Kel-Tec Stops Making PMR-30: “Bullet Tumbles Rather Than Spins”

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Kel-Tec has suspended production of “the world’s most coveted rimfire.” That’s because the PMR-30’s bullets tend to tumble end-over-end rather than spin. It seems there’s a rifling problem which, obviously enough, affects both accuracy and lethality. Kel-Tec says it will cover the costs of a barrel swap (including postage) for consumers who don’t fancy a gun that sings Boy George songs. One problem: they haven’t finalized the new design yet. And as a result of the changes, the PMR-30 will now “look more like a traditional pistol.” Oh dear. Press release after the jump.

As time has progressed, so has the PMR-30. Since the start of the year the PMR-30 has been shipping in full quantities to all of our distributors on a rotating basis (to make it fair for all distributors). Recently we have been made aware of a potential issue that we feel our customers should definitely be made aware of. We are in the middle of a re-design to our barrel due to key-holing concerns. For those unfamiliar with key-holing, basically it is when the bullet tumbles end over end rather than travelling stable with a solid spiral.

It seems as though the 1:16 twist ratio of our barrels isn’t quite preventing these issues from occurring. We are currently testing new twist ratios for the PMR-30 so that these issues no longer occur (1:9 and 1:12). There has also been a cosmetic change to the barrel: we have removed the fluting on the barrel. The initial fluted design was for weight reduction, however it was time-consuming to produce. We have created a new design that matches the weight and decreases production time significantly. It will look like a more traditional pistol.

IMPORTANT: For customers who DO own a PMR-30 and are experiencing key-holing, you may send your barrel in to be replaced by the newly redesigned versions once they are available. When they are available, a status update will be made so that our customers know that they can go ahead and send their barrel in for replacement. Shipping costs will be reimbursed, of course. Once the new design is tested and implemented, we will post all necessary information for sending back your defective barrel for replacement.

As of today: 5/10/2011, we are halting shipments on the PMR-30 to reduce the number of potential key-holing pistols that go out. We estimate a 2-week period until shipments are resumed. We sincerely apologize to everyone who is affected by this. We hope that our customers understand that we are trying hard to make sure that the best possible product goes out.

comments

  1. avatar Gunnutmegger says:

    .22mag ammunition used to be just a 40gr. bullet.

    Today you can find a variety of bullet weights, from 28 to 50 grains. And it is hard to find a rifling rate that will stabilize all of those weights equally.

    I would be curious to see the accuracy of the original design with various bullet weights compared to the accuracy of the new design.

  2. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    This sounds like a classic Kel Tec predicament: going to market a bit too soon with a gun that’s not quite ready for prime time. I admire their innovation and agility in developing truly unique guns and putting them in shooters’ hands very rapidly, but their reach occasionally exceeds their grasp. I know from personal experience that their customer service is among the best in the industry, but it must still suck to be a PMR-30 owner waiting for a barrel swap.

  3. avatar John Fritz says:

    Thanks Robert. Now I have that damn song looping in my brain.

  4. avatar TTACer says:

    I was 2/3 gonna buy one. I still think I might but I guess I’ll wait till the dust settles.

  5. avatar Frank Brady says:

    Actually, some people believe that the .22 WMR’s tendancy to tumble out of ANY short barrel is not an all together bad thing. Bill Jordan reportedly thought it made the little round more lethal.

    For what it’s worth.

    Frank Brady

  6. avatar John Bellmyer says:

    Kel Tec needs to also come with a smaller capacity magazine for the commie states like Maryland where you can only buy weapons with 20 round mags.

  7. avatar FN says:

    This POS was a miserable attempt to knock off the FN FiveseveN.
    Nice try Kel Tec…next!

  8. avatar tikkidude says:

    Great and I am now at the top of the list after waiting 11.5 months for this sidearm.

    believe in the attempt Kel Tec makes o be innovative and cost effictive but this situation should have been discovered during R & D so Kel Tec how much longer will I wait for my paid in full pmr30 and its lead spitting tumbling barrel???

    Also how will the appearance of this weapon ???

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