Kel-Tec .22 Magnum CMR30 Carbine

The Kel-Tec CMR30 is a PMR30 with a carbine assembly mounted in place of the pistol barrel and slide-and that isn't an oversimplification.

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In my last post, I reviewed the remarkable Kel-Tec PMR30 .22 Magnum, a lightweight polymer framed semi-automatic handgun whose hallmark is a 30-round magazine. It is a well-engineered design that works well for concealed carry, home defense, trail use, and survival.

Since Kel-Tec is known for "out-of-box" design thought and engineering, it is of little surprise that they would apply the 30 round .22 magazine semi-auto handgun design to a carbine. How they did it shows their engineering genius-and their ability to create solid, reliable weapons that won't break the bank.

Technically Speaking

Let me break this down to its simplest terms. The Kel-Tec CMR30 is a PMR30 with a carbine assembly mounted in place of the pistol barrel and slide-and that isn't an oversimplification.

All the operating controls of the PMR30 are located in the pistol frame-manual ambidextrous 1911 style safety, slide stop lever, and heel mounted magazine release. The PMR30 frame saved development costs since the only component that required design work to create the CMR30 was the carbine upper.

The CMR30 is a lightweight micro-carbine. It has a multi-position flexible stock and 16-inch threaded barrel-Kel-Tec says that the CMR30 "runs great" with a suppressor attached. Weight is 3.8 lbs., overall length is 29.9 inches and collapsed length is 22.5 inches, making it easily maneuvered with the adjustable stock open or closed.

In keeping with the ambidextrous character of the PMR30, the CMR 30 makes charging easy through dual non-reciprocating handles. The chassis of the upper is aluminum, and there is a full-length upper rail and a lower rail that runs about half the length of the chassis. A full range of optics may be mounted on top, while there is plenty of room for a bipod below.

A decent set of folding AR-style adjustable polymer folding sights come mounted on the upper rail. The single action trigger pull weight is 5 lbs. Both the PMR and CMR30 use the same 30 round magazines.

Keltec CMR-30 Rifle Specifications

Caliber .22 WMR
Magazine Capacity 30 Rounds
Barrel Length 16 inches
Overall Length 29.9 inches
Weight 3.8 lbs

Range Time

I tested the CMR-30 at the Vance Outdoor Range. The CMR-30 shoulders quickly and comfortably with the stock fully extended. This makes it an ideal arm for smaller statured shooters or for someone learning to shoot a long gun for the first time. Shooting it is-for lack of a better term-a blast.

I conducted the test of a rental CMR30 following my test of the PMR30 using the exact same 40 grain Maxi-Mag .22 Magnum JHP Ammo. It was remarkable how much more mild-mannered the .22 Magnum becomes when it is fired from a 16-inch barrel carbine-even one that weighs only 3.8 lbs. It is not a reduction of recoil that is most noticeable, it is a reduction of muzzle blast.

I loaded up the magazine to full capacity. Attention to detail needs to be used for the loading process of the PMR/CMR magazines to ensure reliable operation. The magazine loading process is detailed in the Kel-Tec manual in full, so before you fire the either gun for the first time, please read the manual. When I originally tested the PMR30 several years ago I didn't do that-and oddly enough I had functioning problems until I did.

To get an idea of the accuracy potential of the CMR30, I sent the target down to 50 feet. I braced my elbows on the stall ammo tray, and began to slow fire a total of 15 rounds at that distance using the factory issued flip up sights. The crisp trigger allowed me to fire a nice two-inch group. The addition of an illuminated, magnified optic would have made that group even tighter.

I backed the target down to 65 feet. 14 of shots from the 15 rounds string landed into two inches again, with a single called flyer that stretched the group out to 4 inches. Still an excellent performance for a sporting carbine. There were no malfunctions.

Wrap Up

With the developing scarcity of 5.56mm ammo of late due to the current Wuhan Coronavirus hysteria, it might be good to have a secondary defensive arm like the CMR30 available due to the ready availability of .22 Magnum ammo. Its reliability and light weight give it great potential in that area. It would also make a fine pest control arm on rural property, or just a fun plinking arm. It would also be good to have it backed up by a PMR30. They really are a matched set.