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(This post is an entry in our spring content contest. The grand prize is a Beretta APX pistol. Entries are closed and we will announce the winner one we have run the best entries received.)

By Luis Valdes

Going back a ways to the early 2000s, back when President Bush 43 was still in office and the media was actively hounding him instead of just parroting Obama blaming him, Kel-Tec was making tiny affordable compact pistols like the P-32 and P3AT. Long before their bullpup designs like the RFB, KSG, and RDB, they released a traditional rifle with a twist. It folds in half just like their SUB2000 pistol caliber carbine.

At first they made the SU-16A, a 5.56x45mm chambered carbine with a folding stock for better storage. But just like the SUB2000, it couldn’t be fired when folded. Then they came out with the SU-16B. Same overall design with a shorter pencil-thin barrel. People still wanted a rifle that could be fired while in the folded position.

So Mr. Goerge Kellgren obliged and came up with the SU-16C. Finally, a folding 5.56x45mm carbine that can be folded and fired while folded (That’s a lot of folds right there).

Anyway … here are the specs:

Weight (Unloaded) – 4.7 pounds (2.1 kg)

Overall Length w/Stock Open – 35.5 inches (90 cm)

Overall Length w/Stock Closed – 25.5 inches (65 cm)

Barrel Length – 16 inches (41 cm)



The Barrel itself is a nice medium contour with a 1;9 right-handed twist and a crowned threaded end that is 1/2×28 and accepts all standard AR-15 muzzle devices like flash hiders, muzzle brakes, and suppressors.



Design-wise it is an interesting little mix. Many people believe that the SU-16 uses an AK-style gas system and that’s partially correct. It actually takes the majority of its design from the Beretta AR-70 series of rifle.


Beretta AR-70 upper receiver and bolt carrier group


Kel-Tec SU-16C


The main difference is for ease of manufacturing. The gas piston is permanently attached to the bolt carrier group much like an AK. That’s why a lot of folks think it’s more of an AK in design. The upper and lower receivers are made out of polymer. That helps with the light weight of the rifle. The handguard can actually be opened and used as a bipod. Personally, I use that feature less for shooting and more for cleaning.

Speaking of which, cleaning is a snap since unlike an AR-15 it doesn’t deposit all that carbon gunk right in the chamber area. Instead, most of it is captured by the gas piston head. Everything internally is finely machined. Not tool marks, burrs, or molding seams visible. Everything is smooth and well finished.

The rifle feels lightweight, but not cheap. Even its dust cover is made out of a polymer mix and that in of itself feels well made for just being a little sliding bit of plastic on the side of the bolt carrier. It even comes with a Picatinny rail on top of the receiver to mount optics. All in all, for the price that your average buyer pays for one. It’s a well-made rifle.

I found this rifle used and purchased it for the sole intended purpose of a truck gun. Before I always kept my GLOCK magazine-compatible SUB-2000 in the truck, but the wife claimed it as her own. Being that space in a motor vehicle is always at a premium, I wanted something as compact as I could get. So with that in mind I started looking and lucked out and found mine at a pawn shop in the panhandle of Florida.

My wallet lightened by three bills, I went to the range. The accuracy on this rifle surprised me. At 50 yards from the bench I had no problem with my horrible vision and iron sights doing this.



That little Kel-Tec sure loves Winchester Ranger 55-grain SP 5.56 ammo. I used a whole gaggle of standard AR-15 magazines. C-Product GI Aluminum 30-round magazines, Magpul Pmags, old Colt-marked GI Aluminum 20-round magazines, even a Troy Industries Battle Mag. All worked fine and the best part is that they work with the stock folded.

The stock has a small opening in it to allow a 30-round AR magazine to slip right on through. You can deploy the stock with a magazine in place and have no issue whatsoever. Ammo-wise other than the Winchester Ranger I fed it, steel-cased Wolf and Hornady, brass-cased PMC and Remington UMC. No hiccups at all. It ate what I fed it.

