Articles Documents Equipment Events Links Membership Miscellaneous Scrapbook Targets What's New

Kel-Tec Sub 2000 Reborn May 2022
Dan Martinez  

When my son Ben and I were drawn for a rifle javelina hunt in a unit that we had not hunted together before, we started trying to figure out the logistics. Before the hunt, I went out on my own to scout. I used my quad ATV to access some deep backcountry and liked what I was seeing, but Ben does not have a quad of his own.

Fortunately, mine is designed and built as a two-seater that I purchased for geocaching adventures with my wife. Ben and I could both ride on the quad to reach the javelina backcountry.

There is still a fly in that ointment though. I have only one set of rifle carry forks which are mounted on the front rack of the quad. That's when the thought came to me that this could be the perfect opportunity to hunt with my .40 caliber Kel-Tec Sub 2000 pistol caliber carbine (PCC).

Dan's Kel-Tec Sub2K Gen2 "before,"
... and after being "reborn"

An outstanding feature of the Sub2K is that it folds in half allowing it to fit inside a backpack. There was room on the quad for Ben's rifle up front in the forks, plus our two hunting packs on the rear platform. (I had to build an extended platform on the rear rack to be able to take our pup along on our geocaching adventures - wifey insisted.)

OK, we still don't quite have a viable plan. The next problem was that my Sub2K was not capable of being folded. I had mounted a red dot sight on the picatinny slots on the forend. This prevents the Kel-Tec from folding. I had always just lived with it this way, because I never really had a compelling use for the folding feature up to now.

It had been a couple of years since I had given any love to the Kel-Tec. I had used it a number of times in our club shoots, but somehow always ended up coming in dead-last among the PCC's in competition. I had considered selling it and dumping a lot more money into a more competitive PCC, but somehow, I just never got around to it.

When the idea to use it on the javelina hunt sprang up, I took a fresh look at the Sub2K aftermarket to see what my options were to retain the red dot sight, but that would still allow the gun to fold. I knew about one solution out there that I never really liked, but I discovered a new gizmo from M-Carbo that looked to be a much better answer.

M-Carbo had created a side-folding optic mount that bolted to the side of the plastic fore-end using the existing screw holes, but using longer screws supplied with the mount. This brings the optic closer to your eye than a mount which uses the picatinny slots. With the press of a latching lever, the optic swings sideways under spring pressure which allows the carbine to fold over. The downside is that the optic now pokes obtrusively out of the side of the folded gun. It will still fit in a backpack though, just not as neatly as the flat stock gun.

I do have a ½" riser mounted between the M-Carbo mount and the red dot sight. This makes the red-dot higher not only when in the ready-to-shoot configuration but also in the folded configuration. I may delete that ½" riser in the future, but for now, that height allows me to obtain a really fast sight picture when I throw the gun to my shoulder.

The stock "iron" sights (plastic rear) were always way too low for me. To get a sight picture, I had to mash my cheek bone hard against the stock tube. Couple that with the somewhat substantial recoil of a blow-back operated .40 caliber carbine, and it just wasn't working for me. A red-dot sight mounted higher was an absolute must. Since the "iron" sights were totally useless to me, I ended up removing them entirely. I hoped that removing the front sight might bring an accuracy bonus, since the tall perpendicular weight on the end of the barrel was now gone.

After removing the front sight, I now had a length of threaded muzzle exposed behind the muzzle cap. I was able to dig up a piece of black vinyl tubing of just the right diameter to cover those threads, and it even looks proper.

Now it was time to cook up some hunting handloads using 155 grain Hornady XTPs, and go sight it in. When I chronographed those loads, I was getting in excess of 1500 fps out of the carbine's 16" barrel. Wow! The factory American Eagle 155 grain FMJs I brought along were only traveling in the 1300s. The hand load was near book max, but not over, so I thought that I was fine. Well, until I noticed this:

Well, the Sub2K was NOT going on the javelina hunt after all. The good news was that the gun was not destined for the trash pile. It is the stock tube, AKA buffer tube, that is the serialized part. The grip frame clamshell halves are just parts that can be ordered directly from Kel-Tec. The cost for the new clamshell halves as a set was $50.

Up to now you may have been a bit baffled why I was saying that the gun was "reborn" when it seemed that all I had done was change out a few accessories and remove the stock sights. No, more than that. I had to take the gun down to its smallest internal parts and springs, and somehow hope that I would be able to get everything back together again!

When I ordered the optic mount from M-Carbo, I noticed that they also offered an extended magazine release button that I wanted to add, but it was necessary to disassemble the clamshells to install it. Since I was now at that juncture anyway, of having to disassemble the clamshells, I went ahead and ordered the extended mag release.

M-Carbo has a number of very good installation videos for their parts, which for the mag release, goes into good detail about how to properly disassemble, then reassemble the clamshells. I don't think that I would have been able to successfully do this without that video.

I also upgraded the red-dot and flashlight to Sig Sauer electro-optics, and figured out a good way to add a carrying sling for hunting. Since I had been dropping coin after coin after coin on this Kel-Tec, I decided what the heck, I'll drop some more coin on a recoil pad. M-Carbo offers one, but I think that the one from Missouri Tactical Products is superior. The Missouri Tactical pad is a 100% slip-on and offers collapsing air chambers, where the M-Carbo pad is just a solid block of rubber that needs to have holes drilled into the plastic butt pad of the Sub2K and be screwed on.

Sometimes a gun that you have owned for a while and which had become just an "old shoe" to you, can become a new "spring fling". Steve held a PCC Fun Shoot on April 2nd, and my newly repaired and upgraded fling and I were able to best the field of 8 shooters. Maybe you too have an "old shoe" in your closet that deserves a second look.

© Honeywell Sportsman Club. All rights reserved.

The Honeywell Sportsman Club is a small group of shooting and outdoor enthusiasts in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Our website is ad-free and completely free to use for everyone. But we do have expenses that we need to cover, such as the web hosting fee and our liability insurance. If you enjoyed visiting our website, found it useful in some way, or if you enjoyed reading this story, please consider tipping us through our PayPal donation jar below. Thanks for visiting, and come back soon.

Back to Articles
  Articles     Docs     Eqpt   Events     Join
   Links     Misc     New     Pix   Targets