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Kel-Tec SU-16C, poor man's piston AR?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by macomb2013, Mar 14, 2013.

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  1. macomb2013

    macomb2013 Member

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    Saw a take down video on a Kel-Tec SU-16C on youtube last night. I did not realize the kel tec su-16 has an AR/AK hybrid type of bolt. Judging from the video, it seem to have a decent barrel thickness. This could be a poor man's AR. those of you owns the rifle, do you like it? Does it do well with steel case ammo? Does it have reliability problem since it is made of mostly polymer? Is there a way to replace the bipod fore-arm and butt stock similar to a AR lower? Also which would you prefer kel tec or mini 14 as alternative 556 piston rifle?
     
  2. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Mine hates Remington UMC, and that's not good.

    Because of this, I've never bothered with steel in the KT.

    As for an alternate to the AR: Sig 556. But, alas, my real, true alternate for a hi cap DI gun is its nemesis, the AKM and its variants.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  3. krupparms

    krupparms Member

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    Yes I like it. Yes mine shoots steel Russian cased ammo. Not sure about upgrades.I like mine better than the 3mini 14s I owned. Not as tough as the mini I suspect but overall a nice rifle with alot of potential! :)
     
  4. Cornhusker77

    Cornhusker77 Member

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    Mine shoots steel case fine
    You can replace the forend, Kel Tec sells a replacement and there are some aftermarket replacements too.
    Mine is an older "Alpha" model, it's light, accurate and seems to work fine
    They seem to be going for nutty prices right now
     
  5. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    Its fine for range use and even home defense but i wouldn't trust it for any heavy use or count on passing it on if shot frequently. I've never owned one but i've read durability isn't great. Knowing keltek and handling the gun makes me believe the negative reviews regarding durability.
     
  6. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    You're right that the SU-16 is probably the cheapest way to get into a STANAG-magazine-compatible .223 right now, judging by prices on Gunbroker.

    Do keep in mind that the SU-16 is optimized for compactness, light weight, and the ability to fold for storage, rather than durability or heat/crud tolerance. I only have experience with AR's, not the SU-16, but I'd expect a good DI AR to be somewhat more reliable and durable under hard use than an SU-16. Where the SU-16 really shines is its ability to be stored very compactly, making it a great little go-to carbine for camping, kayaking, or boating.

    As to piston guns, if you really like piston designs and don't care how compactly the rifle can be stored, a Sig 556 (or if price is no object, a FN SCAR)are good alternatives. In my opinion, between the mini-14 and an SU-16, it's a tossup; reliability and durability are probably comparable, but the "feel" is quite different. If you want an M4-style stock, the mini can be had with one; not sure about the Kel-Tec because of the folding mechanism. The main downside of the mini is that it uses proprietary magazines, though by all accounts the Ruger 20- and 30-round mags are quite good.
     
  7. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I have been curious enough about them that I might grab one if I saw a good deal. Good door pocket/ATV saddlebags gun.
     
  8. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    M4-style adapters are now available (which is good, considering I asked George for one years ago :rolleyes:).
     
  9. FireInCairo

    FireInCairo member

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    The one I had ran whatever cheap steel stuff I put through it without a hiccup. It's a fantastic home defense weapon as it is very light and easy to handle indoors and on the fly. It would heat up a lot when at the range, so it's not really battle-ready, but to defend your home in a brief scrape-up it would do very well, especially for a wife who may not be comfortable with a full weight AR.
     
  10. dmckean44

    dmckean44 Member

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    My wife doesn't do very well with it. She can handle .223 fine in her 7 lb Mini-14 but in the 4.5 lb Kel-Tec it's just too much for her. She can shoot it, just not well.
     
  11. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    No SU-16 here, but I do have a PLR-16, and I ain't sellin' it!:D

    Is it is durable as my AR pistol? Probably not.

    Is it is reliable as my AR pistol? Has been so far, with a plethora of different ammo.

    Is it as ergonomic as my AR pistol? Yes

    Is it as accurate as my AR pistol? Not quite, but it ain't bad. 1.5-2.5 MOA @ 100 yards is average for the PLR using sandbags with various ammo. The AR pistol is < 1.5 MOA with most loads.

