Kel-Tec SUB-2000, the Mousegunner's Carbine

Updated April 12, 2011
Email me if you have any questions, comments or suggestions to make this page better.

The Kel-Tec SUB-2000 is the lightest and smallest 9mm (or 40 S&W) carbine in the world, which makes it the ideal "mousegun carbine." This web page is a compendium of information, photos and links to more information about this unique and excellent firearm. I have taken many of the photos, myself. Information and photos have been found all around the internet and brought together here in one central location. (If one of these photos is YOURS, and you would like credit, please email, and I will list your name with the photo, or remove it altogether if you so instruct.)

This is a photo of a Kel-Tec SUB-2000 as it comes in a cardboard box from Kel-Tec.

IMPORTANT: Read this before you disassemble your SUB-2000.


The Kel-Tec SUB-2000 carbine is available in both 9mm and 40S&W calibers. It also comes in a variety of models with pistol grips designed to be compatible with the Beretta 92, GLOCK 17, 19 or 22, S&W 59 series 9mm pistols, and SIG 9mm pistols.

The SUB-2000 is a re-designed and improved version of Kel-Tec's earlier carbine, the SUB-9, offered from 1997 to 2000. The SUB-9 was constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum and was more expensive to manufacture. A reader sent this to me recently (December 2010): "I bought one brand new back in 1998 or so. I found the ad for it in Shotgun News and my local gun dealer (Howard E. Hall) R.I.P....ordered it for me, and sold it to me for about $350. It was brand new. I have heard this idea of them being $700 or so before and its simply not true." (Thanks for the info, 2Tick2!)

Here are three photos of the SUB-9 I borrowed from the internet...

and Maddcat1's sub9 and sub2000 together (with his Kel-Tec PF-9!)

I have several dozen SUB-9 photos, contributed by "Jim" of KTOG Forum. You can see them by CLICKING HERE.

George Kellgren, president of KelTec, retained most of the best features of the Sub-9, did away with parts requiring excessive manufacturing expense, and produced the new SUB-2000. The SUB-9 had a "last round hold open feature," but the SUB-2000 weighs somewhat less than the SUB-9 weighed (4.5 vs 4.875 pounds), and sells for half the price. (As of January 1, 2008, it is not uncommon to be able to purchase a new SUB-2000 for about $300-$350.)

Jim of KTOG fame writes about the differences: "It wasn't weight that drove the change. After dealing with the issues on my SUB-9 I've come to realize that the SUB-9 has a lot of fasteners that can work loose as well as more parts than the SUB-2000. The change to plastic was driven by cost concerns, materials AND labor. Actually the S2K is a more reliable weapon long term. The SUB-9 will probably be one of those you have to keep an allen wrench in your pocket when you take it to the range."

But on the other hand, I had this email from Chris..."I have two Sub-9s. One I bought new when they were in production and the other I picked up used. I have put thousands of rounds through the one I purchased new and the fasteners have not worked loose. I have put many rounds through the one I bought used. No loose fasteners. I did have a recoil spring break on the one I bought used, which Kel-Tec fixed with their extraordinary customer service. I certainly don't need an allen wrench in my pocket when I go to the range. I wouldn't trade either of my Sub-9s for two Sub-2000s."

I (Mousegunner) have never owned a Sub-9, so have no personal experience. But it seems as in all things: "Your mileage may vary."

The SUB-2000 may be locked in the folded position with an included "lock pin" of brass:

Link to KTOG Discussion and Directions: How to Unlock Your Sub2000...

"Plinkertoo" on the KTRange wrote this about the SUB-9/40: "The primary difference between the Sub9/40, and the Sub 2000, is the former is an all metal affair (except the shoulder stock), with a last round hold open, roughly double the weight, and very hard to find for sale. I would gladly sell my 1st born son for a Sub40, as would a couple others I know. The Sub 2000 has plastic receiver halves, plastic sights which I like to claim are one gallon milk jug accurate at 100 yds, and no last round hold open, although you can lock the bolt open. It is also in my humble opinion the most reliable weapon that Kel-tec makes. And I do not mean to denigrate the rest of their weapons. But it is the least ammo finicky of all of them I've shot, and I've shot everything but the PLR and RFB."

This is a photo of a number of AK47 and AR15 rifles (and one SKS), alongside a Kel-Tec SUB-2000. Even unfolded, at its maximun length (29.5 inches), the SUB-2000 is nearly as short as an AK with an underfolded wire stock. When folded, the SUB-2000 is much shorter (16 inches).

Kel-Tec sells a nice fabric case for the SUB-2000

Others have devised their own custom hard-shell foam-lined cases:

There's at least one fellow who zips his SUB-2000 into the back of his leather jacket!

I'm keeping my new GLOCK grip Sub-2000 in a laptop computer case made by CaseLogic...


The SUB 2000 is a semi-automatic rifle chambered for the 9mm Luger or the .40 cal. S&W cartridge. Different versions of the SUB 2000 rifle will accept most double column handgun magazines, e.g. S&W, Glock or Beretta.

By rotating the barrel upwards and back, the SUB rifle can instantly be reduced to a size of 16 x 7 inches to facilitate secure storage. The gun is also easy to clean when it is folded. Here is a photo of the fully opened gun showing the chamber and feed ramp (My older Beretta model). My new GLOCK model has no feed ramp, just a chamfer all around.



The small size, light weight, and the use of a pistol cartridge would imply the prefix "sub". Thus we have found it appropriate to classify our firearm a "sub-rifle". The SUB-2000 rifle is intended as a compliment to the handgun with which it would have full interchangeability in ammunition and magazines.

