KEL-TEC PLR-16 5.56mm

Accessorized with the Vortex SPARC red dot sight and the…

Accessorized with the Vortex SPARC red dot sight and the Streamlight TLR-2 weapon light with laser, the Kel-Tec PLR-16 is a pistol that’s not only fun to shoot but useful in a variety of applications.

I’ve never really considered the AR, AK, or any of their variants as handguns, although they can be pressed into one-hand service if the other is “occupied.” Of course, if you lop a few inches off the front and rear of an AR, it becomes a handier size. The problem is that a direct gas impingement AR uses a buffer tube and spring that hangs off the rear (normally concealed by the stock), necessitating a modified system, or the use of a piston-operated system, before the reduction or elimination of the stock.

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Flying brass illustrates the superb control and negligible recoil found in the PLR-16.

I was at a recent gun show that was busting with AR-style pistols using both systems, some new some not, but all showing renewed popularity. Kel-Tec CNC had their entry there, too. They are known for their impressive use of polymer in long and short guns. Of all their handguns, Kel-Tec’s dependable P-32 and P-3AT, .32 ACP and .380 ACP pocket guns are perhaps the most famous, with homes in an amazing number of pockets.

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The optional muzzle brake was very effective. Quickly emptying a 20-shot mag into the center of a target was surprisingly easy.

But Kel-Tec’s long gun line is also varied and quite impressive, running from the pistol caliber folding SUB-2000 carbine to the SU-16 series (5.56mm chambered semi-auto) and RFB (.308 Bullpup). All have unique features and extensive polymer components. Kel-Tec has recently added .22 LR chambering to both handgun and long gun lines.

Load Comments
  • PLROwner

    I know it’s a late addition to this thread but short of writing my own letter to the agency, does anyone know where to find the referenced letter from BATFE that addressed the AFG usage/ non-classification change ?

    I REALLY have no desire to be in the position of justifying my addition of a angle grip without the proper documentation in hand but I’d love to throw one on to see if I gain any stability. Any help appreciated.

  • JQPublic

    The addition of a Vertical Foregrip (VFG) will turn this in to an “Any Other Weapon” AOW, this is a class 3 weapon. (not an SBR:ShortBarrel rifle) the Tax Stamp is 200, but in most states the transfer fee for an AOW is only 5$.

    There is some precedent that adding a Magpul AFG (angled foregrip) will NOT make it an AOW. there was an individualized letter from the BATFE in which the question was posed if an afg was installed on an ar-15 pistol does it change its “pistol” status, and was responded to as no, it remains a pistol. YMMV

  • General Jim M

    I don’t know if this is true or not but someone told me that if you install the forearm stock on this pistol it becomes a short rifle and a class3 weapon.I’m not sure that this is true.I have a PLR 16,i can carry it on Kel Tec’s sling over the shoulder under a coat with a 20 round mag full of M855 rounds. It might be handi in a Border Patrol vehicle that has need of 5.56 penetration from inside a patrol vehicle.In most states that allow pistol carry,it’s probably legal to carry on your person because it is classified as a pistol.I like it,of course it’s not as accurate as the same action in the Kel Tec SU22 rifles but it’s not a rifle.