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Keltec Su-16 is light, and mobile. Is it reliable?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Arcticfox, Sep 15, 2007.

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  1. Arcticfox

    Arcticfox Member

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    Hi all!

    I like to pack light, and the SU-16c intrigues me. I am, however, concerned about the platforms functionality. I've read a review where they actually threw the rifle into a frozen river, and let it sit for a while, and it came out firing!

    In the military, I had an experience with an M16 that left me bitter. Although it was just an exercise, I was part of a (very small) aggressor team that attacked the perimeter of a camp. I was spotted, chased, and I took cover behind a rock in an attempt to return fire and pin them so I could run again. But, my M16 jammed (imagine that) and I was captured. So, I will never trust my life to a high maintenance, low tolerance gun. (here come the flames :evil:) And if you think M16's don't jam anymore, ask Private Jessica Lynch! (Yet another example of an M16 jamming at a REALLY bad time!)

    War stories and gun bashing aside, I'd like to ask actual owners about the reliabilty of the SU-16. This would be a mobile/defensive firearm for me, and I need it to fire everytime. Yes, yes, I know the AK is a great way to go, but the SU-16 is much lighter and easier to pack. Anyone have bad experiences?
     
  2. Harry Paget Flashman

    Harry Paget Flashman Member

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    Short answer: "No." I haven't had any bad experience with the SU-16.


    I used to have an SU-16B and it shot reliably though it didn't care for lacquered Wolf ammo. My reason for buying it was the price...about half that of an AR. I ended up replacing the SU-16 with a Bushmaster Carbon 15 M4 because I wanted "quality" and "tacticool". In the end I got rid of both because of ammo prices, consolidation of my calibers and long term reliability/durability concerns of alloy and plastic. I really wanted a simpler, cheaper, more reliable platform. I also like rifles with a little "heft" to them. Weight doesn't concern me because at my age there won't be any 50 mile survival treks in my future. My own preference is for wood and steel so the SU & AR got replaced with SKS's (59, MC-5D & Norc.) and an AK clone.

    The guy I sold the SU-16B to is a good friend and between him, me and his nephew we've put ~2000 rounds through it with no problems. It has held up well.

    Another reason I got rid of the SU-16B was two KelTec P3AT's that were jammomatics right out of the box. That's apples and oranges and maybe illogical, but it soured me on KelTec's.
     
  3. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    Doesn't the kel-tec use the same multi lug bolt as the Armalite proginy?
     
  4. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    Keltec uses an AR syoe bolt head, and an ak type gas system. It's generally pretty reliable. I have a couple thousand rounds though my SU-16 6.8 SPC. No problems so far other than the factory heavy trigger. I'll eventually get around to fixing that.

    Be advised that the SU-16 is not an MOA rifle - more like 2-3 MOA depending on ammo. I second the above poster. Stay away from lacquer case wolf.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. gaweidert

    gaweidert Member

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    Su-16

    I have had one for a few years. They day I got mine I also picked up 1,000 rounds of Wolf 62 grain FMJ to test it out. I was, at one time, a QA engineer and I was intrigued by the plastic gun. I ran Wolf ammo through it because it is dirty ammo. Well it ran the 1,000 round in two days with a hitch. Cleaning it up was a breeze. Much easier and quicker than an AR. The rifle has always gone bang when I pull the trigger. Not an MOA rifle, but still fun to shoot and wasy to stow and carry when folded.
     
  6. markmc753

    markmc753 Member In Memoriam

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    I have both a 16c and a 16ca. Both have been extremely reliable, very easy cleaning and more accurate than I am
     
  7. Navy joe

    Navy joe Member

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    I don't have a SU-16, I want one though. It's pretty well known that M-16s firing blanks choke much more than real ammo. Also pretty well known that the guns in the Lynch episode weren't maintained well. The M-16 is a good platform. Not soldier-proof, but good.
     
