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Last week, RF wondered if pistol-caliber carbines were destined to become the next home-defense shotgun. He made the connection after firing the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 chambered in S&W .40 during my previous test of the the ArmaLite AR-10. RF was amazed at the Kel-Tec’s simplicity, low recoil and tremendous accuracy. While I’m not sure if his theory is an application too far for handgun caliber rifles, this much is true: The Kel-Tec Sub-200 is a breakthrough piece that offers a little something for everyone, and a lot of something for those who “get it.” Kel-Tec has hit another one out of the park.

How Swede It Is



Kel-Tec is yet another American firearms success story. After making his gun-designer bones for foreign firms, Swede George Kellgren landed in the Sunshine State to work for Swedish subsidiary Intratec, makers of the infamous TEC-9. In 1991, Kellgren lived the dream, founding Kel-Tec CNC Industries in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Since 1995, his baby’s been manufacturing small, affordable semi-auto pistols, expanding to carbines and rifles in 9mm, 40 S&W and 5.56mm (amongst others).

According to the ATF, Kel-Tec is now the third largest handgun maker in the US.

The Kel-Tec Sub2000 (or Sub2K) is Kellgren’s second attempt at the folding carbine concept. The company pulled the original Sub-9 folding carbine, introduced by Kel-Tec in the mid-90s, after only a few years. Cost, production and reliability concerns stunted sales and killed margins.

As its name implies, Kel-Tec introduced the replacement Sub2K carbine at the turn of the millennium as a “new-and-improved” version of the Sub-9. It’s equipped with a space-age polymer receiver that requires significantly less tooling than the original steel version. Kellgren’s mob sent it to market with a significant reduction in the weapon’s price tag: About half of the former Sub-9’s MSRP $700-to-$800 price tag.

Kel-Tec’s designers kept the original’s Sub-9’s cheap(ish)-to-shoot 9mm parabellum chambering. The newbie Sub2K’s 16.1 inch barrel adds a lot of potency. Bullets head downrange like a scalded rabbit, delivering the impact of a hot .357 magnum round. Yet another appealing aspect of the design: It’s fed by a variety of popular high-capacity pistol-round magazines including Smith & Wesson M&P, Sig Sauer P226, Beretta 92 or Beretta 96, and Glock 17, Glock 19, Glock 22, or Glock 23.

The Sub-2K 9mm was an immediate success. With a price point of anywhere from $325-to-$375, it was hard to keep 9mm Sub2Ks on the shelves at most gun shops and their scarcity and long order waiting periods made them collectors items and a “cult gun” right from the get-go. Just take one to a range anywhere in the USA, unpack it and it’s only a matter of time before you get a gaggle of curious onlookers all wanting to check it out up close and personal.



What’s even more impressive: Most folks can hit what they are aiming at with this folding carbine. A lot more so than they could with a handgun sporting a four- or five-inch barrel chambered for the same round.

In the past decade, Kel-Tec’s manufactured thousands of these potent and portable little 9mm carbines. The original Sub2K was a companion piece to my Glock 17L, employing the Glock 17 and G33 hi-cap mags. Over  eight years, I put 5,000+ rounds through the Kel-Tec’s tube with nary a hiccup. I eventually sold the gun to a friend who was looking for a reliable home or self-defense weapon, and waited for the more potent 40-cal version to arrive.

Nuts & Bolts

The Sub2K tips the scales at only 4 pounds, unloaded. It’s a blowback operated, semi-automatic firearm. Its operating spring is located within the tubular stock. The receiver is made of an impact modified glass reinforced Zytel. The front end houses a hinge block holding the barrel and the rear site. This block is securely locked in place by a swiveling trigger guard. The receiver rigidly attaches to the stock by multiple lugs. The bottom of the receiver forms the pistol grip, also accepting different magazines according to the version specified. The receiver also houses the firing mechanism.

The 4130 ordinance steel barrel has a spring-loaded collar to ensure an accurate lock between the receiver and the polymer forend. The tubular steel stock contains the bolt and is terminated by the polymer buttstock. The stock also includes a single point sling loop attachment, a slot for adding a nylon sling loop, and a Picatinny rail on the bottom. The heavy duty two-piece steel bolt holds the firing pin, the extractor and has the charging handle on the bottom. A captive guide recoil spring with buffer actuates the bolt.

The firing mechanism is a conventional single action. It has a positive disconnector: a push-bolt safety that blocks the sear and disengages the trigger bar. The hardened steel ejector is internal. This design, with its long bolt travel, allows for smooth and simple operation and enhanced reliability.

Folding Money



The carbine’s main distinguishing characteristic: It folds in half. It’s an enormous advantage over other handgun-chambered carbines. In terms of storage, the Sub2K-40 doesn’t require a full-sized gun case or gun safe. It’ll tuck away within easy reach for HD owners. You never knew how bulky your rifles were to transport until you put a Sub2K in your car’s trunk. And concealment? Let’s put it this way: Don’t tell the bad guys.

The weapon breaks apart and pivots at the centerline. To fold, you pull downwards on the trigger guard and swing the barrel assembly back over the top of the carbine. A latch in the buttstock secures to the front-sight housing. For added safety, you can lock the gun in the folded position. The Sub2K cannot be fired when folded.



Takedown for basic cleaning is simple. Just push out the stock pin about ¾ of the way until the buffer is free to be removed. Then pull the bolt back by the operating handle and catch the recoil spring. Pull the operating handle out and downwards from its recess in the bolt. The two-piece bolt slides out. You can separate the two bolt components for more efficient cleaning. Further disassembly is not required.

