The Kel-Tec Sub-2000 is about a different a gun as you will find. It works fantastic and has some great practical uses.
The gun folds right at the breech. This allows really easy cleaning of all the stuff that gets dirty with burnt gunpowder.
The Sub-2000 is very different from the Sub-9 that was mostly aluminum and had a button to release the folding front of the gun. With the Sub-2000 you pull down on the trigger gaurd, similar to dissasembling a Garand or M1A.
Standard configuration takes a Glock 17 mag, but you can get them compatable with several types of duty pistols.
All three types of Hornady 9mm ammo we tested in the Sub-2000 shot about 200 fps. faster than it would with a normal pistol barrel.
Generally you will shoot a rifle with a longer sight radius better than a pistol of the same caliber. In casual shooting at 25 yards on a sandbag the Sub-2000 shot into a few inches with some shooter error. It is an accurate gun for a suprisingly small price.
The trigger on the Sub-2000 was suprisingly crisp, and broke at a consistent just under six and a half pounds.
The tactical rail sleeve for the Sub-2000 is $97 direct from Kel-Tec.
Marching to the beat of your own drummer can be a challenge in the gun world. But over and over again, Kel-Tec CNC, the company we all know for their tiny extremely affordable and reliable pocket pistols, keeps showing up with a new beat, and the guns are some of the most interesting in the entire shooting world.
The Sub 2000 is a folding pistol-caliber polymer carbine, and that is about where standard descriptions run out of gas. At first glance you may try to compare it to a gun you already know, but quickly you realize that it is unlike any other gun you know.
You find yourself saying, “It’s kind of like a … um, no, it’s kind of like nothing.”
The Sub-2000 cocks in the rear, and all of the moving parts of the gun are located in the rear. If you look in the pictures, that whole front barrel assembly swings up from a release in the trigger guard and the entire gun effectively folds in half. It is pretty much a totally unique firearm.
At an MSRP of $409 and a street price well under $400, the Sub-2000 is loaded with features that you wouldn’t expect in such an inexpensive gun. It takes Glock 17 mags in the standard model, but Kel-Tec is also shipping them in Glock 19, Smith & Wesson 59 type, Beretta 92 & 96, and Sig 226 configurations, and the gun is available in both 9mm and .40S&W. The plastic rear sight automatically flips up when you deploy the front of the rifle, and the front sight is a completely adjustable fiber optic. The barrel is 16″, and the weight is only slightly more than a pistol at 4lbs. It fold down to 16″ long.
This is the second version of what was called the Sub-9 before, introduced many years ago. I have found a few internet pictures of that gun, which is similar to this gun visually, but it was made primarily of aluminum, not polymer, so it was more expensive, and heavier. I don’t have rights to those pictures to post them, but the reports I have read suggest that the gun was rare and you don’t see them often. For those examples that made it out, they were reliable for 1000s of rounds, much like every other Kel-Tec I have tested.
I elected to just empty the standard mag on zombie targets from a bag in casual shooting, at 25 yards. To assure you that I wasn’t shooting real zombies, I didn’t take head shots. The Sub-2000 grouped into several inches, with a few fliers the fault of the shooter. With a rifle you have a longer distance between the two sights, which is called sight radius, so by nature you will shoot more consistently.
The sights on the Sub-2000 are polymer, and I wouldn’t go banging them around a great deal, but Kel-Tec had the good thinking to use an aperture rear with the fiber optic front. For quick sight acquisition an aperture sight is the best choice in a rifle. Your eye will automatically center the tip of the glowing front sight in the rear. And that front sight is adjustable with included tools and clear instructions.
There is also a tactical version of this gun on the Kel-Tec website and thanks to an early comment on this article I was able to figure out where you get it. Kel-Tec sells the replacement quad-rail for $97 direct. It and might be a good option as a backup weapon in a security guard position. It can take the same mags as your duty pistol, including the factory and aftermarket 30 rounders.
I was able to test the Sub-2000 with three versions of Hornady 9mm combat ammo. Generally a 16″ barrel will produce more velocity than a 3″ to 5″ pistol barrel because more powder burns behind the bullet before it exits the muzzle. From a standard 9mm pistol barrel, 115gr. Hornady Critical Defense with the FTX bullet normally clocks around 1,140 fps. With the Sub-2000 I measured it at 1,332 fps. The 124gr. TAP FPD is listed at 1,110 fps. I clocked that one at 1300 fps., and the 147gr. Hornady Custom, which is supposed to be a subsonic round, clocked at 1,175 fps., above the supersonic threshold of 1,126 fps. That extra 200 or so feet per second makes a big difference in how hard the 9mm round hits. If you use the muzzle energy, or foot/lbs. calculation, velocity is squared, so in the case of the 124gr. TAP for instance, the standard energy is 339 ft./lbs. With the extra speed on the bullet using the Sub-2000 it comes out to 465 ft./lbs.
You can fit the Sub-2000 in your backpack, laptop case, and in the front pocket of most suitcases. For a pistol caliber carbine, there are definitely more elegant examples than the Sub-2000, and certainly more expensive ones. But the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 is a gun you should definitely consider before spending more on a different gun that is likely not a better gun, and may not even be as good a gun. It also definitely gets the nifty award for this week’s Gunsamerica Blog.