Gun Review: Kel-Tec SUB-2000 9mm Carbine (GLOCK Magazine Compatible)

Kel Tec SUB-2000 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Whenever TTAG publishes a review of a firearm that costs more than a thousand dollars, commentators remind readers that there are cheaper guns that do the exact same thing — for less money! That’s like saying a Seiko chronograph does the same job as a Rolex Daytona. Which is both true and irrelevant. (If you don’t agree, save money, be happy.) But there are times when a less expensive firearm is a better choice than a high-end equivalent. Case in point: the next gen Kel-Tec SUB-2000 in 9mm . . .

Receiver, Kel-Tec SUB-2000 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Kel-Tec fashions the SUB-2000 from Zytel, a fiberglass-infused resin famed for its light weight, strength, resistance to abrasion and corrosion, and high melting point. A SUB-2000 may cost slightly less than a GLOCK — made from a Gaston’s own Polymer 2 recipe — but it’s a hardy beast. You don’t have to baby, mollycoddle or protect the SUB-2000 from the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune. I dropped mine on cement while taking a picture; the Sub-2000 took a licking and kept on ticking.

Kel Tec SUB-2000 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Folded, the 29.25″ long SUB-2000 is all edges and angles, punctuated by Kel-Tec’s signature raised squares. In hibernation mode, the redesigned rifle has an H.R. Geiger feel to it. You can imagine a squishy alien life form emerging from the gun’s business end (depending on how much acid you drop). Wait. Which is the business end? Shoulder a folded SUB-2000 and you’re pointing the barrel straight at your clavicle. A practice sure to give the antis a laugh or two.

Kee Tec SUB-2000 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Unfolded, the 30.5″ long SUB-2000 makes perfect sense. Unlike the first iteration, SUB 2.0 is svelte as a Swedish swimmer. The picatinny rails adorning the top and underside of the barrel run counter to the rifle’s philosophy of use (a.k.a., ta-da!), but they suit the gun like a Tubi exhaust on a Ferrari. The SUB-2000’s tapered hand guard and M-LOK cut-outs make the rifle look all of a piece — a neat trick for a gun that’s made of two pieces hinged together.

The newish SUB-2000 is better at achieving operational readiness than its predecessor. Position the folded rifle against your stomach with the barrel facing the left. Hold it with your left hand’s fingers on the curved and ridged barrel release. Position your right hand on the grip, pulling the gun towards your body. (Lefties: switch instrux and note that the mag release is port side only.)

Push the release switch out, pull the barrel sideways, pivot your hand around the grip, lock-in the barrel and shoulder the weapon. Take your hand off the grip, slam the slide release to the side (the rifle’s origami precludes leaving one in the pipe). Return your hand to the grip and disengage the cross-bolt safety with your thumb (or index finger if you’re a lefty). Look through the sight. Squeeze trigger as needed.

With a bit of practice, you can be good to go — or stow — in about a second.

And I do mean go. The SUB-2000 tested fed from any 17-round or better GLOCK magazine — or the cheaper, factory-supplied Magpul equivalent. Pop a 32-rounder in Kel Tec’s ballistic bad boy, cycle the action with the metal toilet plunger-like thingie on the buffer tube and you’re ready to drill a single hole in your target at 15 yards or better — depending on your target’s willingness to stay put, your eyesight and marksmanship.

The SUB-2000’s accuracy is a strong selling point; the plastic fantastic carbine makes an equivalently chambered pistol look like a blunderbuss. This despite a trigger with about a quarter inch of no-feel slack, a bit of graunchiness in the final take-up, a fake breaking point and no real indication of exactly when it’s finally going to let loose the dogs of war. Just goes to show what a rifle barrel — any rifle barrel — can do.

More than that, the muzzle energy generated by the SUB-2000’s 16″ barrel isn’t to be trifled with (even if you’re comfortable with English deserts). American Rifleman fired a Hornady 147-grain XTP pill from a GLOCK 19 and generated 310 ft.-lbs. of muzzle energy. The same round sent downrange by the SUB-2000 generated 447 ft.-lbs. of oomph. American Rifleman called the SUB-2000 a 9mm that hits like a .357 (at short distances).