To reassemble, just reverse this process and make sure that you don’t have any extra parts lying on your workbench. Leave the hammer back and the safety on during the disassembly and reassembly process. If you do not follow this one simple rule, it will be very challenging to put the pieces back together again (sort of like Humpty Dumpty).

Reach Out and Touch Someone

When sending rounds downrange, the 9mm Sub2K has an effective reach of more than 100 yards. At distances up to approximately 50 yards, a standard 115-grain FMJ 9mm bullet approaches the muzzle velocity and impact energy of a .357 magnum round fired at point blank range. At 200 yards downrange, the Sub2K’s 9mm round’s velocity approximates that of a .380 Auto’s muzzle velocity.

The 40-cal version of the Sub2K is an even more potent carbine, sending a 180-grain projectile downrange at over 1,200 fps. That gives the .40-Cal Sub2K a lot more knockdown punch than the 9mm version, approaching .41-Magnum ballistics. With that 16.1-inch barrel and extended sight radius, most shooters can continue to pour rounds accurately into whatever target they are aiming at time after time at distances ranging from 5 to 50 yards with minimal practice. It’s a “plus” weapon right out of the pizza box.

Let’s Dance

Having picked up a Parkerized version of the Sub2000-40G (Glock) earlier this year, I was anxious to get it sighted in and to see what she could do at the range. The good folks at Winchester supplied the ammunition for our field test. My plan: Keep it simple, narrowing our 40 S&W loads to 100 rounds each of plain-vanilla Winchester White Box 165-grain FMJTC, 180-grain FMJTC and 180-grain HP ammo, just like the economy-priced stuff you can get at Walmarts and your local gun shop.



The good news: After popping the caps on all 300-rounds, absolutely each and every one went “boom.” The Kel-Tec fed them reliably from a quartet of pre-ban Glock 22 15-round hi-cap mags in my inventory. While all three flavors of 40-cal ammo produced decent groups at both 25 and 50-yards, the 180-grain FMJTC (full-metal-jacket truncated cone) seemed to produce the tightest groups — by a hair — over the other two competitors.

If you have some basic shooting skills, you should expect consistent 1.5-to-2 inch groups shooting offhand at 25 yards, and 3- to 4-inch groups at 50 yards. For a plinker that shoots pistol ammo with rudimentary sights (the front is adjustable for both windage and elevation) and folds in half, this is pretty good shooting. A LOT better than the average person could accomplish with a pistol shooting the same ammo.



Just for the heck of it, I entered an uber-competitive pistol carbine match at a local range a few months back (in June). I did the whole “run and gun” thing in the “factory stock” category, putting over 150-rounds down the tube during the five-stage match. Just like the earlier range session, the Kel-Tec Sub2K-40 did it’s thing with 100 percent reliability. the Sub2K-40 didn’t miss a beat, firing first time and every time with zero jams, malfunctions or problems of any kind.

I was mildly amused at the steel-popper phase of the competition, where many of the 9mm shooters had to send multiple rounds downrange to knock down their targets, losing time and compromising their planned reload schedule. The Sub2K’s 40-cal ammo dropped the plates and poppers with a resounding metallic snap — further testimony to the potency of the 40 S&W round accelerated by a 16.1-inch barrel. If you hit it, it will fall.



When the smoke cleared, I placed in the upper third of the competitors — with a less-than-$400, made-in-USA weapon.


The Kel-Tec Sub2K-40 is the perfect “companion” gun for .40-caliber Glocks, Beretta Model 96, Sig-Sauer P226 and Smith & Wesson model 4006 .40-cal pistols (whose mags match-up with the Kel-Tec carbine). Just about everyone who shoots this handy little carbine for the first time loves it. Why wouldn’t they? It’s fun to shoot! Recoil is minimal while that 16.1-inch barrel assures phenomenal accuracy.

The gun’s light weight and fold-in-half portability make this carbine unique amongst its peer group. There’s nothing else like it on the market that can do the same things at the same affordable price. At $350-to-$375 retail with a lifetime warranty (to the original owner), you really can’t go wrong. AND you don’t need a pistol permit to buy it.

Whether or not the Kel-tec Sub-2000 in .40-caliber is the perfect Home-D gun is a question for another day. Judged by its own merits, what’s not to love?

SPECIFICATIONS – Kel-Tec Sub-2000 .40 (Gen 1):

Weight: 4 pounds

Overall Length Open: 31 inches

Overall Length Folded: 16.5 inches

Height Folded: 7 inches

Width: 2 inches

Barrel Length: 16.1 inches

Sights: Standard AR-15, (front sight), Pop-up aperture (rear sight)

Sight Radius: 14.5 inches

Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds, supplied (also uses hi-cap mags)

RATINGS (Out of FIve)

Style * * * *

Stylish it’s not. A Beretta CX4 has all the looks, But sometimes ugly is beautiful, especially when it’s functional.

Ergonomics (carry) * * * * 1/2

What’s not to like? It’s light at under four pounds, folds in half and you can hook up a single-point sling to carry in under your arm.

Ergonomics (firing) * * * 1/2

It’s a little challenging to center the front sight with the somewhat poor cheek weld, but you’ll get used to it. Technically, the front sight is “adjustable,” but it’s a real PITA. (Plan on adding a red dot ASAP). Very manageable recoil — way more than a 12-gauge and further reach too.

Reliability * * * * *

Shot everything I fed it, including steel case wolf, aluminum case CCI (not recommended) and 500 rounds of Winchester 180-grain FMJTC and HPs.

Customize This * * * *

Kel-Tec makes an interesting assortment of aftermarket parts like a low-pro forend, stock extension, rail attachments, etc.

