Kel-Tec PLR16: The Pistol-Size SU16

posted on September 11, 2021
PLR16 Right DSC3050

The 5.56 NATO-chambered PLR16 handgun was introduced by Kel-Tec in 2005. It brought with it many of the elements that made the company’s SU16 Sport Utility Rifle predecessor so popular, but ditched the folding stock. Its look is unusual, as are some of the features. An American Rifleman review notes, “It’s a handgun, but it has a 9.2" barrel. It uses a gas piston system, but the same breech-locking mechanism found on ARs. It’s not an AR, but it can take AR magazines. What is this...this thing?”

The semi-auto remains a popular member of the company’s lineup, as does the SU16. The longevity and sales speak volumes about the performance and reliability, facts backed up by our testing.  As if that’s not enough, it bucks the inflationary trend as well: MSRP is currently $600. Price in 2009 came in at $665.

Measuring 18.5" in overall length, the pistol tips the scales at 3.4 lbs. (unloaded). The barrel and high-stress components are constructed from 4140 steel, and impact-resistant Zytel is used elsewhere for weight shavings.

The barrel is threaded 1/2x28 TPI to accept muzzle devices, although the company does not recommend the use of suppressors. It ships with iron sights, but the receiver’s Picatinny rail begs for mo8unting of those red dots or other optics.

A 10-round polymer magazine ships with the gun, although AR-15 owners will likely already have a healthy supply of 30 rounders for range sessions. The magazine release is located in front of the triggerguard (aft of the mag well) and the bolt locks open with the last shot.

The pistol grip is angled similar to that of an AR, with texturing to ensure positive purchase with sweaty palms or when wearing gloves. Kel-Tec also offers a line of accessories for the handgun, including muzzle brake, single-point sling adapter, compact fore-end and more.


Eaa Girsan Untouchable Mc1911 Range Tested 2
Eaa Girsan Untouchable Mc1911 Range Tested 2

Range Tested: EAA Girsan Untouchable MC1911

Among EAA Corp's. product line, the Girsan Untouchable MC1911 stands out as being an incredibly competitive offering within the M1911 world, as it offers a finish level and a feature set that's unheard of at the gun's price point.

Review: Benelli ETHOS Cordoba BE.S.T.

The Benelli ETHOS Cordoba BE.S.T. is proof that Benelli has taken an already-great shotgun and made it even better.

Remington Supports Hospitals, Disease Research With Gun Club Cure Ammo

Big Green's Gun Club Cure ammunition sales, combined with Remington's annual Shoot to Cure charity fundraiser, have raised more than $35,000 for children's hospitals and disease research.

North-South Skirmish Association Revolver Match

The North-South Skirmish Association is a competitive shooting organization dedicated to the active use of Civil War-period arms. "American Rifleman Television" had an opportunity to get a closer look at the group's revolver matches at its Fall National Skirmish.

New For 2024: Daniel Defense H9

Though Hudson Manufacturing met its demise in 2019, new for 2024, the H9 design has been revitalized by Daniel Defense, marking the company’s first foray into the conventional handgun market with the Daniel H9.

Vista Re-Files Notice To Committee On Foreign Investment Over CSG Sale

Vista Outdoor announced it had voluntarily withdrawn and re-filed its joint voluntary notice to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a move that allows committee members additional time to conduct due diligence on the proposed sale of The Kinetic Group to the Czechoslovak Group (CSG).


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.