5 Problems With the Kel Tec Sub-2000 You Should Know About!

Review: Kel-Tec Sub-2000 - Guns and Ammo

Introduced in 2015, the Kel Tec Sub-2000 Gen 2 made a significant impact on the firearms community, capturing the attention of enthusiasts worldwide. This sought-after pistol caliber carbine was the answer to the growing demand for a straightforward and efficient firearm. Whether you already own one or are contemplating a purchase, it’s essential to be aware of five potential issues associated with the Kel Tec Sub-2000.

Like any firearm, the Kel Tec Sub-2000 may encounter certain challenges. These include barrel recalls, trigger-related concerns, ergonomic difficulties, a heavy recoil spring, and potential obstacles with the optic mount. While this may appear to be a substantial list, it’s important to note that this gun is still widely regarded as highly reliable and reportedly delivers an enjoyable shooting experience.

Kel-Tec SUB2000 Glock 19 Magazine 9mm Luger 16.25in Black Semi Automatic  Rifle - 15+1 Rounds - Black | Sportsman's Warehouse

About the Kel Tec Sub-2000 Gen 2

Before we talk about problems, let’s look at the S2K a little closer. It was designed as a follow up to the Gen 1, with a few needed improvements. This semi-automatic pistol caliber carbine rifle is blowback operated, with the operating spring located in the rear tubular stock. At 30.5 inches fully extended, it is sleek and simple in design and function. It folds down to a mere 16.25 inches (with the threaded barrel at 16 inches), for easy concealment or carrying. Comprised of mostly heavy-duty plastic, it weighs in at a very light 4.25 lbs. The Sub-2000 can easily be thrown into a backpack for travel, and it is a very popular option for a “truck gun.” 

This firearm is available in two variations, the .40 cal or 9mm, with compatibility to a number of pistol magazines. These include Glock 17, Glock 19, S&W Model 59, Beretta 92 and Sig Sauer P226 for those firing 9mm ammunition. For the .40 cal variation, magazine configuration is available for the Glock 22, Glock 23, S&W Model 4006, Beretta 96, and the Sig Sauer P226. This is a very convenient feature, as one could have a number of magazines all loaded for the pistol they carry, as well as, having them readily available for the S2K in the event they need to reach out to targets at a longer distance.

Let’s discuss the impact of firing 9mm ammunition from a rifle length barrel and its effect on distance. When using a rifle, you have a significant advantage in terms of range. Typically, a pistol is considered accurate up to approximately 30 yards, which is generally suitable for the average shooter. However, it’s important to acknowledge that pistols are primarily designed for close-quarters combat and self-defense, and their consistency and reliability diminish beyond this range.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to understand that a pistol remains just as lethal at longer distances, albeit with reduced pinpoint accuracy compared to within the 30-yard range. On the other hand, when you fire the same 9mm ammunition from a rifle length barrel, you experience improved accuracy and dependability extending to around 150 yards. This expanded range is highly desirable, offering shooters the ability to engage targets at greater distances. Who wouldn’t want that increased reach?

Below are some videos of what you can expect with the S2K

5 Problems with the Kel Tec Sub-2000 to Know About

Barrel Recall

The most notable problem or issue with S2K is a barrel recall on some of the 2017 models. Apparently, the steel tubes Kel Tec used for a limited number of barrels were not heat treated properly and pose a safety concern. This was no fault of Kel Tec, as they outsource these barrels from another manufacturer. As soon as the issue was noted, they issued a recall and have honored the replacement of these faulty barrels. If your Sub2K was manufactured in 2017, check here to see if it was included in the recall. Here is a link to check your firearm for the Sub-2000 Recall by serial number.

Heavy Trigger

The factory specifications indicate a 9.5 lb trigger pull, which can be considered quite heavy. Not only does it require significant force, but it also feels somewhat uncertain. It becomes challenging to determine when the gun will actually discharge, and the reset is barely discernible. While some individuals may not find this problematic and prefer to keep the trigger as it is, most people opt to replace it with a high-quality trigger.

