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Courtesey Dean Weingarten

Kel-Tec’s lightweight 30-round, .22 magnum four-star-rated PMR 30 pistol is a hit! Kel-Tec tells TTAG that the company’s running at top production capacity, building a thousand of their lightweight 30-shot, .22 magnum pistols a month.

The PMR 30’s bigger sister the four-star rated CMR 30 carbine (the guns share mags). The CMR 30’s been on the market for a year. According to Kel-Tec Chief Engineer Toby Obermeit his employer’s producing just 200 CMR 30’s per week. Kel-Tec’s looking to double the pace, and then double it again. When? Mr. Obermeit declined to speculate.

Kel-Tec holds a patent for a short, pistol-sized, 33-round straight magazine for .22 long rifle.  The .22 long rifle semi-auto design is well understood and simple compared to the .22 magnum. If the market slows down with a Trump administration, Kel-Tec may offer a 33-round .22 LR pistol. Watch this space.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

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  1. Are these things really that popular? I’ve never seen them in the wild, but then, maybe I’m not looking hard enough.

    • I looked to see who was selling the CMR 30 and of the three stores noted, at the cheapest one it was “out of stock” and the other two had it priced OVER the MSRP. Supply and demand, boys and girls …..

      • My FFL had one on back-order for months, they charged him $500 for it when it finally came in.
        A year ago he told me he could then get all he wanted for a lot less than he paid for his.

    • That’s what I’m saying. Shouldn’t they be doing something to turn that 5.56 bullpup into something other than vaporare? maybe some more of those Gen2 Sub 2000s? Isn’t it pretty well known that 22WMR looses its biggest advantage in this short of a barrel?

      Keltec desperately needs a cure for the Squirrel ADHD it suffers.

  2. I’ve been back ordered for 2 years on my PMR-30. My LGS tells me it’s a 3-4 year wait. They are one of the largest retailers of fire arms in the country and an authorized Keltec dealer. In that time 48,000 PMR-30’s will ship, using Keltec’s above statement. I’ve only ever seen 1 at a gun store in the last 6 years. Where are they going?

        • Yes, he does. They’re all over Gunbroker and there’s an ad on SlickGuns today for PMR30’s for $400. I picked up my CMR 30 Wednesday that I ordered from Wise Guns for $550. Two days after I ordered it he had them for 500…

        • I dunno about all the time, likely because I don’t care about them at all. However, my buddy just picked one up at the local Academy about 6 weeks ago, NIB in the showcase.

          His kid bought one about 2 weeks later. Like many an odd object, you gotta know where to look and all that.

      • Not coincidentally, in late 2015, .22 WMR ammunition was virtually impossible to find anywhere, and when it was available, it was priced higher than most common centerfire pistol ammunition. Now that Trump’s election has assured a steadier (if not substantially cheaper) supply of .22 mag ammo, demand for guns that shoot it has returned.

      • They retail for $350-$380. Yes, I can go on Gunbroker, pay $500 and then pay shipping plus transfer fee. $550-$600? No way.

        The ones I’ve seen at LGS have been $450-$700. The pmr-30 is not worth that. I’ll wait and pay the suggested retail.

    • I also had been looking for a PMR30,mostly on Internet and gunbroker,then my local farmer and home store,small locally owned and have 12 stores in central illinois got 10 for each store,selling for $419 and on sale for -10% up till Dec 31.WHAT a deal ,I grabbed 1,wish I had got 4 more, shot it 1st time the other day and I will say it is a HOOT,AND performed perfectly!!!

  3. My step father has a PMR 30 and it seems to be his favorite pistol or at least the one he handles and shoots the most. Last year, he did pay full MSRP for it and says he doesn’t regret it.

    • I took my wife to the range about 10 years ago with my Mk III target pistol – she hated it (“it’s too heavy…”). I bought her a S&W J-frame about 6 years ago – she hated it (“too much recoil…”). It took 2 years to get her to try my LC9S – she hated it (“I can’t hit what I aim at…”). Finally got her to the range again to try my new PMR30 – and she turned into Ellie Mae Clampett before my eyes! This one might not make sense to a long-established person of the gun, but a newbie can put as many rounds into a tiny space as they want with one of these, as quickly as they want to do it, with zero recoil, and 30 times without a magazine change. Guaranteed smile time!

