More Fun With Small Calibers: The Kel-Tec PMR-30

Image from Impact Guns.

Kel-Tec is taken fairly serious by firearms enthusiasts as a manufacturer of low-priced but functional firearms. They’re probably best known for the compact 9mm P-11, a popular off-duty choice for law enforcement officers and other concealed carry applications. Its smaller cousin the .32 caliber P-32 also gets some play for its extreme small size. Their long guns haven’t proved as popular over the years, though their new(ish) bullpup-configuration carbine the RFB looks reasonably interesting if you’re into that sort of thing.

The newest Kel-Tec offering causing a bit of a buzz seems to support my observations about a move toward the adoption of lower-caliber rounds that allow for a very high capacity magazines, as with the FN Five-seveN. It’s the forthcoming Kel-Tec PMR-30, a full-sized semi-automatic intended as a plinker or target pistol, but potentially powerful enough to serve as a grab-and-go gun in case the zombies and/or invading space aliens start flooding down your street.

It also carries up to 30 rounds in a single magazine. I’m sure that is going to make everyone real, real happy in this “charged political environment.”

The best part is that it retails for just about $300 right now — at least, if prices online are any indication of out-the-door-price  (they aren’t — at least, not in most states).

What I mean by a “grab-and-go” gun is that the PMR-30 is chambered in .22 WMR Magnum, which is a reasonably easy round to carry a whole lot of, but could potentially serve reasonably well in a pinch to hunt small game with reasonable efficiencies…even large game if you have to, and in self-defense applications.

What I’m saying is…not to put too fine a point on it, is…when you run for the hills, you can shoot squirrels with it without completely, you know, destroying them. Cook those critters up on the radiator of your 4×4, and you’ve got a tasty squirrelburger. (Hope you brought the hoagies!) You’d probably be better off shooting squirrels with a .22 Long Rifle — but hey, that’s the point. The .22 WMR round can also kill zombies, which I wouldn’t necessarily count on a .22 LR to do. At average loadings, the .22 WMR provides about twice the velocity and 2-3 times the foot-pounds of impact as a .22 LR.

“WMR” stands for “Winchester Magnum Rimfire,” and rimfire rounds tend to be lighter and less expensive, which is why the world’s most popular rimfire cartridge, the .22 Long Rifle, is the world’s most popular and typically most budget-priced round.

The .22 WMR, however, is not generally considered a competitor of the .22 LR, but of the .17 HMR (“Hornady Magnum Rimfire”) which is basically a necked-down .22 Magnum, which I’ve heard tends to be more accurate in rifles. But the PMR-30’s configuration is clearly based on the classic .22 LR pistols that are the mainstay of target shooting in the United States, like the Ruger Mark III, Smith & Wesson Model 22, and the old Colt Woodsman.

Unfortunately, the price of shootin’ is going to go up if you switch from .22 LR to .22 WMR — from about 5 to 10 cents a round (or less in bulk) for a .22 LR to something like 25 to 30 cents a round for .22 WMR (.17 HMR is roughly comparable).

And if you want a 30-round magazine to bring home your gopher dinner and keep you safe from the zombies while you’re getting it, this sounds like the pistol to go for.

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2 comments on “More Fun With Small Calibers: The Kel-Tec PMR-30
  1. > Unfortunately, the price of shootin’ is going to go up if you switch from .22 LR to .22 WMR — from about 5 to 10 cents a round (or less in bulk) for a .22 LR to something like 25 to 30 cents a round for .22 WMR (.17 HMR is roughly comparable).

    Still, that cost beats all heck out of shooting fun – 1919 Lee-Enfield Model III*. I love this rifle to pieces – having watched too many movies like “Zulu” in my younger days – but .303 British ammo is getting pricey enough that I wince after each miss.

    I can’t imagine where folks who fire full-auto rifle-class weapons get the money to pay for the ammo for a day’s shooting…

  2. @Anthony — Yeah, I have NO idea how anyone can afford to shoot anything other than .22 LR. It adds up so quickly, and to actually learn to shoot *well* you have to expend enough ammo that it ends up really being a huge investment beyond the firearm. I think that’s actually a little scary, because how many people out there have invested in weapons that they subsequently don’t have the cash to shoot well? Government subsidies for 9mm! Wait…did I say that out loud?

    It’s even worse from a historical perspective. I write a lot of fiction set before 1950 and would like to shoot some historical firearms to get a feel for them. I shot a Thompson ONCE in Las Vegas, and $60 (and about 5 seconds) later I will never do it again. It is actually pretty amazing how much holding one of those on full auto changed my perspective on the famous gunfights of the gangster era. But MAN it is pricey to shoot. With the cost of .45 ACP even if you owned one it would be freakin’ expensive. Especially since I felt like with the Thompson I would have had to put about 1000 rounds through it just to get the hang of not jamming it from backing off on the trigger on full-auto.

    Firing a 1919 Lee-Enfield must be even more expensive — but what a cool rifle to have. Serious piece of history.

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