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A couple years ago, Kel Tec came out with their PMR-30 series of high-capacity .22 magnum pistols. These lightweight, 30-shot handguns have proven very popular in this short span

Grendel origins

Back a decade or so ago, Swedish designer George Kellgren was head of a company called Grendel and his magnum opus made for that line was his Grendel P30.

This very odd-looking plastic (um, we mean high impact polymer) .22 Magnum autoloader pistol got its name from its incredible flush-fitting 30-round magazine. Designed around a fluted chamber, the gun was ugly, but it was light and it worked. In 2010, it seems that old George dusted off his P30 designs, updated them, and released the PMR-30 on to the world through his new Kel-Tec company.


The PMR-30 is based on a 7075 aluminum frame with a 4140 steel slide and fluted barrel. Everything else, besides the internal springs, to include the slide cover, trigger, grip, mag release and surface controls, and magazine body are all made of Zytel nylon. This keeps the gun\'s empty weight at just 13.6-ounces. When crammed full of 30 rounds of .22WMR that rest in the flush-fitting double stack magazine, the gun tips the scales at just 19.5 ounces. This is half the weight of a full-sized metal frame pistol, while allowing for incredible 31-shots without having to reload.

It uses a hybrid blowback action that fires from locked breech. This enables the gun to feed a number of different types of .22 mag rounds. Dual opposing extractors ensure positive ejection while a long 6.9-inch sight radius helps with accuracy. The heel-mounted magazine release is very European (hey, Kellgren started making guns for the Swedish military) but on the bright side, it\'s ambidextrous and easy to work while wearing gloves.

Hickok45 reviews the PMR-30


Sure, the .22WMR is no .45ACP, but it is capable of taking small to medium sized game of all sorts. In a pinch and using such ammunition as Hornady\'s Critical Defense loads, it can be used for self-defense against two legged predators. The gun comes with rather good sights while also having the top cover of the slide drilled and tapped for a four-screwed pistol scope mount. An underbarrel Picatinny M1913 rail allows the rapid fitting of lasers, lights, or other accessories.

(Picture via Kel Tec, photo by the renowned Oleg Volk)

This makes the PMR-30 a perfect home defense gun for those sensitive to recoil or unable to use a shotgun. Its lightweight and high capacity set it up to be the perfect camping, hiking, hunting, or fishing companion. Almost impervious to rust due to its construction, it is a good truck gun or toolbox gun. Needless to say, its also about as much fun on the range versus papermen or tin cans as you can want.

This user converted his PMR30 to fire full-auto. All NFA rules apply!

(New generation PMR-30 with Burris Fast Fire II red-dot sight, weapon flashlight, 5\" threaded barrel, and aluminum cone style flash reducer, taken by Rcreek1 right here of the KTOG. As you can see, these guns are easily customized. )

Technical specs
  • Calibers: .22 Magnum (.22WMR)
  • Weight unloaded 13.6oz. 386g
  • Loaded Magazine: 6oz. 170g
  • Length: 7.9\" 201mm
  • Height: 5.8\" 147mm
  • Width: 1.3\" 33.0mm
  • Barrel length: 4.3\" 109mm
  • Sight radius: 6.9\" 175mm
  • Energy (40gr): 138ft-lbs 187J
  • Capacity: 30 + 1 rounds
  • Trigger pull: 4-6 lbs 17.8-26.7N
  • MSRP $415.00

A note about that MSRP. That price, as many KTOG members will quickly tell you, is what Kel Tec tells its distributors what they recommend. It seems like the company is forever unable to keep up with demand for these neat little .22\'s and, in a true display of supply and demand, these guns typically run much higher. Street price, in fact, can be almost twice the company\'s MSRP. For instance, a quick browse of gunbroker shows these bad boys starting around $600 and often going well past $800.

(Picture via Kel Tec, photo by the renowned Oleg Volk)

So if you can get your hands on one for the actual MSRP, get two and give me a holler!


1,105 Posts
Great article! Owners should consider some of the high quality aftermarket parts from TANDEMKROSS such as the PMR-30 picatinny "Freedom Rail" and thread cover. Both shine up the gun real nice and have realistic benefits as well.

260 Posts
Any sign that the utter unavailability of 22WMR ammo in the last year is having any f/x on decreasing demand for the PMR-30, giving supply a chance to catch up [& ergo, street prices to come down to MSRP?]
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