The SUB rifle wil have much better accuracy and deliver higher muzzle energy than the short barreled pistol. Thus, the SUB rifle has a greatly extended range compared to a handgun. The superior precision is also very useful against small or partially covered targets at shorter range.

The receiver is made of an impact modified glass reinforced Zytel. The front end houses a hinge block holding the barrel and rear sight. This block is securely locked in place by a swiveling trigger guard. The receiver rigidly attaches to the stock by multiple lugs. The bottom forms the grip and also accepting different magazines according to the version specified. The receiver also houses the firing mechanism.

The barrel has spring loaded collar to ensure an accurate lock to the receiver, a polymer forend and a fully adjustable front sight. The forend is designed to house batteries or other devices.

The tubular steel stock contains the bolt and is ended by the polymer butt stock.

The heavy two-piece machined steel bolt holds the firing pin, the extractor, and has the operating handle on the bottom. A captive guide recoil spring with buffer actuates the bolt. The long bolt travel allows for very large functioning marginals.

The firing mechanism is of conventional single action type. It has a positive disconnector, a push bolt safety that blocks the sear and disengages the trigger bar. The hardened steel ejector is internal and also holds the engraved serial number.


I would hesitate to call this a "common" problem with Sub-2000 carbines, but from time to time you will purchase a Sub-2000 and the trigger guard will not move fully to the front of the grip, as it should. This ALSO means that the carbine is not securely locked open. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FIRE YOUR SUB-2000 UNTIL YOU FIX THIS PROBLEM. Fortunately this is an easy problem to fix! When I purchased my latest GLOCK grip Sub-2000, it looked like this...

The cure is simple. First, unscrew and remove the fore-grip of your Sub-2000. Use a full-size Philips screw driver. The screws are tight, but not extremely tight, and you won't have any problem.

Where the barrel fits into the receiver, you will notice some threads, and a nut that is turned onto these threads. This is the root of the problem. This nut is probably too tight, and needs to be loosened up a bit. You may need a pair of plyers to get it started, but maybe not. It is not meant to be screwed in tight. It is meant to be hand-adjustable. Here's a photo of the nut:

Loosen up this nut a turn or two. Be careful NOT to grasp the large flange at the back of the nut to turn, because it is quite sharp, and it may slice open your thumb or finger. (Don't ask me how I know about that!) After you loosen the nut, try to open your Sub-2000 and lock it in place by pushing the trigger guard back to the grip. If it still won't move there, then loosen the nut a little more. Eventually you will find the right spot for the nut, the carbine will lock open, and the trigger guard will move back to the grip.

Now it's time to put the fore-grip back over the barrel. When you do that, watch out for two things. First, there are grooves in both pieces of the fore-grip that fit over the big flange behind that nut you just tightened. This is designed to tighten down on the nut, and keep it from moving.

Second, there is a little flippy lever at the front/bottom of the grip, that needs to be lined up properly, and not hanging out the bottom of the fore-grip, when you tighten up the screws. Tighten everything up, test locking open, and the trigger guard moving fully in place (It's OK of you have to give it a little push to seat it). Now your are good to go.


IMPORTANT: Read this before you disassemble your SUB-2000.


The SUB-2000 sights are very simple: a fixed rear-aperture sight, and a front sight post made of a piece of bright translucent pink/orange plastic held in place with "pressure pads." The manual says: "Use a coin or large screwdriver to adjust the windage by the two screws on each side of the front sight block. Before turning a screw clockwise (IN), the opposite must be backed out the same amount. 1/8 of a turn changes the point of impact one inch at 100 yards....Before tightening the screws, the post may be pushed up or down to adjust elevation. .004" will change the impact 1 m.o.a. Do not over-tighten!"

There is now a "Second Generation Front Sight," and Kel-Tec includes in the box
a little printed card with instructions. I reproduce it here for you:

"Before making any adjustment, always loosen the metal screw first with the tool provided (see picture). Reverse the Phillips head bit in the included tool and use the hex end to loosen one of the clear plastic screws and then tighten the other in 1/8 to 1/4 turn increments. Always end Windage adjustments by tightening the right side screw in order to avoid sight rotation. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE CLEAR PLASTIC WINDAGE SCREWS, the hex screws can strip easily. 1/4 of a turn changes the point of impact 1.3" (1.6") at 100 yards or 1.3 m.o.a (1.6 m.o.a.). One full turn is 5.2 m.o.a. (6.4 m.o.a.) By turning the left screw in (clockwise) the sight moves to the right and the point of impact to the left. Before tightening the screws, the post may be pushed up or down to adjust elevation. .007" (.005") will change the point of impact 1 m.o.a. When finished adjusting the sight, lock the blade by tightening the metal Phillips head screw."

2nd Generation Sight

Sight Adjustment Tool


IMPORTANT: Read this before you disassemble your SUB-2000.


From Scamp-Daddy on the KTOG Forum: "With a little modification/tinkering and hand loaded, a SUB-2000 has been known to send a 40cal /.400" 135gr Nosler JHP traveling 1600 fps to its target 100yrds away inside of an inch." And here is his target as proof:


It has a singleaction trigger and it can hit man size targets at 100 yards... The trajectory of a 9mm is better than a .22LR and much more destructive on real small game like squirrels... The 9mm round shoots essentially FLAT for the first 100 yards... The trigger pull is 6-8 lbs.

