The Kel-Tec P50 5.7mm Space Gun of the Future! ~ VIDEO

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- The Kel-Tec P50 is a modular handgun that if the company wanted to, could be adapted into a carbine, a submachine gun, or a drone weapon. The upper receiver, containing everything but the trigger, can be adapted to remote firing. The lower receiver, with a Picatinny rail and two QD sockets, can be quickly augmented with a folding stock and a vertical foregrip. In its basic form, it looks like a prop from Cyberpunk or Blade Runner.

Kel-Tec P50

Using 50-shot P90 magazines, the P50 overmatches all competitor handguns’ incapacity. Its 9.6-inch barrel fixed firmly in the receiver gives it accuracy beating most match pistols: fired from a sandbag with just a red dot sight at fifty yards, it shot groups under 1.5 inches. Chambered for the punchy 5.7x28mm, the P50 recoils like a 22 rimfire pistol. American Eagle 40gr FMJ leaves the muzzle at 1920fps, 40-grain expanding FN ammunition flies at 1960fps. With relatively low-drag bullets compared to 22WMR, it has a longer point-blank range than a .22 Magnum rifle!

Kel-Tec P50 Bolt Assembly
The Kel-Tec P50’s bolt assembly shows that despite its futuristic appearance, the weapon runs in a very conventional way. IMG Oleg Volk

The Kel-Tec P50 is quite light for its size at 3.2 pounds, and quite compact for the barrel length, at 15 inches overall. For comparison, FN P90 weighs in at 5.7lbs empty and is nearly 5 inches longer with only 0.8 inches more barrel length. The Keltec pistol comes with post and notch iron sights recessed within the Picatinny rail, with elevation adjustment on the front and windage adjustment on the back. 13 inches of sight radius and a good balance add up to considerable precision: standing, I can consistently hit a silhouette target out to 35 yards. At 50 yards, hit probability with factory-adjusted iron sights dropped to 50%, With a red dot, however, I had a group less than an inch at 35 yards. The initial test firing was done with the extra-sharp Vortex UH1 but later switched to Swampfox Liberator on a low mount to reduce weight and the reticle height overbore. With 1.5 inch sight over bore height, P50 greatly improves on the P90’s 4 inches.

Under The Hood

The P50’s action is a plain blowback with dual recoil springs above the barrel. The muzzle flip is negligible. The remarkably slight recoil for a pistol firing a high-velocity cartridge is achieved through very long bolt travel, more than double the cartridge length, and through the use of a polymer recoil absorber wrapped around each return spring. The long top rail and the shorter dust cover rails have plenty of room for lights, lasers, and other accessories. The reloading procedure is a bit slower than the P90: run the charging handle to cock the hammer, press the action release lever located above the web of the strong hand to pop over the ventilated steel top cover, which is the actual receiver.

Keltec P50 Ejection Port
The Kel-tec P50’s ejection port is located at the top of the receiver. IMG Oleg Volk

With the cover raised, pull out the empty magazine, place a full one in its place with the ammunition facing up and close the cover. Run the AR15 style charging handle once to chamber the first round. Since there’s no last shot hold-open, it’s likely that the last trigger pull would drop the hammer. While the action can be opened with the hammer down, it should not be closed that way. Running the charging handle also ensures that there’s no misfired cartridge remaining in the chamber. Be careful to keep the sling from getting under the charging handle. The reloading procedure is a legacy of the original design placing a premium on highly dust-sealed internals. Since it only has to be done one-third as often as with a typical 9mm sidearm, so there’s no time lost overall. The pistol ships with two 50-round magazines, enough to cover any realistic defensive fight.

For firing standing, the normal two-handed grip works better than trying to reach the dust cover with the support hand. The included two-point QD sling steadies the pistol well. One end of the sling fits the receptacle on the bottom of the pistol grip, the other on the back of the grip frame. The pistol can be carried on the strong side or across the body and pushed out against sling tension for improved control. There’s no perceptible shift in balance as the ammunition in the magazine is emptied. One-handed firing is good to about 25 yards, with slower shot-to-shot recovery from a slight sideways twist after every round.

