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An Interview with Matt at Kel-Tec on the RFB

Here’s an interview I did with Matt of Kel-Tec on their new RFB product.  My questions are in bold italic, and his answers are standard text.  There seems to be a lot of interest in their RFB product, which is a bullpup .308 with a novel forward ejection system.  Here’s Matt:

The .308 market is certainly less crowded than the .223 market, but Kel-Tec is still competing with some old standbys like the M1A, FAL, HK91, and the AR-10.  How do you think the Kel-Tec RFB stacks up to these rifles?

The RFB is shorter, lighter, easier to produce, has a better trigger, and is more adaptable to modern accessories like optics and Picatinny devices. Those other designs could be considered Generation II Semi-Auto designs, the RFB is Generation III.

What made you decide to go with a Bullpup design?

All of these designs are reliable, but they are also over 40 inches long, and that includes some of the carbines. The only version of the RFB that will be that long will be the 32″ model which has only been produced as a prototype thus far. The 18″ model that is being produced now is only 26″ long, 27″ with the A2 style flash hider. That’s shorter than an M4 Carbine with the stock collapsed and comparable to an MP5 A2. That’s why we went with a Bullpup.

Most designers steer away from Bullpup designs because they blow gas back into the shooters face from the ejection port, but this is negated by our forward ejection system. There is also a superstition that if there is a catastrophic failure that the shooter is more likely to be seriously injured or killed if their face is closer to the action, but with the RFB, there are two layers of steel between the receiver and the shooter, so if there was a over pressure cartridge that had a case head separation, the pressure would travel downward through the magazine well, which is the path of least resistance. The shooter would likely be able to drive themselves to the hospital if they were injured at all.

Are you planning to release the RFB in other calibers, like .223 Remington?

Seeing as the intermediate caliber market is almost completely saturated and has more than a couple Bullpup designs, we feel it would be better to focus on the full powered cartridge market first. The first RFBs are of course in 7.62 NATO, but future variants will be chambered in the offshoots of the .308 cartridge case, such as the .260 Remington, 7mm-08, .243 Winchester, .22-250, and so forth. If it has the same sized rim and feeds from a metric FAL magazine, it may be chambered in the RFB. Obviously, we will choose which cartridges we offer based on demand, but since the barrel on the RFB can be easily changed with our Armorer’s kit, we may offer these calibers in accessory barrels even if we never build them in rifles.

What kind of accuracy can you expect from an RFB?

The RFB is an exceptionally accurate design due to its excellent trigger and wonderfully short lock time. I’ve shot Sub MOA with every RFB variant, including the 18″ model. The biggest detriment to accuracy is ammunition quality. American made bulk ammo will usually give you between 1.5-4″ groups depending on the brand, with copper jackets giving better results than steel jackets. I’ve fired some Portuguese, Indian, and Mexican Surplus 7.62 Ammo that gave horrible accuracy. Generally, if you get over 2″ with an RFB using match ammo, it probably isn’t the rifle.

Lock time is the time in between when the sear releases the hammer or striker in a firearm and the firing pin contacts the primer. Lock time is one of the most important aspects to accuracy in a rifle. It’s difficult to test, so most manufacturers don’t bother too, since few people know what it is.

Most semi autos use a hammer that has enough mass to ignite the most stubborn of military primers reliably, this is their only mission. The heavy, slow, and often long travel of the hammer after sear release allows the rifle to move a nearly imperceptible amount in the shooters hands, causing an ever more dramatically increasing error the further out the target is. Bolt Actions have inherently less mass and a shorter travel between the end of the striker and the primer, resulting in a naturally short lock time, usually around 3 Milliseconds for modern actions. This is why bolt actions are preferred for use in Competition rifles. This is also why open bolt GPMGs are not used as Sniper Rifles.

The RFB has a lock time of about 4.5 Milliseconds, which is better than many WWII bolt actions and nearly every factory semi-auto ever built. The AR-15 is considered very accurate for a semi-auto, and it has an average lock time of about 9.5 Milliseconds.

The trigger is usually the Achilles heel on Bullpup designs.  I understand you’ve made the trigger on the RFB considerably better than other Bullpup rifles.  Can you speak to that?

Most Bullpups are simply conventional rifles with their trigger groups put in the wrong place. Witness various Kalashnikov Bullpup conversions. The RFB was designed from the ground up to be a Bullpup, and it has never been anything else. The difference between the RFB and most Bullpups is the lack of linkages between the trigger and the sear trip. The trigger is squeezed, and it moves the sear trip directly, as on a conventional rifle. The sear trip actuates the sear which releases a spring loaded linkage which is attached to the hammer, similar to a Browning High Power. The springs which are attached to the linkage pull the hammer which moves up to strike the firing pin.

The RFB also has a very wide trigger, which increases the surface area on the shooter’s finger and gives the sensation of having a lighter pull than it does. The 18″ models have a trigger that is calibrated to be between 4.5-7.5 pounds for legal reasons. Very early production rifles had triggers that were slightly above that specification, but nobody has complained yet. The standard RFB comes with optimized components that are non-adjustable, but these can be replaced with adjustable components if the customer desires. The RFB was designed to include mechanisms to adjust the take up, over travel, and trigger spring pressure. The sear spring can also be adjusted, but most shooters will not be able to detect a difference in this adjustment. Everyone who’s handled the RFB has commented on how good the trigger is, and we feel that most people won’t feel the need to install the adjustable components, so those will be offered on later models as an option. This will help ease production so that as many rifles can get built as possible.

One concern I’ve heard from folks is the reliability of the ejection system, with fears that could get jammed up, and malfunction.  How reliable have you found it to be in testing?

The RFB is essentially the first semi-auto rifle to have a controlled round extraction system. It uses two extractors to pull the fired case out of the chamber by way of the carrier and gas system. It has proven to be very reliable in testing. Once the fired cases are in the ejection chute, they have no where to go except forward. They have no surface to stick on which could cause enough friction to jam the action, no matter how much dirt got into the ejection chute area. Everything is moved forward by the reward inertia of the weapon firing, which gives a kind of natural ejection force to the cases in the chute. Tubular magazines don’t jam unless they get dented, and the ejection chute on the RFB is inside of the rifle, making it nearly impossible to damage while carrying or shooting the rifle. The RFB is quite possibly the only rifle ever built that will never stove pipe.

82 Responses to “An Interview with Matt at Kel-Tec on the RFB”

  1. I’m pretty excited. I’ve got my order in with my dealer, but they can’t get one yet. Build more! Build more!

  2. wantwantwantwantwant

  3. Rustmeister says:

    Yeah, that’s a BAG day purchase if there ever was one.

  4. Sigivald says:

    Hearing about the trigger makes that very interesting.

    Good to see someone’s solved that problem.

  5. Nomen Nescio says:

    sounds good, but i’m still holding out for a 22-24 inch barrel.

    at least, that’ll be the excuse i stick by until i either get enough cash for one, or an RFB in such a barrel length appears on the market. at which point i’ll either pay up or change my excuse, i guess.

  6. Ian Argent says:

    If I can get one without the flash hider, even NJ-legal. Dunno if I want my first EBR in 7.62 though.

  7. HeavenlySword says:

    Hes said quite abit of this elsewhere.

    I’ve been lurking for awhile at KTOG now, and I have realized…

    This is the rifle of my dreams.

  8. Weer'd Beard says:

    I still don’t understand why the chute ejection isn’t prone to fouling. Watching somebody shoot an FNH F2000 rifle the rounds just lazily drop clear of the gun. The cases don’t weigh that much, so I can’t imagine it would take much carbon fouling, silt, or mud to create enough static friction to cause a traffic jam in the chute.

