New from Kel Tec: RDB and M43 in 5.56, 6.5 and 7.62×39

Kel Tec is known for making interesting looking firearms…and then only ever making approximately three a year of each one. Despite the nifty design of, say, the KSG or the Sub-2000, there’s never any on the shelves and there’s no indications that Kel Tec is ramping up production to meet demand. Nevertheless they’re soldiering on, introducing two new rifles at SHOT Show this year that seem to be in the same bullpup-esque vein as the popular RFB and TAVOR SAR rifles. All we have on them at the moment is this ad from a magazine (via PT) but rest assured we’ll get more info as soon as we land in Las Vegas. Looks like we have plenty of time though — the ad notes that the 5.56 version will be available “late 2014″ with the others following eventually. “Available” being a relative term.


About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

74 Responses to New from Kel Tec: RDB and M43 in 5.56, 6.5 and 7.62×39

  1. avatarST says:

    KelTec-America’s Vaporware Experts!

    • avatarGuy says:

      I never understood the ‘keltecs don’t exist’ sentiment. Your local dealer may not have one in stock, but their suppliers do. Just ask them to order what you want.

      • avatarint19h says:

        Not to mention that you can always get one on GunBroker.

        Yes, you won’t pay MSRP (unless it’s one of their handguns, or a SU-16). So what?

      • avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Wait for something and pay MSRP (or more)?

        You some kind of commie or somethin’?

        I’m an AMERICAN! I don’t wait for shit and I don’t pay retail!!

        • avatarLou says:

          You bitch about a semi auto 5.56 with folding stock that weighs less than 5#. I got mine for $660 and it is very accurate. I am very happy with it. But you probably also think the 1911 is the only handgun. You have to pay several thousand for one of those for it to be reliable.

      • avatarMatt C says:

        Um sure. because I have accounts at RSR and Zanders, not to mention Davidsons and they barely have anything Keltec in stock.

    • avatarAndy says:

      The ad should say: “New from Kel-tec, another gun we’ll never make”

  2. avatarGlenn says:

    If they would only actually build enough of them to sell at a reasonable price w/o the wait time like I had for my PMR-30! I’d like to have a KSG too if you could find them!

    • avatarJesse Johnson says:

      Oh they can be found at a price. There is a couple dealers that always have the RFB and KSG in most any color you want down here at the gun shows. I have seen them $1700-2500 and most of them I have seen have been since the scare started. They usually always have all the colors of PMR30s too but for $1250 each but I see the PMR30 mags for like $25-35 to bad the pistol is near impossible cheapest I have ever even seen was $750 and that was used a few years ago. The Sub 2000 is almost impossible to come by as well.

      • avatarJeremy S says:

        PMR-30′s are out there. I have seen a few new in my area at dealers in the mid-$400 range, but that’s still really rare. They ARE on GunBroker right now starting at $550, with many available “Buy It Now” for $595. Brand new. I do think it’s a lot for what it is, but it’s still a hell of a fun gun to shoot. The mags can be had for $24 and they hold 30 rounds (obviously). I’ve got six of ‘em. 180 rounds. The mags, ammo, and gun weigh absolutely nothing.

    • avatarChad says:

      Keltec can kiss my ass. I’ve been looking for a pmr-30, KSG, and the bull pup 308 forever. They’re like the mystical unicorn, talked about but never seen. Just a question, does keltec sell direct to gunbroker. Because that’s the only place I see them on the Internet for stupid prices.

      • avatarSemper Why says:

        VA Gun Trader has a Sub2000 in 9mm right now and a an RFB popped up there a month ago. They’re out there, you just have to be patient.

    • avatarHank says:

      I saw probably a half dozen KSG shotguns at my local gunshow last year. Cool looking but damn heavy, even unloaded. You could get a hernia lugging one that had both mag tubes stuffed with shells. But it would be the tits firing from a vehicle.

  3. avatarMark N. says:

    The M43 looks like the front end of an AK having sex with the receiver of an AR.

