Shooting the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 9mm carbine

This post was originally published HERE on MSO.

So many guns, not enough money. A couple weeks ago I had the chance to borrow a friends Kel-Tec Sub-2000 9mm Carbine. I have been interested in owning one of these for the past few years but it just never happened.

Over a weekend I was able to take a look at the Kel-Tec, handle it, shoot it, and get an overall impression. I was not able to do a full-bore review but certainly got a feel for it.

The Kel-Tec Sub-2000 is a 9mm carbine which accepts all Glock 17 magazines (17 or 33 round). There are other models and calibers of the Sub-2000 available. One of the things that interested me in the Sub-2000 was that one could have a “long” gun and a side arm of not only the same caliber, but taking the same magazine as well. There is certainly an advantage there.

Many make decisions on firearms based on appearance. I certainly want to like the looks of a gun, but I gotta tell you – this thing is Ugly with a capital U. Know what? Don’t care. Beyond the fact its not mine so my money wasn’t involved – the thing works. More on that later.

One of the most attractive and unique features of the Kel-Tec is its ability to fold in half to a very compact and storable. When folded the carbine can easily fit in a backpack – even a small one. In fact – a backpack could hold the carbine, a couple of 33-rd magazines and a few 17 round mags as well. You’d still have room left for some other supplies.

If you haven’t gotten the sense yet – I like this gun. It is lightweight and quick handling. Grip feels good. This is no Remington 700 and pulling it up to cheek certainly is not as comfortable. For what it is – I had no problem getting a sight picture.

 Speaking of sight picture – take a look at those sights. Gotta say it – UGLY. They are functional but I do see them as a weakness. The rear sight sticks up and looks to be saying, “Please – hit me up against something so I will break!!” I am not saying the rear – or the front sight are delicate by any means – just say’n.

The mag well of course is in the grip. It is flared and  accepts magazines easily. No issues.

Rear sight is of the peep variety. It is not adjustable and there is only one size available. For the guns range – it works. The front sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation. The gun was right on when I received it so no adjustment were made. The front sight  is orange in color and gives a nice contrast when looking through the black peep hole.

 My shooting was done entirely within 50 yards. Hitting center of mass? Easy. My brother shot it better than I and nailed 20-oz bottles and soda cans at 25 yards with ease and repeatedly.

I would like to be able to add optics to the gun – but there is no easy method to do that without modification and purchase of other parts.  Besides – adding and optic would negate being able to fold it.


I found the gun reliable, handy, compact, portable, and able to send rounds downrange in a hurry. So – what didn’t I like about it?  There were a few things:

  • The trigger could be much improved. It is heavy.
  • The charging handle moves back and forth with the bolt. I see this could get caught on clothing while firing and potentially cause a malfunction or stoppage of some kind.
  • I am a lefty – and the mag release is on the left side. When I first shot the gun the mag kept falling out of the gun until I realized the side of my left hand was hitting the mag release during firing. Once noticed – I changing my shooting position but this is a problem (for lefties).

That is about it. I like the Kel-Tec Sub-2000. If I can find one at a decent price I would like to pick one up.


 – Rourke



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  1. This fire arm has always intrigued me, how ever I never purchased it for the reason you mentioned at the end of your article (I am a lefty)

  2. I’ve owned several over the years, in both 9mm as well as .40 S&W. They have all been excellent when used for their intended purpose. They are NOT an assault weapon. They are somewhat like the M-1 Carbine’s intended role…..that of a pistol with the ability to be more accurate and longer ranges. Folded, I used to carry them in various briefcases or backpacks. Once accessed, they are ready to fire in under 2 seconds with practice.

    Fairly accurate out to 150 yards with the right ammo, the only weakness I’ve encountered was with flat-tip 9mm FMJ which just wouldn’t feed and weak Glock magazine springs.

    For traveling to gun friendly states via the airlines, they are excellent as they can be packed in a regular locking suitcase (they still MUST be declared and check your specific airlines for internal policies before traveling).

    NOTE – most airlines require firearms to be in a locked container, however they do not specify a locked hardsided rifle or pistol case. I usually travel with a hardside SKB style locking suitcase. Then I can just use a soft side case for the firearm (to avoid getting oil on my clothing) and lock it inside my suitcase. Now, except for declaring it at check-in, nobody knows that I’m traveling with a firearm in checked baggage. This also has the added bonus of when you declare the firearm, TSA then inspects it in front of you and then allows you to seal up your luggage and lock it in front of them (No TSA-locks needed). Then you don’t have them sorting through your stuff when you aren’t able to watch them.

    This also works for the reverse. You can take a hard side locking pistol case, stick it in soft sided luggage and you are good to go! Again, make sure you declare it and have them inspect it in front of you. Checking in with two suitcases, place a firearm in each, or even disassemble the slide and frame and store them in separate suitcase individually locked. Declare both suitcases, have them inspected in front of you, and if one of them is possibly stolen, they don’t have a complete firearm.

    Sorry, got off topic!
    But the SUB-2000 when folded would even fit in my saddlebags for my cruiser for those long distance rides.

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