Gun Test: The Kel-Tec .22 Magnum PMR-30

The Kel-Tec PMR-30 uses a double stack magazine of a new design that holds 30 rounds and fits completely in the grip of the pistol.

I visited Kel-Tec CNC Industries in Cocoa, Florida to shoot their newest pistol, the PMR-30 and to demo their full-auto tactical variant. The PMR-30 is a lightweight, full-size pistol chambered for the flat-shooting .22Magnum cartridge (.22WMR). The PMR-30 operates on a unique hybrid blowback/locked-breech system, allowing for the use of a wide variety of ammunition as it seamlessly adjusts between locked breach and blowback operation, depending on the pressure of the cartridge.

The PMR-30 uses a double stack magazine of a new design that holds 30 rounds and fits completely in the grip of the pistol. The single action trigger has an over travel stop and the thumb-activated ambidextrous safety lever is placed similar to Browning’s 1911, just like the release for the slide that locks back after the last shot. The light, crisp trigger pull, under-barrel MIL STD 1918 rail and fiber optic sights make the PMR-30 ideal for competitive shooting, personal defense and hunting small game.

We also were able to squeeze the trigger on the PMR-30 submachine gun that is a full-auto version of the PMR-30 pistol. Although not planned for production, the fast-firing prototype demonstrates the extreme reliability of the design and magazine. The PMR-30 subgun can empty the thirty-round magazine in less than a second and a half!


We shot the semi and full-auto versions of the PMR-30 at Kel-Tec’s indoor, fifty-yard range and immediately noted that the grip on the Kel-Tec PMR-30 was comfortable and had a natural point. The brilliant light-gathering fibers on the brilliantly colored front and rear sights made target acquisition easy, even indoors.

I released the slide, picked my point of impact and clicked off the very smooth safety with my right thumb. The trigger pull was smooth and the report was accompanied by an impressive muzzle flash, but no muzzle flip–leaving my sight picture undisturbed. I shot again and again, placing my CCI rounds dead on target with my first fifteen rounds and then emptied the magazine with rapid fire that shredded the target. I had forgotten how much fun the .22 WMR (.22 magnum) round really was! The accuracy was excellent, even with the full auto prototype built to test the PMR-30 magazines. The PMR-30 submachine gun emptied the full thirty-round magazine in less than a second and a half! With no recoil (it was like shooting a paintball gun), keeping the rounds on target was easy with its red-dot mini sight.


Do I want one? YES! I have not found a gun that was all fun with no vices like this one in a long time. With a MSRP of $415 they will be hard to keep on the shelves as its appeal as a inexpensive plinker, competition or defense weapon grows. Kel-Tec has brought fun back to the range.

For more information about Kel-Tec and their line of weapons, including the best-selling .380 P-3AT, the 9mm sub rifle 2000 and the .308 RFB bullpup rifle, visit

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  • SqueallingInfidelPiglet

    Is that a Burris FastFire III Red Dot Sight, on top?

  • Josh muahaha

    Interested on the value of a third gen PMR-30. Have one I am looking to buy but curious if I can find one under $800.

  • Rick

    .22 magnum is such an expensive bullet that it defeats the purpose of having a cheap .22 plinker.

    Might as well move up to a more powerful round like the 7.62 x 25 or get an FN with the 5.7 x 28.

  • VAM

    I really like mine. It seems kind of weird that they recommend not shooting Dynamag. I don’t know why. Mine came with the non-fluted barrel.

  • I own the Keltec PMR-30 / KSG / RFB and Sub 2000.
    I have a standing order for anything Keltec.
    Yes, they are hard to get your hands on. Yes, they make few. BUT, the are super designed firearms that continue to rise in value.
    Keltec’s design is ALWAYS a step above.

  • Stewart

    Kel Tec is the worst gun maker on Earth. They continue to market this pistol and get free advertising from here, G&A, etc. but apparently they will never make them in a quantity to satisfy demand at all. None of the gun shops in Atlanta have received even one in the past year. It’s a shame Glock doesn’t make a 22. otherwise I might quit deluding myself I may actually get to buy a PMR 30 one day.