  4. avatarBill says:

    I found a Sub-2000 .40 Glock for $329, new, at a gun shop in April. I bought it, caressed it and flipped it for a whole lot more. I have not seen another one since…

  5. avatarHidden Hills says:

    I own 6 different Kel-Tec models, yet have no hope whatsoever of owning (within economic reason anyway) their latest several models. I have always wondered why they don’t license some of these out.

  6. avatarMark Horning says:

    George Kellgren got burned pretty badly in the past due to borrowed money. As a result, he will not borrow money to expand Kel-tec operations, instead doing so only through cash-flow. Ok, I can respect that.

    I wish he’d at least consider some licensing options or subcontracting though.

  7. avatarBillC says:

    Holy Hell, those are ugly. Like troll ugly.

    • avatarJeff says:


      Kel-Tec has some cool design ideas, but the materials, ergonomics, and overall design look straight out of the worst of the 1980s.

      Seriously, the products in their ads look like you cut them out of a 1982 Shotgun News and forgot about it for 32 years.

      Kel-Tec, hire some young design engineers to make your products look more appealing – and get some better production facilities while you’re at it.

  8. avatarMurrDog says:

    Why don’t they just re-chamber the rfb. Like they were supposed to from the beginning.

    • avatarlolinski says:

      The RFB isn’t ambi, we ambi guys appreciate that. Same reason I prefer lever/pump over bolt action.

      • avatarMurrDog says:

        Easier to move the controls to the other side than it is to make a new firearm you don’t have the ability to produce.

        • avatarlolinski says:

          Moving controls ain’t that helpfull, mirrored controls on the other hand. But I doubt people will like dual charging handles (especially recoprocating).

  9. avatarMojoRonin says:

    Vaporware: SU-16E

  10. avatarjr says:

    I don’t want to sound defeatist, but what’s the point of looking at reviews of weapons that will be taken away from us eventually?

    Hopefully, I’m wrong.

    • avatarAnders A says:

      You must live in California.

      • avatarjr says:

        No, I live in a gun-friendly state. I just see all that’s happening in NY, DC, CT, CA, et al, and can’t help but feel that it’s going to spread. Our populace is going out of its way to throw away our rights.

        • avatar505markf says:

          I hear you. The other way to think about it is, “what weapon would you want you and five of your neighbors to have in hand when they come knocking to search your house and confiscate your guns?”

          Puts a whole different complexion on it.

    • avatar(Formerly) MN Matt says:

      Dude, I hate to break it to you…but you sound defeatist.

    • avatarStinkeye says:

      Nah, these won’t be confiscated. They’re Kel-Tecs. In order to be confiscated, they’d have to be available for purchase first.

      • avatarGyufygy says:

        And before they can be confiscated as firearms, they first have to be arms that will actually fire. Keltecs are sadly all too sketchy in that category.

        • avatarint19h says:

          Kel-Tec is notorious for bad QC, but if you get the gun that’s actually assembled properly, they do work great – i.e. the design itself is not the issue (and they do honor their warranty).

    • avatarJonathan -- Houston says:

      Nobody ever *wants* to sound defeatist. They just do so because they already are so. After all, nobody ever cheered with all their heart “Let’s go lose one for the Gipper!”

  11. avatarColby says:

    I might get excited if I thought I’d ever actually see one.

    I still haven’t seen a single Sub 2k (which I want) in over three years, and the PMR-30s (which I don’t want) are just now starting to appear with any kind of regularity. Don’t even get me started on RFB vaporware.

  12. avatarNoishkel says:

    Shut up and take my money!!

  13. avatarsean says:

    I have seen only 3 PMR’s. 2 at my local gun store. Going back to KelTec for one reason or another. One, a shooting buddy of mine bought early on. His has worked flawlessly.
    I wonder where the RMR carbine is. And a .22lr version of both guns. And when they are going to lower the price of the KSG back to what it was before their excuse in raising it went away.
    Perhaps Ruger will buy them one day, instead of just stealing KelTec’s ideas.

  14. avatarMediocrates says:

    And the 3 they make don’t work…

  15. avatarA-Rod says:

    I cannot get past Kel-Tec = Thug. First Kel-Tec I ever saw was at a public range being shot by two guys that looked kinda on the Slim Shady side. They may be good guns but got bad PR.