Overall Rating * * * * 1/2

It’s ugly, but it sure can shoot straight. The “perfect” SHTF weapon, truck gun and survival tool, especially in hard hitting 40-cal.

More from The Truth About Guns:

New From Kel-Tec: Gen2 Sub-2000 and CMR-30

My First Pistol And Why I Bought It: The Beretta 92

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Remington 700

Gun Review: 11 Top Pistol Caliber Carbine Choices

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  1. Wow! It's under $400, it reliably shoots cheap and readily available ammo, and it's accurate, lightweight and compact? As a defensive/survival carbine, this sounds almost perfect in my book.

    And (as if this gun weren't already a bargain) you wouldn't necessarily have to use premium defensive ammunition in it, although you'd probably want to. When a 180-grain, .40 inch bullet goes 1,200 feet per second it causes beaucoups of damage whether it expands or not. If you did splurge on the 180-grain JHPs, this gun could reliably (if not legally) harvest medium-sized game at close ranges. That's a defensive/survival carbine par excellance.

    Does the 9mm version accept Ruger magazines??? On the other hand, don't answer; my wife would kill me if I brought home *another* stray gun this year…

    • Chris-

      To my knowledge, the Kel-Tec Sub2K-40 only accepts Glock, Beretta, Sig-Sauer and S&W pistol mags (each is a different version of the carbine that must be ordered accordingly). As you so astutely observed, it is a "perfect" survival weapon that has more reach than your typical shotgun or pistol…but not as much as an AR-10 or AR-15. The folding stock is a major plus for portability and I like the 40-cal edition twice as much as my old 9mm flavor due to the additional downrange potential. Plus, the price is right and so is that great L/T warranty. It's a total "can't miss" if you need something a little stronger and straighter shooting than a handgun that shoots handgun ammo. Glad you found the article useful and informative.



    • The only thing I would add to the review is a warning for those with a beard or long mustache: The bolt handle moving back and forth next to your cheek can grab your face fuzz and rip out a few chunks. The solution is a “beard guard”. Take a piece of fairly stout but flexible black plastic (a throw away paint-roller tray – trim size – works well), and cut out a shield-shaped piece to tape to the round buttstock tube. Use electricians tape in front of and behind the bolt handle opening, with the plastic shield on the “face side” of the tube. The shield will have two extensions [same size as the tube] front and back to tape to the tube, with a wider central portion in the middle to keep your fuzz out of the bolt op handle opening. Easier to figure out with a gun in hand than to describe.

  2. Capt John

    Wow! Compact and with a punch ands accuracy at 50 yds. Would be perfect for security at home or aboard my boat.

    Question: no permit required to buy the gun but do I need a permit to buy the ammo?

    Kevin Falvey

    • Kevin-

      You can get the 40-cal ammo anywhere online and at most local retail outlets. The only place I've had a problem with getting 40-cal ammo is LI based Wal-Mart stores, who seem to have an inane policy of needing to see a pistol permit to buy it, even though it is for a carbine. In contrast, Dicks and Sports Authority don't seem to have a problem with it.


    • I purchased the aftermarket cheek guard, just for use in colder times of the year. I also purchased a recoil dampener, which keeps you from being able to open the action and lock it. Instead, at the range, I place a plug in the action. Pulling it back will chamber a round, but the recoil that it takes away allows you to put more on target without adjustment, just plainly: quicker. Oh, I did put the small picatinny rail for a flashlight up front which I do not regret at all.

      Perfect coyote gun… actually a perfect trunk gun too. I think this is what a lot of the deputies around here carry who aren’t all crazy AR-15 shooters. Mine is in the Glock 22 (40 cal). and it is a straight fun gun for target shooting. I am sure it’d be effective in a pinch in a higher danger situation. This and a Taurus Judge would make the ultimate indoor/outdoor defense combo.

      • Where do you get shots at coyotes inside 200 yards? I am happy shooting them running at 350 yards. I have called a few up close enough and some come out an follow a tractor to get mice when I plow up a nest that were close enough to shoot with a Sub 2000.

        I have never had a coyote follow a tractor when I had a gun. I usually carried a gun when I drove a tractor. It makes wounder about how smart coyotes are.

        “We can’t control the wind, but we do set the sails.”

  3. Yet another winner from the Capt! I really want to go out and buy one soon.

    I can’t wait to meet up with him at our local stomping grounds next week for some new product testing and to alleviate a little stress from home improvement hell.

  4. Very high tech.I though K-Tel made sound alike records.

    I wish I had the $s to play with those toys but as for now, I'll be counting on the Alabama National Guard, Baldwin County Sherriffs Dept., and USCG for my safety.

    I would like to play student again someday.

  5. For the 9mm market, feed it +P or +P+ aLLLLLLLL DAY, 147gr. HP RANGER or HYDRA-SHOK's for MAX. IMPACT!! Destroys targets, makes a .357 look wimpy! YOW!! Needs a good RED DOT or HOLO optics system, tho. cant wait till they start shipping the new Picatinny Rail Forend. : )

  6. I have a Sub2000 and I like it. I think it is a fun firearm.

    I would not trust it for shtf and feel like calling it the "perfect" shtf firearm is more than a stretch.

    • Why would you not trust it for SHTF?

      I ask because I am seriously considering buying one for exactly that purpose. My Henry AR-7 isn’t accurate enough to be good for much more than wasting excess (yeah, right) .22 ammo (or maybe my CZ-455 has me spoiled?) and none of my rifles will fit inside my backpack. I CCL a 9mm that would work well enough for close in dispute resolution, but would like a semi-concealable (fits in backpack) mid-range hole puncher.

      So, a folding 9mm carbine might be just what the doctor ordered for those shtf / E&E blues.

