The Kel Tec Sub 2000 Gen 2 Review
The original Kel Tec Sub 2000 is a very odd, but very interesting rifle. It’s a pistol caliber carbine that fed from popular pistol magazines. Different configurations were made to accept S&W third gen magazines, Beretta 92 magazines, and of course Glock magazines. A unique feature was the fact the rifle could be folded in half, making it very easy to transport in nearly any moderately sized bag.
The first generation was introduced in 2001 to little fanfare. Kel Tec is not known for making mass quantities of their rifles and shotguns, and the online gun o’sphere was minuscule. Then in 2004 something big happened. The 1994 Clinton assault rifles ban sunsetted and the market was flooded with AR 15s, AKMs, and more goodies than you could shake a stick at. The meager pistol caliber carbine was overlooked and underappreciated.
Time passed and Kel Tec assembled the Sub 2k Gen 2 and released it at just the right time. The Pistol caliber carbine boom hit and Kel Tec was ready. They seemed to increase production for the Gen 2, at least they did this year. Even now my local gun store has a pile of them. It was a rifle I had wanted for some time and jumped on the opportunity to pick one up.
My Kel Tec Sub 200
I chose the Glock model Kel Tec Sub 2000 because magazines are so much easier to find, so much more affordable than most pistol magazines. Not only that but Glock mags are made by a variety of higher end companies, like Magpul, and ETS.
The main changes Kel Tec made was modernizing the entire rifle. It retains most of the winning features of the original Kel tec including the folding operation, the easy ergonomics, and magazine compatibility.
The fore end features full-length Picatinny rails on the top and bottom, and the sides have M-Lok slots to add more rails or accessories where they are wanted. The barrel is threaded and as you can see I’ve added a Kaw Valley Linear compensator to my personal Sub 2k. The stock is also adjustable, and gives you three different positions to change the length of pull. The stock also features two sling points, one for a single point sling, and the other for a more traditional web sling.
The Kel tec Sub 2000 is a very simple, and very easy to use rifle. The magazine release is just like any other pistol, but it sticks out a little farther. It’s really easy to drop magazines and they drop free. The safety works, but is placed somewhat awkwardly behind the pistol grip. It’s a testament to the rifle’s simplicity. It’s just a push button safety. It’s simple and it works.
The charging handle is placed behind the pistol grip and is easy to access with either hand. This is a blowback gun and the spring is quite stiff and requires a good bit of oomph to charge the gun. The bolt can be locked to the rear by pulling the bolt back and locking it into a small slot in the bottom of the tube. There is no cheek rest to speak of, but it’s not a major issue.
The gun is mostly made from polymer, including the receiver. It’s Zytel, so it’s pretty tough and quite durable. It’s not under a lot of stress with the 9mm round, so polymer isn’t a personal concern. The gun itself is superbly light, it weighs less than 5 pounds and is remarkably balanced. You can easily fire this gun one handed without issue.
The lightweight nature makes it an easy companion for carrying in a pack or sling bag. The compact nature is a major perk.
On the Range
So right off the bat let’s talk about the bad. The gun has a pretty terrible trigger. It’s stiff, super gritty and feels like plastic on plastic. It’s a heavy trigger, and it’s not really impressive. That’s really where the bad ends, and now we can talk about the good.
Blowback weapons are often associated with heavy recoil, but when you toss a 9mm in a rifle this isn’t an issue. Recoil and muzzle rise really isn’t an issue, with or without a linear compensator.
The sights are nice and simple peep sights. The rear sight folds downwards and gets out of the way easily. The front sight an AR style post and is incredibly easy to adjust. The peep sights are easy to use and I don’t have issues hitting steel targets out to fifty yards. The lack of a cheek rest isn’t an issue either, it’s such a soft recoiling weapon there isn’t an issue.
As a big guy, I adjusted the stock to its furthest point and found it comfortable. I am roughly 6’5”, so I’m a big guy and the rifle fits me fine. It’s great for new shooters who maybe be recoil sensitive or find a traditional rifle to be too big and too heavy.
I’ve put steel, brass and zinc ammo through this thing without any issues. No failure to feeds, failures to eject or failures to fire. I’m sitting at right around the 500 round mark and haven’t hit a snag yet. If I have an issue, Kel Tec has a pretty solid warranty on their guns.
At the end of the day, this little folding rifle is a good dose of compact firepower. It’s easily stored in a briefcase, a backpack, most sling bags and more. It’s so small and light it makes an excellent truck or car gun. Magazine commonality is a big selling point to me as well. This is a handy little carbine and the street price seems to range wildly between 350 and 500. It’s a fun, and practical little gun. If you are looking to jump on the PCC bandwagon the Kel tec is likely the most affordable double stack option.