The Kel Tec SU-16 is my new "must have" rifle

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by Browning 9 Guy, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Browning 9 Guy

    Browning 9 Guy Premium Supporter Member

    A 223/5.56 NATO carbine that accepts AR mags, Kel Tec assembles them using Philips head screws which proliferate throughout. Articles on the net indicate excellent reliability if not match grade accuracy. They appear simple like a 10-22 with no attachments except the top rail.

    It's odd that these haven't crowded out the AR market due to their low price ($449 on Gunbroker).

    Does anyone have an SU-16?
     
  2. I dont know. Pics are fron calguns and kel tec owners group..

    Also is the 449 price on gunbroker a fixed price or auction starting price? I ask because I havent found any local SU-16 for less than an entry level AR15... in fact I built my basic .223 wylde 16" carbine for just above that price.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2016

  3. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    9,013
    2,580
    Florida
    I have an SU-16CA, and it was not cheaper than many ARs are. It actually cost about the same.

    As far as the blown up guns go, those pictures all look like the result of barrel blockages. That can happen to any gun. There are probably just as many pictures of blown up ARs and AKs out there.

    On the other hand, there have been a couple of instances of cracked upper receivers resulting from improperly staked piston rods. The improper staking resulted in bolt carriers striking the rear of the receiver. Kel Tec fixed those rifles for free under their lifetime warranty.

    The SU-16 is a nifty rifle for people in Kaliforniastan because it doesn't have a pistol grip and doesn't require a bullet button. That was what led me to getting one when I was cursed to live there for awhile. For the rest of us, it is very light-weight and folds up for easy storage. If you want a pack rifle that uses AR mags, it's a great choice.
     
  4. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    25,834
    1,910
    INDY
    Odd, yes! One reason might be that Kel-Tec has literally the capacity to make HUNDREDS a Year??? :rofl:
     
  5. Jhow79

    Jhow79 Supporting Member

    341
    109
    We have them for $519 everyday pricing and about every 3 months we'll run a sale for $499 which is darn near dealer cost. If you can get one for $449 that's a steal and the dealer must be buying them by the case to sell for that price. They are piston operated and built on the Johnson/Stoner breech locking system so they are pretty reliable and run cool and clean. They also have some neat features like a folding stock and trigger mechanism that makes them very easy to carry and the stock also allows storage of extra mags (1 20rd or 2 10rd). The forend folds down into a bipod which is also pretty neat. They are a fun little rifle to play with and very light, now as far as match grade accuracy goes, that's a stretch to say the least. They are accurate for what they are but nowhere near match grade. Also if you spend some time researching them you'll hear some horror stories of failures.
     
  6. Browning 9 Guy

    Browning 9 Guy Premium Supporter Member

    Thanks for the pictures, Camo! Looks like that poor guy Is damaged. Appears to have a broken shell casing. $449 was a beginning price on Gunbroker. I'd like to see pictures of your own carbine.
     
  7. Tribes

    Tribes Supporting Member

    330
    64
    AZ
    Yes! Bought a SU16CA last year, with a stock change now a 16C folded shooter. Ace hardware has replacement grade 8 black internal wrench cap head screws. Don't think it was really necessary but like this look better.

    Also have the AR type adjustable stock. But will not fold to a compact size but will fold some.
    The CA stock is pretty cool with 2 loaded 10 round mags and folds to a compact size but will not fire when folded.

    The trigger is not half bad with a little bit of grit in the short take up then a wall then a clean snappy break and a very short reset. Breaks at 5.75 lbs. Much like a standard AR.

    Accuracy is as good as any AR I have shot. The iron sights are good enough.
    The Burris Fast Fire is a great lightweight holographic red dot though cost is high.

    The light weight of this rifle fully loaded with BFF and sling is amazing for me at 6.6 lbs. The sling can be used as a two point or single point. Use a pit pin for the action break down and as a sling attachment.

    When hiking in the desert or high country the light weight is abeautiful thing.:):)

    Accepts all AR mags that I have tried with stock open and locked position. But with the 16C stock folded will only accept metal mags both steel and aluminum. The polymer mags are too thick.
    Would have to open up the mag opening on stock which I have not done to easily fit the polymer mags. But have plenty of metal mags. The metal mags are just a bit snug to install with folded stock that is will slightly scrape the stock opening. Polymer mags will stay with the ARs.

    Also should add the SU16 has a rudimentary bipod. Works ok in prone or bench shooting.

    Like an AK has gas piston operation. Easy to remove and clean the BCG and piston assembly.

    The only negative and it's a small one is cleaning the breach and lugs. Don't have the direct access like an AR. I've solved that negative by getting a cleaning rod that has a swivel threaded brass end that will thread to a breech brush for a good cleaning.
    Works great on Ruger Mini 14 and mini 30 breeches also with correct breech brush.

