New for SHOT: Kel-Tec CP33 .22 LR Pistol w/ 33 round magazine

Kel-Tec CP33 .22 LR Pistol 33 round magazine

Arizona -( The long awaited Kel-Tec .22 LR pistol, with a 33 round magazine, has arrived at the Shot Show. The pistol is designated the CP33. It is a straight blowback design, which is simpler than the delayed blowback needed for the .22 rimfire magnum cartridges used in the PMR-30.

The magazine design was patented by Toby Obermeit, lead engineer at Kel-Tec, in 2014. When I found out about it at the Shot Show in 2015, I thought a .22 LR pistol with a high capacity magazine had great potential. Here is what I wrote four years ago, in January of 2015:

I have often thought that there was a lot of space inside .22LR pistol grips that wasn’t being utilized effectively. A 30+ shot full-sized .22LR handgun with a 5-inch barrel, threaded for a suppressor, and weighing about a pound, would be a very nice backpacking and general field or “kit” gun. A simple blowback design would allow for multiple barrel lengths and configurations.

I’d like to see arrangements for an optical sight. A small reflex sight would work nicely. A fixed barreled .22 pistol with an optical sight might be usable for small game to 60 yards.

Kel-Tec 33 round .22 LR Magazine CP33

The pistol is a little heavier than I imagined, at 24 ounces.   It takes optical sights and or lasers easily. Joe Easter at the Kel-Tec booth said he consistently was able to obtain 1 inch groups at 25 yards with optical sights. It has an arrangement in the back that practically begs for a pistol brace.

It is a standard sized pistol, but is very flat. A 5.55 inch barrel is a great  length for a .22 rimfire. I see this as a lovely trail gun and all around .22 pistol.

For comparison, a High Standard Sentinel 6″ barreled .22 revolver weighs 25 ounces, is 10.75 inches long, and 5.25 inches high. The CP33 is 10.6 inches long and 6 inches high. The CP33 is flatter.

With the enclosed bolt and the non-reciprocating charger handle, you could use a regular scope on this pistol. Recoil will be minimal.  There is no worry of the bolt hitting your face. The small red-dot sights are said to work very well. The CP33 practically begs for a pistol brace. One may be in the works.

The Scorpion .32 machine pistol/submachine gun, also known as the Vz.61, has a similar enclosed bolt system. The Scorpion has reciprocating bolt “sliders”  on both sides.

The trigger on the sample I examined was a little long and had some over travel. It was an excellent weight. I would guess, about 2.5 lbs. Joe said they average about 3.3 lbs. I did not have a scale with me. The are advertised at 3-5 lbs.

The trigger is very usable for a trail gun and for all around use. It is not quite as good as my old Woodsman, but is not terribly far off. An aftermarket trigger is in the works, I understand.

The CP33 has a 1 in 14″ twist barrel. The standard twist for a .22 is 1 in 16″. I asked about the different twist. A machinist at the Kel-Tec booth said it was a simple manufacturing decision. It was easier to set up a 1 in 14 twist on the machine they had. I view it as an advantage. A 1 in 14 twist works a little better to stabilize heavier, lower velocity bullets. A 1 in 16 twist does not do a great job of stabilizing 60 gran bullets. They need a 1-8, or 1-10 twist.  A 1-14 twist might do a little better than a 1-16 on the 60 grain bullets.

The CP33 is threaded for accessories at the muzzle. You could add a bloop tube to extend the sight radius, a muzzle brake for that “tacticool” look, a suppressor, or whatever you want. The current sights should work well with most suppressors.

It would be a great pistol to teach beginning shooters with, especially with a suppressor.

This is good timing to bring out an innovative .22 pistol, with the deflation of the .22 rimfire bubble.

Loaded with 40 grain 22 LR rounds, the pistol will weigh 28 ounces.

This pistol would be an excellent part of the survival kit on an Alaskan bush plane. Highly accurate for small game, yet capable of taking big game with judicious shot placement in an emergency. The pistol is to be shipped with two magazines. That is 66 rounds of ammunition.

For the Zombie apocalypse, or the slightly more likely EMP electric grid failure dystopia, this pistol becomes an effective urban sniper weapon out to 100 yards.  Add a suppressor, it is almost undetectable. A laser rangefinder

There is potential for a great carbine design here. I envision an integrally suppressed design with a 16 inch barrel, to meet the silly National Firearms Act (NFA) rules. The last six or seven inches of barrel would be the integral suppressor.

It is gratifying to see that others are paying attention to what I write. Or, more likely, Toby and the other people at Kel-Tec have been thinking in parallel with me.

The pistol is in limited production at the moment. KelTec hopes to have full production running at the end of May, with 500 pistols a week at that point.  The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $475.

My prediction, the Kel-Tec CP33 will be a very popular pistol.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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I own 5 different keltec firearms and I have never once had a issue with any of them. 9mm pistol, 9mm rifle, 40cal rifle, ksg 12guage, and a 233/556 pistol. And yes I own kimber, sig, glock, ruger, Springfield, S&W and others. So I can justify everyone’s positive feedback on keltec’s quality. Once this firearm comes easier to buy without people trying to get them early and then resell for over double the price. I will be buying one then since I like how it does hold alot of rounds so your not changing or reloading magazines every minute

bobbie spinks

I am looking forward to getting one of them. I have had my PMR 30 for about 6 years and no problems at all. All you guys saying they’re no good, try to treat them like your woman, more affection with gentleness, and it will serve you well as it has me.

Jihn Saxtorph

For PMR- CMR-30 magazines: buy American Speedloader Nest. It is a real game changer!
No more reamlocks and loading a magazine takes less than a minute.


Hey Kel Tec, how about one in 25 Stevens? That sure would be different! Have Hornady make up the ammo.