      • I am going to start looking for one. They are tough to find but places like Gun
        or guns of America has them for either bid or buy now. I will pay more for the gun, but I will say, I am beginning to reload both 30.06 and 40 cal ammo. I have a marlin 795 22 lr sitting in the corner begging to be shot. However, 22 ammo is almost non-existent right now.
        I thought why not get something I can shoot 40 cal out of. This is perfect. I considered a high point that shoots 40 cal, but its weight is too great and it is not concealable like this gun.

  7. Want a SUB2000 on steroids? Military-grade tough! Boringly-accurate & reliable, but for not much more than the SUB2000 (all things considered)? Do urself a favor: Try the THUREON DEFENSE 9mm Carbine! []

    I HAVE BOTH! Love the SUB2000 but the THUREON sits next to 'my' bed, hunter-ready! strictly FYI.

    • So I went and checked that link out. Two problems I see with that unit for SHTF.

      It does not fold for easy stashing

      It uses Uzi mags that are already expensive, AND they're modified at that. I'd rather have a carbine that took a standard hi-cap pistol mag that interchanged with my sidearm, than have to find unicorn rare Uzi mags and then cut them up or send them off at a cost of $15 a mag to the Thureon folks to be modified.

      And my last complaint, price, Thureon lists their 9mm at $659.99, the Kel-Tec can be had for much less, leaving money for ammo and magazines.

  8. Reply to “GR8GUY”

    The average Muzzle energy for the .357 magnums is around 550’s ft/lbs and can top out at over 750 ft/lbs

    There are no official specs for “+P+” and it is usually just used as a marketing gimmick. Tests have shown that many +P+ are actually weaker than good +P cartridges.

    The average energy for 9mm +P or +P+ is around 450 ft/lbs, even the hottest 9mm +P or +P+ was just over 500 ft/lbs which is not even close the average energy of all .357 magnums.

    So to say 9mm +p+ makes the .357 look wimpy is a VERY big exaggeration. I recommend, moving to 10mm if you want some good power in a semi-auto or moving the time tested and proven 75+ year old .357 magnum technology.

    By the way I am not saying the 9mm is a bad cartridge, it definitely has its place. They are great and fairly inexpensive for plinking and for people who cannot control a more powerful cartridge. Many people like myself believe a person should carry the cartridge with the most power they can comfortably control. If for you that is a 9mm then it is the best cartridge for you.

  9. While I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of Kel-tec’s pistols, Kel-tec’s rifles are another story altogether. Being the owner of a 9mm Sub2000, and having owned a Kel-tec SU-16A, I can attest to the fact that they’re extremely reliable, surprisingly accurate, and easy to shoot well. Oh, and they’re fun, too! I can quickly pick off soda cans at 50 yards all day long, without hardly trying.

    It really is an almost perfect survival, home defense or “trunk” gun.

  10. I have a love for all things Kel Tec, even their knives! I anxiously await their bullpup shotgun, and have a badass setup on my plr-16 that includes a green laser, back up red laser and a Blackhawk Gladius flashlight. Brownells has an excellent harmonic muzzle brake which makes life easier-be sure to use loctite as its vicious blast will loosen them up otherwise! I am on the fence over the sub 2000 or a Beretta carbine-I have a case of true NATO pressure 9mm +P+ JHP. I demand 100% reliability and want to KNOW which can handle the +P+ pounding. I grew up suffering NINE break ins as a kid and had my first shootout at 14 years old. I stopped an attempted home invasion during my first marriage with my Remington 870. It’s too late in the middle of the night to find out you bought the wrong weapon! Thanks for the review, knowledge shared is knowledge gained! Mike Perrine

  11. Hey I love this gun! Problem is I am only 18, so I can buy the gun but not the ammo in Colorado. Any suggestions?

      • Honestly, I am not an expert, but I never heard of an under 21 suspect being arrested for only possessing pistol ammo. Do like I did as a young Marine and have a relative buy it.

  12. Just spoke with a nice lady in Sales at the Kel-Tec factory. She says the Sub2000-9mm can take either Glock magazines or, with the installation of an appropriate magazine catch provided free of charge by the company, Beretta, S+W or Sig magazines. This means that if you purchased the Glock-mag variant, you can reconsider your decision and try some of those fine MagTech “18-rounds-in-a-15-round-size” products.

    • Better yet-Pro Mag makes 18, 20 and 32 rounders in the 9mm Beretta flavor, and both Scherrer and Glock make 33 round 9mm mags. They are also slightly-barely-less capacity available in .40 S&W. I have 8 32-rounders for my Beretta 9mm Cx4 carbine-with the model 92 magazine option, not the Storm magazine option.

      • With all due respect (and I am a firearms instructor, so I see a lot of guns) I have never owned or seen a ProMag magazine that has worked properly. It is an open joke at our training facility; are they just fakes or poorly made? The 32 round mag for the Beretta M9/92 comes the closest to working, but the spring is entirely too weak. Now that Beretta sells a 30 round mag for the CX4 Storm (which is a Beretta M9/92 magazine) they work in the 9mm Sub2K perfectly and they are $39.00. Beretta also sell them for the Beretta 96 (40 caliber) that fit the Beretta 40 caliber Sub2K,, They are great magazines that actually work. If you have a ProMag magazine of any type that actually functions properly, I would love to buy it and make a video to put up on our training center’s web site.
        Stores love to sell ProMags because there is a huge mark up.on them.