Other than the lightweight handiness and accuracy, the ergonomics of the SU-16C rifle also are nice. A simple crossbolt push-button safety is easily within reach of the shooting hand and the magazine release is also the same. The semi-shaped pistol grip is plenty for the hand to find a good purchase. The buttstock, when locked open, feels stable and secure. Same with it closed. Lastly, the charging handle also works as a shell deflector so you can shoot this rifle as a righty or a lefty. No problem at all.

Now on to storage. That was the whole reason I bought this rifle and why, if you’re looking for a compact storeable rifle, this is one you should look for, too. I think this picture speaks louder than words.



In that tiny space I’m able to fit a full-functioning 5.56x45mm self-defense carbine and still have room under the seat for a bug-out bag and all the other goodies.



Instead, I can keep a plate carrier, get-home bag, ear protection, and active-shooter kit with medical gear. This rifle fits just about anywhere.


The only negative I found with the rifle is the sights, while they’re well made and superb. Both the front and rear sight are metal and the front sight post uses an AR-15 front sight post. The layout of the rifle makes it hard to co-witness most optics due to how low the sights are positioned in relation to the sight plane. So if you want to co-witness, you need to get one of the tiny micro red dots. I have a bunch of old ancient turn-of-the-century AimPoints. Sorry Charlie, they ain’t gonna co-witness on the 16c.

The other issue is the rifle doesn’t come with any way to mount a sling. You can buy a sling kit form Kel-Tec or you can get an aftermarket one, but there’s no out-of-the-box mount.

Accessories wise, there are a ton of options. Kel-Tec and a growing aftermarket industry make railed forends, different stock options, and other gizmos for the SU-16C. They even make an assembly that allows you to use an AR-15 buffer tube and stock.

In the end, the Kel-Tec SU-16C isn’t the latest “tacticool” whiz-bang AR-15. But it’s a handy, capable rifle for its intended purpose. Something to throw into the trunk/truck when things look sketchy or when someone wants a lightweight storable self-defense carbine.

Price-wise, you can find them new for about $500-$550 and used between $300-$400. They come with a lifetime warranty and Kel-Tec products come with amazing customer service. But you won’t be needing that since they make a great product that isn’t going to be needing a trip back to the factory. The gun handles great and works well.

So would I recommend this rifle to another person? You betcha!

Specifications: Kel-Tex SU-16C

Action: Semi-automatic

Caliber: 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington

Capacity: 5/10/20/30/∞

Magazine Design: Any AR-15/NATO STANAG Magazine

Weight (Unloaded): 4.7 lb (2.1 kg)

Length w/ Stock Open: 35.5 in (90 cm)

Length w/ Stock Closed: 25.5 in (65 cm)

Trigger Pull: 6 pounds (reported from Kel-Tec website)

Barrel Length: 16 inch-barrel (41 cm)

Barrel Twist: 1/9 RH

Barrel Tread Pitch: 1/2×28 RH

Models available: SU-16A, SU-16B, SU-16C, SU-16CA, SU-16D9

MSRP: $535, purchased for $300 plus tax and background.

Ratings: (Out of Five Starts)

Ergonomics * * * * *

It’s a handy, lightweight, compact rifle that’s user friendly. Even the lightest AR-15 wishes to be as skinny as the SU-16C.

Accuracy * * * * *

No problem hitting the target at ‘bad guy’ distances.

Customization * * * ½

A smaller market and fewer choices for co-witnessing optic. But the options are there.

Reliability * * * * ½

Feeds well and ate everything I gave it without a complaint. Only thing is the receiver is polymer. So long-term wise, you probably can’t abuse it like an AK by using it as a shovel or pry bar.

Storability * * * * *

That’s where it’s the king. Try to find an AR-15 that can do the same.

Fun Factor * * * * *

It’s handy, lightweight and simple to operate. No recoil and everyone, even novice shooters, can master it.

Self Defense * * * * *

It’s a small compact 5.56x45mm carbine that’s reliable and handy. It isn’t a battle rifle, but or a truck/trunk or home defense carbine (or even varmint hunting), I wouldn’t at all feel under armed with it.

Overall * * * * *

I can recommend one without a problem.

More from The Truth about Guns:

New from Kel Tec: SU-16 in 300 BLK

Gun Review: Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle in Stainless

5.56 vs .223: What’s The Difference Anyway?

