KelTec P15: Slimmest, Lightest 9mm on Market — SHOT Show 2022

KelTec just announced a new polymer-framed, striker-fired double-stack handgun for concealed carry, chambered for 9mm Luger, called the P15. As a matter of course for the company, what sounds the same on paper is a whole lot different in person, and the P15 stands apart in a growing crowd.

“KelTec invented subcompact, polymer handguns,” said KelTec Director Derek Kellgren, “so we wanted our first 9 mm striker-fired pistol to be worthy of the company George Kellgren founded 31 years ago.”

The P15 is part micro-compact — the newest style of easily concealed, dedicated everyday carry handgun — and part full-size pistol. It measures in at just .875 inches wide, or 7/8ths of an inch, but it has a 4-inch barrel and a standard capacity of 15+1.

The KelTec P15 is a double-stack pistol with the size and weight of a single-stack. (Photo: KelTec)

It also has a scant unloaded weight of just 14 ounces, which is lighter than many smaller, lower-capacity micro-compacts on the market. Compared to the Glock 19, what many consider to be the standard for 9mm pistols, it’s about 9 ounces lighter, more than 1/4 inch slimmer, with the same capacity and barrel length.

The slim pistol is being debuted at SHOT Show. (Photo: KelTec)

The P15 is also very affordable with a suggested retail price of only $425. The company is showcasing the new design at this year’s SHOT Show.

Like many other KelTec pistols, the P15 comes with a pretty distinct set of other features, including a factory Hi-Viz tritium fiber optic front day and night sight, an adjustable rear 2-dot sight, a fixed curved trigger set at 5 pounds and passive grip safety. It also has a half-length accessory rail for lights or laser sights.

SEE ALSO: KelTec P17: Value Priced Rimfire Blaster

The P15 also has forward and rear slide serrations, an extended slide release lever and an aggressive molded grip texture KelTec calls the “gator grip.” Each pistol ships with two magazines, one 15-round extended mag and one 12-round flush mag for better concealability.

“While we pride ourselves on creating firearms that are unlike any others, we also pride ourselves on innovation in production,” said KelTec Director Adrian Kellgren. “That allows us to consistently produce innovative firearms that are also reliable, high quality, affordable firearms.”

It is a new design, and like all new designs, the P15 will have to be tested and proven, but its slim profile, solid features and low price will make it popular with a lot of shooters. Shipping will start in the second quarter of 2022.

For more information about the P15 and other KelTec products, check them out online.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Tony P. February 17, 2022, 9:15 am

    I’ve owned a P3AT, 2 P32’s, a PF9, & a PMR30. Three out five of them, at some point, had either feed or ejection issues, which required them going back to Kel-Tec for replacement. They were very professional, courteous, and replaced all three pistols, no questions asked. But on 2 of them, they took a long time to send out replacements. So my personal policy about Kel-Tec, now, is to wait for at least 2 years after the initial production availability, before buying one. Just simply based on personal experience.

  • Wave February 4, 2022, 4:26 pm

    Lotsa cranky people on this site who wants to pick fights with people not looking for one.

    Kel-Tec has always been the innovator. That’s a good thing.

    On the production end… the QC seems to vary, without rhyme nor reason. I’ve had many, many various KTs over the past 25 years. I’ve had to send a couple back (P32, P3AT, PF9) but those were early models.

    Also, “lightweight” usually comes with “light-duty”. You can make a very lightweight firearm that won’t blow up with a high-powered cartridge, but if you shoot it beyond occasionally, parts are going to break. These are also low-cost guns, so the quality of the various parts, and the fitting, and the QC, can be iffy.

    Eg. Sub-2000. They had a batch with frame/barrel hinges that were cracking. That part is polymer, and it’s the only thing holding the gun together. Result – kaboom. I have one, and it’s neat niche firearm that pretty accurate even though the sights are horrible and it’s difficult to shoot… but I wouldn’t rely on it.

    I’ve found the current P32 very reliable. The factory .32 ACP cartridge in that pistol is perfect. I rely on it.

    I, and friends, have had P3ATs that were not so reliable. It’s too much recoil for the design. KT had to replace mine and a friends.

    The current PF9 is also reliable, however, it’s a hard kicking pistol and there’s a lot of recoil for the small parts involved. But shot 2-3 times a year, it will last a very long time.

    This P15 looks interesting but it appears to be designed with the problematical polymer/steel slide of the style used in the PMR30…. another pistol that had enormous teething problems.

    I don’t want to make this an encyclopedia, but every product they have ever introduced has had numerous problems AFTER introduction, that took months or years to fully resolve before it was working right, often with factory modifications, and consistently.

    My advice is NOT to be an earlier adopter with anything from KT.

