Kel-Tec SU-16 may soon be available in .300 BLK

An industry insider told me that Kel-Tec has a working SU-16 prototype in .300 AAC BLK and they are likely to bring it into production. The first models will likely be the SU-16C and SU-16CA and will cost $50 – $70 more than the current 5.56mm variants.

SU-16C (5.56mm model)

The first non-AR-15 production firearm to be chambered in .300 BLK was the Remington Seven. This may be the second.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Komrad

    If it is easily convertible to 5.56mm, this might be really awesome.
    I love the ideas Kel-Tec gets, they have a top notch design team. But they have trouble getting all their current products to market in a timely manner. Unless this change is simple and wont require much retooling, I think that focusing on getting the KSG and PRM-30 into truly full production should be their priority.

    • Sian

      The whole point of .300BLK is ease of conversion. Slap a different barrel onto the SU16 and rake in the money while the hype is still hot. Even Kel-Tec should be able to pull that off.

      • Komrad

        Would they need to tune the gas system or springs at all?
        I would think they would, but a different sized gas port and ordering different springs would not be an issue.

  • Its a perfect marriage.

    I heard rumors a while back that they had a PLR16 in the works in .300 AAC, but believe me when I say that it was wild rumor… none the less, Thats what I would want one in.

    • noob

      a PLR-16 in .300BLK… if the ordinary PLR-16 clocks in at 2700fps with 5.56, would the .300 BLK have even better velocities vs the long barrel .300BLK?

      might elevate the PLR16 from being a plinker to being a serious PDW.

      The honey badger should get 1,010 fps out of the 6″ barrel using subsonic .300BLK, and the PLR16 is designed with a 7″ barrel.

      heck, is it possible to replace the barrel in the PLR16 without too much angst? make a Civilian Badger?

      • Bruce Layne

        The PLR-16 has a 9.2″ barrel, not a 7″ barrel. However, because it has a gas system over top of the barrel and not direct impingement like AR-15 based pistols, there is no buffer tube sticking out the back, so a PLR-16 has a barrel that is more than 2″ longer, but the overall length is 2″ shorter than a Carbon-15 pistol.

        From what I’ve read, 300 BLK has good performance out of a shorter barrel. The SU-16 in 300 BLK uses a shorter gas system than the .223 SU-16, and that would be an even easier conversion for the PLR-16 than it was for the SU-16.

        I’ve been wanting a 300 BLK PLR-16 for some time. You can bet I’ll be hitting KTWM up about this.

  • Bill

    what they need to do is get production up for the products they already have in line cuz I can’t seem to find anything from them from any of my suppliers. And stop with the random inventory distribution it’s so annoying!

    • gmanaz

      Agreed. They design cool guns but you can never seem to find them anywhere.

      • I think the Kel-Tec black rifles have a hard time keeping up with the modular AR Lego rifles. The AR can be just about whatever you want, and the Kel-Tecs pretty much just are what they are.

    • Yes, Kel-Tec is a very engineering heavy company. The upside is that they innovate, rather than just pushing more 1911 and AR-15s, the downside is that they have neglected the marketing and distribution side of the business.

    • From the Kel-Tec FAQ:

      I’m a dealer, why can’t I get Kel-Tec firearms?

      We are asked this question a lot, actually. Kel-Tec is a distributor exclusive manufacturer, which means we have no control over which dealers receive our weapons. We have over 30 distributors nationwide that we rotate shipments between regularly. Once the shipments leave our facilities, we have no say as to where they go. There is a high demand for our weapons as well, which definitely contributes to the lack of availability. We are always working to increase our production to meet demand. So the short answer is: demand outpacing supply in conjunction with our inability to control the product distribution passed the wholesale level.

      Very frustrating.

  • I suppose there are uses for subsonic .30’s, but a PDW isn’t one of them IMO.

    • Sian

      Should be just the thing for hog hunting though.

  • Mechman

    I’d get one. Almost cheaper than converting one of my ARs to .300, and more guns is always good.

  • Axel Nordberg

    Could someone PLEASE explain the .300 blk hype to me?

    I would LOVE to see a good analysis and write up explaining it’s growing popularity.

    • Komrad

      It’s a subsonic rifle round that is .308 caliber. Pretty much, you can load/buy subsonic loads for suppressed applications or buy higher velocity ammo for other purposes.
      I don’t quite get it either, but it does sound very cool.

    • dg13

      300BLK hype explained:
      -Bigger bullet (.308 size)
      -Good velocity (2000+fps)
      -SAME .223 magazines can be used
      -SAME capacity of .223 mags (30 rounds of .300BLK fits in a 30 round .223mag)
      -wide range of velocity available in factory ammo, Subsonics or supersonics.
      -Little change to the gun design itself (usually just the barrel).

      Think of it this way…
      It’s like rechambering your 9mm pistols for .45ACP while still being able to use the same size gun, and same size mags, filled to the same capacity.

      • Alex-mac

        Don’t forget less muzzle blast, noise and flash.

    • Sian

      .300BLK is essentially the attempt to fire 7.62×39 in an AR, but adapted to not suck as much as trying to fire 7.62×39 in a converted AR, and with the added goal of having a good heavy subsonic round for suppressed use on the same platform.

