RDB & KT Thoughts

Discussion in 'RDB Bullpup Rifle' started by AndrewK, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. AndrewK

    AndrewK Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2017
    I’ve been wondering if KT actively participates on this site. I seem to recall in a post that they do but I haven’t seen anything definitive to suggest this is actually the case. Can anybody clarify this for me?

    I think many of us would like to see the RDB problems sorted out. I hear “less than 1%” or other comments downplaying problems but I’m not sure where this data is coming from and the overall accuracy of these statements. It seems like it would be a good use of support resources to participate on this site and provide insight to the community as a whole on the problems people have experienced and reported. I used to run a software company and we would utilize sites like this to funnel feedback to relevant departments on our products. We would use data to identify problems in design in our engineering efforts to produce better products. We would also educate end-users on features and problem solutions. I know the business models are different but it strikes me as being relevant in this capacity.
  2. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Moderator Moderator Supporter

    May 19, 2006
    Lexington KY
    I'm not sure if anyone in Kel-Tec management or engineering actively participates in KTOG at this point. One of their engineers was a fairly active member but I haven't seen Toby posting lately.

    However, Kel-Tec is one of the most customer driven companies in the industry. They hear a lot from the shooting community. They're at all of the big trade shows of course, such as SHOT and the NRA convention, as well as many smaller shows. Chad represents well at various shooting events around the country and he makes frequent appearances on firearms oriented YouTube channels.

    I do think Kel-Tec listens to firearms enthusiasts. The message that's been driving them the most is, "MAKE MORE!" Approximately 10% of the comments under a video showcasing a Kel-Tec firearm are, "Great. Another Kel-Tec I'll never be able to buy at my local gun store."

    I'm unaware of any serious design flaws with the RDB. Most of the problems I see reported are confined to relatively minor issues such as loose rail mounting screws. It's an aggravation to remove the screws, LocTite them and re-torque them, and it's something that Kel-Tec needed to address in their assembly process. I haven't heard much about this lately, so maybe they did? They're all about continuous process improvement. They're all about continuous product improvement too. As they gather reliability information, mostly from warranty repairs, they make small changes to the design to improve the reliability.

    We had a poll of RDB owners to gauge what problems people are having. The categories were all relatively minor problems such as the aforementioned rail screws, assembly pins walking out, etc. The more serious issues were bent op rod and broken firing pin, but those still aren't all that serious as firearm design issues are concerned.

    I had a lot to say about RDB issues in that poll. If this is a matter of great concern, you might want to read my post in that poll.


    I stated that I've never returned any of my 11 Kel-Tec firearms. Since I made that post, I have sent back a SUB-2000 to Kel-Tec. I didn't have a problem but they had concerns about the barrel heat treatment. They issued a recall and they replaced the barrel under warranty. They paid for shipping both ways.

    I'd like to be the first person to own an innovative new firearm, but with 30 years of manufacturing history to resolve any issues, and with end-of-product-life commodity cost reductions, but that's not reality. If you want the new hotness, buy an RDB. If you want a cheap reliable rifle, buy a $500 AR-15, but even with an AR there will be some reliability issues.

  3. iamscottasus

    iamscottasus Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    Thanks for supporting my Problem poll. I created it to bring awareness to the issues so owners can be looking for them, not to hurt sales, but to promote improvement and help owners to be aware of the possible issues before they choose their rifle to serve in a fighting /defense role. For those who have had very good service from their RDBs, the issues others have can be ignored. But if you are one of the unlucky ones, the level of concern is heightened. Therefore, yes, there have been other issues that did not make it into the poll.
    There are several posters here that have been experiencing serious failures well under the first 800 round count, and not just loose screws and broken pins. There are guys who are having hammer jamming problems and many can't keep a GI mag from falling out. Many have take down pins that are so tight its impossible to push them without tools.
    And why? The holes aren't small... Its because the chassis is plastic. It flexes and everything else flexes too. The hammer flexes, he bolt catch pawls flex, erything flexes until something jams.
    I am considering removing my bolt catch.:soap::over:
    I love this rifle, but I was not one of the lucky ones. If I have one more failure, its going back for good. Actually< I already have had that failure, But I have two BCWs to work with and am trying to sort it out. It may just be a head space issue.
    Still having a love affair with my SU16C
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  4. AndrewK

    AndrewK Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2017
    Gentlemen - great points and very much appreciated responses / insight. Thank you!

