Military Review

Kel-Tec and clamshell shooters


One of the Kel-Tec SU-16E rifles in action

Believe me, means known
So that finally everything at once fell into place.
No one will say anything bad, but who decides to say
Immediately and immediately fall.
Dear boy. 1974 Music by D. Tukhmanov, lyrics by L. Derbenev

Weapon and firms. Within the framework of this cycle, many samples of the most original small arms of our time have already passed. Issued by both large firms and small producers, which, however, did not affect their quality. Such are people: they want a choice, and they are afraid of the opportunity to choose, they can’t decide to make this choice, swear that their eyes are wide, that it’s specially done to entice money, and yet they want the opportunity to have this choice. All the same applies to weapons. That is why dozens, perhaps already, hundreds of companies that exist on the most modern leasing equipment saturate its market with its most diverse models exist today.

Kel-Tec and clamshell shooters

One of the first “dryers” - SU-16 for cartridges 5.56 × 45 mm

And at the forefront, as always, is the USP - a “unique selling proposition”, that is, what distinguishes one type of weapon from another. About one they write that this is the top of reliability, not inferior to the famous "Russian Kalashnikov", and "people-security people" are right there: they are attracted by the magic word: reliability! Say: “We have an original design!” And people who do not want to be like everyone else will stand in line for you. There are buyers of the "first minute", there are buyers of the "last". But the article is not about this, but that the innovative company, analyzing the potential audience and the market in this way, can always find its niche, even if it is very narrow, and successfully develop in this segment of it. Examples?


That's how they add up, and the butt can be used to store two stores

Yes, at least the American company Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc., which is briefly called Kel-Tec. This company was founded by George Kellgren in 1991, it is located in Cocoa, Florida, and began to produce firearms in 1995. They started with semi-automatic pistols, then included rifles in their assortment, and then shotguns. George Kellgren, owner and chief engineer of Kel-Tec, is a Swedish designer who previously worked for Husqvarna, Swedish Interdynamics AB (in Sweden), as well as Intratec and Grendel, and was involved in the development of a number of firearms.


SU-16C folded

Well, today the company is engaged in the creation and production of a wide range of models of firearms, ranging from the same semi-automatic pistols to semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. And each new sample was developed by George Kellgren in accordance with the important, in his opinion, principle, according to which each new development should be innovative in its design and ... interesting to use.

With an elegant movement, the SU-16C rifle turns into ...

So, the company developed a carbine pistol with a retractable butt under the .22 caliber cartridge and with a magazine in the pistol grip CMR30 - compact and very convenient to use, with a Picatinny rail for the entire length of the receiver. Weight is only 1,7 kg, store 30 rounds. Barrel length 408 mm. Its feature is also a double, and also folding, shutter handle, both left and right.

A very short drying model

The RFB rifle stands for Rifle, For-ejecting Bullpup, but there is a “bullap with extraction forward”. And the originality of the RFB lies in the fact that, using 7.62 × 51 NATO ammunition, it is equipped with a proprietary cartridge ejection system through the tube above the barrel forward. With a total rifle length of 698 mm, the barrel length is 470 mm. RFB is positioned by the company as the safest “bullpup” among all ever created, because the breech is separated from the shooter's face by two layers of steel 1,6 mm thick each. But even if a chamber rupture occurs, this again does not threaten the arrow: the device of the rifle is such that the gas stream rushes down through the store’s shaft and does not hit its face. The Hunter model had a barrel length of 610 mm, but without a flame arrester. Bipod, silencer - all this is installed on them! The fuse button is located on both sides.

RFB rifle next to the FAL rifle

Was prepared and a whole series of rifles SU16 - SU16A, B, C, CA, D9. All very light, about 2 kg. All are semi-automatic, have a gas vent drive and use stores from the AR-15, but structurally the rifle is completely different. Thanks to the long shutter speed, its automation works very smoothly, and the shooting is accurate. On some rifles, the butt is made folding, which reduces the overall size of the weapon. But that is not all. Their fore-end is retractable and can turn ... into bipod! The rifle is also disassembled in an original way: the butt is folded out of it, the lid of the receiver is removed, after which the shutter with a gas tube can be removed.

