Oh Keltec, You’re Not Sig Sauer

I really want kel-tec not to suck. It’s pure oldschool american nostalgia, they’re the last company in America really innovating and selling to the American market. The problem is for everything they make, there’s just one killer feature which holds them back from being awesome. German weapons are always in a class of their own, so it’s unfair to compare American guns to German guns. But we can gripe about those common things we expect to be there and are missing.

The first person to say “But 22LR and 22mag suck” should have to swallow an entire lead ingot. The caliber is nonwithstanding.

The entire P- series of pistols: The slide is so low on the gun that most adult males get slideburn. If you’re a dude, you’ve got big hands. If you’ve got big ol’ meaty hands, you are going to get that little flap of skin between your thumb and pointer finger all bulging out. The bulge is going to get slide burn. The worst part is – the weapon cycles so reliably and is so nice to shoot that you won’t notice the slide burn until the gun slips out of your blood soaked hands. This might even be OK, if it weren’t your blood.

The PLR- line: I haven’t shot these, but it would seem like it desperately wants a carbine stock. Even a wire folder like poland made popular on their AK would be better than floating this. With the magazine so far forward and the barrel being as long as it is, I can’t imagine the Han Solo gun would be very nice to use. In real life, the Mauser C96 had a wooden stock. According to Keltec, it does accept a stock, but none is pictured and no part number is offered on their site.

The PMR-30: Feels like a Beretta Neos knockoff, but it’s missing the floating rail and carbine conversion. However it’s chambered in 22WMR, which gives it more power. Still, I can’t help but feel like this would have been better serviced as a 17HMR. With Volquartsen withdrawling their 17HMR cheetah from the market, this is a hot but neglected caliber. (Volquartsen used to deal exclusively with Ruger before they sold the brand, now they’re a botique gunsmith based out of Iowa).

The Sub-2000: Why use the rear sight as a pivot?

The SU- Rifles: These are the PLR pistols with ergonomic stocks, which seems to completely defeat the purpose. The stocks could have been like the C96 stocks or the AK74 folder, but they’re not. Also conspiciously missing are rails on everything but the SU-16D. The D gets it right by having a folding stock and rails, but the barrel is now longer too. With the barrel folding under, it can’t be done if the clip is too long or the wrong shape. It’s just frustrating. The 22LR version could have used a skinny clip, but you guessed it, they opted for a full sized clip and wasted the space.

The RFB: Woo American bullpup OH GOD WHY CAN’T IT USE BANANAMAGS? Again, I really wish it were designed differently. To their credit, the FAL magazine doesn’t have a severe arc. AK mags tend to bind just for that reason. FAL mags are almost always straight, even hi-cap mags.

I wish Kel Tec would be the last great American gun maker. Everyone else stands on the shoulders of Stoner and Kalashnikov, Kel Tec deserves kudos for trying to innovate. However what makes the German guns great is the fact that they pay attention to ergonomics, and this is something I wish Kel-Tec would take to heart.