KelTec creates fascinating long guns. Their pistols are mostly pint-sized, plain Jane concealed carry guns, but their long guns are always impressive. And the Sub 2000 might as well be the flagship long gun of KelTec.

KelTec started producing the weapon decades ago, but it still remains popular with the buying public. The KelTec Sub 2000 comes chambered in 9mm or 40 S&W. It falls into a subcategory of firearms known as pistol caliber carbines. The Sub 2000’s design incorporates standard pistol magazines, including variants that utilize SIG, Glock, Beretta, S&W, and CZ magazines.

Our example utilizes Glock 17 magazines and 9mm ammunition.

Inside the Sub 2000

The Sub 2000 descends from a proud line of tube-based, basic blowback action guns. The Sten gun comes to mind, as does the M3 Grease Gun, and most old school SMGs. The Sub 2000 is a more modern variant with a healthy dose of polymer used in its construction. This particular Gen 2 model features an M-Lok compatible handguard, a three-position stock, and many sling points.

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The folding design does make it tricky to institute an optic. Yet, companies like MCARBO and Midwest industries have created exciting solutions to that issue. The M-LOK slots allow plenty of room to attach lights to, and 12 o’clock lights particularly work well with it. The threaded barrel is well suited for suppressors or other muzzle devices.

The design is slim without everything hanging off the side of the gun. The charging handle is placed at the bottom of the weapon. The charging handle can lock open, but the weapon does lack a last round bolt hold-open device. The chagrin handle and bolt must be manually locked to the rear of the bolt.

Running the Gun

Blowback operation is messy and unrefined, but it does have an excellent degree of reliability. The blowback operation ensures the KelTec runs with any typical ammo type from 115-grain training FMJs to hot loaded self-defense cartridges. The blowback action does create a bit more recoil than necessary, but as a 9mm, even a bit more recoil isn’t snappy. The Sub 2000 can run reliably even when filthy dirty.

Another downside to the blowback action is the massive spring that makes the charging handle quite stiff. It can be a real beast to retract and charge the weapon with. Awkward charging handle placement combined with a stiff charging handle makes for some interesting reload techniques.

The trigger is quite plasticky and far from great. It has a relatively long pull and weighs a bit more than an excellent AR trigger. That being said, it is still acceptable, and within the 9mm range, you can be quite accurate with it. The sights help a fair bit. The rear is a small peep sight, and the front sight is a metal high visibility AR-type post. The round stock provides a deceptively good cheek weld, even if it feels a little high for the sights.

From the 50 yard line, a competent shooter will be able to rapidly and accurately engage multiple targets with effective fire. This means hitting head or chest shots. Take a knee, or slide into the prone, and you’ll increase your precision even more. Beyond 50 yards is when the 9mm starts to peter out a bit, and drop starts increasing rapidly.

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The M-LOK handguard is slim and comfortable. Although it’s thin, heat will never be an issue you’ll have to deal with. Blazing through 30 round stick mag after 30 round stick mag never gets uncomfortable.

Folding It Up

The Sub 2000 folds in half, making it a concise platform. This unique folding function makes the Sub 2000 an extremely compact and easy to carry weapon. A rifle that folds in half makes for easy storage and discreet carry options. It can be kept in a tennis racket case or bug out bag and hidden easily in a vehicle. Folding or bringing the gun into action only takes some seconds.

Folding and unfolding the gun requires no tools and the gun locks in both positions. To fold the weapon, the trigger guard is pressed forward, thereby unlocking it. Then the gun can be folded. The area near the front sight locks into a small catch at the rear of the stock.

To unfold the gun, the tab at the rear of the stock needs to be pulled forward.

Folding is very simple, and while it requires two hands, it’s still quick and easy to do. The magazine in the grip configurations still keeps the weapon compact even when it’s not folded in half. The gun’s overall length is only 29.25 inches and it weighs a mere four pounds.

The KelTec Sub 2000 is a fascinating rifle with an excellent reputation and a proven design. The unique design makes it a natural choice for a bug-out gun, and its reliability and ease of handling make it a great self-defense tool. The ability for it to share mags with your handgun shouldn’t be overlooked, and a Glock 17 and this KelTec are a natural pair.