    Is it a good value? Definitely

    It is also much lighter weight and more compact.

    IMO, the SU-16 vs. AR rifle is a similar comparison, given that the SU can be outfitted with different stock, grip and handguard just like the AR.

    If I was going into combat, I'd want the more rugged AR. But for plinking, ranch use or home defense, the SU-16 is plenty reliable, and much more affordable. And as with the PLR, it's considerably more compact and much lighter weight.
     
  12. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Found one yesterday at the LGS, new, $599. PLRs are neat, but impractical for me.

    Left without it: They've never really impressed me. Seemingly that hype has calmed in my neck, as its been there a week and a day now. No one wants to feed it probably.

    Might still be there...
     
  13. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    I've got a few thousand rounds through my C model with no problems at all. I have never run steel cased ammo in it though. I've even shot it in a 3 gun match and it ran through a couple of hundred rounds in a day with no problems. It is not as accurate as my primary AR but it's good enough for a HD rifle, I'm very comfortable with it out to 200 yards or so on 6x9 steel plates.

    su16c-12.jpg

    I mainly shoot Black Hills 52 gr. Match HP through it by the way.
     
  14. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Member

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    that seems like a good deal to me, I'm considering:, the Mossberg MVP or the Kel Tec rifle or pistol
     
  15. Inazone

    Inazone Member

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    $599 new is definitely reasonable, and considering that it's actually in stock, I wouldn't hesitate at that price. I bought a "new in box" SU-16B that also had the C-model folding stock included for $500, but that was last summer and just plain ol' dumb luck that I stumbled across it. My only complaint (and apparently a common one) is that I couldn't achieve any kind of accuracy with the factory sights, but my vision is such that I would have put a scope on it regardless.

    I have shot virtually every off-the-shelf brand of ammo, including the full Wolf/Tula/Bear spectrum and even some mystery reloads without any issues that I can recall. Field stripping wasn't as immediately straight-forward as with an AR, but there are some good YouTube videos demonstrating the process if you find the manual lacking.
     
  16. FireInCairo

    FireInCairo member

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    I guess it depends on your funds. You can likely find an M&P Sport 15 for around $800 (they seem to be popping up again at this price the last few weeks). If you can afford the extra $200 bucks, go for it. If the $600 is a stretch, then go with the Keltec.
     
  17. wally

    wally Member

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    I've got the C model, its never shot anything but steel cased ammo. Very compact when the stock is folded.

    Its a nice light rifle, definite plus that it uses standard AR mags.
     
  18. aubie515

    aubie515 Member

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    I've owned a few KT and honestly...they make some crappy firearms. Save a little more money and buy quality.
     
  19. Panzercat

    Panzercat Member

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    If you can find one for reasonable prices, grab it. It's not a battle rifle. Comparing it to one is unfair, but for what it is- a high mobility pack rifle with a lot of the benefits of a full up AR -it's a great piece.

    suout2.jpg

    Otherwise, Keltec kinda blows in actually getting its products into the hands of consumers.
     
  20. shep854

    shep854 Member

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    I found my SU16C in the spring of '08, during the pre-Obama panic. I haven't shot it a whole lot (several hundred rounds), but it has run fine even with steel. The manual recommends against steel, as do most shooters on the Kel-Tec forum ( http://www.thektog.org/forum/ ), so I keep to brass; in a pinch, I'd not hesitate to shoot steel.
    The AR-style rotating bolt and chamber is a royal pain to clean, and I saw some Mini-14s modded to closely resemble M14s, so newgunitis is starting to rear its ugly head...:uhoh:
     
  21. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Shot my buddies SU-16 yesterday after we sighted in his Nikon 223 scope.

    It's good on half gallon milk jugs at 350 yards. Not bad.:)
     
  22. InkEd

    InkEd Member

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    I noticed a few people mentioned the Sig 556. I had one and let's just say they aren't up to snuff with the real 551s. If you do get one be sure it is 2012 production or newer! If not be ready to send it for repair. Avoid 2010 or older models of the Sig 556!
     
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