Works for me — especially as the 9mm SUB-2000 is about as punishing as a Tempurpedic pillow fight with a Xanax-addled opponent. I’ve read reports of first gen SUB-2000’s suffering reliability problems. This one, purchased at a local gun store, ate a mixed ammo diet — including low-powered target ammo and chi-chi high-grain Golden Sabre hollow-points — without complaint. Unlike Ben Vereen storing his shoes, there’s no need for a tap rack.

Kel Tec SUB-2000 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

The SUB-2000’s front sights are ideal for the job; the rear sight folds away as you compact the gun. But they aren’t ideal. Peer through the tiny ghost ring and aim the SUB’s black front sight at a black object. The front sight disappears and you’re reduced point shooting. Really accurate point shooting. Even so, the SUB’s sub-standard sights are to a red dot what a butter knife is to a Shun chef’s knife. On the upside, the SUB-2000’s front sight adjusts AR-15-style for both windage and elevation.

Kel Tec Sub-2000 barrel (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Bonus! Peering straight down a folded SUB-2000’s barrel to check for obstructions or grime couldn’t be safer or easier. You can add length to the gun’s stock by 5/8″, twice, if needed. The process is a lot harder than cleaning the barrel, but what isn’t? With a little hex wrench work and a six month wait for an ATF tax stamp, you can screw a silencer onto the SUB-2000’s nose, increasing the cool factor by 50.

If that’s even possible. With its innovative design and perfectly judged makeover, the SUB-2000 is the Steve McQueen of ready rifles. Who can’t appreciate a good-looking, soft-shooting, accurate and reliable rifle that stows in a small backpack or a large hamster cage? Yes but —

Kel Tec SUB-2000 vs. SBR AR-15 in .458 SOCOM (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Nine mil is hardly an ideal rifle round. I reckon an SBR AR-15 with a folding stock — or an AR pistol with a SB Tactical brace — is a better trunk gun. If nothing else, they’ve got superior ready-to-go optics and longer range. Then again, the Kel-Tec SUB-2000 is a sub-$400 gun that doesn’t require much care or feeding. It’s almost as discreet and at least as tough as Indiana Jones’ whip, and a lot more useful (depending on what kind of romantic partner you prefer).

D7C_1633

In fact, the SUB-2000 is like a Seiko and a Rolex Daytona. The first because it’s perfectly practical. The second because you can’t find a new SUB-2000 for love nor money. Despite years of universal huzzahs, Kel-Tec is unwilling to increase manufacturing capacity to satisfy demand. Something about corporate debt, apparently.

The elusive Kel-Tec SUB-2000 is an engineering marvel that’s well worth the wait. In this era of affordable mass production, where designers worthy of JMB’s legacy can take advantage of modern materials and machinery, everyone should have one. And now, finally, I do. The time has come.

Kel Tec SUB-2000 9mm (GLOCK magazine compatible model)

SPECIFICATIONS:

Operating System: Blowback
Caliber: 9mm Luger or 40 cal. S&W
Capacity: Varies by magazine (GLOCK-compatible version, 17 rounds mags and up)
Barrel Length: 16.25″
Barrel Twist Rate: 1:10
Trigger Pull: 9 – 10lbs
Accessory Mount: Picatinny rail, M-Lok
Length: (stock collapsed / extended) 16″ / 29.5 in
Length of Pull 13.25″ / 14.5″
Grip Width: 1.25″
Max Height: 7″
Weight (unloaded, no mag): 4.25lbs
Barrel Threads: 1/2″-28
MSRP: $500 (available — in theory — for under $400)

RATINGS (out of five stars)

Style * * * * *
The second generation SUB-2000 remains a clever, coherent design, now featuring Kel Tec’s characteristic raised squares.

Fit and Finish: * * * * 
The SUB-2000’s built like a proverbial brick sh*t house. One star removed for a sharp edge on the end of the trigger. How hard would it have been to file that down?

Accuracy * * * * *
For a gun with a nine-pound trigger pull, excellent. One hole at 10 yards, easy. Minute of bad guy well beyond.

Ergonomics * * * *
Everything is right where it should be, including the jumbo-sized slide release. The SUB-2000’s hard, angular butt plate is about as comfortable as you’d imagine, but we’re talking about 9mm recoil. The more ergonomic barrel release switch is welcome, but unfolding the rifle quickly still takes practice.

Reliability * * * * *
No failures of any kind.

Customize This: * * *
You can hang a bunch of toys on the SUB snout’s Picatinny rails and M-LOK slots, but why would you? The whole point of this gun is its foldability. I’d like a fiberoptic front sight, but then I’d like a Rolex Daytona, too.

