KelTec CNC Industries INC. or simply KelTec is the American dream. It’s a small American business founded by an immigrant that’s grown to be quite successful. KelTec produces a wide variety of rifles, shotguns, and handguns. What makes Keltec stand out is its out-of-the-box designs. Whenever they bring something to life, it’s rarely normal.
George Kellgren, the founder, is an experienced firearms designer hailing from Sweden. He previously worked with Husqvarna, Swedish Interdynamics AB, Intratec, and Grendel. He famously helped design the SMG that would become the famed TEC-9 pistol.
In 1991 he founded KelTec and has since made that his home here in sunny Cocoa, Florida. I appreciate KeTtec because they don’t just make another AR 15 or 1911. Instead, they make unique products, and as such, I’ve gathered my five favorite weird weapons from KelTec.
The Top 5 KelTec Weapons
The KelTec SUB 2000 did PCCs before PCCs were cool. KelTec produced a PCC that utilized common pistol magazines and chambered both 9mm and 40 S&W. The use of common magazines made it easy to match your rifle to your pistol and share both an ammo and a magazine source.
That doesn’t seem so weird. In fact, it’s pretty common these days. But, way back in 2001, when the first Sub-2000 premiered, it was rather novel.
Additionally, what is oh so cool is the fact the gun folds in half. At the end of the receiver, the barrel folds over the rest of the gun and folds and locks on the top of the stock.
The little gun cuts its size in half effectively thus making it easy to stash, store, and conceal if necessary. The SUB 2000 is remarkably simple and quite affordable as well.
The latest close-quartes combat (CQB) model comes with an integrated suppressor and a rotating handguard for easy optic compatibility.
KelTec broke new ground with the KSG as a pump-action, bullpup shotgun that utilizes dual tubes to provide a ton of ammo. However, I think KelTec did the design better with the simpler KS7. The KS7 utilizes the same bullpup action with a single tube and a less complicated design. I love the KS7 and think it’s a fantastic design.
The KS7 also features a retro carry handle design that mixes new with old.
The carry handle also offers M-LOK slots for attaching accessories like lights and spare shell holders. Hate the carry handle? Well, pop it off and replace it with an optic rail if you so choose.
The KS7 is a mere 26.25 inches long, and that makes it a fair bit shorter than any other shotgun on the market. Plus, it’s quite affordable, and you can’t beat affordability and firearms.
The KelTec P50 is the latest pistol from KelTec and it’s so utterly bizarre that I adore it. The P50 is not a normal-sized pistol. I believe most people would call it a large-format pistol. This big beast fires the famed 5.7x28mm round and utilizes those crazy P90 magazines that hold 50 rounds of 5.7.
The P50 looks like something Buck Rogers would rock and roll with.
Its clamshell-like design encapsulates the magazine and locks it in place. Also, the top of the gun is optics-ready and perfect for a mini red dot.
A bottom rail makes it easy to add a light, laser, or cup holder. The long barrel generates some rapid velocity making the gun’s round hit hard. Plus, it’s seemingly recoil-free, despite being such a large pistol.
While weird, I can see why it could be practical in some roles. I’d hunt coyotes with this thing all day.
The CP-33 is, without a doubt, the coolest 22LR pistol on the market. It’s another sci-fi-looking space blaster chambered in America’s favorite plinking cartridge. The little 22LR round is abundant, cheap, and easy to shoot. The CP-33 holds 33 rounds in a flush-fitting, quad-stack magazine.
The CP-33 comes ready to add an optic. Its non-reciprocating slide makes rapid follow-up shots quite quick and efficient.
The space gun-like design gives you a very large pistol that’s suppressor-ready. The placement of the barrel ensures the suppressor stays below the sightline to keep it from blocking the optic.
The CP-33 is nothing but fun. It’s not a defensive weapon, but it’s perfect for plinking, training, and even competing. The CP-33 is also seemingly very affordable, and like KelTec, it’s rather unique.
SU stands for Sport Utility. The gun is a semi-auto, magazine-fed, gas-operated rifle that utilizes your standard AR-15 magazine.
The SU-16 is an older model from KelTec, but still rather fascinating. KelTec entered the centerfire rifle realm with the SU-16 as a cheaper alternative to the AR-15 and a potentially affordable semi-auto option for those in less free states.
The rifle has a variety of models, and my favorite is the SU-16C. The C features a very odd under folding stock.
The SU 16 series lack traditional pistol grips and have a somewhat traditional rifle stock compared to a AR 15 or other modern rifles. This makes it unique, but it’s also very compact and super lightweight.
Heck, we haven’t even talked about the fact that the handguard turns into a bipod or that the stock can hold extra magazines.
The World of KelTec
KelTec’s biggest problem seems to be that everyone wants their guns, and they can’t produce enough of them. Well, that and sometimes that their latest guns have teething issues. Luckily, they seem to get resolved along the way.
It seems like KelTec releases some weird stuff every year, and they are always one of my favorite stops at SHOT Show.
What’s your favorite KelTec? Let us know in the comments below.