KelTec Announces the New Optic-Friendly SUB2000 Gen3

KelTec comes out with a lot of funky, sometimes revolutionary designs, many of which have inspired other companies’ designs as well.  One of the more iconic models has been the folding SUB2000 carbine. I always kind of looked at them like folding semi auto Sten guns. They’re a simple, tube receiver design and the GEN1 SUB2000 was petty spartan. Especially during the days of the Clinton “assault weapons” ban, the fact that they folded in half rather than having a folding stock, made them especially appealing for folks wanting an ultra-compact self-defense carbine. 

The GEN2 models brought some refinements to the ergonomics and the ability to mount a light or laser. Optics were still an issue though, given the top-folding design. There were some aftermarket solutions for this, but they involved additional expense and tinkering, something a lot of buyers don’t want to do. 

There wasn’t really a good out-of-the-box solution…until now. KelTec kicked off 2024 with a — forgive the pun — bang dropping the SUB2000 GEN3, a factory optics-ready carbine.

The GEN3 keeps all of the good stuff of the previous generations but adds a new twist. Literally. It still folds in half, but they’ve foregone the pop-up iron sights of the earlier models and have added a rotating forend with Picatinny rail and M-LOK attachment points. That means your mounted optic can stay mounted when the SUB2000 is folded. 

Mount and zero your optic like normal, and when you fold it, the rail rotates to the side allowing the carbine to fold flat. It’s the same compact 16-inch folded package that’s as portable as the previous models.

When you release the latch to open the SUB2000, the rail pivots and locks in place with the optic ready to go. It looks fast and simple. While I’m old enough to still like backup iron sights, optics have come a long way, and we’re seeing more and more optics-only options popping up in the firearms community. 

Current versions of the SUB2000 are 9mm only and set up to take the ever popular GLOCK 19 or larger magazines. The barrel is threaded for a suppressor or other muzzle device as well. 

KelTec is saying the Gen3 model is available now with an MSRP or $499. Having owned a couple GEN1 SUB2000s, and currently having a GEN2, I’m anxious to get my hands on a GEN3 at SHOT this year. They’re going to be very popular. 


Caliber: 9×19 mm
Weight Unloaded: 4.2 lbs
Magazine Capacity: Varies by magazine
Overall Length: 30.45 inches
Length Collapsed: 29.25 inches
Length Folded: 16.15 inches
Barrel Length: 16.15 inches
Twist Rate: 1:10”
Trigger Pull: 5 lbs
MSRP: $499

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