Although they do not get as much love as their more well-known contemporaries, Kel Tec series firearms as well as their Grendel cousins have made a splash in films, television shows, and video games at a steady rate over the years. We'll look at some of the more notable showcases.
According to the fine and diligent folks over at the Internet Movie Firearms Database who track all things gun in both domestic and foreign films, Kel Tecs and Grendels have appeared in over 100 instances since the late 1980s.
Some of the early exposure came in police/spy oriented TV shows such as JAG and VIP in which Grendel P-10 pistols popped up. Even the extremely rare Grendel SRT rifle appeared in action films and on the small screen in the Law and Order series.
Actress Grace Park, as the fictional Officer Kono Kalakaua, is often depicted as carrying a Kel Tec PF-9 in several episodes of Hawaii Five-0 that she received as a present upon her graduation from the academy. Seeing that besides this hogleg she is often seen with either a Smith M&P or a HK, the 9mm Kel Tec is in good company.
Kono taking aim with the PF-9 at an armed gunman "Mana'o" (S1E08). From IMDFB
Then there is the new action film John Wick in which a KSG with an EOTech XPS2.0 and Magpul RFG gets so much on-screen time that it even appears in the previews for the movie. Of course, Wick, played by Keanu Reeves is something of a modern-day samurai/baba-yaga who is trying to get out of the professional, um, removals business, but keeps being drawn back in.
His arsenal in the film includes some truly epic firearms to include an HK P30L, a 416 clone, and a DTA Stealth Recon Scout. However, the only scattergun he touches is a KSG.
The KG-9 Honorable mention
Although designed by George Kellgren before both his Kel Tec or Grendel days, the KG-9 in its various forms both semi-auto and select-fire machine pistol, have been an absolute favorite for movie and television bad guys. According to IMFDB, they and thier offshoots have shown up in more than 50 films, shows, and video games. These include such memorable 80s staples as Miami Vice, Commando, and the Robocop franchise. More recently, if you are a Sons of Anarchy fan, these guns appeared so much that they should have been billed in the opening credits, even becoming a plotline of their own.
Perhaps the most memorable performance given was at the hands of Kurt Russell in John Carpenter's camp classic Big Trouble in Little China.
I mean come on, if you can trust a Kel Tec to go after Lo Pan and the Russian mafia...they should be good enough to pack for a trip through the produce aisle or down the hallway when there is a bump in the night.