    The heavily reinforced action is certainly a plus when the gun is running, and everything else about this gun seems very promising, but if that chute is to foul up it looks like a LOT of work to get it running again.

    Maybe I could get some clarification?

  9. Nomen Nescio says:

    i imagine the chute dimensions have a lot to do with resistance to fouling. if it were me, i’d build it just narrow enough that the cases can’t begin to twist and jam their mouths or rims into the sides of the chute, but as large as possible otherwise — much wider than a magazine, in any event. that should leave plenty of room for fouling to build up (and get jarred loose) without interfering with anything.

    plus, unlike the FNH2000, the RFB doesn’t seem to be meant as a battle rifle. dust and sand in the chute might happen on a civilian shooting range, but probably not much mud.

  10. “plus, unlike the FNH2000, the RFB doesn’t seem to be meant as a battle rifle. dust and sand in the chute might happen on a civilian shooting range, but probably not much mud.”

    Not so sure about that. Kel-tec was hawking the RFB at the National Defense Industry Association Small Arms Symposium last week. It was basically their big ticket item because the defense industry doesn’t really give a crap about concealment pistols. They also mentioned a .223 variant that was in the works.

  11. hillbilly says:

    Just one question.

    Does anyone really think that a representative of the company that’s making the rifle would come out and say, “Oh yeah, it’s gonna suck, and have all sorts of problems traditionally associated with bullpup designs”?

    Of course Kel-Tec is going to oooh and gooo about its own product.

    For some reason, the words “Kel Tec” and “reliable accurate rifle” just refuse to go together for me at this point.

    It might have something to do with the P3AT that broke in my hands as I fired it.

    Maybe a couple of years of good reports by other people will cause me to associate “Kel Tec” and “reliable accurate rifle.”

    But I’m very skeptical at this point.

  12. Sebastian says:

    Does anyone really think that a representative of the company that’s making the rifle would come out and say, “Oh yeah, it’s gonna suck, and have all sorts of problems traditionally associated with bullpup designs”?

    No, but I think it’s worth hearing from them why they think their rifle is something people should buy. I’m eager to try out an RFB myself, and see if the claims are true. I’m skeptical of a few things in here, but I’m willing to give the rifle a chance, and hear what they have to say about it.

  13. NJSoldier says:

    Want too! I want mine in .260 with a 22″ barrel please.

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

    @ Nomen Nescio:
    24″ Barrel is next in line for production. It’s my perferred length as well.

    @ Weer’d Beard:
    The Ejection Chute is square, and the cases are round. There is not enough surface area for the cases to have enough friction to cause a stoppage. The Ejection Chute is a not critical aspect of the action, and the rifle will function with the ejection chute completely blocked at the front, as with an ear plug. Then, after five rounds are fired, the cases will push the ear plug out. Carbon will NOT jam the RFB ejection chute. Short of intentional sabotage, the ejection chute will not cause the RFB to fail to operate.

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

    @ Nomen Nescio again:
    The RFB was designed from the outset as a rifle suitable for military service and police use. There were no guarantees a few years ago that semi-automatic rifles would even be legal for sale to civilians by the time development of the RFB was complete, but fortunately, Liberty still prevails in America.

    Unlike the FN FS2000, there is no plastic components in the firing mechanism. We used 4140 Steel where they used plastic. We used CNC milled components where they used Metal Injection Molded (MIM). They spend money on marketing, we spend money on production.

    As noted by Jeff the Baptist, we presented the RFB at the NDIA show in Las Vegas this last week and brought it to the firing demonstration on Nellis AFB on Wednesday of that week. We allowed anyone who cared to to shoot the RFB to shoot it with and without a suppressor attached. The conditions were dusty, sandy and very desert like, being that it is, in fact, in the desert. The rifles got extremely dirty and filled with dust and sand, and continued to function. The gas system needed to be turned down to compensate for the grit, but the rifle fired over 1000 rounds at the event without incident.

    Our Engineer, Marketing chief, and myself all took turns firing on LaRue Tactical Metal Silhouette targets at distances of up to 400m with a 4x ACOG TA31RCO. We used 7.62 NATO M80 ball Spec ammo provided by the fine folks at ATK and Long Mountain Outfitters. This was loose packed military ammo, not match. All three of us were able to knock over the targets at 200m with boring regularity, and we were all able to knock over the target at 400m with a bit of patience.

    We used a Aimpoint M4S red dot to hit the targets at 200 and 300m. We were unable to see any of the man-sized silhouette targets at longer ranges. The hard part was waiting for the targets to pop back up.

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

    @ Hillbilly:

    Have you fired a Kel-Tec rifle, sir? I doubt you can find a new centerfire semi-auto that’s in the price range of an SU-16C that shoots with better accuracy. If you do find one, tell me so I can buy one too!

    If you have a P3AT which is broken, send it to us and we will repair it for free.

    One reason we stopped our endurance tests at 5000 rounds was because A) Ammunition was suddenly very rare and expensive, B) The rifle simply refused to break, C) any test we did would simply look like marketing, since we cannot be considered unbiased, and D) I got tired of doing it!

    If you buy an RFB and it breaks, tell the world because we would like to see what a broken one looks like ourselves. Then, we’ll fix it and you can sell it if you like.

    • Bitter says:

      I just have to give kudos to Matt for answering questions here. Considering I did a short series during SHOT on gun companies and new media outreach on good and bad, this goes firmly into the good category.

      I remember when fairly soon after he launched his blog, Sebastian actually became the top search result for a smallish gun company and they never once did any kind of outreach. The comments on the post about their product were stacking up, and at no point did they show any interest. Granted, they don’t primarily serve the civilian market, but anyone who has spent any time in the movement knows that many of the military and law enforcement folks who they target are part of the gunnie culture outside of work. It was just such a lost opportunity. I’m glad to see that Kel-Tec is ahead of the pack in that regard.

  17. Linoge says:

    Matt: Just wanted to thank you for heading over here and answering the questions. I have been keeping an eye on the RFB ever since you all announced it, and while I considered waiting to buy it over the SOCOM II I eventually did purchase, that was almost two years ago. Sorry, a product in the market beats one with a nebulus future release date ;).

    That said, now that you are fielding actual models, I confess that my interest has increased considerably. However, I, too, have a few questions to ask if you have the time.

    First, I understand that the RFB has dual extractors, but what would happen were those extractors to fail to extract an expended cartridge? From the pictures I have seen of the RFB (and there are not many – can you fix that any time soon? ;) ), it would appear as though the firing chamber is somewhat inaccessible to the operator, unless you disassemble the rifle.

    Second, have you experimented with / tested the possibility of a worst-case-scenario cartridge explosion? Granted, they are few and far between, but they do occur… I know you mentioned that there are two sheets of steel between the firing chamber and the operator’s cheek (and I do like my right cheek), but have you all tested to see / designed for where the explosion actually goes? The magazine pops out? It is vented out the ejection chute? Being an engineer, I understand that “design” and “application” are often different things :).

    Third, from the brochure released in 2007, I trust you all are planning on a free-floating railfarm fore-end? (*is a closet rail-junkie*)

    Fourth, what about modularity? To be honest, I dislike the AR-15 platform, but I love the ability to build it into whatever I want. You mentioned different calibers for the rifle and that they will be relatively easy to change out, but what about things like pistol grips, additional rails (see above), cheek rests (though it looks like an adjustable one might already be attached), etc.?

    Fifth, how is recoil? There does not appear to be any buffer system built into it (much less space for one), so how does it hold up on your shoulder?