Accuracy is all I expected, I could hit a 20 oz. bottle at 35 yards even when my front sight blade was gone, just line up the peep and hood, put the target in the center and squeeze. I have a red dot, but its just a 40mm BSA from Walmart on a weaver rail I fabbed up. Won't fold up all the way with the red dot on, but it will still fit in my 16"x12" pistol case...

I have killed some rats in the barns with the Sub2000 with CCI #11 shot shells. They eject, so you can lay some pellets out in a hurry. No choke and 16" barrrel = close pattern...

The gun is most definitely single action by design, however depending on the specific gun it may feel more like a double action. My beretta 92 magwell S2K came with a sweet trigger pull. My father in law's did not (the trigger would almost bend back to the front of the grip before breaking) and he wouldn't send it back for lightening like most people do, so I had to fix it. Not an impossible job and no special tools required but not super easy either. Basically the problem was that the sear-to-hammer interface was at a bad angle that required lifting the already retracted hammer back a bit more (hey it was like a double action ;) ) Bottom line is I fixed it to shoot like mine and they can shoot well, mine can easily do a group smaller than 2-3 inches at 50 yards with iron sights offhand. Fast handling gun, great reliability, lots of good high cap mags. For optics, lots of people use them and they work (check out KTOG or keltec range website forums)...Trajectory would likely limit you to about 150 yrds or less... The gun is great for travel due to its size, and is awesome for self defense due to reduced recoil/noise/flash, increased accuracy and velocity as compared to pistols...

I've got one with the Glock 17 mag well, it's a lot of fun to shoot. The triggers are generally pretty stiff. Mine started at about 11-12 pounds but after a couple of hundred rounds is now in the 6-8 pound range. Definately not a crisp 1911 trigger...At 50 yards I can hold about 2" groups with bulk Winchester or Remington ammo, the sights look ugly but can be used to good effect...At 100 yards I'm at 4-5" groups, ok for people size targets but tough to get a bunny or squirrel with that...Kel Tec gives you a trajectory chart with the Sub also.


Here is a velocity chart for a variety of 40 S&W ammunition, done by "Ballistics By the Inch." The Ruger and the Kel-Tec carbines have about the same barrel length.

If you remember your high school physics class, trajectory is a function of velocity. Remember Galileo's famous experiment, dropping things from the leaning tower of Pisa? Remember that in a vacuum a feather and a ball of lead fall toward the earth at precisely the same velocity? So then, apart from air friction acting on the bullets, a 9mm bullet and a 40 S&W bullet traveling horizontally at the same speed will strike the earth at the same moment. Therefore, the Kel-Tec trajectory chart for the 9mm Sub-2000 would also be valid for the 40 S&W Sub-2000. Just make sure that the particular 40 S&W bullet you fire has the same velocity as you see on the Kel-Tec chart. If the velocity is the same, the trajectory will be the same, except for some small drop due to the friction of the air acting on the bullets. I am going to assume that a FMJ 9mm and a FMJ 40SW bullet will experience about the same amount of drag. I suppose a hollow point bullet would have more drag than an FMJ bullet. Frankly, I don't have the equipment to actually measure these things, so I'm just going to try to use common sense (which doesn't always turn out right!)


If going with the 9mm Sub, for your use, I'd probably use a 124gr. or lighter +P round, you'll get decent velocity and as a previous poster mentioned that should get you a usable range of up to 150 yards depending on your eyes...

KelTec also makes a folding scope mount for the Sub, I haven't tried one myself so can't really comment on how usable they are...I have the Sub2000 in .40 S&W. It is a blast to shoot, the sites come up on target beautifully, the .40 out of that barrel packs one hellofawhollop! Coke cans at 50 yards splatter in lovely arcs! The magazines fit my Glock .40 which makes for a good thing also...

The trigger is atrocious. Sloppy, stupid long pull, breaks at around 500 pounds. You are going to want to clean that up. That said, it is a fun gun! Optics are a problem, mounting is a big issue, but with those sights it really doesn't matter, off-hand shooting is easy...

As for a hunting 'rifle'. I'd suggest a used lever gun in any caliber (I have a .357 Winchester that works well). The Sub-2000 trigger is long and squishy to be sure, if you can find a good one, or want to work on one, good luck...The sights are course, but quick. 100 yard accuracy is minute of pie plate...I have one of the 'fold away' sight mounts that replaces the front handguards, but only allows a 1' optic to be used. It never worked quite right, and wouldn't return 'to zero' after being folded up...Overall it's a fun gun, a plinker. If you want better accuracy or a better trigger, look elsewhere...

IMPORTANT: Read this before you disassemble your SUB-2000.


Field stripping the SUB-2000 for cleaning is not difficult. As always, make sure the gun is unloaded! The bolt should be forward and the safety on. The SUB-2000 is hinged in such a way that the barrel folds away from the receiver, thus allowing bore cleaning from the breech. Here's a photo of the various parts of a disassembled SUB-2000, along with a schematic and parts list:

IMPORTANT: When you re-assemble your SUB-2000, if you have difficulty inserting the bolt all the way into the gun, you may need to reach in from the other side and depress the hammer with a screwdriver while putting in the bolt. See this post at the Kel-Tec Owners Group Forum.

Also, there is a little plastic spring loaded pin that fits into a groove in the stock pin. When disassembling or reassembling the SUB, be sure to remove or insert the stock pin properly so as not to pull out or lose the little pin. You don't need to entirely remove the stock pin to take down the SUB. Just pull it MOST of the way out, until it is caught by the little retaining pin. Here is a picture to show where the little pin goes in the stock. If you DO lose the little retaining pin that runs in the groove in the stock pin, it's not a big deal. Check out this link about that.



