The First Ever Kel-Tec Factory Tour Video

KEL-TEC

This video was done by Hank Strange who has a popular channel on YouTube. Before you ask no it’s not his real name and yes we all gave him hell over his Mohawk haircut! I first met Hank at the Big 3 writers event a few weeks ago. He’s a heck of a nice guy and puts out some very good videos.He was also in the group invited to test the Tac-Con 3MR trigger which Sam wrote up.He has videos of the writers shooting AR’s equipped with this new trigger system on his YouTube channel.

Hank emailed me to let me know he had a new video ready of the first ever tour of the Kel-Tec factory. That peaked my interest personally and I felt our readers would enjoy it. It answers a number of the many questions you’ve all asked about Kel-Tec production, new products and other changes affecting higher production and greater availability.

I’ll tell you now the video is long at just over one hour. It’s thorough though and covers all but one area of the plant.That part had prototypes of new guns in it so obviously that’s off limits.

I sincerely hope you find it interesting and useful in answering your questions.


Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • clinton notestine

    video is only available to like 3 people at a time

    • iksnilol

      Just like their products.

      Seriously though, Kel-Tec are good folks.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        They really are. Even if you had no direct contact it comes through in the video very well.

  • ColaBox

    None of those firearms will ever see the light of day.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Why not? They ship 3000 per week.

      • Ozzallos

        Where upon they all go to gunbroker to sell at 3x the price :)

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          I wish they didn’t but you do have a point.

    • KM

      Maybe because people CCW them and never take them to the range? if they did the lack in reliability would be more apparent. They are quite pocketable though

  • Kyle

    I expected to see one milling machine and a drill press with the rate they get guns out.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      They have a bunch. I caught that figure of shipping 3000 guns per week.

      • gunslinger

        whoa. 55 machines with more on the way?

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          Yea he said another 25 for the new building. That and they turn out all models everyday. They don’t do one gun then shift to another like some of us thought.

          • gunslinger

            I’m surprised they would make a gun and switch to another model after it’s completed.

            Granted, i didn’t have time to watch the tour, but i would think (and i’ve seen many manufacturing facilities) that they would run a number of shifts to “batch” one type, then do the change over and make another batch before going to a new model again.

            unless there is no “downtime” associated with change overs (which i find hard to believe) i can then see making one-off’s

  • ChuckyTee

    He is walking around with a rifle on his back,,,really?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Yes but not usually. He was probably in the middle of something when they arrived. He does say they are all armed in some manner.

    • Hank Strange

      That is Chad for you, he’s a really cool guy and a big reason I was able to do the tour!

  • wetcorps

    I love how, whenever Kel-Tec is mentioned, nobody talks about anything but their unavailability ^^

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      LOL—always. I have a KSG. It’s number two. The first one was messed up and jammed a lot. They had a recall and fix on an updated model. Since then no problems at all with anything. No malfunctions, no finish problems. Mine was one of the first batches and as sometimes happens it had problems.
      Of course Ruger and just about everyone have had problems with new guns.

      • HKGuns

        Yep, my KSG, a later model, has had exactly one failure. Other than that it has been very reliable and it doesn’t have a lot of reliable competition.

        I’ve always thought HK + KelTec would be a great company.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          Interesting idea. Kel-Tec for product design and H&K to build them. That would be some combo indeed.

          • gunslinger

            would make the Duke Nukem Forever project actually good.

            THIS would be true vaporware.

          • Michael

            They would then be unavailable (KelTec) and Unaffordable H&K)

  • Mystick

    I was not impressed with the Kel-Tec I owned. I don’t know what kind of finish was placed on the slide – some form of Parkerization, I think – of my P-11 9mm, but atmospheric moisture alone caused rust spots, leading to some pitting and other blemishes… nothing affecting the operation, however. This despite wiping it down with an oiled cloth after use when cleaning. I eventually removed the coating entirely, resulting in a prettier gun, I might add.

    As far as the operation goes, the slide release was near impossible depress unless you had “the knack” and some thumb strength. I had many friends whom were completely unable to use it. After only about 400 rounds, the extractor cracked and ceased functioning, necessitating a repair.

    I may have received a lemon, but based on my purchase, I cannot recommend Kel-Tec products from the late 90’s. I was happy to get rid of mine.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      That was one thing I noticed in the video. They stopped using that coating and went to cerakote primarily with some parkerizing on smaller parts.

      • Mystick

        Well, it’s good that they changed that process.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          agreed!

