My main defense rifle is a Springfield M1A and it is awesome (as well as long, heavy and expensive to shoot). So, I have been considering adding a lightweight 5.56 mm type semiautomatic rifle to my gun safe. I was leaning toward a Ruger Mini 14 or an AR-15 type rifle. But, recently I have discovered the Keltec SU16. It is less expensive than either of the aforementioned weapons, lighter and (according to the few reviews I have read) more reliable.
For anyone not familiar with the SU16, below is a link to more information about one version (there are several):
Does anyone in the group have any experience with the Keltec or comments to share about them? I would be most appreciative.
of keltec. Feel cheap when holding and firing. Don't like their handguns nor their long rifles due to the same. They just feel cheap. Also, I've had bad luck with having the firing pins be too light, as well as jamming from semi expelled shells.
With LogansRun.Kel-tec’s history is one of great ideas and poor executions. Nothing about their products is compelling to be because they just don’t have the built in longevity of other platforms.
If you put the same amount of money into loading for your (far superior) M1A, you’ll be money ahead in the long run… assuming you don’t already have a good sidearm with holster and supporting equipment…
Is right here: http://www.thektog.org/forum/f88/
I have just over 3000 rounds through my P3AT. The only issues feeding or firing have been out of spec reloads which I leave in the practice ammo for practicing clearing drills. I shoot at least 100 rounds every month for practice.
I'll agree that it feels like cheap plastic. It was the first of it's kind on the market when my need for a pocket gun arose and it shoots to my point of aim while moving.
Guess I will wade through the forum posts about the SU16. Like A.M. says the M1A is far superior to pretty much any battle rifle that is readily available to me (IMO) but I cannot imagine carrying it around every day. My sidearm is a compact H&K in .40 cal. It is reasonably light and gets the job done and never gives a problem (so far after about 12 years). But, I guess I am getting more weight-averse as the years pile on.
The instructors and students who do a lot of shooting with AR-15 type rifles seem to all agree that the good ones are from places like Bravo Company, Daniel Defense and LaRue or maybe LMT.
The better ones have high quality internal parts. The typical brands like Bushmaster may be ok if all you plan to do is go to the range once in a while. However, from what they tell me, in the classes that shoot 500 rounds a day the lesser quality AR-15's tend to break.
There are two forums m4carbine.com and ar15.com where you can probably find lots of information about what are the good companies are.
Mike Pannone is an expert on AR type rifles. If you look on Facebook for "Alias Training & Security Services" you can see a lot of posts. I could not find it today, but I seem to remember Mike doing a post about a Bravo Company (BCM) AR-15 with some new lightweight barrel and front hand guard.
The guys I have seen that use these for a living seem to have their AR-15's weighing in at about 6 pounds.
They seem to feel that being light is important for moving it fast and being able to carry it for long periods without fatigue.
Mike seems to like BCM. Another guy from an elite SF unit I saw had a very light LaRue.
My advice would be to stick with high quality equipment even if you have to pay more for it.
I was thinking on this yesterday, and I wanted to revisit your initial question and elaborate.
What is it you want this rifle to do? I understand you want a lighter, 5.56 caliber rifle?
A good account of the Kel-Tec's reliablilty hasn't been given. The M4 has a reputation for being unreliable.. but it has also been in service in some form or another for 50+ years, and has been involved in conflict. A SOF Marine I know told me a story about the Mini-14's, which were selected by the Panamanian Marines (IIRC) for their reliability… After a few days into training, they started breaking apart, because they simply were not designed to be used in field environments for protracted periods of time.
The Kel-Tec falls into this camp, as well.
The AR-15 does not. It *was* designed for hard use, and it has certainly seen it. So comparing the Ruger and Kel-Tec to the AR-15 is sort of like comparing someone who works at Kinko's making copies to someone who splits their time between cleaning sewers and construction. The guy at Kinkos probably doesn't have many malfunctions, but his job is *far* less demanding.
The AR platform is the standard across the globe for a reason – they're utterly reliable with a minimum of effort, they're accurate and they're simple to operate. They really only have one "rival", and that is the AK series of rifle.
The other types that have come out have been found wanting, (yes, even the XM-8 by H&K, and FN's SCAR-L, though the Heavy is reportedly a very desirable weapon) and for your money, the best bet in terms of durability, reliability, commonality, ergonomics and accurate in the 5.56 is the AR.
I would say re-orient your search around it. You'll be miles ahead, *especially* if this rifle is intended to be for an emergency.
Yes, this is to be an "emergency" gun.
There seems to be a consensus developing here that the AR-15/M-4 platform is superior. I guess I had sensed that all along. I carried an M-16 for a while so am pretty familiar with the platform and liked it a lot back in the day.
I think that a higher end of the AR market is the way to go too. I really appreciate the thoughts. I may have grown up with firearms and carried one for a while back in the day but still have a lot to learn.
So, AR-15 it will be.
I'd love to find a good AR-15 at less than 7 pounds (loaded). These are some good companies and I'll take your suggestions to heart.
I concur. Kel Tecs I have owned (two) were of marginal quality. By a "used" AR platform on Gunbroker.com. The vast majority of people don't shoot them hard enough or often enough to put serious wear on a good quality firearm.