  • Willie-O February 1, 2022, 2:16 pm

    As I’ve stated on here numerous times and will continue to as long as I’m alive and wear’n pants/shorts with pockets – my favorite “back-up” is a Beretta 950BS. Yep, it utilizes the always denigrated .25acp – (9)…..NINE of ‘em to be precise. They also made a couple of variants that fired .22LR and .22short. Too many issues with reliable feeding and misfires with both and I’d NEVER consider carry’n anything chambered in .22short for obvious reasons. I’ve owned/carried the Beretta (almost) daily for 34 yrs and I’ve put hundreds of rounds thru it – never an issue of any kind. I carry it in a pocket holster with a round chambered, “cocked & locked” with the safety on. I did recently acquire their Inox Tomcat. Basically the same platform/design as the 950, but does have the added benefit of being DA. Lose (1) round, but .32acp instead of .25acp – I’m content with either as a “back-up”. Remember, (2) is (1) and (1) is none because as Forrest said, shit happens.

  • Todd February 1, 2022, 12:11 pm

    I’ve been very happy with my Keltec products and this looks like a very attractive option for me.

    Optics ready, full-metal option, NO *GLOCK* safety…. I dig it!

    Yet another nail in the coffins of my much-loved .380s.

    Todd.

  • Firemanbob January 31, 2022, 9:59 pm

    OMG, what a bunch of bullshit, be thankful these manufacturers are constantly innovating products for us. we are living in good times, let the weapon speak for itself.

  • Michael Naglie January 31, 2022, 1:28 pm

    Thanks for article!
    like the grip length and capacity.. but really like thin and light; I have 43x with shield mags and catch products and had a couple of glock 42;s with plus1 but prefer 9mm vs 380 and this is not too far from G42 in weight and dimensions .seems like its meant to compete with glock 48 but have more capacity and smaller weight and thinner….will be fun to test

  • RICKY PRICE January 31, 2022, 12:54 pm

    I want one. Good by Glock43.

  • old mort January 31, 2022, 12:08 pm

    Like Wiscogunner I carry a P3AT .380. Weighs a bit shy fully loaded 12 OZ. It has never jammed after 200 rounds through it. When I say I carry I mean not always because I live in a small suburb, but when I travel the 15 miles into the twin cities (St Paul/Mpls) it is always in my back pocket. It it my wallet or my Kel-Tec? Hahahaha

  • Mike in a Truck January 31, 2022, 9:52 am

    I love KelTec products! I hate 9mm paraloser. Make this in 45acp with a few less rounds I dont care- I’ll buy one or two.

  • Jim Morrison January 31, 2022, 9:51 am

    I am so proud of Keltec for coming up with a revolutionary new way to recycle Joe Biden’s adult diapers into their craptastic K-15 Jamomatic polymer pistol with it’s “explode in your hand” feature. The smell may take some getting used to, and it may be best left outdoors, but what other gun can also be used as a chew toy for your Labrador? Sig Sauer and Smith & Wesson can’t do that. It’s the lightest gun in it’s class so you can throw it further than any gun you own. And last of all, you can add it to your compost to grow great tomatoes.

    • WiscoGunner January 31, 2022, 11:07 am

      Jim, Could you please try to be just a little more negative/pessimistic? It is obvious that you have never owned a Kel-Tec product and only base your opinions on reading other negative comments. I have owned several and never had a “jam-o-matic” or “explode in your hand” incident. The P15 looks like another step forward for Kel-Tec with the double-stack capacity, tritium/fiber front sight and the option of all metal or polymer. I don’t need another carry gun but I will probably get one of these when they are available. I suggest that you try a little positivity in your life and try something before you bash it. Make a negative comment based upon actual experience.

      • Willie-O February 1, 2022, 5:16 am

        Sorry WiscoGunner, but I’ll have to agree with Lizzard King on this one. I have no idea what his opinion is based on, but mine is from the (2) Krapteks I’ve owned. The 1st pos was their pocket sized .380 and it simply wouldn’t return to battery 99% of the time. After firing, it would eject the empty casing, strip a fresh round from the mag and

      • Willie-O February 1, 2022, 5:21 am

        feed it into the chamber. ALMOST. The round was always about half way from being fully seated

      • Willie-O February 1, 2022, 6:43 am

        Gonna try this (1) last time – my 1st (2) replies only posted part of what I had typed. I’ll have to side with Lizzard King on this one. I have no idea what his opinion is based on, but mine comes from hands on experience. I’ve owned (2) Krapteks and they were both junk. The first was their pocket sized .380 and it simply would not return to battery. After firing the next round would not be fully seated in the chamber – only about halfway. You had to gently bump the rear of the slide with the heel of your hand (palm) to fully seat the next round in the chamber. Tried everything to correct/prevent the issue – various brands/types of ammo as well as lubricants. NOTHING worked. My 2nd Kraptek was their PMR-30. I was skeptical of a semi-auto being able to feed rimfire cartridges reliably, especially for a carry gun. Sadly, my skepticism was proven to be valid. Yes, I had read the owner’s manual and watched their video. Kraptek was very specific about the ammo to be used and very detailed about the magazine loading procedure. I followed all of these factory recommendations to the letter – I really wanted it to be a reliable carry gun. Sadly, it wasn’t. Every 2nd or 3rd round failed to feed properly into the chamber – each time the round missed the chamber and would be wedged against the slide above and to the left. Get me once, shame on you. Get me twice, shame on me. Both of my Krapteks were simply junk. There won’t be a 3rd.