    Am very impressed with this KelTec rifle. It is a keeper.:)
    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  8. Browning 9 Guy

    Browning 9 Guy Premium Supporter Member

    Regarding failures, when a rifle is 5.56 NATO - chambered is it wise to shoot mostly 223? For the same reason you shouldn't shoot 357 Magnum ammo through a 357 all the time.
     
  9. Theres several in the AR Build questions thread but heres one :) SARCO Inc kit with anderson lower and basic M4 stock and detach carry handle. KISS 16" carbine.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Jhow79

    Jhow79 Supporting Member

    341
    109
    It all depends on the quality of the barrel, a high quality rifle chambered for 5.56 nato will be fine firing 5.56 only. You don't want to fire 5.56 out of a rifle chambered for .223 although you will run into others that will argue this point.
     
  11. Browning 9 Guy

    Browning 9 Guy Premium Supporter Member

    Very nice! This picture lights my fire for wanting to get an AR. I do have my sights on a Mossberg MMR AR-15. Next will be a Ruger Mini 30 in 7.62 X 39. Right now, I have a Savage Axis 223. On the Axis, I sanded the black finish off the entire barrel and receiver, then polished. The carbon steel has a mirror finish now, more bluish than stainless steel. A thin coat 3-in-1 oil occasionally protects.
     
  12. Dagwood

    Dagwood Supporting Member

    I had an SU16A in Tan. Great gun! Had a bit of a break in period, but after a couple hundred rounds it was boringly reliable. Take down and cleaning are relatively easy. It is basically a piston driven AR. The piston and spring assy are very similar to the AK. The BCG is very similar to an AR. It does accept standard AR mags. GI mags have quite a bit of slop, but Pmags work great.
    Super light weight, foldable, fits in a back pack.... What's not to love!
    I sold mine to a friend basically cuz he kept bugging me about it and I had other guns on layaway that I wanted to get out. I think I paid $550.00 for mine. I might of paid $600.00 for it. If you can scoop one up for around $500.00 you should get it.
     
  13. Jhow79

    Jhow79 Supporting Member

    341
    109
    Perhaps I didn't answer your question as to the reasoning but without going into great detail each cartridge is measured using different standards but the biggest difference between the two is throat length, which can have a dramatic effect on pressure. The 5.56x45 mm has a longer throat in the chamber than the .223 Rem and in return is a higher pressure load. I'm someone on here can break it down and explain it a lot better than I can, when it comes to putting my thoughts down on paper I'm not the greatest..lol
     
  14. Browning 9 Guy

    Browning 9 Guy Premium Supporter Member

    Thank you all for the thoughtful responses. It's encourging to hear of SU-16 reliability. Regarding 5.56 pressure, I've never been a fan of hot loads and am perfectly fine with 223 as my highest power rifle.
     
  15. rowiebowie

    rowiebowie Supporting Member

    1,875
    326
    Texas
    Researched the Keltec SU-16's a lot and almost universally praised for accuracy, reliability, cost, and low weight. I ended up thinking the "C" version with the folding stock was just the neatest thing I'd seen in a long time.

    It is so compact, mostly defeats the need for an expensive short-barrel rifle since"C" model can be fired with stock folded.

    EDIT: Prices on gunbroker.com this summer were around $500 and the SU-16's were plentiful. Now, they're more scarce and prices have jumped up to $600 or $700 for the "C" model.

    .
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Thats an arguement for using .223 Wylde chambers. It can shoot both 5.56 and .223 with no issue
     
  17. rowiebowie

    rowiebowie Supporting Member

    1,875
    326
    Texas
    If you're interested in the .22LR SU-22C version, they can be had for $260 on gunbroker.com from Black Market Arms. Ask me how I know.;)

    .
     
  18. Jhow79

    Jhow79 Supporting Member

    341
    109
    Sweet I bet your Savage looks great, in my opinion Savage rifles give you one of the best bang for your buck, they are extremely accurate out of the box for the their price point. The Mossberg MMR gets really good reviews but is one of the few AR's I haven't personally had the opportunity to shoot. I highly recommend getting a AR they are extremely fun and your configuring and customizing options are endless. There are several great entry level platforms out there without breaking the bank: S&W m&p, Ruger ar556, Core M4, and my personal favorite the Alex Pro Firearms Econo Carbine. In my opinion it's quality and craftsman ship is unmatched on any AR under $800, it's chambered for .223 wylde and is a absolute tack driver out of the box. It also features high quality components found on much higher priced rifles and customer service is great, plus it can be found for around $650 or so.
     
  19. rowiebowie

    rowiebowie Supporting Member

    1,875
    326
    Texas
    The Keltec SU's are marked for .223/5.56.

    .
     
  20. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    9,013
    2,580
    Florida
    And I've shot both out of mine. It even digested Tula .223 without any issues.