    Finally, where do I sign up to be a beta-tester/reviewer? :)

    Again, thanks for stopping by to answer questions and concerns. Interactive customer service is always a good thing.

  18. hillbilly says:

    I have not fired a Kel Tec rifle.

    I have handled them. But I can’t say that I really am interested in a SU-16.

    The P3AT that broke in my hands was a friend’s. It was replaced for him by Kel Tec promptly.

    But still, the experience of having the gun break in my hands was not a pleasant one. The frame cracked vertically at both pins.

    And I cannot say that about any other brand of gun that I’ve ever shot, the frame cracking as I fired it.

    But KelTec did send my friend a new one promptly.

    I hope the RFB is all Kel Tec claims it to be. But I’ll have to be shown, first.

    Considering there’s one on Gunbroker.com right now going for over $3500, I doubt I’ll be ponying up the cash to find out any time soon, however.

    As for a semi-auto that costs the same or less as a Kel Tec SU-16 and shoots about the same, with the potential to be better depending on the individual rifle?

    Based on GunBlast.com’s review, I’d say either a Mini-14 or a Saiga in .223.

    http://www.gunblast.com/KelTec-SU16.htm

    “Mounting a Trijicon ACOG scope for accuracy testing proved the gun capable of holding five shots within three inches at the same range, with a couple of ammo types doing just a bit better. ”

    “The gun is absolutely reliable, and as accurate as most 5.56mm/.223 carbines available. Accuracy is on par with the majority of Mini-14s, and the gun is compact and lightweight.”

  19. Ship! Ship! Ship! Ship! Ship!

    I promise I’ll put some notes out for everyone if only I can get one in my hands. My dealer’s looking, but…

    BTW, thanks, KelTec, for leaving enough barrel on the 18″ model sticking out. I’m planning to replace the end with another Gemtech quickdetach for my suppressor — sweet.

    Ship! Ship! Ship! Ship! Ship!

  20. Matt from Kel-Tec says:

    @ Linoge, in answer to the first:
    “First, I understand that the RFB has dual extractors, but what would happen were those extractors to fail to extract an expended cartridge?”
    Well, the only way this could happen is if one of three scenarios was true: 1) The action was not fully closed, and the attempt to remove the cartridge was by manually working the action, 2) the extractor was broken, 3) you experience a case head separation. The first is operator error, the third is ammunition quality, reloaded military cases have a tendency to do this when they are not annealed, especially when they were fired in an machine gun that was out of headspace.

    A broken extractor is simply a fact of life in the firearms world, and the RFB is no exception. It can break, but there are two of them, so the failure of one extractor will usually give odd “hiccups” in functioning, such as the action jamming on the way forward, long before actual failure. The solution to a failure to extract that is not operator error is disassembly and inspection, which I would advise for all firearms that experience a failure of this type.

    The extractors on the RFB are massively over engineered. They worked well, but we made them better. Then we improved them. Then we made them stronger. Then we made them more better. Now they’re damn near perfect. The design of the RFB essentially IS the extractors. The only really fantastic part of the design is its method of extraction, and it works, otherwise we wouldn’t sell it. This model is our flagship, and we wouldn’t enter this market unless we were sure that our product was good. I’m sure they can break, but I haven’t seen it in a long time.

    The best way to access the chamber without disassembling the rifle is to remove the magazine, lock the bolt back with the bolt stop, and flip the rifle over to look in through the magazine well. This should be done ever time the rifle is unloaded or transported. It seems awkward at first, but once you get used to the weapon, you can do it very quickly.

  21. Matt from Kel-Tec says:

    @ Linoge in answer to the second:

    As for the worst case scenario situation, we know what will happen, because it has. The chamber is facing the magazine well, and most of the gasses from a case head separation will travel out through the mag well. This happens on all semi autos that I’ve seen fail of all types.

    A major ammunition manufacturer loads proof loads which they sell to OEMs. We used this proof ammo for years. I got lazy about proof testing and started simply holding the rifle with one hand against a divider and standing on the other side. Not smart. I felt the gun go boom and it hurt like hell. The magazine’s guts blew out, and the plastic around the mag well shattered, but while I yelled obscenities, I didn’t drop the rifle, I set it down on the ground and examined the burn on my arm from the escaping gases. I got a piece of brass from the proof load in my arm which I dug out with a pick. The gun remained intact, the top covers bulged, the receiver cracked, but everything held except the plastic.

    I jumped up and down yelling about how the heat treat guys had screwed up that batch of receivers, but we decided to test the ammo. SAAMI specs for .308 Proof Loads are 83,000-89,000 PSI. The ones we got in that batch were 88,000-94,000 PSI. That’s about double the standard operating pressure of a .308/ 7.62 NATO cartridge. It’s supposed to be PMax plus 25%. It’d be like shooting a .357 Magnum in a .38 Short Colt revolver. This is what we in the industry call “disastrously over pressure”. Your favorite bolt gun would grenade at these pressures.

    But I was fine, my burn healed, don’t even have a scar. We load our own proof loads now, and we test the rifles in a shooting jig. I didn’t even miss work.

    We then conducted a series of tests to see what happens when the receiver fails. We set the rifle at an angle, filled the barrel with water, and put a round in the chamber. We pulled the trigger with a string and recorded the results on high speed video. The same thing happened every time. The shooter would definitely survive a catastrophic failure with an RFB, as I can personally attest.

  22. Matt from Kel-Tec says:

    @ Linoge in answer to the rest

    Bullpups cannot be free floated in the same way that a bolt action can. The barrel has to contact other components at several points. Since the Barrel of the RFB acts as the “spine” of the rifle, it has been designed in such a way that stresses on one part of the rifle are equally distributed throughout. Essentially, if you hold the pistol grip, and torque the handguard with your hand, the only thing that’s supporting the rifle and allowing you to stress those components is the barrel.

    Modularity has been worked into the design. The threads on the barrel near the handguards are the accessory threads. Many different accessories can be mounted on these, including bipod mounts, a bayonet lug, or our quad-rail design. We also have designed an accessory rail that attaches to the handguard itself on the bottom for use with pistol grips, flashlights, and bipods. And of course, any kind of optic that will fit on a picatinny rail will work on the RFB. The rail height was designed to be the same height as on a flat top AR. There is also a hollow space in the grip for accessory cores that will hold batteries, tools, etc.

    Use of dual recoil springs make the felt recoil very manageable for such a light 7.62 NATO rifle. They allow for more recoil absorption over a shorter distance. It’s comparable to an FAL, noticeably less recoil than an AR-10, and has considerably less recoil than an HK91/G3.

  23. Matt from Kel-Tec says:

    @ Hillbilly:

    “The frame cracked vertically at both pins.”
    It sounds like the grip actually broke. The frame is the aluminum part with the serial number and the grip is the plastic part that looks like, well, a frame. The grips do support the frame, and we do have an outside company do our plastic molding, so the quality of our plastic is sometimes less than stellar. I apologize for this incident.

    “I hope the RFB is all Kel Tec claims it to be. But I’ll have to be shown, first.”
    In the words of the Gipper: “Trust… but verify.” I wouldn’t buy a gun without seeing it first either.

    I used to own a Mini-14, and while it was not as inaccurate as some have claimed, it was no hunting rifle. The trigger was ungodly heavy, and it vented gas into the handguard, making it unpleasantly hot. The operating rod block wore two slots into the bottom of my barrel, and I couldn’t find magazines that worked reliably. Ever. So I sold it. This is long before I worked for Kel-Tec. The SU-16C is a vastly superior product in every way than a Mini-14.

