Kel Tec has long been in the .22 Magnum business going back some a quarter century to the old Grendel P30 days. However, other than a pistol version of its SU22 rifle, they have been lacking in a handgun chambered for the more plink-worthy .22LR. Well, that may be changing.
Kel Tec's legacy of rimfire options.
Back in 1990, Kel Tec founder George Kellgren was running its predecessor, Grendel firearms in Rockledge, Florida. It was then that he came up with the space-gun looking Grendel P-30. This simple blowback handgun, with a 5-inch barrel, had the benefit of a detachable Zytel plastic magazine that you could cram an amazing 30-rounds into while retaining the capability to fit completely inside the pistol grip. This gun, in turn, spawned the R-31 Carbine series that basically added a stock and 16-inch barrel. Both of these sunsetted with the demise of Grendel in 1995.
Then in 2008, after a 13 year hiatus from the rimfire market, Kel Tec introduced their SU-22, a 4-pound blowback action .22LR carbine based on the company's successful SU-16 rifle. This gun, with its 26-round magazine was downsized with to a stockless pistol model complete with a 10.1-inch barrel dubbed the PLR-22. They are currently on the books as Kellgren's only .22LR (keep reading though)
Now the very next year, in 2009, the Kel Tec rebooted the old Grendel P-30 with a more modern ergonomics and better styling. As it was still a .22WMR with a 30-shot detachable box mag, this new gun was named the PMR-30 and is very popular right now. So much so that the CMR-30 Carbine version is much awaited.
However, these pistols are magnum rimfires only.
Is that going to change?
The 33-round 22LR magazine
Firearms guru Dean Weingarten over at Gun Watch got the skinny from Toby Obermeit, Lead Design Engineer at Kel-Tec, while at SHOT Show in Las Vegas last week.
You see Obermeit, in about six months ago, was granted a U.S. Patent (#8,776,419) on a double stack magazine design that he filed in 2012. This mag will, according to the patent application, be double-stack, capable of containing thirty-three cartridges .22 Long Rifle rimfire cartridges, and looks all the world like it was made to fit inside the magazine well of a handgun.
Overall, it is rather neat as it uses a separator element that separates the two stacks of cartridges while using just one spring.
Moreover, it's different from what is used by the PLR-22 or SU-22, and in a caliber that the PMR-30 and CMR-30 do not come in.
Which leads to the theory that maybe there is a 33-shot .22LR Kel Tec out there for this mag to be inserted into...and according to Weingarten, Obermeit isn't talking about just what that is, yet.
Thoughts? Comments? Concerns?