Improving the Sub2000

Customized Sub2000

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.

Customized Sub2000
Customized Sub2000 with soon to be released Viridian X5L RS light/laser.

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.

What do you think about the Kel-Tec Sub2000? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.

About the Author:

Oleg Volk

Oleg Volk is a creative director working mainly in firearms advertising. A great fan of America and the right to bear arms, he uses his photography to support the right of every individual to self-determination and independence. To that end, he is also a big fan of firearms.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (20)

  1. Normally I don’t post anything anywhere but I just had to jump in on this one for one reason.

    I now own a Sub2000 G2 9mm it takes Glock mags…I’m the head instructor of a Tactical Training Gun Range and one of my students showed up with a small box and it said Kel Tec on it…I know about these folding carbines but never held one…The carbine was just like my first girlfriend…ugly & clunky looking but it’s nice and thin preformed outstanding fit my hands just right…ANYWAYS, after my student took it out of the box and shot it about 5 times and hated it because the charging handle was to hard to pull back…by the end of the lesson I owned it….I have to say after some slight alterations I made to the trigger (just some light buffing)…I also made the rear sight peep hole slightly bigger so I could see the whole sight picture…I ran it on our pistol and carbines lane and was quite surprised at how well it shot… Needless to say this would make a great bug out on the run carbine…I was shooting 300yds and banging crap all day long, in fact I hit the wood frame (2×4) on the target stand and much couldn’t believe what I saw…the round went through the 2×4…I was more than a little impressed

  2. I originally bought a Glock 9 Subby in Feb 2009 for $270. The gun is notg made to be fired by lefthanders because I got tired of getting black soot, GSR, and hot casings blown into my face. Plus, the cocking lever (as you noted how they came out with as cover for the skinny knob) is a sick joke with a knob on it that coul have come off a cafe curtain.

    Ever since then, the demand has gone up, the price has gone up, and ther supply was nonexistent. The Subby was the mnost heavily-advertised nonexitent firearm in OBummer’s first term.

    Now, Kel-Tec is famous for making vaporweare ads for guns that are bot being produced to fill 1/3 of the orders placed for the gun.

    I’ve seen the Subby advertised on Gunbroker for $550-$600 -even now that Kel-tec came out with a Gen 2 model at Shot Show 2014 and again this year’s show.

    Is it available? Is anything available that Kel-Tech markets with vaporware?

    Look how long it took them to come out with the PMR, and we’re strill waitring for the CMR that was supposed to be on the market the year before the PMR, as was the KSG and their .223 bullpup.

    There’s a simple solutiuon to failing to meet consumer demands,and that is phasing out the guns athat are past their prime and are outsold by their other models.

    There are a few theat they should deep-six ASAP as they were never any good in the first place. Thsome aren’t need. Some are definitely needed.eir .P3AT/P32’s were hunks of junk. People were buying four to five times more P11’s and PF9’s than those .380 mouse guns more often than those mouse guns. Calling them “mouse guns” is more appropriate than you think because many buyers would not give a rat’s tail about them.

    Galloway Precision has aftermarket triggers, trigger springs, trigger bars, hammerer and firing pin springs, recoil springs, and stainless steel guide rods for the PF9 & P11 that will transform a budget gun into a competition CCW.

    They also offer similar upgrades for the most popular self-defense pistols on the market.

    A smart company like Kel-Tec should not brush these improvements off as if they are not needed.

    BTW, my biggest gripe that is the same as every left-handed shooter who has ever test-fired a Sub2000, is the position of the ejector port – or at least come up with a way to redirect its barrel and chamber contents down and out instead of back and in.

    I noticed that CDNN is advertising the Sub2000 for Glock mags and also advertising the PMR-30 – as well as the rest of the Kel-Tec lineup ecept its AR-stile weapons. All of them are marked, “VCALL FOR PRICING” meaning that it’s almost liker calling your broker to find out the opening and current stock prices.

