as a A2. My Bravo loved the Orlites, plus they match the weapon!

pewpewguns
05-07-2011, 2:34 PM
Kel tec is lower quality in my opinion, pictures of a blown up SU16 (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=54284&highlight=pewpewguns)

I guess this can happen with any rifle but I still maintain they're cheaper guns.

For the money it might not be a bad deal but its no AR15

chicoredneck
05-07-2011, 2:49 PM
Kel tec is lower quality in my opinion, pictures of a blown up SU16 (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=54284&highlight=pewpewguns)

I guess this can happen with any rifle but I still maintain they're cheaper guns.

For the money it might not be a bad deal but its no AR15

I have seen more pictures of blown-up ar15's than su16's. This is not to say one is better than the other, just that there are pictures of just about every fieram blown up on the internet and ususally the reason is the operator and not the quality of the rifle.

That picture means nothing and should be taken with a grain of salt becuse I'm betting nobody here was actually there when it was fiered and therefore we don't know what the cause of the malfunction was.

X-NewYawker
05-07-2011, 2:55 PM
The Killer in DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? used a Keltec. Enough said.

1lostinspace
05-07-2011, 3:02 PM
Lol I used to think my Keltec is just as good as an AR. Well it's not!
My Keltec got sen't in to be fixed 5 times it finally blew up and I sen't back for good.
Got my money back from KT and build my AR.

Flouncer
05-07-2011, 4:32 PM
that their magazines are not the best.

A non issue - They standard AR mags.

Ready4whenSHTF
05-07-2011, 5:33 PM
Ive been on the fence for awhile thinking about buying an su-16 since moving to Cali.Ive held one and I wasnt too sure they seem almost too light(like a cheap piece of junk) and the front bipod just falls over if you push the rifle forward. Also the one I saw had plastic sights (wtf?). Then I'm thinking of getting another AR. I check one out and I find those bullet buttons to be a joke. Youre going to reload like that in a fire fight? Give a break. So I check out Keltech website and I find you can get metal sights and a different front rail for an su-16. So Im thinking maybe again.
So I read the threads about them some good reviews and some bad.
But I think this thread is the tipping point to making me buy one (and quite similar to the other threads I've read). It seems that 9 out of 10 owners of the gun have good things to say about the su-16 and 9 out of 10 the naysayers dont seem to know what theyre talking about and will go so far as to post pics of a blown up su-16. I could post a pic of a blown up tank whats that going to prove?

imarangemaster
05-07-2011, 5:54 PM
+1 The CA model has metal (M16A2) front sight and wings, though the rear is Zytel.

As for sights, a Bushnell Trophy 1X redot for $100 works GREAT on the Kel Tec. One of my friend's son has bagged mucho coyote with a Kel Tec with a red-dot.

Bug Splat
05-07-2011, 5:56 PM
Love my CA model. I love it for what it is, a light back pack rifle that takes AR mags. Its not intended to fight WW3, its a very light and compact rifle that shoots effective rounds. I'd call it a survival rifle. I have a very discrete short case for it that went to one of my kids small razor scooters. I can and have carried my SU-16 with 3x 30rd mags around on trails without anyone having the slightest thought that its a rifle.

Ape
05-07-2011, 8:11 PM
For all the "AR" comparisons........Lets not forget that an "SU" isn't meant to compete with or be an option to an AR. It's a "S"port "U"tility rifle designed for ease of use and transport for sporting purposes. It's not designed as an "A"ssault "R"ifle meant for battle heartiness.

As for the longevity concerns........It's designed to live 6 to 8 thousand rounds (mine has more than that with no issues FWIW), and if you use it up past it's life expectancy just send it in on it's lifetime warranty and have it made new again. ;)

pewpewguns
05-08-2011, 12:03 PM
For all the "AR" comparisons........Lets not forget that an "SU" isn't meant to compete with or be an option to an AR. It's a "S"port "U"tility rifle designed for ease of use and transport for sporting purposes. It's not designed as an "A"ssault "R"ifle meant for battle heartiness.

As for the longevity concerns........It's designed to live 6 to 8 thousand rounds (mine has more than that with no issues FWIW), and if you use it up past it's life expectancy just send it in on it's lifetime warranty and have it made new again. ;)

AR stands for Armalite Rifle, I used to think it was assault rifle too

pdugan6
05-08-2011, 12:12 PM
i will get the keltec ksg and that is it.

http://www.tactical-life.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/kel-tec-ksg-shot-show-2011.jpg

IrishPirate
05-08-2011, 12:17 PM
If you're the kind of person who keeps their guns in a nice little safe and only takes them out to the range to plink, then you'll probably hate on the SU-16 for not being cool enough. The fact is, the gun functions perfectly and it's super user friendly.

If you like to be in the outdoors, it's a great gun to have. Not everyone will throw theirs in their backpack for a day hike or short camping trip, but some of us will, and it's much easier to bring along than most other rifles of the same caliber.

Like i said, if you're a safe queen kind of gun owner, you wont have much use for the SU-16. If you do alot of things outdoors besides plinking, you'll find several uses for it. It's not a gun for everyone, but it's the right gun for some of us.

