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Kel-Tec RFB Rifle Cutaway

This interesting video shows, with time lapse photography, how the forward eject system works on the Kel-Tec RFB:

This solves one of the problems with bullpup rifles, which is brass ejecting too close to your body.

21 Responses to “Kel-Tec RFB Rifle Cutaway”

  1. BadIdeaGuy says:

    Pretty cool-I’m wondering if the RFP is going to be an historical footnote. The website said it’s being retooled for possible (AWB) legislative action. How do you figure it’s retooled?

  2. Linoge says:

    Huh. The only possible downsides I can see (from my naive point of view) is the possibility of cases getting stuck in that tube, and clearing exercises – sometimes it is useful to wedge a tool or finger into the chamber to get that darned case loose. I assume such an action would be… difficult… with this arrangement.

    On the flip side, you get a 16″ barrel in a CQB package, and no brass in your face. Oh, the choices.

  3. Gudis says:

    The retooling they’re referring to is retooling to crank out more units in the face of a possible ban.

  4. Bram says:

    Not going to hit anything jerking the trigger like that!

    I want one! I love the idea of a long barrel on a handier rifle. They need to start pumping these things out at a reasonable price. Some mid-power calibers like 6.5 Grendel & Creedmor, .243 or .260 would be nice.

  5. Chuck B. says:

    As I was watching this video of the cutaway with the slow-motion segments, I thought to myself that this rifle seems to have something like its own brass-catcher.

    That is, at least for the first, second, and maybe third fired rounds it does, until the brass reaches far up enough to then come out of this horizontally-mounted tube that runs parallel to the barrel.

  6. johnnyreb says:

    I’m in complete agreement with Bram, on turning these out at an affordable price. While I realize that a bullpup has a specific purpose, but for that price why not just by it’s ‘big brother’ … an FAL?

  7. Trevor says:

    but for that price why not just by it’s ‘big brother’ … an FAL?

    Have you looked at the price of comparable and MBR’s on Gunbroker recently?

    Average prices for M1A approx $2300
    Average price DSA FAL approx $1650
    Average price POF .308 approx $3400
    Average price DPMS .308 approx $1800
    Average prices for FS2000 approx $2100
    Average prices for STG 556 approx $2100

  8. Matt from Kel-Tec R&D says:

    I’m the guy who did the test firing on the RFB, and that’s my hand in the video. High speed video is extremely difficult to do, and you need to shoot as fast as possible in order to make the shots less than 1 min apart. You can’t tell, but we had so many lamps that it was brighter than the sun in there, and my hand got burnt after a few seconds under the light.

    The consensus by the more savy industry types is that if another AWB is brought forth, it will either fail to get enough votes, and if it passes it will be overturned by the SCOTUS, which would in effect render all federal gun laws unconstitutional in the process. The dems don’t want that fight, and they don’t want to lose their majorities in 2010 like they did after the last AWB. Their focus will be state and local restrictions assuming there is no case brought forward that would make Heller a 14th amendment issue. Ammo bans are certain. Magazine bans are likely, cosmetic bans are not.

    If a new AWB was advanced, it would seek to render every semi-auto of every stripe as illegal as true machine guns and require similar registrations (see H.R. 45), so it would essentially impossible to “redesign” the RFB to meet said criteria, except to convert it to a straight pull design.

    FYI: Ejection chutes never jam, the checking the chamber is difficult, since it requires removal of the magazine. The gun is 100% reliable. I know, because I’m the one who tested them. The first RFBs shipped on February 26th, 2009. MSRP is $1880 (which is less than most AUG clones) if you can find one. You want an FAL? I hope you have a lot of room to manuver. My 16.25″ FAL w/ Belgian short flash hider is over 40″ long, which is longer than a 20″ AR-15. The 18″ RFB is only 27″ with A2 style flash hider, which is shorter than an M4 with the stock collapsed.

  9. Brass says:

    Thanks for coming by and commenting, Matt. The RFB is on my short list.

  10. Mark Telep says:

    I put in my order. I’m a member of the 10% club (a left handed shooter). With such a limited selection and a few left /right guns available, there’s just not many options! My Kel Tec P-3AT is one of my favorites. I look forward to adding a new .308 to my club.

  11. Matt from Kel-Tec R&D says:

    Glad to hear it, Mark. Just be patient, because at this point every RFB is essentially custom assembled by hand until we get a crew trained on how to build them. Most of the ones that are shipping now are being sold to people who put in their order when this project was still a secret!

  12. Wes says:

    Thanks for commenting Matt, and thanks for your hard work.

    As an aside, I still love your quote from the past SHOT, about ignorance and brute force vs elegance and charisma ;)

    Any idea when we might start seeing larger quantities (or a second shipment) actually shipping out to RSR, Davidsons, etc? Or how many of them are actually out in the wild at the moment?

  13. Matt from Kel-Tec says:

    Not too many yet, Wes. Maybe thirty. I’m working on the Armorers Assembly Manual for factory personel, so we still have one guy building rifles one at a time, and all of the parts are essentially set-up parts that have to be checked for dozens of different dimensions each to make sure that nothing unforeseen occurs.

    I came up with that quote on the fly, and I’m glad it doesn’t sound stupid! George always says: “Brute force and ignorance!” when he doesn’t approve of my… energetic assembly methods.

  14. Eric says:

    Matt, I was wondering if you could give us a little info on the rifle’s accuracy? I haven’t seen any reports of accuracy past 50 yards. I know you guys did the testing at your range which is 100 yards I believe. Thanks and I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my RFB!