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  1. Tucking a truck gun behind that rear seat, into an open soft case hanging from the child seat hardware is always a less visible, yet easy to access option.

    Also, anyone think they will ever get to actually use all this “gear” they own?

    • I don’t know of him but I don’t think I’ll ever use any of mine. I also don’t think I’ll need my fire extinguisher, my spare tire or my meager store of “stuck on highway” food. I keep them just in case

        • Well, specifically, I only have a limited amount of space under my rear truck seat. After a blanket, jumper cables and basic fix-the-simple-stuff tools, not much room is left. I’m not getting a tool box that will take up bed space.

        • Your “rear truck seat”? That means you have some kind of an extended cab. You have WAY more space than a regular cab pickup, you’re just prioritizing it in a way that makes justifying firearms storage difficult.

          If it was important to you to have it available, you’d find room for it.

      • You don’t think you’ll ever use your spare tire?

        What do the roads look like near you? I gotta move there.

        • Well. I live in rural Texas. I replace my tires when they are worn and use plugs when I have a hole. Barring a catastrophic blowout or running over a spike strip I don’t anticipate using it. What the hell do your roads look like where you EXPECT to use yours?

        • Hannibal,

          I have been driving for roughly three decades and I have never once had a flat tire. I have had one or maybe two slow leaks that would cause my tire to get low every week. But I have never needed to install a spare tire.

          • Lucky!

            I once had my right rear tire get punctured twice (same tire) at the same intersection in one summer. There must have been some sloppy construction nearby.

            Both times I swapped to the spare, and took the punctured one to the shop. The second time the guy even remembered it was the same guy, same car, and same tire as before.

        • I’ve had to install my spare at least twice in the past couple of decades, once on my Jeep and once on my Suburban, and both times I was darn glad I had one. So, if these other folks never drive anywhere they need a spare, then why even carry one?

        • It may be the potholes where I live but having a need for a spare, for me, is a ‘when’ not an ‘if.’

          And even roadside assistance doesn’t help when you’re on a rural stretch of the turnpike waiting for 8 hours because your spare ‘donut’ blew up in the trunk without you ever knowing it… they’ll be happy to send someone at 9am though.

    • “Also, anyone think they will ever get to actually use all this “gear” they own?”

      A serious question – Why do you even care what someone else spends their money on or carries?

      • Sorry for the unintentional trigger. See my serious answer above. I’m trying to figure out what gear gets prioritized in my limited under-the-rear-seat space.

  2. Neat little rifle, didn’t even know that one existed, and a good review as well. Thanks.

  3. +
    Good review, great gun. Cannot deploy/fold stock with anything bigger than a 10 round mag, and it’s only meant to fold with 5 round factory mag. Steyr style stock bi-pod is not bad. You can buy metal clips from the hardware store to put on the end of them to prevent wear and they lock-up even tighter. Gen II’s are even better.

    Definitely a back-packable gun.

    • crossbolt push button safety sometimes engages under sustained/rapid firing. Keep a finger on it.

      • Actually it will fold over GI steel or aluminum 30 rounders, just not pmags or other polymer mags. They’re too thick at the bottom.

        • You can’t stick a steel mag in a polymer gun! /sarc 🙂

          Ok, thanks for the correction. Gotta go deep sea diving to find a burnt one again to confirm.

  4. Good overview. Maybe when AR’s weren’t cheap this was a good idea. I too handled this rifle and thought “cool but flimsy”. And I had a Sub2000 I sadly sold so a folding rifle is pretty cool. I now have a Ruger AR 556 on layaway(since yesterday at a good price).IF I found THIS for 300bucks I might take the plunge…

    • Quick FYI about the AR-556, I had to raise the front site post on mine 4 or 6 quarter tuns to hit where I’d like at 100 yards with a 6’O clock hold. I think Ruger shipped it with a 25 yard zero.

      And to stay with the topic, the SU-16C is on my list of guns to buy. Thanks for the review, Luis!