Keltec P50 Reload
The Kel-Tec P50’s reloading procedure is unorthodox, but with 50 rounds in a magazine, who cares? IMG Oleg Volk

The ambidextrous safety lever blocks the sear and disengages the trigger. Personally, I would prefer a locked dead trigger to a floppy trigger, but it’s a matter of habit. The trigger pull is long but light — 5 pounds with a wide trigger face — making it easy to shoot accurately at the cost of reduced feedback through winter gloves. The geometry of the trigger pull works better with a two-handed hold. The reset is nearly at the start of the travel, with a feeling of very light double action. With dispersion at 50 yards just slightly over an inch and 5.7×28 trajectory being very flat, it’s reasonable to expect effective hits past 150 yards, with the velocity still above 1350fps at that range. Hit probability is much higher than could be expected with a conventional pistol. Terminal performance is moderate but has the advantage over slower calibers in being able to defeat soft body armor. High-velocity frangible loads in the 29-32 grain range are better suited for varmint eradication. The barrel length is sufficient for most of the 5.7×28 ballistic potential.

Kel-Tec P50 Vortex UH1
The author reported that both shooters from the video felt the recoil from the P50 was very manageable. IMG Oleg Volk

Muzzle flash is transient and small, at about 4 inches long and 1.5 inches high, and doesn’t intrude into the sight picture much. The barrel is threaded 1/2×28 for any muzzle device. P50 ships with a knurled thread protector. While a sound suppressor won’t reduce the bullet flight noise, the crack from the supersonic wave generated by a small projectile isn’t as injurious to the shooter’s ear standing inside its propagation cone. Most of the steel .22 suppressors are rated for 5.7×28 and reduce the report very nicely with only a small shift in the point of impact, thanks to the rigid barrel.

Kel-Tec P50 Main
The P50 is arguably one of the most unique-looking firearms to hit the market in a very long time. IMG Oleg Volk

Disassembly is extremely simple, with no small parts or loose springs to worry about. With a cartridge tip, pull the recoil block forward and away from the receiver. The recoil springs, their guides, and the bolt all come out as a single unit. After that, the charging handle comes out of the back, providing full access to the chamber. The field-stripping is thus complete. Reassembly is in reverse order and takes only a few seconds. Ejection is up and to the front right, so left-handed shooters can use it with no concerns about hot brass.

Besides looking like a futuristic blaster, P50 brings significant capability in a small and light envelope. Significantly more accurate than 9mm machine pistols or their semiauto lookalikes, it sports a bigger magazine, better accuracy, and longer effective range. And it’s a lot of fun to shoot.



About Oleg Volk

Oleg Volk is a creative director working mainly in firearms advertising. A great fan of America and the right to bear arms, he uses his photography to support the right of every individual to self-determination and independence. To that end, he is also a big fan of firearms. Check out his world-renowned photography and his YouTube channel.

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Don
Don
4 months ago

Who in space are they going to kill? AT 17,000 MPH a sling shot will bring down a satellite.

TKocian
TKocian
4 months ago

I love the look and concept of this gun, but despite being tormented by “The P50 is now shipping!” emails, text messages, facebook and instagram ads…I have yet to see it, anywhere. I pre-bought 1,000 rounds last year in anticipation for its arrival…nada! I have a google search that will alert me anytime one is posted…STILL WAITING!!

I will buy this when it is released or available.

loveaduck
loveaduck
4 months ago
Reply to  TKocian

I waited that long for the P30 22 mag.

Rob
Rob
4 months ago

I appreciate all the info! Videos firing it without a brace are ridiculous. Just the size of it makes it stupid without a brace. really should have partnered with a 3rd party for a brace at the time of rollout. Their fear of changing laws even when marketing is pathetic. I’ll get excited about this product if 5.7 drops back to 40 cents a round. Otherwise it’s a pointless range toy.

Bubba
Bubba
10 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Getting 5.7 ammo has been a nightmare.
I bought several thousand rounds in 2019 and have yet to shot any of it. 🙁

This thing looks super heavy and awkward to shoot.
And mag changes will get you dead.