  13. I purchased the Sub2000 9mm two weeks ago in the Glock mag version with two 33 round clips. The cost with two 33 round clips and the weapon was $457.63. After firing over 1500 rounds of “expired ammunition” in two weeks, the gun has never jammed or misfired. I bought this to have fun with and because the ammo is much cheaper to shoot than the 40 with fewer rounds of free ammo available. I can tell you, that if you decided to use the Sub2000 as a personal defense weapon in the 9mm, you can expect excellent accuracy with the cheap standard sighting. At 20 yards, you can barely see the remaining center of standard law enforcement bowling pin target after firing 33 rounds. If you like, it looks like the manufacturer sells a single rail attachment for the underside for light or laser. If you want to use this for personal home defense, buy the lower rail and a powerful light. If you want to have fun, spend the money for the new forend with rails ($100 upper and lower) and add whatever you want. The extended barrel on the 9mm is so much more powerful than a standard handgun round, that it easily compares to the 357 magnum handgun round at 25 yards, but the accuracy is phenomenal. I am sure the 40 will give you the same result if it is made the same. Either round is going to knock down a home intruder when the usual shot is less than 6 yards anyway, and usually within 10 feet.


  14. I bought a new 9mm Sub 2000 (Beretta) at a local gunshow in Augusta ,GA last year for $300 plus tax. I was so excited to be able to get one that I didn’t even ask about which mag it took. The first time I took it out I shot 100 rounds WWB ball (no hiccups), 100 rounds Remington UMC ball (1 stovepipe). After 7 stoppages in first 25 rounds of PMC 115 grain ball I stopped trying it. What a lot of fun. The gun is easily more accurate than I am. Barrel gets a little warm but nothing like 5.56 NATO. Recoil almost unnoticeable and I’m a wimp. Was using three factory Keltec 10 shot mags which fed perfectly. Thinking about a Leopold Deltapoint sight for it, but that costs more than the gun. I’ve ordered a Mec-Gar 20 round mag for a Beretta 92f. We’ll see how that works. Thanks for the review.

  15. I am considering the Sub 2000 and the Cx4. Why does the Cx4 cost twice as much as the Sub 2000 to purchase… $375 vs $780? Is it the quality of the steel (4130 vs 4140) or does one come with a chrome lined barrel and the other not?

    • CX4 vs Sub2000 –

      Having owned both, I definitely prefer the CX4.

      The Sub2000 is crude, mine had a front sight housing that was offset… so I had to move the front blade all the way over to make it shoot straight. It looked even worse like this, but, in defense to the gun it does shoot straight.
      The plastic body on the Sub2k also feel cheap and there is no attention to detail, plastic edges are sharp there is no finish whatsoever. It’s a gun to go bang. It almost feels like a disposable gun. I do love the weight and folding ability though.

      The CX4 is quite the opposite. The plastic frame is thick everywhere. It’s polished presentation (it even has soft rubber pieces sandwiched between plastic parts to ensure no-snag areas). The sight are much nicer. The barrel is chrome-lined.

      Basically the CX4 is something you could show off and be proud of and twice the cost of the Sub2k which works but is very crude and ugly.

      Hope that helps.

    • I have one of the first generation Hi-Point 9mm carbines. The option for the after-market stock at the time for it makes the gun look extremely similar to a CX4. It is fun, like the Sub2k (mine is the 40/Glock)… both shoot straight.

  16. I have one 9mm and one .40 of the SUB2000 with matching S&W pistols. Since I have tired eyes, 50-100 yards is all that I need. And they do that very well, thank you. If I need long-range, a scoped 30.06 fills the bill nicely.

  17. GHOST GUNS …
    Do these Kel Tec sub2k models actually exist ?
    Know one seems to have any and have not had any for months –
    Kel Tec seems to be only manufacturing a limited number of these guns and back orders are now off the chart, no one can get them. I am now seeing where dealers are pricing these weapons at $500 or more because of the price and demand situation, when and if they can get them. There are better weapons for less –

  18. I just bought a KelTec S2K in 9mm Glock new for $300. The shop had a ton of them for that price. In 9mm and .40.

  19. In sniper mode with a bolt action I carry this 4 lb sub2000 9mm in a backpack for fire power out to 125 yards if our situation goes south. My spotter carrys a scoped FAL.

  20. There are some SUB2000 stock extensions on ebay. They are very hard to find. This is the only place that I have found them.

  21. Ive always been interested in the ‘strange and unusual’ in the gun world but havent purchased my own yet (me and the misses didnt come of legal age until recently). Ive been shopping around for a good Home Defense/at the range with the guys gun and am heavily considering the s2k .40. Anybody have other weapons theyd like to weigh in with for consideration?

    • I chose a Saiga .410 semi-auto for HD (to join -our- 9mm pistols … btw make sure your ‘second’ is on-board enough to practice with the firearm – both live and dry firing – and rehearse in-the-home drills. Mine thought I was joking about that until I took her to the range, emptied the pistols, loaded a couple snap caps and started walking her through some drills. We were there almost 4 hours and never fired a single live round … and she thoroughly enjoyed it.).

      In the event of a home invasion, I doubt if I’ll have the time to grab my hearing protectors, so the less boom there is to go with the bang, the better for my hearing. The longest shot in my home is 28 feet. At that range, PDX-1, 000 buck and #4 buck all make a vivid impression on a sheet of plywood at just about the point of aim. I keep the magazines loaded with a mix of all three because the 3″ PDX-1 is too long to fit all the way into the magazine (but chambers just fine from the top position).

      My wife won’t go anywhere near a 12 gauge, or even a 20 gauge … but whenever I suggest we take the shotgun to the range, she’s in the van before I can get the shotgun out of the house!

      Then I have to get her out of the seat to help me carry the targets, any other guns we might be shooting that day and the matching ammo.