The trigger feels like a bad version of a Sig's with a long pretravel before the transfer bar engages the sear. The plastic trigger's flex doesn't help the feel that much. it's still not a bad gun though, especially at the price...It's a fun, semi-accurate gun, but that trigger is horrid. Somebody said "squishy" and I'm seconding that. I'm trying to make time to produce a new one out of aluminum, but the desire I have to do so seems inversly proportional to the free time I have available! ...It is too bad that the trigger has to be such a problem on an otherwise good gun. Like I said, it can be fixed. If anyone wants detail info I can help, of course I am not taking responsibilty for the result, but I think it worth trying. If somehow you did manage to screw anything up, KT customer service is quite useful I hear.

As far as hollow points I have tried 90 and 115 grain corbons, 147 grain winchester white box, and 115 grain silvertips. Never a failure to feed or fire. Also used the really hot Hirtenbirger submachine gun 124grn fmj ammo that may destroy most handguns. The main armorer at KT said it was ok in limited amounts (due to the strong recoil spring that my wife cannot pull back), but others have said that this is pure lunacy. That said I don't make it a regular practice....

My S2K is a Glock mag well, 9mm, I forgot to mention that. I use 124gr. +P Speer Gold Dots. I have had a few hang up on the ramp, but nothing a little polishing didn't remedy. I just put some jewlers powder on a 20 guage shotgun swab and put it on my drill, then used it to polish up the ramp while the carbine was folded up. Nothing too hard. After 100-150 rds or so it will dirty up enough to hang up about once a mag, you have to put rearward pressure on the charging handle, and the bullet will nose up and seat itself. If you fold up the gun and clean the residue off the ramp (wipe it on your britches leg), you're good to go for another 100 rounds or so. Roundnose feed like a charm. Look into Corbon PowRBalls maybe...The trigger never bothered me, but I have NYs on my Glocks. It will penetrate car doors better than buckshot, no doubt, and has nowhere near the recoil of a shotgun, though sometimes it will pop you one if you let it creep up on you. I have not shot a S2K in .40 cal, but I bet it would be sweet. I am trying to convince a buddy of mine with a S&W 40VE to get one. He is coveting mine, so I think he'll wind up with one, too.

I purchased a sub-2000 (glock version) about two months ago and am very pleased with its accuracy and overall workmanship. I like the folding concept alot. Great for storing in backpack when hiking. Sights were a little low and left for me from the factory so had to be adjusted (about 40yds). MAJOR DRAWBACK was that the older high-cap Glock 17 magazines (17rounders) did not fit at all!. I had to push them up hard in the mag well to sit in mag release. This only made the lower part of the polymer grip start to split!! I figured out that if you were to shave off a little with a dremel tool the bottom inside of the grip you could make the pre-bans sit flush. But then the 10 rounders would be wobbly on the end. My advice would be to buy at least two or more 10 rounders for back up. I have a couple of 30 round mags and they fit and function flawlessly in the carbine so I'm okay with it...

The Sub2000 carbine was much less than I'd hoped for. Since it's designed to fold, it's difficult to attach a scope or optical sight - which it direly needs, given the utterly horrid, virtually useless "sights" on it. At close range, point-shooting, it may be of use. My buddy's Sub2000 uses the plastic Glrock magazines - they can be hard to load the last couple rounds in. He should've gotten it with the magwell to use Beretta mags - he has a Taurus and the weapon could be tweaked to use the Taurus mags easily. The "stock" was way too short - I'm 6'4" with the arms of a Greyback Gorilla - and I could barely operate the contraption. Even my buddy, being a short little guy, admitted it was short for him too. With that being said, he could shoot some fairly good groups with it at 50 yards. It seemed very reliable too - never balked with UMC, Winchester or his hand-loads. Some folks like the SUB2000, but it just wasn't good for me...

I have a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 in .40 S&W thats takes Glock G22 mags and it is one of the best investments I have made. It has a very heavy trigger pull which lightens up the more you shoot it. I have a 47 acre farm and sling it over my back when I go out. It is an excellent varminter out to around 75 yards. Takes out cat sized targets without a problem. You can shoot this rifle without hearing protection too which is a big plus in my book. I just get a small ring in my left ear after the shot. (Note: recommends hearing protection ANY TIME YOU SHOOT!) Pumped many types of ammo with no feeding problems. You definitely need to buy the 1 inch butt extension with it though. It makes you shoot much more accurately. The sling is nice too. Rifle is built like a tank. Very strong and durable. Sights are right on out of the box. It loves those Russian Silver Bear .40 S&W hollowpoints. Eats them like candy. Very fun to shoot & carry. Folds up and goes right in the backpack on hikes, rides, etc. Very discrete and powerful. Oh yeah, I purchased a Houge Handall grip for it as well which made a big difference too!

Mine had to go back to Kel-Tec, but they covered all the costs. it has run flawlessly since. Handy as hell, well worth 250 or 3 bills. I went to a shoot where they had a gong at about 150 yards and I was tapping it every other shot...

Ive got a sub2000 in 9mm that takes beretta mags. So far I havent any major complaints about it. Mechanically, it has functioned fine, although I've only put maybe 2-3 hundred rds through it. Things I dislike are the "flexi" plastic trigger, inability to get good cheek weld, and weirdo front site. However, I know I've seen some company out there that makes an AR type front sight that can be retro fitted. For something like $250.00 though, I pretty much bought it for novelty factor alone. I mean, how many guns out there fold in half!!