  5. Good overview. Maybe when AR’s weren’t cheap this was a good idea. I too handled this rifle and thought “cool but flimsy”. And I had a Sub2000 I sadly sold so a folding rifle is pretty cool. I now have a Ruger AR 556 on layaway(since yesterday at a good price). IF I found THIS for 300bucks I might get one…

    • TTAG won’t post (not certain why, I’m sure they have their reasons), but there’s a Kel-Tec ( blog site where an SU-16C owner installed them. I only attempt to post here because there’s not much room on a Kel-Tec anything to install a QD mount, much less the SU-16C, but this person looked like they really thought-out and nailed the placement.

      Thank you TTAG for permitting this post.

  6. oh sweet, the NRA guy wrote this.

    i have been eye-ing these for sometime. nice write up.

  7. KelTec has a lot of guns I want. This is at the top of the list.

    I LOVE folding stocks. Yeah they’re not great to actually shoot, but who cares. They’re freaking cool.

    • This one is surprisingly good (if not great) to shoot. The folding stock is rigid enough to shoulder, and flexible enough to take up a some of the recoil. It is a piston-type gun that lets you get back on target quickly.

      It fires very well from the hip when folded too. One might think that firing from the hip would create too much of a swinging action that would affect the cycling action (like limp wristing a pistol or soft shouldering a semi-auto shotgun) but the SU-16C hammers away.

      I (somewhat) like the idea of the “WTF is that” feature [of all guns, but definitely of the SU-16C]. It’s not like you’re being a cartoon (.88 Magnum) with baby-small hands around a desert eagle with a 14 second draw time. If you were to draw an SU-16C from a back-pack or long jacket (in the above pictured configuration) you might get a fraction of a second jump on a bad-guy just because their brains are flipping thru ‘recce cards’. If you were to draw this weapon on an unsuspecting person (you better have a damn good reason, but) it would likely be that your action of drawing the weapon triggers a threat response in them, before they recognize that they are about to face a weapon.

  8. I have been looking at getting either the B or CA model for a car gun, but I realized yesterday that even folded it is still longer than an AR upper and it’s more expensive than a base model AR. You’re better off just getting a cheap AR and storing it with the upper off. It’s not more than 30 seconds to pop it back together and it’s a much more robust and modular platform.

      • No, but I’m not finding used SU-16s for that much, either, and yes I have been looking recently. In fact doing a search on armslist right now shows all of 14 ads, with the cheapest listed at $500.

        • Armslist. Where overpriced guns go to die.

          Vhyrus, you’re right — I posted the same thing below. Before everyone and his newborn set up an AR shop, SU-16s (along with AKs) were the poor man’s AR. Now you can get a new Del-Ton Echo for less than a used SU-16. I still opt for the SU-16 since it’s slightly easier to deploy than a separated AR. The wife (who normally never takes guns anywhere) has it in the trunk when she goes on her cabin getaways. She likes that it’s light and out of the way in a Prince racquet bag.

        • The Gray Poseur, your link provided no relevant information.
          Vhyrus answered the question as to where he was finding a sub $300 AR directly and well. See how easy that is?

        • See how easy it is to ask questions you already know the answer to? Again. And again. And again.

        • The Gray Poseur, and that’s what it always comes down to with you. The feeling of inadequacy, the envy. Dude, focus on your own success and stop worrying about what other people have or have accomplished.

        • Nah, it’s more that you are that annoying attention whore on Instagram/Facebook that reminds guys like me to never have an Instagram or Facebook account.

  9. I had one of these and should have never sold it. It was indeed surprisingly accurate for a plastic rifle. Ugly as a warthog’s sister, but really handy and well made. I eventually bought a used Alpha model, which is nicer looking, folds up smaller, but can’t fire when closed.

    I don’t know where you can find these used for $300 any more. With new ARs going for $400 these days, I’m seeing SU-16s at an all-time high (all time since the panic of ’12, at least) on Gunbroker. $500 used seems more the norm.

    • I got my SU-16 A new a little over a year ago for $540. I like the “traditional” rifle feel with AR mags.

  10. The stock can be extended and collapsed while a 20 round metal magazine is inserted. Polymer mags can be too wide to go through the stock and 30-rounders are too long to allow the stock to or extend while inserted.
    Also Red Lion Precision makes sturdy metal fore-ends that allow you to attach accessories and use real slings, but add weight. I consider the lack of a fore-end sling attachment point in particular, and the lack of an attachment point for a light to be disappointing design choices.
    In my experience, the sling kit available from Kel-tec is very basic, and pretty much limits you to a strap (included) you can thread through the attachment.