Overall * * * * *
Compact, discrete, tough, reliable, accurate, powerful and ready-to-rock-and-roll. Brilliant concept made better by a design refresh.

Unauthorized Jeremy S. edit: various stages of the Gen 2 SUB-2000 manufacturing process appear at three or more points in the video above. We learn the most about it at ~20:20 in.

comments

  1. avatar Stateisevil says:

    The .40 version killed my cheek. Unusable without a pad.

    1. avatar soccerdad says:

      Would not disagree. Get the padding from tacticool dot com. I got that and also installed a buffer in the tube which dampens the kick a good bit. It is sometimes tough to aim, as you have to get really, really in there, but once you do and get the hang of it, this is a great gun. I love mine.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I have the first generation Kel-Tec SUB-2000 in .40 S&W and I have no trouble whatsoever with it hurting my cheek or shoulder since recoil is almost non-existent.

      1. avatar ShaunL. says:

        I have the original, original version of the Sub-40 with the aluminum receiver. I love to shoot it and I wish they still made them even if only as a special order.

    3. avatar Anonymous says:

      I have a special rail mounted lead weight that reduces recoil and puts the weight back on your firearm so that for a second you forget it’s made out of low tensile strength plastic.

  2. avatar soccerdad says:

    Great review Robert. Fully agree and love this gun. One question, when did ‘the next generation’ become available? I was lucky enough to get mine about 4 years ago.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Released at SHOT Show 2015 and hit distributors shortly thereafter, I do believe.

      1. avatar soccerdad says:

        OK thanks. Then mine is 1st gen.

  3. avatar Mike in NC says:

    The Gen 2 Sub2K’s have only been available (in theory) for about a year. Congratulations on finding one of the 9mm versions in the wild. The .40 S&W version seems to be easier to find. Kel-Tec claims that their gen 2 multi-mag version for M&P magazines will ship this quarter (add the usual two years before actually seeing one).

    1. avatar Warren says:

      If they’re really making one that’s compatible with M&P mags, I could see myself picking one up, or at least ordering it and waiting who knows how long for it to come in. It’s a nifty looking gun.

    2. avatar int19h says:

      There are tons of them in both calibers available for sale on GunBroker.

  4. avatar Dr Brainwash says:

    Now this is something I’m considering in lieu of a .22. Small, light, can use it on small things, plink with it for cheap. Teach new shooters on it. The fact it uses common Glock mags even better.

  5. avatar Bob says:

    TTAG’s posting policy: no flaming the website, its authors or fellow commentators. Please send all comments about TTAG’s editorial stance or style to thetruthaboutguns@gmail.co.

  6. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    It bothers me that the last few inches of the barrel are superfluous at best.

    1. avatar Mike in NC says:

      Blame the NFA of 1934 for that barrel length.

      1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

        I do, but that doesn’t make it any better. Changing the barrel to 10-12″ would be a vast rather than modest improvement in my opinion. Probably worth $200.

    2. avatar int19h says:

      In this particular gun, it’s actually not unreasonable, because of how it folds exactly in half. With a shorter barrel, it’d need a shorter receiver/stock tube, making LOP awkward. Also, because the recoil spring is right behind the bolt, a shorter tube would require a stiffer spring, and it’s a pain to rack as it is already.

      It’s Uzi carbines and such that really look horrible with 16″ barrels.

  7. avatar Art out West says:

    The fact that Kel-Tec CONSISTENTLY and continually refuses to meet demand for it’s products has caused me to basically write them off as a company (and I’m a Kel-Tec owner).

    I’ve thought about buying one of these Sub-2000’s for quite some time. I just never see them available anywhere.

    Maybe Ruger needs to step up to the plate and make a rip off version of this gun like they did with the LCP, LC9, SR22 etc. The Ruger version would be higher quality, and would be readily available everywhere (although they’d probably make it use SR mags instead of Glock mags, which would suck)

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      A Ruger 9mm carbine that uses SR mags would have dollars flowing out of my wallet very quickly.

      1. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

        They might not be eager to try again after the Ruger Police Carbine was discontinued.

        Though the market is primed for just such a gun right now, so I think it could work.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Was it just me or did the PC weigh a metric shit ton? And it really looked “old fahioned”. If Ruger updated a pistol caliber carbine in a more modern “tactical” style I bet they’d do well. And unlike kel tec they could keep up with deliveries.

