Our evaluation rifle was the SU-16C ($770) with 16-inch barrel and skeletonized buttstock. Overall length is 35.5 inches, but with the buttstock folded the length shrinks to 25.5 inches. Empty weight is 4.7 pounds. Sights consist of an elevation adjustable front integrated into the top of the gas block and a windage adjustable rear mounted at the rear of the integral 14-slot Picatinny top rail. Sight radius is 15.5 inches.
All SU-16s feature a long-stroke, gas-piston operating system utilizing the proven Johnson/Stoner breech locking system. They will accept all standard AR-15/M-16 magazines. The barrels are rifled at a 1:9” twist rate and are chrome lined (as is the chamber). The muzzle is threaded at 1/2×28 TPI for attachment of a muzzle device of suppressor, and a threaded muzzle protector is provided.
Except for the barrel, sights and operating components, the SU-16 is made entirely of high-impact reinforced polymer. A reciprocating bolt handle (which doubles as a case deflector) and magazine release are located on the right side of the receiver, and the push-push cross-bolt safety can be reversed to show the “off-safe” red ring on either side.
The handguard can be split into two halves by pushing down on two locking latches and swinging the halves down and forward to create a bi-pod. The stock folds forward by depressing a latch behind the abbreviated pistol grip, then swinging it down and under the receiver. The butt end of the stock locks into a retention notch on the underside of the handguard, and can be unlocked for redeployment by depressing the same locking latch used to secure the two halves of the split handguard.
For rapid fire reliability testing we used the open sights on our Salute Products steel-plate targets and a variety of Mil-Spec and aftermarket AR-15 magazines. No failures or stoppages of any kind were encountered. For accuracy testing from the bench at 50 yards we mounted a Burris FastFire III mini red-dot optic on the Picatinny top rail. The best 5-shot group was turned in by Black Hills Best 60-gr. V-Max .223 load, printing 0.89 inches center to center. All other groups landed in under two inches.
See the Kel-Tec folders at your firearms retailer, or for more information contact Kel-Tec CNC Industries, Dept. OT; Tel.: (800) 515-9983; Web: www.keltecweapons.com