    The Saiga is basically an AK with an Awkward stock. I haven’t seen a Saiga going for less than $600 around here. The SU-16C sells for $500 from outfits like CDNN. That being said, AKs have AWFUL triggers and terrible sights. Short of one of those goofy Soviet era scope mounts, you can’t mount optics to it. I haven’t shot a Saiga for accuracy, but I would be surprised if it out shot a SU-16C model. No bolt hold open, bad ergonomics, the AK is a dead horse people keep right on beating. And its an easy horse to beat!

    You may note that I have not mentioned the SU-16A and SU-16B models. If I had my druthers, I would discontinue those models so that we could build more C models and maybe eventually get an E model built. But you people keep buying As an Bs, so we keep building them. The As and Bs are what I would call inaccurate, but in the review, the A model that he tests is comparable to a Mini-14, except ours have chrome lined barrels now. The worst SU-16A is probably better than the best Mini-14, and the C model is even more accurate. And you can’t mount an ACOG on a Mini-14 or a Saiga.

  24. @Matt from Kel-Tec

    Thank you for all these replies. Can you address the notion of shooting uphill? I know, it doesn’t come up much (no pun intended), but it seems the one last insurmountable problem that just has to be worked around, no?

  25. Sebastian says:

    If you think about the physics involved, it should be no problem shooting uphill. All you need is a spring that is strong enough to push X number of cases out of the chute. I gravity is the least of the things you have to worry about in this design.

  26. dustydog says:

    Kel-tec design is fantastic; I just wish they would make a line of products where they’ve put more money into the quality of the materials used, and then passed the cost along to the consumers.

    For example, the 3AT in titanium would be fantastic.

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

    @ Robert Harder:
    Yes, the RFB can shoot uphill. The boss has this strange fasciantion with being able to shoot rifles at airplanes. “90% of aircraft losses in Vietnam were due to small arms fire”, he says. One of the tests we perform is to make sure the rifle will feed from the bolt stop with a full magazine. Usually it’s dependent on the soundness of the magazine, but it works.

    @ dustydog:
    Titanium is actually very difficult to work with, and too brittle to be used in slide material. I can’t think of anyone who has made a firearm with a Titanium slide. To work with a P3AT, the slide would have to be made much thicker to give it enough tensile strength. You’d save very little in weight, while increasing the price. This is the same reason we stopped using stainless steel, which has less tensile strength than 4140, is harder to machine, and it still rusts.

    4140 really is a wonder metal, but since everyone uses it, it’s become blase. We could use 4150 or 8620 for certain applications, but the only thing that would change would be the price.

  28. stymie says:

    Hello Matt,

    I own T0029 & can say in all honesty, that this carbine even excedes my expectations in QC, ergonomics & accuracy with Fed .308m. Having owned a couple of AWC’s M1AG2 Bullpup .308 carbines, I’d have to say that you have their offering beat on ALL counts. This is my “go to” weapon of choice! I have a 6x ACOG mounted & I’m in the process of acquiring an AAC SCAR-H SD suppressor to complete the package. Keep up the excellent work…

    Best Regards,

    stymie

  29. Wes says:

    Having handled and shot the RFB, I can attest that it really *IS* everything Kel-Tec claims. There’s a reason why you can’t find a single negative review of one on the internet-everyone who’s ever handled or fired one walks away wanting to own it. It really is that good. The trigger pull, the balance, the ergonomics, the sheer density of awesomeness in one rifle are all overwhelming. The only problem is that we need more of them to get shipped out!

    “For some reason, the words “Kel Tec” and “reliable accurate rifle” just refuse to go together for me at this point.

    It might have something to do with the P3AT that broke in my hands as I fired it.”

    I’ve personally witnessed Bersa, Taurus, Glock, Beretta, Stag, HK, S&W, SIG, Ruger, and pretty much everything else out there come apart at one time or another. It’s always hard to trust something again after you see one come apart on you, but the fact of the matter is that someone somewhere always winds up drawing the short straw, statistically speaking, and you never know what firearm it’s going to be. The difference is what the manufacturer does after the fact. And Kel-Tec’s reputation speaks for itself in that regard.

  30. Matt from Kel-Tec R&D wrote:

    “Titanium is actually very difficult to work with, and too brittle to be used in slide material. I can’t think of anyone who has made a firearm with a Titanium slide. To work with a P3AT, the slide would have to be made much thicker to give it enough tensile strength. You’d save very little in weight, while increasing the price.”

    At the 2009 Shot Show in Orlando, Florida I had a chance to examine the Taurus 738ti with a titanium slide. It is no thicker than the steel version. The one I handled had a “fish scale” slide serration, not the conventional slide cuts seen on the example in the link to Taurus’ catalog page below.

    That said, the titanium slide Taurus 738 is STILL heavier than my Kel-Tec P-3AT with its steel slide. The only advantages that I can see to a titanium slide would be that, one, no rust, and two, its cool!

    http://www.taurususa.com/2009newcatalog/?catalog_page=5

  31. subby says:

    Another taurus made firearm with a titanium slide is the 111PTi-12.
    http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?id=20&category=Pistol
    Weighs 16 ounces holds 12+1 9mm bullets. I’m sure you will need to outsource the slides construction, but I agree with dustydog.

    It would be great if you offered a small amount of ‘premium’ kel tec products, which use superior materials and construction as well as take into account finish and appearance. (like titanium, zytel polymer, premium metal coatings and/or fluted/match/bull/stainless/hammer forged barrels)

    Call them what you will, people will pay the increased price and appreciate the extra quality, this will also increase the prestige of your brand. This line would also compare more favourably in the pocket pistols area to products offered by Kahr/Rohrbaugh/Walther pps ecetera.
    Even a limited edition series run will be appreciated, imo.

  32. Sebastian says:

    My only complaint about my P3AT is that the slide doesn’t lock back. But the Ruger LCP, which is amazingly similar in design, doesn’t either, though it has a way you can manually lock the slide back. I suspect, though, that would add too much cost to the firearm, and would add extra things to stick out, which is a problem for a pocket gun.

  33. Having visited the Kel-Tec facility in Cocoa, Florida I do not think they are set up to do custom or semi-custom type work. As for the P-3AT not having a slide lock, that is annoying but I don’t think the Rohrbaugh does either and they cost one heck of a lot more that Kel-Tecs do.

  34. subby says:

    A slide lock for pocket pistol is ridiculous. It is a purely defensive firearm.

    As for Kel tec not having the facilities, they have chromed slides before. But I am thinking more along the lines of using the tech and manufacturing capability they have now. But basing the design of this line, more on the basis of looks and craftmanship, rather than utility and cost. Granted its a side venture and purely one for the fans, but it is sincere.

  35. Sebastian says:

    It might be ridiculous in a pocket pistol, but it’s certainly not in a self-defense gun. Slide lock gives you immediate visual and tactile feedback that you’ve run the gun out of ammunition, and also gives you a faster reload time.

  36. Burt Gummer says:

    Matt,

    What is the probability of offering RFBs in Flat Dark Earth option?

  37. J.R. Shirley says:

    Thanks for the interview. I’ve been looking for this rifle- or, really, a rifle almost as good (a bullpup FN-FAL) for 15 years. I have a bunch of never-used metric FAL mags, too.

    I guess I’ll have the funds saved up about the time the 24″ version is readily available!

    John

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

    Oh, crap! I’ve fallen behind!

    @ Stymie:

    I’m glad you like it!