      • ^^^ Nailed it.
        The only .22 Mag. I own is my trusty Single Six. I’d like to get my hands on a High Standard derringer, and maybe a .22 mag J frame.
        Recently, while inventorying, I found a box of CCI Maxi Mags- price tag said $3.25!

  4. I, and many other gun owners have a love/hate relationship with Kel-Tec. They are the most innovative firearm manufacturer out there, yet they simply don’t keep up with market demand (and quality is a little iffy sometimes).

    I guess they will continue to be the R&D department for Ruger. KT will come up with great ideas. Ruger will make them work well, and bring them to market.

  5. Hmm. I thought the PMR-30 had a lot of problems. But then again I think they did release a new version…

    In the end we still don’t have great production of .22 magnum… here’s hoping we get more of that if we’re going to get more guns that shoot it.

  6. Buds has them in & out of stock at like $465, my buddy got one recently. Not too bad for an item that is so much in-demand. Just have to get the email “in-stock” notices, but I am a “Team Buds” member for whatever that’s worth.

  7. According or Wikiarms, .22 WMR costs 16% more than new, brass cased 9mm and 46% more than steel case and reloads. Unless you are into varmint hunting with a pistol, I can’t see any use for a PMR-30.

    However, make it in .22LR with a decent trigger, and I might be a buyer.

    • Good .22LR pistols are a pretty saturated market.

      There are other reasons that people like .22 magnum besides ammunition cost.

        • Magnum Research made one in the late 80s, early 90s called the Mountain Eagle that took 20 rounds in the grip. However, the Assault Weapons Ban killed it.

          It was a light pistol that was nearly all polymer except for the bolt, bolt housing and barrel (and barrel was shrouded in polymer). It was super simple to take down for cleaning. But its main flaw was that it had too much polymer — things subject to abuse (magazine feed lips, the safety block, the front sight) were all polymer and none too strong (broke all three at various times over my course of ownership). Reason I finally sold it was that all the feed lips on my magazines were starting to crack and it was impossible to get replacement magazines.

          If Magnum Research simply resurrected that model and fixed the flaws: steel feed lips, steel safety block, either steel front sight blade or one made of a much more durable plastic), it would be a fine little plinker. It was very reliable and accurate and the magazines used an innovative constant-force spring design that made it feed really well.

          But, me, I don’t really need a high cap .22 pistol. Most of the time I’m carrying .22 it’s either my Ruger Mark II or one of my single-action revolvers. Have never wished I had more capacity.

  8. Sure I guess. Never buying one as long as 22mag is priced higher than 9mm. I also don’t feel undergunned with 18rounds in my new gun(comingsoon!). Oh and I’ve NEVER seen a PMR or CMR in the wild. I know I hate hate hate the checkering on the Keltec grip…

    • .22 mag in a handgun doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

      As STB410 showed a while back with his NAA mini lr and mag, both had similar ballistics when .22 lr derringer loads were used. And 22 mag ammo ain’t cheap. Only from a rifle barrel does.22 mag start to make sense to me…

    • You’re in NW Indiana, right? Come on over to South Bend and you can shoot both of mine…bring some ammo, though; shit’s damned expensive lol

    • They are not common slick. What is this “hobby” you speak of? BTW I had a PF9 and a Sub 2000. I’ve seen their flimsy AR substitute too. And KSG’s…

  9. Got a PMR30. Meh. Big MEH. Waited 3 months for my LGS to get it, paid 400.00. Mine is the upgraded “2nd gen” without the fluted barrel.

