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.

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.

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.

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