    • Red Lion is a great option, but I like plastic, so I put Magpul Zhukov on mine (with a small amount of persuasion it fits nicely). It has MOE slots that are well aligned. Either Red Lion or Zhukov lose you the bipod, so keep that in mind.

      • what does this small amount of persuasion look like? People seem to have a habit of posting photos with no instructions, and it’d be nice to know that I can do this with the tools that I have before investing in this.

    • Not sure which mags youre using, but i only own 30 rounders (all GI steel/aluminum style) and my stock folds over all of them with zero issues. no hangup whatsoever.

    • FYI for anyone who has, or is looking to buy, an SU-16 variant that is not the Charlie model, Kel-Tec sells the foldable/shootable stock for $89 that will turn any of the other lettered SU-16’s into a bonafide SU-16C.

      Back when Obozo was elected in November 2008, I (like many other shooters who sensed another ban on black guns was coming) looked to buy an AR in an Orlando gun shop. At that time, the Kel-Tec SU-16’s were priced less than the traditional AR’s he had and was going to get the SU-16C until I saw the SU-16A which he had for $80 less. Then he said, “Hey, if you like folding rifles, check this out” and put a Sub-2000 on the counter. I liked how it folder in half and fit into my backpack with room to spare. I bought it for $300.

      I took it to the range and hated it so I took it back and got the SU-16A instead. Had I known that this stupid Subby would skyrocket in price for the next two years and beyond, I would have bought it and kept it in storage. Meanwhile, the SU-16A was fun to shoot, even for a left-hander like myself, and I was OK with this review until I saw “No recoil” under the “Fun Factor” section.

      I would say that the recoil was on the lighter side, but there definitely was a kick even with PMC .223Rem’s so I don’t know how his”C” model with its less-than-stout butt stock did not produce any felt recoil. Unless he was anesthetized at the time….

  11. The AR 70 uses a short stroke gas piston not attached to the bolt carrier. The Kel-Tec uses a long stroke with piston attached to the carrier.
    SKS use a short stroke
    AKs use a long stroke
    Most piston ARs use a short stroke except PWS

    The SU’s action is compared to the AK because they both use a long stroke. I doubt Kel-Tec did this to “simplify production.” But I’ve never asked them either.

    • Yes, it has standard 1/2x28r threading on the muzzle. When I did the review I wrote: “The Barrel itself is a nice medium contour with a 1;9 right-handed twist and a crowned threaded end that is 1/2×28 and accepts all standard AR-15 muzzle devices like flash hiders, muzzle brakes, and suppressors.”

      You can put on either a direct threaded suppressor or get a mount/quick detach system and use it on the rifle.

      Luis Valdes
      [email protected]

  12. According to this review, the length when folded is 25.5 inches. As far as I know, the ATF wants a tax stamp if a rifle is operable at less than 26 inches overall length. How can anyone acquire one of these without a tax stamp and still be within the graces of the ATF???

    Better question about overall length: once you install any flash suppressor or muzzle break, the overall length of the rifle will be just over 26 inches. How does the ATF view that situation?

    Of factual note: the Kel-Tec website indicates that current models have a 1:7 twist barrel and MSRP is $794.55 … did Kel-Tec produce older models with 1:9 twist barrels?

    • ATF measures from the stock being open all the way. Not folded. Also unless the muzzle device is attached in a permanent manner like a blind pin and weld. They don’t count. The bare muzzle is what is measures.

      But once again, the measuring is done when the stock is open. Same with AKs, ARs, etc….

      Luis Valdes
      [email protected]

    • I think Alpha is something like 1:12, or at least used to be. They went to 1:9 on Charlie, when chrome lining was added.

      • They’re all 1:9 and nitrided now, regardless of the model. The only difference is barrel length and profile, with A being the longest and the thickest, and B being the thinnest.