  • uri rundol January 31, 2022, 8:48 am

    i would like to see a revolver. a small, conceal model with a good handle for a large hand to hold. i don’t need more than 6 bullets. what i would like is that it comes with a churchill sleeve that can withstand multiple shots and i would like the money savings aspect of easy change parts. something fails no problem i just buy a replacement part.

    • Scotty Gunn January 31, 2022, 6:12 pm

      I used to think I only needed a few rounds,too. Not anymore. Recently, a pizza delivery guy was set up and robbed. He shot the guy dead, emptying his five shot revolver. Her boyfriend was across the street waiting. She ran over and shot him dead while he was holding an empty revolver.
      Multiple assailants is the game now. I switched from a low capacity 45 acp to a high capacity nine. (both being small carry guns).

      • Scotty Gunn January 31, 2022, 6:13 pm

        Edit: His girlfriend….

  • Higherview January 25, 2022, 7:34 pm

    I’m not sure how firearm manufacturers get away with some of the claims they make. When SIG came out with the P365 they marketed it as the first Hi-capacity “Micro-compact” pistol with 10+1 capacity and an optional 12+1 magazine. Kel-Tec had the P11 (11+1) available from 1995 to 2019, preceding any of the later so-called Micro-compacts, and I have 17+1 extended magazines for mine, and it is the same size as these newer ones with the regular mags. I love Kel-Tec but saying this P15 is the slimmest and lightest 9mm on the market at 0.875in width and 14oz unloaded is not the case. I just measured my Diamondback DB9 and it is .807in in width and 13.4 oz unloaded with magazine. I’m not knocking the new guns, just some of the claims.

    • Mark January 31, 2022, 6:55 am

      While I agree with you it’s the category this is being placed in that makes it “innovative”. They are essentially comparing it to the glock 19 because the barrel is 4” long and it’s a double stacked pistol at that width.

      You know buzz words sell and that’s what this is. I for one like the pistol and think it packs a lot of features for the price point. I’ve never owned a Kel-Tec fun so not sure I’ll buy it, but the width with the 4” barrel appeals to me. Also I’m in NYS so 10 rounds is all the long and queen allow here.

  • Ross January 24, 2022, 2:30 pm

    KelTec, I thought you had a winner here until you explained about the magazine disconnect. You have a switch which allows you to disable the grip safety and the magazine disconnect, or it can disable only the grip safety, but it cannot disable only the magazine disconnect. In order to disable the magazine disconnect you must also disable the grip safety. The one setting that you should have put on that switch is the one that you left off.

    • Keith Fuller January 24, 2022, 3:36 pm

      You shouldn’t disconnect the grip safety as it is what makes the pistol drop safe. The magazine disconnect is wanted by many folks to help prevent getting shot by your own pistol if you are getting beat up and they are taking your gun.

      • Jay Smith January 31, 2022, 7:53 am

        @ Keith, wanted option or not, the key word is OPTION. If you are going to make features optional with a switch, then DO that. MANY gun users Like manual safeties and/or grip safeties, but DO NOT like mag safeties. Your assumption that the grip safety will “Save you” from being shot by your own gun is a BIG IF. IF you eject the mag Before they take it (which in reality, it should be empty before they take it, or you didn’t need to be carrying a pistol in the first place). Most people don’t think , ” Hey, this guy is about to take my gun, let me remove the bullets before he does.” Instead of stopping the threat by firing the pistol. If that is the way you think, perhaps you don’t need to carry a pistol , carry pepper spray instead.

        • Damon January 31, 2022, 10:23 am

          This is a great point. Magazine disconnect was designed so that unprofessional ATF agents don’t shoot themselves in the leg when they are doing a demo for school children. I’ve instructed military, law enforcement, and personal-defense types for over 30 years, dropping a mag is made up BS for self protection. The mag safety is a safety feature developed for children and people disassembling/cleaning their weapon – other reasons are just sold as ‘features’ for marketing BS.

