Kel-Tec Sub2000: A Popular Pistol-Caliber Carbine

posted on June 27, 2020

The Kel-Tec Sub2000 comes chambered in either 9 mm or .40 S&W, but its 16 1/4-inch barrel puts it squarely into the semi-automatic rifle category, where it claimed third-place honors last year among the retailers on In both 2018 and 2017 it was tops, besting some tough competition that includes other pistol carbines and the ever-popular AR-15 platform.

It’s a perennial in the rankings, too—second in 2016, third for 2015 and squarely in the top-10 long before, despite the fact it’s been available since 2001. It’s hard to satisfy the appetite for an adjustable stocked carbine that folds to a more stowable 16 1/4 inches. Unloaded it weighs only 4 1/4 pounds, which means it could be doing backpacking and survival duty, although the volume indicates there’s more to the popularity than overnight campers and preppers.

For one thing, it uses Glock magazines. Or you can go with the Multi-Mag version that uses almost any other popular magazine on the market. That’s Old West self-defense versatility—no need to carry extra weight when your handgun and rifle use the same cartridge. If one gun goes the advantage is potentially lifesaving.

The blowback semi-automatic rifle uses a spring in its stock to operate, and field stripping is fast and easy. The MLOK-ready fore-end—with Picatinny rails at the 6- and 12-o’clock positions—makes mounting accessories a breeze. The blade front sight is adjustable and the rear aperture sight folds down.

Magazines ride in the pistol grip. Rifling is six-groove, with a 1:10- or 1:16-inch twist rate, depending on chambering.

Finish is matte black and the grip and fore-end are made of polymer. Despite the Sub2000 approaching its second decade of production, enthusiasts continue to add them to their gun safes, backpacks and bug-out gear. The trend doesn’t show much sign of slowing, either. MSRP is $524.


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