You may know the wily engineer by the name of George Kellgren best for his series of polymer-framed handguns and revolutionary longarms, but did you know the he also designed a weapon that is a bit more basic? We give you, the Kel Tec folding bayonet.
KTOG Member stymie's Kel-Tec RFB bull pup carbine (serial # 29!) with a KFB installed to complement the sweet ACOG.
Before moving to the U.S. in the 1980s, Kellgren cut his teeth designing submachine guns and other tools of war for the Swedish military. In fact, his inaugural American design effort, the KG-99 was based on a gun designed first for the Army of the King of Sweden.
Therefore, it should be of little surprise that the edged weapon he filed a patent for in November 2004 -- a decade ago this week-- would be for a knife with a very martial flair to it.
The Kel-Tec Folding Bayonet, marketed to the public first in 2005, was described in company literature as:
"...the lightest and handiest bayonet ever to be fielded. Conceived as a folding utility field knife and designed to be compatible with STANAG bayonet mounts, the KFB is unlike any other bayonet on the market. Incorporating a D2 tool steel blade as well as a carbon-fiber and Zytel handle, the KFB is a highly versatile tool for the field of sport and the field of battle."
Overall, the bayonet, when its 4.82-inch blade was unfolded and locked into position, is an impressive 10.51-inches long. Unlike any bayonet we can find on the market (besides the folding but non-detachable cuneiform pig stickers such as those found on the various versions of the SKS and late model M44 Mosin-Nagant rifles), the KFB by definition folded and could be carried in the pocket when not in use on a rifle.
Folded length is a stout 5.6-inch, which means a deep pocket was required indeed. However, models did come equipped with a belt clip and you had a choice between bright steel, and parkerized blade finishes. It also comes standard with the 22mm bayonet mounting muzzle ring that fits past the NATO-standard flash hiders of M16/M4/RFB/SU-16 style rifles.
Was it any good?
Well, that's the thing. It's a compromise design. It was kindof too big for everyday carry as a pocket knife yet, even though its blade was indestructible, it is not as strong as purpose-built military standard bayonets like the M7 and OKC-3S used by the Army and Marines respectively.
Then there is a price issue. The KFB ran $120 as a MSRP when it was for sale (it's currently listed as out of stock on Kel Tecs website and has been for a while).
Shopping around you can often find surplus M7 bayonets for $30-ish and, while they have battle scars, still will likely outlive you by a few generations. Couple that with a decent Kershaw, Gerber or Buck lockblade for everyday carry at about $50 and you still have enough cash to buy a bayonet lug for your RFB or SU-16 series rifle.
A harsh Russian test of the Kel Tec folding bayonet. Hey, it's in Russian (!) but it's subtitled. However, you can pretty much get the gist of it regardless. Ivan loved the blade itself...the handle on the other hand...well, he's Ivan.
Still, these blades are rather unique in the sense that they are true blue Kel Tecs, and if you carry a KT handgun, you can have one of these folders riding shotgun in your offhand pocket while still using it with your RFB or SU-16/SUB-2000 if so desired.
Plus, you can sometimes run across gently used models for $75 or less on the various online gun classifieds, which is a steal.
When you keep in mind that they have a lifetime warranty on these items, that can't help but put a smile on your face.
So with that, if you can find one around at a decent price, the only thing stopping you from folding it up and putting it in your pocket for a rainy day when you need a bayonet is you.