        2. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

          I think it looks alright. The nonthreatening chunkiness is kind of a good thing, compared to the “assault weapon” lines of the Sub2K.

          I can’t speak to weight, but the blowback mechanism required a big weight attached to the bolt, so they probably weigh a ton.

        3. avatar Stinkeye says:

          The PC9 only weighed 7 pounds. That’s a bit heavier than a 9mm carbine needs to be, maybe, but not quite a metric shit ton. Ruger’s motto has always been “If it’s worth building, it’s worth overbuilding.”

    2. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      I doubt ‘refuses’ is the right word, but I don’t know what the right one is either. Firearms companies baffle me frequently.

      1. avatar Art out West says:

        One of the most basic principles of business is this:

        When people want to buy your stuff (at a price you like to sell it at), then you make more of it.

      2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        I think they just enjoy designing fun guns more than they enjoy operating a gun company. They make enough guns to make enough money to keep themselves wealthy and to fund R&D.

        Beyond that, customers, the company, the market……it’s all an annoyance they probably wish they didn’t have to put up with.

        1. avatar Corrigan says:

          On one hand, I can respect KelTec’s stance to not follow the bubbles that other firearm companies do, which lead to them overproducing during a scare and then having to eat the costs when the scare ends and demand drops. On the other, I don’t get why, after YEARS of the same cycle, they don’t build up stockpiles of new product BEFORE starting to sell them, or why they don’t have a way for people to buy/reserve a gun directly from them. I live in Florida and I’d be willing to eat the 6.5% sales tax, plus the FFL fee and NICS check, if I could order an RDB from them for MSRP.

    3. avatar Mike in NC says:

      Need more people to write them off for a while… at least until I manage to find an RDB and one of the 9mm Gen 2 Sub 2K’s (M&P or Glock) and maybe the CMR/PMR pairing if the Great Rimfire Drought ever ends.

    4. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      They make over 150,000 guns per year. Obviously that isn’t enough, but most people seem to have the impression that Kel-Tec is like 4 guys in a garage assembling 100 guns a month and that’s far from the case. They’re the 5th or 6th biggest firearms manufacturer in the U.S., it’s just that their demand is even larger than that.

      I suppose they could decrease demand by increasing prices, but I don’t see that making people happier. They’ve grown significantly over the last decade, increasing output capacity pretty much constantly. Still not enough to keep up with demand, though, no.

      Some of this is because they’re growing organically, as the owner refuses to assume debt or sell equity. Profit gets reinvested and they grow and grow and grow, but that’s a much more gradual way to do it than taking out a $150mm loan. However, it’s also much safer. Especially in an industry that has been politicized so much. Giving away the sort of power that comes from assuming large debt or selling ownership can be dangerous.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Sure, but how is that 150,000 distributed? 50,000 PF9s and the rest divvied up across another dozen or so product lines? They may not be four guys an a garage, but in a market that buys a million guns a month, those are pretty small numbers.

    5. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      I always hear this, but I’ve got four different Kel-Tecs (2 x P32, Sub 2000 Gen 1, Su16c) and I never had trouble getting any of the four the moment it tickled my fancy to buy one.

      1. avatar VF 1777 says:

        +1. Just takes a little itch and a little resourcefulness. Hell, i even sold one of my gen 1’s and the guy bought it at full price because he was so excited to actually have one in his hand, so the whole unicorn thing played to my advantage. I guess some people think if they arent sitting on the shelf at cabelas, they dont exist.

      2. avatar FreakinPeanuts says:

        I have had good luck with Kel-Tec. I had an SU-16c (sold it to build an AR, will likely buy another someday) P-32 is my EDC, and a Sub 2K which is super fun to shoot. I will say that shooting in freezing temps kinda hurts the cheek.

    6. avatar Specialist38 says:

      Yep. A Ruger SR Carbine would be the cat’s-ass for me.

      If Kel-Tec won’t step up, then Ruger needs to do the right thing and launch the SR Carbines.

      I usually put that in the “Tell the CEO” thing at Ruger’s website about once every couple of months.

      If KelTec made a Sub 2000 with Ruger SR Mags, I would buy it as well.

      I have one of these in 40 and it was a fine carbine. They have improved the front sight, fore end, and stock.