  • Tommy Two Gunz

    To hell with Kel_Tec. All they actually put out is a little pocket 9 & 380. They hype guns like the KSG and PMR 30 but they just can’t deliver! I beating that if they ever did produce a gun that could make it to market it would blow up in your hand. NOT A FAN AND NEVER WILL BE!

  • bobby

    new BigR tractor supply store opened up with 10% off of any and everything. Gun dept was packed. I could barely got to the counter and then I saw a PMR30 on lower shelf. I ask employee how many they had…..he said 3 ea. Bought all three for $282 each…….a steal…….lucky me!!!

  • Jerome

    Where do you get the stock for it???

  • I was one of the first in the St. Louis area to get one. I work near a gun store and after reading all the hype I immediately went up there. They hadn’t been released yet but put $100 down and was the first one on waiting list. After 3 months I almost gave up on it and was going to get my deposit back. I figured any of these guns come in there going straight to owner and his friends. But the owner reassured me he didn’t play dirty like that and few weeks after I got it. I belong to few local ranges-gun clubs and when I started shooting it everybody there had to come check it out and shoot it if they wanted. I love this gun and I have yet to see anyone else with one. I found that Hornady or any personal defense round can’t use up all the powder and expells a huge fire ball. I’ve had the best luck with the winchester X that they sell at walmart. I would like a reflex sight if anyone knows how to fit one it would be much appreciated.

  • Cristobal Pagan

    Talking about bad news for someone, this will be it. This little toy can do some severe damage, at least! Need nearest dealer to Puerto Rico, or some imfo. Need to have the whole outfit.

  • Ed

    What muzzle energy does the .22WMR develope in this pistol?

  • Gary

    I placed an order for a PMR-30 back in April 2010. It’s coming up on two years of waiting and I can’t get any status on this order from the manufacture, distributor or a dealer in Green Bay. I wish I could get some sort of feedback from anyone.

    Is anyone else experiencing this kind of wait?

  • Roger

    Just found one at a gun show. Great gun. I keep telling myself it’s only a plinker type for fun, but it is a serious gun. Lots of rounds w/o any jams, accurate, comes w/ 2 30 round mags. My new trail gun, maybe more depending on how things continue with it.

  • Khokhar

    Hey anyone of you if want to sale Kel-tec pmr 30, I want to import it in Pakistan. I will pay all the duties. I will pay $600 to the selling person excluding local taxes. Is there anyone of you to provide me with information to get this pistol??? Contact

  • Gary Pearse

    A 5 or 6 inch barrel / slide and a 10 round capacity magazine for international sales to those countries that have these restrictions
    I can see it in small bore metallic siloutte matches too also an an American style magazine release if possible please. After all, why should you Yanks have all the fun.

  • Patrick O’Donnell

    Kel-Tec stands behind their weapons. I recently had a problem with my PMR30. The assembly pin sheared in half at the range. When I got home, I called Kel-Tec. You can be assured that I was fully prepared to hear a litany of question about what I did wrong. That was not the case.
    I spoke to Mike in the PMR30 section and he helped me from the start. I asked if they wanted me to ship the old pin to them and he said no. This was on a Tuesday and he said he would ship me a new pin. The next day I received an email from the company confirming the conversation and a nice letter telling me the part had been shipped.
    Saturday the part was on my doorstep. I have been dealing with firearms for almost 50 years and have never received service this good. By the way, did I say I was happy with the service? I own three Kel-Tec pistols and will differently by the RMR 30 when it hits the street.
    In the event that customer service is a criterion for you to consider one weapon over another, I recommend Kel-Tec.

  • This Is A Great Gun, I Got Mine & It Is A Accurate As A Nine MM,Or Maybe More Than A 9mm,I Would Not Sell It For No Money,No Matter What Anyone Offers Me,It Is about As Close As You Can Get To Being A Fully Automatic Weapon,I Paid $358.00 + Tax For This a Great Deal!! It Seems To Shoot Better With The CCI 40 Grain Maxi-Mag Ammo,As Far As Accuracy Goes But I Have Not Had A Problem With Any Ammo,I Would Not Use Under a 40 Grain With This Pistol!! I Just Love It & Everyone At The Range Wants One,Get Them While You Can At This Price,The Price Will Go Up.When People Find Out About Them & Shoot Them!!!!