    • avatarFug says:

      Didn’t Kellgren develop the TEC-9? That is the quintessential 90s drive by gun.

      He is good at making cheap guns. If they can sell these for like $700 or less I’ll be on it. Otherwise, what is the point?

  16. avatarThe Last Marine out says:

    I been to their factory in Fl. they have no room to grow, They would have to move to step up production. I do see a few at gun shows but not many…..As for the Kel Tec management all I can say is they could use more marketing skills……….

    • avatarJerry R says:

      When you sell every gun you produce and have a 6 month waiting list for most of them, marketing seems to be going fairly well. Maybe you should help GM with the Volt…. I own a PMR 30 and a PF 9. I purchased both for less than list after waiting on lists. I will be on another list soon.

  17. avatarChris Dumm says:

    If Kel Tec can’t meet demand on their long guns and PMR-30, why don’t they throttle back the PF9? They make so many of them that they’re almost giving them away.

  18. avatarTominator says:

    I’ve handled a couple of KSGs and was thoroughly impressed! Had $1300 price tags BTW .

    I’ve got my eye on a Sig 400 and would LOVE to have a Tavor but for the price difference???

    I’ll keep my eye on this one though….

  19. avatarcaffeinated says:

    Cool. Maybe I’ll be able to get one by 2050.

  20. avatarjwm says:

    Wait a while. Ruger will debug it, and sell it cheaper.

    • avatarWerewolf1021 says:

      Not to mention you will actually be able to find it.

    • avatarGyufygy says:

      This might be rather harsh, but I wish Ruger (or another decently large manyfacturer) would go ahead and just buy out Kel-tec. They’ve got some very interesting products, different from everyone else. It’s their production that seems lacking in quantity and quality. Hell, Taurus seems to pick up and drop models quickly, trying new things out and canning them if they aren’t doing well. Seems like they might go well together.

      Somehow, though, I doubt Kel-tec wants to be owned by anyone else.

      • avatarJames Griffith says:

        That’s a great idea. Kel tec’s manufacturing has indeed been incredibly slow, and they should be bought out by Taurus, not Ruger though. Just read in “American Rifleman” that Ruger just gave Ca the “middle finger”, stating that it will no longer negotiate with terrorists, ( no longer sell guns in Ca). I still unfortunatly live in this “tax haven” and cant leave as I cant get a drivers liscence, (medical reasons).

  21. avatarready,fire,aim says:

    sorry will never buy a KELTEC product again..I learned my lesson

  22. avatarPanzercat says:

    Should we wait for this like we did the 300blk SU16 variant?

    Kinda met with the same reception too. I think I’m with Chad on this one. Keltec can kiss my ass. I have money to spend on rifles I can actually find, not one I won’t and if I do, get my wallet raped for it.

  23. avatarPanzercat says:

    Should we wait for this like we did the 300blk SU16 variant?

    Kinda met with the same reception too. I think I’m with Chad on this one. Keltec can kiss my ass. I have money to spend on rifles I can actually find, not one I won’t and if I do, get my wallet raped for it.

  24. avatarbill says:

    I’ve had a sub 2000 on order for two years, pfft, canceled it. My S&W Shield had been on backorder for nearly 1 year 8 months already( and have yet to get any word on). and I finally got my S&W M&P mags which took a year to get. Lame.

    • avatar16V says:

      Pourquoi?. They’re $500/ea per dozen on Gunbroker or any of the other sites…

      • avatarThe Last Marine out says:

        TRY the pawn shops they are getting more and better stuff that the big box stores, and the gun shops seems to have a lot of problems getting stuff or want to keep a small fast moving inventory ..

  25. avatarWilliam Burke says:

    We could maybe call them a “boutique gun manufacturer… still, those are very interesting, to me.

  26. avatarJim says:

    I much prefer the RDB. The M43 looks like they were trying to make it look Russian just for the sake of looks. The super tall sights are weird looking. I am not really sure why they felt the need to make two really similar rifles that look subtly different. It seems like they could have made one rifle that could be chambered three ways.

