Just bought a Kel-Tec Sub 2000, first impressions

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by John Wayne, Feb 22, 2008.

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  1. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    I was at a gun show a few weekends ago and bought a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 in 9mm. I've been considering buying this gun for some time now and just couldn't pass it up when I saw one for $300 NIB. I also bought two 35 round magazines (one ProMag and the other isn't labeled), a 20 rounder and a 15 round mil-surp mag marked "for Law Enforcement/Military use only." My particular rifle is fitted for Beretta 92 magazines, which I have found widely available. The rifle came with one neutered 10-round CX-4 Storm Beretta factory magazine.

    Upon first holding the rifle, the first impression is that this thing is tiny! When folded, it's more like a large pistol than a carbine. Due to its largely composite construction, the rifle is extremely light too. After picking up some cheap 115 gr. 9mm FMJ loads from Georgia Arms, I loaded up a couple mags and went off to the range. When shooting the Kel-Tec, everything is right in your face--quite literally, as the gun is only 32 inches long, and half barrel. Then again, when shooting a pistol caliber, whatever you're firing at is probably also "in your face."

    According to the manual, the gun is sighted in for 100 yards from the factory. After firing a few rounds, I was hitting high at 100 and had to hold the front post at the bottom of the bullseye to land them in the center. Not really a big deal, but adjusting the front sight looks to be more of a hassle than I'd care to deal with. The sight blade also looks extremely fragile, but is shrounded by a plastic hood. I did the majority of my shooting at 50 yards and found the rifle to be surprisingly accurate, thanks to its rather light single action trigger pull. It's not the lightest I've ever shot but it was smooth and what I'd consider a perfect pull weight for a gun of this type. I was shooting golf-ball sized groups at 50 yards from a sitting position using sandbags as a rest. The 9mm cartridge is also very controllable in a carbine--I was able to empty an entire 35 round mag as fast as I could pull the trigger and land every shot on the paper at 50 yards. I had no feeding or ejection issues, save for one stovepipe on the last round out of a 35-rounder, but I blame that on the cheap magazine and weak follower spring.

    The gun is a lot of fun to shoot. I put nearly 200 rounds through it in the first session, and was surprised by the lack of recoil and ease of follow-up shots. The sights do require you to have your cheek resting right on top of the tubular stock though, which gets irritating after a a couple times of feeling the bolt slam back and forth. Again, not really a complaint as it's not a target rifle.

    One thing I did notice was that the CX-4 and GI magazines fit rather tightly in place. The grip frame seems to spread apart when either is inserted, and grips them so tightly they will not drop out when the magazine release is depressed. In fact, the GI mag won't even snap into place! I think it's because the floorplate catches on the bottom of the grip frame before the mag release locks it in place--possible due to the variety of grip options available with the rifle. The mag is held in place by friction tight enough for normal functioning though. The 20 and both 35 round aftermarket mags fit very well and snap securely into place. They also drop free when the mag release is depressed.

    I was very pleased with how easy it was to clean the rifle. Since it folds in half, it's as easy to clean as a break-action shotgun! Further disassembly was almost as simple--take a cartridge, push out the retaining pin in the stock, and slide out the bolt. The bolt is huge! It's two massive pieces of solid steel about six inches long and probably gives the gun half it's weight! It also allows for the use of a wide variety of loads of varying powers.

    So overall, I am very pleased with the little rifle. It's a hoot to shoot and folds in half, making it easy to stash in a laptop bag for travel (more security in cheap hotels) or pack along on a camping trip. I have yet to try +P loads, but they seem promising as the manual says a 124 gr. +P load out of the 16" barrel has the same muzzle energy as a .357, which would allow for the taking of medium-sized game at close range in a survival situation.

    The only issues I have are with the fit of the stock/GI magazines, but are not a large enough issue to deter me from making the purchase again.
  2. jwxspoon

    jwxspoon Member

    Sep 9, 2007
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    There are some great accessories for the Sub2K guns. From a comfort standpoint two you might want to look into are the padded bolt tube cover and the padded cocking handle cover. You can find those at:


    or here:


    I also bought a sling, a recoil tube buffer pad (mine is in .40 and actually has a decent kick on it) and an add on picatinny rail.

  3. yhtomit

    yhtomit Member

    May 27, 2006
    E. Tennessee
    Great report -- I hope my experience will match yours! I hoped to get to the range this weekend, with the Sub2000 I just bought used through one of the marketplace ads here on THR, but I'm in Eastern PA, and the snow is everywhere. Since my car is in the shop, and the car I might borrow is an old two-wheel drive Toyota pickup truck (fishtailing, its main snow behavior), I'll be lucky if I get to the range at all.

    (I got the 9mm w/ S&W grips; if I could design the whole world at once, I'd have made it with the Glock grips most likely, but I am happy with the deal I got on the package, and part of that package was two 15-round mags in addition to the one supplied by Kel-Tec.)

  4. mgregg85

    mgregg85 Member

    Mar 18, 2007
    Midland, MI
    I got mine(glock 17 mag) and love it. I bought the short picatinny rail and buttstock mag holder, both work rather nicely, though the mag holder is rather heavy(all metal construction). Made myself a real simple, single point sling from 550 cord.

