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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 20" Hunter and a year later, now wish I would have gotten the Survival. I'd just buy one, but the market is nuts and they appear to be twice the price now from when I bought mine.

Is it possible to purchase a Survival or Defender barrel and just swap it over?

Would Kel-Tec sell me the parts?

Thanks
 

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I believe so. They have sold parts to others for conversions. But just know, the parts availability may vary based on production, or who you talk to. This goes for price as well.
They may ask you to send the complete rifle to make sure the barrel is compatible, head spacing and function are good. Not an unreasonable request, IMHO.
 

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If you cannot get replacement barrel, alternative is to chop the barrel to your desirable length and get the shorter handguard. There are lots of smiths that can cut barrel and thread to your desirable thread pitch for muzzle device.
 

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If you cannot get replacement barrel, alternative is to chop the barrel to your desirable length and get the shorter handguard. There are lots of smiths that can cut barrel and thread to your desirable thread pitch for muzzle device.
I was curious as to the differences, and while the models are similar there are differences other than cosmetic. The barrel would also need to be turned down. There is a weight difference and a smaller diameter barrel is part of it. I do love a lightweight rifle so I would find that part of the Survival attractive (possibly). There are pluses and minuses to a light barrel.

Frankly I wouldn't be bothered with converting it, I would prefer what he already has of the 2 models if I already had it in hand, but to dmk it's worth the changes. But before I would convert it I'd buy the Survival and in this market sell the one I owned AFTER I had the Survival in hand. I bet he'd pay little or nothing to make the switch that way. Then I'd modify the Survival to be even better. (If I could live with the stock)

There are retailers who are on Keltecs short list for getting KelTec firearms on the racks. One near me ships. (That was a hint dmk, but you'd need to talk to them, I won't be a broker. If you want their phone number PM me.)
 

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RDB Hunter's barrel profile is slightly larger, but not a heavy barrel either. I would consider Hunter barrel as lightweight vs. S barrel as featherweight (using common AR barrel terminology)

Beside barrel profile difference, a few other difference between Hunter and S.
1. Buttstock - S (adjustable), Hunter (fixed)
2. Sights - S (built-in front & rear iron sights), Hunter (no sights included, either buy BUIS or Optics)

I think S has advantage on both, but the two models serve different purpose. S adjustable buttstock can be configure to user's liking. S iron sight radius is longer since front sight is attached to the front end of the barrel. Hunter BUIS sight radius is very short and kind of useless for a 20" rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies and info guys.

Shortening the barrel and rethreading it might not be a bad idea if it's possible. I'm not sure the barrel has enough diameter to thread 1/2x28 properly.

If possible, that would be the simplest option and would fix the issue where you need a spacer to attach a flash hider to brake. Maybe I could even go shorter than 16" and have a flash hider pinned and welded to get it right at like 16.25ish" with the muzzle device. Though I'll have to keep the OAL over 26" too, so maybe that won't work out. I think the -S model has the adjustable stock for that reason.

Getting a -S and then selling my Hunter might be a good idea. But I think that will end up biting me in the long run because I hate selling guns and would very likely keep both in the end. Which is usually not a horrible thing, but I just don't want to pay the current prices for it. I got my Hunter for about $750 just about a year ago and can't touch a Survival for that now. Plus I can't in good conscience sell the Hunter for todays inflated prices.
 

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The gas port is at roughly the 15" point, so no you can't go shorter than the S model.

And even going down to the S model you'll have a lot more sensitivity to gas settings. The 20" barrel has ~4 times the 'dwell' (the distance between gas port and end-of-barrel) which in my experience makes the 20" barrel less picky about ammo and gas settings.

The Survival foregrip is hands down a MASSIVE improvement over the Hunter foregrip though, just getting that was night-and-day improved from the stock 20" model's foregrip IMHO. I'd get just that foregrip, see how it changes the rifle for you, and keep an eye out for Dan Haga's butt-stock coming back into stock, get that + his top cover to entirely replace your factory Hunter stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Survival foregrip is hands down a MASSIVE improvement over the Hunter foregrip though, just getting that was night-and-day improved from the stock 20" model's foregrip IMHO.
Good point about the gas block. I hadn't considered that.

