By luck and good fortune I ended up getting a Kel-Tec PMR 30. This pistol is a full frame, ultralight weight pistol in .22 WMR. The magazines hold 30 rounds a piece and total weight of the pistol and 2 full magazines is around 1.5 lbs. Unfortunately, this pistol is very difficult to find for Kel-Tec production cannot keep up with demand as of yet.
I picked up this pistol as a lightweight way to carry protection while backpacking. Although the PMR 30 only comes in .22 WMR, it does make up for the lack of stopping power with lots of firepower via those 30 round magazines. Stopping a bear, cougar, drugged out thru-hiker, or rabid squirrel might cause you to use all available rounds considering the calibre so it definitely isn’t really for truly stopping a dangerous critter. I look at it more as both a deterrent and way to get small game while on the trail. This little guy will work perfectly for small game, signalling if I am injured (3 quick shots), and even piece of mind that I have a way to defend myself from a distance.
Normally, I shoot off anywhere from 300-500 rounds out of a new firearm before I get to feeling confident in it’s capabilities. Due to weather and time commitments I was only able to shoot off about 200 in my PMR 30 this last weekend. I will report the following observations, however:
- I found that you have to be really careful when loading the magazines. If you get just a little off the spring will bind and make it almost impossible to fully load the magazine.
- The magazine spring is VERY tight. It actually felt best when only loaded with about 25 rounds. It functioned flawlessly with 25 rounds loaded where as it actually stove piped with more than 25 loaded.
- It is very accurate, shoots quite smoothly, and the trigger feels really nice for a stock firearm at this price.
- Plinking with this pistol can become quite addictive and fairly expensive compared to .22 lr. I pick up bricks of several hundred .22 lr for about the same price as 100 .22 WMR.
If I was to give a thumbs up or down on this product, I would definitely give it a thumbs up. The fact that there is nothing on the market that is comparable being ignored and just speaking directly from the functionality, fit and form it really is a nice firearm. Kel-Tec makes a fine firearm and does a great job in their designs. Many traditionalist gun enthusiasts tend to bash their designs. There is no wood furniture on any of their product lines. They use a lot of polymer. The way that their actions work is also less than traditional on many of their product lines. When looking at the PMR as it sits and not comparing it to anything else, it does just fine and is quite likeable.
As you can see from the picture above there are also little cutouts in the magazine to show you how many rounds you have left. Each cutout equals 5 rounds. The safety is ambidextrous and is easy to click off with either left or right handed grip.
One of the nicest features are the sights. The front sight is a fibre insert that comes in 3 colors; red, green and white. There is a tool that you use to slip the front sight fibre out and slide a new one in. Also included in the box is a very interesting trigger lock mechanism. It comes with an odd key that I have yet to totally figure out. Supposedly it goes over the trigger and guard in some fashion and then locks. All this is included in a nice case with the foam cutout in the shape of the pistol and magazine.
At an MSRP around the mid $400’s, I feel that this pistol is really a decent deal. I purchased mine for $368, which was a great deal considering it was new in box. The shop actually took it out of the shipping container and broke the seal on the Kel-Tec box right in front of me to inventory it before selling it to me.
Now that I have owned 2 Kel-Tec firearms and shot several others, I will say that I am quite impressed with their product line. Purchasing one of their firearms without having handled it would not cause me the least bit of anxiety. Also knowing that they refuse to build their company via debt also impresses me. They could have received loans and build their new plant to increase production by financing via debt, but they did not. Until they had the capital to pay cash for their expansion Kel-Tec just maxed out production via 3 shifts a day and ran 7 days a week. In today’s volatile political climate with regard to firearms, they did not want to potentially put the entire company at risk. Even though it has made it where they cannot match demand for the product, they have done what they could to get their guns into the hands of consumers.
Coupling the fiscal responsibility that this company shows with the innovative designs and high quality, I really am a fan of Kel-Tec firearms. Even more so, I am a fan of this full sized pistol that gives me 60 rounds of .22 WMR in only a 1.5 lb package.