RFB rifle mechanism device

Shutter and feed device for a cartridge or cartridge to the discharge line

In the area of ​​smooth-bore weapons, the company was noted for its exclusively original 12-gauge pump-action shotgun, also developed in several versions: KS7, KSG, KSG25, KSG Tactical and KSG Compact. The first of which was introduced in 2011. The weight of the first is 2,7 kg, the second is 3,1 kg, but KSG25 of them is the heaviest - 4,2 kg. All options are designed according to the “bullpup” principle and have a barrel-barrel magazine, a window for recharging which is located behind the pistol grip. All options differ in the number of cartridge tubes (KS7 - one, KSG - two), their length (KSG25) and, accordingly, capacity.

KSG. Left view

The most original is the KSG, although this is generally an ordinary smoothbore gun with pump-action reloading using a sliding fore-end, but it is made according to the “bullpup” scheme. And he has two tubular magazines that are horizontally under the trunk. Depending on the ammunition used, the number of cartridges of 12 caliber in stores may vary: 14 (7 + 7) cartridges of 12/70 caliber and 12 (6 + 6) cartridges of 12/76 caliber. Power when shooting comes from only one store. The magazine switch is located at the bottom of the receiver, behind the pistol grip. Moreover, if its leftmost or rightmost position indicates which magazine is serving, the middle allows the chamber to discharge when both magazines are full. The RSG25 has more capacity: 10 + 10 + 1 or 12 + 12 + 1, that is, 25 shots can be fired at its maximum!

KSG. Right view

But perhaps the most original example from Kel-Tec is a pistol carbine - “clamshell” SUB-2000.

It was made on the basis of another carbine, SUB-9, through its maximum simplification, although its design did not differ in complexity. Well, SUB 9 was a development for a competition by the US Department of Defense, which needed a portable, light and cheap weapon to equip patrol and combat vehicle crews with it. The weapon passed the full range of all tests put to army weapons, but it was not accepted for service, including because of its too unusual appearance. But the money was spent, which means they had to be returned! So the designers did it this way: they simplified their competitive model even more, and so it turned out SUB-2000.

KSG2 with clips for extra cartridges

First of all, this weapon can be folded, in this position it is reduced in size by almost half. When folded, it can be put both in a backpack and in a travel bag, and it won’t take up much space in the trunk of a car, because its dimensions are only 40 by 10 centimeters. It can be folded in half a minute, and decomposed even faster, literally in seconds.

KSG in service with the South Korean Army

In fact, this carbine is a long pistol firing the popular 9x19 mm Parabellum cartridges, and with the receiver for magazines from the Glock 17 pistol, although magazines from other systems can also be charged with it. Its creators believe that thanks to this, the SUB 2000 will be interesting for travelers, including car travelers, for whom it can become an effective weapon of self-defense, as well as for hunting and entertaining and training shooting at the target.


SUB-2000 with a 15-round magazine from the Beretta pistol

Automation of the carbine works on the principle of recoil of the free bolt, which has a long stroke, but the spring of which is shifted into the tubular butt, and is not located in the receiver, like most similar samples that are simply remade from pistols. USM trigger type provides fire with single shots and only self-cocking. But on the other hand, the effort of the platoon was made very minimal, which for non-automatic weapons gives a very high rate of fire - about 150 rounds per minute. The magazine is in the pistol grip, and the fuse with is located on the left side, above it. The sight is unusual and seems to be very simple, that is, unregulated, high, but it can fold back. But the huge fly at the end of the barrel, just like a Kalashnikov assault rifle, is very conveniently placed behind the butt.


In addition to all these advantages, the price is also attractive in this weapon. The manufacturer recommends a price (in the USA) of $ 300 (which is comparable to the average price of a visit to a good restaurant)! And this is for a light, compact, rapid-firing, powerful enough, long-range enough (100-150 m) and ... killer weapons.