    @ Wes:

    Thank you. I’ve also been a shooter longer than I’ve been a Kel-Tec employee, and I’ve seen my fair share of weapons failures/catastrophes. Guns can be dangerous, but that’s what makes them interesting! I’ve spent considerable sums of money getting certain guns to run the way I expected them too out of the box, and one thing I can say for sure is; the better the company, the better their customer service. If it’s hard to get fixed, it probably wasn’t worth buying in the first place.

    @ John Bates Thayer and Subby:

    You know it! Titanium is only 55% of what steel weighs, and brittle as hell. Taurus has become the R&D company for the industry (when they aren’t coping OUR designs that is) always coming out with some kind of radical departure from conventional wisdom, and I applaud that. BUT, Titanium is not a very good material, and modern finishes and surface treatments on quality steel will best them every time.

    I tried to interest the bossman in making “High Polish Finish” versions of our blued guns for special order. His answer? “We can’t keep up with demand as it is.”

    @ Sebastian:

    The P3AT slide doesn’t lock back, and that’s why I carry a P32, as a back-up to my primary. I don’t like that particular feature either, but it has to do with frame dimensions, and magazine manufacture. But honestly, do you think you’re going to be doing any tactical reloads with a micro-compact? I shaved the mag button on my P32. I need a tool to remove the mag!

    @ Burt Grummer:

    Oh. My. God! You have know idea how hard I pushed to get the RFB released in FDE Exclusively! I didn’t want Black plastic AT ALL! Then I tried to get FDE incorporated as a secondary color scheme, and all I can tell you is this: it ain’t gonna happen for many, many years. Sorry.

    @ J. R. Shirley:

    24″ models should be entering production after the first 2000 rifles are built. Approximately.

  39. Burt Gummer says:

    Hey Matt,

    Thanks for your effort on pushing FDE (the new black), keep at it! Since Kel-Tec offers/offered other-than-black for other products (e.g. green framed PF-9 & P-3AT), I fail to see why it would be difficult on churning out some RFBs with at least earth toned plastic.

    ***

    PLEASE tell us that a .22LR RFB is in the works (“RFB-22”), A companion “trainer” to the .308 RFB makes a lot of sense!

    Thanks for taking your time answering our questions, Matt.

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

    The problem with colored plastic is you can often see the injection molded “swirl” patterns, and the boss man hates that. I did a survey on the SU-16 to “prove” that other colors would be more popular than black, and black was far and away the preferred color for the SU-16 with about 68+% of the vote. More than all the other colors combined.

    FDE may still be done as an option for distributors and the like. Otherwise, your best bet would be to get the black stock, and have it finished in Cerakote or something similar.

    We looked at sub-caliber conversion kits for the RFB, but we decided against it because of the technical difficulties that would be associated with that ejection system. It would require re-engineering the whole rifle, literally designing a new gun, in order to make it work with a .22 conversion kit. Also, it would likely work in a completely different way, such as ejecting empties through the magazine well, and it wouldn’t be a very affordable kit.

    The cheapest way to shoot a .308 is get a good single stage reloading set up, and roll your own. Just make sure you know what you’re doing, because if you blow up your RFB with reloads, you void your warranty. Sorry!

  41. Wes says:

    I’m more than willing to forgo the conversion kit, seeing as how I’m still waiting on the actual rifle ;)

    Any word on how much closer we are to seeing larger quantities shipping out? Triple-digit serial numbers? Are those 300 barrel blanks going to be converted into rifles-sent-to-distributors within the next week or two? :)

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

    I was informed by the boss that I am not allowed to comment on production numbers anymore, even though it is increasing. We are in the process of building an extension onto our production facilities just to handle RFB production. I wish they hadn’t announced it two years ago, but they did,and now everyone is getting antsy, including me, but we’ll all just have to wait.

  43. jshoneh says:

    The only question missing was:

    Matt, your company has never produced a legacy weapon like the Remington 700, the SigSauer 226, etc. etc. As a matter of fact, if you look on any forum speaking of Kel-Tec’s there is an above average number of posts concerning reliability, quality and accuracy of Kel-Tec products. Why would anyone shell out this type of money for a novelty weapon and by a company who plays in the price point market?

  44. subby says:

    Hi Matt, thanks for your response. What your boss said makes sense, perhaps in kel tecs future, when they have more time and money to spare.

    As for the RFB .22. I figured as much. But a super cheap separate .22 rifle can still be made. Using cheaper polymer and aluminium/sheet metal in its construction, but maintaining the same ergonomics and manual of arms.
    Nonetheless I agree about the significant R&D required. But what else are you going to work on? It may also prove to be a great learning experience on the feasability of an RFB in a defense pistol calbre.
    You know you want it!

    @jshoneh
    We will find out won’t we?
    But it is a little annoying. Kel tec’s manufacturing arm and quality control reputation really needs to improve. Perhaps now that they are producing a premium product like the RFB, they can learn a lot of lessons and apply them to their cheaper firearm line. (or maybe not?, doesn’t appear to be affecting demand for their products, thats for sure)

  45. Ray says:

    Hey Matt
    I’ve been very interested in the RFB since it was first announced a while back, but the one thing that has me worried is that it seems that the only way to access the chamber is by removing the magazine and turning the gun over. I’d prefer not to have to go to such steps just to do a chamber check or what not. Is there any way to view the chamber without removing the magazine?

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

    @ jshoneh:
    The RFB is intended to be our flagship model, and it will be our legacy model. We are a company that has been around for only 17 years, and we are already one of the top five largest firearms producers in the world.

    I will remind you, sir, that both the Remington 700 and the Sig P226 were introduced as economy versions of earlier, better designs. The 700 was designed to have an easier to manufacture receiver, and the only reason it did as well as it did was because Winchester discontinued the original, pre-’64 model 70 action. Sig introduced the P226, a double stacked version of their stamped steel P225. When the XM9 Trials selected the more expensive Beretta 92FS over the cheaper Sig, which saw two broken frames during the trials, Sig wisely switched to a milled slide that I’m sure you’re more familiar with.

    As far as Kel-Tec quality is concerned: How can you beat a gun with a no-questions-asked lifetime warranty? A brand new P-11 costs half of what most used Sigs go for, perhaps if we doubled the price that would count as improved quality? We’ve had customers report having 120,000 rounds through a P-11 before it needed to be sent in… to be re-blued.

    As far as accuracy of Kel-Tec products is concerned: Sub-Micro Compacts are used at point blank range. They are not intended to be target pistols. That said, I’ve printed a 2″ group with my P32 at seven yards. I realize not everyone gets to shoot guns for a living, and most people who don’t compete can shoot as well as I, but Kel-Tecs are just as accurate as any standard semi-auto you’ll be able to find.

    As for reliability, if you find one that doesn’t work, send it in. We’ll fix it for you, and then you can sell it, probably for the price you paid for it. We have NEVER been able to meet our demand, despite the fact that our production capacity doubles every 3 to 4 years. That’s an awful lot of people who seem to think that Kel-Tecs are accurate enough to do the job, of a high enough quality to buy multiple copies of, and reliable enough to bet their lives on.

    But perhaps the one or two cursory examples you read from the armchair commandos on the net who knew a guy who heard from a friend that his cousin’s Kel-Tec was unreliable is proof enough for you. In that case, feel free to buy any firearm you choose. This is America. You can buy that other forward ejecting bullpup, the 5.56 one, that has a plastic trigger, plastic hammer, plastic sear, magazines that don’t drop free, and oh yeah, it costs more, but it’s from a “reputable company” who’s been over charging consumers for over a hundred years. At least they don’t play the price point game. I hope you enjoy it.

