Letter Re: Guns for Unobtrusive Backpack Stowage

I am a long time fan of the products from Kel-Tec in Florida. They offer stuff that is affordable, practical and strong. They have gained well deserved notoriety from their credit-card sized .32 and .380 pistols and their folding .223 rifles, but this is not the only compact rifle they offer. Their best backpack offering is the Sub-2000, a folding pistol-caliber rifle that, when collapsed, is only 16.5″ long. It is available in 9mm or .40 S&W, and you choose which type of pistol magazines it feeds from when you buy it (Glock, Beretta, SIG, S&W). Mine is a .40 S&W and feeds from Glock [M23] magazines, so that I have interchangeability between my sidearm and long gun ammo and magazines. It fits handily into a day pack, which is even more stealthy than a full sized backpack. It fits inside the semi-hidden water-bladder pouch in my Camelbak, even when it’s full of water. When hidden behind a half-full water bladder it is very difficult to find even if you’re doing a hand-search of the pack. I’ve had law enforcement friends search it to see if they could find it. None did, unless I told them there was a something in it and to keep looking. The weight of the rifle is concealed beautifully by the water bladder, so it doesn’t even seem heavy enough to be hiding something.
There is a short tac-rail you can purchase that can be used to add a light, laser, pistol grip forend or some combination. The stock is slotted for a single-point sling. It comes with a key that can be used to lock the rifle in the folded position which provides a method to preclude un-authorized use, but there is no way that the lock can possibly interfere with any of the firing components when it’s not in use (unlike many other manufacturer’s built-in locks).
Practical accuracy and “shootability” is very good. I can usually hit a soda can at the 100 yard berm 13 out of 15 shots from offhand. My best bench group is in the 2.25″ range at 100 yards. They are very stealthy too, with a report that is about the same as a .22 LR carbine. Reliability is unprecedented. Mine has never had a single malfunction in over 5,000 rounds fired. Standard velocity ball isn’t much improved in the longer barrel, but any of the hotter defense ammo gets quite a pick up in speed and lethality. CorBon 165 grain loads leave the muzzle a good 150 f.p.s. faster than they do out of a standard pistol barrel. Price is under the $300 mark at most dealers. This is the best stealth carbine ever. – P.M.

JWR Replies: I have never been a big believer in pistol caliber carbines. I’ve met far too many consulting clients that have become enamored with them, at the expense of substantial defensive weapons. Plain and simple: pistol caliber carbines are no substitute for a rifle firing full power cartridges. They are not up to the task of reliably stopping men that seek to do you harm. Buy yourself a .308 and accessories first, and then if your budget permits it consider getting a pistol caliber carbine. With that said, I do see the utility of pistol caliber carbines for specialized purposes such as small game hunting and concealed carry. Again, only if they are seen in their proper role as supplements to a proper battery of full-power battle rifles. In their specialized role, I agree the that the Kel-Tec is one of the best.

Full points, BTW, for your Camelbak concealed carry idea, P.M.. Clever, clever! Most SurvivalBlog readers already own a Camelbak. (If they don’t, they should!) Methinks that the same technique could be used for carrying handguns or other small weapons. Camelbaks (or comparable clones) are available from some of our advertisers like Captain Dave’s and Ready Made Resources, as well as several of our Affiliate advertisers. You might check of these: Backcountry.com,  Altrec.com Outdoors, Paragon Sports,  and Moosejaw.com Outfitters