The KelTec Sub 2000 – A Folding Phenomenon

KelTec; love’em or hate’em, you can’t deny that they are one of the more creative companies on the market. They never seem to settle with what’s normal and bring something different everywhere they go. The Sub 2000 is one of their older designs and seemingly one of their most popular designs. KelTec was pumping out Sub 2000s long before the PCC craze began.

The Sub 2000 is currently in its second generation. I’ve got my hands on what I consider the best model on the market. This specific model is the Glock variant with a full-length grip in 9mm. The other model is the multi mag model, and it will come with one magazine configuration but also the ability to swap mag catches to use various magazines.

The Sub 2000 provides a short and light rifle for all your shooting needs. Plus it folds in half!

Magazine compatibility includes the SIG P320, the CZ 75, the S&W 59, S&W M&P, the Beretta 92&96, SIG P226, and the Canik TP9. One of the best reasons to buy a KelTec Sub 2000 is to mix and match the rifle with your favorite handgun.

I like the Glock model simply because magazines are so cheap and readily available. Plus, finding extended magazines is easy. I also prefer the Glock 17/22 variant because the 19/23 variant features an extremely short grip that my big hands find uncomfortable.

The second big advantage of the Sub 2000 is that it folds.

It Folds?

Yep, and I don’t just mean the stock folds. The entire gun folds in half at the end of the receiver. Unfolded, the weapon is 29.25 inches long; when you fold it, you reduce that length to 16.25 inches. The Sub 2000 shrinks down to a compact package and weighs only 4.25 pounds unloaded.

The folding action is unlocked via the trigger guard. When the trigger guard is pressed forward, the barrel becomes unlocked and folds upwards, and locks at the rear of the stock. A simple tab locks it all in place, and unlocking and unfolding it takes no time at all.

In its folded configuration, the Sub 2000 is super easy to store and transport.

The biggest advantage to a folding rifle is that it becomes a super compact rifle. It instantly becomes super easy to store and transport. You can zip it up in a laptop bag with absolute ease. The nature of the KelTec design keeps the gun very compact overall. It’s essentially two tubes connected at a square receiver.

Here we see the Wild Sub 2O00 almost fully folded.

The downside is the fact that anything attached to the top rail makes the rifle impossible to fold. Also, mounting an optic is impossible without a very creative optic mount. As you can see from my KelTec Sub 2000, those optic mounts are available. Because they are far from average, they aren’t exactly cheap, but well worth it. For those curious, my mount is the very awesome MCARBO variant you can find here.

The Rest Of the KelTec Sub 2000

We are past the fact that the Sub 2000 folds. Now let’s break down the rest of the gun. This is a blowback-operated, semi-automatic pistol caliber carbine that comes in either 9mm or 40 S&W. Sorry, 45 ACP and 10mm fans, there are no options for you, and to be honest, a 10mm direct blowback Sub 2000 sounds rough.

Mount goodies galore on the rail system

The Gen 2 model utilizes an M-LOK handguard and Picatinny handguard. The side slots are M-LOK, and the top and bottom use full-length Picatinny rails. The Gen 2 Barrel is also threaded so suppressor users can rejoice. KelTec installed a proper set of iron sights with an AR-style front sight and a rear peep sight.

It adjusts, technically, but not in the way you’d expect.

The stock is ‘adjustable’ but not like AR-style adjustable. You have to remove a pin and choose one of three positions, then reinsert the pin at the chosen position. It’s less than stellar, but it works.

At the Range

Let’s go shooting! I love PCCs. They are easy to shoot, fun to shoot, and can be cheap to shoot most of the time. Off the bat, I will tell you the Sub 2000 isn’t perfect. First, the trigger is very average. It has a good bit of take-up, a spongy wall, and then it finally breaks. Trigger reset is fairly long. KelTec did way better with the Gen 2’s trigger, but it’s still only average.

The AR front sight is familiar with most shooters

Ergonomics are a mixed bag. You can pop the safety on and off without issue, and the grip is comfortable. It’s tough to get any kind of proper cheek weld with the Sub 2000. Getting low enough to use the peep sights, it’s super comfortable. A red dot on an MCARBO mount does wonders.

The peep sight is quite refined, but somewhat hard to get a cheek weld to use.

Accuracy isn’t bad by any means. It’s typical with that of most 9mm PCCs, and you can get 2.5 to 3 MOA from the gun at 100 yards. 9mm pistol rounds aren’t really made for 100-yard shooting, and that does affect accuracy. At 50 yards, I can produce groups below an inch as long as I use the red dot. The crappy cheek weld and iron sight aren’t great for accuracy, and a red dot makes a big difference.