      I’ll buy one of these if I find one, and wait for Ruger to catch up. Gotta be cheaper to make than the PC carbine.

      Come on Ruger … hurry up!

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        Come on Ruger … hurry up!

        I’ve been saying that about the PMR-30 for years.

        I love the idea of the PMR-30, but not if the front sight falls off after three rounds. Now if Ruger took that idea and improved on it…

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    I’ve been looking for one of those for four years with no joy. They are harder to find than pro-gun Democrats, and they’re worth more too.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      That’s a very low bar there Ralph.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Ralph,

      Go to your favorite gun store and order one. A few years ago I ordered mine and the gun store received it about 4 months later.

      Waiting for 4 months was a drag. Actually acquiring one without waiting for 4 years was actually quite nice.

    3. avatar Roger says:

      There’s loads on gunbroker…some are even buy now…just depends on how bad you want one.
      http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=557584403

  9. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

    I really want a 40 S&W PCC. My crappy state only allows Ruger PC4 or Marlin Camp carbines. I really want to see what my slow burning 180 grain handloads can do out of a 16 inch barrel. Especially my 135 grain noisemaker of a round.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I don’t know that you would get much more because the 180 grain bullets take up so much case volume.

      The lighter bullets, on the other hand, get a huge speed boost: you can expect over 1600 fps with a 135 grain bullet. That’s equivalent to full power .357 Magnum velocity/energy coming out of a 4 inch barrel.

      1. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

        Depending on the bullet geometry and chamber you can occasionally load 40 S&W long. which usually gives and extra 0.05″-0.075″ of internal case capacity. Also, you could use a slower powder to get an extra 100-200 fps out of the longer barrel. I would bet you can get a 180 grain 40 S&W up to 1400 fps out of a 16″ barrel. That would put you in the 10mm realm of speed.

        http://ballisticsbytheinch.com/40sw.html

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Randall,

          I have a chronograph and would be willing to clock such loads if you want to make them. I sure would love to have a 180 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity north of 1300 fps.

          Along the same lines, I wonder what you might be able to achieve with 150 grain bullets? Ballistics by the Inch says they clocked Corbon 150 grain bullets at 1464 fps with their 16 inch test barrel. If you developed a load that achieved over 1550 fps, that would be really devastating with a .40 caliber, 150 grain bullet. (Those numbers produce 800 foot-pounds energy.)

          On the other hand, what can you do with a 150 grain lead pill leaving the muzzle at 1550 fps that you cannot do with the same lead pill leaving the muzzle at 1464 fps?

  10. avatar David says:

    I believe folded length is more like 16-17.5 inches. It would be a great gun for those jurisdictions that don’t allow 18-20 year olds to buy pistols from a dealer. And it can be carried in a backpack or tennis racquet bag.

  11. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    Had a 1st gen Sub2000. Sadly sold just before Newtown.(I could’ve gotten $1000 for it!) I liked it. Easily folded into a computer case. I would go to 40cal now as the ballistics are great from a 16″ barrel. They ARE on Gunbroker.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Just out of curiosity; why did you sell it?

      1. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

        I think the truck broke down and I needed $ to fix it. Not because it didn’ t work. Such is life for the self-employed antique dealer. The year before we made maybe $100000…

  12. avatar Anon in CT says:

    I have the first generation gun. It’s a lot of fun, though mounting an optic was a PITA. Still cool.

  13. avatar Sian says:

    I’ve been wondering if a side-flip mount made for magnifiers would work with a red dot on one of these and allow folding.

    Hmmmmmm.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I wondered the same thing.

    2. avatar Anner says:

      These guys do optics and rail stuff for the sub2k family:

      https://www.redlionprecision.com

      I mounted a 2″ rail section on the side, a 45-offset rail mount, and then a bushnell trs-25. I now have a sweet red dot that only requires a slight cant to transition from the open sights. For pistol ranges, it rocks.

      1. avatar Anner says:

        Forgot to mention: with that config, it still folds in half and locks, with the red dot hanging on the side. It adds a little width to the folded profile, but still easily fits in a laptop case. That was the whole point of the involved setup–any top-mounted optic ruins the best feature.

