Survival Gear Review: Kel-Tec RFB

Wow, what a fun rifle.  Although its design is strictly business, the Kel-Tec RFB is just plain cool.  Kel-Tec is a company that thinks outside survival riflethe box and is not afraid to be different, which is evident from their KSG Shotgun design.  When you first put the Kel-Tec RFB up to your shoulder it just feels good.  After blowing through a few mags, you quickly gain a comfortable level with the rifle and you are ready to throw some serious lead down range.  Truth be told, the first few shots were bang then click, no follow up feed, dang.  Depression set in quick as we broke down the rifle to determine if we needed to reapply oil to different moving parts.  After that did not work, we tried a host of different ammo but encountered the same problem.  Then we remembered what a wise man once said, “Oh yea, the gas setting”. Duh. We cranked it and it responded, not one hiccup after that.

The Wolf Ammo Test

After getting familiar with the bullpup style rifle and tinkering with the gas settings, we then decided to put the RFB through the Wolf survival rifleAmmo test (If it eats Wolf, it will work with anything).  We went through countless mags Wolf ammo, we followed that up with some German NATO surplus, all rounds feed and fired flawlessly.  The fact that no brass was being flung by the Kel-Tec RFB took a little getting used to, the RFB stands for Rifle, Forward-ejecting Bullpup. The brass is guided into a tube above the barrel and is pushed out by more brass or will drop out when the muzzle is pointed down at the ground.

The effect is that left handed shooters don’t get hot casings bouncing off their forehead, nice KEL-Tec Rifle Reviewtouch.  The rifle is ambidextrous with only really one adjustment to be made, move the charging handle over and you are in business.  The safety lever is big and easy to read, the magazine release is on center of the mag well and drops them straight down for easy changes.  One thing that I love is that the RFB accepts standard metric FAL type magazines which you can typically pick up on Gun Broker or at gun shows.


Caliber:                                                  NATO 7.62×51 (.308)
Weight unloaded (no magazine):   8.1 lbs
Length:                                                   26″
Barrel length:                                        18″
Magazine:                                              10 or 20 (FAL)
Practical range:                                    600m
MSRP                                                      $1,880.00


We usually list the pro’s first but I wanted to get this one gripe out of the way early, the charging handle got really close to the mounting shtf rifleknob on the scope we were using (EOTech & Aimpoint M4s).  It didn’t impact the knob, but did cause a pinch point on the index finger.  The scope we preferred on the Kel-Tec RFB was the Aimpoint M4’s Comp, really nice piece of gear.  We mounted the scope back a little and that cured the problem, but it seemed that it might be an issue with other scopes and lights.  There are tactical charging handles available, although we didn’t have one to play with, so I cannot comment on its effectiveness.


More of the pluses, .308, box magazine fed, less than 28” in total length for the 18” barrel unit,survival rifle threaded barrel, and weighs in at about 9 lbs with loaded mag.  That last item might seem like a minus, but for what it was designed for and what it is capable of, that would be nit-picking.  When you put it up to your shoulder, due to the short length and the fact that a lot of the weight is near the rear of the rifle, it just doesn’t feel that heavy.  Maybe it was the big smile on my face and the smile on my fellow shooters, that makes me think this way, but it did not feel too heavy at all.

Granted we were all experienced shooters and fit mountain dwellers, so your mileage may vary.  All that being said, I think this rifle wouldSurvival Rifle work for most able bodies. The kick and muzzle rise was far less than my bolt action hunting rifles, I credit the action and weight for that.  Let’s focus on the distance and targets we were shooting at. We paced off 60 yards, set up a 10” gong and self righting knock-down target. First off 3/16” chain does not stand up well to .308 rounds. One link was hit and was not located, another was hit and was severed clean, like it was cut by a laser.  We did not use a bench, that has been done by others.

Also Read: Kel-Tec KSG Shotgun Review

We stood up with a head wind at around 10-20 MPH, cool weather and cloud cover.  Once weKel Tec Rifle Review got the gas knob adjusted, the metal was singing. Most rounds hit their target with ease, quick follow-ups were hitting home or close.  I would say we weren’t looking to test its MOA, it was pure function and fun.  This beast proved to be a capable heavy hitter pushing the 7.62×51 down range.  I would love to put a thousand or two rounds through this rifle to see if it can hold up.  My guess would be that it will hold up just fine, it is serious piece of metal.

Shock & Awe

We tested its ergonomics inside a vehicle, probably as good as it gets.  The package is second to none in compact size and firepower, it survival rifleeasily transitions from right to left firing.  I think the Kel-Tec RFB’s sweet spot might be convoy ops during SHTF.  If you are forced to travel or bug out during a crisis and you have the Kel-Tec RFB riding shotgun, you will have a serious contender for unexpected problems.  Why is it great for convoy ops?  This rifle, that is easily manipulated in a confined space, has stand off capability, 20 round mags, and it packs a punch with 150+ grain bullets.

We discussed how you would attach a scope and white light to this rifle.  There are options butsurvival rifle the rail system on the Kel-Tec RFB is limited.  Of course bright lights have their place, to be sure, but firing this beast in an enclosed area, i.e. building, truck, etc., will most surely deafen you so bring your electronic muffs, if you don’t have any, get some because this bad boy is loud.  The best option for this rifle in my mind, seems to be back up hard sites and top mounted optics.