      Hey, I do all the ammo and gun buying … if she’s gonna shoot, she’s gotta help carry. :~)

  22. Erick Guidry !! where did you purchase your S2K ???
    I relly want one too !!! I need the nme and location of the store … thanks

    • DD’s Ranch in New York has .40 in stock. Just ordered mine last week. they said they had about 15. They also have California Compliant ones too. (i live in California; bullet button, stock extension, and 10 round mags).

  23. I just purchased the .40 cal version at Shooter’s Supply in Loveland OH two days ago for $300 and then took it straight to the range. It worked perfectly and was a lot of fun! I just ordered the buffer cylinder, bolt tube cover and operating handle cover from and plan to install them today. Next, I’m putting the Kel Tec gen 2 quad rail forend on it with an Ultradot Pan AV red dot…..should be even more fun with these mods.

    • Blake, where did you find this for $200? I’m on the fence, but at $200ish that’s too cheap to not just give it a try.

  24. I recently purchased two new Kel Tec Sub 2000 9mm guns and matched them up with 33-round factory Glock magazines that my sons and I use regularly with our Glock 17s . Anyway, both Kel Tecs jammed frequently with the spent bullet casings.

    Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

    • Fresh out of the box my S2k wasn’t very reliable. I found it to feed more reliably the more rounds i put thru it. Seems like a good 500 rounds before it really started shooting. Not only that but the gun seems to like to run wet. A good dripping coat of SLiP 2000 EWL on the bolt seems to make a big difference.

      Also the gun seems to like heavier grain ammo. I recommend 147gr for 9mm and 180gr for 40sw.

    • Norm the reason your sub 2k is having that problem is because your using the korean version of mag which looks the same as the factory glock mag but with all the problems if you use the same mag in the glock handgun it will work but the mag sticks when you press the release…so order yourself a fatory glock mag and you problem will be solved…..

  25. I bought my Sub 2K in 9mm S&W because I have a dozen S&W factory mags for my Mod 59. The dealer assured me that was the mag the gun was made for. My mags don’t lock in place. They fall out when you move the gun or fire it. I spoke to Kel-Tec, they said send it to them for a fix. I did and got the gun back WITH EXACTLY THE SAME PROBLEM! Obviously Kel-Tec can’t/won’t try to fix their problems. Anyone have a possible solution?

    • Try a Beretta mag, however if for sure its a S&W 59 mag, don’t waste your time with ANY aftermarket mag.

      Probably wouldn’t hurt to see if a Glock magazine fits and feeds either…

  26. I have had my Sub2k 40G for a year or more, and until I started building ARs it was my truck gun. A very fun gun to shoot with, and to ‘trick out’. Mine now has an AR collapsible over the Sub2K tube a rail and a pressed-on A2 birdcage. I would love a 9mm barrel as I carry all Glock ‘flavors’. I’d love to see what the Sub2k could do in .357 SIG out of a 16″ barrel.

  27. Just payed for my kel tec sub 2000 and the store told me i have to wait the atf put a delay on it, could it be i have purchased to many firearms in a short period of time? Well maybe we will see

  28. Fresh out of the box I found the Kel-Tec S2K40 had a little more kick than I expected. At first the gun wasn’t very reliable. It seems to feed alot more reliably the more rounds I put thru it, and it likes lots of lube. Looks like after about a good 500rds it breaks in good, and run wet on Slip 2000 EWL lube. Also I found it favored heavier 180gr .40sw ammo.

  29. I have First Edition Sub 2000 Glock version 40cal. that I acquired back in 2004. This ugly plastic thing is a GREAT plinker, it’s never jammed up or miss fed a round after 1000 rounds of all types of ammo.
    Just ordered a really cool 4 rail and Front sight setup from RED LION PRECISION.
    Check them out.
    Love my Sub 2000, get one if you can.

  30. I did a mod up job on my KT 40 cal. Cut half of the plastic handguard off and mounted two ‘shotgun tri-rails and a quad rail in front. Allows for falshlight, laser and a vertical foregrip if I wanted one, which I don’t. Also bought and use a Remington rubber rifle buttpad which slips on and off easily and holds my little battery backups.

    The Korean hi cap Glock style mags will work in the gun nicely if you sand the sides down to allow the rounds to ‘spread the innards’. This is how the Glock mags work so reliably.

    • I’m having trouble with jambs with aftermarket hi-cap mags. When you said “sand the mags” do you mean actually take off enough material to make the “walls” thinner. Handsand, belt or sanding table? Hope to hear from you. R.T. Morse

  31. Looking for accessories to trick out my Kel-Tec Sub2000 .40

    Got some, need some others.

  32. Ordered a .40 cal from Gander Mountain this past early April, and after checking today, 3 May, they indicated there was roughly a 9 month waiting period. When I placed the order in April, they initially indicated approximately a 2 to 3 month waiting period. What gives??? Do various regions of the country have a higher priority than others??? I would like to have this in my inventory especially since I am a deputy with the county sheriff’s office, and this would be a nice backup addition to our Glock 40’s. Any suggestions.

  33. Theh should make a .45acp version that takes glock or 1911 mags I’d buy that one, but I don’t like 9mm out of a handgun and I wouldn’t get anything besides this in 40 and I like to keep standardized ammunition.

