The Kel-Tec Sub2000 carbine is a very unusual weapon. Conceived during the ban years, it folds in half in the middle of the receiver and can be safely carried loaded. This design wasn’t prohibited by law simply because our evil law-makers didn’t think of banning something this innovative. In other features, it’s a conventional blow-back carbine available in 9mm and . 40 S&W and with grips compatible with several types of pistol magazines. The gun is light, handy and extremely popular. This popularity allows Kel-Tec and aftermarket manufacturers to offer optional parts to make Sub2000 run even better.
The first three parts: a recoil buffer, a stock tube cover to insulate the shooter’s cheek from the metal, and a charging handle cover to reduce the pressure on the fingers when chambering a round. These add little weight and cost almost nothing, while greatly increasing the use comfort.
The other parts come from Red Lion Precision. This small group of firearm enthusiasts make high quality accessories that transform Sub2000 from a neat utility carbine into a robust fighting tool. The metal front sight replacing the original plastic part has U-shaped protective ears instead of the ring hood, much improving the sight picture. The vertical post sight is adjustable for elevation with the standard M16 tool. The compensator protects the muzzle crown while reducing already slight muzzle climb to nothing. Sharp teeth on the front of the compensator give more substance to muzzle strikes in CQB. The small rail under the front sights is for mounting lights in a position where their output isn’t partially occluded by the barrel. Most importantly, the ventilated railed forend is rock-solid and can be rotated in 90-degree increments without losing the zero on attached sights. That allows folding of the gun with optics and other top rail accessories still attached. Two Magpul parts go on that rail, the RSA sling eyelet to hold the sling and the AFG for comfortable support and recoil control.
The optic shown is a Primary Arms micro red dot on an American Defense QD mount. It sits just a little higher than the irons sight picture, providing an unobstructed view of the target. A 2x or 3x compact scope would also work, but probably isn’t necessary for a carbine with the effective range of 150 yards. That doesn’t sound like much, except that effective range of pistols using the same magazines is closer to 25, and the longer sight radius also gives reduced report and muzzle flash, less recoil and 200fps higher muzzle velocity with standard pressure 9mm or 40S&W. The decrease in muzzle blast may be a significant factor if you expect to fire this in self-defense without hearing protection. Unlike AR-15 or an AK clone, Sub2000 can also be fired with one hand if necessary because it is so much less front-heavy.
The last, very obvious way to improve the firepower is to load up with extended magazines. Unlike pistols, carbines feel just right with a longer 33-round or similar magazine inserted. For civilian self-defense, those are particularly helpful as few of us have spare magazines in web gear under business suits.