Kel-Tec Adds RDB M43 Bullpups in 2015

Kel-Tec RDB M43 Bullpup Rifle

Kel-Tec’s new-for-2015 RDB M43 Rifle is a bullpup design that solves one of the main complaints of these compact semiautos: ejection style. Through an ingenious and simple arrangement, Kel-Tec’s RDB (short for Rifle Downwards-eject Bullpup) pushes spent cases out of the way and out of the vision of the shooter.

Traditional side ejection is not ambidextrous, and forward ejection, such as the FN 2000 or Kel-Tec RFB, is a complex mechanical operation.

The RDB features a rotary bolt with a spring-loaded ejector and an extractor. Inside the RDB action, the spent case is pulled back along the top of the magazine and then ejected through a vertical downward-pointing chute. Obviously, bolt travel is longer than traditional designs, but its movement doesn’t ruin the ergonomics of the bullpup rifle.

The hammer is U-shaped and runs outside the chute and above the magazine. Other advantages are gravity-assisted ejection, higher bolt energy during feeding, and a slower and more controllable full-auto rate of fire.

The rifles are built around a common steel skeleton formed by the receiver and barrel sub-assemblies. Bolt, bolt carrier, firing mechanism, ejector chute, and bolt stop are identical for all variations. The short-stroke-gas-operated piston is adjustable for different ammunition and muzzle attachments.

Kel-Tec plans to make two versions. The standard M43 with some wood furniture will have foldable sights with 100-, 300- and 500-meter markings.

An upgraded version comes with optional optics and an aluminum Picatinny-rail handguard for mounting accessories. All components are fully interchangeable.

Chamberings for either rifle can be either 5.56mm NATO or 6.5mm Grendel. Magazines are M16-type. Barrel length is 17.4 inches for both versions, and the overall length for the standard M43 is 26.2 inches, while the upgraded M43’s OAL is 27.4 inches. The upgraded version, which has more polymer and aluminum, weighs 7 pounds to the standard M43’s 8-pound weight.

MSRPs have not yet been determined.

What do you think of the new bullpup design? Share with us in the comment section.

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Comments (29)

  1. Still waiting for that M43. Hell has nearly frozen over so I’m thinking it will be very soon that a few of these actually get built haha.

  2. When are these coming out…. I would like information as to when they are going to be selling….. I have been looking everywhere and can not find them…… Please advise…… cost, available when?

  3. I am a big fan of what Kel-Tec has done with the bullpup. My concern is release to the public. I have not seen any for sale and the last I was told they would be available around fall of 2014. I am sure there is a good reason, however it would be nice to finally take one to the range. I do appreciate that they keep a battle ready mentality of reliability and functionality in mind! Keep up the good work Kel-tec!

  4. What is the weight of the bolt assembly? Being off axis / not coaxial that becomes a potential accuracy issue.

  5. I have a question no one ever asks: How does this gun do shooting upside down; how do all the others do with their side ejectors facing up; what about all those handgun reviews that never ask how their guns shoot upside down; pointing straight down or up????

    Everyone simply shoots everything straight and level:
    please really test these out.

  6. I like it. The bullpup design is a great way to get sufficient barrel length for accuracy and full cartrdge design velocity, yet keep weapon OAL compact, and I love the fact that you can get a real caratridge (6.5 Grendel) as opposed to the rather anemic 5.56. The down ejection is a big plus for southpaws.

  7. I’ve been wondering why no one else was using downward ejection since it works so well on the FN P90 & PS90. The civilian PS90 retails for around $1,200 or $1,300. Your pricing should be similar to them and cheaper than the IWI Tavor at about $1,700.

  8. Since they call this the M43, shouldn’t one of the available calibers be the original M43: the 7.62×39? It’s about time we got this fine battle-field cartridge in a platform more modern than the AK, and more reliable than the lame AR adaptations.

  9. Please excuse my possible ignorance, however here are my thoughts. As a left hand shooter, I like the fact it ejects downward and not to the right where my face is. However, if the spent case is pulled backward along the top of the magazine and then ejected through a vertical downward-pointing chute, it seems as though a jamming or binding of the spent case with the new round could happen. Also, if bolt travel is longer than traditional designs, wouldn’t this create a slightly slower rate of cycling?

    1. Jim,

      The last large picture shows the parts that will pass over the top of the magazine as the rifle cycles; the rear of the empty cartridge is still seated in the front of the bolt, so it can’t catch on the magazine. As to cycle time, on single shots one cycle is too fast for the human eye to follow, and even in automatic fire (if such a version ever exists) some people favor a slower cycle for controllability.

  10. Kel-Tec is doing big things. I love my RFB but I think the new RDB is going to take its lunch $. Hope they have plans to make a 7.62×51. I wasn’t a fan of bullpups until I shot my buddy’s RFB. Had to have one for myself. Then I bought my Tavor. Get you one. You won’t regret it.

  11. When are you going to make one of these great weapons that the normal person can afford??? I am disableded and the only way I will ever hold one of these is to cut the picture of one out and hold it. Not mad just wishing I could afford this baby.

  12. Downward eject is the way to go. One way to get round the longer bolt stroke is to use Patent 6,079,138. That would permit a 28 inch rifle with a 24 inch barrel, in 7.62 NATO.

    Of course with a 5.56mm NATO, it would be a 20 inch barrel with a 24 inch rifle.

    1. Not only is Cancer Hell But OBummer care just made it WORSE . I to have the ” C ‘ probably from my 3 tours in the Sand . My thanks IS a broken Vets system and $5000 deductible . I am Thankful for Gun Site owners who DO support US with more than just words

    2. It took me a while to realize it, but the VA won’t help you… Your VA Doc might be doing all they can, but the system is set up for you to fail… Cancer can be conquered if you get away from the medication and get in tune with real medicine… Turmeric and Garlic, just to start, are like napalm to cancerous cells…

      Do your research… It’s your life… All you’ll get from the VA is a headstone and a flag

  13. I finally found the sub2000 i’ve been trying to get. It only took me 9 months. How long do you think it will take to get one of these ?+

  14. It looks interesting but I wonder if , like the CMR-30, I will only ever see pictures of it. I’m interested in firearms I can hold in my hands and take to the range, not just looking at pictures of them and dreaming of owning them.

    1. Exactly… I got a Hi Point and dropped interest in the CMR-30… I wonder if they are prototypes that will never hit the market… None of the dealers around here have physically seen the CMR-30

    1. Why not make one of these in a pistol caliber (i.e.- .40 or .45 ACP) for home defense. I have a sub 2000 optimized for this, but an even shorter version would be better, and also accommodate a suppressor better.

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