    • I agree w/ 45 cal comment. I did end up buying the 40 cal Glock version simply because I bought a M & P 40 cal pistol. The pistol was on the suggestion of a sheriff’s deputy where their ‘issued’ side arm is the M & P in 40 cal. I’m am pleased with both: the Kel-Tec sub 2000 in 40 cal AND the M & P in 40 cal. I still would like a sub 2000 in 45……

  34. i’d like to get a keltec sub2000 but some people say its not as good and others say its amazing…which side do i go with???? please help

  35. i’d like to get a keltec sub2000 but some people say it isn’t as good and others say it’s amazing…which side do i go with???? please help

  36. Still VERY new to the field of weapons; which is a better gun to search for, the 40 cal or the 9mm?

    • I don’t think one is actually better than the other. It all depends on what you want. I had a Glock in .40 cal and stumbled across the S2K in .40 so I bought it. The 40 has more power and the ammo is a bit more costly than the 9 but what sold me was the fact my Glock mags would fit the S2K. Personally, I say, go for the power factor, you will be glad you did.

  37. I recently bought the .40 cal version and have not had a lick of trouble with it. Though I have a MAK-90 for the home, the .40 cal is best for inside the home should I have to touch it off there. I found Remington 180 GN JHP flies real well but the S2K will eat just about anything I feed it. This carbine compliments my Model 35 Glock so the package will do for the WROL / SHTF situations.

    • I found a Kel Tec Sub 2000 .40 cal for $375.00 at B&B Pawn in Gadsden, Alabama. It was brand new hanging on the wall. Still there as of this writing, 9/16/12

  38. I’ve been trying to find a KEL TEC Sub 2000 9 mm since last April. Finally gave up ! A couple of days ago, I went into my local Gun Shop and I about passed out because on the counter was a New Sub 2000 40 Cal in the box . I asked “how long have you had this” ? I was told it had been in the store about 15 minutes and they had just marked the price and set it on the counter. I took it out of the box and then the other customers in the store came over to see what all the fuss was about. Needless to say I bought it. If I had not, the other customers would have. They are hard to find new and this was the 3 RD KEL TEC that the dealer has received in 15 months. The Dealer said he could have put it on the Internet for more money but would rather take care of his own customers first. The Dealer said that he had a bet with his co workers that the the first customer in the store that saw this Sub 200 would buy it. He was right because I did ! Am I excited ? You bet that I am.

    • Hey Doc.
      I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the performance of the Sub2K in .40 cal. I have read some guys have had problems until the guns are broken in, just don’t feed it Blazers with aluminum cartridges.

      For mine, I bought it used and have since put a lot of lead down range without a single issue. Mine has the Glock handle which takes 10, 15, 22 round magazines, couldn’t be happier.

      When it hits the fan, you will be able to bug out or survive in place without worrying about the S2K laying down on you. Even though it is a good little carbine I would suggest a back up. Any of the Glocks in the same caliber would be a good idea. I like that the magazines interchange, a Glock 22 or 35 Generation 3 is a very good back up. Take care. Dave

  39. Bought the 9mm version because it interesting. I keep it in my bug out bag with a Glock 17. Thousands of rounds and no hickups. Awesome gun. Easy 4 to 6 inch pattern at 100 yards. Looking for another to be a companion to my wifes Glock 26 in her bugout bag. Glock 17, Glock 26 and Sub2K can all use Glock 17 mags. Makes things real simple.

  40. One thing of note is that if you can find the version that takes S&W mags, it will also happily take CZ 75 mags – stock, MecGar, whatever. So if you want a carbine to pair with your CZ, this is it.

    Now finding one may be tricky (I’ve got mine used). However, the 92 and SIG versions can be easily converted to S&W. The most common Glock17 version is, unfortunately, not so convertible.

  41. It’s too bad these things go for $700 here in Canada… The price point in the states is what makes it attractive.

    • OMG, from your use of the word explode I’m assuming this happened while shooting it. Was it a 9mm or 40 caliber model? I have an original Sub 9 and 2 sub 2000’s all 9mm using S&W mags; I’m going to be keeping an eye on the Sub 2K’s for stress cracking.

  42. The article says it best! The warranty is great. I had trouble with the feed ramp and they replaced the entire gun. Many rounds thru the new .40 S&W cal. no issues. Shoots straight and lot of fun. Great for back packers.

  43. Sucks that these are now going for 100-150 more than they were a couple years ago and they are hard as hell to find locally. Still plan on getting one in G22 40S&W, just waiting for a good deal.

    • What really sucks is that used ones are not hard to find but they are generally worthless because some shade tree parts changer that thinks he’s a gunsmith “polished the feed ramp” instead of just going through the normal 300-500 round break-in. I know a few guys that have bought used ones that were absolutely ruined due to the fine finishing work on the feed ramp that was unnecessary.

      I’d be glad to pay a little more for a NIB Keltec Sub2000 that uses Glock mags. Caliber doesn’t matter to me. The problem is, the ones on Gun Broker that are listed as NIB are really LNIB if you read the fine print. I mean does anyone really believe that “I opened it but never shot it. It’s been laying around for a couple of years so I’m selling it.” Hogwash if you ask me.

      I think they are damn nice guns for what they are. I’d gladly pay up to $600 for one that is really NIB and not been messed with. Hell if I could find them I’d buy one of each caliber.


      • You’re in luck Pudd’Head, and everyone else who comes on TTAG wondering why the truth is five years behind the times and what’s it gpoi9ng tpo take to get them current with the 21st Century.

        Kel-Tec has a Gen 2 40SW that is sup[ereior to their original offereing in every way. They take Glock 22/23 mahgs and can be hads rom $339 to $399 on Gunbroker. Oh, thre will be those pricing them higher – a lot hotger – to which you are tempted to say, “No f***king way.”
        : less supply of 9’s + greater demands
        It seems that the 9mm are going for $100 to $200 more thanks for supply & demand for them + less demand for 40’s.

