There’s a lot to be said for rifles that fold up into small packages that can be quickly reconfigured to rifle length. Folding rifles not only can be stored in smaller places—like briefcases, backpacks, suitcases, under car seats (where legal, of course) and even violin cases—but they also can be placed closer to areas of anticipated need in an emergency.
Kel-Tec is a company that has been specializing in folding rifles for some time—both pistol caliber and rifle caliber folders—and they’ve raised the convenience factor and performance bar, and lowered the cost, about as far as those measures can be pushed.
Federal law mandates that rifles with shoulder stocks must be equipped with barrels at least 16 inches in length. Anything shorter than that, and you have to go through the BATFE dog and pony show—and pay a $200 tax—to register a “short-barreled rifle.” So the Kel-Tec SUB 2000 ($409) has a 16.1-inch barrel. The rest of the rifle—including the receiver, action, trigger group, pistol grip (with internal mag well) and stock—measure only 14.5 inches long. The barrel folds up and back over the receiver simply by pulling downward on the hinged trigger guard, and when fully folded back it locks in place via a spring–loaded detent that holds it securely in the folded position. Folded length, therefore, is exactly 16 inches. To unfold the barrel, simply depress the detent button and swing the barrel up and forward, where it automatically locks in place. The barrel can be folded or unfolded with the action open or closed, and with or without a magazine installed. A proprietary key (included) can be used to lock the barrel in the folded position so the gun cannot be fired.
The SUB-2000 is available chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W. Unloaded weight in either chambering is 4.0 lbs., and overall length with the barrel unfolded is 29.5 inches. The 9mm model can be configured to accept a variety of standard pistols magazines, including the Glock 17, Glock 19, Smith & Wesson Model 59, Beretta Model 92 and the SIG SAUER P226. The standard magazine list for the .40 S&W model include the Glock 22, Glock 23, Beretta 96, Smith & Wesson 4006 and SIG SAUER P226.