    I’f I were the CEO of Kel-Tec, I bwsould have made the Sub2000 my cash cow – especially now with a greater demand for them than Russian AK’s and green-tipped NATO rounds.

  3. Surprised no key has mentioned the JRC 9mm – doesn’t fold but it is actually findable, where the SUB2000 is not!
    Also, due to the higher demand of he SUB, the JRC can actually be had for equal money. Shoot both and you will be sold on the JRC – especially if you will be paying the same for one vs the other! JRC takes Glock mags too, and is similar in overall layout to an AR. If you need the foldability then the SUB is for you, if you don’t then the JRC is superior – in my experience only of course.
    Awesome to have such choices!!!

  4. My Sub 2000 with the Glock 17 action was once of my 1st gun purchases. It is not pretty in a conventional sense but it has great inner beauty! At 50 – 100 yards it is dead on and I am not a great marksman! At 25 yards I can hit a rolling soda can 3 times out of 4…ABSOLUTELY love it! If I could only keep one weapon …the Sub 2000 would be it! LOve the pic with the n ew foregrip and front sight and laser…just put it on my shopping list!

  5. I just found out about this cool little gun today. I would have bought it today if it were around $350 but they asked 599+ tax and I thought that was way too much for what it is.

    This was before I found out they sell for just $300 I guess I need to keep looking!

    1. Bought 2 at the Portland Expo show. Why? because they were the only table that had them.
      I got the Glock ones for $500 each.

  6. I own two Sub2000’s and they are neat. Fold it up in a backback and no one knows you have it on you. Works very good, use heavier bullets like 124g or 146g. When I pick it up and carry it for a few minutes then pick up one of my M4s the M4 feels like it weights a ton compared to the S2K. Also love the ability to carry the S2K and a Glock 17 and have the same mags work in either. For my 2 S2Ks I have a Glock 17 and a Glock 19, can’t get a better combo for a bug out bag!

  7. I am a Sub2K 40 s&w owner, and this is one of the top guns in my collection, I have done quite a bit of work on mine i.e. quad picatinny rails, butt stock extension (a must!), houge glock 22 grip, recoil buffer, folding front handle, s&w light/laser combo, and a few 33 round mags so far (and growing). Talk about a fun gun to shoot!

    I took it out while spot-lighting for hogs, and got laughed at for not bringing something heavier than a 40 cal. which most of us already carry on our hips. The laughing ceased after I was able to dismount from the bed of the truck, and took two on a dead sprint shooting 180 grains that my buddy with and open sight sks could not finish. After i let the guys burn a couple of clips I made a believer out of them.

    The only problem now is that the military is buying up every Sub2K in production to issue as survival rifles. If you see one buy it! You could resale it easily to the right buyer and make a few extra bucks…that is if you could bare to part with such a neat gun. It may not be pretty, but if you’re looking for a good time I highly recommend this “long barreled pistol.”

  8. This particular web page is usually a walk-through intended for all of the information a person wanted concerning this and also didn’t learn who to be able to consult. View right here, along with you’ll definitely find out that.

  9. I personally, I think the sub is a beautiful weapon. It’s beauty is in what’s not there. Sometimes less is more. I love to shoot mine, esp with the 33 round mag. I esp like the fact the mag will fit into my Glock 17 or my 26. I have other guns, but I seem to always come back to the 17 and the sub.

  10. Jeff Cooper used to lament that old slabsides, the 1911, was ugly, but in a functional sense it was beautiful.

    To me, adding fake wood grain to the sides of a 1911 would make it ugly, just as adding a wood stock to a Sub-2000 to make it look like a Krag Jorgensen would make it ugly.

    Honesty is beautiful.

  11. …but damn it’s sure ugly. i’ve been looking to get a (somewhat cheap) 9mm carbine. I shot a hi-point and rather liked it, just not a fan of the small mag. would love to get some range time with a sub2000 and couple 33 round mags

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