    I guess I realize KT participates in industry events and the like but still feel it would be great to have them on this site as well - Benefits both the members here and KT. The problem poll is a good repository - is there a way to make it a sticky thread so it stays on top? Similar to the picture thread (which I hope to be adding my photos to shortly once I have my gun room finished) so people are more likely to find it and update as well as find solutions to common problems. I know that doesn’t address people not interested in creating accounts but could boost that as well. Ultimately there’s a really good community on this site and I’ve found it extremely helpful.
    RC-78x and 850sub like this.
  5. ktwm

    ktwm Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2004
    I try to get on this site when I can, but work is very busy, and there is always plenty to do, and no real time after work hours.

    We do have someone on facebook pretty regularly (Chad or Matt usually), and they answer questions and forward requests and info to engineering. But I know social media is not for everyone.

    E-mailing customer service is another option. We do look at customer feedback at the quarterly meetings.
    MarkCO likes this.
  6. MarkCO

    MarkCO Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2016
    They are well represented at several matches. I have shot with the KT team (4 of them) once this year and they have been at another match I was at. They will be at the Rimfire Challenge Worlds as well.

    Being at matches with match shooters who run LOTS of rounds through their guns is a good use of their time IMHO. Forums will only get one so far as, in some cases, even on here, we see the person who shoots a few rounds, has a malfunction and the whole company is a bunch of thieves.
  7. AndrewK

    AndrewK Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2017
    I haven’t seen anyone calling the company a bunch of thieves in any posts - I think it’s more a general level of frustration over who got the magic RDB and who didn’t maybe?

    All-in-all there’s so much potential with the platform and hoping rough edges will get smoothed out to where reliability and functionality aren’t in question and felt like the forum was a good source of information to that end. I wouldn’t argue matches are another good source and hopefully will also provide valuable feedback.

    In tech there’s a term called bleeding edge technology - it’s a super cool product but can have problems because the kinks aren’t worked out for one reason or another. I don’t know if that’s a good comparison given completely different sophistication levels. In any event, reliability, accuracy and other areas of improvement would be a big win across the board. If I bought the new iPhone and it broke after so many uses, I had to get an RMA and send it back and have nada in the meantime - there’s a level of frustration there. Maybe not the best analogy.

    Some things (e.g. firing pin breaking) have been a mystery to me and usually support can narrow down the causes for things like this. Having a sticky post with problems / solutions has always been helpful so was thinking along those lines as well.

    Do I think the company ripped me off? Nope - I knew I was going early adopter with this from day one and had already seen posts about bolt pins sheering off and the like prior to buying one. I’ll be buying RDB 2.0 and onward as the improvements happen.
  8. Berk

    Berk Active Member

    Feb 20, 2015
    I should send my rfb in so they can see how I fixed it from jamming where they can’t seem to. I love their innovative designs, and I don’t mind some tinkering. Some folks can’t stand it though. Usually it seems that they think that their life depends on the function of every firearm they own.
  9. iamscottasus

    iamscottasus Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    There is legal to deal with. If they implement a fix devised from someone like yourself, they don't have ownership, you do. If somebody needs to get sued, or paid, you do.
    Perhaps the reason the RDB isn't the best is KT cant use the best ideas already owned by other OEMs. Buy an RDB for playing. Buy a TAVOR X95 for the fight.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
    Gooman18 likes this.
  10. Gooman18

    Gooman18 Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2017
  11. JGood

    JGood Member

    Feb 23, 2019
    Anyone have one blow up?
  12. iamscottasus

    iamscottasus Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    I have only met someone have a RFB blow up, a very experienced FA professional. He won't sell KT in his gun store. I replied to you on the Firing pin spring thread.