The Sub2K is alot of fun. For those of us in hurricane prone parts of the country, it's folded size makes it super easy to throw in a bug-out bag or backpack. Ammo is cheap and plentiful and it's fairly accurate out to 100 yards or so. Mine was also very reliable and I pumped a few thousand rounds of LancerCustomAmmo reloaded 9mm brass thru the thing without ever a jam or failure...

My guess is that the great majority of shooters couldn't hit a tractor standing unsupported at 100 yards with any pistol. Add to that whatever circumstances require you to make hits at 100 yards and you probably can cull a lot more from the list. With my sub-2K even I can do it...

Like it or not a pistol caliber carbine is better than a pistol for engaging targets at over 15 or 20 yards. Fairly significant velocity increases lead to more horsepower, and that ignores the longer sighting plane making hits easier. My sub 2000 also fits very nicely in a standard soft side briefcase with a 17 round mag loaded, and four 33 round spares. I can carry it thus and no one will know, and with the single point sling I can fold it and wear it under a coat in the winter. I've actually practiced that,and while much slower than drawing a pistol it works ok...


Other 9mm carbines include those produced by Marlin, Ruger, Beretta and Hi-Point. The Ruger PC9 looks like this:

The Ruger 9mm carbine is several pounds heavier than the Kel-Tec SUB-2000, and of course it is longer, and does not fold for easy transport. The only thing that distinguishes the Ruger carbine from an ordinary rifle is its use of the 9mm round.

The Marlin 9mm carbine is no longer being produced, however it may be found on the used gun market. The "Camp9" is also longer and heavier than the Kel-Tec SUB-2000. Here are two photos of the Marlin 9mm carbine:

The Beretta CX4 Storm 9mm carbine is a rather new model, and is being well received, although it is rather expensive:

I don't have any exact figures, but my impression is that the most popular 9mm carbine on the American market at this time is the Hi-Point 995 (9mm). (There is a great Hi-Point forum here...) Hi-Point also manufactures a similar carbine in 40S&W (the 4095), and will soon come out with a .45 caliber carbine. The Hi-Point 995 carbine is very inexpensive, selling for about $220. The HP995 weighs six pounds, and is 32.5 inches long. Like the SUB-2000, the Hi-Point carbine features a pistol grip. The Hi-Point is handier than either the Ruger, Marlin or Beretta. However, the Kel-Tec SUB-2000 weighs only four pounds, and folds up to a mere 16 inches. Also, the Hi-Point is limited to 10 round Hi-Point magazines, while the SUB-2000 accepts high-capacity 30 round magazines. Check out this big discussion: Hi-Point 995 vs Kel-Tec Sub2000

Flush-fit 18 round Beretta magazines (made by MecGar) fit my Beretta gripped Sub-2000. Also, there are "plus-two" floor plates for the 18 round magazines (so you have 20 rounds), as well as 30 round magazines. I have a GLOCK 17 model Sub-2000, now; but personally, I don't care for the long 30-rounders dangling out of the grip! I like the flush-fit 17 round mags.

For comparisons to these carbines, and others not mentioned above, see this interesting post by PJM on KTOG.


Within 100 yards, the trajectory is almost flat, deviating less than two inches from the line of sight. At close range with +p ammunition, the 9mm SUB-2000 has the energy of a .357 magnum. At 200 yards the 9mm bullet still carries more energy than a .380 bullet has at muzzle velocity. However, the bullet from the SUB-2000 will drop 18 inches in 200 yards, and wind deflection may be considerable. Kel-Tec recommends the use of premium hollow-point ammo of US manufacture of medium bullet weight.


One often reads gun reviews about 1-inch groups at 100 yards, etc. I make no claim to be a great marksman, so take my remarks with a grain of salt. I went shooting with my Sub-2000 this morning (April 12, 2011), and I've scanned one of my targets. This is a group of 16 shots (I was using a 17-round GLOCK mag, and only loaded 16 in it), and the squares are one inch squares. If I had shot a bunch of 5-shot groups, I could have come up with a one-inch group at 25 yards. (The farthest I can shoot at my range is 25 yards). I was shooting standing and off-hand. I have no doubt that sitting, and with a good support, a person could shoot a one inch group at 50 yards. From a target posted earlier in this review, you can see that with optics some people have done much better. My point: the Sub-2000 is as accurate as it needs to be. If the shooter does his part, the carbine will do its part just fine.


What about "dry firing" a SUB-2000? I can't find any warning in the SUB-2000 manual about dry firing the weapon. Users have different ideas on the subject. I have dry fired my own SUB quite a few times, and can't tell that it has been damaged in any way. Some people report that dry firing improves the trigger. Others say that repeated dry firing will damage the firing pin retaining screw. I would suggest that those who wish to dry fire their SUBs on a regular basis invest in some "snap caps," which should prevent any damage. It's good to know also that Kel-Tec service is very good; and if your dry firing leads to any damage, they will be glad to quickly ship you whatever parts you need to replace anything that needs replacing. If you send your gun to Kel-Tec for service, you will often get it back in just three or four weeks, or even quicker.


To summarize, the Kel-Tec SUB-2000 has eight strong points that recommend it to the person looking for a small rifle.


