Kel-Tec has apologized for the delay in shipping the PMR-30. I wish more gun companies would admit mistakes and apologize when they fail to ship a gun.
There has been a lot of discussion on just what the heck the hold up is on the PMR-30. We have made a few statements on our Facebook page, but obviously that only addresses a small minority of our customers.
The PMR-30 was originally debuted at the 2010 SHOT in January of 2010. At that time we had several working prototypes, all of which were machined by hand one at a time. At SHOT we estimated a Q2 release on the PMR-30. This estimate was based on a variety of factors: lead time on material, tooling, operator’s learning the parts, and post importantly the time it would take to translate the prototype design into full production programs. We honestly felt that Q2 would be a fairly easy target.
Sadly, we underestimated the time it would take for us to get the production programming in place to run the PMR-30 at 500/week. Two months before our slated release, we saw that we most likely wouldn’t get this pistol into full production by then. This is when we had to make an executive decision. We could either push back the release date until October/November, which we felt would anger and frustrate quite a lot of customers, or we could scramble and release the PMR-30 to the public in Q2 at limited production and just ship as many as we could until production finally got everything settled.
Obviously we chose the latter. This turned out to also spurn a lot of negativity as we certainly looked like liars for not getting the PMR-30 out on time, and also created a lot of frustration as PMR-30s were being shipped in small quantities, some of which showed up on places like gunbroker.com. This made it seem like the PMR-30 was available and at the same time impossible to get, which I suppose isn’t too far from the truth.
We take completely responsibility for the PMR-30 not being as available as we wanted it to be, but it was either let a few people get them, or let no one get them. We are still evaluating whether or not we made the right choice.
Since that July release, we’ve slowly increased production from about 25/week to 150-250/week. It is still not at the quantities we need them to be, but that will come with time. In an ideal world we would have set the release at the end of October/early November and all of the production work going on would be done behind closed doors so to speak. We are reaping what we sowed, but are confident in our PMR-30 and production is confident we will be seeing full production numbers by that late October/early November time frame. We’re already half-way there!
It should also be noted that the limited production is in no way related to any functional problems with the firearm and more based on efficient CNC programming to machine enough parts to create 500 PMR-30s every week in addition to the rest of our product line. It’s a kind of balancing act.
We sincerely apologize for everyone who has been patient with us so far. We definitely understand the frustration and experience it just as much. We gain no benefit from keeping our customers from getting our products, so rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to get these great pistols to you!
All future product releases will reflect what we’ve learned through the PMR-30 release.
[Hat Tip: Guns, Holsters and Gear]