March 30, 2023

Like many shooters, I wanted one the first time I laid eyes on the KelTec Sub 2000. The Sub 2000 folding rifle is seemingly the perfect bugout/camping/companion gun for other 9mm pistols like the Glock, which it can share magazines with. But now that I’ve owned and shot two of them for a few years, is the magic gone?

Let’s take a closer look at the KelTec Sub 2000 and find out.

KelTec Sub-2000 Pistol Caliber Carbine 9mm Steel Target
KelTec Sub-2000 Pistol Caliber Carbine in 9mm on a steel target. IMG Jim Grant

KelTec Sub 2000 Gen 2 9mm Rifle Features

The KelTec Sub-2000 Carbine is a 9mm direct blowback carbine that feeds from stagger-column Glock-pattern magazines. You read that right, the KelTec Sub 2000 feeds from Glock magazines – at least, this version does. The model reviewed is designed specifically for Glock 19-pattern mags, meaning it can utilize Glock 19, Glock 17, and any 9mm Glock magazine with a capacity of over 15 rounds. (Or ten rounds in ban states.)

Keltec also makes a version in .40 S&W, and they make versions of each for both the compact and full-sized Glock magazine versions.

KelTec Sub-2000 Pistol Caliber Carbine Suppressor Foregrip Extended Magazine PERST-4
KelTec Sub-2000 Pistol Caliber Carbine with Innovative Arms Suppressor, LaRue Foregrip, KRISS USA extended magazine, and Russian PERST-4 IR laser. IMG Jim Grant

Regardless of which model a shooter chooses, all KelTec Sub versions feature a polymer railed handguard with Picatinny rails on the top and bottom and M-Lok slots on the side. Other noteworthy features include a 1/2×28 threaded barrel and an adjustable front sight post. Conversely, the Sub 2000 features a folding rear sight that automatically deploys when the gun is unfolded.

Yes, you read that correctly. The KelTec Sub 2000’s main claim to fame – the entire rifle folds needly to fit inside a backpack or a footlocker.

The trigger guard locks the entire rifle action in the deployed position and can be released by pulling down on this same guard. This means that the entire weapon can be quickly deployed or unfolded in seconds – even with a magazine inserted into the gun.

KelTec Sub 2000 9mm Folded
KelTec Sub 2000 9mm folds in half, making it an excellent bugout gun. IMG Jim Grant

The only downside is that the gun can’t be locked in the folded position if an optic is installed. Unless shooters are using the pivoting optic mount from Midwest Industries.

Underneath all this, the Sub 2000 features a crossbar safety and a standard push-button magazine release that makes the gun handle more like a pistol than a rifle – at least in terms of reloading.

Behind the pistol grip is the only aspect of the KelTec that I’m not entirely thrilled with: a reciprocating charging handle located underneath the stock. As the previous statement informs, this charging handle rapidly travels back and forth when the gun fires. So shooters should keep their support hand away from the stock to prevent accidentally injuring themselves. At the very rear, the stock features a small cutout that allows the action to be locked in the open position.

In testing, the best way to release this during a reload is to perform a reverse HK-slap, where the support hand reaches under the shooting hand and slaps it free from the catch. While initially awkward, it becomes second nature pretty quickly.

KelTec Sub 2000 Jim Grant
The little Sub 2000 points exceptionally well. IMG Jim Grant

KelTec Sub 2000 Performance

Now that we have a solid handle on all the KelTec Sub 2000 9mm features, let’s talk about performance. To better get a feel for both the mechanical as well as practical accuracy, I installed a Shield RMSx micro reflex sight on top of a tall ADE Advanced Optics Picatinny mount. This setup permits a lower third co-witness with the irons while providing an excellent field of view and bright sight picture.

Hitting steel plates at 75 yards and clearing plate racks at 15 yards was laughably easy and felt as natural as pointing a finger. When fired from a Lyman Bag Jack rest, the gun proved capable of shooting between 1.5 and 2.5-inch groups at 75 yards. While not precision rifle accurate, this is more than enough for the ideal role this gun would be pressed into. One aspect on accuracy that I found very odd is how the gun performed with a sound suppressor. In testing, the gun’s point of aim was drastically shifted by adding a suppressor – several feet at 25 yards!? This was confirmed with two different suppressors: a SilencerCo Osprey45 and an Innovative Arms 9mm can. So be certain to zero the gun with a can if you intend to run one.

Regarding reliability, I fired 200 rounds through the Glock-19 grip Sub 2000 and 2,500 rounds through my old Glock-17 tan mode, and in both cases, I never encountered a single malfunction except for a dead primer.

KelTec Sub 2000 9mm Concrete
The Sub 2000 makes a great camping, bugout, or home defense weapon. IMG Jim Grant

Kel-Tec Sub 2000 Verdict

If a shooter is looking for the perfect companion gun to a Glock 17 or 19 (or even a Glock 26 if they use extended mags), the KelTec Sub 2000 is in a league of its own. No other carbine can be so easily converted into a portable package for so little money – around $578.

SUB-200 Rifle Specs:

  • Model: Sub-2000 Rifle (GLK-G19)
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • MPN#: 60288
  • UPC: 640832004816
  • Brand: Kel-Tec

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Parts & Accessories Used in This Review:

KelTec Sub-2000 Pistol Caliber Carbine Rifle Owners Manual

About Jim Grant

Jim is one of the elite editors for, who can wield a camera with expert finesse in addition to his mastery of prose. He loves anything and everything guns but holds firearms from the Cold War in a special place in his heart.

When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly, their son, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.

Jim Grant

Product Reviews:

“The little KelTec Sub-2000 might not have the fit & finish of pricier rifles, but you can’t debate its unstoppable reliability & solid accuracy.” ~ Jim Grant. How would you rate the KelTec Sub-2000 Pistol Caliber Carbine?

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