Kel-Tec PMR-30: Top Handgun Reviews


Kel Tec CNC Industries is a privately held corporation that was founded in 1991. At its inception, Kel-Tec only manufactured firearms parts for Grendel Incl. But, in 1995 they started manufacturing firearms with their first pistol being P-11 (Kel Tec claims that it is the first 9mm handgun explicitly made for concealed carry purposes.)
Kel Tec’s company page states that they specialize in cutting-edge rifle and pistol designs for CCW to be used by LEOs and the general public. Also, according to Kel Tec, they are among the top-five handgun manufacturers in the United States, and among the largest pistol makers in the world. Kel Tec also is an avid supporter of the second amendment as they pay for NRA membership for all of their employees.

Kel Tec PMR 30

The Kel Tec PMR 30 (”PMR 30”) entered the market in 2011, and has undergone several improvements. For example, keyholing was an issue with the 2011 model; as a result, Kel-Tec increased the barrel rifling ration to 1:11. Also, to eliminate the PMR 30’s frame from drooping, Kel Tec started using a more durable and lighter textured polymer for the frame. Additionally, for user safety reasons, in case a cartridge case separates, Kel Tec added additional metal to the breech of the handgun.

Some features for the current PMR 30 are the following:

  • Easy to mount, red dot, sites via the drilled handgun slide.

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                                  KEL TEC PMR-30

  • Optional 5-inch threaded barrel, which can be purchased to reduce muzzle flash
  • European style, pushbutton, heel release, (located on the bottom of the grip base)which allows for easy activation. The placement of the button on the grip base reduces the chance of an accidental discharge in case PMR 30 is jostled when it handled.
  • Ambidextrous safety
  • 30 round magazine
  • Costs around  $454.55.

PMR-30 Reviews

National Interest blog’s review of the PMR 30 is quite impressive:

The PMR-30 is is light enough to be packed in and forgotten, then punch holes in soda cans in a friendly shooting contest. It is a reliable, low-recoil handgun whose large ammunition capacity can give the user the confidence he or she can live through an extended shooting engagement without reloading. Kel-Tec’s pistol can admirably fill a number of niches, from fun shooting to self defense, offering a little something for everyone. Kel-Tec PMR-30: Most Deadly Handgun on Planet Earth? | The National Interest Blog

National Interest is especially impressed about the 30 round magazine on the PMR 30:

The Kel-Tec PMR-30 blows every other gun out of the water in ammo capacity. The gun’s double-stack magazine holds thirty rounds of .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR) ammunition. That’s five times as many rounds as the typical revolver, more than four times as much as a M1911A1 handgun and 70 percent more ammunition than a Glock 17. Kel-Tec PMR-30: Most Deadly Handgun on Planet Earth? | The National Interest Blog

The review also, addresses the criticisms that .22 caliber is to small to be good choice for self defense.

A soft-shooting gun like the PMR-30 would generate less anxiety for someone afraid of gun recoil, making that person more confident in their shooting abilities—especially during high stress situations. Kel-Tec PMR-30: Most Deadly Handgun on Planet Earth? | The National Interest Blog

The PMR 30, overall, has excellent reviews. Some of the common praises for this handgun are the following:

  • Extremely lightweight (fully loaded the PMR 30 weighs a little over a pound),
  • The high-capacity 30 round magazine
  • Minimal recoil-this makes this gun a potentially good choice for the novice or small-statured gun owner
  • Fiber-optic sites
  • Grips featuring small bumps, which make it easy to hold on to (a slippery grip is a common complaint about the Glock)


There are a few complaints concerning the PMR 30 that frequently come up. Some complaints have nothing to do with the pistol’s quality. For example, Kel Tec does not produce enough pistols to keep up with the demand. Also, some complaints seem somewhat frivolous. For example, to many feel that the PMR 30 is not aesthetically pleasing. It has even been compared to a toy gun. This complaint seems rather petty. However, it could be relevant to some users.

There are however some valid complaints that consistently come up concerning the PMR 30. One complaint is that some find it hard to load the PMR 30 fully. Also, because of this pistol holding 30 rounds, its grip is quite broad, which (for someone with mall hands) can make this pistol hard to grasp.  Additionally, some owners feel that the .22 caliber is insufficient for sell defense

Is the Kel Tec  PMR-30 Good For Self Defense?

At first, glance, because it only uses 22 caliber cartridges, the PMR 30’s use seems limited. However, because of the PMR’s 30 round capacity, and quick action this concern is misguided. First of all, the semi-automatic PMR 30 shoots fast; so, you’ll be able to fire off shots in self-defense quickly. Also, this pistol has minimal recoil. So, this pistol is an excellent self-defense firearm for either the novice gun owner or individuals who cannot physically handle a larger weapon. Finally, as it has a 30 round magazine, accuracy is less of an issue, and you can fire off several rounds quickly.


The PMR-30  uses .22 caliber rounds.  So, based upon a 357 magnum the PMR 30 is underwhelming, and because of this many would feel that this pistol’s use it limited.  However, the lower caliber is suitable for individuals who want a weapon that doesn’t have much recoil, which makes this weapon suitable for either novice shooters or individuals who aren’t comfortable with guns; but, need a reliable self-defense pistol.