  • James

    I just bought my PMR30 for $319.00 from Palmetto State Armory. I took it to the range and ran 300 rounds thru it. NOT one failure . It works and shoots great. A lot of fun.

  • Carl

    I own a lot of guns. The PMR 30 is a favorite. I’ve added a green laser with thumb switch. A lethal combo. I’ve had one occasion where a round got seriously jammed, but the gun is so easy to take apart the round was removed quickly. Mine seems to dry out faster than what I’d like, but that is easy to deal with. I have added the gun with an extra mag to my heavily loaded Blackhawk tactical vest. The PMR 30 joins my Glock 17 and my M4AR as survival weaponary. Favorite ammo for the PMR is Federal high velocity 50g. I hear KelTec is coming out with a PRM 30 version next year that will be patterend after the Sub 2000 (which I also have, and it is heavily tricked out and is an awsome firearm). Glad to have a PMR 30. I’d easily buy another.

  • I have had my PMR for a bit over a week now and I must say it is an awesome .22 mag. I have had zero problems with it after putting close to 550 rounds through it. As Mike says in a earlier post about cost being jacked up. Well, I was on the receiving end of paying 499.00. The only up side to that is at least I am not waiting to get one…. I have it now and although I did pay more than I expected, the pistol has meet all my expections and I am overall happy with my purchase.

  • Mr. McCool

    I wonder how long it will take Aguila to start producing .22 WMR ammo. I can’t wait for the 60 grain sniper subsonic in .22 magnum!

  • mike

    kel tec should refuse to send anymore guns to the scumbags who are charging DOUBLE!!!! the msrp….!!!

  • i shot a 22mag round at my range last week and put four holes clear through a 1/4 inc metal frame while my 380,and 38+p only indented the same metal
    i think the pmr30 is going to be the gun of choice.
    first of all,the only people that need awesome fire power are the military,and law officers.cause they have to shoot through doors thick glass etc. civilian carry are only close encounters,or home invasions.remember that the bullet total distance of travel and damage caused will ultimately stop with the shooter.why risk over kill.practice and shoot straight.

  • Robert Kazee

    According to the Keltec website, they have changed the barrel on the PMR. Supposed to be cheaper and quicker to manufacture and cure the problem of key hole shots a few have reported.

  • Jeremiah

    I own a AMT Automag II chambered in .22 mag. It has a 6.5″ barrel. When shooting water bottles with it, and my Ruger MKII, you can see a definite difference of energy by reaction of the bottles. Currently I am waiting for my back ordered PMR30. Can’t wait to get it, and would not hesitate for a moment to carry it for personal defense. Accurate shot placement with anything is better than a miss with a howitzer.

  • I ordered one for $311.99 from ‘The Gun Source in Green Bay, Wi. I am #161 on the list. Might be awhile before I get it.

  • Robert Maine

    Back in the early seventies I was bow hunting in a “Swamp” preserve in Ga., camping out in a tent at night, when I was awakened by 4 or 5 guys with 2 cut down VW dune buggies with quiet mufflers. they brought in two deer and started skinning them in camp. The rifles were semi autos in 22 mag. The penetration was deep,and lack of blood shot meat was surprising. They were cousins of the land owner, but he knew nothing of their activity, and was mad at me for not squealing. I was glad to get out of there! The 22 mag requires hearing protection as I owned two S&W revolvers, and never shot anything but targets. I wear two hearing aids, as back in the day we were ignorant. I am nearly 70, and wear hearing protection NOW!! I am intersted if the PM 30’s can be shot accurately. The 22 mag Smiths were not as accurate as my 686 357’s, one blue one S.S..

  • morgan

    will be buying one of these as soon as i can get one ordered. as well as being really fun to plink with, the magnum round imho is ideal for home defence. i have neihbors on 3 sides of me and im quite sure none of them wants my 357 rounds buzzing through their walls after taking a shot at an intruder. anyone who says you need a .45 or a .9 for sd isnt taking collateral damage into account. this gun provides everything you could want for sd, ease of use, repeatable accurate shooting, and enough follow up shots to outshoot the other guy. nuff said

  • Dug

    Got one in Feb.2011. Exicited to try out,ran 25 rounds thru it one expoded in camber. Pulled out busted case and clean. Ran 10 rounds smoothly. Bought a LaserMax and installed. Showed it to my buddy and the PMR-30 will not fire now. Depressing, worked action got it to fire a couple times. From my experiance not sure how reliable this pistol will be. Yes im using the recommended ammo. W.V. hillbilly big fan of the cal.