    3. avatar MoveableDO says:

      Nutnfancy has a YouTube vid on this rifle and he uses a picatinny offset mount and a red dot so that it can still fold. You know, the kind of mount 3-gunners use for their RMR beside a fixed 4x scope or whatever. I have one from GG&G that would work great. Nutnfancy used a Bushnell TRS-25. I’d probably choose one that didn’t need to be turned on. But then again, why put a $450 optic on a $450 rifle if it is just gonna be in a trunk?

    4. avatar int19h says:

      I think that might work, but you’ll need a fairly large red dot for that (since those magnifier mounts are normally made for 30mm tubes). If someone made a flip mount for micro-dots, that would be perfect for this gun.

  14. avatar Roadking says:

    From past experience with Keltec you couldn’t give me one. That’s why I went with the DP-12 instead of the their double barrel offering. YmMV

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I don’t know about other firearms from Kel-Tec … all I know is that everyone seems to have no trouble with the SUB-2000 line.

      1. avatar Anner says:

        And the KSG has been completely reliable for me, across the three examples I’ve handled. It runs better than my old Remington or Winchester pumps.

  15. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “That’s like saying a Seiko chronograph does the same job as a Rolex Daytona.”

    Seiko -$200, Daytona, $10,000.

    Gee, lemme think on that awhile…

    I’ll keep my $10 Timex analog bought at Walgreens 15 years ago.

    (For you watch snobs, I’ve handled plenty of Rolex (including some *really* good fakes that burned one pawn shop owner) and other nice watches like Tag, Patek, ect. at the pawn shop over the years.)

    For $9,990, I can have a fun evening in jwm’s stretch limo with a few hookers, hootch, and blow.

    Or maybe a brick or two of .22lr…

  16. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    About four or five years ago I walked into one of my LGS and they had one up on the wall. I bought it then and there. Turns out my timing was great, the UPS guy had just dropped it off about 45 minutes before I walked through the door. My example has been completely reliable and has never failed to work exactly as it should. The 10 round Glock 17 magazine that came with it and the 32 round Glock mags I have for it run like a champ. No way I would spend the money for an AR in 9mm, the cartridge doesn’t justify it

  17. avatar knightofbob says:

    I’ve never had a problem finding Kel-Tec products. Back when the KSG was new and the entire internet seemed to be calling it “vaporware,” I saw well over a dozen scattered around a single gun show. I can’t remember the last time I went to a shop or show and didn’t see a Sub2k. RFBs and PMRs haven’t been in too short of supply, either.

    Now, I’ve never actually been specifically looking for any of these, and can almost guarantee I couldn’t find one if I actually wanted to. With that said, I don’t know the generation of Sub2ks that I’ve seen, maybe the new ones haven’t been available. I’m just going to go with the theory that Kel-Tec ships most of their inventory to Mid-Michigan, and they spread from there.

  18. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Want. Badly.

  19. avatar Swilson says:

    I’ve always been interested in owning one of these- now that they’ve fixed some of the flaws from the first generation, I’m gung ho for one. I’ve never seen one in person though

  20. avatar Stinkeye says:

    Kel-Tec makes some neat guns, and I know some of them (like this rifle) are highly-regarded, rugged, and reliable… But I can’t get past all the screws and 2-piece “clamshell” construction they employ. I know it works, but it just looks like it was made in a Chinese box fan factory or something. If I could walk into any gun shop and walk out with one at a reasonable street price, ala Ruger’s entire product line, I’d be more forgiving. But since Kel-Tec doesn’t make enough of them to get the prices below MSRP, they don’t seem like a great value to me.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      But I can’t get past all the screws and 2-piece “clamshell” construction they employ. I know it works, but it just looks like it was made in a Chinese box fan factory or something.

      Here it is! This! Finally someone said it! Can’t agree more! I always cringe up a little when I look at them.

    2. avatar Sam says:

      I just picked up a “rare” Glock 19 mag SUB2000 Gen2 for $450. No tax and $10 shipping. $10 FFL transfer fee and I’m out the door for way under $500, which I believe is the MSRP. Awesome.

  21. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    As FormerWaterWalker stated above, ballistics in .40 S&W are superior to 9mm when you have a 16 inch barrel. Here are two examples of similar weight bullets for comparison:

    9mm ……… .40 S&W
    124 grain …. 135 grain
    1400 fps ….. 1600 fps

    9mm ……… .40 S&W
    147 grain …. 150 grain
    1086 fps ….. 1464 fps

    I’ll take those .40 S&W ballistics every time.