  27. avatarDave says:

    Can’t believe I’m the first one to mention this… but it’s fairly obvious looking at this model that Kel-Tec copied the 1970′s Soviet Bullpup prototype, the Shevchenko Smerch. Here’s an article on the rifle.
    Fairly hard to find any info on this gun, but it’s more or less a dead ringer for the “new” M43.

    • avatarlolinski says:

      Look at the mag position, the SS uses a different action making it shorter. The Kel-Tec might have copied it’s aesthetics but not the mechanism.

      PS: to all saying its ugly; looks aren’t important. And no I am no Kel-Tec fan.

    • avatarHank says:

      Funny you mention this, I wasn’t even aware of that particular Soviet gun, but when I first saw the ad it reminded not only of a Soviet gun, but of late Soviet-era ad print.

  28. I’ve had nothing but problems with any/’every Keltec product I’ve been around.

    No, thanks.

    I’ll stick with my TAVOR SAR

  29. avatarJonathan -- Houston says:

    Kel-Tec seems satisfied with producing only enough firearms for the market as it takes to fund their personal firearms designing and plinking hobby. I don’t consider them a serious firearms manufacturer. Their own website at one point, and perhaps still, cited their barrel lives at only six thousand rounds. Maybe they come up with an interesting model every now and then, but they’re still all hat and no cattle.

  30. avatarKevin A. says:

    It’s sort of got an SA-80 look to it. I might have to get one and give it some green furniture.

  31. I’ve never understood the “Kel TEcs are impossible to find” line… I can buy any Kel Tec I want, any day I want. Finding a 1911 Delta Elite 10mm, that’s a little tough, but still, I can wrangle one up in a week or less if I try.

    I think it must come from the same people who would say “there is no water” if a bucket of Dasani isn’t hurled at their heads the moment the feel slightly dry on the tongue… If you want ANYTHING specific that isn’t a Glock or S&W, you’re probably going to have to lift more than one pinky finger’s worth of so-called ‘effort.’

    Local shops, gun shows, armslist… If you use just these 3 things, you’ll find pretty much anything in less than a day. I didn’t even include gunbroker… I’ve got a Gen 2 RFB I bought off of armslist from a private seller. Less than 24 hours after getting the hankering, it was in my hand, and it wasn’t all that tough. It is probably the most availability-complained-about Kel Tec offering and I had absolutely zero trouble finding and buying it.

    I think “stupid and lazy” is a problem for more than just Liberals…. Seems a lot of gunnies are stupid and lazy, too… Whaaaaaaaa, complain after 2 seconds of not even trying…

    • avatarJeff says:

      Agreed, I think that people just don’t do the research it takes to find them at other stores, or they’re scared to try something new and buy it from someone private or order it online. I couldn’t find the Mossberg 930 I wanted anywhere, so I got online and found one; I got it transferred to my local Cabela’s for $50 and the end price was right at what I would have found it in the store for (if I could have found one locally.) Like you said, get off your butt and start really looking if you want it that bad.

  32. It looks like they copied the Tavor’s dumb-dumb mag release location… I was hoping it would be more or less a clone of the RFB… Bummer. Guess I won’t be buying it.

  33. Oh good! More price gouging from Kel-tec! How wonderful! Let me guess, mmmmmm MSRP of $880 but now available to you for a mere $3,200 ! How nice!

  34. avatarDapper Dan Man says:

    Kel Tec’s are like the beautiful girl with no personality. There are few of them around and whenever you get your hands on one… they are such a let down! LOL Kel Tec firearms are poorly executed unique firearm ideas marketed through a company that is too small to ever execute those ideas properly and have a quality product. I have never handled or fired a Kel Tec that impressed me. Not worth the frustration of trying to find their product… and that is if you find one that functions flawlessly.

  35. avatarMark says:

    Just go out and buy a SKS. Get a bull pup kit from SG Works. There you go, a 7.62×39 bull pup. For under $600. Or just find one already built. For $900-$1000.

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