  • Robert

    Picked one up last week. Put 300 plus round through
    It. Flawless. Had consistent groups of 10 inches
    At 25 yards not feet. Very pleased. Magazine was tough to load.

  • just got the pmr 30 after a 6mo wait, got another on order, fires great, and the jury is still out, the first clip I experienced several hangups, the second clip did not falter, I did not clean the weapon before shooting, and I could have loaded the mag wrong. Kel Tec is very specific about loading. No recoil to speak of and about a 10in group at 40 yds, I know it will do much better. At this time I love it.

  • I want one! 22 wmr is wicked!

  • Anyone who thinks the .22 magnum round is a twinky self defense rd. does not know what he/she is about. Its a deadly man killer. makes terrible wound channels. If it hits a bone ricochetes around inside the body leaving unfixable messes. I’d carry this in a heart beat for self defense. I want one bad, if I ever find one its mine. Repeatable well aimed shots because of light recoil.

  • DEA

    Seems cool, but it’s probably marginal for self-defense (muzzle energy about 330 ft-lbs). If you want high capacity for carry, a better choice is the 5.7×28, which can yield muzzle energy over 410 ft-lbs with the right ammo (albeit in a lower capacity–20 round) magazine.

  • Todd Shafer

    I want to know more about it (PMR30), barrel length etc.


    The KEL-TEC PMR30(GRENDEL) is finally here in my hands and the jury is in. Operation is flawless and accuracy is garden variety tack driver. The action seems to have no problem deciding what ammo to eat. It looks good. Feels good. The only discussion item left is whether or not this is the one. The one gun that is all things to all people. Maybe not. No gun before it has been. It may have to settle on a lonely existance as the savior of mankind. The perfect gun remains hopelessly mythological.

  • steve

    I too am thinking that this is just a prototype that still has bugs in it and won’t be released till Summer at best. Ammo still seems to be an issue with FTF and failure to eject. I talked to the factory last June and they told me guns had been shipped to distributors but none have shown up in Florida gun stores.

  • Rob

    Heck…I live about four blocks from the factory and I can’t find one. One of the local gun shops gets two or three and they’re gone in minutes.

  • Mike

    I too have been looking for one up here in Alaska with NONE to be found! Im an avid collector and rarely cannot find what im looking for up here. Hopefully they can ramp up production and fulfill some orders!

  • Rick

    PMR 30 must be an imaginary weapon,because none…none…none available in U.S.A.

  • glen

    It seems to me that alot of people have foegotten just how lethal the 22 round is . it does not have alot of knock down power , but makes up for that in i will bounce around inside of you.also would you want someone shooting thirty rounds at you ,probly not . iwould be proud to own and carry this gun .

  • Jeff

    I just talked to Kel-Tec and they said they are currently shipping the PMR-30 to all of their distributors.


    Im also itching to get one of these,but my local gun deal says they “can’t be had”.
    I wish kec tech would prove him wrong!!!hahaha
    guess I’ll have to wait like everyone else.

  • helen

    What is the price of the PMR-30 handgun

  • pat

    ANybody tht thinks a 22 Mag is less accurate or less firpower than a 9mm hasn’t shot one.. It’s like comparing a 223 to a 30-30. 2 shots for one, compared to most semi-autos, faster flatter and lighter to carry. Sounds like an excellent piece to me….

  • kent bogard

    those 22 mag non believers obviously never did a biopsy to see the huge amount of tissue damage. This is a great defense weapon!

  • Clay Cooper

    With all the awesome publicity of the Springfield XD45, I just had to have one. Biggest mistake in my life! The trigger pull feels really good but how it breaks is another story, all rounds went low and left like buckshot. Called Springfield Armory Customer Service and was told the have received many calls concerning this very same problem, even the SA Service Tech admitted they to have difficult in accuracy. Then I was transferred to the Fix’it Department and the he’hawd around and said perhaps a trigger job will remedy it??? Ok, what would the difference be? Couldn’t tell’ya! XD45 now up for sale!