      That design goal makes it astoundingly easy to adapt for other firearms designed to use .223/5.56 (just swap barrel)

    • The concept has been around for a long time as the .300 Whisper (they are basically identical and compatible). 7.62x39mm rounds loaded for subsonic velocities are pretty much the same concept.

      The problem with introducing a new cartridge is the chicken and egg problem. You need both guns and ammo available for the general public to adopt it (beyond the hardcore reloading wildcatter enthusiasts). The reason the .300 Whisper is taking off now is because Remington has the ability to produce both the ammo and guns AND were able to get SAAMI to standardize the cartridge.

  • Lance

    Waste of money again. 5.56mm or 6.5 Grendel is cheaper.

    • Tommy

      Oh yeah, that 6.5 is so cheap and plentiful. In fact the Russians switched from 5.45 to 6.5 because it was so much cheaper.

    • Komrad

      Lance and Grendel sitting in a tree…

  • Chuck

    @cmblake6 – RE: a subsonic 300 not being suitable for a PDW – depends on how the PDW is used. Remington and DPMS seem to be using a 1-in-7 twist rate which should stabilize just about everything. Switching to a slower twist – say, 1 in 9.5 or 10 – will leave larger (slower) bullets marginally stabilized. 300 Whisper / 300/221 Fireball have used 240 grain Sierra Matchkings to very good effect at close range because at a slower rotational rate (a side effect of lower velocity) they tumble on impact. IIRC, max velocity (within established pressures) for a 240 grain bullet/16 inch barrel in Whisper is about 1350, 300 BLK will probably be about the same. Slow the twist, shorten the barrel to 12″, and you’ve got a fairly compact rifle that throws a long half ounce slug with about 1K ft/lb of muzzle energy and which tumbles on impact. I suspect it’ll be a decent 200-250 meter rifle in that configuration, and with a wrench, swapping barrels on an AR to a faster twist tube takes only a few minutes. Swapping uppers is even faster.

    Staying subsonic shortens the useful range, but subsonic Whispers seem to work well out to 200. 10″-12″ barrel with a short can would make a pretty good house carbine.

    With lighter bullets, and supersonic velocities, you’ve got a “7.62X39 equivalent” in the AR platform. What’s not to like?

    • El Duderino

      I have seen the pictures of barrel removal of an SU-16. There is a ton of blue Lock-Tite in there. They would have to change their manufacturing to make it a switch barrel, unless they want to start including a hand torch with every rifle.

  • Tommy

    This would be great if they could have a gas shutoff valve for truly silent operation. The reciprocating charging handle makes it easier to action than ARs. Then you could flick it if you need to go semi.

    • Komrad

      I don’t know much about Kel-Tecs, but if they already have an adjustable gas valve, that should be a pretty easy change to make.

  • Duray

    Kel-tec rep on KTOG forum just implicitly confirmed it. Check out the comment(s) by KTWM here:

    I’ve been waiting for this gun!!!

  • Vhyrus

    I would MUCH rather see an ‘SU-47’ that takes 7.62 x 39 and takes AK mags.

  • Matt Gregg

    The barrels on the PLR-16 and SU-16 are not easily changed.

  • Alan

    This is indisputably a Tier 1 firearm that has Kel-Tec’s proven track record for durability and precision engineering combined with the battle-proven, low-cost .300 BLK cartridge.

    • Alex-mac

      I think your getting a little carried away.
      Kel tecs weapons are known for being lightweight and innovative, not for being unusually durable.

      The are absolutely not known for their precision engineering although it perhaps would be unfair to say they have problems with quality control now.

      The .300 BLK is not battle proven. If by that you mean it’s actually been used in many battles and it’s effectiveness somehow measured. Or perhaps your referring to it being a 30 caliber, in which case I would agree with you.

      • El Duderino

        I think he was being sarcastic. No, Kel-Tec is not Knight’s Armaments, Colt, or LWRC. .300 AAC BLK might end up being a flash in the pan; for example, I believe with the SAAMI certification of the 6.5 Grendel, the 6.8 might be on the way down.

        I own a SU-16CA that ended up becoming an M4gery with the pistol grip, M4 stock, compact forend, and Magpul AFG2. Some break-in issues, but I think the design takes the good parts from the AK and mates them with pluses from AR platforms. Especially now that suppressors are legal to mount in WA, a .300 AAC BLK SU-16 would be a lot of fun. Maybe call it an SU-30BLK?

  • Alex-mac

    Noone is going to be changing any Kel tec barrels easily. You’ll need to buy the weapon separately. But they currently have a PLR-16 pistol as well as SBR versions of the PLR with 9 and 12 inch barrels. So perhaps they’ll have the same lineup in .300 BLK. They also have lower grips that are AR stock compatible.

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  • Ricky

    Ooh, I just had an interesting thought. Attaching an M203 to the bottom of it, semi auto fire on top and a grenade launcher on bottom.

    Interesting to see, but I would be seriously surprised if anyone actually did it.

    • El Duderino