All Hot Air

A blowback action requires you to have a hefty spring and heavy bolt. That heavy spring makes working the action difficult and far from smooth. The included charging handle is functional but scrawny, so I replaced it with the MCARBO recoilless charging handle. It’s thicker, easier to grab, and makes working the action easier.

The Gen 2 rail system allows for easy accessorizing.

Speaking of blowback actions, the main downside to blowback is recoil. These guns recoil harshly for a 9mm PCC. It’s no 12 gauge slug gun, and its recoil is roughly equal to a 5.56 carbine. That’s soft but a bit much for a 9mm carbine. The good news is the Recoilless charging handle also reduces recoil by adding weight. It’s not as much as a must-have as the optic’s mount, but a cheap and worthwhile upgrade.

Look at how small and cute it is when folded.

The upside to a blowback action is the fact it ain’t picky about what it fires. This thing eats everything from nice brass-cased ammo to steel case garbage from Eastern European countries that might not exist anymore. It’s yet to fail to feed, fire, eject, or extract. Even those hard primered Eastern European rounds have no problems.

Shoot it, Fold it, Love It

The KelTec Sub 2000 provides PCC shooters a very affordable option that works with common pistol magazines. The folding action makes it well suited for transport and easy storage and gives it a unique edge over the competition. The ergonomics aren’t great, but I can live with them to keep the folding action and low price point. I think the Sub 2000 is a dandy of a rifle, and KelTec’s unique design makes it a winner.

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{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Ej harbet August 21, 2021, 8:49 am

    Guess I’ll need to read other info to see if it’s mean to lh shooters as the first generation was. I do like the idea of a folding 16inch rifle

  • grn lite August 17, 2021, 5:46 pm

    I owned one for awhile. I’m 74 and the recoil was a little much for me. The Ruger and even the Hi point shot lighter. The sharp edges on the butt. If you can go to a range and try one. Buy the one you like. I ended up with the Ruger. Fun to shoot.

  • John K August 16, 2021, 8:11 pm

    I would be interested in hearing from long term owners. Kel Tec does have some amazingly innovative guns, but there are a number of people who complain about their quality.

  • Jim August 16, 2021, 1:49 pm

    Best PCC on the market for the price point.

  • Ernest Buckley August 16, 2021, 12:42 pm

    There is a sig melted.called the multi mag,you can change where the notch on sig mags catch.I use my sig mags with it.a great pareing

  • derrick Coleman August 16, 2021, 11:59 am

    screw what anyone says, these guns are too much fun and kel tec isn’t meant for shooting impressive groups at 500 yards.

  • Steve0 August 16, 2021, 11:10 am

    I get 1 inch groups at 35-40 yds., ..I’m satisfied w/ that. I have done most of the MCARBO upgrades, except the side mount for optics,…but then, I’m not that interested. It is the most versatile and fun to shoot carbine I have of all my PCC’s ! I keep one in a drawstring stadium chair bag by my front door and another in a beverage backpack cooler bag in an undisclosed location both with several 33 rd. Glock mags. I have other Kel-tec products, one of the most innovative firearm manufacturers in existence today! If you are a prepper, you could NOT go wrong selecting this for your go-bag to match your Glock17/19. What more could a guy want?!

  • John McDowell August 16, 2021, 10:51 am

    If you want a bunch of upgrades, check out the McCarbo web-site.

  • Jim Farmer August 16, 2021, 10:24 am

    Yeah, well too bad you can’t find the ones that accept the Sig Sauer P226 mags . . .

  • John E August 16, 2021, 9:34 am

    Out of the box the gun is good but needs upgrades (especially gen 1). Red Lion Precision makes a rotating front stock for both Gen 1 and Gen 2 that makes this gun a dream. It allows you to put optics on the top rail and when you fold it you just rotate the top to the bottom. It is locked in place with a locking collar that is easy to lock and unlock. Adds maybe 5 seconds to the fold process but makes the gun great.

  • P. Piatkowski August 16, 2021, 8:47 am

    Have one in 40S&W and it is not enjoyable for me to shoot using iron sights due to the difficult cheek weld and recoil on said cheek. The MCarbo mount & red dot made it a heck of a lot more fun to shoot.

  • Joshooter August 16, 2021, 8:29 am

    Have the same model. Added a Kaw Valley linear compensator, FAB Defense foregrip, MCarbo rear peep sight, co-witnessed with a Ncstar railway style optic I had sitting around. Makes a great home defense rifle!

  • Don Mccollough August 16, 2021, 8:00 am

    Always wanted one, but do not want these wimp rounds . I would surely buy one in 10 mm, but looks like that is not going to happen, so i will be looking for something else.

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