  13. Plate carrier, bug out bag, active shooter kit, and a 5.56 carbine…. do you live in Fallujah? Or Chicago?

    • You laugh but I am setting up a very similar kit for my car. Side charging AR, plate carrier, and 4 loaded pmags. I’m calling it the get home bag.

      • Let people like AZgunner laugh at being prepared. I can easily picture North Korea or Iran in the near future attacking our electric grid which is WIDE OPEN to physical sabotage, not to mention potential vulnerability to cyber sabotage.

        If that ever happens, people who are prepared like Vhyrus will be having the last laugh.

        • I don’t expect anything to happen, but I live in a heavily populated area and I work 20 miles from my house. On a good day it takes me 30 minutes to get home. If things go pear shaped while I’m at work that 20 miles might as well be 200. If there is an angry and/or desperate mob of people somewhere in that 20 miles my 9mm is not going to cut it.

        • Worse, you could be third party to a mini Berkley Rave Apocalypse – Reginald Denny FTW drive-thru safari, and the cops gas you while you are trying to skirt the action. If you’re going to do body armor, you might as well do a cheaper-ish gas mask.

          Cheaper-ish is what you make of it. Will you have passengers more valuable to you than yourself. Will they be minor-children? Infant(s)?

    • Grew up in Miami. We had the McDuffy Riot, the Miami Superbowl Riot, Hurricane Andrew, and plenty more after that. Bad guys do bad things at the worst time. They don’t do things on your schedule.

      I’m also a LEO and I have a duty to act 24/7/365. I wasn’t in Orlando during the Pulse Nightclub Terror Attack but if such an event happens near me and I’m off duty. I’d rather act than have to run home.

      During the Westgate Mall Terror Attack in Kenya. It was private citizens that rushed in with their privately owned guns to rescue people trapped and injured by the terrorists. It wasn’t the Kenyan Police and Army. That happened much later.

  14. My 70 year old father has one of these and he enjoys shooting it more than either of his ARs . It is very accurate and the recoil is tame for how light the firearm is. He also has a sub2k gen1 for a truck gun, said he’d be more pissed if the su-16c got stolen than the sub2k.

  15. One thing that worked really well for me was to get an “E” model with an M4 style telescoping stock. UTG makes a side folding hinge (TL-K7FAD01) the will fit on the “buffer” tube. That lets you get use any magazine and change it with the stock extended or side folded.

    One of the charms of the gun is its light weight but for those who want additional rail space Red Lion Precision makes a replacement fore grip you can hang lights and what not off of.

  16. interesting and informative review, i would have never considered an su-16 before reading this.

  17. I have one of these 16Charlies – really like it. Put a Leupold AR 1.5-4X scope on the rail, and a good flash hider on the end, and with a 20-rnd mag it fits in a tennis racquet bag – black with a big “WILSON” on the side. Can you say “innocent looking”, boys and girls? Amazingly accurate for such a light, handy rifle. I really like it, and would recommend it to anyone.

  18. I think the biggest problem with SU-16 in 2017 is that the time has left it behind, as George and his minions had no time or inclination to develop the gun. Meanwhile, AR manufacturers spent a lot of effort on innovation. You can get lightweight builds that approach SU’s 5 lbs, you can get short guns, you can get side-folding stocks with piston uppers. This furious activity advanced the AR platform immensely and left SU behind.

    Just as an example, consider what it takes to co-witness a red dot on SU. Either you have to use a Bushnell TRS-25 and drive irons way up, or you have to use a raiser and give up the cheek weld. Back when SU went on the market, people only used scopes and irons — usually not together.

    George’s answer was an attempt to leapfrog everyone with RDB. That is where all of his attention is directed. The SU is only getting decontented. In 2016, Kel-Tec stopped making bolt carriers with the dust cover. Now all guns, including Charlie, come with the flat-sided Alpha bolt carrier. Aftermarket carriers? Now you’re joking. Just another area where AR market caught up and surpassed SU-16.

    • Was just at NRA’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta this past weekend. Kel-Tec still had the SU-16 series and the ‘C’ and ‘CA’ model still had the dust cover and shell deflector. They even had brand new OD green ones on display.