    What you get is a pistol so light it feels like its unloaded all the time, with big easy to see sights that are pretty well regulated. Load the mag following directions, put in a round, tap mag. Load it up, Pull the trigger, BLAMO! Ball of fire, blast of powder. OK, cool, like a handgun version of a DRACO. Pull trigger again BLAMMO! No recoil, strange shooting experience. Pull trigger again, CLICK. Oh, FTE. Drop mag, dig out spent casing with a knife. Try again. BLAM! BLAM! JAM! FTF this time, bent round half in mag. Dump mag, clear jam, try again. Repeat until you just spent half an hour trying to shoot one 10.00 50 rd box of 22 WMR.

    Once you get past the constant jamming, the surreal feeling of huge muzzleblast with no recoil, and the toylike feel, its “why the hell did I wait 3 months for this POS?”

    KelWRECK should have kept this thing on the drawing board. Pssstt,, anybody wanna pay 450.00 for a clean used PMR30 only fired 58 times?

    • I have an AMT Automag II and it is extremely finicky about ammunition. I would suspect the PMR/CMR are the same way. Virtually the only ammo that gets acceptable reliability is the ammo it was built for: Winchester Super-X .22 Magnum.

      Nowadays, with spotty availability of .22 WMR ammo, I can never count on being able to find that exact brand.

      I generally view .22 WMR as good in rifles and revolvers. You’re just fighting against physics with a semi-auto .22 WMR pistol.

      • Agreed. This clunker of mine wont even feed CCI Maxi Mag TMJ much less any hollowpoints. And no way am I bothering to send it back to KelWRECK for “repairs.” And double no friggin way am I searching around for the “right” ammo for it, since 22 WMR is already expensive enough and not that accessible. Will save the ammo for my Ruger Convertible and Excel Accelerator, which oddly enough, is more reliable feeding than the PMR30.

        Theres a name for guns that wont feed ammo, JUNK. In this day and age of CNC theres no excuse for it.

        • I have the pistol, but assuming the rifle is similarly constructed you can expect heavy stainless barrel/upper grafted onto a thick heavy dull black polymer lower/grip. Nicely made stainless mags with orange followers hold 9 rds. Has a heel mounted mag release. Forget the sights they didnt even have enough travel to sight in with mine, I put a cheapo reflex red dot on the rail that works fine. These are simple blowback operation with stiff return springs not for weak of hand. Never took it apart, just clean it with some CLP once in awhile. Had some feeding issues, polished the feed ramp and its about 90% reliable with an occasional tap on the back of the slide to get into full battery. The triggers a little heavy with some takeup, reminds me of a standard AR15 trigger. Ergos are OK, but these arent combat pistols, just target guns. Heavy, solid feeling, with a sight on top it feels like a 357 magnum with a scope. Low recoil, nice shooting guns. Better than KelWRECKS by a mile.

  10. I found a PMR at Academy for $369 a few months ago and I jumped on that deal! My PMR has been flawless with Hornady Vmax 30 gr.

  11. I’ve seen a few PMR-30’s around at some of the local candy shops but I’ve only seen one CMR-30. while it was nice to hold I really didn’t want to spend almost 2x MSRP on it.

    I’ve got my fair share of the Kel Tec unicorns KSG, RFB and Sub-2000 (all Gen 1). While they are innovative, I’m not too happy with the fact that they get released to the public and once enough of them are in peoples hands to have problems they come out with a Gen 2 that fixes the issues. I really don’t like having to pay to be their beta-tester.

  12. Mine is gen2 4 or 5 ftf first mag has run like a champion for the 750+ rouND down range did have to lock tite screws on front sight

  13. “If the market slows down with a Trump administration, Kel-Tec may offer a 33-round .22 LR pistol. ”

    Which will be like the unicorn/virgin combo, and in the rare case it could be found, demand causing price to be out of hand.

  14. One of my LGS had dozens of them about 6-8 months. THen they sold out, and couldn’t get more. They had 4-5 CMR’s as well. Gone.

  15. Kel-Tec does innovate, a big plus for them and us. I’ve wanted a Sub-2000 but never bought one because my ARs fit the same role for the most part. I can’t vouch for their reliability because I’ve never bought any guns from them, but the negative comments here and on YouTube about Kel-Tec’s testing and manufacturing standards are a concern. (YankeeMarshal, for example, on YouTube.)


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