Preview of the Kel-Tec PMR-30 22 Rimfire Magnum Semi-Auto Pistol


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

May 28th, 2010




Click links below for video!

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As I write this, I just got back yesterday from a quick trip down to Florida to visit the Kel-Tec factory. I was impressed by what I saw at the Kel-Tec CNC factory. Everything there is very clean and efficient. State-of-the-art CNC equipment is set up in a very modern factory, operated by competent employees who seem to know what they are doing, and to care about the products which they are manufacturing. Raw bar stock of steel or aluminum is loaded into a machine, and finished parts come out the other end, ready to be heat-treated and finished. The machines work at amazing speeds, and the parts exiting those machines need little if any human hand-work. Robots weld parts together into assemblies ready to be finished, with capable craftsmen (and women) assembling the weapons, sending them on to Quality Control, then to Packaging.

The only thing missing that is seen in most other factories is inventory. Kel-Tec does not have nor do they need a vault to hold the finished weapons awaiting shipment. With the demand for Kel-Tec products being so high, the weapons are all sold before being built, and are shipped out when they are finished. Kel-Tec products are in great demand, and even operating at a fast, efficient pace, the factory still cannot meet consumer demand. From what I observed, the situation is likely to remain as such for a long time, as the demand for the Kel-Tec pistols and carbines is still very high, and interesting new products are in the works.

This brings me to the primary reason for my visit to Kel-Tec; to shoot the new PMR-30 semi-auto pistol. This new pistol is chambered for the very efficient 22 Rimfire Magnum cartridge, which is one of my favorites. This dandy little cartridge offers good penetration, reliable expansion, and low recoil. I have other 22 Magnum pistols, and enjoy shooting them. However, the Kel-Tec PMR-30 excites me. This new pistol has a magazine capacity of thirty rounds, an ambidextrous thumb safety, and a very good trigger pull. All of this is packed into a pistol that weighs about 19 ounces, fully loaded! A gun such as this is a delight to carry all day on the trail, bumming around the woods or while working, hunting, fishing, or hiking outdoors. The 22 Magnum cartridge has enough power to repel all but the large bears. For use against what most of us are going to encounter in the woods, such as a pack of wild dogs or a pack of thugs with ill intentions, a fist-full of 22 Magnum cartridges fired rapidly and accurately will do the job very efficiently. I often carry a 22 Magnum revolver while afield, and if this PMR-30 is fairly accurate, it will replace that revolver on my side. Fully loaded it will carry 31 rounds, compared to the revolverís eight round capacity. Almost four times the firepower, and the Kel-Tec weighs a lot less.

I got to fire the PMR-30 briefly, just testing the function, but not for accuracy. The pistol ran really well. Kel-Tec even had a full-auto version with a buttstock available, and I got to play with that a bit as well. Production of the PMR-30 is scheduled to start within a month, and I will have one here for testing for accuracy and reliability with various brands and types of ammunition.

I have high hopes for this new pistol. It has the potential to fill a need that really needs filling. If the production gun lives up to my expectations, I will buy at least two of them. The PMR-30 will be priced around $460 or so, but will likely sell for under 400 bucks at the retail level. Keep watching for a full review, hopefully very soon.

In the mean time, if you have a high-speed connection, watch the video. Notice the lack of muzzle rise, and the smoothness at which this weapon can empty a magazine. One month; thatís what they tell me. I am highly optimistic, but the wait is killing me.

Jeff Quinn


Kel-Tec factory.

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Click pictures for a larger version.


Kel-Tec PMR-30 22 Magnum semi-auto pistol.



Thirty-shot magazine.



Kel-Tec's Toby Obermeit with a full-auto version of the PMR-30.