In what way is the Survival handguard better (other than just being shorter)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I bit the bullet and just bought a green Survival from Grabagun. It was overpriced, but at least I'll have both guns. It will be interesting to compare and contrast the two.

Now I have three Kel-tecs. Two RDBs and an old reliable P-32. 😀
 

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In what way is the Survival handguard better (other than just being shorter)?
Combination of not having the sling mount peg where your fingers go, combined with the shorter survival grip having a much more pronounced AND better rounded front lip, versus having to dance around that sling mount peg on the hunter foregrip mostly. The thicker ridge is right around the front pin that goes through the block on the barrel, so it also stops your fingertips from getting scorched on that pin since the pin is now effectively recessed on the survival foregrip.

Also finally the survival foregrip stops right at the gas block end, so I feel it's also better visually, instead of having a massive underbite. :)

But mostly: More comfortable grip, harder to slip off the end of the grip, and recesses the pin slightly to avoid your fingers getting singed if you don't wear gloves.
 

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My RDB-C was converted into a rifle similar to the RDB-Survival. My problem with the Survival was the thin barrel and adjustable buttstock. The rifle is shown here with a standard RDB 17.5” barrel. The RDB-C factory barrel has had the threads cut off and is out to have the barrel rethreaded. My thought was a truck/ranch rifle that could go anywhere with me. Sort of a compliant anywhere rifle. The optic will be changed over to a Vortex red dot. I added a QD sling mount to the RDB-S hand guard. It has the DHD buttstock and cheek piece adapter. Overall, I love this handy little carbine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That looks great Sam. I see you have a threaded muzzle device. What suppressor do you use with it? How do you like it suppressed? Does the bottom eject help port noise?
 

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That looks great Sam. I see you have a threaded muzzle device. What suppressor do you use with it? How do you like it suppressed? Does the bottom eject help port noise?
dmk,
In the picture, the standard RDB barrel has a SilencerCo ASR flash hider. This barrel is back in my RDB. The RDB-C barrel has been cutdown and is off to be threaded. I believe, that the RDB is the perfect platform for suppressor use. My suppressor is a SilencerCo Omega 30. I’m able to use this suppressor on all my rifles. It works very well and is hearing safe with the RDBs. I usually wear light earplugs just to be safe but the RDB doesn’t really require them. My suppressor is used quite a lot. From hunting and plinking to target shooting and long range work it is very versatile. I was on the fence for a long time about getting one but I’m glad to have jumped into it.

The RDB rifles are perhaps the most interesting weapons that I have owned. As I get older, I have started to thin my herd. Only interesting rifles excite me these days. The function of the Kel-Tec RDB is really fascinating. I love the concept. Port noise is non-existent. These rifles are not perfect but quirky is good.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the info Sam. Sounds like a nice setup you have.

I agree quirky can be good! :)
 

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FA946695-28CB-4D8A-ADC3-C1A5CEE6EAD5.png


The stock is actually a Dan Haga product. Check out Dan Haga Designs on his website. Both of my RDBs have this stock. It is not adjustable but is super comfortable and very aesthetic. It uses a Magpul rubber buttpad. I swapped the one that came with the stock to a thinner one from a Magpul SL stock.

I hope this helps.
 

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My rifle build has been a progression. My first thought on buying the RDB-C Hunter, was that I could use the non-pistol grip lower on my regular RDB. After getting it, I decided to just build it the way I wanted to mimic the Survival with a little longer and heavier barrel. The RDB-S was a rifle that I really wanted but finding a good deal was difficult. I swapped the RDB-C stock for a regular RDB stock. That made it much better. The next thing I did was to buy the DHD stock and the RDB-S hand guard. At that point the stock barrel RDB-C looked odd and I didn’t like the odd threads on it. The threads were cut off and the barrel is now being threaded. Converting the C seems like a good option.
 
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