Dannie Gillispie

How about a gun that works Kel-Tec, lol.


Every Kel-Tec I have owned has been near flawless.

Eric Spear

I’ll be grabbing one just as soon as I can find one available!

Dannie Gillispie

Good, you can report back to all of us and let us know all the flaws and mechanical failures so we can avoid more Kel Tec Fails!

Timothy Cates

I own a pmr30 and I think of it as one of my favorites to shoot and carry. I only have had troubles on my first trip to the range and that was all me. I failed to load the mag properly. I have never had any more trouble. I can’t imagine how many rounds I’ve run through it by now but I’m sure it’s more than 600 possible more than 1000. One thing I find reading most negative comments is you can’t make a Glock owner happy not even happy with their own Glock I imagine. Say what you… Read more »

Dannie Gillispie

I hate Glocks but enjoy quality and have never ever met anybody who was happy w/a Kel-Tec product. It blows me away you say it was flawless after you loaded the magazine correctly! If you make a gun that will only function w/properly loaded mags, a certain grain and type of ammo and the mag get lost in the woods due to a heel mag releases…


The PMR -30 .22 mag pistol would be a mu ch better Bush looker is survival bag pistol! Lightweight 30 rd mags reliable , & accurate w a good trigger!


I have both a pmr30 and a cmr30. Thank first time to range I shot 100 rdsthrough each gun. The pmr had one stove pipe on the first round of the first mag. Using CCI stingers the cmr had three ftf on the first mag and two mor on the second mag. The 3 and 4 mags fired flawlessly. I was loading magazines with 25 Rds. 2nd time to range I shot 100 rds through pmr no problem. The cmr had 2 ftf on the last magazine. I think part of that issue of ftf is how you load mags.… Read more »


cci STINGERS???? IN THE CMR30???????????? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ..Thats 22lr ammo George. The cmr30 shoots 22 Magnums

Estrus Kefauver

Can it feed more than a round or two without a malfunction?

Webfoot Logger

Is the grip the same shape as the PMR-30?

If so, I won’t be purchasing. That one doesn’t work for me.


I want one! I anticipate a LONG wait.

Dannie Gillispie

Releases early spring 2019 between March and May. That being said, you would do a lot better w/a Ruger or Browning. The Cool Factor doesn’t matter if the gun won’t function.


I have been waiting for this pistol since I first saw the pmr-30.
Delayed buying the pmr-30 for years hoping for the 22LR version finally purchased one and found out about the CP33 o mb the way home with my new pmr

Frank Weston

It’s an interesting design, but a .22 pistol is pretty much good only for target shooting and plinking. Why would a 33 round magazine be any benefit in these applications, especially if that magazine is as prone to failing to feed properly as the magazine on the PMR/CMR30? If the CP33 has sights and trigger as good as come on the PMR-30, the long sight radius should make it a nice, relatively inexpensive target pistol……if the magazine actually works.

Michael Tuck

Sir…….with all due respect. If you don’t know whats great about this pistol, No One could explain. I own a pmr30,,imo a fantastic pistol. WORKS PERFECTLY ALL THE TIME> So good I bought the cmr30.

Forget 33 rounds,,,extended mag holds 50………………With the accuracy it has? I can’t wait to own one.

Sheryl Oney

Where do you get the extend a mag ?


Kel-Tec makes top-notch Products and has an exceptional customer service team. They provide a great warranty for great products. Now for the comment on the gun. It sounds like a winner but I don’t think it’s going to be on my list for quite some time. There are a number of other, quality 22s on the market including one other which was just introduced this week. Although I feel this gun will be an instant success, the Kel-Tec is much heavier than others and I don’t feel that a 33 round magazine is that much of a benefit. Contrary to… Read more »

Dannie Gillispie

Lost me at Kel-Tec makes Top-Notch products…apparently you’ve never owned a Ruger, Browning, Smith, Colt, Savage, etc. Sounds like you rep for Smel-Tec.


I’m no rep for KelTec, but I can quite honestly say the KelTecs I’ve owned are the most reliable, highest quality pistols I’ve bought (or even shot) in the last 20 years. KelTec has proven to me that high quality does not have to imply high cost. And yes, I’ve tried some of the expensive brands, too. (The PMR-30 is so good, I’m planning to order at least three more of them. FWIW, pretty much everyone I know who complains about KelTec’s quality has ruined their gun by doing ham-handed “fluff-and-buff” modifications. If you file down the feed ramp, it… Read more »


Kel-Tec products are very finicky and do not cycle well. Customer service sucks and they do not stand behind their stuff. Speaking from experience. Bought a CMR-30 and couldn’t get it to properly cycle a full magazine even once. Called customer service…told to watch video on their website…did so and followed instructions to the letter…better but still could not successfully run a single magazine (single fire not rapid fire more than 2 seconds between shots)…called customer service and was told I’m not doing it right watch video again. I own firearms, have been shooting for 30+ years, followed their instructions… Read more »

Dave R

Yeah. I have the PMR30, thing wouldn’t feed reliably. Initially, I was told the mag needed to be loaded correctly, tapped for each additional loaded round after about the first 15 rounds in the mag .. didn’t make a difference. Kel-Tec eventually issued an RMA for repair & replaced both mags, barrel, slide assembly and feed ramp. The thing still misdeeds. No more Kel-Tec for me.


Sorry to hear your troubles. I own a CMR-30 and it is awesome! I never watched any video, just went out and shot it. Sounds like it could be the ammo that you were using. The first few times shooting it I could only get about 20 rounds in each mag because they were so tight. Loosened up after a few mag dumps. Never misfired or failed to fire even one time.

Dannie Gillispie

Amen Brother