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

    @ Ray:
    Sorry, that’s the only way to do it. One of the things we sought to address with the RFB was the fear that having the breech so close to the shooters face presented an unacceptable hazard, and we also sought to make the gun truly ambidextrous, which means no windows. That other forward ejecting bullpup has a spring loaded top cover that the shooter can lift up to view the chamber, but that spring loaded piece of plastic is the only thing separating your eyes and face from a case head separation.

    Many people have asked how one performs a chamber check to see if the gun is loaded before going out on patrol. The only way is to chamber a round, remove the magazine (which one might do anyways to top off the mag) and then check the chamber. In a firefight, it’s a lot to think about, but I never checked the chamber on my M-16A2 when I was in Iraq. If the rifle goes “Click” instead of “Pow”, Tap-Rack-Bang.

    After this issue came up, I asked several of my friends who have also served overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they agree that that’s something you do on the range, or in the rear when you turn it into the armory. It’s a different manual of arms, but when you get used to handling the RFB, it’s surprisingly intuitive.

  48. jshoneh says:

    Matt,

    I don’t mean to rain on your parade. You work at Kel-Tec and want to see you product lines prosper as well as yourself, other employees and your vendors. I hope it all works out.

    A couple things.. The P226 is actually a direct descendant to fhte P220. In terms of the 92FS and the 226…yes two frames broke but you failed to mention a couple other things. 1. 92FS and 226 are the only two firearms that went the full distance in the competition. 2. US military tests are the most rigorous in the world. If you stand behind your Kel-Tec’s…please run a direct facsimile of the military tests with your Kel Tec 9mm and let us see the results.

    The other thing is that the best way to build a brand with a reliable reputation is not by your great return policy, but by building a gun that does not need to be returned.

    Matt, there is a huge difference in 1 – 100 weapons being returned and 1-10,000.

    Lastly, I applaud any business that identifies and fills the needs of a market. However, what is the market for the RFB ? It’s a compact, military style assault weapon, in semi-auto. It will never be adopted by any legitimate military.

    So, it must be targeted to the so called “trailer park” wanna be audience who wants to show off their new, very unpractical bull pup at the weekend BBQ while sipping on a can of Keystone Tall Boy’s.

    It just seems to me that the guys who want to purchase this must be the most insecure people in the world who have a strong need to try to define themselves through a novelty weapon. If you are going to put one of these weapons in the gun rack while headed off to your next deer hunt, you might as well put a flashing “PLEASE LOOK AT ME”..I have a cool looking weapon so I’m cool…so they think. I have no tolerance for wannabee’s.

    You’ve either earned it or you haven’t.

    We use to have a saying many years ago when I was in sf…it’s not the Beret who makes the man, but the man who makes the Beret.

    Good luck to all with your “Kel-Tec’s”….laughable.

  49. Sebastian says:

    Geez…. and people say I’m an elitist :)

  50. > Why would anyone shell out this type of money for a
    > novelty weapon and by a company who plays in the
    > price point market?

    Time warp: “Why would anyone buy a gun from a company that makes shovels for the Austrian army?”

    > It just seems to me that the guys who want to purchase
    > this must be the most insecure people in the world…

    Is it just me, or did that whole post sound like it came from a shrink’s couch?

    -Rob

  51. jshoneh says:

    Come on Rob, you’re proving my point with incoherent analogies like that.

    One is a proven combat weapon used by the Secret Service, Homeland Defense, numerous LEA’s, the Navy Seals and Military PAX around the world. It is considered the golden standard in reliability and accuracy (arguably so by Beretta, CZ, Glock and others …Kimber.) among mass produced pistol brands.

    The other is just a poor man’s feable attempt at owning a firearm that may or may not work. No serious firearm owner, who truly believes that they may have to engage. would ever consider arming themselves with a Kel-Tec.

    Stupid is what stupid does…

  52. Ray says:

    “Come on Rob, you’re proving my point with incoherent analogies like that.”

    I didn’t have any trouble understanding them…

    “The other is just a poor man’s feable attempt at owning a firearm that may or may not work. No serious firearm owner, who truly believes that they may have to engage. would ever consider arming themselves with a Kel-Tec.”

    Actually, Kel-tec has some very innovative guns, with what seems to be a loyal following of happy customers. I know of several “serious firearms owners” that own kel-tec’s and like them. What you describe sounds more like Jennings.

    “Lastly, I applaud any business that identifies and fills the needs of a market. However, what is the market for the RFB ? It’s a compact, military style assault weapon, in semi-auto. It will never be adopted by any legitimate military.

    So, it must be targeted to the so called “trailer park” wanna be audience who wants to show off their new, very unpractical bull pup at the weekend BBQ while sipping on a can of Keystone Tall Boy’s.”

    First of all- Unpractical? It packs semi auto .308 into the smallest, lightest package of any of it’s competitors. If this gun is unpractical, the so must be the AR-10, M1A, or any number of other .308 semi autos.

    Second of all, if that’s what you think of civilian gun owners, then that’s pretty sad.

    “It just seems to me that the guys who want to purchase this must be the most insecure people in the world who have a strong need to try to define themselves through a novelty weapon. If you are going to put one of these weapons in the gun rack while headed off to your next deer hunt, you might as well put a flashing “PLEASE LOOK AT ME”..I have a cool looking weapon so I’m cool…so they think. I have no tolerance for wannabee’s.”

    I’ve seen as many wannabees that own Colt, Sig, HK, Glock, FN, Benelli, ect, as those that own Highpoint, Jennings, and other cheap junk guns. People buy guns for different reasons. Some will buy them just because they look cool, or because they think the brand will make them look cool. Others buy that brand because the gun fits them and their needs. It’s not the song that really counts, it’s the singer.

    “If you are going to put one of these weapons in the gun rack while headed off to your next deer hunt, you might as well put a flashing “PLEASE LOOK AT ME”..I have a cool looking weapon so I’m cool…so they think.”

    I’m sure there are a few people that choose their hunting weapon based upon what they think others will think of them. I think most people weigh the options and decide which gun makes the most sense to them.
    Besides, what is the difference between someone that chooses a black gun for the attention and someone that chooses a $3000 custom bolt gun with a fancy burled stock and lots of custom engraving for the same reason?

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

    @jshoneh:
    The Sig-Sauer P220 was an attempt to simplify and cheapen the excellent and prohibitively expensive Sig P210. The P225 was an attempt to take a pistol that was designed for cartridges as big as .45 ACP and .38 Super and scale it to 9x19mm. The P226 is a direct descendant of the P220 the same way it’s a direct descendant of the P210.

    Having said that, I think that Beretta M9s, Modern Sig 226s, various other full sized service pistols are excellent guns, and I own several of them. They are designed to be full sized service models, and because of this, they are unsuitable for concealed carry in any place where wearing a jacket would raise eyebrows, like Florida in the Summer time.

    It may surprise you to learn that despite the excellent durability of Kel-Tec pistols, they are NOT designed to be service pistols. They are designed for concealed carry. They are designed with the minimal dimensions necessary to safely fire the cartridges they are chambered in to reduce the amount of material in the slide and barrel in order to reduce weight. They are not designed to be used with gloved hands, in sandy conditions, after they haven’t been cleaned, using overpressure cartridges, under combat conditions. Again, they are not service pistols. The fact that so many police officers choose to carry Kel-Tecs as duty back-ups and off-duty pieces is a testament to their intended purpose, to be the gun you rely on when your other gun fails or isn’t available.

