Kel-Tec SU-16 CA – Range Report and Video
Arrived at my favorite target range this morning at 7:20 and got a few hours alone with my new Kel-Tec SU-16 CA and 250 rounds of .223. I’ll have a written report this week, but for now, enjoy a video report of my range experience with the nifty, black carbine.
I brought with me 2 AR-15 30-rnd magazines with 25 rounds each and two 100-rnd. boxes of Federal.223 from Wal-Mart. Affixed to the rail of the SU-16 CA was a Vortex Strike Fire red dot sight. When I finally got set up, I slipped in a 30-round mag and let the bolt go to chamber a round. I aimed dead center on the circular target at 50 yds and observed that the round struck the paper about a foot low and 2-3 inches to the right. Hmmm… a foot low at 50 yds is pretty far off. I suspected that I mounted the sight incorrectly but did not have the time to remove it, check the alignment, and re-mount the sight as the skies were rapidly darkening – bearing out the forecast’s 60% chance of rain. So, three shots at a time, I ‘walked’ the point of impact up the target until I ran out of adjustment when the point of impact was centered left to right, but still about 2 inches low.
My optics woes notwithstanding, the Kel-Tec performed flawlessly, It ate all 250 rnds. of Federal and Remington .223 without a single issue. By the end of the session, the SU-16 was shooting fairly tight groups at 75 yards, despite the optics difficulties. Although I did initially miss the pistol grip found on AR models, I got used to the ‘rifle’ feel of the Kel-Tec in short order. It is extremely light, at under 5 lbs, and very ergonomic. The checkering on the handguard and stock provides a nice surface for a solid grip on the carbine while shooting. I cannot report on the ‘iron’ sights of the Ket-Tec SU-16 CA as I had to remove the rear sight to affix the Vortex sight.
A few words about the ‘controls’. The safety is located just behind the trigger where the trigger guard meets the stock and takes some getting used to before it can be activated and deactivated without looking. The magazine release is in the conventional spot just forward of the trigger. Some folks have complained about the placement of the release button between two screws just above and below it, but I did not find the location confusing or annoying in any way. The SU-16 does not have an AR-style bolt release lever. Instead, the open bolt is made to slide forward by pulling the bolt lever back slightly and releasing it. It too, took some getting used to, but I actually have come to like this arrangement better than the AR bolt release – just personal preference, though. The trigger pull was smooth and did not require too much effort. It broke smoothly at what I would guess to be about 6-7 lbs. – somewhat less than my AR-15 before the trigger job.
All in all, I found the Kel-Tec SU-16 to be a joy to shoot. It feels great tucked into your shoulder, is reasonably accurate (this will improve, no doubt, when I get the sight mount adjusted), and fired all 250 rounds without a hiccup? And all this for under $600 including the transfer fee, what’s not to like.
Be Safe. Be Prepared.