        Also Kel-Slecht made the upgraded 40”s a heeck of a lot bwetter thamn they did their 9’s which are voitrruallt unmchanged form the Gewn 1’s on the inside. SSame longt buffer tube. Same skinny, hard compressing recoil saprinmg. Same biting trigger.

        Meanwhile. The 40’s has half thewoir trriggers runningalong the botom of the ferom (no tgrgger bnite), use a double spring recoil buffer, and are consequently thicker and shoirter to rack.

        In other words, the 40’s are a better deal. but they are sure easy to find for $400 and under.

        I bought a 9mm Gen 1 in 2008 for $275. The Gen 2 I got off of Gunbroker was the cheapest auction to date at the time: $420. As I said, the Gen 2 9mm’s internally are no different than the Gen 1’s. The 40s&W’s are a lot different and a lot better.

        Kel-Tec Cocoa has hit their maximum run on the 9’s for all of 2016. Something else I’d think about if you can’t live without it.

        If I can buy a Gen 2 .40S&W for around $300, I’m going to jump on it. I expect they’ll sell out quickly, too.

        IMHO, the Subby is the perfect HD gun. so mny places to store it loaded, and a fold and rack is all you need to be ready to go. The extra length is good for an additional 150-200 fps – enough to turn your non +P ammo into a +P equivalent.

        If you get a bottle of red Loc-Tite and tighten down all the annoying loose screws -stick a taclight on one side and a laser on the other with a red dot riding at a 45 degree angle, you’re good to go for 150-200 yards in all kinds of weather.

        Your first investment is to contact Tacticool and get some buffer rings and stock cover. You can feel the kick all week if you don’t

  44. I love this gun. Out of the box, I was nervous at first at how cheaply made it appeared. But after rattling off 100 rounds of .40 I had to get dragged out of the range due to closing time. I absolutely do not regret the purchase and look forward to adding accessories to it. A laser site in particular since ergonomics of the gun length are a tad off for my frame. I forgive keltec for that one too. if you can, do yourself the pleasure of owning one. 4/5 stars!

  45. My Subbie is back at Kel-Tec for the third time. They can’t seem to get it repaired. First it was failure to fire and failure to eject. Second time Failure to Eject. This last time is that the safety would engage after firing two rounds. I am hoping that the weapon comes back fully repaired. I will not be purchasing any further products from Kel-Tec.

    • Bought the .40 cal Keltec Sub 2000 with Glock mags 6 months ago. Almost 3000 rounds through it. Never a single hiccup after the first 100 rounds or so. I love mine. Sounds like you got a lemon. Sorry ’bout your bad luck Mark.

  46. I have had the 9mm Sub2K for 4 or 5 years and love it. I have a Beretta M( and a Beretta CX4 Storm in 9mm so they all take the same magazines, The only drawback is that because of the size it is hard for anyone taller than about 5 foot 9 inches to uses the sights. I just put one the Kel-tec brand hand guards which gave me 4 rails. I added a Crimson Trace rail laser so I just don,t bother with the sights anymore.
    I always show it to the self defense class that I teach and it is always a hit, For a home defense gun, it is perfect at 28 inches it us good size to maneuver in a house (a lot of shotguns are snatched because the are so long) there is little recoil si my ladies are not afraid of it. Finally when traveling, I put it in a lockable briefcase in case all hell breaks lose, so in addition to my M9 I have the Sub2K with a lot of firepower. If you buy the Beretta model, go with the Beretta or MecGar mags because they work.

  47. Finally got my hands on new sub 2000 S&W 59 9mm. Unboxed cleaned and lubed with beretta oil then shot 130 round Federal 115gr FMJ to break in. Had 1-2 malfunctions per mag FFF and FFE (most commonly). Took home and cleaned again and extra CLP oil to extractor and bolt assembly. Left it for 2 night with bolt locked open. Felt this might compress recoil spring a little bit. Took to the range again 3 days later and shot 20 Federal Hydrashock 124gr and 50 Remington 115gr FMJ without one malfunction. Hope it’s broken in. Didn’t need to do a fluff and buff to bolt like some sites suggested. Very accurate at 25 yards from factory with no sight adjustments. 2 inch group on 12 yards with Federal Hydrashock 124 grain freehand. 115 gr opened up to 4″

  48. This pistol-caliber carbine would look a whole lot better if KEL-TEC would outfit it with a collapsible B5 Bravo Sopmod attached to its tubular buttstock .

    It would enhance firing stability/hit probability due to improved cheek weld .
    It would variably reduce the weapon’s overall length to compact dimensions for stealthy transport WITHOUT having to fold it and therefore allowing the gun to be INSTANTLY put into action .
    It would greatly improve the physical aesthetics of the weapon .

    Furthermore , KEL-TEC could redesign the front barrel similar to the Colt M4’s multi-profiled design and changing the foregrip to a more robust Colt M4 DanielDefense OmegaX aluminum type with picatinny rail for the attachment of various electro-optical/infra red/laser sighting systems to give the weapon a MIL-SPEC look/feel/functionality to it .

    Engineering a chromed barrel with threaded flash hider or a full-shroud/large-diameter foregrip aluminum suppressor ( similar to an Ingram MAC-10s ) could also do wonders in upgrading the weapon’s current flimsy appearance .

    Finally , ditching that civilian blue finish to a combat-grade parkerized finish would make the carbine look all the more desirable.

    These modifications would make up for an excellent survival carbine that the KEL-TEC Sub2000 is.

  49. Just got my 40 2nd gen 2000, great gun like my PMR30. Kel Tec makes a great product. Always watch your six.

  50. How available are these rifles (40 cal)and what is the average price? Because I’m looking at a purchase as we speak.

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