  • Hank Strange

    Thanks For Highlighting this Video Phil, although it was a ton of work, we figured the folks out there pro or con Kel-Tec would like to take a peek inside the factory and behind the scenes. BTW you will definitely See a RMR or what is now going to be called the “CMR” (brand name trade mark issues) and that RDB is a sweet rifle to shoot (I did get a chance to shoot it, just couldn’t record it yet), I can’t wait to see it hit the stores either!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I definitely want to see that come along! I’m really interested in the RDB!!!

      And you are very welcome. There’s so much in the video that addresses questions readers have asked for well over a year.

      Great job!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      My pleasure buddy it’s just to good not to share with our readers. I know I’ve watched it twice and gotten something new from it each time.
      Ah conflict with the RMR optic—makes sense. Hey how do you like that extended selector switch on your KSG? I’ve been looking at it but just haven’t decided yet.

      • Hank Strange

        It’s definitely more pronounced, therefore easier to find without looking, is it absolutely necessary? That’s the debate!

  • http://thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Sam Cadle (Staff Writer, TFB)

    I can attest to Hank being a super guy… Got to spend three days in AZ with him at the TAC-CON event, good shooter too. Heck, I even ended up in a couple of his videos…

    Love this video, its a really good look at how a manufacturer works.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      He sure has a real a hunger for any and all information on just about any gun.

      • Hank Strange

        that’s cause I don’t know anything, lol!

        • http://thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Sam Cadle (Staff Writer, TFB)

          You know a lot more then you give yourself credit for.

          Wise man once told me “fake it ’til you make it…”

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          eh–I wouldn’t say that.

    • Hank Strange

      Thanks Sam…It was fun just watching you shoot, you need to patent that trigger finger dude!

      • http://thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Sam Cadle (Staff Writer, TFB)

        That’s from years and years of pulling triggers.

        You’ll get there.

  • hydepark

    I was assuming the video would show a few cavemen sitting around a dimly lit room banging on a bunch of big blocks of plastic while a scientist in a wheel chair sat in the corner screaming, “Mine fuhrer, we’re making as few as posssssible!!”

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Ehh be nice–I didn’t hear one German accent in the entire video:-)

      • hydepark

        It was a reference to Dr. Strangelove.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          I’m just messing with you:-)

  • KM

    I am surprised that there was a shortage of monkeys banging polymer frames with hammers till malformed. Now I am completely out of theories for the bad production quality

  • John E Davies

    Just to throw a grammatical shoe into the works of your article:

    “The verb pique means to make someone angry or annoyed. But when something piques your interest or curiosity, here the verb pique just means to arouse, stimulate, or excite.”

    Somehow I doubt that your interest seas peaked….

    Anyway, interesting video. Thanks.

    John Davies
    Spokane WA

  • Alex

    With all of the fabulous Gun manufactures in Florida ( Knights Armament,
    Spikes, etc.) why waste your time at Kel Tec. Kel Tec is one of the
    worst manufactures in the firearm industry, ever notice how the Kel Tecs
    are always way above MSRP? This is not because its a quality product.
    This is done to create rarity and drive up prices. This seems to be a
    very successful model for the guys over at kel tec but it doesn’t make
    their guns any better and only hurts the consumer. Just curious Hank,
    will you post the MSRP of the kel tecs you own and then post the price
    you actually paid…….I would be very curious to see!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I don’t believe for a minute they intentionally do that to increase prices. Remember it’s the distributors that up the prices and make the lions share of profit.
      Why the price request. It varies so much place to place it wouldn’t mean much.

    • floppyscience

      “ever notice how the Kel Tecs are always way above MSRP? This is not because its a quality product. This is done to create rarity and drive up prices. ”

      You do realize that Kel-Tec’s profits don’t change when retailers charge more, right? KT sells guns to distributors for the same price, they send them to retailers, and retailers are the ones who make more money when they sell a KSG for $1500. The price you pay for your Kel-Tec at the gun store has no effect on the company whatsoever.

  • Chris

    Too late on those new machines, Kel-Tec! My state banned your lovely Sub 2K (very specifically). I only ever saw one ONCE, but it didn’t take glock mags otherwise I would have gotten it. :-(

  • floppyscience

    I have to say, I just love George Kellgren hiding in his shipping container lab, doing that mad science he does.

    I’m really surprised Kel-Tec has such a big facility and puts that much stuff out. It certainly doesn’t seem like they’re putting out 200 KSGs a day, but I guess that speaks to the demand for their products.