    We are not attempting to submit any of our pistols for miltary service. They are not intended to be service pistols. They are intended to be compact, reliable, affordable, and practical. We have one of the lowest return and repair rates in the industry according to the NSSF and the ATF, who have a habit of tracking firearms transfers and the reason for those transfers. We are not going to run a military endurance trial on our pistols, because we wouldn’t be believed anyways. It would be called “Marketing”. If you would like to run an independent endurance trial on any of our products, feel free to do so, and please inform us of the results.

    The RFB is a different animal. It is not designed to be an economical alternative to choosing a used gun or choosing nothing. The RFB IS intended to be a service weapon. What is the market for the RFB? Judging by the level of interest on Snowflakes in Hell, considerable. There has never been a 7.62 NATO bullpup rifle produced as a regular item. They have existed as prototypes, experiments, and conversion kits. We at Kel-Tec are leaders, not followers. We didn’t need to wait for someone to come out with a 7.62 NATO bullpup before we thought it was a good idea. I wanted to build one in High School simply because nobody had done it yet. I now work for someone who is a visionary as I am, and I love it.

    The RFB is compact. It is NOT a “military-style assault weapon”, nor was it intended to be. It is not offered in selective fire, nor will it be. 8.5 pound full auto .308s are not a good idea. The RFB is designed to provide enough fire power to effectively defeat barriers and automobile bodies within urban terrain. If you’ve ever had a vehicle rush your road block while you were carrying an M4, you’d realize that a compact 7.62 NATO makes an awful lot of sense. The level of interest expressed by the, supposedly illegitimate USMC, seems to justify the rifle. Perhaps you mean that no military that would adopt a radically innovative design is legitimate unless that design and company meet your personal approval. The US State Department has rules against selling guns to illegitimate militaries, but it may again shock you to learn that Kel-Tec does not serve governments. We serve the people.

    Do they sell Keystone in bottles now? I’m headin’ to Winn Dixie after this post!

    As somebody who was BORN in a trailer park, let me be clear that your lack of tolerance betrays your political philosophy more than your apparent distaste for firearms and firearms enthusiasts ever could. Certainly there are people in this world who don’t think pick-up trucks and gun racks and American Flags are cool, but I’m not one of them. Apparently you are, and I’m certain that you would scoff at a pick up truck or SUV just as quickly as most Americans would scoff at your Civic Hybrid or your self righteous, condescending ideals. We can’t all be like you. Some of us need to keep this country moving forward, lest we become like the failed Euro/Socialist states that you love because they lack the gun-lovin’, beer-drinkin’, pick-up truck drivin’, Deer huntin’ people you detest.

    This gives me an idea for marketing:
    “Don’t be a elitist. Buy American. Buy Kel-Tec!”

    Now, are there any more legitimate questions out there? I’ve got a six pack of Keystone tall-boys that’s callin’ my name.

  54. Burt Gummer says:

    Don’t mind him, Matt, He’s no “sf”, he just played too much Call Of Duty 4

    Being a former USMC 0311 (MEUSOC) and LEO (in real life) and currently an LE firearms instructor, I for one, am VERY interested in the RFB. And I’m no “collector” either.

    For the record, Glock started out making curtain rods.

    BTW, why isn’t there any criticism on the highly anticipated Masada (now Remington ACR) being designed by a company that started making little rubber things you slip on the bottom of your magazines?

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

    Thanks, Burt. I think some people should shoot more and proselytize less. There’s an expression amongst competition shooters, and the first person who told it to me actually was in USASF: “If your gun’s never had a Failure to Fire, you haven’t shot it enough.”

    Remington started out making barrels, Oliver Winchester started out making shirts. I remember looking a the original “Magpul” and thinking: “That’s stupid. Just pull the thing out with your big boy grip!”, and now they come out with so many neat things that make me say: “WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?” Everybody starts somewhere.

    Good ideas come and go because people start out under capitalized, they over extend themselves, and they disappear before their really big idea ever takes form. A good product that pays the bills is better than a great product that nobody has ever heard off, because it didn’t pay the bills.

  56. jshoneh says:

    Matt, you were born in a trailer park? Things are making sends…LOL.

    Matt, I’m sorry but you can’t take a NEW Yugo to the Indy 500 and convince me that it’s going to even compete.

    Burt, if you are a firearms instructor and former jarhead, and you are endorsing a Kel-Tec weapon…then you must be the laughing stock of all your fellow grunts and firearm instructors.

    18BVWMP..I trained a lot of Marines. You guys are all gung ho but most were as dumb as box of rocks. Did enjoy working with your FR guys, however.

    I’m not going to have this conversation..it’s stupid. Go buy your Kel-Tec. As far as I’m concerned, if you want a great, semi-affordable weapon in a .308 get your hands on an M21 or M25 system.

    If you are one of those paranoid CS types getting this weapon so you can take to the streets when Al Quaida hits us and China invades the US, then good luck, because you’re mentally unstable to begin with and probably shouldn’t be allowed to own a firearm. Besides, if that did ever happen the first thing you’d do is chuck your Kel-Tec and pick up an AK.

    Bye.

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

    I’m glad it makes “sends” to you, JS.

    I call “Poser Troll” on Jshoneh. This kid’s never been anywhere or done anything. If he had, he would know that if you talk trash to people who have been there, they’ll kick your ass.

    M21 or an M25? Are you kidding? Whole lotta M-14s in civilian hands, aren’t there? Nothing like a unobtainable sniper rifle to make a $1880 rifle look bad. The Springfield Armory m25 clone only cost a mere $5000. Definitely “Semi-Affordable”.

    What the hell is a “CS type”? The only CS I know is the stuff they burn in the gas chamber to qual your gas mask before deployment.

    Funny that you’d bash a Yugo, and then endorse an AK, considering some of the better AKs were made in Yugoslavia, in same plant as the Yugo. I know a lot of guys who like AKs, but I know few who would choose one over a modern, western design.

    I’ll accept your acquiescence as an apology, JS. You lack coherent arguments to support your rhetoric, but I would expect that from a teenager. You’ve gotta a lot of growing up to do, kid. I can see that, and I’m only 27.

  58. Burt Gummer says:

    I haven’t endorsed anything (yet). Granted, Kel-Tec has made a reputation for itself on making “affordable” firearms. If Kel-Tec is willing to break it’s stereotypical mold and enter a higher-end market, I willing to give Kel-Tec a chance!

    If the RFB turns out to be a turd, I’ll take on Matt’s invitation and tell the world … But, unlike you, not beforehand.

    Funny you mentioned AK. I’ve come across an AK or two in my time and I’d venture to say the RFB is made of higher quality materials and craftsmanship compared to your typical AK. But you’re not poking fun at the AK because they WORK. Time will tell on the RFB.

    FWIW, My old department ISSUES Kel-Tec P3AT as back-ups to all the deputies.

    Notice how civil I’m with you? And YOU’RE questioning MY intelligence?

    Now GTFO, troll.

  59. Ian Argent says:

    One use I can think of for the thing is for a home-defense weapon that won’t hammer my shoulder as hard as a shotgun. Which brings the question – can you get frangible/JHP in .308/7.62?

  60. Sebastian says:

    I am becoming convinced of the troll argument, jshoneh. Restrict your arguments to those which are not personal attacks. Mind the comment policy, please.

  61. Sebastian says:

    jshoneh:

    You were warned about making it personal. The last comment goes to the bit bucket. Next comment out of line sends you to the bit bucket.

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

    @ Ian Argent:

    You most certainly can get Frangible 7.62 NATO, but it’s rather pricey. JHPs will likely zip right on through interior walls.