In addition to the modification chambered for 9x19 mm, SUB 2000 is also produced for .40 S&W pistol cartridges (10 × 22 mm), which are popular in the USA today.
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  1. Pessimist22
    Pessimist22 3 July 2020 18: 22
    KSG2 want winked two pieces
    1. Baron pardus
      Baron pardus 3 July 2020 19: 40
      This shotgun is again a special niche. For hunting or skeet shooting - the svol is too short, 18.5 "is not a barrel for hunting ducks or any other bird. The KSG25 is a good machine, and it works wherever and how it is convenient. However, there is one problem with shotguns in the USA - expensive ammunition. For example, a cartridge with a 4th shot costs about 47 cents a piece.For comparison, this is the price of a cartridge 7.62x51, or the price of TWO cartridges 5.56, 5,45 and 7.62x39, but the 7.62x51 cartridge will bring MUCH more problems to the enemy. The shotgun should be universal. And for the defense of the house, the fight against "peaceful protesters" Who are so outraged by the police arbitrariness that they plundered and burned everything they could reach, and first in their OWN regions. Their indignation is such that they desecrated the monument ... Jimi Hendrix. As a fight against racism. And for hunting. So if you take, then only KSG25
  2. Vinnibuh
    Vinnibuh 3 July 2020 18: 24
    Thanks for the article, very informative and interesting.
  3. Baron pardus
    Baron pardus 3 July 2020 18: 58
    I have TWO kel-tekas. SU-16A and SAB2000 for Glokov shops. What can I say about them. Su16. the rifle is not bad, very light. Chrome-plated barrel. I passed at least 1000 cartridges through it. All our native animals: Wolf, Golden Tiger, Silver Bear. Fired both 55-grains and 62-grains. There were NO delays. The accuracy is not bad. You won't miss a pumpkin from 300 meters. Compared to the M4, it is lighter, which makes the recoil stronger, and the accuracy is not particularly good, thanks to the light barrel. To disassemble and clean it is HARDER than a Kalash or M4. But the Su-16 is not made as a "combat rifle"; it is made as light as possible so that it can be taken with you on campaigns. Not hunting, but hiking, as a weapon of self-defense - nothing more. Eats Russian ammunition and does not choke - many thanks :-). Of course, a Bulgarian Kalash or a boar is an order of magnitude better, as well as a normal M4 (especially with a piston from Adams Arms), but Kel Tek drying is: a) Lighter. b) FOLDING (although it does not fire when folded). c) MUCH CHEAPER. Like any weapon, it's a compromise. Kel Teshniki based the corner on compactness and low weight. The fact that this is NOT a combat weapon is indicated by the fact that the barrel is not cut for the installation of a flame arrester. I had to fasten the flame arrester from the M1 Carbine (with the help of a crowbar, dremel). This is a rifle whose task is to carry it a lot and shoot a little from it (in the sense that it is not designed to let 5-6 magazines pass from it in a row without stopping). She can withstand it, only the accuracy will be even worse. It is not easy to understand. Going even worse.

    SUB2000. Carabiner under 9x19 cartridge. Under the Glockowski shops. The only thing I can compare it with is the ultrasound carbine that my friend has. So - KEL'S EASIER. A lot. His trunk is thinner, heats up faster. But, it is more convenient to aim from it, the sighting line (the distance between the whole and the front sight) is larger than on the Uzi carbine. However, the ultrasound works with the folded butt, and the SUB2000 simply will not shoot when folded. I think that in a long-term shootout, an ultrasound carbine is made by the SUB2000, but it is NOT DONE FOR THIS. SUB 2000 is made as a compact LIGHT WEAPON either to take with you on hikes, or for home defense. As most scenarios show, when defending a house, more than 5 shots are rarely needed, so Kel Teku simply does not need a heavy barrel. Well, Kel Tek is 2.5 times cheaper than an Uzi carbine. Well, much easier. Again, Kel-Tech has its own niche - lightness and small size. Although in terms of accuracy, it loses the M4 carbine under a 9mm cartridge, but the SUB2000 is both easier and more compact (when it is complicated, although it cannot shoot when folded), and cheaper.