    1. avatar FreakinPeanuts says:

      I wouldn’t mind finding someone to trade my Gen 1 9mm for a Gen 1 .40.

  22. avatar lawbob says:

    Folded, the 29.25″ long SUB-2000 is all edges and angles…
    Unfolded, the 30.5″ long SUB-2000 makes perfect sense…

    It’s only 0.75″ shorter folder?

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      Not only are they hard to find, they warp dimensional reality in unpleasant ways.

    2. avatar Robert Farago says:

      D’oh! Text amended. Thanks!

  23. avatar Joe-n-NC says:

    Good review, I did not realize I wanted one until I saw this 🙂
    What is the trigger reset like, was it left out of the video because it does not exist?

    1. avatar Anner says:

      It’s faint and wheezy, like most keltec trigger resets. Don’t worry though, you won’t notice it after that abomination they call a trigger pull.

      I cherish my sub2k gen2, but the trigger requires a good bit of flitz and dry fire love to become presentable.

  24. avatar Forrest M says:

    You should check out grand seiko, they put rolex to shame.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      A $5k Seiko? That’s like a $70k Volkswagen Phaeton. I’m not a brand snob, and I’m sure the watch’s internals are second to none (the Phaeton is now the Bentley), but no thanks.

      1. avatar knightofbob says:

        The Phaeton has serious long-term reliability issues. Not that the primary market for that type of vehicle is concerned with the long term. I’ve got an eighteen-year-old seven series that’s pretty reliable (though I’m probably not going to keep it long, I live in an area where I really should have four wheel drive, and registration ain’t cheap either. Insurance isn’t bad, though).

      2. avatar Oh Yeah? says:

        People who write “Unlike Ben Vereen storing his shoes, there’s no need for a tap rack” should probably buy Rolex knock-offs.

  25. avatar Justin says:

    I’ve got a first gen model and it has eaten just about everything I’ve fed it. I have to say I like the idea of it but in operation it has some issues. one being as a lefthanded shooter, I have to clean my shooting glasses every third magazine due to blow back. I can even tell the difference between Winchester white-box 9mm and Federal HST by taste 🙁
    Another issue is the barrel heats up fast after a couple of 33 round magazines between cleaning my glasses and trying to clear my nose of all the junk that got spit out the ejection port it’s still hot to the touch. I did 3 33 round magazines aimed fire (not slow but not a mag dump either) and it was burning my hand enough to cause mild first degree burns on the webbing between my thumb and index finger.

    None of the above are show stoppers and once I get the Red Lion fore-end it should solve at least the heat issue I have. I can live with crud getting blown into my face I’m sort of used to it by now. Just have to scrub by face at the range as well as my hands after the session is done.

    Respectfully Submitted

  26. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    Since I see the sub 2k primarily as a home defense gun, in lieu of an optic on the top, I mounted a laser/light combo on the bottom rail (and since I had a gen1 I had to buy the bottom rail attachment!).

    That way nothing is obstructing the iron sites or the folding, and you’ve got very quick target acquisition, even firing from the hip or shoulder-held with no cheek weld (for better awareness around you).

    If I need to take a long shot, the iron sites are plenty good enough.

    1. avatar MoveableDO says:

      The only problem with the light/laser combo is that a self-defense-worthy light/laser (like the Streamlight TLR-2HL-G) can cost close to $300. And on a $450 rifle, that price kinda hurts.

      1. avatar VF 1777 says:

        TLR-4 works great for me. I paid 120 for it

        1. avatar CHLChris says:

          That would definitely keep with the lightweight deal. I’m a big fan of green lasers over red, though.

  27. avatar River Walker says:

    As your reposts of Shooting the Bull have proved, even 1 inch of barrel can have radical effect on bullet terminal performance. Now 12 inches should be unimaginable different. You need to complete this review with a selection of top quality rounds ala Shooting the Bull.

  28. avatar John P. says:

    I’m _very_ pleased with my 2nd Gen Sub2k in 9mm. I have about 7-800 mixed rounds through it with zero issues. It also cured me of the desire to get a PCC SBR: as compact and easy to deploy as-is, it met the compactness criterion without a tax stamp.