    When the US DOD was trying to prove that the .223 Remington was inferior to the 7.62 NATO, one of the things they came up with was a series of penetration tests. We’re all aware of the steel helmet penetration tests used before adoption of the SS190/M855, but a lesser know test was the “Oak Tree” tests. Apparently, 7.62 NATO M80 Ball can completely pass through a 24″ Oak at 300 Meters, but a 5.56 cannot pass completely through. While the idea of shooting an enemy who’s hiding behind a tree seems valid, there’s no scientifically verifiable way to validate a tree’s composition.

    I wouldn’t recommend the RFB if you live in an apartment, condo, or duplex, even with Frangible. 7.62 NATO is a lot of bullet.

  63. Sebastian says:

    Any round that will reliably stop a person will shoot through most exterior, and just about all interior walls. The protection there is to be sure of your target.

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

    That’s true, Sebastian. But the 7.62 NATO is sorta like the gift that keeps on giving. It’s a bit much for Home Defense, unless you live on a ranch or a farm.

  65. Burt Gummer says:

    In using .308 for home defense it is all about selecting the proper load. I recommend looking into Dr. Gary K. Roberts recommendations:

    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?s=d7266a99fe84e4d37f00d73bb5e8a960&t=19878

    By choosing limiting penetrating rounds like the Hornady 110 gr. TAP, you’ll penetrate LESS than most service-caliber handgun rounds. Take a look at this chart:

    http://www.tridentconcepts.com/alumni/Portals/0/NTForums_Attach/1620135812171.jpg

    The chart shows the .223 would be the ideal choice for home defense (hint, hint, wink wink … RFB in .223). But the .308 is definitely more effective!

    I’m in 100% agreement with Sebastian when stated, “Any round that will reliably stop a person will shoot through most exterior, and just about all interior walls.” This is why birdshot is a poor choice IMHO.

  66. Ian Argent says:

    Which of course brings me to Burt Gummer’s hint. A couple of gunnies whose opinion I respect have made mention that a short-barreled 5.56 (SBR short) would make a good home defense weapon (preferably with frangible ammo to reduce the chance of overpenentration). A bullpup would potentially eliminate the SBR part of that.

  67. @Matt from Kel-Tec R&D

    I’m not going to repeat the comment about uphill shooting and a certain machine in the air, to attempt to minimize it’s search results in Google, but could we revisit the uphill shooting question?

    I’m trying to picture how you rotate a cartridge and push it up into the (square) ejection tube, and how the previous casing doesn’t get in the way. Let’s see if I can say it in words well enough: wouldn’t the previous casing have fallen back so far that when you try to rotate the new casing up, the new casing would pinch the old casing?

    (You know, a picture’s worth a thousand words, so if we all just _had_ our RFB’s we could figure it out ourselves – ship, ship, ship, ship)

    -Rob

  68. Ray says:

    Gunsite recently tested a number of loads commonly used for self defense for penetration on standard house walls. The test rig was two interior walls, and an exterior wall, spread out over 21 feet. 00 Buck, Slugs, FMJ and JHP 9mm went through all three walls. Birdshot (# 7 1/2) went through the first wall and hit the second wall very lightly.
    55 grain FMJ .223 went through the first wall and was found in the middle of the second wall.
    55 grain JHP .223 went through the first wall, but did not hit the second wall at all.

    I don’t know how much different bullet weights and diameters would make a difference, but the high velocity JHP seems to have the advantage as far as over penetration through standard house walls.

    a good followup test would be to try different calibers and bullet weights.

  69. And let’s not forget http://www.theboxotruth.com/ which is enlightening and at the very least, entertaining.

    “The Box O’ Truth – What you always wanted to know… But were unable to test yourself!”

    -Rob

  70. Ray says:

    The box o truth is a good site, highly recommended. Old Painless (the man behind the site) is a great guy, and he knows his stuff. OP stated that his test results mirrored the results of the Gunsite test.

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

    That info is all very interesting, Burt. I find it interesting that in the last few years the most fascinating stuff has started to be posted in web forums instead of on devoted websites, as they were a few years ago. This seems to allow for instant feed back and peer review.

    Unfortunately, while the 7.62 may work as a Close Quarters/ Home Defense cartridge, it’s still a bit much IMHO. I wouldn’t mock anyone’s use of a 7.62 NATO with specialized ammunition in this role, but it’s not something I would do myself. I’ve always been more of a Shotgun man myself and there’s little arguing about the risk of over penetration with 00 buckshot, but the use of smaller pellets, like No. 4 would serve to greatly reduce this risk.

    A 5.56 RFB, called the CFB is in the works. I was opposed to the whole idea, since there are already a host of 5.56 Bullpups and the CFB will directly compete with the RFBs market. It will take a few years though, so don’t expect to see one anytime soon.

    @ Robert Harder:

    The previous casing does get in the way. They stack up in the ejection chute and push each other out of the front, unless the operator tilts the weapon forward, and dumps them out. There are wings at the back of the chute that keep the shells from sliding backwards and falling into the action. The fired case is tilted upwards during rear ward travel and held firmly by the extractors. It is then pushed into the ejection chute where it passes the wings which pinch the casing as it is pushed through. Any case or series of cases in the chute will not create enough resistance to cause a stoppage. The part that uses the most energy is when the carrier has to force the extractors down off of the rim when the case is in the chute. A nose on the carrier then pushes the empty case the rest of the way through the wings on the chute, ensuring that there is no way the case can fall backwards. Inertia then causes the cases to remain stationary as the rifle moves backwards, giving the empties a kind of forward momentum. This will happen no matter what the rifle’s attitude.

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

    I know it should be “case” not casing. It’s not a sausage..

  73. Wes says:

    Superior design and superior debate skills, a formidable combination.

    I’m hitting my forehead for not extrapolating out the “CFB” designation before now. I’ll probably buy one when they come out, but the RFB now and forever more has my attention. I’ve had the funds set aside for the better part of a year now, and I just wish one of the distributors would smile upon me and finally ship me one already.

  74. Eric says:

    Matt although I am not “trailer park trash” as jshoneh would believe I am extremely excited about the RFB. I am anxiously awaiting the phone call to say mine is in. I can appreciate the vision and thought that went into it’s development and I hope it lives up to the hype. It fills a void in the market and will sell like hotcakes. Pay no attention to the naysayers unless they have actually handled one.

  75. Oleg Volk says:

    I have been taking photos of an RFB for the past week or so. The quality of machining is superior to most AR15s I’ve seen. The gun comes apart for cleaning in seconds (pull four captive pins and it unfolds like a book). It has a really nice trigger and balance.

  76. @Oleg

    Yeah, I saw your work over at http://olegvolk.livejournal.com/609459.html this morning. Thanks for posting them.

  77. Grand says:

    @ Matt from Kel Tec R&D

    A few questions. First what is the twist ratio of the barrel? And/or prefered grain weight of ammunition? I saw you fired standard NATO ball, but is there a grain weight that is prefered/recommended?

    Recommended BUIS?

    Is there an available slip on stock pad for futher recoil reduction or is one in the works from Kel Tec?

    Since this will be the “legacy” rifle from Kel Tec, are there going to be further options and additions in the future offered on this system other than those you have mentioned already? I.E more “goodies” such as additional rail interface systems for the carbine model, optional muzzle brakes, etc?

    Thanks for the info already. Interesting enough rifle that I might end up purchasing one in due time.

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

    With apologies to Grand, I have been instructed that I am not to post anything further.

    It’s been fun, I hope you can find your answers elsewhere. Good luck, and thank you for your support.

  79. ks3 says:

    does anyone know if the sporter (24″ barrel) model is still being released as planned? because it has been removed on the official kel-tec website which is kind of a downer as thats is the ideal barrel length for me. 32 is a bit much

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