    Had the opportunity to play with RDB-C. This is an attempt by Kel Theck to make an AUG. What can I say. RDB-C costs two + times cheaper. However, we again have a pencil barrel, that is, the rifle is NOT INTENDED for long shooting - the barrel heats up quickly. The barrel is chrome-plated, which is not the norm in the USA, here they either make a nitride coating, or simply trunks without any coating, or trunks made of stainless steel. At AUG, too, a chrome-plated but heavier barrel. RDB throws the sleeves down. Therefore, a bit LONG AUG with the same barrel length (20 inches). To check if there is a cartridge in the chamber, the RDB needs to be turned over, pulled out of the magazine and difficult to see since the window for ejecting cartridges is separated from the chamber by the magazine receiver. This is problem. At the same time, RDB - C is much lighter than AUG. I didn’t shoot from it, but according to reviews, its accuracy was not bad, although it was worse than on the SU (SU-16). Everyone notes that the SLA on RDB-C is simply excellent, and no worse than that on AUG (I agree), and better than TAVOR. I would say that given the price, RDB-C is better than TAVOR (there is also a thin barrel), but worse than AUG (which I bought), AUG is two times more expensive, but it already has SVAROVSKY optics.

    Kel Tekovsky rifles and carbines are weapons for a special niche. These are not rifles for match shooting (they will not be far from a good M4 and they will be far from a boar), but they are made for maximum relief and compactness, at a very low price. As they say in the USA, these rifles are not for combat, but for carrying. That is, a light, reliable weapon, from which, when fired, then a short time. When defending a house, no one will burn 5 stores in a row, pouring fire on attackers. When defending against attacks during campaigns, also no one will burn 5 stores. In both situations, everything is decided in 5-10 shots. Then either the attacker retreats, or dies, or you die. This is police statistics.

    If you have too little money, then the SU-16 and RDB-C are a very good choice. RDB-C is not inferior to TAVOR, which is twice as expensive. And the SU-16 in terms of accuracy is not much inferior to the Bulgarian Kalash under 556. At the same time, the Bulgarian CPR is twice as expensive, and the stores under CPR are 4 times more expensive. However, it must be remembered that the SU-16 is made of plastic, and it is not necessary to use it as a club (unlike Kalash). SUB2000 was purchased for his wife, but she preferred the M1 carbine as Her weapon.

    The RBF rifle is EXTREMELY capricious in character and low reliability. They scold her on the forums and in shops selling weapons a lot. I didn’t shoot from it, I held it in my hands. The balance is not very. The SLA is worse than on the RDB-C, and it costs 1500 bucks. For these grandmas it’s better to buy yourself a normal FAL from the DSA ARMZ and not suffer.
    1. bk0010
      bk0010 4 July 2020 10: 55
      Tell me, is Kel-Tec exactly a state-owned company, not a Turkish one?
      1. psiho117
        psiho117 4 July 2020 20: 28
        Quote: bk0010
        exactly a state company, not a Turkish one?

        Right Perhaps you are questioned by the constructively similar to the Kel-Tec gun UTS-15, manufactured under license from Turkish UTAS. However, the Turks also have nothing to do with its development.
  4. Vicontas
    Vicontas 3 July 2020 19: 51
    The more complex the weapon, the more gambling you can get with it! At the most critical moment! It was not for nothing that it was said - "All ingenious is simple."
    1. psiho117
      psiho117 4 July 2020 20: 30
      Mmmm ... Mosinka - your choice? Or why trifle, a silicon musketon of the Middle Ages ...
  5. saygon66
    saygon66 4 July 2020 18: 39
    - It turned out easy, cheap, but almost one-time weapon! smile
    - Well, the price justifies everything ...
  6. starpur
    starpur 9 September 2020 10: 49
    About 20 years ago I read about the PMR30 pistol in TM Weapons, then I found a video, an interesting thing.