The following is an excerpt from Patrick Sweeney's excellent book: Modern Law Enforcement Weapons and Tactics, 3rd Edition. This book was published by Krause in 2004, and I highly recommend it to everyone interested in police weapons, gear, etc. I hope everyone will consider this excerpt (which begins on page 230) as part of a review, and go out and buy the book. Click here for the Amazon link.

The Sub-2000 is one of those "Why didn't I think of that" ideas. Simply described, it is a pistol-caliber carbine that is hinged to fold in the middle, right at the chamber. The barrel and chamber, forearm and front sight are in the front half, and the pistol grip, magazine well, bolt recoil spring and buttplate are in the rear half. The trigger guard is the lock that keeps the halves together when opened. Unlatch it and lift the muzzle, and you can fold the forward half up and back until it locks to the rear half. To unlock, press the latch above the buttplate towards the action and you unlatch the front sight assembly from the buttplate. Swing it forward and down, and when the trigger guard snaps into place you're ready to load and go.

The really trick part of the design is the pistol grip. Since it uses standard handgun magazines, and the pistol grip is the magazine well, then the design can be made to accommodate different pistol magazines. Your department issues (or you carry) a Sig? Your Sub-2000 can use the same magazines. Ditto Beretta, Ruger, Glock, S&W and Kel-Tec magazines. However, the Glock pistol grip cannot be changed, where the others can. So, if you have both Beretta and Sig pistols, you can swap your Sub-2000 back and forth. You can have the Sub-2000 in either 9mm or 40 (but you can't swap from one to the other) and you can have the buttstock and forend in black, green or gray. The metal can be blue, parkerized or hard chromed.

The bare carbine can be upgraded by attaching the picatinny rail for a light, a scope mount, laser, stock extension (for those with really long arms) and spare magazine holder. In use, it is simple. With the Sub-2000 opened and locked, insert a loaded magazine. Underneath the stock tube is the operating handle. Grab it and pull it back, then release and let it go forward. The handle reciprocates with the bolt, so you must not place your hand back there, or allow any equipment to get in the way. You can be injured, and the equipment damaged. And, the carbine will not properly cycle, which could be embarrassing in a gunfight. The safety is the cross-bolt button above and behind the trigger. Press it across to place on "fire." The aperture rear sight is automatically raised as you opened the rifle, sight through the rear, and align the front as you would any aperture or ghost ring sight. Aim and fire. To stop, take your finger out of the trigger guard, push the safety to "safe" and point in a safe direction. To unload, remove the magazine then operate the bolt to extract the chambered cartridge. If you wish to lock the bolt open, the operating handle slot has a notch cut in it. Pull the bolt back, the press the handle to the side into the notch. Ease it forward and the bolt will stay open.

The recoil is a bit snappy. However, the empty carbine weighs only 4 pounds, so a slightly sharper than "normal" recoil is to be expected. Once experienced, it is not a problem. Compared to a Colt SMG at 8 pounds or an H&K MP-5 at 10 pounds, the Sub-2000 should be expected to feel a bit sharper. The empties are ejected briskly and 10 to 12 feet to the side (9mm) but not so forcefully that they would present a hazard to others. The bolt does not have an automatic hold-open when the magazine is empty, but this also is no problem. The MP-5 does not, and many Colt SMG's lock open only occasionally when empty. Magazines are easily inserted, and drop free when the magazine button is pressed. While the brass deflector keeps empties out of the face of lefthanded shooters, the gases blown out of the ejection port can sometimes be felt.

The big advantages of the Sub-2000 are the compactness of its folded condition, and the ease of aiming and firing for accurate results. Folded, the Sub-2000 is only 7 inches by 16 inches. You can easily stuff it in a gear bag, to ride on the passenger seat of a patrol car. Opened, it is 30 inches long. Since it uses standard pistol magazines, you can use the magazines from your sidearm, or keep a spare (even an extra-capacity) magazine attached to the carbine in the gear bag. When needed, it is quickly removed, opened, loaded and ready. With a standard magazine installed, it holds up to 17 rounds of 9mm, and you can fire from a low prone position. With an extracapacity magazine, you can have 25 (Beretta) to 33 (Glock) rounds loaded, and follow-up if you need to reload, with pistol magazines. In accuracy testing, it was easy to keep all shots on a 10-inch steel plate at 100 yards offhand. The desire for a carbine in the patrol car comes in part from the North Hollywood shootout, where the offenders used rifles and body armor to keep the police at a distance. Using a handgun in a rifle fight, at rifle distances, is not an efficient approach, and entirely likely to end up with a disbursement of survivor benefits. However, a pistol-caliber carbine that can be brought into play in a few seconds evens the odds quite a bit. From prone, I was able to score hits on head-sized plates at 80 yards 75 percent of the time.

It would also be useful for the officer who has a regular patrol rifle in the car, as an issue carbine to backup. Example: rolling up on a situation, you bail out with your patrol rifle, to be met by the off-duty officer who called it in. With the Sub-2000 in your gear bag, you have a patrol rifle and a pistol-caliber carbine on hand to deal. with the problem, rather than a patrol rifle and an off-duty snubbie. For the size, weight and cost, the Sub-2000 is an excellent option to add to your bag of tricks in a lethal force situation. One question that comes up is reliability and durability. (OK, two questions.) I was introduced to the Sub-2000 in its earlier incarnation as the Kel-Tec Sub-9. Jeff Chudwin was one of the first to get one, and he has put thousands of rounds through his without a problem. He finds it dependable enough that he packs it in his gear as a backup, and if you knew him you would realize what a compliment that is. I have not put thousands of rounds through mine yet, but it has not failed yet. As for parts breakages, neither Jeff nor I have broken anything. From time to time I hear rumors of broken parts or recalcitrant guns, but have not been able to trace them back to their source. But then, if you were to mention any firearm at all to a group of shooters, competitors or police officers, at least one of them would be happy to regale you with tales he's heard of that particular one (regardless of which you mention) breaking or malfunctioning.