    Until this Retired 2nd Generation US Air Force team Member get hands own trigger time, “THE JURY IS STILL OUT!

  • ScottS

    I’ll chime in. Got mine yesterday. Using Dynapoints so far with absolutely no problems, 6 full mags. The PMR is a lot lighter than it looks at 20.0oz loaded, 13oz unloaded. Those who think it has no tactical value have not shot one yet. EASY center mass rapid fire from PB out to as far as skill will let ya:)
    Am mounting a Burris FastFire on it tomorrow and checking accuracy this weekend…..who really cares, at the price of the gun and ammo…it is a BLAST!

  • chris

    I beg to differ on the self defense uses of 22. with good marksmanship a 22 is excellent. I have a browning mark II that I can put 5 rounds in a 3″ group in around 3 seconds at 10 yds. I challenge any would be assailant to continue the fight after that. imho the taurus judge is one of the best self defense weapons out there if you dont get plenty of range time. 00 buckshot from 7-10 yds is deadly and no real accuracy needed.

  • Milan

    After digging around a bit I think the PMR30 is a nice Niche gun provided it’s accuracy is decent and it demonstrates long term reliability. If it’s not long term reliable and able to digest a wide array of ammo successfully then it’s just a novelty (Keep in mind with it’s dual locking mechanism straight blowback or ?Recoil? it will take some time to really know.. and it may turn out to be wonderful with lower pressure loads and poor with high etc.)
    One other consideration that may make this a hard sell over 9mm is that 22 wmr costs about as much to shoot (considering cheap 22mag ammo is $10 a box, and Wolf / Something Bear 9mm is about the same in bulk).
    All that being said If the PMR30 keeps getting good reviews I would be happy to add it to the collection for around $300 Niche gun or not.

  • Richard

    Well I guess most of you are not balistics experts. Martin Fakler the president of the Internations Wound Balistics Association says that 22’s like this do have a tactical purpose. This man has seen more bullet wounds than all of us put together. Why would it have no tactical purpose? No it is not a one shot stop killer. Its a better penetrater than a nine and I know that for a fact.

  • Thomas

    Best use of these firearms is zombie defence, lol, but they would be useful varmint or close range self defence tools if used properly. AKA: practiced with!!! and ammo is cheap:)

  • Sinjin

    For those of you complaining and moaning about how useless the smg is, if you had been paying attention to the video it clearly states it was designed specifically to test magazine reliabilty. Anybody who’s not an armchair commando would recognize the smg test for that reason alone. Does that mean kel tec won’t try to market it? Wait and see.

  • Defender3

    I picked up a PMR-30 and really enjoy shooting the pistol! Does anyone know the sight/weaver base Kel-Tec is using to attach the reflex sight? I contacted Kel-Tec with no luck. TIA.

  • Everett

    Are these 30rd pistols legal for ccw in Texas?

  • MN Shooter

    Clarifying point. When I referred to “This gun” it was the PMR-30 I was referring to, not my Ruger. As for the SMG version, if it is ever made, you’re probably never going to own one anyway. So back to the auto.

  • MN Shooter

    I have both Ruger Single Six combo.Within the general 20 yard self defense perimeter, it’s deadly accurate. Deadly. Both with the .22 and the .22wmr cylinder. I believe this gun would be a fantastic self defense gun, with proper marksmanship and gun handling training. I may not be the best choice, but for home defense, I wouldn’t want to come up against it. So I wouldn’t be so quick to bash this weapon, guys. I think DEFCON 1 has some very valid statements. Thanks for hearing, or reading as the case may be, me out.

  • LT

    The FBI released an article that stated a .22 is a perfecly capable self defence round. That was .22, .22 mag is totally different. Velocity is over 2000fps. It will puncture a bulletproof vest. It’s more than adaquite for even coyote size game. .22mag is nothing to laugh at. From a rifle it is fast, flat, and accurate.