        • Grif January 31, 2022, 9:22 pm

          Magazine safeties are for noobs, curious kids, and adult humans, all of whom too often shoot themselves or a roommate, under the mistaken presumption the gun was empty by pulling out the magazine.
          These types of ACCIDENTAL discharges occur way more often than any bazillion to one life saving self defense scenario where someone shot a bad gun with the mag out of the gun. Fewer dead kids or accident victims is a plus for gun owners.

    • Jay Smith January 31, 2022, 7:55 am

      I agree Ross , they got that Bass-ackwards. Also, not wild about the Shape of that grip safety. Looks like the webbing of your hand could get caught below it on the “lip”.

    • Oafdawg January 31, 2022, 3:02 pm

      You can disconnect the mag safety while keeping the grip safety. The guy just didn’t get his words in the correct order.

  • glock19fan January 24, 2022, 12:17 pm

    As well as I like the Glock, I prefer a DA/SA trigger. Having had cartridges misfire occasionally, I still like a trigger that gives me another “go” at the recalcitrant cartridge. in fact, a lady in another state had a Beretta Tomcat in .32ACP and that DA/SA trigger saved her life.

  • Hugh L Plylar January 24, 2022, 10:18 am

    Nice, being a 1911 fan with grip safety I like this on the new Keltec. I have an old Keltec 380 that has been in a pocket holster every time I put my pants on. I have carried it for years and it has never failed me.
    I am 79 years old and have serious health issues but continue to enjoy shooting.

    • Old OutdoorsGuy January 31, 2022, 10:45 am

      And your comment begs the question, how many times have you had to draw or use that gun for personal protection? Do you clean it on a regular basis? Have you ever had to draw that weapon and actually fire a round in defense of your personal safety at an aggressor? To say that “it has never failed me” is a bit of a stretch if the only time you have actually fired the weapon is at a piece of paper on the practice range. Your “failure” rate, assuming you have kept it regularly cleaned of dirt and pocket lint and such, and under personal danger, can be another story. Now, I have provided enough avenues of “escape” for you to qualify your statement, so I will say that I will turn 79 in less than a week and have been carrying for just over 50 years for self-defense in my two businesses and also for personal defense wherever I go, and I have drawn my weapon only twice and, on each occasion the aggressor was a homeless and ragtag veteran in need of some post-Vietnam counseling. One broke down immediately and admitted that the “weapon” he had was his fingers pointing at me from a ragged coat pocket and the other man I recognized from loitering around the strip mall where my second business was located. I had already called a local LEO about a week beforehand to complain and had some idea of his background from talking with the police who responded. In both cases I could have shot those men and been well within my rights to do so. In both cases, there was at least one witness to their attempts to rob my business. In both cases I felt a sudden calm as I leveled my weapon at their chests and knew that I COULD, at that very moment, take their lives if I chose to do so. And in each case, after the police arrived, I had gone into a back room and had an immediate drop in adrenalin and cried. And I have no notion of making a statement, such as you made on this message board about either weapon in either case “never failing me”. If you are basing your statement on the fact that you drew on an aggressor and he immediately backed down, maybe I could understand your reasoning but, I came within a hair’s breadth of killing another human being on 2 separate occasions and had the presence of mind to listen to my gut and take verbal control of the situations instead of shooting and asking questions afterward. If that is your case or something similar, then I applaud your statement because I have already faced danger in a similar fashion and lived through it without endangering myself or other people nearby including the aggressor himself. I hesitated even challenging your allegations until you mentioned your age and the fact that you could have also been a military man at the same time during which I served. We lived in a different time, in a different place, and we served a military commitment for different reasons back in the day, but although I got out after only 4 years of handling weapons on a daily basis, I still can wonder if I didn’t become a “man” during those years? I can honestly tell you that I MATURED in the military but being a “man” is something virtual and we all strive for that level of commitment in our lives, I feel now that I am a “man” on one level or another. I hope you can say the same about your life. BTW, I also have serious health issues, and I treasure each day that I wake and see daylight again and hear the morning sounds of nature as I take my trusted companion out to do his “duty” before I make coffee. I have no immediate kin left now, even my younger brother went on many years ago and here I am, still on my journey to find out why I am here and what the task is that God has in mind for me to finish before I too move on? I live in the “now” waiting and watching and enjoying the outdoors the best that I know how. I thank God and my father for instilling in my soul an undying love for the outdoors and everything in it, without which I could not have endured some of the side trips I have had to take in my journey.

      • Grif January 31, 2022, 9:28 pm

        Nice insight on the KelTec P15. Jeesh. By the way, “never failed me” doesn’t mean the owner was saying it was used in a self defense gun fight. He is obviously conveying the gun went bang every time he shot it, whether plinking or training.

    • WiscoGunner January 31, 2022, 11:19 am

      The Kel-Tec P3AT is an awesome little carry gun. Very dependable and so easy to carry.

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