As a spare rifle, or an issue to backup, how would I set up the Sub-2000? I would first select one for the pistol magazines issued. Considering the accuracy mine delivered, I would not go with a scope or red dot sight. The bulk isn't worth the accuracy improvement. I would however, attach the light rail, and keep a Streamlight M-3 on it. I would use a loop of elastic, like a load-bearing vest or gear securing strap, and place it around the forearm. I would then use it to secure the carbine magazine. The strap can't go around both halves or you can't open the folded carbine. And it can't go around the lower, or it will interfere with the reciprocating bolt handle. I would keep a high-capacity magazine on the rifle. If I needed to go prone, I could select a spare off my belt. If I needed the volume (a rapid-responder situation, for example) I'd use the hi-cap first, and reload off my belt as needed.

The folded carbine would then go in the gear bag to ride in the passenger seat in a one-officer car, or tucked out of the way in the passenger compartment in a two-officer car. (And of course, the vehicle is always locked when left unattended, as per Departmental SOP.) The 16-inch barrel of the Sub-2000 potentially adds velocity to the cartridge. However, many 9mm loadings are balanced for 4- and 5-inch handgun barrels, so the extra barrel length does not give as much boost as you might think.

MORE COMMENTS FROM OWNERS (These are NOT from a Kel-Tec Forum)

Mine has gone BANG every time for the past several years. Uses Glock 17 magazines and aftermarket 30 round Glock mags. Folds up into a laptop case with room for spare magazines and a G17. What's not to love?

I keep mine loaded with 124+p Gold Dots right by my desk. It works 100% other than a couple odd cases, like a case bouncing back into the port when fired near a doorway. The first 1000rds I used in it were Blazer. I didn't get mine new and had no idea you shouldn't use aluminum cased ammo. It didn't cause a problem and I'd still use it if I needed to. I've had no reason not to trust it with factory Glock mags.

I agree with what the others have said. I love mine, put over 3k rounds through it, works great! You said what else, here's what else. GO BUY ONE, you'll be glad you did...

I trust mine with the 17 round Glock 17 magazines but it occasionally has failures to feed with the larger 33 round magazines. For me the Sub2000 is just a novelty gun and plinker. In any situation other than plinking I'd absolutely choose the Glock 17 instead...

I have one with the G17 magwell, it's been absolutely reliable over the course of several hundreds of rounds. I keep mine with 4x33 round Glock magazines, fits in a standard briefcase with no problem. I'd certainly trust mine for any kind of defensive work, home or otherwise, I can shoot 2.5" groups at 50 yards all day, much better than I can do with a pistol.

Mine is as dependable as any gun I've ever owned. I too got the G17 mag set up, and have the 33-round aftermarket mags for it. Fun to plink with, sure, and as good a shooter as I am out to 50 yards - and sure is nice having a carbine in a briefcase when you want something more than whatever pistol you pack.

Mine is the Beretta version, (since I have a 92F/S also). I have put over 1000 rounds through mine in the year I have owned it and have never had a failure. The trigger pull is stiff when new, but it is not a sniper rifle anyway. I would trust mine with my life or my family. Every member of my family loves to shoot it as it is light, low recoil and hits the target. I routinely shoot mine out to 120 yards and can hit 16 oz soda bottles 9 out of 10 shots. It is my travel rifle, as it fits in my pistol case. When on the road I take five 17 round mags loaded with FMJ in case I get in traffic problems...

I will trust my life to it as soon as I get some longer range practice with it and my new sight from Blue Force Gear, but for now its a novelty/plinker. Still never had a problem with it, ever. My Mosin and my G22 are the only other ones I've never had a failure to feed, fire, or extract with (and that list includes an AK and SKS).

No problems. In fact, by stupidity I put in it 9mm rounds (while the thing is chambered for 40 S&W) and it actually shot them (but did not cycle competely through, so I had to manually pull out the cases)... so if I only had 9mm rounds and this thing in 40 S&W ... it could still protect my life at a shorter range :-)

And check out this LINK!
See what can happen!


Tacticool Products makes several excellent and helpful accessories. The photo below shows Tacticool's "Bolt Tube Cover," which makes the cheek weld much nicer, and their "Operating Handle Cover," which makes the bolt handle easier to operate. Both of these products just slide on, for easy installation. Tacticool Products also sells a "Recoil Reducing Buffer Cylinder" that installs easily over the rear end of the recoil spring, and which reduces felt recoil by 30%!

Richard Weite and Associates manufactures and sells an aluminum replacement trigger, silver or black color. Here is a photo. He also has an accessory rail for sale. Weite's website is called AZTAC, and here's the link:

Richard Weite's Quad Rail for the Sub2000 is discussed on KTOG. Here's a link to a discussion thread about it with some photos...

Blue Force Gear is another accessory company, and they also sells a tube cover, and a fancy metal front sight replacement. There's a discussion with pictures of the BF sight on KTOG.