By installing a tactile-friendly trigger, the operation of this firearm becomes noticeably smoother, enhancing the rate at which you can effectively fire the weapon. Below are some aftermarket triggers recommended for this gun, which can reduce the trigger pull to approximately 4.75 lbs.

KEL-TEC SUB-2000 Trigger Spring Kit by M8Carbo

KEL-TEC SUB-2000 All In One Pro Performance Trigger Job Bundle by M*Carbo


The recoil of the gun is not particularly heavy, thanks to its blowback action. It allows for better control and minimal muzzle rise, enabling the shooter to stay on target easily. However, one common complaint in this aspect is that during rapid firing, the stock of the gun can be uncomfortable and cause discomfort to the shoulder.

The buttstock pad located at the shoulder end of the 3-position adjustable stock has a grippy texture that can feel rather harsh. It seems like it was designed with the intention of tenderizing meat with a hammer. Fortunately, there are aftermarket options available to address this issue and provide a more cushioned experience. The recommended option listed below offers a solution to soften the impact and improve the overall shooting comfort.

KEL-TEC SUB-2000 Buttstock Pad by M8Carbo


Another frequent complaint with the Kel Tec Sub-2000 is the wonky ergonomics. The trigger pull. The safety. The stiff charging handle/ recoil spring. The cheek weld and site picture. Basically, there were some necessary sacrifices in making this gun highly functional as a lightweight folding rifle. While there are some complaints in this department, most would agree that the handiness and reliability of this weapon far outweigh any of these minor issues.

KEL-TEC SUB-2000 Recoilless Charging Handle by M*Carbo

KEL-TEC SUB-2000 Skeletonized Charging Handle by M*Carbo

KEL-TEC SUB-2000 Double Finger Extended Charging Handle by M*Carbo

KEL-TEC SUB-2000 Charging Handle Cover by M*Carbo

Optics Mounting

The real kicker is that having a rifle that folds back on itself, means there is no way to mount optics on the top rail and still be able to fold it. Some choose to use optics and just give up the folding factor. Great inventions come out of necessity. Creative solutions rise from need and that is exactly what happened here… There are a few different options available to have fold out of the way while the rifle is folded.

KEL-TEC SUB-2000 Optic Mount by M*Carbo

MI Gen2 SUB 2000 T1/T2 Optic Mount by Midwest Industries

MI Gen2 SUB 2000 Mini Picatinny Rail Optic Mount by Midwest Industries

Pros & Cons

Kel Tec Sub 2000 Pros


Compatible with Common Pistol Magazines

Compact and Lightweight

Equipped with Picatinny Rails for Customization


Kel Tec Sub-2000 Cons

Barrel Recall

Heavy Trigger

Heavy Recoil Spring


Other After-Market Options

As you can tell, M*Carbo offers a number of after-market parts for the Kel Tec Sub-2000 that will enhance it’s performance and shootability. Here is a link to all of the available upgrades that they have to offer. Their website has a number of installation tutorial videos and a forum with a ton of useful information, as well.


It’s important to be prepared and have a plan in place when it comes to identifying potential issues or problems, regardless of the subject matter. The Kel Tec Sub-2000 is a firearm that offers great functionality and convenience. However, what some individuals perceive as problems are often just personal preferences.

One common observation is that the gun has a plastic construction, which can make it feel inexpensive and not align with the conventional notion of a semi-automatic rifle. If this resonates with you, it’s recommended to plan for upgrades. By investing in upgrades, you can transform this initially affordable weapon into an impressive and personalized firearm that meets your specific preferences and requirements.

Below is a comparison of the factory Sub-2000 and the M*Series Sub-2000 by M*Carbo



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Jenna enjoys spending time in nature and learning new things. It's all about making the most of your journey...

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