    Now I'm just buying 31 round glock mags and thinking about that replacement front sight from blueforcegear.com so I could get a tritium front sight. Its either that or a laser/light on the picatinny rail.
  5. SamWhite50

    SamWhite50 Member

    Feb 1, 2008
    Thanks for the review. Excellent.
  6. R127

    R127 Member

    Mar 5, 2003
    Paranoid Police State Where America Used To Be
  7. yongxingfreesty

    yongxingfreesty Member

    Oct 3, 2005
  8. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

    Sep 27, 2003
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I'm happy to see that Blue Force Gear is making a new aluminum front sight post housing. That's awesome. Even better it looks like they've updated the design a bit. It's now longer so that the aluminum butts up against the plastic forearm. The only real problem I've had with mine (the older kind) is that it wasn't obvious just how far back you had to set it and still be able to fold the weapon up. With the extra metal there it's probably impossible to make that mistake.

    I like it.

    The 1" stock extension is pretty much mandatory for the Sub 2k in my opinion. It really makes the thing shoulder a bit more comfortably.
  9. Nikdfish

    Nikdfish Member

    Apr 20, 2007
    I've got a Beretta grip version also. I wouldn't normally suggest ProMag magazines, but I picked up a couple of the 33 round Beretta models and have had zero trouble with either one. Granted I've only run 60 rounds through each, but so far so good ...

    I'm planning on using a weaver converta-mount (one intended for a mossberg 500) to add a red-dot to mine. There's was an example of someone doing this on the Keltec owners group forum (ktog.org) and it looked pretty workable.

  10. browningguy

    browningguy Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I've had my sub for a couple of years now and it's a great little gun. As already mentioned I found the stock extension to be a required item for me. Mine has the Glock 19 mag well and with a handful of 33 round factory mags the whole kit fits in a standard briefcase with no problem.
  11. Dienekes

    Dienekes Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    My wife fell in love with the things; we bought one about 18 months ago. It's a great little concept, but we are still getting the occasional stovepipe. Haven't worked with it much of late but will get back to it when it warms up.

    Cheaper than Dirt has a great deal on a "large pistol case", their number "CASE-051" that holds the folded Sub-2000 like it was made for it, plus magazines. It looks like an innocent laptop case. Guess you could call it "surprise in a plain black wrapper".
  12. evan price

    evan price Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    http://www.ohioccw.org/ Ohio's best CCW resour
    I got mine setup for Glock mags, and a handful of Glock 18 stick mags. I have the scope-mount fore-end and a Bushnell Sportsman 1.5-4.5x21 scope, the BlueForce Gear charging handle, buttstock extension, and a Hogue Glock grip sleeve. I taped a piece of foam pipe insulation onto the stock tube for a cheek rest.

    What's really nice is my local range allows pistol-caliber short carbines to be fired at the pistol range OR the rifle range. Nice.

    This thing is death on pop cans at 100 feet. I've been reloading some 124-gr hollow point plated bullets for it in the +P range and it handles them nice. Light loads sometimes won't cycle the bolt but that's fine with me.

    For some reason the gun-fearing-weenies don't like this gun; it's named on the HR1022 ban list... probably they think it can be shot folded or something. One more reason to buy one before the 08 elections for anyone on the fence.

    Can be gotten with Smith, Beretta, Sig, Glock mags, and I know people who have modified them for others. If you get Any But Glock mags, the sub can be made to fit any of them (but Glock) by simply changing the plate for the mag catch.

    Two thumbs way up for the Sub2K!

    There's a picture running around of a Sub2K Kaboom! that split the barrel and disintegrated the fore-end.. speculation was a squib followed by a good round.
  13. marshall3

    marshall3 Member

    Dec 9, 2004
    Signal Mountain, TN
    I have the Beretta model, too

    I have the Beretta model, just like John Wayne. It is a great carbine! Here's a page of additional information that might be helpful to prospective buyers:

  14. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Now that I've had a chance to get a better feel for the gun, here are my further observations:

    Cheap hi-capacity magazines do not work well in this gun, at least without stronger springs. I took the spring from a 35-round mag and crammed it into the 20 rounder and found it to be very reliable, although I would hesitate to leave it in the smaller magazine because it will probably lose most of its tension quickly.

    I added the Hogue Hand-all grip, which makes all the difference in the world for such a small, inexpensive upgrade. The overall look and feel of the gun is greatly improved, and the finger-grooved rubber is a welcome change over the relatively sharply checkered grip frame.

    The gun, despite having a tiny feed ramp, feeds and cycles everything from 115 gr. FMJ to 147 gr. JHP rounds with no problem. The heavier 147 gr. rounds seem to have noticebly less kick, too. I did notice a wide variation in group size with different ammo brands; WWB and Remington UMC FMJs looked more like a pattern at 50 yards than a group! Black Hills 115 gr. JHP reloads have been the best I tested so far.

    I plan on getting a rear tube cover from Blue Force and an accessory rail from Kel-Tec...the improved front sight is nice but I can't seem to justify spending 1/3 the cost of the gun on a sight post.

    While controllability and power are greatly improved over a 9mm pistol, the carbine will not work miracles; i.e. it is no substitute for a rifle if available. Expect it to make hard shots or have extreme knockdown/penetration power, especially at range and you'll be disappointed. Think of it like a two-handed pistol and it's quite impressive. Since it folds, it is easily transported when a rifle would be too cumbersome, and offers a better alternative to a pistol. I also like the fact that I can carry it in my car since it's "disassembled" when folded.

    USGI mags -- Those I have made by Check-Mate and P. Beretta (USA, not Italy) fit very tightly and are quite a chore to get out. The Airtronic ones seem to fit and function fine.

    Overall, still very satisfied with the rifle.
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