The stock extension from Kel-Tec extends the stock trigger reach by an inch, and makes the Sub more comfortable to shoot. It simply slides/snaps on, very easily. There is an opening in the extension for the sight, so there is no interference with the fold-up feature of the Sub-2000. It is made of some kind of very durable hard plastic, and is inexpensive. You can get it directly from Kel-Tec for only $11.65 plus shipping. Here's a picture of my Beretta model Sub-2000 with the extension installed.

As of November 2009 there is a "quadrail" and a two-rail forearm for purchase directly from Kel-Tec. You may call Kel-Tec's office at 321.631.0068 and ask for Robin. She will be happy to help with your order. These prices were quoted in October of 2009: SUB2000-420-2, 2 rail, $97.53 ea. -- SUB2000-420-4, 4 rail, $113.40 ea. Here's a photo of the quad-rail....

Retro-Tactical makes a molle pad for hanging stuff from the stock:

Personally, I have reached a point in my life where I absolutely hate harsh recoil. I have done two things to my new GLOCK model Sub-2000 which cut recoil by a lot. First, I have the great recoil reducer from Tacticool Products, as mentioned above. Secondly, I have installed the slip-on Limbsaver recoil pad. This is the most effective slip-on-your-stock pad there is, and it helps a lot. It's UGLY! But I don't care! Here's a photo that shows it clearly. You can also see the Tacticool bolt tube cover, and bolt handle cover.


At this present time there is no ban against high capacity magazines, as there was in the past. It is quite possible that an anti-gun Federal Government may impose a ban again some day in the near future. It might be wise to stock up on magazines while they are available and relatively inexpensive. Twenty-round flush fitting magazines for my Sub-2000 run about $25-$30. Glock mags are readily available, and are about the same price.

If you would like to own a Sub-2000, you had better get one NOW. There is no telling when another "assault weapons ban" may go into effect, and also a ban on high capacity magazines. Get your Sub-2000 now, and a good supply of magazines.

A picture of Melrose' SUB-2000, with lots of mags!


The SUB-2000 lends itself easily to modifications. It's just plain black steel and plastic, no beautiful walnut stock, no fantastic sleek bluing, etc; so people are not afraid to jump in and make improvements. SUB-2000 owners are fond of adding new sights, rails, fore grips and so-on. Here is a photo from Mr. Robert Combe, which shows some of his excellent modifications to his SUB-2000.


IMPORTANT: Read this before you disassemble your SUB-2000.
3WBDriver's FAQ on KTOG
KTOG Forums (Kel-Tec Owners Group)
Tacticool Products-Great Accessories
Capt. John Raguso's Review: Kel-Tec Sub-2000 .40 (From the Truth About Guns Blog)
Sub-2000 Picture Thread at KTOG
New Kel-Tec Official Website -
LEO Qualifies with Sub2000
Big Discussion: Hi-Point 995 vs Kel-Tec Sub2000
John Torelli's Sub2000 (nice photos)
Bubba Scope Mount on Keltec Sub-2000
Use Your Stimulus Check to Buy A Sub2000?
White Shirt Review Video
Video: How to Install Various Accessories on Your Sub2000
Video Demonstration of SUB-2000 by Law Enforcement Officers
SUB-2000 Video - parts - breakdown - installing scope mount, light, etc.
Video of AdamKy Shooting His 40SW Sub2000
Kim du Toit Comments on the Sub-2000
Gallery of SUB-2000 Images
Kel-Tec Inc.
Tacticool Accessories
SUB-2000 Carrying Case Ideas and Photos
Mike's Ten Minute Video Review
One Man's Way to Install a Red Dot Scope
A Case from WRB Sales
A Carrying Case from TAD Gear
Kel-Tec Owners Group
KTRange Forums
Kel-Tec Sub2000 with Photos
Sub-2000 Chronograph Tests
Official Kel-Tec Sub2000 Manual (PDF Format)
SUB-2000 Disassembly and Reassembly (PDF format)
Working on the Kel-Tec SUB-2000 (PDF format)
Same Assembly Disassembly Article in HTML Format
Guns and Ammo Review, March 2007
Sub 2000 Info and Pictures
Bill St. Clair's Sub2000 Links and Info
GunBlast Review
J.B. Wood Reviews the Sub2000
Review by MPBlue
A High Road Range Report (with chrono results)
Walt Rauch Review in Police and Security News
Cowboy Blob's Sub2000 Review
Sub-2000 For Sale (Nice Photos and write-up)
YouTube Kel-Tec SUB-2000 Videos
Photos of How to Deploy the SUB-2000 from a Tac-Force Carry Case
Rivrdog's Range Report on the 40S&W Model
Comparison of the SUB-2000 to an SKS Carbine
Comparison of the SUB-2000 to an AK47
NkdFish On How to Add a Red Dot Scope to A Sub-2000
Defensive Carry Range Report on the .40SW Subbie
Would You Trade Your Sub-2000 for a Yugo Underfolder AK?
Review and Range Report by "John Wayne"
One man's gun and targets
Video showing effectiveness of carbine over pistol
.40S&W Range report
Computerized Poseur Model of Sub-2000
Mischa's Info About the Sub-9/Sub-40
PoliceLink Review and Comments
Video: Shooting Lettuce in the Snow with a Sub2000
Kel-Tec Sub 2000 vs Hi-Point Carbine or Other (High Road Discussion)
Neat Sight Modification by AZGunner (scroll down for pix)
Video Instructions to Install Sling and Other Parts
Sub2000 Smith and Wesson Grip - Kel-Tec P-11 combo in case (nice photos)
Tips for Re-assembly of the Stock (little pin/spring/etc.)