  • Defcon1

    People laugh at the North American Arms mini revolvers too. But I know that over the last twenty years in my state alone there have been at least 4 well known cases where citizens have killed attacking thugs with the .22 mag cal. NAA revolver. Then back in 1993 there was one old timer that killed one thug and wounded another (put him out of the fight) with a .22 mag High Standard derringer in a barber shop in downtown Birmingham, AL. Both thugs were armed with .38spl. revolvers according to the Birmingham police. The old timer bought a .38spl. S&W 649 Body Guard model after the shooting, from the gun shop I worked at back then during my college days. I asked him why now the .38, and he responded with, “God watched over me with only two shots in my derringer, but next time I want extra ammo and God’s help” He told he hit both thugs with shots to the head ! (one at around 15 feet that died, and the other at roughly 35 feet that was struck in the side of the face near the forehead and knocked unconscious.) Retired 80yr old Professor Mike Berrinelli went on to tell me he has been practicing with his derringer for over 15 years on old department store mannequins a friend of his at the now defunct Parisian’s use to give him. Draw your own conclusions “keyboard commandos”, but this was real life, and a real gunfight with a .22mag. ! My opinion is carry the most powerful pistol/revolver you can hit with accurately and quickly. For some smaller, or older males and females with limited hand strength this KelTec would be hell on wheels against an attacker !

  • I notice they did no accuracy testing, just spray and pray even in simi-auto. The only use I can see for a .22 pistol is small game and varmint hunting and that calls for accuracy. To miss a lot of shots really fast had no appeal to me.

  • Payne Kipp

    I understand gun is not available until November or
    December. I have it on order.
    A break thru for home defense and the Lady

  • Rango7734

    Will an “attachable rifle stock” and “longer barrel” be available for this gun?

  • Randy D. Tungate

    Will an “attactable rifle stock” and “longer barrel” be avaiable for this gun, once it has been bought?

  • mike t.

    too cool….i’ve got to have one of these to go with the rest of my toys…

  • Jeff

    Sweet! I want one!

  • bootspur

    That’s some toy. Hopefully, FULL AUTO is on the NRA’S daily todo list… I figure “Q” was behind that, it’s definitely 007.

  • richy2001

    Also add an extended 50rd mag to keep the fun goin. 🙂

  • richy2001

    This pistol converted to a tactical carbine with 16″ barrel could achieve the muzzle energy of a 115 gr 9mm load from a pistol. With 30rds fullauto pretty effective firepower. Maybe a tactical .22 magnum load should be developed. A 50gr copper jacketed hollow point with a hotter powder load would be great.

  • Right Coast

    Relax keyboard warrior, we’re all here to read about interesting guns and the ilk.

  • Awlhattin O’Kaddle

    Right Coast:
    So you line up with Mr. Pimms and dismiss the gun, out of hand, as STUPID?
    How about jumping out of a perfectly good airplane?

    I’ve got an AR with an 11.5″ barrel and an AK-74 style muzzle break. Very STUPID. Lots of FUN. Chest thumping blast and a 7′ Blue Teardrop flash.

  • Right Coast

    Obviously it’s not for stopping a perp or intruder. However, it racks ups some serious tacticool points. Wow O’Kaddle, you need to get out more if you think “FUN is directly proportional to the amount of STUPIDITY.”

  • Eddie

    Personally I like it. If for no other reason than it would be fun. With that said, I dont think it has any real tactical value as much as it has “tacticool” value. Would I carry it or issue it to my SWAT team? No. Would I buy one to go out and shoot jack rabbits and ground squirrels? Sure.

  • jogi729

    Great Video, I noticed the slide didnt lock back on the last round, do you know if its suppose to lock back on the last round fired?

  • Awlhattin O’Kaddle


    Like Bungy Jumping and many other activities, the amount of FUN is directly proportional to the amount of STUPIDITY.
    This is the second article on this gun I have read that doesn’t say how long the barrel is. It looks to me like 4 or 5 inches. With any number of electronic sites, you could probably put all thirty shots in 5″.
    Only a Ghetto Gangsta would carry a gun like this for anything but Fun In Da Sun!

  • wayne1one

    Muzzle flash is crazy from the .22mag. I got to get one.

  • Mr.Pimms

    Good for up to 3 feet, or your just prayin and sprayin! STUPID!!!!

  • ivan

    Nice!, like the grendel P30 with kel-tec quality