    The unavoidable side effect of it being a blowback gun with a tube receiver is that it can be a real PITA to clean thoroughly. I use a shotgun brush / patches to scrub and swab out the innards after pulling the bolt.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      I actually find that Sub-2000 is extremely easy to clean, possibly more so than any other gun I own. The reason is that once you fold it, you basically get two tubes to clean – the barrel and the receiver tube – with unimpeded access to both of those from both ends. The only problem with the receiver tube is that it’s wide, so you can’t use regular patches; but any cleaner-soaked rag of the right size on top of a cleaning rod does the trick.

  29. avatar John P. says:

    Was your test gun a G17 or G19-compatible model? The pics show a G17 grip frame but you mention a mag capacity of 15 rounds.

    My G17 compatible model came with a Magpul 17 round magazine. Did you get one of their G17-sized but 15 round capacity mags?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      My bad. 17 rounds. Text amended.

  30. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    To me it doesn’t matter what Keltec makes or its price.
    Around here anyway they are all made of Unobtainium. So it makes no matter how good a gun they are.
    And to top it off Keltec is a local company too. Still cant find anything they make for sale besides the little 32s and a 380 here and there that I don’t want need or would own.

  31. avatar Parker says:

    Did they fix the garbage front sight that came on the first generation?

    1. avatar int19h says:

      Yes – that’s one of the most important changes in gen2. It uses AR-style front sight now, with compatible sight posts.

  32. avatar Craig says:

    This is my everyday carry gun. I am a quadriplegic with limited fine movement of my fingers. I cannot use a handgun safely I must use a shoulder fire weapon. I could not afford the $200 to make an SBR. I found this gun while working with an NRA instructor to find a gun I can use. I keep this gun mounted between my legs on the down tubes for my foot plates on my wheelchair. My wife made me a gun boot that is held on by magnets. I have to take my gun off and leave it in my van as I work in a gun free killing zone and the magnets work great. I would not win any fast draw competitions, but in an active shooter situation I am prepared.

  33. avatar IdahoPete says:

    AND if you have an original SUB-2000, KelTec sells an “drop-in” short Picatinny rail section that fits on the forend of the gun and will let you hang a Crimson Trace green laser on that puppy. Cost is about $25 for the rail (Sub Picatinny Rail (1ST GEN) SKU: SUB-397)

  34. avatar Brian Noble says:

    I love mine. I’m not so sure on how hard they are to get. I went to my local gun shop and bought one on my first trip there. They had a few of them when I got mine. I found it to be very accurate from 25 yards.

  35. avatar Matt in SC says:

    I’ve got the gen 1 and a gen 2, both in 40. I had feeding issues with the gen 1 that are gone with the gen 2. The new furniture and non-phillips head screws are a huge step up. The buffer tube cover from tacticool products is a great and cheap add. I’ve read that the swing out rings for magnifiers don’t do a good job of holding zero. The laser on the bottom of the rail might be the way to go. I’ve never shot a rifle with one, but it seems like you could be accurate enough without having to get a full cheek weld. That LOP is short.

  36. avatar ETXarsenal says:

    Stumbled onto mine in 9mm at Academy Sports. $465 out the door ten minutes later. 500 rounds so far with no mishaps. Eats everything. FYI, the Daytona can be had at replicahaus.net $210, last time I checked.

  37. avatar trev says:

    Anybody shoot theirs left-handed? I’ve heard mixed reviews about how this gun treats lefties.

  38. avatar JebTN says:

    Yep I fell in love with my son’s Gen 1 but couldn’t get one till about 6 months ago and had to settle for Gen 2 by then 🙂 No sub $400 if you really want one, dealer gave me a little break but it was still nearly $500 out the door.

    A lot of fun to shoot, I do plan to paint the front sight.

  39. Many thanks extremely valuable. Will share site with my good friends

  40. I like reading your website. Thank you!

  41. Appreciate it! This a amazing internet site!.

  42. avatar John kokolus says:

    Love all six of mine.

  43. avatar Randal Koebler says:

    Just got one off gunbroker. $399. The non Glock models are generally cheaper. I’m not wedded to Glock. Got Beretta 92 model. Ordered some Beretta brand 30 round mags, good to go

    1. avatar Robert S says:

      yeah i would hv as well glad they had the Glock model tho as i hv lots of G17 mags picked up a cpl of the Red White & Blue 33rd mags for 15 each as well tho!

  44. avatar Robert S says:

    They must be available again..i just picked up a cpl of the SUB 2000s in 9mm (NEW) that tk the Glock mags..for 379.99 each free shipping!!

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email