I’ll have to pass on one of these unless they….. nope. Just have to pass.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
5 months ago

I like the concepts shown by a lot of Kel-Tec offerings, but I loathe their erector set/Mattel toy engineering and construction. I have only purchased 2 or 3 over the years, but the most recent, a PMR-30, I never bothered to fire; and seriously considered throwing away unfired. Too many points of the design rely on too close tolerances for functioning, on a seriously cheap-ass constructed plastic and aluminum pistol. I’m not a particular fan of Glock, but they should buy out KekTec and perfect their products.

Bill
Bill
4 months ago

I have a PMR 39 and enjoy it. It runs well, is reliable with all heavier ammo (40gr) is compact, resists rust, abd isn’t sensitive to need lots of cleaning after shooting! What’s nit to like?

loveaduck
loveaduck
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Me, too. (P30)

GomeznSA
GomeznSA
4 months ago

RTG – if ya haven’t tossed that PMR yet I’ll let ya ‘donate’ it to me ‘-)
Working out the logistics of doing so could be an issue but probably not unworkable. I’m more than willing to adopt unwanted orphans…………….

loveaduck
loveaduck
10 days ago

I enjoy my PMR-30 and would like to try one of these.

Mikial
Mikial
6 months ago

Very cool gun and being a Kel Tec, probably a lot of fun to shoot. But anyone considering one should stop and think about the cost and availability of ammo.

Bill
Bill
4 months ago
Reply to  Mikial

Today 5-22-21 I find it at $1.60 each, making it an $80 magazine load! Surely when the 9mm/5:56/.45/.22lr ammo is back in supply, the price will come down as they add volume in production. How long? 1-2 years from now?

Arny
Arny
11 days ago
Reply to  Bill

today on 10-11-21 you can buy American Eagle for $39.99 at IRUNGUNS. After adding shipping I would estimate about $1.00 a round.

Bubba
Bubba
10 days ago
Reply to  Mikial

You need an AMEX Black to afford shooing it.
That’s why I never shoot my SBR’d P90S

Ansel Hazen
6 months ago

Reloading your own ammo is the only way to have any sort of decent supply on hand these days and my research has indicated the 5.7 cartridge is unusually fussy to load for. Too many reports of blown up guns for me to even consider getting anything in 5.7.

WinstonRomeo
WinstonRomeo
6 months ago

Not sure I would own one since I bought a Ruger 57. The really off putting issue with 5.7×28 is the cost of ammo. My first 5.7 pistol was the FN model which I didn’t keep very long. I bought ammo for it at less than $30 per box of 50 so over a few months I stocked up with 500 rounds, 200 in fmj and 300 in the FN blue point expanding. Last 5.7 ammo I saw was running just under a buck a pop. My Ruger 57 is for home defense & other social work where I don’t… Read more »

GomeznSA
GomeznSA
6 months ago
Reply to  WinstonRomeo

WR – if you can find 5.7 that cheap you might want to grab it! It has been running around 90 bucks for a box of the ‘cheap’ stuff around here lately, if not more. If you have access and spare cash, you could turn a tidy profit. NOTE – I am not encouraging price gouging by any means.

Miserable Wretch
Miserable Wretch
6 months ago

Kel-Tec is the Tommy Wiseau of gun companies. the guns inargueablely look terrible, yet they possess a distinct alien charm to them.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
6 months ago

All it needs is a brace, and proper ammunition.

Heed the Call-up
Heed the Call-up
6 months ago

Based on the design, an arm brace, like on the AR-platform pistol, would not work. I do not see, except at the base of the grip, where a brace could be attached.

Big George
Big George
6 months ago

Cuanto?

Heed the Call-up
Heed the Call-up
6 months ago
Reply to  Big George

Kel-Tec lists it at $995.00 on their website.

Shiznit
Shiznit
6 months ago

Nice except there’s no ammunition for that in the Midwest

Arny
Arny
6 months ago
Reply to  Shiznit

And what you can find was going for $80 a box of 50. So how much fun can one afford ?

Shiznit
Shiznit
6 months ago
Reply to  Arny

For sure plus the way they blow through ammo testing stuff seems like no problem for them !?

GomeznSA
GomeznSA
6 months ago
Reply to  Shiznit

Shiz – they can blow thru ammo for the tests since someone else is paying for it.
Where can I get a gig like that? I do have more than a bit of experience and training with guns and have been known to turn a good phrase or two…….