Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    East side of the ANF, Pennsylvania
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    Default Hell hath frozen over, or, Noah buys a KelTec RDB

    Yep, it's bitter cold down there, and it's not climate change.

    Many here know that I'm a proponent of "Friends don't let friends buy KelTec," but I broke with my own advice after fingering an RDB at a semi-local shop following a "What the fuk is that?" moment upon seeing it hanging on the wall behind the counter. And I do do some Interwebz-based research before pulling out the Benjamins.

    I've had it since May, with not a lot of time to play with it, but I've finally run 1200 rds through it, brass and Tula steel, and aside from making an adjustment to handle USGOI 30 rd mags, I have experienced zero issues that were not self-inflicted learning how to set the gas adjustment.

    Some impressions:

    - The RDB is surprisingly handy and well-balanced, even with a full 30 rd mag in place.
    - The safety lever is ambidextrous and well-placed on the pistol grip, it's out of the way but readily accessed when desired.
    - The cocking handle can be installed on either side of the gas tube by simple disassembly and reassembly.
    - The cocking handle can be rotated up into a "safety notch" at the rear of its travel, similar to that of HK rifles and SMGs.
    - The empties drop out the bottom of the receiver behind the magazine well. They end up in a neat pile at your feet, but you don't want to wear flip flops when shooting. One downside: The cases brush against your shirt on the way down, and any carbon on the cases ends up being wiped off by your shirt.
    - Accuracy is better than expected; at 100 yds from a rest I can consistently fire 1.5" groups, some pushing just over 1" on a good day.
    - I've had a couple different red/green dot or cross optics on it, and it currently wears the steel MagPul BUIS front and rear. Only slight adjustment was needed for elevation, no windage, and the battery life on the steel MagPul BUIS will exceed my lifetime.
    - Tula/Wolf steel case requires a gas setting about 2 to 3 clicks from totally closed off, and M193 pretty much cycles fine at 5 to 6 clicks from full closed. Some RDBs vary by +/- 1 to 2 clicks.
    - If there is insufficient gas, there can be spectacular "double feeds" (an empty and a loaded round vie for the same space entering the chamber) which need to be cleared from the mag well or by disassembly. Once you find the sweet spot for gas settings, it's not a problem. It has been stone reliable.
    - There is a large rotating hammer in the top rear of the receiver; it's a lot of mass to be swinging through ~ 90 degrees, and given some reports of "poor to mediocre" accuracy, I suspect that what amounts to lock time and rotating mass may account for some of the perceived/apparent accuracy issues from example to example. YMMV.
    - The OD green finish on mine is just a factory Cerakote job on a standard black RDB. Nothing to write home about, and in fact there are a couple contact points where the much-vaunted Cerakote is wearing off. IDGAF; it's starting to take on a "been there, done that" look. For those OCD types whose furniture needs to match the drapes (color of mag and all accessories needs to match the rest of the weapon) and who get upset when a firearm gets its first scratch, you might consider Basic Black.
    - The mag release is a piece of hardened spring steel stamping just behind the pistol grip. It is "plastisol" coated and can be readily (intentionally) "bumped" by the outer base of the thumb to drop a mag, or can be actuated by wrapping the weak hand around the mag well and squeezing to drop the mag into the weak hand.
    - The mag catch itself on the mag release stamping was too shallow on my example, and it would drop most any USGI 30 rd aluminum mag with the first shot. 20 rd USGIs and the one MagPul 20 rd that I own would remain latched for the full 20 rds of firing. There are some dimensional "issues" that prevent the mag catch lip itself from entering a USGI 30 rd aluminum mag sufficiently deep to securely latch, and my simple fix was to take a slotted screwdriver blade and gently pry out the top edge of the mag catch window ever so slightly. The modified mags insert, retain, and eject fine on all my ARs as well as the RDB; I've not experienced as much as one "self-eject" of a modified aluminum USGI 30 rd mag. I understand that some owners have good experience with later model RDBs, or replacement mag releases sent by KelTec to address the issue.

    Would I grab the RDB in a SHTF scenario? Not intentionally; that what ARs, FALs, and AKs are for. But operating under the "any port in a storm" philosophy if the RDB was at hand in a surprise situation I'd make do with it.

    Seeing that it's a KelTec, I hope I just didn't jinx it.

