At the Gun Store: The Kel Tec Sub 2000 Generation 2 was released this year. The original was released in 2001 and was itself an update of the SUB 9.
The unique characteristic of this pistol caliber carbine is its’ ability to fold in half. Pulling the trigger guard down releases the breech so the forend and barrel can be pivoted 180 degrees. The chamber has to be empty to do this. If there is a round in the chamber, it will bind the bolt and breech. The barrel will unlock from the receiver but will not pivot.
The folded latching tab is an improvement over the previous version which only had a ball detent. The latch must be pulled back to release the barrel to fold back into the shooting configuration.
The front sight is AR “ish” adjustable post with protective wings and made of aluminum on the Gen 2. It is threaded onto the 16” barrel. The barrel also has a ½” by 28 threaded end. The twist rate on the 9mm version is 1:10” and 1:16” on the .40 S&W versions. The front sight is a non-adjustable aperture.
Another upgrade is in the shoulder stock which is three position adjustable now. It is not a quick adjustment, but manageable in the field. That allows an adjustment of length of pull from 13” to 14.25”. There is also a slot or a ring which can be used for sling attachment. There is also a two slot Picatinny rail on the bottom of the stock.
The forend over the barrel is a polymer clam shell held together with ten bolts. The Picatinny rails at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions were not perfectly aligned. Probably not a problem unless you plan on mounting something on the rail. The 3 and 6 o’clock positions are advertised as M-LOK slots.
I had difficulty getting sight alignment because of the low position of the sights and the steel buffer tube. I like the concept of keeping the sights as low as possible to the barrel. There is a height at which the geometry of my face becomes a problem. I found that point with this gun.
The bolt handle is located under the buffer tube. This is advertised as an ambidextrous feature. There is no bolt hold open on an empty magazine so the bolt has to be cycled after a mag change. The bolt can be held open by pulling the bolt back and rotating the handle counter-clock wise into a cut-out in the buffer tube. The bolt handle is close to the end of the stock but with a little practice the maneuver can be accomplished with either hand, even while shouldered in a prone shooting position.
The mag release is on the left side of the pistol grip. It is not reversible.
There is a cross bolt style safety. Pushing into the receiver from the right side disconnects the trigger. Pushing from the left side exposes the red ring and allows the gun to fire.
On the Range: I thought the recoil was harsh when I was trying to use the iron sights. When I switched to the red dot sight I perceived the recoil as light. I think my problem was the discomfort of trying to get sight alignment using the buffer tube as the cheek rest. But there is really no other way to handle it if you are using the included sights.
I had two Sub-2000’s to evaluate at my first range session with them. One had a Primary Arm Micro Dot mounted on top of a UTG riser. That worked well for sighting, not so well for folding. The top rail had been filed down to make it even and flat. It is probably not level, but the adjustments on the optical sight compensated what little lean there might have been.
Both rifles had also been fitted with forend grips. One with an angled grip and the other with a vertical grip. I found I preferred the vertical grip. Unlike the optics, the grips could be left on the rifle while folded.
I evaluate rifles in their ability to be used as an LTR, Liberty Training Rifle (refer to the Apple Seed Project). With some practice I was able to overcome my perceived problem of being able to lock the bolt back.
The magazine did drop free on both models tested. One rifle used Smith & Wesson M&P 9 magazines and the other used Glock 19. I preferred the grip that held the full length M&P magazines. I imagine the model for Glock 17 full length magazine would be similar. We did use Glock 17 magazines in the model for Glock 19 and they worked fine.
The amount of smoke wafting past my face from the chamber was noticeable. Part of that may be due to the blowback mechanism, the closeness of the chamber to the face, or the ammunition. At a later range session this was not a problem. It could have been the direction of the breeze at the outdoor range.
There were no ammunition feeding issues with the magazine that came with the gun or the brand name manufacturer’s magazines. Typical target fodder included Winchester 115gr FMJ, Remington 115gr MC, and Federal 115gr FMJ RN in Aluminum case.
The primer strikes has an interesting concentric ripple pattern. There was evidence of gas blow-by on the casings. This was evident on both rifles I got to shoot. The Glock 19 model I had the second range session with also showed creases in the rim. Based on the position on a marked dummy round that was cycled through the action it appears to be caused by the rigid ejector blade.
In the first range session, all of our shooting was unsupported standing without slings. The last target we used at 25 meters was an SR-1 meant for 100 yard rifle shooting. The largest scoring ring is 18”. My nephew and I each took a turn with a magazine full of ammo. He scored 12 hits for 90 points while I scored 13 hits (one in the X ring) for 105 points. Who’s your Uncle!
3 shot groups at 45 feet yielded a best group size of .88”. That was using the Glock 19 magazine model with a Primary Arms Micro Dot atop a UTG riser. That’s on par with what I am capable of against a blank target.
In addition to recreational shooting, this rifle could serve as an inside the home defense gun for our independent 18 to 21 year old Citizens. Those Citizens who cannot purchase a hand gun to use in their homes for self-defense (Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 922). They can get a head start on their planned handgun selection if they are looking at S&W M&P, Glock, or Beretta. At least they can pick one that will use the same magazine.
It is lightweight with manageable recoil and rails to attach lights and or lasers and or optical sights. A V-Line Rifle Case or SecureIt Fast Box could be suitable storage while still providing quick access.
With an MSRP of $500, it is less expensive than the handguns it will share magazines with. It is available chambered for either the 9mm Luger or .40 S&W. The folding design also makes it a candidate for using a diversion case to go to the range. Or as a less than obvious small rifle when trekking with the huddled masses through the Apocalypse.
Cleaning: Access to the barrel is fantastic in the folded position. Removing the bolt to clean is a matter of removing the shoulder stock and dropping the bolt handle after the spring tension is released. Pretty straight forward and no tools were required to take it down. It may be a little more involved than a semi-auto pistol, on par with a rifle, certainly less complex than a Ruger Mark III.
See the full review at: http://keepandbear.us/reviews.htm