  8. rde

    rde Member

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    My "A" model has been a lemon. I finally gave up on it. Mine is an early production model. Every manufucturer will have some models that unfortunately have issues. Mine happens to be one of those. :(
     
  9. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    Just another option, but a converted Saiga in .223 will be in a similar price range. The mags are not the M16 standard, but they are very good in my experience. The gun is fairly accurate, but I haven't had a chance to try it with my scope mount. I imagine the Keltec is lighter though.
     
  10. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    My CA is reliable.
    Kel Tecs don't like steel case ammo though.

    The flash hider isn't standard.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. MassMark

    MassMark Member

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    Works For Me....

    I bought my SU-16 originally for my wife as a SHTF/Plinker rifle. She loves her Underwood and hardly shot it, so it's now mine. Frankly, I beat this rifle and am unkind to it when it comes to maintenence. I have had 2 malfunctions in well over 1,000 rounds - both involved steel cased ammo. Everything else works great. It's "minute of dessert plate at 100-yards with the less than ideal irons, groups poorly, (so do I) and gets egg-cooking hot under sustained fire. However, it folds in half, takes M-16 mags, stores a 30rd mag in the buttstock, the built in bipod feels flimsy, but it's actually somewhat functional. With a Burris red dot on deck, it is a sweet little gun. It packs into a gym bag, bug out bag, ATV trunk lid or daypack with ease, (you hardly know it's there, as a stack of mags weighs more than the gun). Is it perfect? Nope. However, it's well worth the investment in my book.....
     
  12. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    I think of the Su-16 as the plastic American AK. It's only reasonably accurate, and pretty reliable. Inexpensive too. It's main US made competition is the Mini-14. They both shoot about as well, and are both pretty reliable. The SU-16 folds and uses M16 magazines.

    So long as you accept and understand it's limitations, it's a great little rifle. I keep hoping keltec will follow Ruger's lead and bring out a 6.8 version. Magazines are already out there, and that will make it a suitable deer rifle in states that ban 223.

    If I were to name one failing, the trigger is definitely military grade.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2007
  13. otomik

    otomik Member

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    It's unusual that her gun jammed without firing a shot. It's possible she didn't like her odds and did not resist capture. I'm not judging her actions I just think there might not be anecdotal evidence in the Lynch story.
     
  14. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    I've got an "A" and a "C" and have zero failures over 2 1/2 years and several thousand rounds. But I don't shoot any steel case ammo, Black Hills, Remington and WWB. I highly recommend the C or CA model for the sights. The A was previously a 2.5-3" gun @ 100 yards. It has, however, developed a liking for the Black Hills 52 gr. HP Moly coated and will consistantly shoot those into 1.25-1.5" with a best ever of 1.2".

    [​IMG]

    The C model was a little more accurate, averaging from 2-2.5", it's at it's best with about any 50-55 gr. bullet, doesn't like 45 gr. loads at all. I'm going to try some heavier loads and moly loads in it to see how it does.


    [​IMG]
     
  15. loosehorse

    loosehorse Member

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    I have the Alpha version and I agree with MassMark and Gun Tech. You get what you pay for, so dont expect to much and you will not be dissapointed.
    My Apha has had a lot of work done on it...its a great gun for tinkering. Despite my constantly fooling around with it it goes bang every time.
     
  16. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    browningguy

    What paint did you use, and how well does it stick?
     
  17. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    I have a plr , and it is totally reliable, and I havent even bothered to clean it yet. now it is not made, to fire, like you are on an assault team, it is made more for plinking, so i would not let it heat up to the nth degree, like you would for an ar. but if kept to normal range or field use, you wil be fine.
    I would avoid the A model, it has a terrible front sight, terrible to adjust, and no flat top rail. get the d model, if you can , then get the c, then the b.
     
  18. Frog48

    Frog48 Member

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    User error, not an inherent flaw. It doesnt help matters when the user in question isnt the smartest person around.
     
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