    Last edited by Noah_Zark; August 31st, 2017 at 08:24 AM.
    If you are not part of the solution, you are the precipitate.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Warminster, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
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    Default Re: Hell hath frozen over, or, Noah buys a KelTec RDB

    Welcome to the world of Keltec, I have several. I just recently bought a Gen 2 S2K, now I have to sell the Gen1 S2K. I have several handguns and carry a P11 daily.
    A world of light...she's gonna open our eyes up!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    NEPA, Pennsylvania
    (Wyoming County)
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    Default Re: Hell hath frozen over, or, Noah buys a KelTec RDB

    It's not my cup of tea , but I love reading reviews- thanks!
    Home Based FFL in Wyoming Co.
    My feedback:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location, Pennsylvania
    (Lancaster County)
    Rep Power

    Default Re: Hell hath frozen over, or, Noah buys a KelTec RDB

    A HiPoint is next.
    Rules are written in the stone,
    Break the rules and you get no bones,
    all you get is ridicule, laughter,
    and a trip to the house of pain.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Hell hath frozen over, or, Noah buys a KelTec RDB

    I think it's pretty cool, being totally ambi, the compactness, and the downward shell ejection. Most Bull-Pups are not lefty friendly.

    What optic is that?
    Toujours prÍt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Cumberland County)
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    Default Re: Hell hath frozen over, or, Noah buys a KelTec RDB

    Congrats - I wouldn't touch a Kel Tec pistol but I would go for that
    "Tastefully Pimptastic"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Levittown, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
    Rep Power

    Default Re: Hell hath frozen over, or, Noah buys a KelTec RDB

    I wouldn't touch a red-head either. I've "heard" they are trouble.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Default Re: Hell hath frozen over, or, Noah buys a KelTec RDB

    Have not seen any locally, is this the third batch released?

    I like the RDB in theory... just not sure that I like it twice as much as an AR to justify signing up as a KT beta tester.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Sarver, Pennsylvania
    (Butler County)
    Rep Power

    Default Re: Hell hath frozen over, or, Noah buys a KelTec RDB

    And I was just babbling on here the other day about partial-trading my Izhmash AK for an AUG.
    I too kind of like, if not almost prefer, a bullpup design in a battle rifle.
    I too carried a KelTec P11 for fact I have TWO P11's. But it took me about 6 months to see. Yup.
    First it was the finish. Slide got rust burrs on it after one little jaunt through the rain to my car with it tucked in my waistband. 8 hrs later I come back to the car and check the gun and what do I see?

    And my 2nd P11 has a stainless slide... But the trigger has a breaking point so close to the frame that it seems someone may have tried to compensate for the heavy DAO action with some kind of mod or tweak that went wrong. Either that or KelTec's tolerances have that much inconsistency(?) I took the stainless slide and put it on my first P11 with the better trigger. Frankengun which will do the job...and perhaps with 20 or 32 round mags made for the S&W59, some larger jobs s than you'd expect.

    Anyway, I wish you good luck with it, Noah.
    Let us know how it shoots. I don't doubt that KelTec probably produces some products...or specimens... which are problem free and actually perform exceptionally. KelTec eliminates costs by letting their clientele be the QA inspector. This has been going on for awhile and maybe it has smoothed things out over time. KTec makes good on most claims though. I have a feeling that like most companies they have their periods and production runs which serve to let them know what they can do to optimize quality per sale on any of their subsequent models. Hopefully RFB was at the end of one of these cycles. KelTec relies on this QA-by-clientele method whereas bigger/older names are too confident and charge way too much and eventually they fuck up as bad if not worse than KelTec because of it. They measure everything in dollars...and so do the QA inspectors they employ. KelTec is an ongoing experiment in innovative firearms technology who really does have some scruples here and there but who measures their modest work solely in long term customer satisfaction.

    My opinion is based mostly on my own experience, but I've also read alot. I tend to trim any particularly Gung Ho opinions about KelTec out of the data set.
    Last edited by FJW; August 31st, 2017 at 01:10 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Ligonier, Pennsylvania
    (Westmoreland County)
    Rep Power

    Default Re: Hell hath frozen over, or, Noah buys a KelTec RDB

    With the advent of your positive review; does this mean I'm going to have to start stocking the ugly little bastards in the shop?

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