  15. Matt from Kel-Tec R&D says:

    Best accuracy has been obtained with longer barreled variants, which are capable of Sub-MOA accuracy with match ammo. The 18″ variants are the least accurate, but they still achieve about 1.5-1.75″ groups at 100 yards from our indoor range. That’s off a bench using Hornady TAP 168 grn ammo. I’ve gotten sub-MOA with 18″ RFBs, but I wouldn’t guarantee it. We shoot 5 shot groups for accuracy, not three. You won’t find a major manufacturer promising accuracy that’s better than that from a standard rifle.

    The rate of twist of the18″ and 24″ (11.25″) definitely prefer 168Grn ammo in my experience, but Federal Gold Medal Match 175 Grn usually is capable of doing excellent work in these guns. Use of bulk and surplus ammo in the 147-150 grn region regularly return terrible accuracy of around 4-5″, but I’m sure that most people who do accuracy testing are gonna use the cheapest crap that will fit into the chamber and proclaim that the rifle doesn’t shoot for beans.

    American Eagle 150 seems to do a little better than Winchester White Box 147, (2-3″ vs. 4″)probably because AE150 has an actual copper jacket, and WB147 has a mild steel jacket.

    My personal best with an RFB is 0.4 MOA at 100 yds with a 32″ barreled version using GMM 175, but the 32″ models are a few years from being a regular catalog item. Keep in mind that the barrels are able to be changed at home with an armorers kit and a vise.

  16. Wes says:

    That sounds very comparable with my 18″ M1A. Yesterday I was shooting 4-5″ groups using British Radway Green 1993 surplus 7.62, while interestingly enough Wolf 150gr FMJ went into about 1.75-2″. Shot two groups of Remington 168gr Match, and although my first group sucked (2″) my second was significantly tighter, if not sub-MOA then right at one inch. American Eagle has historically shot about 2-3 MOA for me, while Gold Medal and Ballistic Silvertip 168gr will print 1 MOA or less if I do my part. Overall it sounds like the RFB’s accuracy is pretty much identical to an M1A in the same barrel length. Springfield Armory has stated in the past that they don’t see any difference in accuracy between barrel lengths, but then again I can imagine how a considerably stiffer and longer bull barrel on the Target RFB might improve performance.

    Are we any closer to seeing full-scale production? I’ll drive over there and help build/measure/assemble/sweep/dance, if it’ll get me an RFB sooner :P

  17. Matt from Kel-Tec says:

    Sorry, we aren’t in full production yet. I wouldn’t start hounding my local FFL until Fall, honestly. But, even if we were in full production, and we estimate we’ll be able to do 600 a week, you’d still never be able to find one in this market!
    The whole industry is finding it harder and harder to buy basic materials like barrel blanks and test ammo. The last lot of 10,000 rounds of .308 we bought cost $1 a round for American Eagle 150 grain. Not to mention the fact that even the most mundane black rifles are selling for more than their MSRP, so what is called for now is patience, because good things come to those who wait.

  18. Wes says:

    The problem is, I *am* my local FFL, so it’s more been “hounding every distributor I can”.

    Why so much for ammo? Will you be needing more, or is that enough for the time being? Are you only testing with plain factory brass-cased ball ammo, or are you looking to do any large-scale tests with match-grade ammo?

  19. Gary in Oregon says:

    Like many enthusiasts, I am anxiously waiting for the opportunity to buy one of these rifles. Being one in the minority of shooters that actually loves bullpup designs, I am particularly interested in how the trigger will feel on the RFB since this is the bane of most bullpup rifles. Matt, can you share any info regarding the trigger, such as; creep, pull, and overall feel?

    And thanks for taking the time to post the info on this site!

    God bless America and the brave soldiers whom defend her!

  20. Matt from Kel-Tec R&D says:

    @Wes
    We’ve pretty much done all the accuracy and endurance testing we’re planning on, and the high demand for ammo has clenched it. Our current stock of ammo will be used for test firing the rifles before shipping. We’ve taken steps to ensure it will work with Wolf ammo, but we test it with American made, brass cased ammo, of M80 Ball type. The average RFB gets fired 30 times before it ships, to set the gas system, and to ensure the mag it ships with is good. Every RFB is thoroughly tested to ensure it will work right the first time and every time.

    I also do some of the marketing. Can you tell?

    @Gary in Oregon
    The trigger on most bullpups are simply conventional trigger groups that have been “misplaced”. They take a conventional rifle, and move the tigger group forward, but leave the firing group where it was originally. This means they have to use long linkages to connect the trigger and sear, which is connected to the hammer, and that means lousy trigger pull.

    With the RFB, the trigger is in contact with the sear, like in a conventional rifle. The linkage is spring loaded and it pulls the hammer when the trigger actuates the sear, giving you a trigger pull which feels like a conventional trigger but in a bullpup platform.
    The RFB’s Trigger group has also been designed from the get go to be a match trigger. It includes components for adjusting take-up, over-travel, and Trigger spring tension.

    The Standard model which is being produced has non-adjustable components which replace the adjustable ones in their optimized positions. These will be able to be changed out for adjustable ones at a later date if the customer desires, but the Standard RFB is guaranteed to have a trigger pull between 4.5-7.5 Lbs, with minimal take up and over travel. We have yet to encounter another bullpup with a trigger that is even in the same league. The RFB’s trigger is better than most conventional semi-auto rifles, as anyone who’s handled one will affirm.

  21. Gary in Oregon says:

    Thanks, Matt. Your description of the RFB’s trigger has piqued my interest in the rifle even more. As an owner of many different bullpup rifles, I would volunteer to purchase one of the first RFBs, then put it through its paces and compare/contrast its features and performance vis-a-vis my other bullpups. A written review would be generated and you could use it for marketing purposes, if warranted or desired.

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