The Battle Bullpup

A lot of you think that battle rifles are serious tools for serious people, and you would be mostly correct.  For most of us at this point in survival rifletime, they are pure fun, that is what the 2nd Amendment haters don’t understand.  They need to go to a range, or gulley, or desolate field with a few hundred rounds and blast away.  Sorry almost lost my focus there.  So why would you purchase one of these?  If you want heavy hitting, accurate, standard ammo eating, property and family defending firepower, this rifle fits the bill.  Add the facts that it is compact, American made, and just plain bad ass, well it is hard to go wrong with this Kel-Tec offering. I hope to get some more field time with this rifle and provide you with some updates.  I have some hunting loads and more Russian stuff to throw at it. It’s an ugly job, but someone has to do it.

Written by Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here. Read more of Joel's articles.

20 thoughts on “Survival Gear Review: Kel-Tec RFB”

  1. How was the loudness? I'd imagine that popping off a short barreled .308 inside a car might knock you unconscious from the sound alone. Kind of like when Rick fired his Python inside the tank during the first walking dead episode. One of the few accurate gun events, if you ask me.

  2. Well we were wearing plugs and more, so can't speak to the real level, but yea it would hurt. Many experienced people say that in the heat of battle you don't notice it . I will take their word on it, but I will always try to wear my plugs. Being that the barrel is threaded, a can would be almost mandatory for any normal person. Anyone out there have any real life experience with popping off in a car or…?

    Walking Dead October 12th!

  3. While I love the bull-pup configuration, at least $2000 (remember taxes) is just too much money! I can buy almost three mini-14's with that amount (yes, they fire .223 ammo), and they make bull-pup stocks for them. And what? No bayonet mount, some battle rifle! I think I'll stick with my FAL, battle proven weapon!

  4. i heard the kel-tec 2000? had some problems so i would be nervous buying a kel-tec product myself, thanks for a good review though…

  5. I have YET, to see an actual RFB, in any LGS, where I now live. While I see them in articles in blogs and magazines, nary a one in real life.While the purchase price as stated here seems a bit on the high side, I "think", there are far better, more accurate true battle rifles out there, for several hundred less. However, IF, I wanted one, I'm sure I could find one on GB, or other auction sites, IF, I wanted one that badly.(which I don't at present) I like Kel-Tec Products, haven't had any of the ones I currently own go south on me, yet, so that is a good thing. Just wish the RFB was "real", and available in this part of the West, because, I think they are "imaginary" at this point.

  6. PARA-FAL, folding stock… almost the same, and no crazy internal ramps and stuff to mess with. Neat idea, but not longevity-proven. I'm with you… I'll keep my FALs.

  7. I have one and I love it. Kel-Tec has wonderful customer service. I sent a very early production P11 with a terrible trigger and they fixed it and sent it back no charge. I also sent my RFB to them just after I bought it (had not fired it yet) when I suspected it had been abused by the previous owner. Same deal. If and when you find one buy it. Everyone needs a battle rifle which fits in a backpack! It's comfortable to shoot, very compact, runs clean, great trigger, accurate, and hard-hitting. When the new RDB comes out (.223 bullpup, drops the spend casings straight down out the rear) I will give my AR to my Army Guard son.

  8. RFB that sez it all for me and 2,000 bucks at some point I would rather have more of an AR platform I bet I could get 3 for that price No I do not see an upside to a 2,000 dollar rifle that has not been battle tested I'll pass.

    RFB did anyone think that through what a bad grouping of letters I ended up with a Kel-tec in a trade glad It was like a freebe or I would have really been upset it was not so hot it would hang now and again like every mag.

    now I know that maybe this might be a great rifle but I look at a rifle as a weapon like bayonet or buttstroke
    I have yet to find a pistol grip or bullpup that does either well I figure the bayonet lug is to keep your blade where you dont loose it and it is not jamming you in the side when you try to sit down.

    Looking at the KIA ratios since the Civil war WWI & WWII numbers have gone down except for the air support
    numbers they get the ratio way up.
    Bayonets are getting shorter I do not get it, in one afternoon more losses than in 14 years and 2 conflicts
    the population is 5 times larger or more and our enemies are worse and more numerous it's a puzzle to me.

  9. Yes….loved it but. I could not get it to shoot a mag full of different ammo. No way. This is a show stopper for me.
    Kel tek please somehow make it reliable with all ammo and I will buy another. Love it otherwise.

  10. I have an early Sub 2000 40 cal. and just ran across an RFB yesterday. I bought it and an FN FNAR both for hog hunts primarily. I have backpacked with the 2000 many times and never had an issue. It may be unconventional but its not unreliable.

  11. Purchased one of these Kel Tec .RFB Gen 2 18" 308's last Fall and have close to 2k mixed manufactured ammo through it now. Did several night Hog hunts with it mounting a Raptor 4x on it. This BullPup works flawlessly. Very nice smooth trigger squeeze along with a very nice reset. Love this gun, it is very comfortable to shoot and it is extremely accurate …


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