      Kel-Tec isn’t abandoning the SU-16 series. It is far cheaper than the RDB line of guns. Kel-Tec will keep both in production so the consumer has a choice in price.

  19. I have owned one for 2 years. I’ve put over 5000 rounds through it and never had a problem. I’ve done some tailored modifications, and it shoots like a champ. I want another one!

  20. They are great for stealth transport too. With a 30-rd mag in, and the stock folded, you can carry it in a standard tennis-racket bag. You could walk through any neighborhood in america without drawing the attention of the neighbors, etc etc. Rented a house once. A week or two after i moved in made a range trip on a saturday morning, noticed the old busybody across the street watching as i loaded up guns in the truck. Later that night (and several times over the next year) I’d have the police visit me for reports of “criminal behavior” or “drug deals” going on at the house. After about the 2nd time they would just kinda roll their eyes and say hey, and apologize for having to stop by. Since then, i’ve been much more keen on keeping a low profile when it comes to gun ownership. I like that I can carry my SU16C anywhere anytime loaded and ready to shoot, with no-one being the wiser.

  21. Nice review. I had to grin though; I walked by two on the counter at a local shop just last week. They looked fragile. But in fairness I often carry a lil P32 with Buffalo bore +P……so maybe I should take a second look. Maybe the price will get a lil better as they recover costs. But as an old guy it sure is hard to forget the great looking firearms of the past. I’ve seen some great guns, and couldn’t afford them as a young man either. But all these plastic crappers just seem to cost to much for too little that’s even CAD designed….
    I do betcha If Henry made one; it wouldn’t look like an Item from Toy-R-Us.

  22. Great review and very easy to read. I like Kel Tecs and currently own three (SUB2000, PF9, and a P-32 for times I have to carry in deep concealment). I’ve been interested in the SU-16 line for a while, and this really was a well timed article.


  23. I love mine, however, ran into the first issue I’ve had this morning: the plastic rear sight fell off the picatinny rail. Since the mounting screws are also the windage adjustments, now the zero is completely off, and with such a huge rear sight aperture, I am unlikely to get it successfully sighted in at any range beyond 25 yards. Even if I did, it will probably fall off again, and the act of tightening the screws to prevent it will gradually throw off the zero anyway. This being said, at 50 yards I can still put most shots into a person size target, which is about right considering the rear aperture it’s about the size of a AR-15 combat sight. The only modification I have done is to install a PWS DNTC compensator, which I recommend to all owners. The DNTC reduces the recoil to about the same as if I had a buffer tube, and reduces barrel ride enough that the front sight never leaves the area of the target when firing at a standard target at 50 yards. I definitely intend to find one of those micro red dots.

  24. I love mine, however, ran into the first issue I’ve had this morning: the plastic rear sight fell off the picatinny rail. Since the mounting screws are also the windage adjustments, now the zero is completely off, and with such a huge rear sight aperture, I am unlikely to get it successfully sighted in at any range beyond 25 yards. Even if I did, it will probably fall off again, and the act of tightening the screws to prevent it will gradually throw off the zero anyway. This being said, at 50 yards I can still put most shots into a person size target, which is about right considering the rear aperture it’s about the size of a AR-15 combat sight. The only modification I have done is to install a PWS DNTC compensator, which I recommend to all owners. The DNTC reduces the recoil to about the same as if I had a buffer tube, and reduces barrel rise enough that the front sight never leaves the area of the target when firing at a standard target at 50 yards. I definitely intend to find one of those micro red dots.

  25. I’d like to know where you got your MSRP of $535. It’s now the 3rd week of June and their website shows a MSRP of $794.55. That’s a $250 premium over the number you gave 3 months ago. That means they would have had a 50% price increase in the last 12 weeks.

  26. My SU-16C was a fun gun to shoot, until it wasn’t. A little weird with the mental confusion between a modern rifle with a “classic” grip feel. Shooting one day, the receiver broke at the back, locking things up hard. It went back to the factory for major repairs, and now bears a new serial number and dust from living in the safe ever since, just like the other two Kel-tec products that now sit mostly gathering dust, also with new serial numbers. Love the innovation from Kel-tec; not the reliability. Some day it will be a truck gun, but not any time soon.

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