The only thing i don't like about my SU-16 is it's the Alpha model. I wish it was the CA version. I like the CA sights better and i like that it's got the threaded barrel. All in all though, I wouldn't trade my SU-16A for anything other than a SU-16CA. (I'm more of the backpack and tent kinda guy than the safe and gun mat kind....and i'm planning on switching the sights and threading the barrel myself so it's really not a big deal)

Ryan in SD
05-08-2011, 1:48 PM
I enjoy my SU16-Ca just as much as my AR. Never had a jam or problem with it. Great gun.

Vertical foregrip grip on a featureless in your avatar???

hmm.....

ILLEGAL

---

My su-16 shoots great, people that talk trash on it must have a lemon or have never shot one, and or are elitist.

daybreak
05-08-2011, 4:40 PM
Vertical foregrip grip on a featureless in your avatar???

hmm.....

ILLEGAL

---

My su-16 shoots great, people that talk trash on it must have a lemon or have never shot one, and or are elitist.

i don't get it, isn't that a pic of his SU-16?

Sunday
05-08-2011, 4:49 PM
I have a CA model. It's a capable shooter, light and good trunk gun. Pretty accurate with 55grn TAP rounds. Yeah, and I have two ARs. It's not an AR.

Exactly!

1911su16b870
05-08-2011, 5:18 PM
Another +1 from a guy who in 2005 took a tac carbine course with my SU16B and it ran and ran and ran, no problems from the carbine. I now have a SU16CA with the red lion forearm and it works really great. I only wish there was a good way to co-witness a red dot sight with the SU16 OEM irons.

temilotzin21
05-09-2011, 8:48 PM
I love my Kel Tec Su-16! I have put about a thousand rounds through mine and it has been a very reliable and fun carbine. For what it is, and for what I use it for I like it better than my AR. Hope you have a blast with yours too!;)

LovingTheYear1911
05-09-2011, 9:20 PM
Vertical foregrip grip on a featureless in your avatar???

hmm.....

ILLEGAL

---

My su-16 shoots great, people that talk trash on it must have a lemon or have never shot one, and or are elitist.


Nope not illegal, I have a bullet button on it.

350oshin
07-28-2011, 7:19 PM
i have sold my keltec su-16ca a while ago to buy a smith and wesson mp-15t but till this day i have always regreted selling it. i miss it so much every time i go to buy anything i look up how much they are...i could put it in a backpack and hike to my favorite spots and have fun shooting and thats what i loved it for not for being a battle rilfe thats what my ar-15 is for but for camping,off-roading , having fun or even some hunting it is my go to rifle. so thats why i will order another one tomorrow!

chead
07-28-2011, 7:33 PM
I would do terrible things for a Kel Tec RFB.

hellraiser
07-28-2011, 11:02 PM
Loved my su while I had it! Had to give it up to pay rent... I still see it as the one that got away...

mif_slim
07-29-2011, 8:48 AM
Yeah, I dont know why people all of a sudden compare a SU to a AR when they see a topic like this come up. They were never meant to be in the same category. I would argue if a Sig 556 or SCAR or such rifle was compared to AR-15 but a SU is a sport gun and should be left that way. I mean it can handle a few thousand round carbine courses just fine but if people want it to dump 300 rounds in 1 minute and complain that it melted....it wasnt design for that in the first place.

Anyways, I like my SU. Still have it and will always have it. Im passing it down to my son when he's old enough to shoot. Mines gave me nothing but trouble free shooting so I cant complain.

bombadillo
07-29-2011, 12:47 PM
Yeah, I dont know why people all of a sudden compare a SU to a AR when they see a topic like this come up. They were never meant to be in the same category. I would argue if a Sig 556 or SCAR or such rifle was compared to AR-15 but a SU is a sport gun and should be left that way. I mean it can handle a few thousand round carbine courses just fine but if people want it to dump 300 rounds in 1 minute and complain that it melted....it wasnt design for that in the first place.

Anyways, I like my SU. Still have it and will always have it. Im passing it down to my son when he's old enough to shoot. Mines gave me nothing but trouble free shooting so I cant complain.

I think people like to argue about this one because they buy the SU in place of an AR and try to compare it as such. You're right though, the SU is a sport gun, while the AR was intended to be a battle gun however it takes many forms these days.

Full Clip
07-29-2011, 12:50 PM
Recently too my SU-16CA out for a shoot. First time out of safe in 2-3 years. I'd forgotten how much fun it it. Capable little carbine...

Briancnelson
07-29-2011, 1:14 PM
Love mine, it's an awesome plinking fun gun, hiking gun, small game gun, etc. Hard to beat up since it's polymer.

osis32
07-29-2011, 1:48 PM
I wanna get an rfb eventually. No interest in any other kel-tec products.

fourXfour
07-29-2011, 1:57 PM
I had one a few years ago. I'm back on a Kel Tec kick. I bought a PMR and pre-ordered a KSG. I really want the RMR 30, but that is probably a year out. I love the innovations behind the designs and I don't mind paying to beta test their gear. Their reps have always been super cool at SHOT.

If a SU16CA ever pops up at good deal, I'd probably pick it up. Now if an FDE version comes around, I would definitely get it.

Write Winger
07-29-2011, 2:55 PM
Kel Tec is really stepping it up with the "that's bad a**" factor. Picked up this little guy for my birthday, and all I can say is ddddaaaaaaammmmnnnnn!

http://i1136.photobucket.com/albums/n498/ken_bergman/4f3d1a52.jpg